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Comment: Overeducated. (Score 1) 178

by apc (#42100349) Attached to: Compared to my siblings ...

What's substantially more or less?

I have a BA, a law degree (JD), and a master's degree (LLM).
My sister has a BA, two master's degrees (MA and M.Ed.) and a PhD.
So I have ~4.5 years of post-BA, and my sister has 6-7. Is that substantially more? We both have more education than about 95% of the public....

Operating Systems

DragonFly BSD 3.0 Released 102

Posted by timothy
from the it's-full-of-bug dept.
An anonymous reader writes with word of the release earlier this week, after eight months of development, of DragonFly BSD 3.0. The release includes improved scalability through finer-grained locking, improvements to the HAMMER file system in low-memory configurations, and a TrueCrypt-compatible disk encryption system. DragonFly is an installable system, but it can also be run live from CD, DVD, or USB key.
Microsoft

ITC Investigates Xbox 360 After Motorola Complaint 71

Posted by Soulskill
from the papers-please dept.
FlorianMueller writes "The US International Trade Commission, which is increasingly popular as a patent enforcement agency, voted to investigate a complaint filed by Motorola against Microsoft last month. Motorola claims that the Xbox infringes five of its patents. In October, Microsoft complained against Motorola, alleging patent infringement by its Android-based smartphones. Apple, Nokia and HTC are also involved with ITC investigations as complainants and respondents. A new one-page overview document shows the ongoing ITC investigations related to smartphones and the products that the complainants would like to have banned from entry into the US market. The good news is that any import bans won't be ordered until long after Christmas. The ITC is faster than courts, but not that fast."
Image

Debt Collectors Using Facebook To Embarrass Those Who Owe 266

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up-or-be-unfriended dept.
Not even the tranquility of FarmVille can save you from the long arm of debt collectors. Melanie Beacham says that a collector from MarkOne Financial contacted her relatives about her past due car note via Facebook. She is filing suit alleging that the company is harassing her family. Tampa based consumer attorney Billy Howard of Morgan & Morgan says, "Now Facebook does a debt collectors work for them. Now it's not only family members, it's all of your associates. It's a very powerful tool for debt collectors to use."
XBox (Games)

Early Kinect Games Kill Buyers' Access To Xbox Live 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-those-support-calls dept.
Stoobalou writes "Microsoft's Kinect motion controller isn't due to ship until November 4th, but one retailer has jumped the gun, leaving a number of gamers with a bit of a quandary. The un-named distributor has sent what Microsoft describes as 'a very small number' of Kinect systems to lucky buyers who might not consider themselves quite so lucky if they try to use the device and its bundled games. Installing the games will require a firmware upgrade, which is nothing out of the ordinary, but in this case the upgrade hasn't yet been released. Attempting to install the non-existent update seems to fool the console into thinking you are trying to play a pirated game and locks the user out of Microsoft's Xbox Live on-line service."
Media

1928 Time Traveler Caught On Film? 685

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-hate-time-travel-stories dept.
Many of you have submitted a story about Irish filmmaker George Clarke, who claims to have found a person using a cellphone in the "unused footage" section of the DVD The Circus, a Charlie Chaplin movie filmed in 1928. To me the bigger mystery is how someone who appears to be the offspring of Ram-Man and The Penguin got into a movie in the first place, especially if they were talking to a little metal box on set. Watch the video and decide for yourself.
Australia

Fine-Structure Constant Maybe Not So Constant 105

Posted by samzenpus
from the variety-is-the-spice-of-life dept.
Kilrah_il writes "The fine-structure constant, a coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction, has been measured lately by scientists from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and has been found to change slightly in light sent from quasars in galaxies as far back as 12 billion years ago. Although the results look promising, caution is advised: 'This would be sensational if it were real, but I'm still not completely convinced that it's not simply systematic errors' in the data, comments cosmologist Max Tegmark of MIT. Craig Hogan of the University of Chicago and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., acknowledges that 'it's a competent team and a thorough analysis.' But because the work has such profound implications for physics and requires such a high level of precision measurements, 'it needs more proof before we'll believe it.'"
Classic Games (Games)

How Death Rally Got Ported 89

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-the-opposite-of-starboarded dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Last year, I got the opportunity to port Remedy Entertainment's Death Rally to modern platforms off its original MS-DOS sources. I wrote an article about the porting process for Game Developer magazine, and now I've posted the text of the article for general consumption. 'The source software platform was DOS, Watcom C, and some Dos4GW-style DOS extender. The extender basically meant you could use more than 640k of memory, and would not need any weird code for data larger than 64k. The game displayed in VESA 640x480 and MCGA 320x200 graphics modes, all with 8-bit palettes; there was no true color anywhere. There were also some per-frame palette change tricks that emulators have trouble with. The source code was mostly pure C with a couple dozen inline assembly functions. There were a few missing subsystems, specifically audio and networking, which would have to be replaced completely anyway, as well as one file for which the source code was lost and only a compiled object was available.'"
Wii

Should the Gov't Pay For Injured Man's Wii? 222

Posted by kdawson
from the if-the-wii-fits dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Politicians in the Australian state of Victoria are currently locked in a debate about whether an injured man should be able to claim the cost of a Nintendo Wii for rehabilitation purposes under worker's compensation. The man's doctor apparently recommended he use the Wii Fit exercise device, but both insurance companies and the government itself have blocked the payment and have now ridiculed the idea as paying for video games. But with the Wii Fit increasingly being used for rehabilitation purposes internationally, does the man have a fair case?"

Comment: Re:Iron Man's Suit Defies Physics -- Mostly (Score 2, Interesting) 279

by John Carmack (#23266718) Attached to: The Science of Iron Man
Hydrogen peroxide powered rocket packs fly for around 30 seconds, because they have a specific impulse of around 125, meaning that one pound of propellant can make 125 pound-seconds of thrust, meaning that it takes about two pounds of propellant for every second you are in the air. Mass ratios are low for anything strapped to a human, so the exponential nature of the rocket equation can be safely ignored.

A pretty hot (both literally and figuratively) bipropellant rocket could manage about twice the specific impulse, and you could carry somewhat heavier tanks, but two minutes of flight on a rocket pack is probably about the upper limit with conventional propellants.

However, an actual jet pack that used atmospheric oxygen could have an Isp ten times higher, allowing theoretical flights of fifteen minutes or so. Here, it really is a matter of technical development, since jet engines have thrust to weight ratios too low to make it practical. There is movement on this technical front, but it will still take a while.

John Carmack

Comment: Size doesn't matter. (Score 1) 436

by apc (#14342940) Attached to: Is Microsoft Still a Monopoly?
For antitrust purposes, a monopoly doesn't mean what most people think it means. Antitrust is about behavior, not about size.

As my antitrust professor used to say, owning the only movie theater in town may be a monopoly by the dictionary definition, but it isn't an antitrust violation. Being one of two movie theaters, then buying the other one and closing it down, is.

There have been reported antitrust cases where a company actually controlled only 5-10% of the market-- but used that 5-10% to fix prices, block access to the market for new companies, or attain control of a supply chain to eliminate competitors. (I've often wondered whether Apple could get into serious antitrust trouble for supplying Apple Stores with Hot New Items faster than they do independent Apple dealers) Recall that the big issue in the DR-DOS suit involved Microsoft modifying Windows to detect DR-DOS and then not run.

Microsoft may not have the market share that it had a few years ago in certain areas. But they've definitely continued some of the behaviors that got them into trouble in the first place-- with file formats, with chat protocols, etc. It happens that the Bushies don't take antitrust enforcement very seriously, so it's been largely ignored in this country. But that doesn't mean that the potential isn't there, especially if the abuses get too egregious, for them to get whacked a whole lot harder than they were the last time.

(IAAL)

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

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