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How To Hijack an EU Open Source Strategy Paper 112

Glyn Moody writes "Thanks to the indispensable Wikileaks, we have the opportunity to see how an organization close to Microsoft is attempting to re-write — and hijack — an important European Union open source strategy paper, currently being drawn up. Analyzing before and after versions visible in the document demonstrates how the Association for Competitive Technology, a lobbying group partially funded by Microsoft, is trying to widen the scope of open source to include 'mixed solutions blending open and proprietary code.'" And reader Elektroschock adds some detail on EU processes: "The European Commission lets ACT and CompTIA participate in all working groups of the European Open Source Strategy, which defines Europe's future open source approach. A blue editor questions the objectives: 'Regarding the "Europe Digital Independence" our [working] group thinks it is, in general, not an issue.' 'European digital independence' is a phrase coined by EU Commissioner V. Reding, that is what her European Software Strategy was supposed to be about. She didn't reveal that lobbyists or vendors with vested interests would write the strategy for the Commission."

Submission + - Support the openQRM project with donations (

SF:mattr_sf writes: Dear openQRM-community, the openQRM-team is happy to announce that we have enabled a donation-system for our project. It is now possible to support the openQRM project monetarily via the \"support this project\" button on our web-site at Why did we do this ? As you may know, in spring 2008 the openQRM project was released to the open-source community from the Qlusters company, its previous sponsor. Since then we had to start to look for new sponsors actively. Enabling the donation option for the project, offers an easy oppertunity to support the openQRM-team. This helps us to progress further and faster enhancing the open-source data-center management platform. How does it work ? The Sourceforge donation system works via PayPal. To make a donation simply use the \"donate\" link on the openQRM project website at : For what purposes donations will used ? We are a small team working on openQRM in our spare time while the other part of the time we are doing regular jobs to pay our bills. Donations will help us to spend more time on openQRM, which results in more progress for the development. For example we might be able to pay an openQRM developer to work on the feature requests. So, if you are satisfied with us and our work, please think of showing it to us :) many thanks, the openQRM-team

Submission + - Azureus/Vuze Torrent Search Plugin v0.3 Released (

SF:dbrisinda writes: Release 0.3 of the Azureus/Vuze Torrent Search Plugin is now available. The torrent search plugin allows for quick and easy location of torrent resources across the web. It uses existing torrent trackers as the source for this information. Several bug fixes and enhancements have been made, including support for the Demonoid torrent tracker. Currently, nine popular torrent trackers/engines are supported, including The Pirate Bay, Demonoid, Mininova, BTJunkie, IsoHunt, SUMOTorrent, BitTorrentMonster, Monova, and Fenopy. New torrent trackers can be added easily within the existing framework. Torrent engines can be activated or deactivated to limit results from only desired sources. Additionally, the torrent search plugin supports quick and easy downloading of located resources, all within the Azureus/Vuze environment. If you would like more information on a given torrent, select the \"View details...\" pop-up, and the default web browser will open to the torrent on the hosting tracker/engine. All results returned from the search are presented, and the user can order results according to date, name, size, peers, seeds, or engine. The user can also limit results based on categories by selecting the appropriate tab category panes, including all, books, games, movies, music, software, tv, and other. Several torrent-specific pop-up functions are available when supported by the hosting site. The user can select a torrent resource and perform the following functions: * View torrent details * Download the torrent file to the desktop * Start the torrent * Start the torrent in a stopped state * Open a torrent download window to see the contents of the torrent before downloading or selecting only parts of the torrent to download Please see for more information.

Submission + - HCT 0.5.04 Released! (

SF:slademaurer writes: This is a completely redesigned tool that produces stable complexity metrics from Verilog and Cyclicity CDL projects. Mixed code is not a problem and both files and modules are supported. We have focused on useful complexity metrics in several output formats and tried to improve performance as well. This release has been fielded and we are gathering feedback. Please join this alpha deployment stage and let us know what you need.

Submission + - Nasa details shuttle's retirement (

schliz writes: Nasa has announced that it intends to officially retire the aging space shuttle fleet by 2010, four years before it has a replacement craft ready. The space shuttle fleet will make ten more flights, mainly to add modules to the International Space Station and carry out repairs and upgrades to the Hubble orbital telescope. The retirement will leave the US without orbital capacity for at least four years, until the Ares booster programme is complete. European and Russian launchers will service the space station in the meantime.

Submission + - Realtime GPS weather forecasts via Google Maps (

Juneau writes: Check out GPS Solution's new way to get your weather forecast off the web. Get accurate and high resolution weather forecasts for any location — your home, favorite remote camping spot, a mountain top you plan to climb, or an offshore oil rig. Just use Google maps to navigate, click, and you see a 3-day forecast for wind, precipitation, and pressure. The forecast is generated with the "WRF" model — a joint development by NCAR and NOAA — it is run at 12 km horizontal and 30-min temporal resolution. The forecast uses GPS data — information based on the delay of the GPS signals in the atmosphere due to atmospheric water vapor — which helps improve the precipitation forecasts.

A cool feature of this web site is that you can generate links for specific locations which allows you to check the forecast for this location anytime with a single click. Click through for examples of Microsoft HQ, Google HQ, and the top of Mount Rainier.

It takes about a second to generate the forecast plots so you have to be a little patient. Also, presently forecasts are available only for the continental US and Eastern Asia — the language will change depending from where you click. Europe and other regions should be added soon.


Submission + - Microsoft Patents Adding 'www.' and '.com' to Text

theodp writes: "On Tuesday, Microsoft was granted U.S. Patent No. 7,392,326 for Text Entry in an Electronic Device. From the patent: 'the invention may automatically add a 'www.' and a '.com' to the text the user is entering and display this combined text'. To get the point across, Microsoft included an illustration showing the 'invention' in action, transforming 'foo' into ''. Sure it's not sorcery we're dealing with?"
Social Networks

A Cautionary Tale of Open Source Social Technologies 330

eweekhickins writes "The 'country' drop-down menu on one organization's donations pages omits Israel as a country and includes 'Palestine.' Among other things, this means that Israelis can't donate to the organization from these pages; it also presents the risk of a PR nightmare for the organization. This EWeek story cautions that while basic Web 2.0 technologies combined with open source can be incredibly powerful and productive, they can also lead to disastrous results for an organization that isn't paying close enough attention."

Submission + - Safari "Carpet Bomb" Attack Still a Risk (

SecureThroughObscure writes: "Just a short time after Apple's recent acknowledgement of and patch of the Safari Carpet Bomb "blended" IE flaw, blogger Nate McFeters of ZDNet's Zero-Day blog has pointed to research by Billy Rios of Microsoft that shows that the attack is still useful in a "blended" attack, this time with Firefox 2/3. Rios claimed that he is able to use the Safari Carpet Bomb attack, despite the recent patch, to steal arbitrary files from victims who also have Firefox 2/3 installed.

McFeters pointed out that Apple, which took some heat for not originally patching the issue, actually did a good job of addressing the issue, as it was not originally understood that code execution was possible (the details came out later). Rios seemed to echo a positive response by Apple in addressing the original issue, despite the media's portrayal.

Details of Rios's specific attack vector have been withheld until Apple has had time to patch or respond to this issue, but both researchers (McFeters and Rios) commented on the new attack threat that these blended types of attacks provide, and questioned who's responsibility it is to test for and fix these issues.



Submission + - Smells Like Teen Pool-Jumping Spirit

theodp writes: "Back in the day, teens had to rely on word-of-mouth for good pool-jumping locations. No more. Thanks to Google Earth's satellite images, teens are finding it easier than ever to identify houses with pools, and Facebook and Bebo make it a breeze to organize an impromptu pool-crashing party. Police in Great Britain are advising owners of swimming pools to be on their guard against the crafty teens' new tricks, warning that some residents are waking up to find youngsters taking unauthorized dips in their pools, while others are coming home from work to a swimming pool full of beer cans."

Submission + - No more Battlestar Galactica until 2009 (

bowman9991 writes: "Frake me. No more Battlestar Galactica episodes will be aired until early 2009. SFFMedia reports that producer Ron Moore said that the first quarter of 2009 was the earliest they could get Battlestar back onto the small screen. Sounds ridiculous to me. An 8 month wait is far too long. Just when it was getting interesting too. The midseason finale was a beauty. If only Caprica was getting here first."

Submission + - Particle accelerator = awesome spectroscopy 1

Seki Kowa writes: After a long and painful wait, Australia finally has a proper particle accelerator, the Synchrotron located in Melbourne near Monash University. Frustrated by your inability to do high resolution x-ray crystallography on proteins? Now you can. Always wanted to measure reaction kinetics down to minuscule timescales? Now you can. Spectroscopy is now free from the tyranny of atomic emission. did a photogallery of it, check it out.

Oh and what software do you use to run a Synchrotron? Linux of course, the system is built on top of both Debian and CentOS.

The P.G. Wodehouse Method of Refactoring 133

covertbadger notes a developer's blog entry on a novel way of judging progress in refactoring code. "Software quality tools can never completely replace the gut instinct of a developer — you might have massive test coverage, but that won't help with subjective measures such as code smells. With Wodehouse-style refactoring, we can now easily keep track of which code we are happy with, and which code we remain deeply suspicious of."

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