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'Star Wars: Episode VII' Gets a Name

PCM2 Re:Pretty cool (267 comments)

The Jedi were cool and popular and mysterious. Once you got to see them in council meetings... well, takes a bit of the mystique out of it.

What kid wouldn't dream of being a Jedi once he finds out they use their incredible powers and wisdom to go around the Galaxy sorting out tax disputes?

about three weeks ago
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'Star Wars: Episode VII' Gets a Name

PCM2 Re:Pretty cool (267 comments)

The second and third films are much better.

Joking, surely. Attack of the Clones is unwatchable.

about three weeks ago
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'Star Wars: Episode VII' Gets a Name

PCM2 Re:No thank you (267 comments)

I agree. It was completely unrecognizable as Star Trek. It was blasto-shoot-em-up-mega-action-wowzer-movie IN SPACE. There were no characters and it had the barest shreds of a plot.

about three weeks ago
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Amazon's Echo: a $200, Multi-Function, Audio-Centric Device

PCM2 Re:Jack of all trades (129 comments)

Masters of only one (Let Kindle Slide). Online Shopping. I simply do not understand all of these devices that Amazon is trying to pimp.

I think you do. You just don't realize that these are tools for online shopping. Buy a Kindle, get all of your ebooks from Amazon because it doesn't support Epub, which is what all of the other online bookstores are using. Buy a Fire or a Kindle HD, get your apps and your movies and your music from Amazon because even though it's Android, it doesn't come with Google Play. Amazon sells a lot of real-world things, but if people are buying digital things now then Amazon wants to make sure it sells a lot of those, too.

about three weeks ago
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Disney Patents a Piracy Free Search Engine

PCM2 Re:Algorithms Can Be Patented (164 comments)

If you don't know how it works, it's only because you haven't bothered to look it up.

Not exactly. You only know how PageRank worked at the very beginning, when it was patented. That is far from "the" Google search algorithm these days. It remains one of the most important ones, and possibly one that's fundamental to how Google's whole search engine works, but they have many, many other algorithms that govern search results today. Most of these are not patented, mainly for the reasons mentioned earlier: If Google patented them, it would have to disclose how they work. Instead, they maintain them as trade secrets, like the formula for Coca-Cola.

In Disney's case, I think it's not really interested in competing with Google. It would much rather Google, Bing, etc look at its patent, say "OK, I can do that if it will get Disney off my back" and implement the patent for little-to-no royalty fees.

about three weeks ago
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Stan Lee Media and Disney Battle For Ownership of Marvel Characters

PCM2 Re:And people who write software (152 comments)

The copyright for a movie character belongs to the production team that created that character, rather than an actor who simply portrayed them in one or more films. Actors own the right to their own image, but when they play a character they are portraying an image that the production company owns - presumably this is covered in their contracts. They can't simply walk down to the mall and hold out a hat dressed as Captain Jack, even if they played that role once.

Whatever you're describing, it has nothing to do with copyright.

about a month ago
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Stan Lee Media and Disney Battle For Ownership of Marvel Characters

PCM2 Re:what a showboat (152 comments)

What is really sad if the inventor of Wolverine or any of the original characters were to draw and post them online to sell, perhaps in retirement for extra cash they'd be sued into bankruptcy.

Totally false. I'm not sure there's a single pro who won't take commissions. Many publish and sell sketchbooks full of drawings of characters owned by companies; nothing happens. If they were to try to sell actually comics stories featuring the companies' characters, that would probably get noticed very quickly, but just drawing characters has never been considered a big deal.

about a month ago
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Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

PCM2 Re:COBOL (387 comments)

one of the biggest steal companies in the world

Do tell. Enron, maybe?

about 3 months ago
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Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

PCM2 Re:Trendy != popular (387 comments)

High frequency trading

Most of the code driving that is written in Haskell

That's weird. The very article you link says most of it is written in C/C++, with a bunch of other stuff thrown in here and there. One guy said he used Visual Basic.

about 3 months ago
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How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

PCM2 Re: TI calculators are not outdated, just overpric (359 comments)

It's not a monopoly. It's just no one wants to learn reverse polish notation to use an HP calculator.

More the fool, they.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Corporate Open Source Policy?

PCM2 Rust (57 comments)

Your comment about "pushing it to a platform like Github where it typically sits and rusts" is telling. What do you think will really change if you just shift when you push your code to Github?

In a nutshell, "if you build it, they will come" is a nice fantasy, nothing more.

Even very high-profile open source projects often have very few contributors outside of the companies that first created them.

And I don't think the problem is that these projects don't get community developers on board soon enough. Why would a hobbyist or other unpaid developer risk devoting time and resources to a project that is mostly vaporware?

The problem is that it's very difficult to get unaffiliated developers to commit to working on something -- especially business software -- when there's no real incentive other than "someday this may end up being a product that your company might decide to evaluate to see if it might be possible to use instead of the commercial alternative that it has already sunk capital into and has been using for the last five years."

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

PCM2 Re:Death bell tolling for thee.... (322 comments)

Sure. Here's a transcript of the earnings call. (You may need to register to read it.)

Nadella does say, early on in his prepared comments, that, "We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes."

Later during the Q&A session, however, he was asked about how this "one version for all devices" would change the number of Windows SKUs that are available, and he said this:

Yes. My statement Heather was more to do with just even the engineering approach. The reality is that we actually did not have one Windows; we had multiple Windows operating systems inside of Microsoft. We had one for phone, one for tablets and PCs, one for Xbox, one for even embedded. So we had many, many of these efforts. So now we have one team with the layered architecture that enables us to in fact one for developers bring that collective opportunity with one store, one commerce system, one discoverability mechanism. It also allows us to scale the UI across all screen sizes; it allows us to create this notion of universal Windows apps and being coherent there.

So that’s what more I was referencing and our SKU strategy will remain by segment, we will have multiple SKUs for enterprises, we will have for OEM, we will have for end-users. And so we will – be disclosing and talking about our SKUs as we get further along, but this my statement was more to do with how we are bringing teams together to approach Windows as one ecosystem very differently than we ourselves have done in the past.

Lots of hedging in there. You don't need a single, converged OS to give developers "one store, one commerce system, one discoverability system." Those are all ancillary functions. A "team with the layered architecture" doesn't sound like every version of Windows is going to share the same layers. And clearly nothing about Windows is going to be simplified from the customer's perspective; there will still be six or eight SKUs, with each offering different benefits.

Rather, I take Nadella's comments to mean he's streamlining the OS engineering group so that the people working on each Windows platform work in tandem with the others and they all have similar goals, milestones, etc (good).

I also take it to mean that Microsoft will offer developers who are building so-called Modern apps a common set of APIs that will be available on the various form factors, so they eventually should only have to write their apps once and they will run on every kind of device. That sounds OK, but it's only going to be true for Windows Store apps -- and to achieve that, you don't need every device to be running an identical OS.

In other words, no Holy Grail here, but Microsoft is streamlining and rationalizing its OS engineering efforts, which makes good sense at this juncture.

about 4 months ago
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Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

PCM2 Re:Death bell tolling for thee.... (322 comments)

They're not talking about the interface. They're talking about the underlying nuts-and-bolts stuff.

No, they're really more talking about the interface. The underlying nuts and bolts are already pretty much the same, in that Windows, Windows RT, and Windows Phone all share the same NT kernel. But above that there is plenty that's different from platform to platform. What Nadella wants to do is unify the development model and allow developers to create apps with UIs that react and readjust depending on the screen size of the device they're running on, much like how modern websites can support multiple screen sizes. All this talk about "one version of Windows" stems from a single, oversimplified comment Nadella made on the earnings call. When asked about it later, he completely backtracked and said there would not be any such thing.

about 4 months ago
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Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

PCM2 Re:OK MS bashers. (322 comments)

I would hope this unification means that there will be suffice emulation built into windows that it will pick the kernel/libs/drivers required by the CPU arch, and userland apps can run in emulation (even if slowly) if they are compiled for the wrong proc. This would be a unified windows, that allows x86 and 64 bit apps run on ARM and vice versa (although the other direction is likely not as useful).

Unfortunately for you, the actual article says the exact opposite of the summary (so what else is new on /.?): Other than the kernel and the app development model, there will be no unified version of Windows. There will always be different flavors of Windows for different kinds of devices and even multiple SKUs of the same version of Windows for different markets (consumer, SMB, enterprise, etc.)

about 4 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

PCM2 Re:Can an "atheist company" refuse too? (1330 comments)

As for roads, most of them were made by private people and companies, long before government got involved.

I give him credit for not reminding you that he never even used the word "government." He said "society." You want rid of that, go live on some forgotten island in Indonesia and see how long you last. Until then, your attitude of "I've got mine, plus all the benefits society gives me as well, so fuck you, Jack" is not just selfish and stupid, it's completely morally bankrupt. You're a turd and you're really not worth anyone's breath.

about 5 months ago
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Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

PCM2 Re:Good bye source compatibility (636 comments)

Good bye source compatibility. We hardly knew ye.
First Windows, and now OSX. I am still maintaining applications that are built crossplatform (Windows/Mac/Linux, with unified GUI look) but it's getting harder every year and, by the looks of it, will be impossible soon.

That's a kinda silly thing to say. Anytime a problem comes up like this, it creates an opportunity for vendors. In the game development world, you have toolkits like Unity. Xamarin is already helping developers port C# code to OS X. And there are and will be lots of other solutions.

And Apple isn't even abandoning support for Objective-C. Nobody is being forced to code in Swift.

about 6 months ago
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TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker

PCM2 Re:UEFI (566 comments)

The developer didn't have time to implement UEFI support, so he's killed the project instead.

But what sense would that make? Why not just say, "Somebody else will have to implement UEFI support, because I'm Audi 5000" and abandon the project where it sits?

about 6 months ago
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Goodbye, Ctrl-S

PCM2 Re:Never used this keystroke (521 comments)

I read an article that Microsoft got rid of the start->shutdown button to turn off your computer. This freaked people out, even though for 15 years you've been able to just hit the power button and it would turn off properly.

Yeah, but isn't it idiotic that to stop everything and shut down your computer, you clicked on "Start"?

about 6 months ago
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Goodbye, Ctrl-S

PCM2 Re:Never used this keystroke (521 comments)

why cant I have a single option, "Expert mode" that disabled ALL the freaking help shit and un-hides all functions?

That might be nice, but it's not hard to disable all of that stuff from the options. I use Word all day, every single day, and I don't ever have to wrestle with it. It does auto-correct some of my typos, too, for which I'm thankful.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can Star Wars Episode VII Be Saved?

PCM2 Re:Midi-chlorians begone! (403 comments)

If anyone can become a jedi, why are jedi special? Their restrictive moral code?

Methinks you need to go back and watch Empire. There's a whole section in the middle with this little green guy that basically is all about your question.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Most projects on GitHub aren't open source licensed

PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

PCM2 (4486) writes "Kids these days just don't care about open source. That's the conclusion of the Software Freedom Law Center's Aaron Williamson, who analyzed some 1.7 million projects on GitHub and found that only about 15% of them had a clearly identifiable license in their top-level directories. And of the projects that did have licenses, the vast majority preferred permissive licenses such as the MIT, BSD, or Apache licenses, rather than the GPL. Has the younger generation given up on ideas like copyleft and Free Software? And if so, what can be done about it?"
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Java exploit patched? Not so fast

PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

PCM2 (4486) writes "The Register reports that Security Explorations' Adam Gowdiak says there is still an exploitable vulnerability in the Java SE 7 Update 7 that Oracle shipped as an emergency patch yesterday. 'As in the case of the earlier vulnerabilities, Gowdiak says, this flaw allows an attacker to bypass the Java security sandbox completely, making it possible to install malware or execute malicious code on affected systems.'"
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Kaspersky researchers seek help identifying Duqu malware

PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

PCM2 (4486) writes "Malware experts from Kaspersky Lab have asked the programming community for help identifying the programming language, compiler, or framework that was used to write an important part of the Duqu Trojan, in the hope that it could reveal clues about who created it or why. "The mysterious programming language is definitively not C++, Objective C, Java, Python, Ada, Lua, and many other languages we have checked," Soumenkov said, adding that Kaspersky's research team has spent countless hours analyzing the code."
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Amazon Cancels Associates Program in California

PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

PCM2 (4486) writes "Residents of California who participate in the Amazon Associates Program received an email today warning them that the program will be terminated as soon as a new California law goes into effect. The law, which CA governor Jerry Brown signed today, would require online retailers to collect sales tax on purchases. According to Amazon's statement, 'We oppose this bill because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It is supported by big-box retailers, most of which are based outside California, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors.'"
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Oracle shuts older servers out of Solaris 11

PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

PCM2 (4486) writes "The Register is reporting that Oracle has decided not to allow Solaris 11 to install on older Sparc hardware, including UltraSparc-I, UltraSparc-II, UltraSparc-IIe, UltraSparc-III, UltraSparc-III+, UltraSparc-IIIi, UltraSparc-IV, and UltraSparc-IV+ processors. The Solaris 11 Express development version released in November did not have this restriction, which suggests that the OS would likely run on these models. Unfortunately, the installer won't. All generations of Sparc T series processors and Sparc Enterprise M machines will be able to install and run Solaris 11, however."
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Microsoft seeks more influence over PC hardware

PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

PCM2 writes "If you thought Microsoft's days of strongarming the PC industry were over, think again. As Windows 8 approaches, Microsoft wants to "work more closely" with hardware vendors to make sure their products are aligned with Redmond's expectations. Among the things Microsoft wants its say in are "such details as the aspect ratio they choose for displays, where buttons and radio antennas are located, and even the width of the bezel, or rim, around the edge of the screen.""
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Anatomy of the HBGary hack

PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

PCM2 (4486) writes "Recently, Anonymous took down the Web sites of network security firm HBGary. Ars Technica has the scoop on how it happened. Turns out it wasn't any one vulnerability, but a perfect storm of SQL injection, weak passwords, weak encryption, password re-use, unpatched servers, and social engineering. The full story will make you wince — but how many of these mistakes is your company making?"
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Secret Service runs at "six sixes" availability

PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

PCM2 (4486) writes "ABC News is reporting that the U.S. Secret Service is in dire need of server upgrades. "Currently, 42 mission-oriented applications run on a 1980s IBM mainframe with a 68 percent performance reliability rating," says one leaked memo. That finding was the result of an NSA study commissioned by the Secret Service to evaluate the severity of their computer problems. Curiously, upgrades to the Service's computers are being championed by Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who says he's had "concern for a while" about the issue."
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No water for you at Google HQ

PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  about 5 years ago

PCM2 (4486) writes "Whether it’s free laundry service, a loaner umbrella when it’s raining, a loaner bicycle to get from building to building, or a help-yourself bucket of gummi worms, Google provides everything — if you're a Google employee, that is. But as I learned last week, visitors aren't so lucky — especially if all you want is a drink of water. It seems Google has 'gone Green,' and the rest of us should just shut up and drink our juice."
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Seth McFarlane special loses Microsoft sponsorship

PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  about 5 years ago

PCM2 (4486) writes "Variety is reporting that an upcoming comedy special featuring Family Guy stars Seth McFarlane and Alex Borstein has lost sponsorship from Microsoft over 'content concerns.' According to the article, 'The program included MacFarlane and Alex Borstein — the voice of "Family Guy" matriarch Lois — pitching Windows 7. For most of the special, however, MacFarlane and Borstein made typical "Family Guy"-style jokes, including riffs on deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest. Such material was apparently a bit much for Microsoft.' More interesting, perhaps, is the revelation that Microsoft has inked a deal with "a wide range of News Corp. properties to promote the launch of the computer giant's Windows 7 operating system.""
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Roger Ebert Slams Ben Stein, Creationism

PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

PCM2 writes "Film critic Roger Ebert has posted a long, scathing, often hilarious editorial lambasting game show host Ben Stein and "Expelled," the pro-Intelligent Design film he helped to produce. It's well worth a read (as Ebert's work often is). From the editorial: "Ben Stein, you hosted a TV show on which you gave away money. Imagine that I have created a special edition of 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' just for you ... you are faced with two choices: (A) Darwin's Theory of Evolution, or (B) Intelligent Design. Because this is a special edition of the program, you can use a Hotline to telephone every scientist on Earth who has an opinion on this question. You discover that 99.975 of them agree on the answer (A). A million bucks hangs in the balance. The clock is ticking. You could use the money. Which do you choose? You, a firm believer in the Constitution, are not intimidated and exercise your freedom of speech. You choose (B).""
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Roundtable on the State of Open Source

PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

PCM2 writes "InfoWorld is running a massive round-table discussion on the past, present, and future directions for open source software. It suffers somewhat from strange pagination, but it consists of seven individual questions/topics that span several pages each (printer-friendly versions available). Among the participants are Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, and representatives from a number of companies, including MySQL's Zack Urlocker, Google's Chris DiBona, and even Microsoft's Sam Ramji. It's interesting reading with plenty of nuggets — ESR can't resist a dig on the FSF, for example, while DiBona thinks Ubuntu is just about perfect."
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Supercomputer conquers Rubik's Cube

PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

PCM2 writes "New Scientist reports that, like checkers before it, the Rubik's Cube has now been 'solved' via computer analysis. According to scientists at Boston's Northeastern University, any Rubik's Cube position can be returned to a fully-solved state in just 26 moves. Pretty amazing for an object that has a reported 43 quintillion combinations — but then again, not necessarily surprising if you've ever watched a Rubik's Cube competition."
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PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

PCM2 writes "Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period. Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena."
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PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

PCM2 writes "The Associated Press is reporting that Robert Santangelo, a 16-year-old who has been sued by the RIAA for file sharing and piracy, has raised 32 defenses to the organization's claims, including that 'the record companies, which have filed more than 18,000 piracy lawsuits in federal courts, "have engaged in a wide-ranging conspiracy to defraud the courts of the United States."' The documents go on to suggest that the music industry is "a cartel" and is in violation of U.S. anti-trust laws. Santangelo has also filed a counter-claim against the RIAA for defamation and legal fees."
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PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  about 8 years ago

PCM2 writes "Old-time Mac OS programmers will remember when Apple first released its groundbreaking Human Interface Guidelines, which described how developers could give a consistent UI to their Mac software. Fast-forward to today and Microsoft is doing something similar with its much-touted new UI for Office. Only in Redmond's case, the UI must be licensed to each developer. Among the terms of the license: 'The Design Guidelines are Microsoft's confidential information. As long as they remain confidential, you cannot disclose them to anyone else without Microsoft's prior written approval ... This license contains no sub-license rights.' Apparently the UI is valuable Microsoft intellectual property."
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PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  about 8 years ago

PCM2 writes "Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian has issued an open letter to the press and Linux community addressing some of the concerns about his company's recent deal with Microsoft. From the letter: "We disagree with the recent statements made by Microsoft on the topic of Linux and patents. Importantly, our agreement with Microsoft is in no way an acknowledgment that Linux infringes upon any Microsoft intellectual property. When we entered the patent cooperation agreement with Microsoft, Novell did not agree or admit that Linux or any other Novell offering violates Microsoft patents.""
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PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

PCM2 writes "It's not Oracle Linux, but Larry Ellison has announced that Oracle will be providing full enterprise support for Linux. This means not just phone calls but also patches, security fixes, and backports, in addition to indemnification from lawsuits like SCO's. This puts Oracle in direct competition with its erstwhile partner, Red Hat, whose entire business is based on providing similar support for its Linux distro and related software."
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PCM2 PCM2 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

PCM2 (4486) writes "At the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco today, Dell unveiled its first servers running AMD Opteron CPUs. Both a two-socket and four-socket model were introduced. The announcement had been preceded, earlier in the day, by a keynote address from AMD's CEO, Hector Ruiz."

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