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Submission + - Windows Server woos Linux customers (

AlexGr writes: "This is a thought-provoking article by Peter Galli (eWeek): Wooed by compelling application ecosystems, performance and cost, several large enterprise Linux customers have begun slowly migrating back to Windows Server, eWEEK reporting has found. The migrations come after a quarter in which Windows Server revenue grew faster than Linux revenue — the first time that has happened since research company IDC started tracking Linux server spending in 1998.,1895,2149300, p"

Submission + - The Decline and Fall of the Record Industry

wiredog writes: From Rolling Stone, an overview of The Record Industry's Decline, with accompanying graph of sales decline.

Some snippets (and [commentary]):

[W]e have a business that's dying. There won't be any major labels pretty soon. [They'll surely not be missed!]

In 2000, U.S. consumers bought 785.1 million albums; last year, they bought 588.2 million [A 25% decline.]

In 2000, the ten top-selling albums in the U.S. sold a combined 60 million copies; in 2006, the top ten sold just 25 million [Ouch!]

More than 5,000 record-company employees have been laid off since 2000. [That /does/ suck.]

About 2,700 record stores have closed across the country since 2003, [Including all the local stores around here.]

Around sixty-five percent of all music sales now take place in big-box stores such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy, which carry fewer titles than specialty stores and put less effort behind promoting new artists. [Rough on the artists, that.]

The Internet appears to be the most consequential technological shift for the business of selling music since the 1920s, when phonograph records replaced sheet music as the industry's profit center. [No! Really?]

[M]any in the industry see the last seven years as a series of botched opportunities. And among the biggest, they say, was the labels' failure to address online piracy at the beginning by making peace with the first file-sharing service, Napster. "They left billions and billions of dollars on the table by suing Napster — that was the moment that the labels killed themselves," [Not that we in the online world didn't realize it at the time...]

In the fall of 2003, the RIAA filed its first copyright-infringement lawsuits against file sharers. They've since sued more than 20,000 music fans. ... there was a 4.4 percent increase in the number of peer-to-peer users in 2006, with about a billion tracks downloaded illegally per month, [Guess that didn't work out too well, did it?]

Submission + - New Lightbulb 50% Efficient...Never Burns Out. ( 1

hankmt writes: "Ceravision has just been awarded a patent for a new kind of light. The system is four times more efficient than Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs and it contains now hazardous materials. It basically works by using a microwave emitter to create a high intensity electric field inside a chamber filled with gas. The gas quickly converts to plasma, an the plasma releases more than 50% of it's energy as light.

The device uses components that are all already in mass production, so it could be available relatively quickly. The high directionality of the light makes it perfect for rear projection screens and medical applications, but it could be entering the mass consumer market as a "edison-type" bulb in the next five years."


Submission + - Protein mutations link to autism

DoctorPhish writes: The BBC reports that researchers from the University of Texas has discovered that mutations in two key proteins may affect synapse development, leading to certain forms of Autism.

"When they introduced a mutant form of neuroligin-1 thought to be carried by some people with autism the number of synapses fell dramatically — and the cells became significantly less excitable. The latest research suggests that carrying a mutant form of neuroligin-1 may depress the number of synapses that make it into adulthood. This could hamper the ability of nerve cells to make the usual connections, and lead to the deficits seen in people with autism. "

Canadian Politicians Demand DMCA 195

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist is reporting that a Canadian parliamentary committee has demanded that the government establish a Canadian DMCA. The demand, which comes in a study on counterfeiting and piracy (PDF) released on Wednesday night, recommends ratification of the WIPO Internet treaties, increasing damage awards for copyright infringement, creating new offenses for selling modification devices, and encouraging prosecutors to seek jail time for piracy violations."

Submission + - Continuous integration best practices (

athen writes: "How continuous is your integration and what could your team be doing to improve it? JavaWorld has just posted the introductory chapter of Paul Duvall, Steve Matyas, and Andrew Glover's Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk (forthcoming from Addison Wesley Professional, June 29, 2007). From the introductory chapter: "If you assume a method will be passed the right parameter value, the method will fail. Assume that developers are following coding and design standards, and the software will be difficult to maintain. Assume configuration files haven't changed, and you'll spend precious development hours needlessly hunting down problems that don't exist. When we make assumptions in software development, we waste time and increase risks.""
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - What to do with lots of old computers? 3

talentless geek writes: I recently started a new Network Admin job and came to discover that I have no fewer than 60 old Pentium 2s and Pentium 3s that are doing nothing. It seems to me there has to be something better than filling up land (i.e. take them to the dump) that all these machines can do. I looked into a few donations sites, but I'm not even sure they would take computers this old. I've thought about building a cluster or 2, but I can't come up with any reason why i would want to do that other than the coolness factor (although, the coolness factor is a pretty good reason...). So, i guess my question is, what would you do with 60 really old computers?

Submission + - Subcommittee Stops Human Mars Mission Spending (

An anonymous reader writes: Last weeks House Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, and Science FY08 budget markup would prevent work on programs devoted to human missions to Mars. According to a House Appropriations Committee press release, the markup language states that NASA cannot pursue "development or demonstration activity related exclusively to Human Exploration of Mars. NASA has too much on its plate already, and the President is welcome to include adequate funding for the Human Mars Initiative in a budget amendment or subsequent year funding requests." The Mars Society is already leading an effort to get the language removed.

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