The Top 17 Signs Your Mom Is Actually Your Dad
The President Made Me Do It


by Craig Reynolds

Apple gives Windows the boot: tech tongues have been wagging since Apple released a public beta of Boot Camp a pre-release feature of Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) that will allow you to dual boot your Intel-based Mac to Windows XP. (MS software definitely NOT included -- BYOWXP.) The GUI of this "ALT reality" is pure delicious Applesauce, I am confident that never before in the history of computing has there been an easier way to re-partition a live disk. Probably the main motivation for Boot Camp is to encourage fence-sitting "switchers" who want to use Macs, but have a few Windows apps they just can't do without. Virtual PC used to be the best bet, but that became a victim of the move to Intel based Macs (but see Parallels Workstation 2.1 Beta). Certainly there is no risk that Mac users will boot XP then forget to came back (as IF!). There is a typically well-reasoned analysis of Boot Camp and its implications at Daring Fireball. Back when Intel-based Macs were first introduced, there was a lot of speculation about whether the new OS X could be run on non-Apple hardware. Boot Camp is definitely not that capability, but Cringely suggests it might be down the road.

The X-ray observatory never blinks: This struck me as such a very clever idea: normally telescopes alternate between observation and "slewing" into position for the next observation. These two states are mutually exclusive and in fact the instrument is traditionally shuttered during the slew to protect the optics. But operators of the space-based XMM-Newton X-ray observatory realized that keeping the shutter open and recording the data during slew allowed them free sky survey time. This lets them find dynamic phenomena that might otherwise be missed: Telescope profits from 'downtime'.

Canonical MIT/Caltech hack: MIT likes to think it has a friendly rivalry with its Cambridge neighbor Harvard, while Harvard mostly ignores MIT. Similarly MIT is generally ignored by what it considers its west coast "rival" Caltech. MIT also has a rich history of hacks. So it must have made the MIT geeks' hearts swell with pride to be the target of several hacks by Caltech in 2005. Finally, some "respect"! Now MIT hackers (aka the Howe Et Ser Moving Company) have pulled off a 3000 miles transplant of Caltech's 130-year-old 2-ton Fleming cannon (more here). The big gun appeared Thursday morning, just in time for the start of Campus Preview Weekend. Note the exquisite workmanship on the "brass rat" (the MIT class ring) that adorns the barrel.

Technobits: Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room --- Seeking changes to the DMCA --- openDRM: not quite as odious as proprietary DRM --- from Mr. PGP, really secure VoIP: A Pretty Good Way to Foil the NSA --- Intellectual Property Run Amok --- Firefox breaks 10 percent, Safari comes in third --- MIT Researchers Build Tiny Batteries With Viruses --- Arctic fossils mark move to land --- spicy chemotherapy --- How Islamic inventors changed the world.