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Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."

Best Practice For Retiring RSS Feeds? 71

GBJ writes "I work for an organisation that runs seasonal online competition events. Each event has its own news feed which becomes obsolete shortly after the event finishes. We're still getting RSS requests for some events as far back as 2004. I'd like to close a few thousand old feeds and remove the resource hit they cause, but I'm not sure what is the best approach. Currently I'm considering just returning a 404, but I have no idea if there is a better way to handle this. Uncle Google hasn't turned anything up yet, but sometimes it's hard to find something when you don't know what it's called ..."

Paper Ballots Will Return In MD and VA 420

cheezitmike writes "According to a story in the Washington Post, 'Maryland and Virginia are going old school after Tuesday's election. Maryland will scrap its $65 million electronic system and go back to paper ballots in time for the 2010 midterm elections. In Virginia, localities are moving to paper after the General Assembly voted last year to phase out electronic voting machines as they wear out. "The battle for the hearts and minds of voters on whether electronic systems are good or bad has been lost," Brace said. The academics and computer scientists who said they were unreliable "have won that battle."'"

Submission + - Adobe Confirms Unpatched PDF Backdoor (zdnet.com)

50Mat writes: Adobe has fessed up to a dangerous code execution vulnerability affecting software programs installed on millions of Windows machines. The flaw, publicly disclosed more than three weeks ago, could allow hackers to use rigged PDF files to take control of Window XP computers with Internet Explorer 7 installed. It affects Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat Standard, Professional and Elements and Adobe Acrobat 3D.

Submission + - Microsoft Tax is 1/3 Price of French Laptop (heise.de) 1

kripkenstein writes: According to a recent court case in France, almost one third of the cost of a particular Acer laptop goes to Microsoft, while another portion goes to other software vendors:

The total of 311.85 euros of the overall purchase price of the notebook of 599 euros [...] was made up of 135.20 euros for Windows XP Home, 60 euros for Microsoft Works, 40.99 euros for PowerDVD, 38.66 euros for Norton Antivirus and 37 euros for NTI CD Maker.
In the ruling, Acer was forced to refund the cost of the software, which the purchaser returned and did not want. If this price ratio is representative of other computers, is the 'Windows Tax' even worse than previously speculated, especially with more expensive Microsoft OSes such as XP Professional or Vista Home Premium and above?


Submission + - Lotus Notes on an open-source Java-based platform

An anonymous reader writes: The big news in Lotus Notes V8 is that the Notes V8 client encapsulates all the code that is Lotus Notes within the Eclipse environment. Originally created as an integrated application development environment, its open, plug-in-based architecture has made Eclipse itself the foundation for rich client platform development. Lotus Notes V8 is built on Lotus Expeditor, IBM's universal managed-client software, which, in turn, is built on Eclipse.
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - Beatles May Go Online as Apple, EMI Come Together

__aaeaks4554 writes: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/arts/entertainment- apple-beatles.html SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) — Apple Inc. and music label EMI Group plan to announce ``an exciting new digital offering,'' EMI said on Sunday, a move that could involve putting the Beatles music catalog online. EMI said it plans to hold a news conference on Monday at its London headquarters where EMI Chief Executive Eric Nicoli will be joined by Apple Chief Executive and co-founder Steve Jobs, the company said in an e-mail to reporters. A live Webcast of the event, which will feature ``a special live performance,'' will be available at http://www.emigroup.com/ beginning at 1 p.m. local time in London (8 a.m. EDT). Currently, no Beatles songs can be downloaded via online music services. EMI has been the distributor for the Beatles since the early 1960s. The news event follows the settlement in February of a long-running trademark dispute between Apple Inc., which recently changed its name from Apple Computer Inc., and the Beatle's company, Apple Corps Ltd. This cleared away a major hurdle for selling the Fab Four's songs on Apple Inc.' iTunes online music store. Apple Corps is owned by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and the estate of George Harrison. The music company had maintained that the computer company had violated a series of agreements stretching back decades over use of the Apple trademark by entering the music business through its now market-leading iTunes online store. The Beatles are high-profile holdouts from Internet music services such as iTunes, but it also emerged during a trial last year that Apple Corps was preparing the band's catalog to be sold online for the first time. At the high-profile launch of the Apple iPhone in January, Steve Jobs raised hopes that the band could be about to go digital when it played one of their songs and used a Beatles' album cover to grace a giant on-stage screen behind him. Beyond any potential deal with EMI involving the Beatles, Apple and EMI could also be working on a means for eliminating restrictions that prevent unauthorized duplication of digital music. Earlier this year, Jobs called on the world's four major record companies, including EMI, to start selling songs online without copy protection software to thwart piracy known as digital rights management (DRM). Jobs said there appeared to be no benefit for the record companies in continuing to sell more than 90 percent of their music without DRM on compact discs, while selling the remaining small percentage of music online encumbered with a DRM system.

Submission + - "Legitimate concerns" raised over Office F

Rob writes: Microsoft's director of corporate standards has conceded that "legitimate concerns" have been raised in response to its attempt to fast-track the approval of its Open XML format by ISO. The level of criticism targeted at Microsoft's XML-based office productivity file formats is significant, raising the potential that Open XML might not gain ISO approval, but Microsoft's Jason Matusow insisted there is still a long way to go. "The first thing to say is that Microsoft has a great deal of respect for the ISO process, but it is a very long process," he told CBRonline.com. "The next five months will be spent in the technology validation process. Of the 19 submissions, some are very supportive of XML and the process, some are neutral, and some had legitimate concerns that were raised."

Submission + - Google's terabyte transfer system

An anonymous reader writes: Google has a system for shipping terabytes of information around the world. This system was brought about by following on the work started by by Microsoft researcher Jim Grey, who delivered copies of the Terraserver mapping data to people around the world. Google's open source team is working on ways to physically transfer huge data sets up to 120 terabytes in size. From the BBC article: "We have started collecting these data sets and shipping them out to other scientists who want them," said Google's Chris DiBona. The program is currently informal and not open to the general public. Google either approaches bodies that it knows has large data sets or is contacted by scientists themselves. One of the largest data sets copied and distributed was data from the Hubble telescope — 120 terabytes of data. "We have a number of machines about the size of brick blocks, filled with hard drives. "We send them out to people who copy the data on them and ship them back to us. We dump them on to one of our data systems and ship it out to people." Google keeps a copy and the data is always in an open format, or in the public domain or perhaps covered by a creative commons license.

Submission + - HD DVD & BLURAY officially cracked

Hobb3s writes: The guys at the Doom 9 forum. are marking February 11, 2007 as the day when digital rights management was defeated on Blu-ray and HD DVD discs. It turns out that cracking the high definition disc formats was much easier than was originally thought. The processing key that can unravel the DRM on all HD DVD and Blu-ray discs has been found by a clever encryption fighter named arnezami. Story
Linux Business

Submission + - Russian Schools Switch to Open Source Software

VE3OGG writes: "It would seem that after the recent Russian piracy debacle that could see a school headmaster jailed in a Siberian work camp for purchasing pirated copies of Windows for his school, the Ministry of Education in Russia has decided that using pirated software isn't worth the risk. Education Minister Nikolay Karpushin has said that the school boards will no longer be purchasing any commercial software, and will instead turn to Open Source software for their computing needs, including such products as an as-of-yet unmentioned localized Linux operating system, and OpenOffice office suite. Of course, not everyone is thrilled about the switch. Russian teachers are complaining that they know little about Linux and that they have no support staff to turn to when problems arise."

Submission + - Post-Novell Interview with Jeremy Allison

schestowitz writes: "Jeremy Allison of Samba Fame has recently left Novell in protest over the company's deal with Microsoft. BoycottNovell has had an interview with Jeremy — one that covers the events which preceded the deal, as well as the ways forward. From the interview: 'My guess is that the negotiations for the useful parts of the agreement (the virtualization part and the federated directory interoperability part) had, as Ron (Hovsepian) says, been going on for months and just before Novell wanted to seal the deal Microsoft turned up with "there's just this one more thing we want you to sign..." and in desperation to get the other parts of the deal done they rushed it through.'"

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