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Comment Re:IText (Score 1) 132

The problem with iText is that it used to be MPL, but the maintainer got ticked off at commercial users several years ago and changed to license to AGPL. Apparently now they're relaxing the license for a fee, but they've changed their mind before - no guarantees that they won't change it again.

Comment Re:Cite the NASA story, not some parasite's blog (Score 1) 225

Considering that this is a statement made by a US agency, and the primary purpose of such an article is to convince the people that are defunding them, primarily the US taxpayer, to continue to fund them, the football field unit is completely appropriate. This is particularly true because most US high schools, and some middle schools have a permanent football field near them, and even parks have football fields temporarily set up from time to time. Anyone in the US who has tried to get an education, and even those who have slept during class, are likely to have walked by football fields enough to understand what the size of them is.

It is certainly more likely that someone in the US will have a feel for the size of 1/2 a football field than 50 yard sticks or 150 ruler lengths. There are very few other standard sized objects on that scale that people have real world experience with. The reality is that most in the US that understand 50 meters will approximate that to 50 yards, and then imagine that distance compared to a football field. NASA is just doing that conversion for those that don't have a feel for meters, and for those that don't realize that a football field is 100 yards.

Comment Re:Not dead on my desktop (Score 1) 1348

But, I can close the lid of my laptop and it goes to sleep, open it and it wakes up. I don't have to write wpa-supplicant files by hand, worry about wireless drivers, or anything else. I can watch my DVDs, I can watch internet videos if I want to (as much as I bitch about youtube culture and whatnot, there are occasionally things worth watching that happen to live inside of an embedded flash player), my battery life doesn't suck and I spend a lot less time beating my head against the wall due to "not quite 100% compatible" issues.

Same here. I run Fedora, and I haven't had trouble with any of the above in years - it just works (though I don't watch many DVDs on my laptop, so, to be fair, I can't comment there). Fedora has come a long way in terms of networking and video, and I've heard that Ubuntu has as well. In fact, I've found that some of my cellphone videos play fine on my Fedora laptop, but don't work at all on my wife's Windows 7 laptop. When I moved away from Windows, I piloted with a Mac for awhile, and while the UI was pretty, it drove me absolutely nuts. The editing keys and shortcuts were different for every application. Also, Apple has no concept of a true docking station/port replicator, so every time I had a meeting, I had to unplug and re-plug ten different cables. I also had to carry around a bunch of extra accessories, like a dongle just to connect to a projector. It was so frustrating that when I was told that I had to choose, I happily sent the Mac packing and have used Fedora ever since.

It would be nice if I could get Quicken and Word for Linux, but I found that Word on Mac converts strangely to Windows also, and in some cases worse that OpenOffice, so I didn't see that as a worthy advantage.

Comment Re:Beautiful (Score 1) 260

Shadows could be softer

They only mention three bounces per pixel, and do not mention samples per pixel. They also don't give any detail about their light sources. If they maintain point light sources, the shadows will always be hard no matter how many bounces or samples they take. If they allow area light sources, and sample it properly, they can do that with a single bounce. And you can do some pretty nice stuff with three bounces.

MacBook Air Confuses Airport Security 550

Ant writes "MacNN reports that the thin design of Apple's MacBook Air is causing some confusion for the technically ignorant, according to one blogger who says that the ultra-portable caused him to miss his flight. When going through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport security checkpoint, blogger Michael Nygard was held up as security staff gathered around his MacBook Air, trying to make sense of the slender laptop/notebook. One of the less technically knowledgeable staff points out the lack of standard features as cause for alarm..."

Warning On Office 2007 "Try-Before-You-Buy" 380

walterbyrd writes with a warning: "Microsoft is pushing Office 2007 with 'try-before-you-buy.' Please don't let your friends and relatives install Microsoft 'trial' software. When Microsoft tells you 'try-before-you-buy,' the 'buy' part is not meant to be an option. Once you 'try' a Microsoft 'upgrade' you can not easily go back, because your files will be replaced by new versions that you need the new software to read." The ChannelRegister article also notes how Microsoft's push goes against the grain of the consumer revolt against "crapware." Read on for an account of walterbyrd's experience with a previous Microsoft trial upgrade.

Submission + - Underwater Tank

pipingguy writes: "XK2, South Korea's latest "home-grown" battle tank was unveiled recently. With only 3 crewmembers, it looks like it depends on an autoloader system as the Russian designs typically do (the American Abrams, British Challenger 2 and German Leopard have a dedicated loader crewmember) and the "active defence system" sounds a lot like the Black Eagle."

Submission + - Saudi oil production in trouble

IamTheRealMike writes: As one of the worlds most prolific producers of oil, Saudi Arabian production is of vital importance to maintaining our standard of living in the west. A new analysis from Stuart Staniford appears to show large, fast declines in production throughout 2006 that are uncorrelated with price, world events or OPECs own announced production cuts (in fact, no evidence for those cuts occurring is found at all). Given that the apparent steep decline (8%/year) matches the rates seen in other areas where horizontal drilling and water injection were used, and high prices give the Kingdom every incentive to produce, is this the beginning of the end for Saudi oil?

IBM Refuses To Certify Oracle Linux 124

Andrew writes "IBM has thrown a spanner in the Oracle Linux works by refusing to certify that IBM's software portfolio will run and be supported on Oracle Unbreakable Linux. If IBM applications turn out to be incompatible with Oracle Linux, then it will be up to Oracle to resolve any issues. This conservative stance of IBM's is unlikely to help Oracle sell Linux subscriptions to businesses that use any of IBM's large software portfolio."

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