Spacezilla writes "EA is dropping the bomb on a number of their video game servers, shutting down the online fun for many of their Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3 games. Not only is the inclusion of PS3 and Xbox 360 titles odd, the date the games were released is even more surprising. Yes, Madden 07 and 08 are included in the shutdown... but Madden 09 on all consoles as well?"
An anonymous reader writes "Data centers and telcos in the Australian cities of Sydney and Brisbane have shut off external ventilation systems, restricted loading dock access and attended false alarms after a major dust storm choked the cities today. The storm is said to be the worst of its type ever recorded in Australia. Macquarie Telecom disengaged automatic deployment of fire-prevention gas from the fire alarm to prevent gas being released on a false alarm. Other major data center operators reported clogged air filters and heat exchangers and said they would be performing cleaning and maintenance operations this week."
It isn't about a price war, it's a format war. If I spend $150 on an HD-DVD player and that format dies next year, I have to buy a Blu-Ray player anyway. The money I spent on the HD-DVD player was a waste. This is where consumers have a problem. Generally competition is good, but eventually one format will win this battle and you don't want to be heavily invested in the losing side.
An anonymous reader writes "Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) yesterday successfully moved articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney to the House Judiciary committee. 'Today's resolution from Kucinich (D-Ohio) was essentially the same as the legislation he introduced earlier this year, which included three articles of impeachment against Cheney based largely on allegations that he manipulated intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war. The last article accuses Cheney of threatening "aggression" against Iran "absent any real threat."'"
FloatsomNJetsom writes "The site Switched.com is taking a look at the slow death of privacy at the hands of social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace with a link to a report on the creepy practice of Facebook employees monitoring what pages you look at and a thought-provoking video interview with social media expert Clay Shirky — who says that social networks are profoundly changing our ability to keep our private lives private. 'Eventually, Shirky theorizes, society will have to create a space that's implicitly private even though it's technically public, not unlike a personal conversation held on a public street. Otherwise, our ability to keep our lives private will be forever destroyed. Of course, that might already be the case.'"
phyrebyrd writes "How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent lightbulb? About US$4.28 for the bulb and labor — unless you break the bulb. Then you, like Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine, could be looking at a cost of about US$2,004.28, which doesn't include the costs of frayed nerves and risks to health."
An anonymous reader writes "A Brazilian court has already issued a writ of habeas corpus in the name of a chimp. And now an Austrian court may well decide that a chimpanzee is a 'person' with what up until now have been called human rights." From the story in the Guardian/Observer: "He recognizes himself in the mirror, plays hide-and-seek and breaks into fits of giggles when tickled. He is also our closest evolutionary cousin. A group of world leading primatologists argue that this is proof enough that Hiasl, a 26-year-old chimpanzee, deserves to be treated like a human. In a test case in Austria, campaigners are seeking to ditch the 'species barrier' and have taken Hiasl's case to court. If Hiasl is granted human status — and the rights that go with it — it will signal a victory for other primate species and unleash a wave of similar cases."
Former USDTV Subscriber writes "A few weeks ago, Salt Lake City-based USDTV discontinued their service. USDTV used the Hisense DB2010 as subscriber boxes, with Linux based firmware. USDTV should have released the source and binaries as required by the GPL, in order for customers to create a USB key to convert their DB2010s to FTA HDTV boxes. Instead, they chose to hand the keys to former USDTV subcontractors. Cable Communications is coming to subscribers' houses and updating the boxes, but not leaving a USB key. ProServ is selling USB keys. But 'Due to copyright laws you are only allowed to purchase one of these keys if you have proof of being a current or previous subscriber to USDTV.' USDTV customers are being charged $30 for a service and/or files that should be freely available to anyone who has a DB2010 in their possession. There is a thread on the AVS Forum detailing the whole debacle."
BostonBTS sends word that the French Constitutional Council has just made it illegal to film violence unless you are a professional journalist (or to distribute a video containing violence). The law was approved exactly 16 years after amateur videographer George Holliday filmed Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King. The Council was tidying up a body of law about offenses against the public order, and wanted to ban "happy slapping." A charitable reading would be that the lawmakers stumbled into unintended consequences. Not according to Pascal Cohet, a spokesman for French online civil liberties group Odebi: "The broad drafting of the law so as to criminalize the activities of citizen journalists unrelated to the perpetrators of violent acts is no accident, but rather a deliberate decision by the authorities, said [Cohet]. He is concerned that the law, and others still being debated, will lead to the creation of a parallel judicial system controlling the publication of information on the Internet."
MattSparkes writes "Following the latest report of the United Nations climate change panel, there has been a flurry of renewed interest in so-called geo-engineering. This is the theory of using technological schemes to stop climate change. These can range from sun-shades orbiting the Earth, to pumping millions of tonnes of sulfur into the atmosphere to the bizarre idea of painting the ground white to reflect more light. Let's reduce our emissions now, before I have to go and paint my roof bright white." Thanks to jamie for pointing out another potential solution of seeding the southern oceans with iron to spur plankton growth.
Kevin C. Tofel writes "Using a simple concept, iPhotoMEASURE software can measure any objects you can take a picture of. Include a printout of a 7.5- or 15-inch square in the photo and the software can measure any distance or object in the pic to within 99.5% accuracy. Although geared towards contractors, there's any number of consumer usage scenarios as well. Enough to justify a $99 price tag? Jury's still out on that."
applejax writes "SecurityFocus is running an article regarding some concerns about Vista's activation terms. Do you have the right to use properly purchased but not validated software? What happens if Microsoft deactivates your OS that was legally purchased? The article goes into some detail about Vista's validation and concerns." From the article: "The terms of the Vista EULA, like the current EULA related to the 'Windows Genuine Advantage,' allows Microsoft to unilaterally decide that you have breached the terms of the agreement, and they can essentially disable the software, and possibly deny you access to critical files on your computer without benefit of proof, hearing, testimony or judicial intervention. In fact, if Microsoft is wrong, and your software is, in fact, properly licensed, you probably will be forced to buy a license to another copy of the operating system from Microsoft just to be able to get access to your files, and then you can sue Microsoft for the original license fee."
round stic writes "eWeek magazine has an interesting look at the effects of the Windows monoculture on IT budgets, even as everyone agrees on the severity of the inherent security risks. The article contains interviews with Dan Geer and others who warned about the risks of the Windows monopoly three years ago. The article coincides with a piece in the Observer that suggests Vista is the end of the Microsoft monolith because of how complex the operating system has become."
BlueCup writes to tell us that Hewlett-Packard has deployed a large team consisting of many scientists and many more lawyers looking for possible ink patent infringement. With more than 4,000 patents on their ink formulations and cartridge design and a market share of more than 50 percent in the US HP depends heavily on the sale of ink to make profit after sometimes selling their printers at a loss in order to lock in the ink resale.
Arcanimus writes "On Tuesday, the corporate vice president of Windows Live and MSN marketing, Martin Taylor, announced that he is leaving Microsoft. Just three months ago, Taylor was appointed to his new position to manage the marketing of Windows Live. In his 13 years with the company, Taylor even worked directly with CEO Steve Ballmer."