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Submission + - Hurd Being Considered for No. 2 Spot at Oracle (latimes.com)

Hugh Pickens writes: "The LA Times reports that Mark Hurd, recently ousted as chief executive of computer maker Hewlett-Packard after allegations of sexual harassment, is likely to serve under his longtime friend and sometime tennis partner Larry Ellison, the outspoken CEO of Oracle who blasted HP for the move. Hurd had been credited with nearly doubling HP's market value to $100 billion and surpassing IBM Corp. in annual revenue during his five-year term but his record became tarnished after a contractor working for HP filed claims of sexual harassment against him, and the company said he had falsified his expense reports. Since his resignation from HP, Hurd reportedly has received a numberY of job offers from public companies and private equity firms. Hurd would bring to the table knowledge of running a company that makes industrial-grade computers on which Oracle's business software runs, knowledge that may be particularly useful to Oracle, a company that this year finalized its $7.4-billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems."

Submission + - 5,000 x Sunlight Thermal Record Set by SHEC Labs (pesn.com)

sterlingda writes: "SHEC Labs of Saskatoon, SK, Canada, claims to have the most efficient solar thermal technology in the world. By focusing the concentrated rays into the aperture of a highly-reflective, elongated tube, by the time the light bounces back out, it has gradually dumped 95% of its heat into the tube, which can then be put to work. The company expects that their commercial versions will be able to achieve concentration levels of 11,000 to 16,000 times the intensity of the sun. One of the applications of the technology will be in generating hydrogen and syngas from landfill methane. A pilot plant in Regina, SK Canada is expected to be completed in 2008; and a larger plant is being installed in Texas, which could fuel 5,000 vehicles per year. Another application of the heat will be to run a stirling engine or a steam turbine. SHEC Labs says they are in process of rolling out the capacity to produce three gigawatts, spread across six plans of 500 MW each, beginning overseas this year. A 5-15 year return on investment is expected at present fossil fuel prices."

Submission + - No Slashdot April Fools Jokes in 2008 8

An anonymous reader writes: Slashdot will not be participating in the April Fools jokes this year due to a lawsuit that was settled out of court with undisclosed terms stemming from the 2007 April 1st stunts. The false stories were determined to be too egregious by a yet to be named individual. Slashdot's parent company SourceForge, Inc. found it wiser to settle out of court then a lengthy battle that was obviously going to span several months.

The ponies will be missed.

BitTorrent Devs Introduce Comcast-Proof Encryption 334

Dean Garfield writes "An article at TorrentFreak notes that several BitTorrent developers have proposed a new protocol extension with the ability to bypass the BitTorrent interfering techniques used by Comcast and other ISPs. 'This new form of encryption will be implemented in BitTorrent clients including uTorrent, so Comcast subscribers are free to share again. The goal of this new type of encryption (or obfuscation) is to prevent ISPs from blocking or disrupting BitTorrent traffic connections that span between the receiver of a tracker response and any peer IP-port appearing in that tracker response, according to the proposal.'"

Possibility of Life On Mars Looking More Remote 169

Riding with Robots writes "The never-say-die robotic geologist Opportunity continues its extended explorations in Victoria Crater on Mars. The latest findings from the mission suggest that while plenty of water did exist in this location, it was so salty that life would have a very hard time gaining a foothold. 'Not all water is fit to drink,' said Andrew Knoll, a member of the rover science team. 'At first, we focused on acidity, because the environment would have been very acidic. Now, we also appreciate the high salinity of the water when it left behind the minerals Opportunity found. This tightens the noose on the possibility of life.'"
The Internet

ICANN Finds No Wrong Doing in Domain Front Running 132

eldavojohn writes "Remember the investigation ICANN did in domain name front running? Well, it turns out that there was no wrong doing going on at all. What went wrong? Domain name 'tasting', which involves a free five day trial of a domain name, was the big culprit. From the article: 'In some cases ... the committee found that a separate practice of domain name tasting may be causing problems. That refers to someone testing the financial viability of a name for up to five days and then returning it for a full refund, using a loophole in registration policies. Domain tasting can tie up millions of Internet addresses, including ones someone checks but does not buy.' If you check for availability of a website and someone sees you do it and they reserve it before you, it's fair play."

Videogames Doomed for a 'Comics-like Ghetto'? 354

At the Newsweek blog LevelUp, journalist N'Gai Croal wrote this week about the sometimes-precarious position of videogames in popular culture. The frustrations of legislators, lawyers, and 'pro-family' groups aside, the popularity and record sales of the gaming industry would seem to indicate rising stock for gaming as an art form in the US. And yet, there are some folks who see gaming as just another fad, which in some time will be equal in popularity to comic books or tabletop roleplaying. N'Gai starts to form his response by noting that learning to play videogames is considerably easier than developing an appreciation for literature of any kind. He then goes on to note that the (oft-cited) lack of weighty subjects in gaming is more due to the 'pop culture' nature of the hobby than the medium itself. "Popular fiction generally outsells literary fiction. Summer blockbusters generally out-gross arthouse films. Is this any different from, say, Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat out-NPD-ing BioShock last year, or Madden doing the same to Shadow of the Colossus in 2005?" He discusses some ways to address that, but do you have any solutions? Or are games doomed to be the playthings of adolescent boys for the rest of the century? (And yeah, I resent the 'comics ghetto' label too.)

Feed news.com: Linux: Built-in apps get an A, wireless support an F (cnet.com)

Featured links from the CNET Blog Network

Ubuntu Linux: Built-in apps get an "A", wireless support an "F" -- The "Gutsy Gibbon" version of Linux, aka 7.10, has all the applications most Windows users will need, but its spotty support for wireless adapters limits your networking options.

The Gizmo Report: the SPOT Satellite Messenger -- Glaskowsky reviews the SPOT Satellite Messenger, a new low-cost personal locating device.

First Look: NOD32 antivirus version 3 -- Running NOD32 antivirus through some paces.

Do Webkinz change the way we look at pets? -- There is a huge trend in pets as expression of an owner's image, as epitomized by the trend in pet fashions now available. Does our identification with online animal avatars like Webkinz feed in to this trend and influence us to create animal "familiars?"

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