hweimer writes: I manage a small network which includes some clients that are regularly deployed in locations where there is no or only poor internet access. Currently, local copies of data for these clients are created and merged back more or less manually, which naturally creates all sorts of problems. So I'm looking now for a distributed file system so that each client has always access to a local copy, which is automatically re-synced once it comes back online. Storage space is not critical, nor is obscene read/write performance. An additional requirement is that it has to be included in Debian, at least in the upcoming "wheezy" release. Any recommendations?
hweimer writes: "In leading up to the European Union summit deciding on its future budget, 130,000 scientists (including 44 Nobel laureates) are warning against cuts on the research budget. In 2006, EU research funding was already slashed by 30%, much more than cuts to sectors such as agriculture or infrastructure development. If you are a scientist, there is still time to join the open letter to the EU member states governments."
hweimer writes: "I am looking for a small (7") tablet that comes with root access out of the box. I know, I could get one of the usual suspects and root it myself, but I don't want to waste my time in the process and end up voiding my warranty. Basically, I'd like to use it for web browsing, reading PDFs and accessing my e-mails via SSH (extra bonus for X11 forwarding). Any good suggestions, or should I wait for Tizen devices to hit the market?"
hweimer writes: "A new study by a French government agency, commissioned in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, found that all French nuclear power plants do not offer adequate safety when it comes to flooding, earthquakes, power outages, failure of the cooling systems and operational management of accidents. While there is no need for immediate shutdown, the agency presses for the problems to be fixed quickly. France gets about 80% of its power from nuclear energy and is a major exporter of nuclear technology."
hweimer writes: If you ever wanted to know what a quantum computer sounds like, here's your chance! I have created two musical pieces that contain musical representations of Grover's search and Shor's factorization algorithms, using nothing but my Perl skills and an open source quantum computer simulator.
hweimer writes: A novel study analyzes the install base of various office packages among German users. While Microsoft Office comes out top (72%), open source rival OpenOffice is already installed on 21.5% of all PCs and growing. The authors use a clever method to determine the installed office suites of millions of web users: they look for the availability of characteristic fonts being shipped with the various suites. What surprised me the most is that they found hardly any difference in the numbers for home and business users.
hweimer writes: Germany is getting a call center to help Windows users with malware infections. I think this has the effect of being a malware bailout for Microsoft, discouraging them and other software companies from writing better code and giving users little incentives to switch to more secure alternatives. How much government money is needed to run the call center is also not revealed.
hweimer writes: "Researchers at the University of Stuttgart in Germany have observed a molecule based on a completely novel binding mechanism. As reported in Nature (preprint), the binding occurs because one of the two atoms in the molecule has an electron in a Rydberg state, very far from its nucleus. These molecules can only be seen at ultracold temperatures and high atomic densities, and their observation reaffirms fundamental statements of quantum theory."
hweimer writes: "Yesterday at RSA security conference, F-Secure's chief research officer recommended to drop Adobe Reader for viewing PDF files due to the huge amount of targeted attacks against it. Instead, he pointed to PDFreaders.org, a website maintaining a list of free and open source PDF viewers."
hweimer writes: "After 22 months of development, Debian GNU/Linux version 5.0 (codenamed "Lenny") has been released. New features include a port to ARM's EABI architecture, a free-as-in-speech Java implementation based on OpenJDK, and lots of updated software packages. The release is dedicated to the memory of Thiemo Seufer, who died in a tragic car accident last December."
hweimer writes: "The American Physical Society (of Physical Review Letters fame) is one of the most important publishers in physics. Recently, they took some heat when they refused to give permission to authors to create derivative works of their publications for open content sites such as Wikipedia. They have now changed their copyright policy, allowing authors to include up to 50% of the published content in derivative works."
hweimer writes: "The latest thing against phishing are extended validation (EV) certificates. Supported by Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 7, these certificates promise that the site has gone through a more extensive validation of its owner than ordinary SSL certificates. Being a proponent of EV certificates, I conducted a test on how many banks already use them. The surprising result: only thirty percent."
hweimer writes: "Most problems when opening Word documents under GNU/Linux are due to missing fonts. Therefore, Red Hat published a set of fonts metric-compatible with the Windows core fonts last year. However, there were some concerns regarding the licensing that prevented many other distros to ship them. We finally managed to settle these problems, leading to better document interoperability for all GNU/Linux users."