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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 11 declined, 1 accepted (12 total, 8.33% accepted)

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The Military

Submission + - Closed source grounds UK Chinooks for 9 years (

toby writes: "8 Chinook helicopters have been grounded for up to 9 years after Boeing refused to disclose avionics source code — due to a contractual omission. The eventual cost may reach half a billion UK pounds.

"The programme was hamstrung from the start by the appalling decision to buy the aircraft without securing access to their software source code," [Edward Leigh] said. "Eight years after they were delivered, the Chinook Mark 3s are still sitting in hangars and the cost of getting them into the air is probably going to top £422 million, probably by a big margin."



Submission + - Navy Fighters grounded by Windows virus (

toby writes: "UK Telegraph reports more fallout from Conficker:

The virus attacked the non-secured internal French navy network called Intramar and was detected on 21 January. The whole network was affected and military staff were instructed not to start their computers.

According to Liberation newspaper, two days later the chiefs of staff decided to isolate Intramar from the military's other computer systems, but certain computers at the Villacoublay air base and in the 8th Transmissions Regiment were infected. Liberation reported that on the 15 and 16 January the Navy's Rafale aircraft were "nailed to the ground" because they were unable to "download their flight plans". The aircraft were eventually activated by "another system".

We're not learning yet, are we ... that mission critical systems do not belong on Microsoft products. It is astonishingly stupid that non-US militaries are choosing Microsoft at all."


Submission + - Prof. Knuth: no more bug checks, due to fraud risk (

toby writes: ""for-everything-else-there's-PayPal" dept:

As reported by LWN, we learn that Professor Donald Knuth has decided to change his long-standing policy of rewarding those who find bugs in his programs with a personal check:

I can no longer write checks to reward the people who discover errors in my books. The system that I've been using has worked well for almost forty years; but recently I have had to close three checking accounts, and the criminal attacks on those accounts have caused significant grief to my bankers. (Certainly I do not believe that anybody who received one of my checks has been in any way a culprit. But all such recipients are entitled to bragging rights; therefore the numbers printed on those checks inevitably become known to random members of the public.) ... Instead of rewarding heroic bug-finders with dollars, I shall henceforth award brownie points, otherwise known as hexadecimal dollars (0x$).



Submission + - Green Party of Canada explicitly supports FLOSS (

toby writes: "With Federal elections looming in October, the Canadian Green Party has taken an enlightened position on Open Source:

"The Green Party supports the goals and ideals of Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) and believes that Canada's competitiveness in global information technology (IT) will be greatly enhanced by strongly supporting FLOSS.""

Operating Systems

Submission + - History preserved: Multics source code released (

qu1j0t3 writes: "Signs-of-the-Apocalypse department:

Via Jos Kirps's Popular Science and Technology Blog, we learn that complete source code for the final release of Multics has been donated by Bull Technologies and made available by MIT.

A number of dedicated people made this possible, and preserved the code while it waited for clearance.

Memo to Microsoft: Maybe you should ditch Vista and steal this..."

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Clippy knows you hate him: "sentiment detectio (

toby writes: "The always-eclectic Language Log talks about "user sentiment detection" which guesses when you'd rather Clippy wasn't around:

So I remembered an old trick someone had mentioned to me and asked my friend "Have you tried being rude to him?"

"What do you mean?" she asked me. "How can you be rude to a talking paper clip?"

"Well," I suggested, "try venting your anger at him. Tell him in a few concise words how you feel about him."

... After telling Clippy this, the first item on the list explains how to change the Office Assistant,and the second item explains how to hide or show it.

I wonder how sophisticated the "unhappy user" detection is here in language. And whether it has been appropriately localized.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Apple sued - Macbook LCD not "millions" of

qu1j0t3 writes: "Business 2.0 reports, "Two MacBook owners ... have filed a class action lawsuit ... charging the company with deceptive advertising, misrepresentation and unfair competition over the use of the phrase 'millions of colors' to describe the capability of the LCD displays in MacBook and MacBook Pro computers." (Engadget broke the story. I can't comment if these guys have a genuine complaint; I've no plans to upgrade my Powerbook G4.)"
User Journal

Submission + - Google flirting with OpenSolaris

toby writes: According to ComputerWorld, up to "several dozens" of Google engineers are putting OpenSolaris through its paces as a complement to or even eventual replacement for its home-grown RedHat Linux platform. Now tuned for 64-bit x86, Solaris is regularly breaking speed records and winning awards. Even if you're not Google, many enterprises can benefit from its lightweight virtualisation, DTrace instrumentation, and super-high-integrity ZFS filesystem.

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