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School District Drops 'D' Grades 617

Students in one New Jersey school district will no longer be able to squeak by in class after the Morris County School Board approved dropping the D grade. Beginning in the fall students who don't get a C or higher will get an F on their report card. "I'm tired of kids coming to school and not learning and getting credit for it," said Superintendent Larrie Reynolds in a Daily Record report.

Submission + - Open Office is so open - it holds nothing

dogzdik writes: Open Office, that low flying wonder for the technically modest, has a gaping gash of a flaw. It does NOT, I repeat NOT, embed the fonts used in the document, in the document.

This means that if and when you create a document or drawing or spread sheet (etc.,) with a specific font, or fonts, sometimes with specific letter, word and line spacing, that when you save that "project" as a MS word format document OR even worse, in one of the native "OPEN OFFICE" document formats., that the fonts and layouts used in the creation of ones products, are NOT retained in the product.

So when, you change computers to one that doesn't have the stockpile of fonts that one has on ones computer of origin, like from work to home or vis versa, or you email to to a friend, coworker, publisher, supervisor or to ones school etc., unless they have the exact same fonts as used in the creation of the document, on their system, then ones "impeccable artwork" in a range of fonts and layouts, then defaults to 12 point Arial (or whatever).

So ones fabulous A1 sized Circus Side Show poster with the "Super Fabulous Size 494 point font" defaults to Arial 12 point font — when the next person who opens it, rendering the work absolutely worthless.

What is worse, is that when the work is archived or when changes computer systems, as may occur 2 or 3 or 4 times over 10 or so years, and one may lose or misplace ones font collection or if it's left behind in "the records" for others to retrieve at a later date, then it is absolutely worthless as well.

The "work" created using the Open Office (.org) software, IS the combination of the fonts and layouts and images etc.

But because the people who think they know it all, and who have the sayso over it all, think that people creating their own works on their own systems from their own font collections for their own use, ought not to be able to permanently KEEP the contents of those works within the work it's self, then the Open Office software is not "OPEN".

If I want to write a book, with dropped caps or replications of rare text or translations using the original "ancient font" and the modern translation of that in a modern font, — then as soon as I move that "book" off that system, it all defaults to Arial 12 point. No foreign languages, no artistic deriviatives or creations — all wiped because of the non embedding.

Open Office — despite what the "Spiel" on the site says, it's not an open format, it's a restrictive and crippling format.

It means that whatever is created on a specific computer at a specific point in time, with the specific fonts on that computer, stays bound to that situation.

And despite the following claims, it's not archival grade software.

" 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose. "

It doesn't WORK on all common computers, and it cannot read and write from other common office software packages — because it does NOT embed the fonts and the layout of the fonts, as produced in the original document; and because it doesn't do that, it won't save the OO documents into other document types, in the original layout with the original fonts.

Data is safe
Freedom of Information Acts require that the documents you create today will be accessible years in the future. 3 is the first software in the world to use ISO approved file formats as its default. It also has the ability to create pdf files if you need to publish information in a standard 'read only' format. If you already have (possibly unlicenced) office software, 3 should be able to read your old files.

The documents created with Open Office today, will only be accessible in the as produced form (think font types, sizes = words to a page and amount of pages etc) years from now, IF the fonts used in the creation of the document, are available or known to the person opening it on another system. That may be 5, 10 or 50 or even 100 years from now.

So much for the archival value of Open Office documents.

No need to retype
We understand that many people already have documents which they have created using other common office software packages. 3 can read these files with a very high degree of accuracy, making migration to 3 very straightforward. In fact, we have reports where 3 has been able to read files which the original software package had said were corrupted and unusable. If your friends or colleagues use different software, you can still swap files with them — but better still, give them a free copy of 3!

This too is crap — the only thing you can swap between people is documents with people who have the same font sets as produced in that document — on their computer.


Use it immediately
For people used to other office software, 3 is a pleasant surprise. It's so straightforward! Studies have proved it is easier (and cheaper) to move to 3 from Microsoft Office than it is to upgrade to Microsoft's latest Office 2007. Because is one piece of software, everything works consistently between applications. Even the help system is the same. You don't even have to know which application was used to create a document — 3 will use the correct one. You only need to do a single download from the Internet (or install from one CD) and you've got your office suite

You don't have to know which application was used to create a document? That is until you need to open a document that has been created with different fonts than the ones available in Open Office.

Then your in REAL trouble.

Freedom from worry
However, a free software licence means much more than a one-off cost saving. It means you never need worry again whether your software is legal, or whether it will expire some day.

Because the OO folks fail to include font embedding at all, for the fonts used in the "works" — it means that as soon as that document is produced and is sent to others or it is archived; it's original content is automatically expired because it's worthless.

We value your freedom
As part of a community dedicated to free software, we also value your freedom of choice. 3 will read and write files which can be used in other common office software. It was the first software in the world to fully support the ISO standard for office file formats which is being adopted by a growing number of software vendors. If you want to use other software, we want you to be free to do so. If you want to change your PC from Microsoft Windows to Apple Mac to Linux to Sun Solaris, we want you to be free to do so. If you like this approach, feel free to join the community.

This FREEDOM spiel is all crap too, I have found that because I have a goodly font set on my big Windoze machine, with it's huge HDD's and faster processors etc., when I move or go to continue further work on my teeny ancient Linux running laptop (Love Ubuntu), as I don't have the 2000+ font set on my laptop, most of what I created on my Windoze machine, drops from "artistic works" like trademarks, pamphlets, web graphics etc., back to worthless scraps with the Open Office default font of Arial 12 point.

The Caveat:

Free software 3 is free software. That means you are free to download it, free to install it on as many PCs as you like, free to pass copies to as many people as you like. You may use 3 for any purpose without restriction:

You are restricted, and heavily so. It's called product lock in, by default; because if you can't save what you create in the form that you have created it, because of the Open Office committee's failure to implement the embedding of the fonts used, into the documents and works created with those fonts, then you are restricted.

So unless everything you create using open office is done exclusively in the Open Office font sets — your work in no longer being the "Work" as created becomes worthless and they have NO archival value.

Will the Open Office folks fix this insane outcome? I doubt it.

They mount such arguments as:
------- Additional comments from rainerbielefeld Sun Dec 6 11:02:18 +0000 2009 -------

"I have several tools (CAD, PLC programming,...) with various commercial tools and libraries (and at least one commercial" true type font, for what I signed that I will not distribute it without permission), and it's completely clear, that all my creations with those tools will work on other computers only, if all necessary tools are available on that computer, and most of them can not be distributed freely (embedded) because
of their license. Those "tools" have to be bought and licensed for each PC seperately."

So therefore according to this ONE individual, HIS problems, with his licenses, that he signed for, ought to be binding upon everyone else on the entire planet, who will also be using the fonts from the software that they have paid for, or harvested from all the free sources on the web, or have paid to get CD's with 10,000 or 50,000 free fonts.........

Because of this one mans decision, the people in Open Office sell a lie.

They say that you cannot produce and keep, with the resources that you have, all of the documents and works, in the formats that you have created them in, to share, distribute, to archive or publish or cause to be published, in the as created format.

Because they refuse to allow you to embed your own fonts into your own works, of your own creation, now and for all time.

Not good enough.

Submission + - 22 Million missing emails from Bush Administration (

GNUALMAFUERTE writes: "Twenty-two million missing e-mails from the Bush White House have been found, according to two groups that are settling lawsuits they filed over the issue. A former Bush spokesman, though, dismissed the claim as overblown.

The announcement came from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive, both of which were settling lawsuits they filed in 2007 over the failure of the Bush White House to install an electronic record keeping system. The groups said computer technicians uncovered the missing e-mails.

Meredith Fuchs, general counsel to the National Security Archive, said "many poor choices were made during the Bush administration and there was little concern about the availability of e-mail records despite the fact that they were contending with regular subpoenas for records and had a legal obligation to preserve their records."

"We may never discover the full story of what happened here," said Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive director. "It seems like they just didn't want the e-mails preserved.""


Submission + - Demonstrates Tech against Deforestation (

An anonymous reader writes: The philanthropic arm of the search engine giant,, presented a technology that could help prevent deforestation during the International Climate Change Conference or COP15 in Copenhagen. The idea is to utilize images captured by Google Earth as data to study the current condition of forests using software developed for the very task. For the demonstration, Google collaborated with scientists Greg Asner and Carlos Souza, both of whom have developed software of their own.

Submission + - Australian internet censorship to go ahead (

rocketpants writes: Hot on the heals of the proposed, and long awaited R18+ rating for games in Australia, the government has announced it will proceed with it's controversial internet filtering policy. Legislation will be introduced next year to force ISPs to filter all refused-classification material.

Comment Re:Smart Grid and home automation - have your say (Score 1) 409

Have a look at DigitalStrom (in English)
At ETH Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) they developed a microcontroller that can be directly attached to 220/110V power lines.
At first they will put the chip into insulating screw joints but they are also talking to makers of household appliances to incorporate them directly.

They will publish the management software as GPL

I believe that they have a very good chance to take off in the market.


Journal Journal: SIP over TCP - using it in NAT friendly way

I have recently browsed through the latest SIP RFC looking for ways to be more NAT friendly for VoIP.

What I found is not very conclusive: The latest RFC indeed tries to push TCP as default transport for SIP (Yessss signalling links are making a come back) but the use of TCP connection is left to a lot of ambiguities.


Submission + - Most Comprehensive Reverse Hash Lookup (MD5, etc)

Dustin Fineout writes: "A new reverse hash look-up web site has been launched which conglomerates the separate efforts of many such sites into a single resource. searches both local databases and several remote servers to create the most comprehensive reverse hash look-up available anywhere, and in under ten seconds.

The initial version, launched yesterday, offers reverse hash look-up for the MD5 algorithm on a total of six servers' databases. By the end of the week, support for SHA1, MD2, MD4, LanMan, and NTLM algorithms have been promised, as well as expanding the server pool to at least 10 different data sources. The web application also allows visitors to add entries to the datapool by checking for their existence in all servers in the datapool before adding to a local database. The source code for both the online PHP application and several Java programs are also scheduled to be released under the BSD license by the end of this week."

Submission + - Linux Device Driver

Ohad writes: "WinDriver PCI for Linux automates and simplifies the development of user-mode Linux device drivers for PCI / CardBus / ISA / PMC / PCI-X / PCI-104 and CompactPCI. No OS internals knowledge or kernel level programming required."

Submission + - Take out asteroid soon, UN urged

stevedmc writes:,23599,21247126-2,00 .html

THE United Nations has been urged to launch a space mission designed to take out an asteroid threatening to smash into the Earth in 2036.

In scenes straight out of Hollywood action movie Armageddon, a group of astronauts, engineers and scientists say they are monitoring an asteroid named Apophis, which has a one in 45,000 chance of striking Earth on April 13, 2036.

A recent congressional mandate for NASA to upgrade its tracking of near-Earth asteroids is expected to uncover a host of threatening space rocks in the near future, former astronaut Rusty Schweickart said.

"It's not just Apophis we're looking at. Every country is at risk. We need a set of general principles to deal with this issue," Mr Schweickart, a member of the Apollo 9 crew that orbited the moon in March 1969, told an American Association for the Advancement of Science conference.

Mr Schweickart plans to present an update this week to the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on plans to develop a blueprint for a global response to an asteroid threat.

The Association of Space Explorers, a group of former astronauts and cosmonauts, intends to host a series of high-level workshops this year to flesh out the plan and will make a formal proposal to the UN in 2009, he said.

Submission + - Einstein's twin paradox resolved

slashthedot writes: "An Indian American scientist Subhash Kak from Louisiana State University has resolved the 100+ years old Einstein's twin paradox. "The fact that time slows down on moving objects has been documented and verified over the years through repeated experimentation. But, in the previous scenario, the paradox is that the earthbound twin is the one who would be considered to be in motion — in relation to the sibling — and therefore should be the one aging more slowly. Einstein and other scientists have attempted to resolve this problem before, but none of the formulas they presented proved satisfactory. Kak's findings were published online in the International Journal of Theoretical Science, and will appear in the upcoming print version of the publication."
"The implications of this resolution will be widespread, generally enhancing the scientific community's comprehension of relativity. It may eventually even have some impact on quantum communications and computers, potentially making it possible to design more efficient and reliable communication systems for space applications." -lpr021407.php"

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.