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Unholy Matrimony? Microsoft and Cray 358 358

fetusbear writes with a ZDNet story that says "'Microsoft and Cray are set to unveil on September 16 the Cray CX1, a compact supercomputer running Windows HPC Server 2008. The pair is expected to tout the new offering as "the most affordable supercomputer Cray has ever offered," with pricing starting at $25,000.' Although this would be the lowest cost hardware ever offered by Cray, it would also be the most expensive desktop ever offered by Microsoft."

Twilight of the GPU — an Interview With Tim Sweeney 286 286

cecom writes to share that Tim Sweeney, co-founder of Epic Games and the main brain behind the Unreal engine, recently sat down at NVIDIA's NVISION con to share his thoughts on the rise and (what he says is) the impending fall of the GPU: "...a fall that he maintains will also sound the death knell for graphics APIs like Microsoft's DirectX and the venerable, SGI-authored OpenGL. Game engine writers will, Sweeney explains, be faced with a C compiler, a blank text editor, and a stifling array of possibilities for bending a new generation of general-purpose, data-parallel hardware toward the task of putting pixels on a screen."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - EA's Peter Moore against harsh anti-piracy methods

Chris Charabaruk writes: "At the Leipzig Games Convention, EA Sports honcho Peter Moore talked about the ESA's recent move toward RIAA/MPAA style extortion and suing of game pirates, specifically noting that "It didn't work for the music industry." The EA exec believes there are better ways of dealing with software piracy. While he still supports cracking down on piracy, it seems what he's looking forward to is making piracy no longer something valuable, rather than hunting down game pirates and dragging them off to the courts."

Fallout 3 Edited Version To Hit Australian Shelves 91 91

UgLyPuNk contributes this excerpt from Internode Games Network, which might interest Australian readers in particular: "Just last week, we told you that Fallout 3 had been resubmitted to the Classifications Board, in the hope that it would be deemed suitable for Australian audiences. While the Classifications Board can take between a few days and a few weeks to hand down their decision — it seems that the edits made to the Bethesda Softworks title have been successful, with the second edition of the game granted a new MA15+ rating this afternoon. We don't yet have the details of the decision, but are currently finding out just what was changed in the game in order to secure the new rating — and release in this country."
Portables (Apple)

Apple Can Remotely Disable iPhone Apps 550 550

mikesd81 writes "Engadget reports Apple has readied a blacklisting system which allows the company to remotely disable applications on your device. It seems the new 2.x firmware contains a URL which points to a page containing a list of 'unauthorized' apps — a move which suggests that the device makes occasional contact with Apple's servers to see if anything is amiss on your phone. Jonathan Zdziarski, the man who discovered this, explains, 'This suggests that the iPhone calls home once in a while to find out what applications it should turn off. At the moment, no apps have been blacklisted, but by all appearances, this has been added to disable applications that the user has already downloaded and paid for, if Apple so chooses to shut them down. I discovered this doing a forensic examination of an iPhone 3G. It appears to be tucked away in a configuration file deep inside CoreLocation.'" Update: 08/11 13:07 GMT by T : Reader gadgetopia writes with a small story at IT Wire, citing an interview in the Wall Street Journal, in which this remote kill-switch is "confirmed by Steve Jobs himself."

Why COBOL Could Come Back 405 405

snydeq writes "Sure 'legacy systems archaeologist' ranks as one of the 7 dirtiest jobs in IT, but COBOL skills might see a scant revival in the wake of California's high-profile pay-cut debacle. After all, as Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister points out, new code may in fact be more expensive than old code. According to an IDC survey, code complexity is on the rise. And it's not the applications that are growing more complex, but the technologies themselves. 'Multicore processing, SOA, and Web 2.0 all contribute to rising software development costs,' which include $5 million to $22 million spent on fixing defects per company per year. Do the math, and California's proposed $177 million nine-year modernization project cost will double, McAllister writes. Perhaps numbers like those won't deter modernization efforts, but the estimated 90,000 coders still versed in COBOL may find themselves in high demand teaching new dogs old tricks."

FISA and Border Searches of Laptops 421 421

With the recent attention to the DHS's draconian policy on laptop searches at borders, a blog post by Steven Bellovin from last month is worth wider discussion. Bellovin extrapolates from the DHS border policy on physical electronic devices and asks why authorities wouldn't push to extend it to electronic data transfers. "...it would seem to make little difference if the information is 'imported' into the US via a physical laptop or via a VPN, or for that matter by a Web connection. The right to search a laptop for information, then, is equivalent to the right to tap any and all international connections, without a warrant or probable cause. (More precisely, one always has a constitutional protection against 'unreasonable' search and seizure; the issue is what the definition of 'unreasonable' is.)"

Why Microsoft Cozied up to Open Source at OSCON 325 325

This year at OSCON it seemed that you couldn't throw a stone without hitting someone from Microsoft (and in fact, I'm sure several people did). They were working very hard to make themselves known, and working desperately to change public opinion of Microsoft's involvement in the open source community. Linux.com's Nathan Willis took a look at what they were preaching, with a hefty dose of skepticism, and tries to postulate what the "angle" is. Of course, the powers that be at Microsoft may have finally seen the writing on the wall and felt the pressure from Google enough to alter their strategy a bit. For now I guess we'll have to wait with guarded optimism (or laughable contempt, depending on how old/jaded you are).

Submission + - Internationalization of Malware->

Ant writes: "Cudni's DSL/Broadband Reports security forum thread shares a SecurityFocus blog on internationalization of malware. Wes Brown, the author, share his some of his observations on where malware is going like growing internationalization, culture impact, linguistic barriers, internationalization of antimalware tools, and hints."
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The Courts

Submission + - Usenet.com may find Safe Harbor from RIAA lawsuit->

Daneal writes: Ars Technica has some interesting analysis of the RIAA's lawsuit against Usenet.com. There's reason to believe that Usenet.com — and most other Usenet providers — could qualify for protection under the DMCA's Safe Harbor provision. 'One potential roadblock for the RIAA's latest lawsuit may come courtesy of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA's Safe Harbor provision provides protection for ISPs from copyright infringement lawsuits as long as they take down offending material once they are served with a notice of infringement. "Whether the Safe Harbor applies is the central legal question that is going to be raised," EFF senior staff attorney Fred von Lohmann told Ars. An RIAA spokesperson tells Ars that the group has issued "many" takedown notices to Usenet.com, but von Lohmann says that the volume of takedown notices isn't what counts. "The DMCA's Safe Harbor makes it very clear," von Lohmann said. "The number of notices doesn't matter as long as you take the infringing content down."' It looks like the RIAA definitely does not have a slam-dunk case against Usenet.com
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Submission + - Wolves in IT Admin's Clothing->

Kitsuneymg writes: Dark Reading takes a look at how companies seek to protect themselves (and their data) from their own IT staff. From the article, it seems they have a long way to go.

But Diodati notes that there is a whole range of administrative passwords built into many scripts and applications that still need to be addressed by access control technologies and practices. "At some point, there's going to be a need to rip embedded passwords out of programs and restrict them," he says. "That will probably come later, after the basic administrative checkout issues are addressed."

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The fancy is indeed no other than a mode of memory emancipated from the order of space and time. -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge