shankar writes: "An international team of researchers has shown that it can control the quantum state of a single electron in a silicon transistor — even putting the electron in two places at once. Their discovery could help pave the way toward a practical quantum computer."
shankar writes: "Microsoft is releasing a free update for Microsoft Office which will give it's customers the ability to open, edit and save documents in Open Document Format(ODF) — the main competitor to the Microsoft Word format. It is said that the decision was made under pressure from European regulators, national standards organizations and its own government clients. With the update, consumers will be able to save text documents in ODF format and adjust Office 2007 settings to automatically save documents in the rival format."
shankar writes: "Cuba's government put desktop computers on sale to the public for the first time Friday, ending a ban on PC sales. Computers have been sold on Cuba's black market for years — at prices comparable to the US$780 (euro505) now seen in the store. But now that computers are available legally, some consumers expect black market prices to fall.
Also to add that, except for some trusted officials and state journalists, most Cubans are banned from accessing the Internet at home. So many of these new computers may never be connected to the Web."
shankar writes: "Engineers at Eyebeam, an art and technology center based in New York, have created a scaled-down open-source version of Surface, called Cubit. By sharing the Cubit's hardware schematics and software source code, the engineers are significantly reducing the cost of owning a multitouch table. But they're also fostering innovation by giving engineers an open platform on which to develop novel multitouch applications — something that they've previously lacked."
bibekpaudel writes: "Four graders of Jana Jyoti Lower Secondary School, Janagal in Kavre district in Nepal got their new laptops on Thursday. Department of Education distributed free laptops to all students of Class 4 in the school as a pilot project with technical assistance from One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Nepal mission. The mission is to empower the children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child. This is the first pilot project of the OLPC project in the hilly country ridden by over a decade of internal-conflict. In South-Asia, another such pilot run is undergoing in a village near Mumbai in India.
jschauma writes: This week marks the fifteenth anniversary of the beginning of development of the NetBSD Operating System, one of the oldest actively maintained, freely-available operating systems. The first commits were made to the NetBSD source code repository on March 21, 1993. See this announcement for more information, including roadmaps for future releases.
johanwanderer writes: ExtremeTech and ArtTechnica is reporting that SlySoft, a developer of DVD cloning software, claims to have completely cracked the BD+ DRM protocol guarding Blu-ray discs.
The ExtremeTech article can be found here: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,2277472,00.asp?kc=ETRSS02129TX1K0000532
And its content is as follow:
SlySoft, a developer of DVD cloning software, claims to have completely cracked the BD+ DRM protocol guarding Blu-ray discs.
BD+ is a small virtual machine environment included on Blu-ray discs; HD DVDs lacked the feature. Last year, SlySoft said it had hacked the BD+ environment to allow encoded movies to be ripped to a hard drive and viewed using a specific version of its CloneDVD software.
Now, SlySoft is claiming that version 184.108.40.206 of its AnyDVD HD program has completely broken the BD+ copy protection, allowing transcoding of the video into an unprotected form. About a year ago, SlySoft cracked HD DVD.
"Admittedly, we are not really so fast with this because actually we had intended to publish this release already in December as promised," Peer van Heuen, head of High-Definition technologies at SlySoft , said in a statement. "However, it was decided for strategic reasons to wait a bit for the outcome of the "format war" between HD DVD and Blu-ray.
"On top of that, we first wanted to see our assumptions confirmed about the in the meantime released BD+ titles regarding the BD+ Virtual Machine," van Heuen added. "We are rather proud to have brought back to earth the highly-praised and previously 'unbreakable' BD+. However, we must also admit that the Blu-ray titles released up to now have not fully exploited the possibilities of BD+. Future releases will undoubtedly have a modified and more polished BD+ protection, but we are well prepared for this and await the coming developments rather relaxed."
Theoretically, the BD+ code can be replaced if a player manufacturer discovers that the player has been hacked. However, it wasn't clear at press time whether the AnyDVD HD release would either prevent the modified BD+ code from being overwritten, or whether an updated release would be be necessary, as van Heuen seemed to imply.
memshankar writes: "In an interview while he was in Hyderabad, India RMS praises for the One Laptop Per Child Project. He is even contemplating making a switch to XO, the flagship machine of the project, from his "old thinkpad". Stallman went on to say that the OLPC laptop has given people a way to use the free BIOS.
He is, however dissatisfied with the wireless networking system used in the XO."