carlmenezes writes: A school in Auckland, New Zealand has adopted an all-open source infrastructure, putting together in two months a system that continues to run fundamentally unchanged. Mark Osbourne, the school's deputy principle, is at the heart of the school's FOSS activities. The system consists of Ubuntu desktops and Mandriva servers, with students using open source applications including OpenOffice, Mahara, and Moodle. Students have reportedly connected everything from Macs to the Playstation Portable. The racks in the school's new server room, which was built with the usual Microsoft specs in mind, will have forty-four empty slots: Of the assumed forty-eight servers, this setup requires just four.
carlmenezes writes: It seems that the DRM on Gears of War came with a built-in shut off date: the digital certificate for the game was only good until January 28, 2009. Now that the game fails to work unless you adjust your system's clock, what's Epic's response? "We're working on it."
carlmenezes writes: Twin Solid State Musical Tesla coils playing Mario Bros theme song at the 2007 Lightning on the Lawn Teslathon sponsored by DC Cox (Resonance Research Corp) in Baraboo WI. The music that you hear is coming from the sparks that these two identical high power solid state Tesla coils are generating. There are no speakers involved. The Tesla coils stand 7 feet tall and are each capable of putting out over 12 foot of spark. They are spaced about 18 feet apart. The coils are controlled over a fiber optic link by a single laptop computer. Each coil is assigned to a midi channel which it responds to by playing notes that are programed into the computer software.Video here
carlmenezes writes: 1. A "Catastrophic Emergency", 2. Execute National Continuity Policy The President will then have absolute control. Is this not effectively a dictatorship? Why was this not passed through congress? Why did it not receive the press coverage it deserves?
carlmenezes writes: Jeremy Reimer from Ars Technica writes about OpenXML getting fast tracked to become a standard — "The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), in a surprise move, has announced that it is putting Microsoft's Open XML format — the file format used for Office 2007 — on the fast track to become a full ISO standard. An e-mail by Lisa Rajchel, the secretariat of ISO's Joint Technical Committee, confirmed this decision. The move puts the document format on a five-month schedule that could see Open XML ratified as an open standard as early as this August."
He also asks, "Is the war really over if both sides have won?" How long is pure information portability going to take?
carlmenezes writes: Arstechnica has an article on Microsoft's open letter to IBM that adds fresh ammunition to the battle of words between those who support Microsoft's Open XML and OpenOffice.org's OpenDocument file formats. Microsoft has strong words for IBM, which it accuses of deliberately trying to sabotage Microsoft's attempt to get Open XML certified as a standard by the ECMA. In the letter, general managers Tom Robertson and Jean Paol write: "When ODF was under consideration, Microsoft made no effort to slow down the process because we recognized customers' interest in the standardization of document formats." In contrast, the authors charge that IBM "led a global campaign" urging that governments and other organizations demand that International Standards Organization (ISO) reject Open XML outright.
Could MS actually be getting a taste of their own medicine?
carlmenezes writes: The MPAA is lobbying congress to push through a new bill that would make unauthorized home theaters illegal. The group feels that all theaters should be sanctioned, whether they be commercial settings or at home. "Just because you buy a DVD to watch at home doesn't give you the right to invite friends over to watch it too. That's a violation of copyright and denies us the revenue that would be generated from DVD sales to your friends". Do you think they're going too far? Full story here
carlmenezes writes: Could Linux end those constant tech support requests from your relatives? According to Selva's blog, the answer is a resounding yes and he's been free of tech support woes for some time now. He details the setup, why he chose Ubuntu versus Windows and what else he added on. According to him, it only took a couple of hours to "train" his parents on the new system. Is this an indicator that Ubuntu may be actually approaching that oh so elusive goal of usability that it seems even Windows could not get a handle on?
carlmenezes writes: The ability to discern good wine from bad, name the specific brand from a tiny sip and recommend a complementary cheese would seem to be about as human a skill as there is. In Japan, robots are doing it. "There are all kinds of robots out there doing many different things," said Hideo Shimazu, director of the NEC System Technology Research Laboratory and a joint-leader of the robot project. "But we decided to focus on wine because that seemed like a real challenge." Wired story here