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Submission + - Microsoft pays companies to use LiveSearch

tsa writes: "On John Battelle's Searchblog there is a piece about how Microsoft pays companies to not only have them use MS's Live Search engine, but also get information about the amount of users and PC's in the company. Companies get paid a fee per PC. The height of the fee depends on the usage of the MS LiveSearch engine. The use of IE7 is mandatory for this, because MS wants the companies to use a plugin for this browser to be able to keep track of the user's searching habits. If you ask me, this is bribery."

Submission + - Microsoft kills off J# language

twofish writes: "Microsoft have announced that J#, its Java clone for .NET, and the Java Language Conversion Assistant will be discontinued and will not appear in the next version of Visual Studio. At the same time they have announced pans for a 64-bit version of the J# Redistributable this year."
The Internet

Submission + - Proposed Internet Censorship Law in Israel

Shlomi Fish writes: "Gal Mor reports on on a new proposal for an Israeli Internet censorship law, which will require ISPs to implement censorship at the ISP level, and the surfers to identify themselves using bio-metric means and passwords to prevent minors from viewing sites with unsuitable content. Also see a discussion on the Israeli Linux mailing list.

This law is very bad and should better be stopped so please help spread the word."

Wordpress 2.1.1 Release Compromised by Cracker 48

GrumpySimon writes "The recent 2.1.1 release of the popular blog software Wordpress was compromised by a cracker who made it easier for to execute code remotely. This is interesting because the official release was quietly and subtly compromised, and has been in the wild for a few days now. There's no word on if any affected sites have been compromised, but anyone running Wordpress is urged to upgrade to 2.1.2 immediately, and admins can check their logs for access to 'theme.php' or 'feed.php', and query strings with 'ix=' or 'iz=' in them."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - OSS Strategy Game running AI Coding Competition

Semi Anonymous Coward writes: "Thousand Parsec, a project to create a framework for building 4x space empire building games, is running an AI Coding Competition. The AI can be coded in any language and there are separate sections for the best designed AI and the one which wins the most games. To top it all off there are a bunch of cool prizes and swag to be won.

The lack of a decent AI has long been one of the major complaints about strategy games (and being specifically poignant with Open Source Games). So why not come out and help fix the problem? With only a month left before entries must be submit everyone better get cracking!

Disclaimer: I'm one of the judges for the competition."

Submission + - Copyright Royalty Board Terminates Internet Radio

An anonymous reader writes: News of the new Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) rates retroactive to January 1st 2006 have leaked out today. The new rates amount to well over the total revenues of all internet radio stations. If the new rates are allowed to stand, every United States based webcaster will immediately owe more in back licensing fees to SoundExchange than the combined total of all revenues they have ever received. More details are on Kurt Hanson's website here: x.shtml

Submission + - Analog TV cards banned by FCC as of yesterday

Anonymous Coward writes: "Beginning yesterday, the FCC requirement went in to effect that 'All TV receiving devices sold must possess the capability of supporting digital television signals.' NVidia has already discontinued their fairly new and very popular DualTV MCE ( card, and soon all Non-ATSC cards will be gone from shelves and available only on Ebay."
Red Hat Software

Submission + - Redhat Challenge seeks Biz Graduate Student Ideas

noopm writes: Redhat has announced the Redhat Challenge, a "contest for graduate students in Business/Design Schools to formulate a group concept plan in response to a business challenge question". The Red Hat Challenge is posed as "an open invitation to create an innovative solution to a Red Hat business problem and provide the Company with original, cutting-edge ideas to shape its future business model".
Is this sort of bounty based problem solving the new trend in the Open Source Industry? (This seems like the B-School version of the Google Summer of Code initiative). Notably, the contest is open to an international crowd including the United States, Canada, China, India and lots of European and other Asian countries. The winning team gets to walk away with USD 20,000. Registration is open online till March 25th at their website. Official rules here.

Submission + - Recommended Reading for Software Engineers

Tokimasa writes: "Over the past few months, I've been gathering the "recommended reading" for software engineers that I've found across Slashdot and some other sites. So far, here is my collection, ordered by author:

Brooks, Frederick P. The Mythical Man-Month.
DeMarco, Tom and Lister, Timothy. Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (Second Edition).
DeMarch, Tom and Lister, Timothy. Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects.
Hunt, Andrew and Thomas, David. The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master.
Johnson, Jeff. GUI Bloopers: Don'ts and Do's for Software Developers and Web Designers.
McCarthy, Jim and McCarthy, Michele. Dynamics of Software Development.
McConnell, Steve. Code Complete (Second Edition).
McConnell, Steve. Rapid Development.
Norman, Donald A. The Design of Everyday Things.
Raymond, Eric S. The Cathedral & The Bazaar.
Weigers, Karl E. Software Requirements (Second Edition).

First, would you recommend any other "must-have" or "should-have" books? Second, what order do you recommend reading the books in to get the most out of them (ie — do any books build on content in another book)?"

Submission + - Rice is people?

f1055man writes: The Washington Post reports that the "USDA Backs Production of Rice With Human Genes": le/2007/03/01/AR2007030101495.html

The plan, confirmed yesterday by the California biotechnology company leading the effort, calls for large-scale cultivation in Kansas of rice that produces human immune system proteins in its seeds. The proteins are to be extracted for use as an anti-diarrhea medicine and might be added to health foods such as yogurt and granola bars.

Despite the benefits, some consider the project risky.

But critics are assailing the effort, saying gene-altered plants inevitably migrate out of their home plots. In this case, they said, that could result in pharmacologically active proteins showing up in the food of unsuspecting consumers.

Anheuser-Busch (the nation's largest rice buyer) has prevented the application of gene-altered rice due to concerns customers would not accept GM beer. Should they use their influence to shut this down too?
Linux Business

Submission + - Needed: Simple Business Management Software

justinchudgar writes: "I'm starting to work as an independent IT consultant; and, I have pretty much switched to Linux on my systems. Overall, I am very happy with the transition away from proprietary software; but, I need a software package to manage the dirty details of my business. For me, that is basically tracking my time and creating invoices/statements for clients and then receiving payments against them. I do not resell hardware as a line of business; and, I do not (yet) have employees which makes it easier for now. What I want is:
  • integration with standard calendaring packages so that billable time can be entered via a browser anywhere and be accessible to the AR package
  • handle different bill rates for different service classes
  • generate invoices and statements without much manual labor
  • track account balances and service charges
  • have the capability to integrate credit card payment processing
  • not require endless hours of HOWTO or manpage slogging to get up and running

While I can muddle through with documents and spreadsheets + evolution calendar; this is not very efficient or clean. I have searched around the web, read innumerable articles, blogs and tried a bunch of stuff. Yet, I have yet to find a nice simple and user friendly package for my needs.

Compiere/Adempiere are overkill for what I need, and the personal finance apps that I managed to find are not good at doing things like handling multiple bill-rates and tracking receivables. I know that it is possible to get SlowBooks running with CrossOver or Wine, but, I have had so much misery with Intuit products in my clients offices that I will not allow them in mine.

I would really appreciate learning what open-source or commercial Linux apps you have seen working well for professional services firms that you run or serve. Thanks!"

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