digitalderbs writes: I'm setting up a research lab in physical chemistry, and as part of my setup, I'd like to get a server with 8-12 cores that can be used by my students and post-docs. I'd like to give desktop (GUI) access to each of my users so that they may use software licensed only for that computer. I've tried X-forwarding with ssh on a fast network, and performance is definitely an issue. I'm looking for a free (and preferrably open sourced) system for managing multiple remote desktop sessions. VNC is of course the standard, and it works well but, from what I can tell, lacks multi-user session management. The NoMachine NX server works wonderfully on both low and high latency networks, but it's limited to two concurrent users. Alternative NX server implementations exist, including FreeNX, x2go and Google's neatx. What are your recommendations for remote desktop management client and server software for 6-12 concurrent users over a high (100Mbps) or low (1Mbps) bandwidth connection?
digitalderbs writes: In a recent attack on Citibank, hackers "breached the bank's network and accessed data on hundreds of thousands of bank card holders." At this stage, Citigroup has admitted that customer names, account numbers, and contact information have been compromised, but not birth dates, social security numbers and CVV security codes. News of this major breach hasn't yet been reported by major US news agencies.
digitalderbs writes: Django, the popular, Python-based web framework, has released version 1.3 after a year of development. This version includes support for class-based views, support for Python's logging facilities, improved management of static (media) content, and improvements to the unittest framework, which makes use of Python's new improvements to unittest. A summary of the new features can be read from the release notes.
digitalderbs writes: Python 3.2 was released on Feb 20th 2011 with many new improvements. New features include many useful updates to the unittest module, a stable ABI for extensions, pyc repository directories, improvements to the email and ssl modules and many others. This also marks the first release in the 3000-series that is no longer backported to the 2.0-series.
digitalderbs writes: A recent Ask Slashdot examined the importance of testing in software. A number of comments discussed the cost-benefits of testing, and whether it would save a company money in the long run. This made me think of quality assurance and testing in consumer products in general. In the last months, and after this Christmas, I've bought or received nearly a dozen things that have come to me broken, faulty, or have become unusable after a short time. Is the return rate of products and the expectation of quality so low that QA is no longer done on the products we buy? What's your experience?
digitalderbs writes: As a researcher in the physical sciences, I have generated thousands of experimental datasets that need to be sorted and organized--a problem which many of you have had to deal with as well, no doubt. I've sorted my data with an elaborate system of directories and symbolic links to directories that sort my data by sample, pH, experimental type, and other qualifiers, but I've found that through the years, I've needed to move, rename, and reorganize these directories and links, which have left me with thousands of dangling links and a heterogeneous naming scheme. What have you done to organize, tag and add metadata to your data, and how have you dealt with redirecting thousands of symbolic links at a time?
digitalderbs writes: A problem plaguing most people with multiple computers is the arduous task of synchronizing files between them : documents, pictures, code, or data. Every one seems to have their own strategies, whether they involve usb drives, emailed attachments, rsync or a distributed management system, all of which have varying degrees of success in implementing fast synchronization, interoperability, redundancy and versioning, and encryption. Myself, I've used unison for file synchronization and rsnapshot for backups between two linux servers and a Mac OS X laptop. I've recently considered adding some sophistication by implementing a version control system like subversion, git or bazaar, but have found some shortcomings in automating commits and pushing updates to all systems. What system do you use to manage your home directories, and how have they worked for you for managing small files (dot config files) and large (gigabyte binaries of data) together?
digitalderbs writes: The New York Times has a story on the price of e-books and how much they should cost, compared to their printed forms. "Publishers and authors say it is much more complicated than the cost of paper and shipping. The lower e-book price "is not sustainable," said Mr. Baldacci, whose novels regularly rise to the top of hardcover best seller lists. If readers insist on cut-rate electronic books, he said, "unfortunately there won't be anyone selling it anymore because you just can't make any money."
At the same time we're being charged full price to replace the same books, music and movies every decade, and being led to believe that what we're "buying is the content, not necessarily the format."
digitalderbs writes: The Netflix player company, Roku, has released their software under the GPL, as required by the GPL of the software the Roku player uses. Could this lead to software players on other platforms? They, however, imply that not all of their software has been GPL'ed.
"Certain components of the software included with the Netflix Player by Roku are subject to separate license terms, including "free" or "open source" software ("Separately Licensed Code"). As required by the terms of the relevant Separately Licensed Code licenses, Roku makes the "free" and "open source" code provided under such licenses, and Roku's modifications to such code, available on Roku's website, at no charge. If you believe any additional source code files should be provided under the applicable open source license, please contact us at email@example.com and provide in detail the product or code module in question."
digitalderbs writes: CNN is reporting that the MIT dean of admissions has been fired for falsifying her resume 28 years ago. She misrepresented degrees from Albany Medical College, Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute and Union College. Despite not having these credentials, she was well recognized for her service at the university:
Jones was named dean of admissions at MIT in 1997 and received MIT's highest award for administrators, the "MIT Excellence Award for Leading Change." She was also the 2006 winner of the "Gordon Y Billard Award" given "for special service of outstanding merit" performed for the school.
digitalderbs writes: CNN is covering the Time Magazine person of the year.. you. In the December 25th 2006 issue of Time, the article will discuss how the biggest story of 2006 is the revolution on the internet : blogging, YouTube, myspace, facebook, wikipedia and so on. From the article:
"It's a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It's about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people's network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes...The new Web is a very different thing. It's a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter."