They're starting this with their SPORTS franchises? Who the hell buys used sports games? They're out of date a year later because the players (and potentially the teams) are all wrong! I admit I don't buy many sports games to begin with, but the last time I bought a used one was back in about '97ish when I picked up NHL94 for my SEGA Genesis collection.
cremeglace writes "Shaped into the likes of the Death Star of Star Wars fame by the giant crater Herschel, 396-kilometer-diameter Mimas was expected to have its warmest surface temperatures on the equator, where it was early afternoon. Instead, it was warmest in the morning (all of 92 K), giving rise in the science team's temperature-calibrated color scheme to a very large Pac-Man."
c0mpliant writes "IGN and Gamespot have each released a preview of the recently announced and eagerly awaited Civilization V. Apart from the obvious new hexagon shape of tiles and improved graphics, the articles go on to outline some of the major changes in the game, such as updated AI, new 'flavors' to world leaders, and a potentially game-changing, one-unit-per-tile system. No more will the stack of doom come to your city's doorsteps. Some features which will not be returning are religion and espionage. The removal of these two have sparked a frenzy of discussion on fan-related forums."
A US judge has granted political asylum to a family who said they fled Germany to avoid persecution for home schooling their children. Uwe Romeike and his wife, Hannelore, moved to Tennessee after German authorities fined them for keeping their children out of school and sent police to escort them to classes. Mike Connelly, attorney for the Home School Legal Defence Association, argued the case. He says, "Home schoolers in Germany are a particular social group, which is one of the protected grounds under the asylum law. This judge looked at the evidence, he heard their testimony, and he felt that the way Germany is treating home schoolers is wrong. The rights being violated here are basic human rights."
We discussed Microsoft making IE8 a critical update a while back; but then the indication was that the update gave users a chance to choose whether or not to install it. Now I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes in with word that the update not only does not ask, but it makes IE the default browser. "Microsoft has a new tactic in the browser wars. They're having the 'critical' IE8 update make IE the default browser without asking. Yes, you can change it back, but it doesn't ask you if you want IE8 or if you want it as the default browser, it makes the decisions for you. Opera might have a few more complaints to make to the EU antitrust board after this, but Microsoft will probably be able to drag out the proceedings for years, only to end up paying a small fine. If you have anyone you've set up with a more secure alternative browser, you might want to help check their settings after this."
caffiend666 writes "Scientists have announced a new moon has been found hidden in the G Ring of Saturn. The discovery was announced Tuesday in a notice by the International Astronomical Union. This is one of over five dozen moons, and is only a third of a mile wide. No word yet on a name for the new moon; I vote Cowboy Neal."
Ponca City, We love you writes "Jet packs have been around for half a century, but there's always been one problem: they run out of fuel in around 30 seconds. Now a German company has taken the standard jet pack design, run a fat yellow hose out the back, and connected it to a small unmanned boat that houses an engine, pump, and fuel tank and sends pressurized water up the hose, where it's shot out by two nozzles just behind the wearer's shoulders. Called the JetLev-Flyer, the design purportedly can reach a height of 15 meters, a speed of 72 kph, and a range of 300 kilometers based on four hours of flying time. A digital fly-by-wire system is used to control the throttle. Future designs may achieve higher altitudes, higher top speeds, and extended range, and even travel below the water's surface. The American manufacturers claim it is 'amazingly easy to learn and operate' and they're taking orders now at $130,000 each."
An anonymous reader writes "A hybrid fission-fusion process has been developed that can be used in some traditional fission reactors to process radioactive waste and reduce the amount of waste produced by 99%. This process uses magnetic bottle techniques developed from fusion research. This seems like the first viable solution to the radioactive waste problem of traditional nuclear reactors. This could be a big breakthrough in the search for environmentally friendly energy sources. Lots of work remains to take the concept to an engineering prototype and then to a production reactor."
Un pobre guey writes "The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) press release claims that 95% of music file downloads in 2008, an estimated 40 billion files, were illegal. Oddly enough, digital music sales are up: 'The digital music business internationally saw a sixth year of expansion in 2008, growing by an estimated 25 per cent to US$3.7 billion in trade value. Digital platforms now account for around 20 per cent of recorded music sales, up from 15 per cent in 2007. Recorded music is at the forefront of the online and mobile revolution, generating more revenue in percentage terms through digital platforms than the newspaper (4%), magazine (1%) and film industries (4%) combined... Despite these developments, the music sector is still overshadowed by the huge amount of unlicensed music distributed online. Collating separate studies in 16 countries over a three-year period, IFPI estimates over 40 billion files were illegally file-shared in 2008, giving a piracy rate of around 95 per cent.'"
UnknowingFool writes "As a followup to the Zune New Year's Eve meltdown, Microsoft has issued a workaround for what some users have correctly guessed was a bug caused by a leap year. To recover from the problem, let the Zune drain the batteries and restart it after noon on January 1, 2009. Many sites are reporting that Microsoft has 'fixed' the issue, but technically all Microsoft has done is to ask users to wait out the conditions that triggered the bug. Unless a software patch comes out, Zunes will suffer the same problem again in four years." Reader ndtechnologies adds, "According to posts in the Toshiba forum at anythingbutipod.com, the same bug that shut down millions of Zune 30's also affects the Toshiba Gigabeat S. The Zune 30 is based off of the Gigabeat S series and was co-developed by Microsoft with Toshiba."
Uh, maybe you're using a different keyboard than me, but for those of us on the standard US PC-104 clicker, the "grave below the tilde" *is* the back-quote (also known as the back-tick).
Actually, Red Alert 3 is one of the first EA games that installs fully to the hard drive *and* subsequently does not require the disc to play -- not for the campaign (all the vids are on your HDD), not for skirmish, not for multiplayer.
Mr. Slippery writes "Think hanging chads, illegal purges of the voter rolls, and insecure voting machines are bad? The New Yorker looks back at how we used to vote back in the good old days: 'A man carrying a musket rushed at him. Another threw a brick, knocking him off his feet. George Kyle picked himself up and ran. He never did cast his vote. Nor did his brother, who died of his wounds. The Democratic candidate for Congress, William Harrison, lost to the American Party's Henry Winter Davis. Three months later, when the House of Representatives convened hearings into the election, whose result Harrison contested, Davis's victory was upheld on the ground that any "man of ordinary courage" could have made his way to the polls.' Now I feel like a wuss for complaining about the lack of a voter-verified paper trail." The article notes the American penchant for trying to fix voting problems with technology — starting just after the Revolution. This country didn't use secret ballots, an idea imported from Australia, until quite late in the 19th century.
An anonymous reader writes "BD+, the Blu-ray copy protection system that was supposed to last 10 years, has now been solidly broken by a group of doom9 researchers. Earlier, BD+ had been broken by the commercial company SlySoft." Someone from SlySoft posts a hint early in the thread, but then backs off for fear of getting fired. The break is announced on page 15.