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Comment Subjective viewing quality (Score 1) 361

After comparing the 499kbit H.264, and Theora video clips of Big Buck Bunny, clearly H.264 looks better. At this bitrate, there is obvious degradation in both samples, however H.264 is much more watchable. Theora struggles with flat areas such as text, and there is an unacceptable amount of artifacts around these elements. Perhaps in time, Theora will mature to the point where it can compete.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft withdraws Vista "kill switch"->

l-ascorbic writes: "In what they are calling "a change of tactics", Microsoft have removed the controversial kill switch from Vista SP1. This feature is designed to disable pirated copies of the OS, but had led to numerous reports of it disabling legitimate copies. It will be replaced with a notice that repeatedly informs the user that their OS is pirated."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

Submission + - Windows Vista "Non" Downgrade Clause

Pissed Off writes: Alright, so I bought a brand new DELL computer and opted for Windows Vista Ultimate. Figuring that Vista Business and Ultimate both come with downgrade rights I figure that I should not have a problem. None the less, the computer arrived and it got unpacked. So I started doing some tweaking and tuning and then timed the start up only to discover that my old computer running Windows XP blew my Windows Vista rig out of the water!

The old computer specs: Pentium M 1.4GHz / 60GB 7200RPM / 1GB RAM
The new computer specs: Core 2 Duo 2GHz / 100GB 7200RPM / 2GB RAM

So I did what any sane person would do and turfed Windows Vista and started installing Windows XP. In order to attain my downgrade rights I called Dell and asked them about this and they told me to call a 1-800 number or the Microsoft Volume Licensing department where they pretty much told me that since I have an OEM copy of Vista that my reseller (Dell) should assist me. Since then I have been back and forth with Dell and Microsoft and have not reached a solution.

After digging around I found a couple web sites describing the whole downgrade process. Some going as far as suggesting that I call and explain to the Windows Activation team my issue and that they should take care of it and activate my computer. So, I just got off the phone and sure enough they told me that the CD Key that i used (legitimate) has already been activated on another computer and that it is licensed for only one system.

This issue is still pending a resolution and neither Dell nor Microsoft seem to be much help! Has any one else out there gone through this with success or lack there of??? I have not yet tried to downgrade my Windows Vista Ultimate retail box... I wonder what Microsoft's excuse will be then >:|

My beef is that no where in the End User License Agreement does it say that I have to:

a) provide my own media (Volume License, Retail, OEM System Builder)
b) provide my own cd key (and not an OEM key)

Had I known that I would not have bothered with Vista and gotten my notebook with Windows XP right out of the gate.

Now I'm faced with the costs of returning my laptop at my cost and then having to wait another 2-3 weeks in order to get the replacement.
Patents

Submission + - Microsoft Wants Patent on Indentation

theodp writes: "Throw some text in a worksheet, make the columns small, and color the cells to denote a hierarchy. Like this. That, my friend, may constitute patent infringement for the next twenty years if the USPTO grants Microsoft the patent it's seeking for Minimizing Indenting (actual patent image). Just one more example of how Microsoft's lawyers are making the world a better place through more joyful and inclusive design."
Software

Submission + - MPAA Steals Code, Violates Linkware License

GRW writes: "TorrentFreak reports that the MPAA is using blogging software, called Forest Blog by web developer Patrick Robin, in violation of the "linkware" license. They have removed all links and references to the Forest Blog website, and have not purchased a commercial license. Is this a case of "Do as I say and not as I do"?"
The Courts

Submission + - Blizzard officially files against WoW Glider

Marcus Eikenberry writes: "Blizzard and Vivendi ( www.blizzard.com ) today filed against MDY Industries ( www.wowglider.com ) and Michael Donnelly in the state of Arizona USA. Blizzard is seeking injunctive relief and money damages against MDY. What that means is they want him to stop the production of WoW Glider and they want him to pay them damages. Blizzard believes that Glider infringes on their intellectual property. They believe Glider allows players to cheat, giving them an unfair advantage and that they believe Glider encourages Blizzard customers to breach their contracts for playing the game. Last they claim that Glider is designed to circumvent copyright protections. Blizzard officially files against WoW Glider (Previous Story):WoW Glider vs. World of Warcraft in United States District Court"
Biotech

Grid Computes 420 Years Worth of Data in 4 Months 166

Da Massive writes with a ComputerWorld article about a grid computing approach to the malaria disease. By running the problem across 5,000 computer for a total of four months, the WISDOM project analyzed some 80,000 drug compounds every hour. The search for new drug compounds is normally a time-intensive process, but the grid approach did the work of 420 years of computation in just 16 weeks. Individuals in over 25 countries participated. " All computers ran open source grid software, gLite, which allowed them to access central grid storage elements which were installed on Linux machines located in several countries worldwide. Besides being collected and saved in storage elements, data was also analyzed separately with meaningful results stored in a relational database. The database was installed on a separate Linux machine, to allow scientists to more easily analyze and select useful compounds." Are there any other 'big picture' problems out there you think would benefit from the grid approach?
Security

Submission + - Smokers may be the weak IT security link

BobB writes: "Where there's smoke, there's a door. A U.K. security company is warning that smokers may impact IT security, leaving open doors that could let in intruders who could abuse a company's network. It may sound slightly far-fetched. But a penetration tester from NTA Monitor Ltd., a company based in Rochester, England, gained access to a professional services company outside London that way. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/021607-smoke rs-may-be-the-weak.html"
AMD

Submission + - ATI is not supporting the All-in-Wonder in Vista

Working-Person writes: Thinking about using your expensive All-in-Wonder with Vista? Think again. Here's the response from ATI when looking for Vista drivers "The product you purchased was not advertised or broadcasted as Vista Compliant it is fully functional and supported on the specified Operating Systems. The tuner on the board doesn't meet Windows Vista's requirements and is not compatable. That means it will not be supported and there will be no drivers or software release for the tuner on the ALL IN WONDER Board."
The Media

Submission + - Where Digg Failed

legoburner writes: "An interesting op-ed piece has appeared detailing the author's belief that Digg is so fundamentally flawed that it is only a matter of time before it completely collapses. Why Digg Failed has some choice quotes and analysis of why Digg's popularity has caused it to become too similar to tabloids in gaining attention and how quality has fallen drastically as usage has increased. Take note slashdot/firehose!"
The Courts

Submission + - In Alabama, Sex Toys are Just Like Prostitution

An anonymous reader writes: A federal appeals court has upheld an Alabama law banning the sale of sex toys against a claim that the law conflicted with the Supreme Court's prior holding that private sexuality is protected by the Constitution. The court reasoned that, because sex toys are bought and sold in "public" transactions, selling them is just like prostitution, and therefore it could be banned.
Printer

Submission + - Inkless printers to be built into digital cameras

MattSparkes writes: "A revolutionary way to print pictures without ink has been invented by a US company called Zink Imaging. The company, a spin-off of Polaroid, says it will use the technology to make hand-held printers that can be integrated into mobile phones and digital cameras. "The key to creating the devices is doing away with ink, using a new type of digital printing that changes colour of paper when heat is applied.""

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein

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