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Games

+ - Build Your Own Left4Dead Map With Google Sketchup

Submitted by notthatwillsmith
notthatwillsmith (1083667) writes "Do you love Left4Dead? Ever wanted to build a zombie-filled map of your hometown, office, or grocery store? Maximum PC just posted a how-to that shows you how to convert photos of real world locations into ready-to-play L4D 1 or 2 maps. It's everything you need to know in order to kill zombies with your friends, in the comfort of your own backyard."
Upgrades

+ - How Revolutionary Hardware Shaped the Modern PC

Submitted by notthatwillsmith
notthatwillsmith (1083667) writes "Maximum PC just posted its timeline of the most important desktop PC components of the last fifteen years. This is the hardware that shaped the modern computing era. From groundbreaking processors to game-changing 3D accelerators to the venerable dial-up modem, these were the must-have parts for any PC-building enthusiast. Who wasn't envious of the first kid on the block who bought an Obsidian X24 graphics card or the first consumer-level dual-CPU motherboard?"
Intel

+ - The History of x86 CPUs: From 8086 to Core i7

Submitted by notthatwillsmith
notthatwillsmith (1083667) writes "This marks the 31st year of the x86 architecture's iron grip on the personal computer. To celebrate, Maximum PC has posted a visual retrospective of x86-compatible CPUs, starting with the original 8086, documenting the rise of the 486-compatible chips, Intel's Netburst failure and the subsequent dominance of the Athlon 64, all the way up to the modern monolithic quad-core designs of today."
Software

+ - Twitter on Scala->

Submitted by
machaut
machaut writes "Twitter, one of the highest profile Ruby on Rails-backed websites on the internet, has in the past year started replacing some of their Ruby infrastructure with an emerging language called Scala. Although they still prefer Ruby on Rails for user-facing web applications, they have started replacing Ruby daemon servers with Scala alternatives, and plan to eventually serve API requests, which comprise the majority of their traffic, with Scala not Ruby. This week several articles have appeared that discuss this shift at Twitter. A technical interview of three Twitter developers was published on Artima. One of those developers, Alex Payne, Twitter's API lead, gave a talk on this subject at the Web 2.0 Expo this week. His talk was covered in articles at Technology Review, Internet Evolution, and The Register."
Link to Original Source
Hardware Hacking

+ - Build Your Own Multi-Touch Tabletop "Surface&# 1

Submitted by notthatwillsmith
notthatwillsmith (1083667) writes "We've all seen the nifty demos of Microsoft's Surface PC, but you may not have known that you can build your own multi-touch tabletop PC today. Maximum PC details the process, showing how you can build the cabinet and combine that with a standard PC, a decent projector, about $350 worth of assorted hardware (cameras, lenses, mirrors, and screens), and a handful of free apps to build your own Surface-like PC--without giving Microsoft $10,000."
Wireless Networking

+ - SPAM: Largest high-tech tornado chase ever set to spin

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "Next month, with the help of a variety of high-tech gear, researchers will begin a wide-ranging project to better understand the origin, structure and evolution of tornadoes with the ultimate goal of being able to better predict when the destructive storms will happen and get people out of harms way faster. The National Science Foundation has given $9.1 million to the project known as Verification Of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment 2, or more simply, VORTEX2, which will take place from May 10-June 13. Researchers say Vortex2 is the largest attempt in history to study tornadoes, and will involve more than 50 scientists and 40 research vehicles, including 10 mobile radars covering 900 square miles of ground in southern South Dakota, western Iowa, eastern Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, the Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source
Windows

+ - Top Windows Tips: Tested & Approved (or Debunk

Submitted by notthatwillsmith
notthatwillsmith (1083667) writes "Power users everywhere hear about "killer" Windows tips all the time. Whether it's clearing your prefetch cache to improve app load times or cleaning the Registry to make your rig more reliable, it can be difficult to separate the tips that actually deliver hard benefits from the tweaks that do more harm than good. The folks at Maximum PC took to the lab to separate good Windows tips from bad: testing each of the 25 most popular Windows tips to see if they actually do what they claim. The bad tips get debunked and they provide step-by-step instructions for the winners."
Intel

+ - Intel Unveils Core i7 - The Verdict: It's Fast!

Submitted by notthatwillsmith
notthatwillsmith (1083667) writes "After showing sneak peeks of it's new Core i7 CPU for the last year, Intel's finally ready to ship its first monolithic quad-core chips. Core i7 uses an all-new design than the previous CPU speed king, the Core 2 Quad. Previously, Intel's quad-cores were built from two discrete dies soldered onto a single CPU package. Because the chips could only communicate with each other across the slow front-side bus, performance suffered. Core i7 puts all four CPUs on a single piece of silicon and further cranks memory performance by integrating an high-speed, triple-channel memory controller on die. How does the new chip perform? The benchmarks show it's a stunner, with Core i7 CPUs blowing away every Core 2 Quad, and nuking AMD's Phenom from orbit. Maximum PC has everything you need to know about Core i7: the complete tech writeup, benchmarks for all the upcoming CPUs, comparisons to the current Core 2 and Phenom quad-cores, and performance numbers for the return of Hyperthreading and Core i7's Turbo mode."
Hardware Hacking

+ - Oil-Immersion Cooled PCs Goes To Retail

Submitted by
notthatwillsmith
notthatwillsmith writes "Everyone's seen mods where someone super-cools a PC by submersing it in a non-conductive oil. It's a neat idea, but most components aren't designed to withstand a hot oil bath; after prolonged exposure materials break down and components begin to fail. Maximum PC has an exclusive hands-on, first look at the new Hardcore Computer Reactor, the first oil-cooled PC available for sale. Hardcore engineered the Reactor to withstand the oil, using space-age materials and proprietary oil. The Reactor's custom-manufactured motherboard, videocards, memory, and SSD drives are submersed in the oil, while the dry components sit outside the bulletproof tank. The motherboard lifts out of the oil bath on rails, giving you relatively easy access to components, and the overall design is simply jaw-dropping. Of course, we'd expect nothing less for a machine with a base price of $4000 that goes all the way up to $11k for a fully maxed out config."
Robotics

+ - New "Buckypaper" is stronger than steel

Submitted by BigGar'
BigGar' (411008) writes "From CNN article: It's called "buckypaper" and looks a lot like ordinary carbon paper, but don't be fooled by the cute name or flimsy appearance. It could revolutionize the way everything from airplanes to TVs are made. Buckypaper is 10 times lighter but potentially 500 times stronger than steel when sheets of it are stacked and pressed together to form a composite. Unlike conventional composite materials, though, it conducts electricity like copper or silicon and disperses heat like steel or brass.

Looks like they're able to manufacuter some small quantities but are still working on strengthening the product, etc from the article:

So far, the Florida State institute has been able to produce buckypaper with half the strength of the best existing composite material, known as IM7. Wang expects to close the gap quickly.
"By the end of next year we should have a buckypaper composite as strong as IM7, and it's 35 percent lighter," Wang said.
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/10/17/buckypaper.invention.ap/index.html"
Announcements

+ - Internet 2 to link to Hadron Collider ->

Submitted by
Erin Lodi
Erin Lodi writes "Next week, Internet2 will showcase the first use of uncompressed high- definition videoconference technology using its brand new Dynamic Circuit Network (DCN) which allows users to provision dedicated optical circuits on demand. DCN technology is being deployed by research networks around the world to create the most reliable environment for bandwidth-intense applications that require very low and predictable latency like HD videoconferencing. The demos will link Internet2's annual member conference in New Orleans, LA to a site at the Large Hadron Collider in Prevessin, France using iHDTV technology and to a classroom at Masaryk University in The Czech Republic using UltraGrid. Additional details of the demos are below in the press release. Both demonstrations will be netcast for worldwide viewing. LHC demo: — http://events.internet2.edu/2008/fall-mm/sessionDetails.cfm?session=10000236&event=911 Masaryk University demo: http://events.internet2.edu/2008/fall-mm/sessionDetails.cfm?session=10000237&event=911 For more information or to set up interviews, contact: Lauren Rotman, lauren@internet2.edu or 202.331.5345."
Link to Original Source
Education

+ - Ugly, Insecure Online College Applications 1

Submitted by kepler511
kepler511 (1213078) writes "Most colleges nowadays are letting students apply online instead of sending in massive paper applications. I would expect such applications, containing vast amounts of saved personal information and so important for so many students, to be secure and well-designed, but some investigation and use proves otherwise. The Common Application website, used by 346 top schools, is especially troubling; with many pages rendering incorrectly on common browsers like Firefox, with confusing and poor navigability, and most worrisome with extremely little security. If you use "forgot password," for example, your original forgotten password is sent back to you along with your username. Some light needs to be shed on the poor design of this incredibly important site."
Hardware Hacking

+ - Expert Tweaking Guide for Modern BIOSes

Submitted by notthatwillsmith
notthatwillsmith (1083667) writes "We all know how to change basic BIOS settings--boot order, USB settings, and power options are old hat--but do you know the difference between tCL and tRCD? Configuring a modern BIOS for maximum performance and stability isn't as simple as setting the bus speed and multiplier, you need to dig deep into the CPU and memory settings your BIOS offers. This is especially important if you shelled out big bucks for high-end motherboards and memory designed for overclockers. If you're running your rig using the default BIOS settings, and haven't dug into the advanced features your motherboard supports, you may not be getting all the speed you paid for. Maximum PC shows you how to tweak your BIOS's key settings to boost your PC's performance and improve your system's stability. Submitter's note: now with a working link, sorry guys!"

It appears that PL/I (and its dialects) is, or will be, the most widely used higher level language for systems programming. -- J. Sammet

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