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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 12 declined, 3 accepted (15 total, 20.00% accepted)

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Submission + - Microsoft goes Open Source (

networkBoy writes: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has just announced that Microsoft has become a completely open source company. It means that you can now grab all software like Windows and Microsoft Office for free and get your hands on their source code as well. Nadella added that the company is looking to expand its cloud business and planning to try out “new” things very soon.

Is this too good to be true?

Submission + - CO2 to Ethanol in one step with cheap catalyst (

networkBoy writes: Boffins at ORNL have discovered a simple and cheap catalyst that can take CO2 dissolved in solution with water and at room temperature convert it to ethanol with 60%+ yields. They envision it as a way to store surplus power from green energy plants and then burning it to fill in lulls in supply.

Submission + - Paypal is at it again (

networkBoy writes: Once again Paypal is causing grief for people trusting it as their payment processor. Regretsy had not only their donations for a childrens toy drive frozen, but their entire account put on hold. An analysis of the issue is also available here:

Submission + - C++ goes to 11 (

networkBoy writes: ISO has ratified the latest C++ standard, C++11. It brings C++ into managed language territory (the story compares it to Java and .NET). Among the improvements is better support for concurrency and multithreading. Automatic garbage collection was set to be part of the standard but was cut.

Submission + - Getting paid (politely) when the customer balks

networkBoy writes: "So I've got my first non paying customer. I did some consulting work for a local startup semiconductor company, partially by referral, partly by favor. For the favor part of it I had already dropped my normal rate by $5/hour and the total billable hours came to just over 13 hours plus parts, all of this on a verbal agreement. While I know the main lesson from this is going to be "get a signed quote you idiot" I was wondering how others on the /. Community have handled situations similar to this in their independent contracts? In a nutshell the work was bringing up 6 machines (with mixed hardware configurations), with Win XP, Office, and a half dozen custom applications, having to track down appropriate video card and chipset drivers. My initial verbal quote, to which they agreed, was 2 to 3 hours per machine plus parts (one video card, one hard disk, and a half dozen CMOS batteries). Once I dropped off the machines my contact at the company decided that it should have taken only one hour per machine (never mind the non-billable hours that the machines were busy but I was idle, waiting on progress bars).

The best plan I have right now is to submit a past-due notice to the company, and ultimately follow that up with a 1099 to the IRS showing forgiven debt, figuring if they won't pay me then I can at least sick the Treasury Dept. on them. Anyone have a better plan or a good way to word the past-due notice to get attention while not outright burning any bridges with them? I've already determined that trying to take them to court would really only end up being a break even for me given the time it would consume for the filing and such."

Submission + - Largest diamond in galaxy predicts our future

networkBoy writes: "Astronomers discovered the largest diamond of all times in space. The weight of the precious stone reportedly makes up ten billion trillion trillion carats.
The space diamond is virtually an enormous chunk of crystallized carbon, 4,000 kilometers in diameter. The stone is located at a distance of 50 light years from Earth, in the Constellation Centaurus. Scientists believe that the diamond is the heart of an extinct star that used to shine like the Sun.
Sounds like NASA may have a new source of funding!"

Submission + - Intel, ST Micro Selling NOR to Joint Venture

networkBoy writes: "Intel is divesting its NOR flash memory devision. ST will be divesting it's NOR and NAND. The companies are spinning off to a private equity firm and will be forming a new company.

The Swiss and American chipmaking giants said the new company will be comprised of assets which generated about $3.6 billion in combined annual revenue last year. Under terms of the agreement, STMicroelectronics will sell its flash memory assets, including its NAND joint venture stake, to the new company while Intel will sell its NOR assets and resources. NOR flash is a technology flash devices use to store and run code, usually in small capacities. In exchange, Intel will receive a 45.1 percent stake in the new company and $432 million in cash. STMicroelectronics will own 48.6 percent of the new firm and receive $468 million in cash at closing. Francisco Partners LP, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based private equity firm, has agreed to invest $150 million in cash for convertible preferred stock representing a 6.3 percent stake.
details: iclepostid=4924"
The Internet

Submission + - COPPA ruled unconstitutional

networkBoy writes: "Parents are (should be) responsible of what their kids do online

A US federal judge ruled that a 1998 law called Child Online Protection Act is "unconstitutional", leaving parents with the responsibility to protect their children from online pornography.

The judge said that the law violates the freedom of speech, inflicting more damage to government's efforts to restrict access to pornography for children. earching_for_Online_Porn_.html"
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - What geek toys do you want for your PC?

networkBoy writes: "Some mates and I are thinking of starting a business making computer accessories.
Nothing quite so off the wall as the nuclear launch console for your PC, more along the lines of smart fan controllers (to produce as little noise as required to achieve a setpoint temperature) with USB or SMBus interfacing for setup, possibly upwards of small embedded systems that can control drives and host them as NFS/SMB shares ala low-end server appliance.
We want to be tinkerer friendly (JTAG accessible, Linux based) and hope to make money solely on the hardware and low level firmware side. What kinds of subsystem accessories does the /. crowd want to enhance the reliability and coolness factor of their PCs? What is the magic price point for your favorite accessory? What about an automotive pc in a form factor that would fit in an industry standard radio bay?"

Submission + - MS dirty tricks archive trickles back to life

networkBoy writes: The register is carrying a blurb about the dirty tricks of microsoft archive going off-line, and being pulled from It appears that several individuals have the pieces to the puzzle and are looking for hosting sources. Maybe the /. community can help here? archive_not_lost/

The 3,000 document archive from the Comes antitrust trial, which disappeared from the web abruptly when Microsoft settled the case last week, is beginning to trickle back into view. A week ago the site was placed under password protection, Microsoft withdrew its own account of events, and so-called internet "archive" apparently also pulled its mirror.

Submission + - YouTube highlights police brutality

networkBoy writes: The register is carrying an article of a UCLA student being tazerd after failing to comply with officer directions to vacate the library. What is unique is that courtesy of video camera cellphones and YouTube this event was caught and the excessive force of the police was plain as day for all to see. Is this the new way of police (and government) oversight? Publish everything on-line? _incident/

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