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[#] Fri Feb 06 2009 21:33:00 EST from rss

Subject: Phantom OS, the 21st Century OS?

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jonr writes "Phantom OS doesn't have files. Well, there are no files in the sense that a developer opens a file handle, writes to it, and closes the file handle. From the user's perspective, things still look familiar — a desktop, directories, and file icons. But a file in Phantom is simply an object whose state is persisted. You don't have to explicitly open it. As long as your program has some kind of reference to that object, all you need to do is call methods on it, and the data is there as you would expect."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Eu-M3BEzyLw/article.pl

[#] Fri Feb 06 2009 22:24:00 EST from rss

Subject: IBM Offers to Send Laid-Off Staff to Other Countries

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TheAmit writes to tell us that many recently laid off IBM employees have been offered jobs if they will only move somewhere it is cheap to employ them. IBM's new Project Match program offers some financial assistance for moving and immigration help for visas. "However, the move has not gone well with the IBM staff union. Slamming the offer, a union spokesperson said that not only were jobs being shipped overseas, but Big Blue was trying to export the people for peanuts too. He added that at a time of rising unemployment IBM should be looking to keep both the work and the workers in the United States. "

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Ji8uRIx8_Q4/article.pl

[#] Fri Feb 06 2009 23:15:00 EST from rss

Subject: Help Writing an Open Standards Policy?

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Cornwallis writes "I'm trying to save money for a local government agency I work for by writing a policy statement to support the idea of adopting open data standards and/or Open Source software in order to contain IT expenses (by reducing licensing costs). I am thinking something along the lines of supporting open standards by not locking in to long term software contracts so that departments could be freed to adopt an alternative OS and/or desktop suite if this would work for the individual department. The idea is to unlock the stranglehold that proprietary software may have on the department IT budget. Have any of you written policy statements along these lines, and would you be willing to share? I'm not saying this would be for everybody, nor replace everything, just be an option to help my beleaguered agency in rough times."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/aOdQLEKilO0/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 07 2009 00:04:00 EST from rss

Subject: Universal Power Adapter Struggling For Support

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Ian Lamont writes "Last year, there was a lot of hopeful discussion surrounding an initiative to have the consumer electronics industry standardize their products on a USB-based universal power adapter devised by Green Plug. Eight months later, the effort has stalled. The reason: manufacturers have balked from using Green Plug's technology. '... Gadget makers seem to have no compelling financial incentive to adopt Green Plug's technology. It would require them to add Green Plug's chip, or similar hardware and software, into every phone, camera, or music player they build, making them more expensive and more complicated to build. Another stumbling block for manufacturers: A universal power supply would kill the market for replacement power supplies. Manufacturers sell these at a steep markup price to customers who lose or break the original one that came with the device, and aren't tech-savvy enough to procure a low-cost generic replacement.' Green Plug is now trying to drum up public outcry through a (slow) website, but the number of supportive comments and votes remains relatively low."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/JjwUgsI_JDA/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 07 2009 00:58:00 EST from rss

Subject: Privacy Group Calls Google Latitude a Real 'Danger'

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CWmike writes "Privacy International is calling Google's new mapping application an 'unnecessary danger' to users' security and privacy. The criticism follows the unveiling this week of Google Latitude, an upgrade to Google Maps that allows people to track the exact location of friends or family through their mobile devices. Google Latitude not only shows the location of friends, but it can also be used to contact them via SMS, Google Talk or Gmail. 'Many people will see Latitude as a cool product, but the reality is that Google has yet again failed to deliver strong privacy and security,' said Simon Davies, director of London-based Privacy International, in a statement. The group's chief concern is that Google Latitude lacks sufficient safeguards to keep someone from surreptitiously opting into the tracking feature on someone else's device."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/gJ61DXAEKTY/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 07 2009 02:56:00 EST from rss

Subject: Major Spike in Security Threats to Online Games

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Gamasutra reports on data from security software firm ESET, which shows a major increase in the number of gaming-related security threats over the last year. They attribute the rise in attacks to the amount of money involved in the games industry these days. ESET's full report (PDF) is also available. "[ESET's research director, Jeff Debrosse] explains: 'It's a two-phase attack. If someone's account was compromised, then someone else can actually [using their avatar] during a chat session, or through in-game communication... they could leverage that people trust this person and point them at various URLs, and those URLs will either have drive-by malware or a specific [malware] executable. What ends up happening is that folks may end up downloading and using it. This is just one methodology.' These attackers also target gamers in external community sites, says Debrosse, through 'banners on websites or URLs in chat rooms or forums' — which can lead to unsafe URLs. 'If [users] don't have adequate protection, they could very well be downloading malware without their knowledge.'"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Ut5LmFAFTI0/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 07 2009 05:02:00 EST from rss

Subject: RIAA Drops Enforcement Case To "Sort Out" Inaccuracies

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NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The other day I reported on my blog that the record companies had assigned, to the RIAA itself, a $4000 default judgment they'd gotten against some lady in Massachusetts, and that the RIAA was going after the defendant with an 'enforcement' proceeding to squeeze the money out of her. Today, it turns out, the RIAA withdrew its motion because, according to the RIAA's collection lawyer, the motion 'contained factual inaccuracies ... which plaintiff needs to sort out' (PDF). The collection lawyer must be new around here; a few little 'factual inaccuracies' never bothered an RIAA lawyer before." Link To Original Source

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/0OqJOqg6xZw/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 07 2009 07:06:00 EST from rss

Subject: Canadian Labour Congress Considers Reversal On IP Policy

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An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian Labour Congress is considering a dramatic reversal of its stance on copyright and IP policy. CLC is comparable to the US AFL-CIO, but Canada is over 30% unionized. The campaign 'we must change copyright and IP law to fight evil counterfeiters and copyright pirates' is actually succeeding in Canada. Quoting the CLC's new policy resolution: '... this critical issue requires a far-reaching response involving legislative and regulatory reform, policy change, and allocation of proper resources to combat the problems. The Canadian government must be given the structure and resources to mount a sustained attack on this pervasive problem, both within Canada and internationally. The criminal and civil laws in Canada must provide adequate deterrence. And consumers must be educated that counterfeiting and piracy are not victimless, nuisance crimes, but instead strike at the heart of our long term economic security.'"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/P0CmfUDIS_U/article.pl

[#] Mon Feb 09 2009 20:34:00 EST from rss

Subject: The Herschel Telescope Close To Blastoff

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pha7boy writes "The Herschel space observatory, the European Space Agency's answer to the Hubble Telescope, is about to be sent into orbit. With a mirror 1.5 times the size of the Hubble mirror, the Herschel will look at the universe in the infrared and sub-millimeter range. This 'will permit Herschel to see past the dust that scatters Hubble's visible wavelengths, and to gaze at really cold places and objects in the Universe — from the birthing clouds of new stars to the icy comets that live far out in the Solar System.'"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/b2QZAn6qJq4/article.pl

[#] Mon Feb 09 2009 19:49:00 EST from rss

Subject: Five Questions With Michael Widenius

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volume4 writes "With two MySQL execs leaving Sun in the last week, the internet is buzzing about what is going on at Sun, what is the future of MySQL and what lies ahead for Michael Widenius. Over at Open Source Release Feed, Widenius spoke candidly regarding his split from Sun, the future of MySQL, Monty Program AB and the open source ecosystem in general."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/zLkuILmK0_w/article.pl

[#] Mon Feb 09 2009 19:06:00 EST from rss

Subject: Managing Online Forums

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stoolpigeon writes "I vividly remember the first time I was able to dial up a bbs with my Commodore Vic-20. It was Star Trek themed and I was excited to see that the Sysop was online. We typed a few lines of text back and forth while I hollered to everyone in the house that I was talking to someone through the computer. Things have come a long way since then and I've put in quite a few hours experiencing one of the more exciting sides of the internet, participating in community. Of course it hasn't all been great. Communities on-line are just like any other in that there are differences of opinion and issues that arise. Some are handled well, some are not. Social interaction can be very complicated and learning how to manage a social site can be a process that involves a lot of painful lessons. Fortunately not all of our learning has to come through direct experience. Sometimes we have the opportunity to learn from the experience of others. Patrick O'Keefes book Managing Online Forums is that guide to the budding leader of the webs next great community. Keep reading for the rest of JR's review.

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/YmVn9ahOUiM/article.pl

[#] Mon Feb 09 2009 18:17:00 EST from rss

Subject: How To, When You Have To Encrypt Absolutely Everything?

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Dark Neuron writes "My institution has thousands of computers, and is looking at starting an IT policy to encrypt everything, all hard drives, including desktops, laptops, external hard drives, USB flash drives, etc. I am looking at an open source product for Windows, Mac, UNIX, as well as portable hard drives, but i am concerned about overhead and speed penalties. Does anyone have experience and/or advice with encrypting every single device in a similar situation?"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/_q6HiSI5gSk/article.pl

[#] Mon Feb 09 2009 17:30:00 EST from rss

Subject: Amazon Announces Kindle 2, With Slew of New Features

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Engadget is reporting that Amazon has announced the new Kindle 2 for release on February 24th at a price point of $359. Thinner than an iPhone and coming standard with "Read-to-me" text-to-speech capability, the new device also has seven times more storage, faster page turning, a 16-level e-ink display, longer battery life, and a new five-way joystick. Looks like life just got a lot more interesting for fans of the original device. Engadget also has live coverage from the Kindle 2 press conference.

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/xU_R4oay7gA/article.pl

[#] Mon Feb 09 2009 16:47:00 EST from rss

Subject: The Incredible Shrinking Operating System

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snydeq writes "The center of gravity is shifting away from the traditional, massive operating systems of the past, as even the major OSes are slimming their footprint to make code bases easier to manage and secure, and to increase the variety of devices on which they can run, InfoWorld reports. Microsoft, for one, is cutting down the number of services that run at boot to ensure Windows 7 will run across a spectrum of hardware. Linux distros such as Ubuntu are stripping out functionality, including MySQL, CUPS, and LDAP, to cut footprints in half. And Apple appears headed for a slimmed-down OS X that will enable future iPhones or tablet devices to run the same OS as the Mac. Though these developments don't necessarily mean that the browser will supplant the OS, they do show that OS vendors realize they must adapt as virtualization, cloud computing, netbooks, and power concerns drive business users toward smaller, less costly, more efficient operating environments."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/XDGcd2bFPzI/article.pl

[#] Mon Feb 09 2009 16:06:00 EST from rss

Subject: Firefox Exec Says Windows Bundling Is a Bad Idea

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eldavojohn writes "The Firefox executives say they don't want to be bundled with Windows. Firefox architect Mike Conner also said this of Opera, 'Opera's asserting something that's provably false. It's asserting that bundling leads to market share. I don't know how you can make the claim with a straight face. As people become aware there's an alternative, you don't end up in that [monopoly] situation. You have to be perceptibly better [than Internet Explorer].' He also told PCPro that they are worried about becoming the next monopoly just like Microsoft is now."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/eT8LjxL5Rxw/article.pl

[#] Mon Feb 09 2009 15:19:00 EST from rss

Subject: Psystar Wins a Round Against Apple

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Daengbo writes "'A federal judge last week ruled that Psystar Corp. can continue its countersuit against Apple Inc., giving the Mac clone maker a rare win in its seven-month-old battle with Apple. He also hinted that if Psystar proves its allegations, others may then be free to sell computers with Mac OS X already installed.' Apple is currently suing Psystar over its sale of Mac clones."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/mvNtT-smGqY/article.pl

[#] Mon Feb 09 2009 14:36:00 EST from rss

Subject: Average User Only Runs 2 Apps, So Microsoft Will Charge For More

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Barence writes "Microsoft's decision to limit Windows 7 Starter Edition to running only three concurrent applications could force up the price of netbooks as many manufacturers opt for the more expensive Home Premium. The three-app rule includes applications running in the background but excludes antivirus, and the company claims most users wouldn't be affected by the limit. 'We ran a study which suggested that the average consumer has open just over two applications [at any time]. We would expect the limit of three applications wouldn't affect very many people.' However, Microsoft told journalists at last year's Professional Developers Conference that 70% of Windows users have between eight and 15 windows open at any one time."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/TA-ep9yP3Io/article.pl

[#] Mon Feb 09 2009 13:51:00 EST from rss

Subject: Steve Wozniak To Appear On Dancing With the Stars

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Redpill82 writes "It has been confirmed that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will be a contestant on the new season of Dancing with the Stars starting on March 9. Did ABC determine that ratings were low with the technology community? I know I'll be interested in seeing how far Mr. Wozniak goes in the competition."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/GMtyLrAvWok/article.pl

[#] Mon Feb 09 2009 13:10:00 EST from rss

Subject: Ruckus Closes Down

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An anonymous reader writes "According to TechCrunch, Ruckus, the ad-supported music service targeted at college students, has closed down for good. Ruckus was notable for its poorly-designed client software and .wma-only DRM-laden catalog of 3,000,000 tracks, somewhat less than half the size of the iTunes catalog."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/z3xZFkRZEOk/article.pl

[#] Mon Feb 09 2009 11:52:00 EST from rss

Subject: Scientists Reconstruct Millennium's Coldest Winter

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Ponca City, We love you writes "In England they called it the Great Frost, while in France it entered legend as Le Grand Hiver, three months of deadly cold that fell over Europe in 1709 ushering in a year of famine and food riots. Livestock died from cold in their barns, chicken's combs froze and fell off, trees exploded and travelers froze to death on the roads. It was the coldest winter in 500 years with temperatures as much as 7 degrees C below the average for 20th-century Europe. Now as part of the European Union's Millennium Project, Scientists are aiming to reconstruct the past 1000 years of Europe's climate using a combination of direct measurements, proxy indicators of temperature such as tree rings and ice cores, and data gleaned from historical documents."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/0jsOQSNUrmE/article.pl

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