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Submission + - Linux infection, end of windows malware monopoly? (zdnet.com) 2

s122604 writes: Gentoo linux IRC server distribution shipping with malware for several months. Windows version of same software unaffected.
  The author does a lot of chiding of the linux user community for its apparent "smugness". There's a lot of things I could point out here, such as that this was a corrupted repository, not a drive-by-download or similar vector. Still, it is a good reminder about not fully trusting repositories...

Comment Re:Not really. (Score 2, Interesting) 496

Sociological studies of hunter-gatherer societies have indicated that they even now have more free time than we do, not less. Moreover, it was only within the last 400-500 years that agricultural societies began to overtake hunter-gatherers in terms of nutrition (as measured by looking at the height of skeletons, and signs of the presence of malnutrition-related diseases). In other words, it was only very recently that agricultural civilization became good not just for those at the top but also for the majority.

The argument, then, for why agricultural civilization came to dominate the world even if it did not result in a better quality of life is this: Although the diet of cheap carbohydrates provided by agriculture did not result in healthy people, it did provide energy to sustain more people (albeit with a lower quality of life), whereas hunter-gatherer civilizations need to practice contraception and infanticide (and they did, and do, both) to avoid overexploiting their range. The societies with larger populations (the agricultural ones) were, in turn, able to field armies and otherwise exert power in ways that hunter-gatherers were not, and in this way also out-competed them.

In other words, until very recently, if you wanted to create a large and powerful society at the expense of individual health and leisure time, your best bet was to practice agriculture. If you wanted to create a small society of well-nourished and healthy people with more leisure time at the expense of collective power, you'd want to pick the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. And even now, although hunter-gatherers no longer have the nutritional advantage, they still win on leisure time.

Submission + - Microsoft Declining (nytimes.com)

Greg Hullender writes: Former MS VP Dick Brass (full disclosure: he was my boss for a while) writes in today's NY Times that Microsoft has lost its edge due to a combination of internal politics and lack of vision. He describes how ClearType took ten years to get into MS products because some groups simply didn't want change at all while at least one group would only accept it if the whole ClearType team was transfered to them. He describes some of the troubles of Tablet PC, in particular the Office team's fierce resistance to it. (To this day, it's hard to use Office on a Tablet PC.)

I note that he omits at least one problem that he himself caused; one of the biggest headaches with Tablet PC was simply logging into it. Trying to use handwriting recognition to input a password was nearly impossible. The most natural solution would have been signature verification, but one of the key members of Dick's staff was determined to use fingerprint recognition instead, and successfully blocked any attempt to even evaluate signature verification. As is often the case at MS these days (meaning, the last ten years), no amount of rational argument had any impact on this person, nor could upper management be bothered to take a position. Ultimately, nothing at all was done, and that pattern repeats all across the company. Dick definitely got that part right

Submission + - Race For All-Electric Car Charges Ahead

An anonymous reader writes: On the news that Tesla is filing for an IPO, the first in the US auto industry since 1956, CNBC has a report on all the different electric cars being released between 2010 and 2012. "“Tesla inspired the likes of GM to get into the electric car market,” says Bradley Berman, editor of HybridCars.com and PluginCars.com. “Now, every major automaker has some kind of plug-in vehicle in the works."

Submission + - First cowboy to draw always gets shot. Here's why. (sciencemag.org) 3

cremeglace writes: Have you ever noticed that the first cowboy to draw his gun in a Hollywood Western is invariably the one to get shot? Nobel–winning physicist Niels Bohr did, once arranging mock duels to test the validity of this cinematic curiosity. Researchers have now confirmed that people indeed move faster if they are reacting, rather than acting first.

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