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Graphics

+ - Making the GIMP Suck Less-> 1

Submitted by GIMPFan
GIMPFan (1125449) writes "Most people who have ever tried the GIMP know that its UI leaves much to be desired. Thankfully, at least one person is doing something about it. Usability expert Michael Terry has created an instrumented version of the GIMP called ingimp. The key feature of ingimp is that it collects usability data in order to determine how people are using (or struggling to use) the GIMP. This data is made available on the ingimp site so that researchers can study usability in the GIMP, which can hopefully lead to improved usability of the GIMP.

Terry also recently gave a talk on his project. In his talk, he emphasizes that the user's privacy is a key consideration of the project. He notes that contrary to most usage-collecting applications, ingimp is open-source and that the collected data is available to anyone. He also notes that Inkscape is also very interested in creating an instrumented version."

Link to Original Source
Microsoft

Microsoft Readies Cheaper 360 249

Posted by Zonk
from the i-think-they-had-this-ready dept.
Officially Microsoft is putting on a brave face, saying they won't drop the 360's price even in the console's weakest market: Japan. Just the same (probably in anticipation of Sony's PS3 price drop), the San Jose Mercury news says the company is secretly working on preparing a lower cost Xbox 360 SKU. Called 'Falcon', it's a cost-reduced system using 65nm chips instead of the at-launch 90nm electronics. This ties right into Michael Pachter's expectation of such a cut; it should be noted he doesn't see the DS or Wii prices moving any time soon. Related to all of this, Newsweek's LevelUp blog has two great interviews today: a Peter Moore discussion harkening back to last week's warranty announcement, and a chat with Jack Tretton about the price cut and the 360's hardware issues.
Announcements

+ - Free Product Recall Information By E-mail

Submitted by
JeremyDuffy
JeremyDuffy writes "The Consumer Product Safety Commission has begun a service that will notify consumers by e-mail of any product safety recalls.

For example, Selina Patten, of Manassas, Va., had a close call when the recalled plastic nail from a Playskool toy tool bench became lodged in the throat of her 3-year-old daughter. She was able to remove the nail before serious injury occurred. She later discovered the product had been recalled after the death of two toddlers, though she did not hear about it.
Note: This requires no registration of any kind! You do not have to tell them what products you have and the only personal information (if you can call it that) that they ask for is an e-mail address. There's also very little chance of them spamming you since they are a government agency. This is a good thing from our government for a change."
KDE

+ - Could KDE 4.0 be the holy grail of Desktops ?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "This article ponders on whether the upcoming KDE 4.0 could indeed be the holy grail of Desktops. One of the most repeated complaints by a section of Linux enthusiasts is the perceived complexity of KDE when compared with its popular counterpart Gnome. The author of the article wonders whether incorporating the simple but functional File manager Dolphin is a sure sign that the KDE developers are gunning for KDE 4.0 to be everything for all sections of Linux/Unix users be they power users like Linus Torvalds or the grandmas and grandpas."
Biotech

MIT Shows How to Shut Down Brain With Light 223

Posted by samzenpus
from the men-in-black dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The MIT home-page story today is about a way to use light to shut down brain activity. "Scientists at the MIT Media Lab have invented a way to reversibly silence brain cells using pulses of yellow light, offering the prospect of controlling the haywire neuron activity that occurs in diseases such as epilepsy and Parkinson's disease."
Security

+ - Secure Programming Exams launched

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The SANS Institute, in conjunction with organizations such as Siemens, Symantec, Juniper, OWASP, and Virginia Tech, has announced a program for testing whether programmers know how to write secure code. The Secure Programming Skills Assessment is split into separate language families (C/C++, Java/J2EE, Perl/PHP, and ASP/.NET). Director of research Alan Paller says "This assessment and certification program will help programmers learn what they don't know, and help organizations identify programmers who have solid security skills." The pilot exam will be held in Washington DC in August, followed by a "global rollout."

http://www.sans-ssi.org/

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2007/03 /post_4.html"
Emulation (Games)

+ - Linux OS specific to gaming?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Now that Dell has a (supposed) plan to get Linux onto a more mainstream market, I find myself wondering again on when I'll be completely free of the shackles put on by Microsoft. However, the one huge hurdle that still binds me to its chains is games. I've already looked into WINE and, although it seems to have made a lot of progress so far, the range of games being supported still seems to be limited. Is there any other Linux or Linux supported software being developed specifically focused on supporting gaming?"
Media

+ - Make Internet Better By Killing Anonymity

Submitted by
tommyss
tommyss writes "CoolTechZone.com has a new piece on that talks about killing anonymity to keep the Internet civil. Will it work? "You may have heard about the Kathy Sierra case, which has been spreading in the blogosphere like wildfire for the past couple of days. In case you haven't heard about the news, here's a quick synopsis. Sierra, a prominent female blogger, decided to withdraw from participating in a workshop at O'Reilly's Emerging Technology Conference and decided to stop writing on her blog because of the death threats and crude sexual comments that she has received in the course of four weeks. Obviously these comments were made anonymously on Sierra's blog and on two other sites."
Sony

+ - Sony DRM Strikes Again?

Submitted by
Insomnia Slim
Insomnia Slim writes "It seems that "Stranger Than Fiction," "Casino Royale" and a few other newly minted DVDs from Sony Pictures are stalling or crashing DVD players in the past week. So far, it's been reported on my personal blog, a review blog, and an Amazon.com review page.

What is going on here? Are we experiencing yet another attempt at (not so) surreptitious DRM?"
GNU is Not Unix

+ - Torvals "pretty pleased" With Latest GPL v

Submitted by
Novus Ordo Seclorum
Novus Ordo Seclorum writes "According to c|net, Linus Torvalds is "pretty pleased" with the current GPL v3 draft. After his earlier criticism, some had questioned whether such controversies would lead to rifts in the community, especially if the kernel ended up under a different license than the GNU tools. But now, thanks to the latest revisions, Linus will entertain moving the kernel over to the GPL v3."
Games

Mario and Sonic Make History in New Olympic Game 93

Posted by Zonk
from the dogs-and-cats-living-together-mass-hysteria dept.
YokimaSun writes "SEGA. and Nintendo today made a historical announcement that two of the biggest icons in the entertainment industry, Mario and Sonic, are joining forces to star in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. 'In Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, players will compete in events that take place in environments based on the official venues of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Using a supporting cast of characters from the amazing worlds of both Mario and Sonic, gamers will be able to compete as or against a range of lovable personalities including Mario, Sonic, Luigi, Knuckles, Yoshi, Tails and more. Innovative usage of the Wii and DS control systems to maneuver a favourite character will allow players to race the likes of Mario and Sonic down the 100m track, engage in exhilarating rallies in table tennis and churn water in a swimming heat, all while competing for the much sought after gold medal.'" Has to be better than the usual Olympic Game titles, which have been categorically awful.
Programming

+ - 3d Graphics, the math everyone should know

Submitted by
holden
holden writes "Graphics programming is seen as the cool thing by a large number of people. A lot of confusion arises when people attempt to do 3d graphics programming without the proper mathematical background in basic linear algebra. Christopher Evensen recently gave a talk covering covering the important fundamentals. The math is also accompanied by a real world programming example (yay 3d astroids!)."

I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ... -- F. H. Wales (1936)

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