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Comment Re:purify things other than water (Score 1) 120

The energy cost to biomass --> ethanol is not in the distillation, it's in the enzymatic digestion of the biomass into fermentable sugars. Current processes require large amounts of enzymes made in a separate process. According to a recent talk at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, the smart money is in pairing the enzymatic digestion with microorganisms that exoress the enzymes. This compresses two steps into one ("process intensification") and as a side benefit, the enzymes and microbes work better together than individually.
Red Hat Software

Submission + - Ballmer claims Red Hat violates Microsoft IP (networkworld.com)

Anonymous Coward writes: "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says Red Hat Linux uses intellectual property owned by Microsoft and that Red Hat's customers should pay Microsoft for it. Ballmer made the claim, an echo of earlier remarks aimed at the open source community, during a presentation at a Microsoft event Oct. 4 in London. "People who use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation eventually to compensate us," Ballmer stated, according to news reports, and a video of his remarks posted online. Asked for comment, Red Hat reiterated its position that its customers are protected from liability by its Open Source Assurance Program, which includes "indemnification against claims raised by any holder of software patents," according to information on Red Hat's Web site. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/100907-microsoft-ballmer-red-hat.html"

Submission + - France Develops Engine that Runs on Air


Submission + - Conservatives Blast Google Doodles (latimes.com)

The Skinny writes: "Apparently, last week's decision to honor the 50th anniversary of the Sputnik launch — the second "g" in Google was replaced with a drawing of the Soviet satellite — is being blasted by some conservatives. The Los Angeles Times reports this morning on a brewing controversy over just how, and when, Google gussies up its logo."

Submission + - Al Qaeda net penetrated -- cover blown by vid leak (washingtonpost.com)

An anonymous reader writes: U.S. intelligence successfully penetrated Al Qaeda internet servers but the access was blown by leaking the last Osama bin Laden video a few days before the scheduled release. The al qaeda sites were down within hours, presumably replaced by secure new sites. Nicely played, cat. Your move, mouse.

Submission + - Microsoft's 'HealthVault' really 'PornVault'? (vortex.com)

thatseattleguy writes: "Lauren Weinstein, the well-known commentator on technology, security, politics, and privacy, note in a recent blog entry that Microsoft's heavily-hyped HealthVault initiative — at least the search engine component — has significant quality control issues. "Completely valid queries to the HealthVault search engine — mentioning bodily parts or bodily functions — returned extremely high percentages (sometimes almost 100%) of porn keyword "sucker" pages. [...] HealthVault uses SSL crypto for searches in both directions. So finally there's a way to search for porn on the Net with better privacy! All Microsoft needs to do now is simply rebrand their service as "PornVault" — now that's a winner."

Note that this is a separate issue from previous commentary on the privacy implications of HealthVault, and the wisdom of having all your health and medical data in one centralized location, making it ever-so-easy to get at with a court order or governmental/law-enforcement request."


Submission + - NYTimes subscription to become free

An anonymous reader writes: Why would the NYTimes be willing to throw away $1.8 million in revenue. See the article at ComputerWorld.

Submission + - Human origins theory tested by recent findings. (bbc.co.uk)

annamadrigal writes: The BBC new is reporting on findings presented in nature which suggest that Homo Errectus and H. Habilis were in fact sister species which co-existed.

This challenges the view that the upright humans evolved from the tool users.


Submission + - Bring ODF to Apple's Office Suite (petitiononline.com)

Pedahzur writes: "The recently released Apple iWork '08 contains does not contain support for ODF (Open Document Format), an ISO standard. There is support, however, for Microsoft's OOXML, which is not yet an ISO standard (and may never be). Hopefully with enough community and customer feedback, Apple could be nudged into including ODF in their next update of iWork. If you'd like to see this happen, add your name to the Apple ODF Petition."
The Internet

Submission + - The 8 Most Misused Tools on the Web (askreamaor.com)

Rea Maor writes: "Gimp for printing and photo work. It's great that we have the free alternative of Gimp for those of us who just want to draw up some quick graphics without forking $800 over to Adobe. But even the Gimp development team makes it very clear that Gimp is not intended to be a Photoshop replacement. They say nothing in the "What Gimp Is:" section about print and photo work. People should stop expecting this of it.

PDF for web content. Why in heaven's name can I still click a link on a web page and get a PDF document in 2007??? PDF can not be displayed in a web browser. It needs an exterior program just to read it. Having two programs open just to read text that should have been in HTML is an annoying hassle. Stop it!

MS Word for eBooks and email. MS Word is your best friend if you are composing office documents in an office, whose only audience will be other office workers in the same company, so you will know that everybody has the same copy of MS Word installed. But MS Word isn't a publishing medium — not everybody uses it, the platforms that can access it at all have buggy and ineffective support, it isn't consistent from one version to another even on its native platform — and, like PDF, it needs a special program just to read it. Hint!

Flash for your whole site. Eleven years after Vincent Flanders showed the world what is wrong with this, and you still have Flash-only sites that make you sit through their dumb 20-minute intro when all you wanted to do was come there and find out some quick information or, God forbid, order something. It's a computer, not an opera theater. Drop the singing and dancing crap, and you just might have to stand on your merits as a web business. gasp!

Firefox extensions for marketing. Lately it seems you can't go looking for Firefox add-ons without running into a hundred ways to install ad-ware on your browser. These pieces of obnoxious ad-ware are called "toolbars", but we aren't fooled for a minute. The difference between Internet Explorer and Firefox is that you have to specifically install your ad-ware in Firefox. Aw, bummer!

Photoshop for web layout. Photoshop is great for graphics work; designing the web page graphical elements in Photoshop is fine. But Photoshop is not a WYSIWYG HTML editor. Too many sites out there think that all you have to do is draw a web page in Photoshop, chop it up into block, and display the blocks on the web page with absolute positioning tags. This invariably leads to a broken web layout with the blocks being bigger, smaller, out of alignment, or overlapping in just about everybody's web browser but the designers. It ends up looking like a Tetris game that somebody lost.

Tables for web layout, as opposed to CSS. Last I checked, it's 2007. We have this new invention as of 1997 called CSS — perhaps we've all heard of it? Tables are fine for drawing a chart, which presents tabled data. Web pages are not charts. Using tables for the whole web page layout looks like you built it out of Legos and you only had one size of brick to work with.

Web-safe colors for color scheme. It's dead -let it die. The last time a computer was made that could only show 216 colors was the mid-1990s. The web-safe color table makes a great palette for a bowl of Froot Loops, an opened can of radioactive fruit cocktail, or a science-fiction comic book about day-glo aliens. It's lousy for everything else."


Submission + - AT&T launches "Tech Channel" video por (att.com)

An anonymous reader writes: AT&T earlier this week launched the "AT&T Tech Channel," an online source of tech news and entertainment content. Among the shows offered is a talk show hosted by occasional Slashdot guest Hugh Thompson. Other content includes daily tech news, a comedy series, and a series about a Shakesperean character working at a modern-day IT help desk.
United States

Submission + - Vote Swapping Ruled Legal!

cayenne8 writes: Way back when (2000), during that election, there were some sites set up (voteswap.com and votexchange.com) for people across the nation to agree to swap votes. This was set up mostly for Nader and Gore voters to work against Bush.

California representatives threatened to proscute these sites as criminal offenses, and many of them shut down. On Monday, the 9th US court of appeals upheld that "the websites' vote-swapping mechanisms as well as the communication and vote swaps they enabled were constitutionally protected" and California's spurious threats violated the First Amendment. The 9th Circuit also said the threats violated the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause."

See the story HERE .

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