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Submission + - A Docker Fork: Talk of a Split Is Now on the Table (

joabj writes: Could a fork be in Docker's future? A number of container software vendors, loosely coalesced around Google's Kubernetes container orchestration engine, want to see the (open sourced) Docker code base standardized, so they can build more reliable third-party products (such as orchestration engines) around the virtualization technology. Docker says it is making advancements too quickly to be fully standardized, though, so Google, Red Hat and CoreOS, and other companies are mulling alternative ideas, such as forking the Docker code base.

Submission + - Docker Moves Beyond Containers with Unikernel Systems Purchase (

joabj writes: Earlier today, Docker announced that it had purchased the Cambridge, U.K.-based Unikernel Systems, makers of the OCaml-based MirageOS, a unikernel or "virtual library-based operating system." Unikernels go beyond containers in stripping virtualization down to the bare essentials in that they only include the specific OS functionality that the application actually needs. Their design builds on decades of research into modular OS design. Although unikernels can be complex to deploy for developers, Docker aims to make the process as standardized as possible, for easier deployment.

Submission + - PostgreSQL 9.5 does UPSERT Right (

joabj writes: For years, PostgreSQL users would ask when their favorite open source database system would get the UPSERT operator, which can either insert an entry or update it if a previous version already existed. Other RDMS have long offered this feature. Bruce Momjian, one of the chief contributors to PostgreSQL, admits to being embarrassed that it wasn't supported. Well, PostgreSQL 9.5, now generally available, finally offers a version of UPSERT and users may be glad the dev team took their time with it. Implementations of UPSERT on other database systems were “handled very badly,” sometimes leading to unexpected error messages Momjian said. Turns out it is very difficult to implement on multi-user systems. “What is nice about our implementation is that it never generates an unexpected error. You can have multiple people doing this, and there is very little performance impact,” Momjian said. Because it can work on multiple tables at once, it can even be used to merge one table into another.

Submission + - Romance and Rebellion in Software Versioning ( 1

joabj writes: Most software releases more or less follow the routine convention of Major.Minor.Bugfix numbering (i.e. Linux 4.2.1). This gives administrators an idea of what updates are major ones and might bring compatibility issues. As Dominic Tarr points out in his essay "Sentimental Versioning," a few projects boldly take on more whimsical schemes for versioning, such as Donald Knuth's use of successive Pi digits to enumerate new updates to TeX, or Node.js's punk-rock careening between major and minor releases. If you break convention, Tarr seems to be arguing, at least do so with panache.

Comment One good reason for unbundling: The Kardiashians (Score 5, Insightful) 448

My problem with bundling is that your cable dollars *underwrite* crap like the Kardiashian shows, whether you watch them or not. I don't, but through my cable bill, I'm as responsible for the Kardiashians (as a media entity) as much as anyone.

I'm surprised more people aren't irked at this aspect, that as cable subscribers, they are funding any shows/channels they detest.


Submission + - Khan Academy launches computer science curriculum (

joabj writes: "Expanding beyond math and the physical sciences, Khan Academy has added a set of computer science courses to its popular collection of learn-at-home instructional videos. For the project, Khan tapped jQuery creator John Resig, who chose JavaScript as the first language to teach students. The initial set of tutorials cover drawing, programming basics, animation and user interaction."

Submission + - Microsoft brings Linux to its Azure cloud service (

joabj writes: "Well, after years of fighting Linux, Microsoft will soon start selling access to Linux distributions, at least in the form of virtual machine images that can be run in its cloud. Starting Thursday, the company will officially offer Ubuntu, SUSE and CentOS virtual images on its Azure cloud platform, initially as a technology preview. The official blog announcement can't bring itself to mention the distributions by name, though a fact sheet (in Word) spells out the specific versions being deployed. Other new open source technologies on Azure include MongoDB, Solr, CouchDb, PHP, Python. Perhaps Amazon Web Services, which has long offered open source technologies, is proving to be too big of a competitive threat?"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Researcher runs IP network over xylophones (

joabj writes: "Following up on experiments of running Internet Protocol(IP)-based networks with carrier pigeons or bongos, UofC grad student R. Stuart Geiger has demonstrated that it is possible to transmit simple ping requests across two computers using people playing xylophones. Throughput is roughly 1 baud, when the participants don't make any mistakes, or get bored and wander off. The OSI encapsulated model of networking makes this project doable, allowing humans to be inserted at Layer 1, the physical layer. Vint Cerf wasn't kidding when he used to say, "IP on Everything.""

Submission + - Internet group seeks wider input for BIND 10 (

joabj writes: "ISC is seeking some open source magic for the next version of the widely used BIND. Although the BIND is already open source, most of the work thus far done on the DNS server software has come from contractors, the government and Unix vendors. "The goal is to move away from having BIND a heavily sponsored corporate product," said BIND 10 manager Shane Kerr. Kerr is hoping that more eyes will equal fewer bugs, and that more users will go ahead and implement the features they've been requesting themselves. BIND 10, due by the end of the year, features a new modular architecture, one designed circumvent many of the security woes that have bedeviled BIND 9."

Submission + - 'Dead Media' Never Really Die (

joabj writes: A streaming music service was available a 100 years ago by telephone, through the Teleharmonium. A primitive version of Photoshopping was possible with Black Mirrors in the 18th century. While technologies and media platforms go obsolete at an ever more rapid pace, the ideas they engender never really die. They get absorbed by newer technologies, or are at least preserved by hobbyists (carrier pigeons) or niche markets (Morse Code), argued NYU New York University postdoctoral researcher Finn Brunton at the USENIX conference. Myself, I'm waiting for an update to the visual cortex-stimulating Dream Machines of the 1960s.

Submission + - Oracle could reap $1 million for domain (

joabj writes: Last week, Oracle announced that it is decommissioning the site, which it acquired as part of the $7 billion purchase of Sun Microsystems. So what will Oracle do with the domain name, which is the 12th oldest .com site on the Internet? Domain brokers speculate Oracle could sell it for $1 million or more, if it chose to do so.
Open Source

Linux 2.6.37 Released 135

diegocg writes "Version 2.6.37 of the Linux kernel has been released. This version includes SMP scalability improvements for Ext4 and XFS, the removal of the Big Kernel Lock, support for per-cgroup IO throttling, a networking block device based on top of the Ceph clustered filesystem, several Btrfs improvements, more efficient static probes, perf support to probe modules, LZO compression in the hibernation image, PPP over IPv4 support, several networking microoptimizations and many other small changes, improvements and new drivers for devices like the Brocade BNA 10GB ethernet, Topcliff PCH gigabit, Atheros CARL9170, Atheros AR6003 and RealTek RTL8712U. The fanotify API has also been enabled. See the full changelog for more details."

When Smart People Make Bad Employees 491

theodp writes "Writing for Forbes, CS-grad-turned-big-time-VC Ben Horowitz gives three examples of how the smartest people in a company can also be the worst employees: 1. The Heretic, who convincingly builds a case that the company is hopeless and run by a bunch of morons; 2. The Flake, who is brilliant but totally unreliable; 3. The Jerk, who is so belligerent in his communication style that people just stop talking when he is in the room. So, can an employee who fits one of these poisonous descriptions, but nonetheless can make a massive positive contribution to a company, ever be tolerated? Quoting John Madden's take on Terrell Owens, Horowitz gives a cautious yes: 'If you hold the bus for everyone on the team, then you'll be so late that you'll miss the game, so you can't do that. The bus must leave on time. However, sometimes you'll have a player that's so good that you hold the bus for him, but only him.' Ever work with a person who's so good that he/she gets his/her own set of rules? Ever been that person yourself?"

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