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PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force To Suffer From PS3 Update 349

tlhIngan writes "The US Air Force, having purchased PS3s for supercomputing research, is now the latest victim of Sony's removal of the Install Other OS feature. It turns out that while their PS3s don't need the firmware update, it will be impossible to replace PS3s that fail. PS3s with the Other OS feature are no longer produced since the Slim was introduced, so replacements will have to come from the existing stock of used PS3s. However, as most gamers have probably updated their PS3s, that used stock is no longer suitable for the USAF's research. In addition, smaller educational clusters using PS3s will share the same fate — unable to replace machines that die in their clusters." In related news, Sony has been hit with two more lawsuits over this issue.

Submission + - Limewire Crushed (

Concern writes: It looks like any (dim) hope that Limewire would prevail in its lawsuit against the RIAA has just been snuffed out. Sure, Limewire has invested millions in making a high-quality Gnutella client (and protocol) over the years, but more importantly, they also extensively moderate the Gnutella network to keep out spam and worms. What's the future of file sharing in a post-Limewire world? A new team or protocol comes to the fore? An exodus to Amazon, iTunes, and the web, and a long, Usenet-like twilight for "classic" p2p file sharing?

Submission + - Reflections on Altantis (

cryoboy73 writes: Astronaut Chris Hadfield (STS 74 STS 100), commander of the NEEMO 14 mission reflects on his first shuttle flight on the Atlantis and its upcoming retirement!

Submission + - US Air Force to suffer from PS3 update ( 1

tlhIngan writes: "The US Air Force, having purchased PS3s for supercomputing research is now the latest victim of Sony's Non-April-Fools Prank.

It turns out that while their PS3s don't need the firmware update, it will be impossible to replace PS3s that fail. As PS3s with the OtherOS feature are no longer produced since the Slim was introduced, replacements will have to come from the existing stock of used PS3s. However, as most gamers have probably updated their PS3s, that used stock is no longer suitable for the USAF's research. In addition, smaller educational clusters using PS3s also have the same fate — unable to replace machines that die in their clusters.

(Personal note: My PS3 does have the OtherOS feature — seeing as all my PS3 games are single player only, I don't need the Playstation Network. So USAF — I'm willing to trade...)"

Comment It's not the system, it's attitude (Score 1) 387

It's not the system that makes broadband good or bad, it's the attitude of the people living in the respective country. Germans (I'm German myself) and Japanese, for example, have a high regard for "doing things properly" and that's why the cars are good, the broadband works and their carpets are clean. English people (I lived in the UK for a couple of years), on the other hand, just don't care so much when the light goes out once a year, the heating needs fixing before every winter and the broadband works only so-and-so-good. However, England has better movies, series, music and universities. I suppose America is England coming from Germany and a bit further. The "system" has only a limited effect on what countries are capable of. The peoples attitutes count much more. That's why looking for inspiration in other countries is not really as helpful as one might initially think.
The Courts

RIAA Threatens Harvard Law Prof With Sanctions 333

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Unhappy with Harvard Law Professor Charles Nesson's motion to compel the deposition of the RIAA's head 'Enforcer', Matthew J. Oppenheim, in SONY BMG Music v. Tenenbaum, the RIAA threatened the good professor with sanctions (PDF) if he declined to withdraw his motion. Then the next day they filed papers opposing the motion, and indeed asked the Court to award monetary sanctions under Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure."

Apple Disables Egyptian iPhones' GPS 278

floydman writes "Apparently the Egyptian government is paranoid about its community using GPS devices, to the degree that it demanded Apple remove any GPS functionality from its iPhone 3G. They claim that 'GPS functionality should be limited to military purposes.' Egyptian blogger Ahmed Gabr brought this issue up in another article, and talks about how this does not make sense, since Google maps and the like can be used. I also happen to know for a fact that most of the modern cars in Egypt have built-in GPS systems."

Indiana Bans Driver's License Smiles, For Security 459

Smelly Jeffrey writes "According to a recent article, Indiana BMV Communications Director Dennis Rosebrough states that applicants for a new or renewed operator's license or state identification card will no longer be allowed to smile and say cheese. Apparently new facial recognition software being employed by the state fails to function when the face is distorted by something as innocuous as smiling. Also on the list of taboos are hats, eyeglasses, and hair that hangs down over the face. The article fails to mention, however, the legality of beards, mustaches, and bushy eyebrows." Similar restrictions are in place for the Enhanced Driver License (which serves as a sort of limited passport) implemented by the state of Washington, among others.

Evolution of Mona Lisa Via Genetic Programming 326

mhelander writes "In his weblog Roger Alsing describes how he used genetic programming to arrive at a remarkably good approximation of Mona Lisa using only 50 semi-transparent polygons. His blog entry includes a set of pictures that let you see how 'Poly Lisa' evolved over roughly a million generations. Both beautiful to look at and a striking way to get a feel for the power of evolutionary algorithms."

FOSS Community Can Combat Bad Patents 58

An anonymous reader lets us know about a new initiative designed to help shield the open source software community from threats posed by patent trolls. The initiative, called Linux Defenders (the website is slated to go live tomorrow, Dec. 9), is sponsored by a consortium of technology companies including IBM. "The most novel feature of the new program... will be its call to independent open source software developers all over the world to start submitting their new software inventions to Linux Defenders... so that the group's attorneys and engineers can, for no charge, help shape, structure, and document the invention in the form of a 'defensive publication.' Linux Defenders will then also see to it that the publication, duly attributing authorship of the invention to the developer who submitted it, is filed on the Web site, a database used by the US Patent and Trademark Office and other patent examiners throughout the world when they are trying to determine whether a proposed patent is truly novel..."

21 Million German Bank Accounts For Sale 302

anerva writes "Black market criminals are offering to sell details on 21 million German bank accounts for €12M ($15.3M), according to an investigative report (German; Google translation) published Saturday. In November reporters for WirtschaftsWoche (Economic Week) had a face-to-face meeting with criminals in a Hamburg hotel, according to the magazine. Posing as buyers working for a gambling business, the journalists were able to strike a price of €0.55 per record, or €12M for all the data. They were given a CD containing the 1.2 million accounts when they asked for assurances that the information they would be buying was legitimate." 21 million is three in four existing German bank accounts.

Sun's Mickos Is OK With Monty's MySQL 5.1 Rant 155

narramissic writes "Back on November 29, MySQL developer Michael Widenius trashed Sun's decision to give MySQL 5.1 a 'generally available' designation in a now-infamous blog post. Widenius warned users to be 'very cautious about MySQL 5.1' because 'there are still many known and unknown fatal bugs in the new features that are still not addressed.' And now we get Sun's response. In an interview Monday, Marten Mickos, senior VP of Sun's database group, said, 'I learned over many years about the benefits and the painfulness of absolute transparency in open source. A little bit of debate never hurts. This is part of being an open-source company. ... People are free to blog about what they want.' Doubtless, this will do nothing to end the debate over whether Widenius will follow fellow MySQL co-founder David Axmark's lead and leave Sun."
Wireless Networking

Broadcom Crams 802.11n, Bluetooth, and FM Onto a Single Chip 174

Broadcom has managed to cram 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and FM reception/transmission all into a single "combo wireless chip." Designed to be a better wireless implementation for portable devices, the chip seeks to lower chip counts and integration costs. "Broadcom is the second firm — following Atheros in a single-function chip — to announce a single-stream 802.11n product, in which one of 802.11n's advantages is shaved off in favor of a faster baseline performance and lower battery consumption. This move is meant to replace 802.11g in portable devices without draining a battery faster and providing other advantages that make up for what's become a slight cost difference."
The Internet

Canadian Groups Call For Massive Net Regulation 318

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist is reporting that Canadian cultural groups including ACTRA and SOCAN have called on Canada's telecom regulator to implement a massive new Internet regulation framework. This includes a new three-percent tax on ISPs to pay for new media creation, Canadian content requirements for commercial websites, and licensing requirements for new media broadcasters, including for user-generated content."

In 1750 Issac Newton became discouraged when he fell up a flight of stairs.