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Submission + - Microsoft forges ahead with new home-automation OS, HomeOS (

suraj.sun writes: More than a decade ago, Microsoft execs, led by Chairman Bill Gates, were touting a future where .Net coffee pots, bulletin boards, and refrigerator magnets would be part of homes where smart devices would communicate and interoperate. Microsoft hasn't given up on that dream. In 2010, Microsoft researchers published a white paper about their work on a HomeOS and a HomeStore — early concepts around a Microsoft Research-developed home-automation system. Those concepts have morphed into prototypes since then, based on a white paper, "An Operating System for the Home," (PDF) published this month on the Microsoft Research site.

The core of HomeOS is described in the white paper as "a kernel that is agnostic to the devices to which it provides access, allowing easy incorporation of new devices and applications. The HomeOS itself "runs on a dedicated computer in the home (e.g., the gateway) and does not require any modifications to commodity devices," the paper added. Microsoft has been testing HomeOS in 12 real homes over the past four to eight months, according to the latest updates. As is true with all Microsoft Research projects, there's no guarantee when and if HomeOS will be commercialized, or even be "adopted" by a Microsoft product group.


Submission + - Australian Billionaire Plans To Build Titanic II (

SchrodingerZ writes: Just in time to miss the 100 year anniversary of the fatal voyage of the Titanic; Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer announced he has plans to recreate the Titanic, calling it Titanic II. "It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st Century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems," says Palmer. He stated it was to be as close to the original as possible, with some modern adjustments. Its maiden voyage is set for 2016.

Submission + - Organism Closest to Original "Tree of Life" Discovered (

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have discovered a benign algae eating protozoan in a lake near Oslo, Norway whose gene sequence does not match any known organism living on earth today, and this beasty combines genetic characteristics across plant, animal, and fungal kingdoms. It is believed to be the closest living organism to the original organisms that spawned all animal life on earth.

Submission + - Judge in Oracle vs Google tells jury apis with same name are copyrightable ( 2

Billly Gates writes: Oracle vs Google case is turning into a copyright infringement one rather than a patent one. The judge agreed with Oracle that an api with just the same name is actual copyright infringement and has instructed the jurors to look at this way when presented evidence.

This is a very dangerous precedent that could have far reaching effects. For example, if you create an opensource project with a function called foo(), that line of code would be owned and infringing on another project with the same name as foo() if lawyers cite this case as an example of copyright interpretation. GCC and Mono would be in danger and teams of lawyers would be required before anyone writes a single line of code in any company in the US.
Should we worry?


Submission + - NVIDIA Unveils Dual-GPU Powered GeForce GTX 690 (

MojoKid writes: "Today at the GeForce LAN taking place in Shanghai, NVIDIA’s CEO Jen Hsun Huang unveiled the company’s upcoming dual-GPU powered, flagship graphics card, the GeForce GTX 690. The GeForce GTX 690 will feature a pair of fully-functional GK104 “Kepler” GPUs. If you recall, the GK104 is the chip powering the GeForce GTX 680, which debuted just last month. On the upcoming GeForce GTX 690, each of the GK104 GPUs will also be paired to its own 2GB of memory (4GB total) via a 256-bit interface, resulting in what is essentially GeForce GTX 680 SLI on a single card. The GPUs on the GTX 690 will be linked to each other via a PCI Express 3.0 switch from PLX, with a full 16 lanes of electrical connectivity between each GPU and the PEG slot. Previous dual-GPU powered cards from NVIDIA relied on the company’s own NF200, but that chip lacks support for PCI Express 3.0, so NVIDIA opted for a third party solution this time around."

Submission + - The Greatest Machine Never Built (

mikejuk writes: John Graham-Cumming is the leading light behind the project to actually build the analytical engine and his TEDx talk outlines why this is a very special machine. There is a tendency to think that everything that Babbage thought up was little more than a calculating machine, but as the video makes 100% clear the analytical engine was a real computer that could run programs. If you want to know more simply watch the video:

Comment Re:Benefits / Differences (Score 1) 463

When they started HURD the Linux kernel wasn't around yet. But after the Linux kernel appeared they sort of felt obliged to finish it, although Richard Stallman acknowledges they wouldn't have even bothered starting it's development if the Linux kernel had existed at that time.

On the GNU page linked above, Richard Stallman comes across as almost apathetic about it.

They're really not selling it to me.

Comment Re:Attitudes about HURD: why slashdot is irrelavan (Score 1) 463

Agreed, people should welcome new projects. But stagnation? I think there is reason to be more optimistic than this.

My Linux desktop has never been so stable, productive or cool looking as it is today. In work, every server I connect to these days is running Linux. There was a time when I found I had to use a mix of closed/open tools to get the job done. These days everything I and my company does is powered by Open Source projects.

I don't see any stagnation. I see constant innovation at an ever increasing rate. And long may it continue! :)

Comment Re:Kindle support? (Score 1) 88

I'm not a DRM lovely either, but I did hear a fairly convincing argument for DRM encumbered ebooks from libraries. With the move to ebooks in the future and the eventual demise of paper books how are libraries to function? DRM provides a mechanism whereby libraries could electronically lend a document for a limited amount of time. I'm guessing it would be pretty hard to convince a publisher to agree to place their book in a library which simply gave away DRM free versions of their ebooks.

Saying that, I've already jailbroken my Kindle (although that was only to get rid of the awful default screensavers).

Comment Can of worms... (Score 1) 409

If Lucas develops the techniques to convert 2D movies into 3D and it's successful, we'll soon have pretty much every other movie ever released [i]re[/i]-released in 3D. My money's on the Matrix being first in line, they haven't done a re-release of that for a couple of weeks now...

Comment Re:Thanks for the information, Hemingway (Score 1) 269

According to TFA this research was part sponsored by the Department of Defence.

Rumours suggest hardened "Warrior Mice" will be deployed in the field sometime in 2012, possibly as ground support for the Reaper drones.

Those of us who don't yet hate mice will learn to hate them when they, along with their Reaper brethren, descend upon us.

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