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Submission + - The quiet death of Google Linux search? (

An anonymous reader writes: Many Linux users who have use as their browser homepage have been frustrated for the last couple days, as Google seems to have discontinued their special searches
which all redirect now to

Have not turned up any official comments from Google yet... can they think discontinuing such a vital service would not be noticed???

If this change turns out to be permanent, maybe will add a !linux search for a reasonable replacement homepage


Submission + - A Problem with Apollo That Only a Kid Could Solve

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Here's a story from a few years ago that provides an interesting footnote to a problem with the spaceflight that landed the first humans on Earth's Moon. It was around 10:00 at night on July 23, and 10-year-old Greg Force was at home with his mom and three brothers as his father, Charles Force, was at work as director of the NASA tracking station in Guam, that was about to play a critical role in the return of Apollo 11 to Earth. A powerful antenna at Guam connected NASA communications with Apollo 11, and the antenna was the only way for NASA to make its last communications with the astronauts before splashdown. But at the last minute on that night, a bearing in the antenna failed, rendering it nearly useless. To properly replace the bearing would have required dismantling the entire antenna, but Charles Force thought if he could get more grease around the failed bearing, it would probably be fine. The only problem was, nobody at the station had an arm small enough to actually reach in through the two-and-a-half inch opening so Force sent someone out to his home to pick up Greg. Greg reached into the tiny hole and packed grease around the failed bearing. It worked, and the station was able to successfully complete its communications role in the mission and Apollo 11 splashed down safely the next day. Charles Force went on to become Associate Administrator Space Operations, the number six position at NASA and was instrumental in the development of the current Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System. Greg went on to get his pilot's license, and even though his career now as a gymnastics school owner isn't exactly space-related, he says that "ever since then, I've followed the space program.""
Lord of the Rings

Review: Lord of the Rings: Conquest 68

Pandemic Studios, having enjoyed some success with their release of Star Wars: Battlefront II, sought to bring their style of action game to the Lord of the Rings universe as well. Since both Star Wars and LotR are widely regarded as classics in their respective genres, and both have a rich, deep fan base, the task would appear to be similar in scope. Many were expecting Lord of the Rings: Conquest to be, if nothing else, a playground for Tolkien fans to revel in the environments so vividly brought to life by the movies. Unfortunately, between the short, simplistic campaign and the shallow, uninspired combat, LotR: Conquest merely relies on its name for success, failing to bring the innovation or cleverness that the franchise deserves. Read on for the rest of my thoughts.
Role Playing (Games)

LOTRO Dev Talks About Bringing MMOs To Consoles 129

Jeffrey Steefel, executive producer for Lord of the Rings: Online recently spoke to Eurogamer about the game's upcoming expansion and its future in the MMO market. One thing he mentions is the challenge of designing an MMO for consoles, which have a larger player base than PC games. He admits that UI development would be a huge issue, but also thinks MMOs could benefit from splitting tasks between various devices. "Long term, for me, the real exciting vision is ... thinking about a game, a franchise, as this centralised content. There's this thing called Lord of the Rings that sits on a bunch of servers ... and whether you're on your PC, your console, your mobile device, those are all just access points, and they're all good at different things. ... The console is great for fast action, immediate activities. Combat, raids, things like that could be a lot of fun sitting on your couch. And some things that are necessary but slightly rote and boring, like managing your inventory or setting up for a raid, or some elements of crafting — those are things that you can do instead of playing Bejeweled when you're sitting on the train or on a break or whatever it happens to be."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Cell phones at school: To ban or not to ban? (

coondoggie writes: "The government of Karnataka state in south India will this week ban the use of mobile phones in schools and junior colleges, citing potential adverse health effects and likely setting off a storm of protest. The state government has also decided to ban the sale of mobile handsets to children 15 years old and younger, making it difficult for children to acquire and use mobile phones even outside school hours. But this issue is huge across school systems the US too. New York City parents are happy as the city's government yesterday overrode the mayor's veto and passed a bill intended to force a change to the ban on cell phones in the nation's largest public school system."

All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy.