If Microsoft buys Github, there are alternatives.

If you're plugged into the open source or business communities to any degree, you've probably heard buzz that Microsoft is considering buying Github, an online service with a history of having a toxic work environment due to pervasive sexual harassment but still remains the de facto core of collaboration of the open source community - source code hosting, ticket tracking, archival, release management, documentation, project webpage hosting, and generally learning how to use the Git version control system.  At this point it's unclear if they're considering merely investing in the company (currently valued in the neighborhood of $5bus) or buying it …

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Another possible solution to an NP-complete problem?

A couple of days ago a research team comprised of faculty at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the University of Southampton in the UK, and IQFR-CSIC in Madrid, Spain published a paper containing a creative solution to a problem known to be NP-complete, namely a version of the traveling salesman problem. The TSP, in summary, postulates a scenario in which you have an arbitrary number of towns spread over a large area and an arbitrary number of paths connecting them. What is the shortest possible path one can take in which the traveler visits each town only once and returns …

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Implications of the Megaupload takedown.

It came as something of a surprise to those of us following the defeat and subsequent cold storage of SOPA that, just a day later one of the largest file locker websites on the Net, megaupload.com was shut down by the FBI. Data centers in Virginia, Washington DC, New Zealand, and Hong Kong were raided by law enforcement and their cages in those centers were cleaned out. Every last server chugging away in those facilities was seized, and are in the queue for forensic analysis right now. Just a day after Megaupload went dark over a dozen others voluntarily …

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MySpace selling user data on the open market.

MySpace, one of the biggest and best known social networking websites on the Net has announced that they'll be putting volumes of their users' data for sale on the open market. An outfit called Infochimps, which specializes in such bodies of data as stock market trading activity archives, political statistics, public service usage surveys, and social network data dumps will be handling the sales. The data will include such user generated content as playlists of music, posted photographs, blog posts, and users' stated locations. Some of the data dumps will even be organized by the (approximate) latitude and longitude of …

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