ddt writes "Raise your glasses of champagne in a toast at midnight. The time(2) system call turns 40 tonight, and is now officially 'over the hill.' It's been dutifully keeping track of time for clueful operating systems since January 1, 1970." And speaking of time, if you don't have a *nix system handy, or just want a second opinion, an anonymous reader points out this handy way to check just how far it is after local midnight in Unix time. Updated 10:03 GMT by timothy: The Unix-time-in-a-browser link has been replaced by a Rick Astley video; you have been warned.
Make a difference in your data center. Sign up for SlashDataCenter Update newsletter now.
storagedude writes "Access to data isn't keeping pace with advances in CPU and memory, creating an I/O bottleneck that threatens to make data storage irrelevant. The author sees phase change memory as a technology that could unseat storage networks. From the article: 'While years away, PCM has the potential to move data storage and storage networks from the center of data centers to the periphery. I/O would only have to be conducted at the start and end of the day, with data parked in memory while applications are running. In short, disk becomes the new tape."
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Duke's Center for the Study of the Public Domain about items that would enter the public domain starting on January 1, 2010, if not for copyright extenions: "'Casino Royale, Marilyn Monroe's Playboy cover, The Adventures of Augie March, the Golden Age of Science Fiction, Crick & Watson's Nature article decoding the double helix, Disney's Peter Pan, The Crucible'... 'How ironic that Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, with its book burning firemen, was published in 1953 and would once have been entering the public domain on January 1, 2010. To quote James Boyle, "Bradbury's firemen at least set fire to their own culture out of deep ideological commitment, vile though it may have been. We have set fire to our cultural record for no reason; even if we had wanted retrospectively to enrich the tiny number of beneficiaries whose work keeps commercial value beyond 56 years, we could have done so without these effects. The ironies are almost too painful to contemplate.""
richrumble writes "The OISF has released the beta version of the Suricata IDS/IPS engine: The Suricata Engine is an Open Source Next Generation Intrusion Detection and Prevention Engine. This engine is not intended to just replace or emulate the existing tools in the industry, but will bring new ideas and technologies to the field. This new Engine supports Multi-Threading, Automatic Protocol Detection (IP, TCP, UDP, ICMP, HTTP, TLS, FTP and SMB! ), Gzip Decompression, Fast IP Matching and coming soon hardware acceleration on CUDA and OpenCL GPU cards."
harrymcc writes "Polaroid, Netscape, CompuServe, Westinghouse, Heathkit — these were once among the most respected names in the technology business. They're still around, but what's happened to them is just plain sad. I took a look at the tragic fates of a dozen mighty brands that have, in one way or another, fallen on hard times."
nottheusualsuspect excerpts from this speculation-laden report at Brighthand that "Motorola is reportedly working on a device that will have one of the largest displays of any smartphone. Code-named the Shadow, it will sport a 4.3-inch WVGA+ touchscreen, Google's Android OS, and a range of other high-end features. When it comes to screen size, the Shadow will be equaled only by the Windows Mobile-based HTC HD2. The closest Android-powered model will be the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, which will sport a 4.0-inch display. Most other models, like the Motorola Droid and Google Nexus One, have 3.7-inch screens. The display on this upcoming Motorola smartphone will allegedly have a resolution of 850 by 484 pixels."
joelsherrill writes "RTEMS is a free real-time operating system for embedded systems. The project is celebrating the 21st birthday of RTEMS today. RTEMS supports the single process with filesystem POSIX profile on over a dozen processor architectures. To just be entering young adulthood, RTEMS has had a busy life. It has been a Google Summer of Code project twice (Thanks Google!). It has been to Venus on the Venus Express, circles Mars on the Electra radio, powers Herschel and Planck, is on its way to the asteroid belt aboard DAWN, and has been a key part of physics discoveries at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center."
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that TSA special agents have served subpoenas to travel bloggers Steve Frischling and Chris Elliott demanding that they reveal who leaked a TSA directive outlining new screening measures that went into effect the same day as the Detroit airliner incident. Frischling said he met with two TSA special agents for about three hours and was forced to hand over his laptop computer after the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn't cooperate and provide the name of the person who leaked the memo outlining new security measures that would be apparent to the traveling public. 'It literally showed up in my box,' Frischling told The Associated Press. 'I do not know who it came from.' Frischling says he provided the agents a signed statement to that effect. The leaked directive included measures such as screening at boarding gates, patting down the upper legs and torso, physically inspecting all travelers' belongings, looking carefully at syringes with powders and liquids, requiring that passengers remain in their seats one hour before landing, and disabling all onboard communications systems, including what is provided by the airline. In a December 29 posting on his blog, Elliott said he had told the TSA agents at his house that he would call his lawyer and get back to them."
plover writes "I work as a developer for a Very Large American Corporation. We are not an IT company, but have a large IT organization that does a lot of internal development. In my area, we do Windows development, which includes writing and maintaining code for various services and executables. A few years ago the Info Security group removed local administrator rights from most accounts and machines, but our area was granted exceptions for developers. My question is: do other developers in other large companies have local admin rights to their development environment? If not, how do you handle tasks like debugging, testing installations, or installing updated development tools that aren't a part of the standard corporate workstation?"
nottheusualsuspect writes "AT&T, in response to a Notice of Inquiry released by the FCC to explore how to transition to a purely IP-based communications network, has declared that it's time to cut the cord. AT&T told the FCC that the death of landlines is a matter of when, not if, and asked that a firm deadline be set for pulling the plug. In the article, broadband internet and cellular access are considered to be available to everyone, though many Americans are still without decent internet access."
Hugh Pickens writes "Neuroscientists Gary Lynch and Richard Granger have an interesting article in Discover Magazine about the Boskops, an extinct hominid that had big eyes, child-like faces, and forebrains roughly 50% larger than modern man indicating they may have had an average intelligence of around 150, making them geniuses among Homo sapiens. The combination of a large cranium and immature face would look decidedly unusual to modern eyes, but not entirely unfamiliar. Such faces peer out from the covers of countless science fiction books and are often attached to 'alien abductors' in movies. Naturalist Loren Eiseley wrote: 'Back there in the past, ten thousand years ago. The man of the future, with the big brain, the small teeth. He lived in Africa. His brain was bigger than your brain.' The history of evolutionary studies has been dogged by the almost irresistible idea that evolution leads to greater complexity, to animals that are more advanced than their predecessor, yet the existence of the Boskops argues otherwise — that humans with big brains, and perhaps great intelligence, occupied a substantial piece of southern Africa in the not very distant past, and that they eventually gave way to smaller-brained, possibly less advanced Homo sapiens — that is, ourselves. 'With 30 percent larger brains than ours now, we can readily calculate that a population with a mean brain size of 1,750 cc would be expected to have an average IQ of 149,' write Lynch and Granger. But why did they go extinct? 'Maybe all that thoughtfulness was of no particular survival value in 10,000 BC. Lacking the external hard drive of a literate society, the Boskops were unable to exploit the vast potential locked up in their expanded cortex,' write Lynch and Granger. 'They were born just a few millennia too soon.'"
david.emery was one of a few folks who noted that Patrick Stewart can now be referred to as Sir Captain as he will be knighted by the Queen. This should bring balance to any future X-Men movies.
Hugh Pickens writes "EFF reports that Cory Doctorow spoke to a crowd of about a hundred librarians, educators, publishers, authors, and students at the National Reading Summit on How to Destroy the Book and said that 'anyone who claims that readers can’t and won’t and shouldn’t own their books are bent on the destruction of the book, the destruction of publishing, and the destruction of authorship itself.' Doctorow says that for centuries, copyright has acknowledged that sacred connection between readers and their books and that when you own a book 'it’s yours to give away, yours to keep, yours to license or to borrow, to inherit or to be included in your safe for your children' and that 'the most important part of the experience of a book is knowing that it can be owned.'"
coondoggie writes "NASA said its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer spacecraft successfully popped the cover off its infrared telescope and began 'celestial treasure hunt' mission of sending back what will be millions of images of space. The WISE lens cap served as a safety system keeping the ultra-sensitive lens and telescope system safe until the spacecraft positioned itself correctly in orbit. The cap also served as the top to a 'bottle' that chille the instrument and detectors. This cryostat is a Thermos-like tank of solid hydrogen."
An article at Gamasutra provides some details on the hardware Mythic uses to power Warhammer Online, courtesy of Chief Technical Officer Matt Shaw and Online Technical Director Andrew Mann. Quoting: "At any given time, approximately 2,000 servers are in operation, supporting the gameplay in WAR. Matt Shaw commented, 'What we call a server to the user, that main server is actually a cluster of a number of machines. Our Server Farm in Virginia, for example,' Mann said, 'has about 60 Dell Blade chassis running Warhammer Online — each hosting up to 16 servers. All in all, we have about 700 servers in operation at this location.' ... 'We use blade architecture heavily for Warhammer Online,' Mann noted. 'Almost every server that we deploy is a blade system. We don't use virtualization; our software is somewhat virtualized itself. We've always had the technology to run our game world across several pieces of hardware. It's application-layer clustering at a process level. Virtualization wouldn't gain us much because we already run very close to peak CPU usage on these systems.' ... The normalized server configuration — in use across all of the Mythic-managed facilities — features dual Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors running at 3 GHz with 8 GB of RAM."