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Education

Royal Society of Chemistry Slams UK Exam Standards 408

Posted by kdawson
from the easy-button dept.
cheesethegreat writes "The Royal Society of Chemistry has sharply criticized the 'catastrophically' falling standards for UK school exams in the sciences. The RSC had 1,300 highly achieving students take an exam made up of questions taken from the last 50 years. The students averaged an appalling 15% on 'hard' numerical questions set in the 1960s, but managing much higher marks on the more recent 'soft' non-numerical questions. This latest report has garnered mainstream media attention. The RSC has also created a petition on the UK Prime Minister's official website, calling for urgent intervention to halt the slide, which has garnered over 3,000 signatures. The issue of declining exam standards has been an ongoing concern in the UK, with allegations that exam results have been manipulated by the government to increase pass rates and meet its own targets."
Microsoft

MS Says Windows 7 Will Run DirectX 10 On the CPU 503

Posted by kdawson
from the aero-capable dept.
arcticstoat writes "In what could be seen as an easy answer to the Vista-capable debacle, Microsoft has introduced a 'fully conformant software rasterizer' called WARP (Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform) 10, which does away with the need for a dedicated hardware 3D accelerator altogether. Microsoft says that WARP 10 will support all the features and precision requirements of Direct3D 10 and 10.1, as well as up to 8x multi-sampled anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering and all optional texture formats. The minimum CPU spec needed is just 800MHz, and it doesn't even need MMX or SSE, although it will work much quicker on multi-core CPUs with SSE 4.1. Of course, software rendering on a single desktop CPU isn't going to be able to compete with decent dedicated 3D graphics cards when it comes to high-end games, but Microsoft has released some interesting benchmarks that show the system to be quicker than Intel's current integrated DirectX 10 graphics. Running Crysis at 800 x 600 with the lowest quality settings, an eight-core Core i7 system managed an average frame rate of 7.36fps, compared with 5.17fps from Intel's DirectX 10 integrated graphics."
Security

+ - Contest winner: Vista more secure than MAC OS X

Submitted by Conor Turton
Conor Turton (639827) writes "From Macworld News

Dino Dai Zovi, the New York-based security researcher who took home $10,000 in a highly-publicized MacBook Pro hijack on April 20, has been at the center of a week's worth of controversy about the security of Apple's operating system. In an e-mail interview with Computerworld, Dai Zovi talked about how finding vulnerabilities is like fishing, the chances that someone else will stumble on the still-unpatched bug, and what operating system — Windows Vista or Mac OS X — is the sturdiest when it comes to security.

The crux of the article is the following comment: "I have found the code quality, at least in terms of security, to be much better overall in Vista than Mac OS X 10.4. It is obvious from observing affected components in security patches that Microsoft's Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) has resulted in fewer vulnerabilities in newly-written code.""

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