Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Slashback Software Government Media The Courts News

Slashback: OSS, Lawsuits, History 170

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the where-are-my-flying-cars dept.
Slashback tonight brings some corrections, clarifications, and updates to previous Slashdot stories, including Record Label civil war, more big-business software getting tossed into open source, US Government says 2008 IPv6 still on track, EU Warned Microsoft source code not enough, RIM celebrates a victory in Germany, 10th planet a reality, and looking forward to the year 2001 -- Read on for details.

Record Label Supports Accused File-Sharer. arabagast writes "The Nettwerk Music Group has said it will pay for the defense of David Greubel. Greubel is the defendant in a complaint filed by the RIAA in a U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, Texas accusing him of having 600 illegally downloaded music files on his home computer."

Qluster's OpenQRM goes OSS. Decibel writes "While Microsoft, Oracle and now IBM have made news by releasing free versions of their databases, other companies have gone one better and released versions of their products as OSS. Qlusters is one example, in that they just released OpenQRM. The CTO's previous company (Symbiot) also made a similar play, releasing OpenSIMS. Could this be the start of a change to where commercial software starts melding more and more into OSS?"

US Government says 2008 IPv6 still on track. DrkShadow writes to tell us that the Government is holding fast to their 2008 IPv6 switch commitment. From the article: "The White House Office of Management and Budget said it would issue a policy memorandum dictating full federal 'IPv6' compliance in an effort to spur its deployment throughout government agencies."

EU Warned Microsoft source code not enough. Joe Barr writes "According to WindowsITPro, the Wall Street Journal has obtained a copy of a confidential memo sent from the EU to Microsoft last month which warned Microsoft that an offer of the source code would not be enough to satisfy the EU's requirements for interoperability. Open source advocates have blasted the offer because it lacks the knowledge required to interoperate with Windows behind its IP licensing, thus making it unusable."

RIM celebrates a victory in Germany. PDG writes "Looks like not everything is going bad for RIM as they have recently won another patent based lawsuit, but this time in Germany. At least they don't have all their legal eggs in one basket."

10th planet a reality. smooth wombat writes "After measuring twice and cutting once, a team of German astrophysicists at the University of Bonn led by Frank Bertoldi have concluded that the object located beyond the orbit of Pluto and named 2003 UB313, is 435 miles larger in diameter than Pluto. As a result, there will be increasing pressure on the IAU (International Astronomical Union) to classify this object as the 10th planet. From the article: '"It is now increasingly hard to justify calling Pluto a planet if UB313 is not also given this status," Bertoldi said.'"

Looking forward to the year 2001. ChristianNerds writes "Atari Magazine is serving up an article written in 1989 concerning what the next century would be like. From the article: 'A typical morning in the year 2001: You wake up, scan the custom newspaper that's spilling from your fax, walk into the living room. There you speak to a giant screen on the wall, part of which instantly becomes a high-quality TV monitor. When you leave for work, you carry a smart wallet, a computer the size of a credit card. When you come home, you slip on special eyeglasses and stroll through a completely artificial world.' They got a great deal right, like the spread of optical disk usage, the internet (ISDN), and parallel processing."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: OSS, Lawsuits, History

Comments Filter:
  • Artificial World (Score:5, Insightful)

    by biocute (936687) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @08:03PM (#14621669) Homepage
    stroll through a completely artificial world

    Must be wOw, SecondLife or The Sims.
  • 10th planet (Score:5, Funny)

    by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918@g m a i l .com> on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @08:07PM (#14621704)
    It seems like the IAU could pin down a definition of what a "planet" is by setting some cutoff based on the object's gravitational effect on the Sun, which fall off as 1/r^2, so that even though the object is slightly larger than Pluto, it is so much farther away from the Sun than Pluto that its gravitational influence is below some arbitrary cutoff.
    • by jd (1658)
      It would mean they'd have to reclassify all of the planets without stars for the same reason. And nobody is going to seriously suggest that a gas ball 100s of times the size of Jupiter is an asteroid or a comet. For a start, the press would crucify them.

      It would be reasonable to define a planet in terms of composition and structure (and I've argued that case before) - the problem with that is that you'd need to define something as an unknown until you actually did enough of a geological survey to determine

      • "It would mean they'd have to reclassify all of the planets without stars for the same reason. And nobody is going to seriously suggest that a gas ball 100s of times the size of Jupiter is an asteroid or a comet. For a start, the press would crucify them."

        Am I the only one for whom this statement made absolutely no sense? We were talking about a lower limit, not an upper limit... and we were talking about our Solar System. Defining planets as asteroids or comets??? Where did that come from?
      • And nobody is going to seriously suggest that a gas ball 100s of times the size of Jupiter is an asteroid or a comet.

        I suggest you analyze that statement better, a lot better. Jupiter is now large enough that one could say it missed being a star in its own right by only 3 or 4 of its masses. 100 times more massive and this system would have been a binary system visible from 5% of the way across the visible universe by the likes of Hubble. In fact I would expect, since that would still make it smaller tha
    • Re:10th planet (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Petrushka (815171) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @08:34PM (#14621886)

      I figure if you take UB313 as having a density of 6 kg/m^3 (very dense) and diameter 340,000 (largest estimate), and take its minimum distance from the sun (37 AU), it exerts roundabout the same gravitational force on the sun as an object of about 7 x 10^14 kg at a distance of 1 AU from the sun.

      So by your definition Phobos and Deimos - at a distance of 1.3 to 1.7 AU from the sun - would both be planets.

      In case anyone isn't aware, Phobos and Deimos are really small ...

      • According to this [slashdot.org], the object orbits at 52-62 AU, not 37 AU, but I wouldn't put it past the Slashdot editors to be wrong. How does Pluto compare to Phobos and Deimos?
        • Re:10th planet (Score:2, Informative)

          by kfg (145172)
          How does Pluto compare to Phobos and Deimos?

          How would you like to walk around an equator in less than an hour?

          Don't walk too fast though, you might achieve orbital velocity, or even escape if you tried to jog.

          KFG
        • How does Pluto compare to Phobos and Deimos?

          Weightwise... if the Earth's moon were one of those huge fire department pumper trucks, Pluto would be a typical SUV, the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt would be a motorcycle, the correct(*) absolute minimum mass for a planet would be an orange, and Deimos would be about a pea. Deimos is really really small.

          (*) When the the prior poster did his math he used horribly incorrect data. The correct figures for Pluto can be found at Wikipedia Pluto [wikipedia.org]. So I took the
    • by CharlesDonHall (214468) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @08:40PM (#14621921)
      I think we should just decide based on the name.

      If the Romans named one of their Gods after it (e.g. Pluto), then it's a planet. If it's named after a person (Hale-Bopp) then it's a comet. If the name is just some random string of letters (UB313) then it's an asteroid.

      (Note: Under this system, the asteroids Juno, Pallas, Vesta, etc. would be reclassified as planets.)
      • Re:10th planet (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mrchaotica (681592)
        If the Romans named one of their Gods after it (e.g. Pluto)

        (Note: Under this system, the asteroids Juno, Pallas, Vesta, etc. would be reclassified as planets.)
        But Pluto still wouldn't be, because it wasn't the Romans who named it.

        In fact, I can't recall -- did the Romans know about any planets beyond Jupiter? It would be kind of silly to re-classify Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune as asteroids!
        • All the planets through Saturn have been known since antiquity. Uranus was found in 1781, Neptune in 1846, and Pluto in 1930. That's about 75 years on average between finding new planets, which means that we're due for a new one now anyway. But rather than name it for a Roman god, I say we call it Planet X. That's a lot cooler.
      • by jschrod (172610)
        Now you just have to answer the question if Xena (the originally proposed name) is a goddess, a person, or a random string of letters... There are arguments for each of them. :-)
    • Re:10th planet (Score:3, Interesting)

      by n54 (807502)
      Interesting idea but as other replies have pointed out it would need more details and some sort of excuse for rogue planets.

      Personally I'm not overly concerned about the classification debate but privately I view any object with large enough mass to compress itself by gravity into a spheroid shape as a planet unless it orbits another such planet in which case I see it as a moon. Yes that means Ceres [wikipedia.org] is a planet imo and that Pluto/Charon is a double moon with two additional moons P1 & P2... lol at least
      • I like that. If it isn't round, it isn't a planet. We can allow for minor mountains like Earth has, and a slightly squished shape from high rotation like Saturn has. but not some potato-shaped thing.
        • Sorry: if potato-shaped things can't be planets...

          Then we physicists are in a lot of trouble: the only thing we ever teach students to calculate moments of inertia on are rigid bodies. And, as any physicist knows, "a general rigid body is a potato-shaped object, able to undergo rotational and translational motion. It may be considered to be assembled out of a large number of point masses."

          The only way any of these calculations make sense for planets is if we assume planets are also potato-shaped.

          We can onl
      • One of the most interesting definition I've heard of so far is that something is a planet if it dominates gravitationally in the area. This would mean that Pluto isn't a planet and wouldn't give an arbitrary size for is/isn't a planet. It also means that an astroid belt of very large astroids wouldn't all have to be planets, if something like that ever were to be found in another solar system.
        • Pluto & Charon do together dominate their area; they've captured two moons at some point in time. Yes the area is small so that definition makes it a debate about arbitrary scale again.

          Very large asteroids are increasingly spherical unless they've recently broken up -- being speherical is a property of mass/gravity and as such a natural border of classification which will hold in any solar system or outside for that matter.
    • If it were up to me, I'd define a planet as a body that:

      1. Has sufficient gravity to have formed into a spheroid (arbitrarily defined)

      2. Orbits a star and not some other body orbiting the star (to exclude moons)

      3. Is not a comet

      Obviously my definition has as much ambiguity as the original poster's, but it seems to my (non-astronomer's) mind to capture the basic characteristics of a planet.

      • This way we're already to ten: former asteroid 1 Ceres would surely be a planet, following your definition! Cool.

        • former asteroid 1 Ceres would surely be a planet, following your definition! Cool.

          Exactly. I think there are around 10 or so large asteroids that are (mostly) spherical and which account for most of the mass of the asteroid belt. However, it would be difficult to determine which were formed by gravitational accretion and which were formed by the pulverization of a larger body. Also, I would imagine that most of their orbits criss-cross heavily, which seems un-planetlike to me. Oh, well.

    • Re:10th planet (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sbaker (47485) * on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:41AM (#14623274) Homepage
      Astronomers and their ilk simply need to abandon terms like 'planet', 'moon' and possibly even 'star' and invent new words with precise meanings. It's not uncommon to have to do this in science when the meaning of old words becomes impossibly difficult to deal with.

      Non-scientists have words like 'butterfly' and 'moth' - which have no clear scientific distinction - we also make distinctions where there are none. In common parlance, we orbit a "Sun" - not a "Star". Stars are little dots in the sky - but a sun is a huge nearby thing. ...until we imagine ourselves ourselves are close by a distant star - when we'll want to call it a 'Sun' again. When we sit on a sunny day on some extrasolar planet, we'll still say "What a nice day it is, the sun is shining"...no matter how much the astronomers complain about it.

      So scientific rigor can only be satisfied by making new words with rigerous definitions - rather than trying to pin down arbitary non-scientific historical usage of existing words.

      If they allow new solar-orbiting bodies to be called planets then whatever cutoff they choose will be utterly arbitary. If they define Pluto to not be a planet then a few billion people will have learned the wrong thing in school and a similar number of books will now be *WRONG* for no other reason than we decided to make them wrong. You can't easily change what people believe to be a fact - and you certainly can't re-publish a billion text books.

      So: Pluto is a "Planet" because it always was one. Astronomers should not care a damn about whether the 10th 'thing' is a planet or not because the word 'planet' and 'asteroid' carry about as much distinction as 'butterfly' and 'moth' or 'sun' and 'star'.

      They just need new words.

      We can do this - and it's easier than arguing about definitions of commonplace words that do not have (and never have had) a formal definition.
      • Astronomers and their ilk simply need to abandon terms like 'planet', 'moon' and possibly even 'star' and invent new words with precise meanings.

        Considering that scientists decided to name the new planet/object/whatever Quaoar (pronounced KWAH-o-ar), I say they've lost any right to make up new words.

        -
    • The best idea I've heard is to simply make the designation 'planet' a non scientific term. Given the confusion [space.com] and sometimes less than civil debate [space.com], it's a comprimise that could work for both camps.
  • by ursabear (818651) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @08:08PM (#14621710) Homepage Journal
    I was promised a flying car, dangit!

    It is a good thing, however that not all predictions come true.
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @08:12PM (#14621738) Homepage Journal
    I guess I can quit holding my breath.

    I remember last century wondering if IPv6 would ever get implemented.

    Guess a few billion Chinese with email addresses and IP-enabled devices probably forced the issue, huh? That plus the fact that my fridge, toaster, TV, computers, and microwave oven all have IP addresses ...
  • IPv6 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wesw02 (846056)
    I my self have not yet messed with IPv6, but I am curious if anyone knows of or works for a business that is currently using IPv6, if so what issues are you having with it?
    • by numbski (515011) <numbskiNO@SPAMhksilver.net> on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:25PM (#14622178) Homepage Journal
      My problem with IPv6 is fiscal. I go to ARIN and want to deploy a community wireless network using all IPv6. They want to charge me just as much for IPv6 addresses as they're charging for IPv4. What's worse, is that if I do use IPv6, I still have to pay for IPv4 addresses so that I can translate for the rest of the world, as IPv6 addresses can easily go to a IPv4 subnet, but the reverse is not true, I have to do some form of translation. :\

      So basically ICANN is causing the slowed adoption themselves. It's either $1200/yr for IPv4, or $2400/yr for IPv6. Take a wild guess what I'll wind up doing despite wanting to use IPv6. :(
      • by schon (31600) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @10:50PM (#14622699)
        I go to ARIN and want to deploy a community wireless network using all IPv6. They want to charge me just as much for IPv6 addresses as they're charging for IPv4.

        I call bullshit. [arin.net]

        From the link:
        Organizations that are General Members in good standing prior to requesting an initial IPv6 allocation are not charged IPv6 registration fees. Annual renewal fees for IPv6 allocations are also waived for General Members in good standing. ARIN will continue to waive these fees as long as the organization remains a General Member in good standing at the time of renewal, up until Dec. 31, 2006.


        Also, if you do have to pay, that page shows that IPV6 addresses are less expensive than IPV4, because the blocks are larger. An IPV4 /21 (2048 addresses) costs the same amount as an IPV6 /48 (1.2e24 addresses)
    • We had to setup a medium sized IPv6 network, as we develop alot of military related software and their GIG (Global Information Grid) is IPv6 based.

      It all seems to work pretty well, although there was some learning curve involved on translating between networks and such.

      Oh, and it's a real pain in the ass when you are used to being able to memorize many IPv4 addresses in your head.... Although your localhost IP address is now simpler :)
  • ...concluded a space body located in the outer reaches of the solar system is 435 miles (700 kilometers) larger than Pluto, the smallest planet.
    brWTF does that mean? Are we speaking circumference, diameter, radius, surface area? Who writes these articles?
  • I notice that they talk about how we'll all be using ISDN.

    Maybe I should turn off the Gigapop Internet we use at the UW, huh?
    • ISDN was a worthwhile technology, putting a low-latency multiplexed digital communications link on existing copper wiring. The problem, at least in the USA, was how it was marketed, priced, and promoted by the telephone companies. The telephone companies wanted to push centrex and the "intelligent" circuit-switched network. They had no interest in selling cheap packet-switched data links to individuals and small businesses. They hate the concept of the dumb network. There's no great profit to be made runnin
  • Wow. It did happen. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Teresh (911815) <karimarie@NOspAm.mail.rit.edu> on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @08:15PM (#14621766) Homepage
    "Looking forward to the year 2001. ChristianNerds writes "Atari Magazine is serving up an article written in 1989 concerning what the next century would be like. From the article: 'A typical morning in the year 2001: You wake up, scan the custom newspaper that's spilling from your fax, walk into the living room. There you speak to a giant screen on the wall, part of which instantly becomes a high-quality TV monitor. When you leave for work, you carry a smart wallet, a computer the size of a credit card. When you come home, you slip on special eyeglasses and stroll through a completely artificial world.' They got a great deal right, like the spread of optical disk usage, the internet (ISDN), and parallel processing."

    I get custom RSS feeds, that pretty much counts as a custom newspaper for me. I've seen voice-controlled switches and HDTVs, wouldn't surprise me that some people have connected the two. American Express makes Blue, a credit card that is quite really a computer. I haven't seen the virtual world like described, but most MMORPGs would count if your monitor is big enough.

    Wow. I never thought predictions of the new millennium would be accurate. Turns out they were mostly right. :O
  • 2001: A web oddysey (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <<spydermann.slashdot> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @08:17PM (#14621781) Homepage Journal
    The prediction guys aren't quite wrong. they just got some ideas 10 or 20 years ahead.

    Voice recognition: Check.
    E-paper on the wall: Kinda, but the technology's there.
    3-D glasses: Well um...

    Vast amounts of information: "With instant referencing of thousands of volumes of information, computing will be like working with an army of electronic elves, all ready to fetch in a flash any tidbit you like."

    They got it half right... had they thought about the internet, they might have figured about Google and Wikipedia. No, Encarta doesn't count. It sucks :P

    "It'll also allow you to store audio and video". DivX - check :)
    ""You'll be able to capture segments of a show you like, cut them out, and put them in a video report for school."
    TiVo is here :) but companies' interests kinda screwed that up. However, Google video search is here, too :)

    Hmmm. Pretty interesting.
    • > computing will be like working with an army of electronic elves

      So Packet Loss occurs because of the underpant gnomes?(or should we call them transport layer gnomes instead?)

      1. steal tcp packet
      2. ???
      3. profit

    • I saw many demos, at SC|05, of 3D glasses using polarized light from a single monitor using polarized light. It was actually very good. You can do full colour, because the glasses are not colour filters. In fact, you can get a wider range of colours, because the different views needn't use the same colour for the same pixel. The effect is vastly superior to the two colour glasses and doesn't leave you with the headaches that the shutter-glasses (where each eye was blanked alternately) did.

      The drawback is th

      • I don't think direct-to-retina laser displays are likely.

        A few flight simulators from back in the late 1980's projected laser imagery directly onto the pilot's retina. It was pretty tricky technology though.

        In order to create a bright enough image while scanning the entire retina, you needed a laser that would damage the retina if it ever STOPPED scanning and just sat in one place for a while. (Imagine a 1000 scan-line display that would be bright enough to look good...now imagine the vertical scanning de
    • by Anonymous Coward
      >""You'll be able to capture segments of a show you like, cut them out, and put them in a video report for school."

      Ha! And you'll get hit with an IP lawsuit the very next day... (if it takes then even *that* long).
    • >computing will be like working with an army of electronic elves

      A mutinous army it seems (on most days)
  • by SeanTobin (138474) <byrdhuntr@nOspam.hotmail.com> on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @08:18PM (#14621786)
    From TFA:
    McBride, however, disagreed, saying litigation doesn't benefit artists.

    "Litigation is not 'artist development,'" McBride said. "Litigation is a deterrent to creativity and passion and it is hurting the business I love. The current actions of the RIAA are not in my artists' best interests."
    So now I'm supposed to cheer for someone named McBride?
  • by real gumby (11516) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @08:46PM (#14621972)
    1989 is calling. They want their 2001 back.
  • by lilmouse (310335) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @08:53PM (#14622016)
    It's funny how so many of the things fortold in 1989 aren't around today - but not because of technological limitations! Consider these:

    • Desktop libraries - sure, we've got wikipedia, but not in 2001, and there is still *vast* amounts of stuff out there we can't have today. Why not? IP.
    • Remote controls that let you automatically record a set of TV shows. Sure, there's Tivo...but even Tivo doesn't want you to be able to watch this stuff whenever you want! You're expected to pay money for it.


    So many people dreamed of unfettered access to vast amounts of knowledge thanks to the internet... And we do have vast amount of access - but no authoritative, complete libraries at our fingertips. Companies have managed to lay claim to information, and it's no longer shared with everyone, but kept in chains.

    Welcome to the 21st century!

    --LWM
    • Remote controls that let you automatically record a set of TV shows. Sure, there's Tivo...but even Tivo doesn't want you to be able to watch this stuff whenever you want!

      MythTV certainly lets you do whatever you want with your recordings. Or do only commercial solutions count?

      And we do have vast amount of access - but no authoritative, complete libraries at our fingertips.

      We're probably there in terms of what many people in 1989 were thinking of. If you need to find out about something you can do

    • They DID get a surprising amount correct, though. The big thing they missed out on is the internet (and the ubiquity of it). It supplants a lot of their other predictions.

      Their pridictions about optical storage going up 50x in size from 656MB was a bit off. By 2001, I think we only had DVD-RW, a mere ~15x increase. By 2006, though, we've got 50GB BluRay rewritables, a 78x increase. So they were just off by a few years.

      Another interesting thing they got right was CD-ROMs being able to store higher quality so
      • by sbaker (47485) * on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:19AM (#14623459) Homepage
        Many of their predictions are wrong because we realised we didn't WANT these things.

        I could certainly rather easily build a system to print me a custom newspaper from the web - but who actually wants that. Most people's reaction would be "What a waste of Fax paper". If we want news - on any conceivable topic - at any time of day or night - it's right there on the web.

        We could have voice-operated devices - but most people either feel embarassed by them - or they realise that the damned things won't work when there is a lot of other noise around - or that you'd say: "I don't think much of the format of this web site"...only to find their laptop saying "Format started....Format complete". Voice commands only work in the human world because we maintain eye contact - or have a lot of personal context surrounding a command. In a busy 'cube farm' type of office, having everyone issuing voice commands would *suck*. We have pretty good voice recognition - but we USE it mostly only for automated telephone response services and such.

        We do have large screen TV's - but we prefer to reserve that screen for entertainment because it's got a big comfey sofa in front of it - and use a smaller screen with an ergonomic office chair, a keyboard and mouse for doing computing stuff. If one part of the family is watching TV, they don't want an inset view of me buying stuff on eBay distracting them in one corner of the screen.

        The problem wasn't that they misjudged the technological capabilities of the year 2001 - they basically applied Moores Law kinds of prediction and nailed that pretty accurately. It was that they failed to think through the consequences of those technologies in terms of what people actually WANT out of their lives.
        • We have pretty good voice recognition - but we USE it mostly only for automated telephone response services and such.

          Maybe other implementations of it are better, but the ones I've encountered on the telephone systems suck a$$. They can almost never recognize my voice, and it is so bad that I usually give the phone to my wife if she's around because they can usually understand her. It is rather annoying to be anywhere around people and have to carry on this conversation just to get some movie listings.

          "mo

        • They were right about the customized newspapers, though. They essentially describe RSS-by-fax. Keep in mind that the internet didn't exist in the 1980s, so fax seemed the logical method of delivery.
          • We had usenet and bulletin boards - for news delivery, they could approximate the Internet pretty well.
            • I don't think you could compare 1989 usenet and bulletin boards to something like Digg or Google News. Usenet and bulletin boards are also not customized. Unless you consider reading a dozen different newsgroups to be customized.

              With an RSS aggregator, you choose the subjects you're interested in and they all arrive in one go.

              On the other hand, for all I know, there was some BBS that specialized in aggregating news from various newsgroups. Still, network access wasn't as prevalent then as the internet is no
  • I've given this a bit of thought, and it seems to me that the term "planet" demands that the object have some special property that sets it apart from all the countless bodies in a solar system.

    The only thing I can think of that makes sense in light of these new objects being discovered in the outer solar system is that the object must dominate its orbit. This excludes Pluto, since it crosses the orbit of Neptune, but that seems to be a much more elegant solution than the mental gymnastics it takes to inclu
    • Actually, Pluto only seems to cross Neptune's orbit if everything's drawn in two dimensions. In a three-dimaensional view, it's clear that the orbits don't really cross even though there are times that Pluto's nearer to the Sun than Neptune, such as happened at the end of the last century. Even if Pluto and Neptune were right at the "crossing point" at the same time, they'd still be several billion miles apart.
      • I realize that (or they would have collided or passed close enough that Pluto would get captured or flung out of the solar system long ago), but Pluto passes closer to the Sun than Neptune, meaning that it doesn't account for most of the mass at that distance from the Sun.
        • Pluto passes closer to the Sun than Neptune, meaning that it doesn't account for most of the mass at that distance from the Sun.

          And this means what? Considering that Pluto is closer to the Sun than Neptune for something less than 1/10 of its orbit, I find it hard to see why it's at all significant.

    • The only thing I can think of that makes sense in light of these new objects being discovered in the outer solar system is that the object must dominate its orbit.

      IMHO, we should call such objects a planet only if there are inhabitants. This is why the moon is not a planet but Pluto is (check the litterature about the light red Plutonians). That said, no one knows if there are inhabitants on UB313, even less how to call them.
    • Pluto's orbit doesn't actually go anywhere near that of Neptune, it's only when you project things into two dimensions that it looks like that.

      Personally, I say open the floodgates. If it's large enough that its gravity makes it round, it's a planet. That goes for Ceres and Vesta too.

  • No... 3000km with the resolution they have does not equate 1,864 miles.. I think there is probably at most 2 significant digits in the 3000. So... 1900 or 2000 miles would likely be much better number. I wonder where they recruit science writers....
  • by jonwil (467024) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @10:12PM (#14622468)
    They got some right and some wrong.

    Optical disks DID take off in a big way.
    Digital libraries DID arrive (although google and wikipedia and the like appeared instead of the vision of optical disks full of information, mostly thanks to the .com boom and the broadband revolution.
    HDTV is here on the tech side but the content providers are holding it back by instisting on locking it up with copy protection.

    ISDN as a protocol didnt really take off, it got replaced by Fibre Optic links, DSL, Cable and Wireless. But the idea of a global interconnected network did arrive.

    We still dont have the vision of a true "multimedia" center yet (people dont want to use their computer, email, internet etc in the living room, they want to do it in the office). Although devices like the X-Box with XBMC or MCE, Tivo and others are moving towards the idea of being able to have ALL your media in one place (although again the media corps want to lock it up with copy protection and stop all this)

    Best quote from the article "The personal computer as we know it will persist longer in the home than in business," he predicts. "But by 1996-1997, they'll start to disappear. They'll become a low-end commodity like the typewriter". Like thats gonna happen.

    Also "Movies will probably be squirted into the home through the telecommunications lines and compressed into eight seconds on the erasable disk in your living room". Yeah right, like hollywood is going to allow THAT to happen :)

    Voice Recognition has never really taken off, probobly because its such a pain in the ass to use. (plus, in order for it to be accurate, you have to spend a large amount of time training it to recognize your voice).

    The VCR isnt dead yet but the Tivo and friends are clearly gaining. If they werent so expensive, I would buy one just so I could record all the stuff I cant watch because I have to go to work.

    Home automation by computer never quite made it, no idea why though. (cost?)

    The musings on portability reflect PDAs like palms and pocket PCs perfectly. They didnt get the whole "students at school and uni will be using computers instead of pen and paper" thing right though (probobly because portable computers still arent affordable enough to give to students to use)

    Virtual worlds (including the idea of eyeglass-type HUDs) never really took off because science hasnt yet overcome the motion sicness & headache problems that VR machines cause.

    Laser printers never became a fixture in the home when the Ink Jet printer became the affordable option (dot-matrix printers seem to have gone the way of the dodo so they got that bit right)

    The prediction of hypertext encyclopedias is dead on (look at Wikipedia as well as the cd-rom encyclopedias from companies like britannica and world book)

    Seems like the area where they made the most wrong guesses is in the area of the "digital home" where everything is connected and talking to each other and where your TV set can flash an icon in the corner to let you know that important email you were waiting for has just arrived or where your fridge can tell the supermarket computer that you are out of milk and to put it on the shopping list.
    • The wall-sized TV that doesn't require a darkened room has been a fantasy since the 1950s. We finally do have flat-screen TV sets you can hang on the wall (though this still requires rather big bolts). And there is the Panasonic 103 inch flat panel. [gizmag.co.uk] But we're not there yet.

      (Larry Ellison actually did have a wall-sized sunlight-visible TV in his old house. It used a projector intended for much larger screens.)

  • "Open source advocates have blasted the offer because it lacks the knowledge required to interoperate with Windows behind its IP licensing, thus making it unusable."

    I'm sure the submitter meant to write 'locks'. But this version was worth a chuckle.

  • by saskboy (600063) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @11:49PM (#14623021) Homepage Journal
    I can't understand how Atari missed predicting Duke Nukem Forever!

    And they said nothing about a 10th planet being on the faxed paper too.
  • eyedb (Score:3, Informative)

    by lovebyte (81275) * <lovebyte2000@@@gmail...com> on Thursday February 02, 2006 @04:06AM (#14623983) Homepage
    On the subject of open sourcing database management system, I would like to mention that eyedb [eyedb.org], an OODBMS, has just been released under the LGPL. (I know the main author).
  • by slapout (93640)
    You wake up, scan the custom newspaper that's spilling from your fax, walk into the living room

    Hak.5 had a segment where they did that very thing (except it was from the printer and not the fax).
  • Hmmmm. The poster links to an article from 29-Jun-05. That article appeared the same day as the OMB's original announcement. So, how is this an update of the original announcement from seven months ago?

"Though a program be but three lines long, someday it will have to be maintained." -- The Tao of Programming

Working...