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Journal Journal: Meme: extending the ISS lifetime beyond 2016

As all the space geeks know, the ISS is planned to operational to 2016, only six years after construction is completed. Afterwards, it will either sit in space until it falls to Earth, or more likely, there will be a deorbit plan to have it burn up "safely" over an ocean.

Everyone following it knows the ISS was pretty much a "white elephant" space project. There will be no future shuttles servicing it (after 2010), and its unlikely the Russians will keep servicing it, out of its own wallet. But with the rise of space programs outside of the big 2, could it not be possible to keep the ISS going beyond 2016?

After all, space station Mir functioned years beyond its original closing date. You have the Japanese, the Indians, and the Chinese all looking to make a mark in space. Perhaps the ISS could be the future launching point of space tourism. Talk about the most exclusive dining experience. What would need to be accounted for to allow this possibility to come about?

Sun Microsystems

Journal Journal: Network Appliances sues Sun over patent infringments in ZFS

Network Appliances is suing Sun Microsystems, alleging that seven of its patents are unlawfully being used in ZFS, the filesystem used in Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris. Ironically, Sun may have shot itself in the foot. They initiated legal proceedings against NetApp 18 months ago, over related patents Sun believed NetApp was infringing. Dave Hitz, NetApp's founder and Exec VP lays out his case in a blog entry.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Looking for a new laptop. Suggestions? 1

Man, laptop shopping is a bitch...

It will run Windoze (for the games). (& dual-boot linux, of course)

Main applications: portable DVD player, websurfing, games.

(Since I want exposure to 64-bit environments for development purposes)
Core2Duo or Turion-64/X2

Portability: Having previously owned a purported 7lb portable (that felt more like a 10lb portable), the target weight will be ~5.5lbs or less.

Indirectly, this means I'm aiming for a 14" (or less) widescreen

Good battery performance: 3+ hrs

Pricing: Not over USD $1050.

The Sony VAIO VGN-C150P/B probably comes closest to my ideal machine, but it is list price $500 over what I am willing to spend.

Right now, the Lenovo 3000 N100 will probably be what I pickup, but boy, I hate that Intel graphics chip.

Suggestions, anyone?


Journal Journal: OpenBSD: GPL violator?

Michael Buesch, lead developer of the Linux driver for Broadcom's wifi chipset (bcm43xx), stumbled across copied code in the OpenBSD's bcw driver earlier this week. The problem is that the bcm43xx linux driver uses a GPL license. OpenBSD inadvertently makes that linux code available to be used in a proprietary manner, by virtue of its BSD license (and not giving proper attribution where due).

Busch sends a stern email to the developers of OpenBSD, and CCs the bcm43xx developers mailing list. Now enjoy the fireworks as Theo de Raadt defends the tender feelings of an apparent plagiarist, downplays intellectual property theft, and attacks "rude" behavior.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Kernel 2.6, wheel mouse, and KVMs

(Yet another /. rejection. Not unsurprising, since its so esoteric, but I know quite a few guys with this problem:)

For some geeks, one box cannot do it all (well). You need your reliable server, your Windows PC (for games and Windows-centric applications), your firewall/VPN, and one or two more boxes for experiments. Or you're the poor SOB who administers all the machines for your family. (Et cetera...) KVMs are really sweet for such setups, but not if you dropped $150 for a Belkin Omniview F1DS104U and run (Slackware) Linux.

Anyone afflicted with similar setups know that the Linux doesn't handle Belkin's (or generic) KVM switching between machines properly. The KVM doesn't retain/transmit mouse information between machines, and you end up with an erratic mouse that will corrupt your GUI configuration. With the 2.4 kernel, this is worked around by flipping out and back into of GUI mode (ctrl-alt-F1 then ctrl-alt-F7) with each machine switch.

But recently, I took the plunge to kernel 2.6.13. (It seemed stable enough.) It does things differently enough that I cannot use the mode switch kludge to get around the problem. The only way I've found to resolve the problem is opening a CLI session, and removing and restoring the psmouse module. Needless to say, this pretty much kills the convenience functionality of a KVM.

And my friend Google has let me down. Some users have found that adding an "append=psmouse.proto=imps" in lilo.conf resolves the problem for them. (Slackware 10.2's kernel never heard of it.) So, does anyone have a solution yet that resolves this problem, or USD $275+ to lend me for the "get a real KVM" response? Or are a bunch of linux geeks stuck running a 2.4 kernel for another year?"

User Journal

Journal Journal: Insightful Lightbulb Joke

How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?


There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are a delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?

(kudos to some guy named Naum from

User Journal

Journal Journal: More failure - Attracting the non-geeky creative types

I was about to add my $0.02 to this response when it occurred to me to submit the question here.

How can the community attact the artistic and fiction writing types into open-license type projects?

It seems to me the better documented type open-license projects are able to attract technical writers, but not so much with games. The few good ones tend to be one man shows who are already artistically inclined.

Should the programmer community start focusing on generic game engine tools to aid these people in expressing their talent? Are programmers "bogarting" the credit for a game? What suggestions come to mind?
User Journal

Journal Journal: St. Valentines Day hazardous to health 1

(Once more into the breach...)

Falling in love used to be fun. Now doctors are warning that the throes of passion should be seen as a potentially fatal medical disorder.

Psychologists say that "lovesickness" is a genuine disease that needs more awareness and diagnosis.

Symptoms can include mania, such as an elevated mood and inflated self-esteem, or depression, revealing itself as tearfulness and insomnia.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Time for some more rejection - BSEs found in goat 8

Submitted title: Mad Cow Disease discovered in other animal species (Science,News)

The BBC reports that a French goat has tested positive for mad cow disease - the first animal in the world other than a cow to have bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The European Commission says further testing will be done to see if the incidence is an isolated one.

You can thank the animal rendering industry for that one. Time to change to a vegetarian diet?

User Journal

Journal Journal: James (Scotty) Doohan has Alzheimer's 1

Terrible news, the actor James Doohan, who played Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott in the TV sci-fi series Star Trek, is diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Sadly, he also suffers from Parkinson's disease and diabetes.

In August, he'll bid farewell to the still thriving Trek convention circuit, with "Beam Me Up Scotty...One Last Time," a three-day fest that's billed as his last-ever con appearance.

(Yeah, lets see the /. editors pass on this submission...)


Journal Journal: Would you inflict linux on Aunt Tillie?

Eric S. Raymond has recently written a wonderful piece explaining to the linux zealot why it may not be the operating system of choice of all users. (Or what user aspects open source developers need to focus on to further Linux World Domination.) The op-ed specifically focuses on the CUPS printing system. (But it would be a mistake to dismiss it as a screed against CUPS.) The CUPS authors surprisingly acknowleged ESR's points, and he wrote a followup to the article.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Computer Espionage in the US Senate Judiciary 1

What do you do when you just can't get your co-workers to see eye-to-eye with you? The Boston Globe reports that Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee stole confidential memos from their Democratic counterparts by cracking into their computer files. The memos highlighted Democratic strategies concerning Republican Judicial nominees. Its suspected that some of them were leaked to Republican shill Robert Novak, who then disclosed their contents in a February 2003 column.

What can we learn from Republicans when accused of cracking?

(Blame the victim.)

"As the extent to which Democratic communications were monitored came into sharper focus, Republicans yesterday offered a new defense. They said that in the summer of 2002, their computer technician informed his Democratic counterpart of the glitch, but Democrats did nothing to fix the problem."

(Feign ignorance and indignation.)

"Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, made a preliminary inquiry and described himself as "mortified that this improper, unethical and simply unacceptable breach of confidential files may have occurred on my watch."

("I'm shocked, *shocked* to find cracking in this establishment." "Here are their memos." "Ah, thank you...")

User Journal

Journal Journal: Novell screws SCO for Xmas

Novell quietly submitted conflicting copyright claims on System V UNIX a few months ago. SCO's lawyers appears to have been unaware of this. Now SCO will have serious problems going forward with its copyright infringement suits on IBM and other major Linux users. The immediate result of Novell's actions is that SCO's lawsuits will probably be deferred, so no windfall quarters for SCO to report in the following year. SCO could even suffer legal penalties by submitting flawed DMCA suits.

Ahhh, nothing like a nice holiday story to warm the cockles of a penguinista's heart...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Criticize Microsoft security, get fired. 2

After 12 rejections and the "de rigeur" absence of explanations, I've decided to post each story I submit to /. into this journal for your perusal.

...and given the nature of this story, it should be interesting to see if /. has the stones to publish it...

The soon to be rejected submission:

Dan Geer Jr., is now the former CTO of @Stake, Inc. (a security consulting group), after participating with six other security experts in a report (released yesterday) critical of the US Government's over-reliance in Microsoft products. The report, entitled "CyberInsecurity: The Cost of Monopoly" argues that a "monoculture" of OS software makes gov't computers more vulnerable to computer viruses and hacker attacks.

``The values and opinions of the report are not in line with AtStake's views,'' the company said in a statement. It said Geer's participation working on the report was ``not sanctioned.''

Bruce Schneier, the chief technology officer for Counterpane Systems Inc., worked with Geer on the report. He said security experts contacted to help work on the report critical of Microsoft indicated their support but couldn't participate publicly. ``There is a huge chilling effect based on Microsoft's monopoly position,'' Schneier said. ``It's unfortunate that AtStake put its private agenda ahead of intellectual integrity.''

More sordid details can be gleaned here and here. Lets hope Schneier still has a job by the end of the week. (And any /. posters who dare comment.)

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