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Programming

Python 2.6 to Smooth the Way for 3.0, Coming Next Month 184

darthcamaro writes "Some programming languages just move on to major version numbers, leaving older legacy versions (and users) behind, but that's not the plan for Python. Python 2.6 has the key goal of trying to ensure compatibility between Python 2.x and Python 3.0, which is due out in a month's time. From the article: 'Once you have your code running on 2.6, you can start getting ready for 3.0 in a number of ways,' Guido Van Rossum said. 'In particular, you can turn on "Py3k warnings," which will warn you about obsolete usage patterns for which alternatives already exist in 2.6. You can then change your code to use the modern alternative, and this will make you more ready for 3.0.'"
Software

How To Kill an Open Source Project With New Funding 187

mir42 writes "The OpenSource multimedia authorware project Sophie, formerly hosted by USC Los Angeles, may just have been killed by new funding. The original funding organization, Mellon Foundation, approved a grant to redevelop the four year project from scratch in Java. The grant was awarded to a Bulgarian company based on their proposal, which is simply an exact description, including the UI and the artwork, of the current Sophie. Being an OpenSource project, this isn't strictly illegal, but let's say, not nice and definitely not innovative, coming from a former sub-sub-contractor on the project. Some of the original, now laid-off developers started OpenSophie.org trying to salvage the project. As the current version is still somewhat buggy and slow, it might just be enough to alienate all potential users of Sophie to the point that nobody will even try to use the next version. Have others faced similar situations? How would you deal with a situation like this?"
The Courts

Judge Suppresses Report On Voting Systems 192

Irvu writes "A New Jersey Superior Court Judge has prohibited the release of an analysis conducted on the Sequoia AVC Advantage voting system. This report arose out of a lawsuit challenging on constitutional grounds the use of these systems. The study was conducted by Andrew Appel on behalf of the plaintiffs, after the judge in the case ordered the company to permit it. That same judge has now withheld it indefinitely from the public record on a verbal order."
Games

Server Structure in EVE Online 141

Massively takes an interesting look at the server model used by EVE Online. It's unusual for a MMOG because it doesn't divide the player load among different servers or "shards." Instead, the same cluster handles the entire EVE universe and all 300,000 subscribers (total; record concurrent load is around 40,000). The EVE Dev Blog recently announced some upgrades to keep things running smoothly and allow for battles involving over 1,000 ships. They call the technology StacklessIO.
Security

Skype Messages Monitored In China 223

Pickens writes "Human-rights activists have discovered a huge surveillance system in China that monitors and archives Internet text conversations sent by customers of Tom-Skype, a joint venture between a Chinese wireless operator and eBay. Researchers say the system monitors a list of politically charged words that includes words related to the religious group Falun Gong, Taiwan independence, the Chinese Communist Party and also words like democracy, earthquake and milk powder. The encrypted list of words inside the Tom-Skype software blocks the transmission of these words and records personal information about the customers who send the messages. Researchers say their discovery contradicts a public statement made by Skype executives in 2006 that 'full end-to-end security is preserved and there is no compromise of people's privacy.' The Chinese government is not alone in its Internet surveillance efforts. In 2005, The New York Times reported that the National Security Agency was monitoring large volumes of telephone and Internet communications flowing into and out of the United States as part of an eavesdropping program that President Bush approved after the Sept. 11 attacks. 'This is the worst nightmares of the conspiracy theorists around surveillance coming true,' says Ronald J. Deibert, an associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto. 'It's "X-Files" without the aliens.'"
Transportation

Cheaper Car Insurance For Gamers 207

I know your first reaction is that this story is gonna be an ad, but SpuriousLogic's story is actually about insurers considering giving a discount to elderly gamers. The question is: does gaming improve mental agility and make you a safer driver? And if so, I'll have to add gaming to mowing the lawn for my weekly chores.
The Courts

Sysadmin Steals Almost 20,000 Pieces of Computer Equipment 258

coondoggie writes "Now this is some serious computer theft. We're talking 19,709 pieces of stolen computer equipment from the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. The theft included everything from PCs and printer toner to hard drives, software and other office equipment amounting to over $120,000, according to court documents and published reports."

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