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OS X Vs. Vista — In Spandex 302

An anonymous reader writes "CNET UK compares Vista Vs. Apple OS X in a Romeo and Juliet, spandex-wearing, Shakespearean English style. Two guys dress up as their favorite operating system and fight with swords, guns, and fists, while a third guy, dressed as a woman, awaits the winner. 'Usability - Act 3, Scene 2: Swords clash, sparks fly and men grunt, but the showdown ends in stalemate ... [Vista] has a far better user interface than XP -- the file and application search facility is vastly improved and the cascading Start menu has been banished, but it only takes a few moments of use to discover pointless idiosyncrasies. Microsoft constantly reminds us of how great Flip 3D is, but this feature doesn't help us find the right application window much faster than Alt-Tab did. It's very time consuming when you have many application windows to flip through, and it's in no way as efficient as OS X's Exposé feature ... We're calling this one a draw. They're just as good as each other, and in some cases just as bad -- a pox upon both your houses! Score: Mac OS X - 2, Windows Vista - 2'"
The Almighty Buck

Monkey Business and Freakonomics 182

marct22 writes "Stephen J Dubner, co-writer of 'Freakonomics' said there will be a second Freakonomics book. One of the items that will be covered is capuchin monkeys' use of washers as money, buying sweets, budgeting for favored treats over lesser treats. He mentioned that one of the experiments had similar outcomes as a study of day traders. And lastly, he watched capuchin prostitution!"
Biotech

Why Exercise Boosts Brainpower 331

aditi sends us a report from Reuters on research indicating that exercise boosts brainpower by building new brain cells in a brain region linked with memory and memory loss. Quoting: "Tests on mice showed they grew new brain cells in a brain region called the dentate gyrus, a part of the hippocampus that is known to be affected in the age-related memory decline that begins around age 30 for most humans. Researchers used magnetic resonance imaging scans to help document the process in mice — and then used MRIs to look at the brains of people before and after exercise. They found the same patterns, which suggests that people also grow new brain cells when they exercise."
Biotech

Avoiding the Word "Evolution" 895

jakosc tips us to a disturbing article in PloS Biology on the avoidance of the word "Evolution" in scientific papers and grants. From the paper: "In spite of the importance of antimicrobial resistance, we show that the actual word 'evolution' is rarely used in the papers describing this research. Instead, antimicrobial resistance is said to 'emerge,' 'arise,' or 'spread' rather than 'evolve.' Moreover, we show that the failure to use the word 'evolution' by the scientific community may have a direct impact on the public perception of the importance of evolutionary biology in our everyday lives... It has been repeatedly rumored (and reiterated by one of the reviewers of this article) that both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation have in the past actively discouraged the use of the word 'evolution' in titles or abstracts of proposals so as to avoid controversy."
Windows

Vista Casts A Pall On PC Gaming? 425

simoniker writes "In an opinion piece, casual game publisher WildTangent's CEO Alex St. John (himself a Microsoft veteran and one of the DirectX creators) has sharply criticized some of Windows Vista's features as they related to video game creation, noting: 'We have found many of the security changes planned for Vista alarming and likely to present sweeping challenges for PC gaming, especially for online distributed games. The central change that impacts all downloadable applications in Vista is the introduction of Limited User Accounts. LUA's can already be found in Windows XP, but nobody uses them because of the onerous restrictions they place on usability. In Vista, LUA's are mandatory and inescapable.'" Meanwhile, the word has also come down that games will be on the Zune by Summer of next year.
Software

Novell "Forking" OpenOffice.org 370

l2718 writes to mention that In the wake of their recent deal with Microsoft, Novell has announced a new version of OpenOffice.org which will support Microsoft's planned Office formal, Open XML. From the article: "The translators will be made available as plug-ins to Novell's OpenOffice.org product. Novell will release the code to integrate the Open XML format into its product as open source and submit it for inclusion in the OpenOffice.org project. As a result, end users will be able to more easily share files between Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.org, as documents will better maintain consistent formats, formulas and style templates across the two office productivity suites."
Businesses

Apples Are For Grannies? 432

RoboJock writes "So much for Justin Long — the young, hip 'n' trendy face of the Apple Mac (as seen in the 'Mac vs. PC' ads) is even further removed from the average Mac owner than everyone suspected... By three or four decades. According to research discussed at Silicon.com, 'nearly half of Mac owners are 55 and older — that's almost double the share for average home-PC users.' It seems the young guns don't have the extra cash to stump up for smooth shiny aesthetics." From the article: "For the digital youth, high-street box shifter Gateway is the brand of choice, taking the number-one slot among PC buyers aged between 18 and 25. Dan Ness, principal at MetaFacts, said in a statement: 'Apple can claim long-time loyalists but its future among the young technoliterati is an interesting dynamic.'"
Security

Apple Releases 31 Security Fixes 319

Agram writes, "This week Apple has released fixes for 31 vulnerabilities in its OS, although reportedly a number of known flaws remain un-addressed (according to the instigator of the Month of Kernel Bugs, 'Apple hasn't fixed any of the bugs published during [MoKB], except for the AirPort issue'). Earlier this year, in a move reminiscent of Microsoft's past patching faux pas, Apple released a 'fix' the installation of which broke features unrelated to the targeted flaw. With the growing number of low-level flaws, one has to wonder if Apple's 'more secure' argument still stands. Earlier this month, Microsoft released 6 fixes. Linux does not seem to fare much better. Despite all of these fixes, exploits remain in the wild for each platform. Perhaps, security-wise, the OS choice really boils down to a 'pick-your-poison X user-base' equation?"

Global Warming Debunked? 1120

limbicsystem writes, "I'm a scientist. I like Al Gore. I donate to the Sierra club, I bicycle everywhere and I eat granola. And I just read a very convincing article in the UK Telegraph that makes me think that the 'scientific consensus' on global warming is more than a little shaky. Now IANACS (I am not a climate scientist). And the Telegraph is notoriously reactionary. Can anyone out there go through this piece and tell me why it might be wrong? Because it seems to be solid, well researched, and somewhat damning of a host of authorities (the UN, the editors of Nature, the Canadian Government) who seem to have picked a side in the global warming debate without looking at the evidence." The author of the Telegraph piece is Christopher Monckton, a retired journalist and former policy advisor to Margaret Thatcher.

Adult .IE Domain Names Banned As Immoral 509

An anonymous reader writes, "The Irish domain prefix, .ie, is controlled by an organization called the IE Domain Registry. In their terms and conditions they state, 'The proposed domain name must not be offensive or contrary to public policy or generally accepted principles of morality.' But this policy is only applied to sex words as this adult webmaster has discovered. Murder.ie is acceptable, Porn.ie is not. Can a word be immoral? And in this day and age, should a government-chosen domain registry be allowed to enforce their own moral code on the public?"

EU 'Happy' To Wait For PS3 69

Eurogamer reports on comments by SCE Worldwide Europe VP Jamie MacDonald almost designed to irk anyone left frustrated by Sony's delay of the PS3 in Europe. According to Mr. MacDonald, Europe has always waited before, so why should this time be any different? From the article: "In Europe, it doesn't seem that the release of our platforms after the US and Japan - in the long run - affects how consumers feel ... If we were sitting here in five years' time, I don't think we'd really think about or notice that PlayStation 3 was four or five months later in Europe. I think in the long run, PlayStation 3 will succeed because of the great product it is and the great software we make for it."

British Man Trades Frequent Flyer Miles for Space Shot 130

lvmoon writes "Start saving up your airline miles. Alan Watts, a British businessman, was able to use his 2,000,000 frequent flyer miles for a space flight, a ticket aboard a 2009 Virgin Galactic space flight." From the article: "Electrician Alan Watts said he flew to and from the United States on Virgin Atlantic flights more than 40 times in the past six years, earning him enough miles to take the trip into space with Virgin's space wing, London's The Sun newspaper reported Friday. The trip cost 2 million frequent flier miles, compared to the 90,000 miles required for a first-class flight from London to New York." Besides being funny, does this say anything about space travel in the 21st century? Is space is no longer the final frontier? I'm pretty sure Roddenberry didn't have frequent flier miles in mind when he came up with the Enterprise.

Apple Goes After the Term 'Podcast' 419

Udo Schmitz writes "Earlier this year, Apple went up against companies using the word 'pod' in their product names. Now, Apple is going after the term 'podcasting'. Wired has the complete text of Apple's cease-and-desist letter to Podcast Ready." From the article: "Robert Scoble -- whose own company, PodTech, may be at risk in this witch hunt -- has weighed in on the issue by suggesting that the tech community as a whole adopt other terms like "audiocast" and 'videocast' (or alternately, 'audcast' and 'vidcast') to describe this type of content, while other folks feel that fighting Apple and generating a ton of negative press for Cupertino is the best solution. Our take? Apple should be happy that its golden goose is getting so much free publicity, and if it isn't, we know of several companies that probably wouldn't mind if zencast, zunecast, or sansacast became the preferred terminology."

Yahoo! Mail Beta Goes Public 262

prostoalex writes "After months of being tested via limited beta, Yahoo! Mail Beta, developed after Oddpost acquisition, is now available to the world. From the review: 'The new Yahoo Mail Beta is touted as being as functional as a desktop email client (such as Outlook). Other new features include an integrated calendar timeline (including mashups with Yahoo Maps), drag and drop e-mail organization, message preview, tabs for messages, plus an integrated RSS reader.' Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg was using Yahoo! Mail Beta back in September of last year and wrote the following: 'I've been comparing the new version of Yahoo Mail, which claims to be the leader in Web mail, with Gmail, the challenger Yahoo most fears. My verdict: The new Yahoo Mail is far superior to Gmail. Yahoo more closely matches the desktop experience most serious email users have come to expect. Gmail, by contrast, is quirky and limited. Its only advantage is its massive free storage, which exceeds what most people will ever need.'"

IBM Derides OpenSolaris as Not-So-Open 168

MaverickFire writes "OpenSolaris isn't a true open-source project, but rather a "facade," because Sun Microsystems doesn't share control of it with outsiders, executives from rival IBM say. "Sun holds it all behind the firewall. The community sees nothing," Dan Frye, the IBM vice president who runs the company's Linux Technology Center, said. Sun could do "simple things" to build a real OpenSolaris community if it were serious about doing so, Frye said. "They would push their design discussions out into the forums, so people can see what's going on," he suggested." I talked to one of the OpenSolaris developers at the project's LWCE booth in the "dot-org ghetto," and though it wasn't in response to this article, he pointed out that OpenSolaris takes contributions from all comers, has active public mailing lists, open IRC channels, and several online communities, so Frye's description seems at least overblown.

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