from the pull-gun-aim-at-foot-pull-trigger dept.
HansF writes "Microsoft itself is the surprise winner of the FFII's Kayak Prize 2007, offered by the FFII in its call for rejection of Microsoft's OOXML standards proposal. The software monopolist is honored as 'Best Campaigner against OOXML Standardization.' FFII president Pieter Hintjens explains, 'We could never have done this by ourselves. By pushing so hard to get OOXML endorsed, even to the point of loading the standards boards in Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, and beyond, Microsoft showed to the world how poor their format is. Good standards just don't need that kind of pressure. All together, countries made over ten thousands technical comments, a new world record for an ISO vote. Microsoft made a heroic — and costly — effort to discredit their own proposal, and we're sincerely grateful to them.'" If Microsoft doesn't send a representative to claim their 2500-Euro prize at the FFII General Assembly in November, FFII will give the money to Peruvian earthquake relief.
Alex Vincent writes: "A few days ago, Slashdot mentioned a pretty significant computation error in Microsoft Excel 2007. Google Web Toolkit has a not-so-significant (digits) one. Apparently, pi is not as constant as you might think...
"Apparently MS just wants Bungie to make Halo for the rest of their natural days, and Bungie doesn't like how MS is constantly trying to "handle" everything they do; the way they market their games, the way they interact with their fans (basically the fact that they do appreciate their fans), and how stingie they are with the profits (comparable to the rest of the industry). So as of today they are their own independent entity. They'll probably make Halo 4 for Microsoft, however hey are also free to create new intellectual properties for whatever system they want. (Even though they prefer the xbox platform)"
"What a way to say thank you."
According to this blog it's already a done deal and will be announced by Microsoft October 6th. Hmm, Hell's almanac must be predicting a cold night that night."
Unknown_monkey writes: "A folk singer, a music producer, and a hot lip-syncer make a video parody. The video gets shared with a few friends, and then someone uploads it to youtube and BOOM! http://myboxinabox.typepad.com/ has the great parody video and the song and interviews with the artists. The amazing thing is that they are distributing the song and video free with an available donation box. And a limit of $2.00 on the donation. And people are paying it. Could this be a vision of future pop stars making songs and videos at home and then opening their own Pop-tunes store? People are paying $2.00 for a song that on Itunes would be a dollar. Does this provide further incentive for Itunes to raise prices?"
kelnos writes: "After more than two years since our previous stable feature release, the Xfce Team is proud to announce the release of Xfce 4.4.0. This release features our new file manager, Thunar, as well as many improvements and feature additions to Xfce's core components.
MA writes: "Feeling like bitterly complaining about the "tagging-mania"? Then don't read on. For those interested, I have just released oyepa, a simple hack which allows a GNU/Linux user to manage a personal collection of documents through the use of tags. The GUI is ugly, the code GPLed and everyone more than invited to make it better. : ) Tarball available here."
Andy Updegrove writes: "On Sunday afternoon, the Free Standards Group (FSG) signed an agreement to combine forces with Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) to form a new organization — The Linux Foundation. The result of this consolidation will be to dedicate the resources of the combined membership to "accelerate the growth of Linux by providing a comprehensive set of services to compete effectively with closed platforms." Jim Zemlin, currently the head of FSG, will lead the new organization as its Executive Director. The new organization will continue to support Linux in a variety of ways, including by providing economic support to Linus Torvalds and other key kernel developers, managing the Linux trademark, and providing legal protection to developers through such initiatives as the Open Source as Prior Art project, the Patent Commons, and the Linux Legal Defense Fund. It will also continue FSG's standardization efforts by maintaining the Linux Standard Base (LSB) and the Linux Developer Network (all major Linux distributions comply with the LSB today). Finally, it will "respond with authority" to disinformation and other attacks, and foster innovation by hosting collaboration in areas such as desktop interfaces, accessibility, printing, and application packaging, among many others. All in all, a tall order, but eminently possible given its membership: The Linux Foundation's founding members will include every major company in the Linux industry, including Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Intel, NEC, Novell, Oracle and Red Hat, as well as many community groups, universities and industry end users.
CmdrPete writes: According to users of registerflies.com, countless domain owners are having nothing but problems lately with popular discount domain name registrar registerfly.com. My experience was typical: orders for domain renewals were charged to my credit card but never completed, trouble tickets go unanswered, and chat sessions with support are never answered. Some customers, unable to get help, have watched their domains expire and their online businesses vanish.
Complaints about net-based companies are nothing new, but what happens when registrars, who have huge numbers of domains and livelihoods in their control, unravel?
from the everything-you-know-is-wrong dept.
An anonymous reader writes "LiveScience is reporting that it may be possible for two snowflakes to be alike after all. For anyone who studies probability, this seems reasonable, given that the article mentions that 10^24 snowflakes fall in any given year. The article contains links to fascinating snowflake pictures. From the article: 'A typical snow crystal weighs roughly one millionth of a gram. This means a cubic foot of snow can contain roughly one billion crystals ... "It is probably safe to say that the possible number of snow crystal shapes exceeds the estimated number of atoms in the known universe," Nelson said. Still, while "no two snowflakes are alike" might hold true for larger snowflakes, Nelson figures it might ring false for smaller crystals that sometimes fall before they have a chance to fully develop. "How likely is it that two snowflakes are alike? Very likely if we define alike to mean that we would have trouble distinguishing them under a microscope and if we include the crystals that hardly develop beyond the prism stage--that is, the smallest snow crystals," Nelson said.'"
Joe Barr writes: "Brice Burges explains why and how he created a new free software application, as well as what he learned from the birthing process, in a story on Linux.com. The story provides first-hand insights into the frustrations and satisfactions of developers working on free/open source projects."
linux pickle writes: The long awaited 4.4 version of the Xfce desktop environment has been released by the Xfce Team. In this version, Xfce has undergone a major revamp and has been improved in many areas. XFFM, Xfce's original file manager has been removed in favor of Thunar, a modern but lightweight replacement. The window manager now has built-in support for transparency and has undergone some major themability improvements and the panel plugin system has been reworked, making it much more stable overall. A visual tour is available here and the release is available for download here.
LittleGuernica writes: I often have my bittorrent client running, downloading the software of my choice. As all the data trickles in, I wonder if it slowly kills my harddrive, because data keeps being written and read constantly. Is Bittorrent straining my harddisk or is it business as usual?