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Crime

Feds: Red Light Camera Firm Paid For Chicago Official's Car, Condo 115

Posted by samzenpus
from the red-light-red-light dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The former CEO of Redflex, a major red light camera vendor, and John Bills, former Managing Deputy Commissioner at the Department of Transportation, have been indicted on federal corruption charges stemming from a contract with the City of Chicago. According to the indictment, a friend of Bills was hired as a contractor and paid $2 million. Much of that money was then kicked back to Bills, who also got a Mercedes and a condominium via Redflex employees. The defendants are facing 23 counts including: mail fraud, wire fraud, and bribery. Each fraud count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years."
Sony

Android 4.0 Upgrade For Sony Xperia Smartphones Opens a Pandora Box 181

Posted by timothy
from the upgrade-treadmill dept.
First time accepted submitter ctrl-alt-canc writes "The udpdate to Android ICS offered for free by Sony to the Xperia smarphone users has caused plenty of troubles. Not only the decision by Sony of not updating Xperia Play phones to ICS caused rage among customers, but those who were lucky to get an upgrade for their smartphones discovered that WiFi connection did not work anymore. Up to now, the only suggestion proposed by Sony to fix the problem is to turn off the encryption, and reboot the smartphone and the access point."
PC Games (Games)

Witcher 2 Torrents Could Net You a Fine 724

Posted by Soulskill
from the dodging-legal-threats-now-a-valid-gameplay-mechanic dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this quote from Eurogamer: "Gamers who download upcoming PC exclusive The Witcher 2 illegally could receive a letter demanding they pay a fine or face legal action. If gamers refuse to pay the fine, which will be more than the cost of the game, they could end up in court, developer CD Projekt told Eurogamer. 'Of course we're not happy when people are pirating our games, so we are signing with legal firms and torrent sneaking companies,' CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiski said. 'In quite a few big countries, when people are downloading it illegally they can expect a letter from a legal firm saying, "Hey, you downloaded it illegally and right now you have to pay a fine." We are totally fair, but if you decide you will not buy it legally there is a chance you'll get a letter. We are talking about it right now.' Interestingly, The Witcher 2 will be released free of digital rights management – but only through the CD Projekt-owned digital download shop GOG.com. That means owners will be able to install it as many times as they like on any number of computers – and it will not requite an internet connection to run."
Games

Whatever Happened To Second Life? 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-blame-ralph dept.
Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."

Comment: Labs need to evolve, not go away (Score 1) 571

by CormacJ (#27376527) Attached to: RIP the Campus Computer Lab, 1960-2009

I run a computer lab at the University of Washington. There's a few reasons why computer labs won't go away soon for us:

1) Expensive software - if we did away with labs students would have to buy software such as SPSS, and they would need it only for a few classes. We don't think its reasonable to expect students to incur this added expense.

2) Specialized hardware - Our video editing suites will always require video editing hardware and DVD/Blu-Ray readers and burners, and having nice scanners and color printing is an added incentive to come in to the lab.

We do make allowances for students with laptops though. I've made spaces for laptops where I've added power strips and networking points for those that don't use the 802 network. We're also looking at adding groupware to our lab to make it easier for groups to work and collaborate.

We also run our help desk out of a lab and we'll help students with their laptop issues. We allow students to come and eat and relax in this lab too. We've found that this atmosphere encourages students to come back to a lab environment.

Comment: My check list (Score 3, Informative) 835

by CormacJ (#26566857) Attached to: How To Diagnose a Suddenly Slow Windows Computer?

My usual check list for this is:

1) Check the hard drive, SMART, or manufacturer diagnostics
2) Get the manufacturer diagnostics, and run a full hardware validation
3) If all is clean, check for things recently updated - a bad update may be clogging things
4) Check your anti-virus/anti-spyware software. Sometimes they can switch into extra-paranoid mode and slow things down horribly.

Comment: Mirroring can be a solution (Score 1) 711

by CormacJ (#26310363) Attached to: Why Mirroring Is Not a Backup Solution

Assuming that you have spare drives, you can use mirroring as a backup solution.

I had a huge database that I was was responsible for and we'd lock the database and split the mirror, take the drive offsite.

If the system died, we had a spare drive available for immediate recovery.

It's all in how you do it.

Space

British Astronomers Turn To Interstellar Spam 60

Posted by kdawson
from the mmm-chips dept.
Barrista En Flambe alerts us to a stunt that may reflect the desperate funding crisis in British astronomy: astronomers have agreed to beam a 30-second Doritos ad to a solar system 42 light years from Earth. The transmission is being directed at the solar system of 47 Ursae Majoris, a star similar to the Sun which has planets and may have a habitable zone.
Space

+ - 30th Anniversary of the Wow! Signal

Submitted by Himring
Himring (646324) writes "Today marks the 30th anniversary of the single most significant event, to date, that points to possible evidence of ETI. On this day in 1977, Dr. Jerry R. Ehman circled data retrieved from the "Big Ear" radio telescope of the Ohio State University Radio Observatory. The telescope has since been destroyed, and although other, modern telescopes have tried (such as the VLA) none of have successfully reproduced the results of that day. By and large, all possibilities of an earth-based signal causing the event have been ruled out as well as any possible natural phenomenon. Still, Dr. Ehman has remained reserved and stated that he doesn't want to draw, "vast conclusions from half-vast data." Here is the link to Dr. Ehman's 30th Anniversary Report."
Math

Journal: Pay to the order of...: $e^(i*pi) +1 5

Journal by Otter
One of the Subversion heads received a bill from the Mathematical Association of America for $0.00. Naturally, he took the opportunity to send them a check for e^(i*pi)+1, which went tragically uncashed. Adding to the fun, it was check number 1729! (I'd provide clarification, but if you don't laugh at this as written, an explanation won't help...)

You know, the difference between this company and the Titanic is that the Titanic had paying customers.

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