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Submission + - Second German Game Awards a Farce, again (deutschercomputerspielpreis.de) 1

Ranma-sensei writes: "I know it's a little late to report this, but the following issue has been covered too little in the press (and not at all at Slashdot).

On April 29th, the second German Game Awards have been bestowed to games with innovative, cultural and educational value. The problem is, it' more or less a big joke (English translation). First and foremost there has to be noted that Anno 1404 and Dawn of Discovery are one and the same game. And second, and this is why Anno won in two categories: no nominated game that featured violence in more than the most abstract form really stood a chance.

And yet, even though the assembled press laughed at them, politicians nationwide proclaim this award an essential step towards acceptance of games as cultural heritage. Oh, come on, how is this gonna help us?"

Communications

Submission + - BlackBerry Predicted A Century Ago By Nikola Tesla

andylim writes: According to the Telegraph, the BlackBerry was first predicted more than a century ago, by Nikola Tesla, the electrical engineer. Seth Porges, Popular Mechanics' current technology editor, disclosed Tesla’s prediction at a presentation, titled “108 years of futurism”, to industry figures recently in New York. Recombu.com has published the original Popular Mechanics article in which Tesla predicts a mobile phone revolution.

Submission + - Nearby 'hot spot' gives clues to growth of galaxy (cosmosmagazine.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Astronomers have the first evidence that galaxy clusters interact with the large-scale structure of the universe. At the largest possible scale, the universe resembles a kind of cosmic web with voids – huge bubble-like areas with no matter – and filaments.
Microsoft

Submission + - How Assumptions Are Making Us All Insecure (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: In the space of a given year, untold thousands of vulnerabilities are found in operating systems, applications and plug-ins. In many cases, the affected vendors fix the flaws, either with a patch, a workaround or some other mitigation. But there's also a huge population of security bugs that vendors never fix because they're deemed unexploitable, an assumption that may be turning into a serious mistake for software makers. Microsoft made such a call earlier this year, after researchers at Core Security informed the company that they had found a vulnerability in the Microsoft Virtual PC software. The flaw, which affected the virtual machine monitor (VMM) in Virtual PC, could enable an attacker to use applications running in user-space on a guest OS to access portions of the Virtual PC memory that should be inaccessible to those applications. This gives the attacker the ability to bypass anti-exploitation technologies in the underlying operating system and exploit flaws in the OS that otherwise would not be exploitable.

The difference in this case, experts say, is that the Virtual PC vulnerability is the symptom of a larger problem lurking beneath the surface: assuming that protections such as ASLR, DEP and SafeSEH will always be around to save us. "We're less worried about this particular vulnerability than we are about the now-exposed (incorrect) assumption that various security mechanisms will always be in place. It's obvious that a complete re-calibration of exploit potential for uncategorized bugs will become necessary if vulnerabilities like the one described here remain in our fielded systems. Not so good for Windows 7," Gary McGraw of Cigital said.

Comment Re:Yup (Score 0, Troll) 282

Yes. They profit from the sale of DVD's and Blu-ray. You may not like it, but they do, and they are taking steps to protect that revenue stream. If they did not have this option, I would probably not be able to freely view this content via browser as is. They would simply make everyone buy the disk when it came out.

Is BBC entirely funded by the tax-payer? Do you agree that any taxes eliminated by profits that they may make are a good thing? You can't have it both ways. I can only assume that the BBC is much like PBS in the US (public funded). PBS is a wasteland of uninteresting content here and doesn't have near the recognition of BBC. If they have a successful model that doesn't cost your tax payers too much, I personally wouldn't be so quick to criticize this move.

Comment Re:Power? (Score 2, Funny) 199

I honestly don't know why this isn't the default setting. I actually downloaded the Nook user manual just to see if it was possible to use the cover art (which they already have downloaded, for the CoverFlow-like browsing) as the screen saver, but, no.

I mean, how can I use my Nook to pick up chicks if I can't subtly cue them in to the fact that I'm reading Twilight?

Submission + - Windows Showdown: 8 Operating Systems in 6 Benchma (overclockers.com)

I.M.O.G. writes: "Since its debut, Windows Vista has taken nothing but flak from almost every demographic one could think of. Windows 7 on the other hand has been hailed as being noticeably better performing, and supposedly as light as XP. And what about XP? How do they really stack up to one another? The benchmark examination of these questions follows."

Submission + - 13 GPUs in desktop supercomputer (dvhardware.net) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Last year tomography researchers of the ASTRA group at the University of Antwerp developed a desktop supercomputer with four NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics cards. The performance of the FASTRA GPGPU system was amazing, it was slightly faster than the university's 512-core supercomputer and cost less than 4000EUR. Today the researchers announce FASTRA II, a new 6000EUR GPGPU computing beast with six dual-GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 graphics cards and one GeForce GTX 275. The development of the new system was more complicated and there are still some stability issues, but tests reveal the 13 GPUs deliver 3.75x more performance than the old system. For the tomography reconstruction calculations these researchers need to do, the compact FASTRA II is four times faster than the university's supercomputer cluster, while consuming 300x less power.

Submission + - Australian R18+ Games Discussion Paper Released

The Solitaire writes: "The Australian Government's discussion paper on the possibility of an R18+ rating for video games has finally been released — you can find it over at the Attorney General's Department website.

The Commonwealth Government has released a discussion paper which briefly summarises the key arguments for and against an R 18+ classification for computer games. Censorship Ministers have considered the issue of an adult classification for computer games on several occasions. However, they have not undertaken public consultation on this issue.
Submissions are being sought on whether the Australian National Classification Scheme should include an R 18+ classification category for computer games. Submissions can be made by downloading and completing the submission template. Submissions may also be mailed or faxed. The discussion paper and submission template contain the contact details for making a submission.

Just a word to anyone planning to write submissions: keep them civil — I know the poor guy who has to read them all."

Linux

Submission + - Linux kernel 2.6.32 released

diegocg writes: Linus Torvalds has oficially released the version 2.6.32 of the Linux kernel. New features include virtualization memory de-duplicacion, a rewrite of the writeback code faster and more scalable, many important Btrfs improvements and speedups, ATI R600/R700 3D and KMS support and other graphic improvements, a CFQ low latency mode, tracing improvements including a "perf timechart" tool that tries to be a better bootchart, soft limits in the memory controller, support for the S+Core architecture, support for Intel Moorestown and its new firmware interface, run time power management support, and many other improvements and new drivers. See the full changelog for more details.
Privacy

Submission + - iPhone Privacy Issues (seriot.ch)

Ardisson writes: Swiss iPhone developer Nicolas Seriot presented last night a talk on iPhone Privacy in Geneva. He showed how a malicious application could harvest personal data on a non jailbroken iPhone and without using private APIs. It turns out that the email accounts, the keyboard cache content and the wifi connection logs are fully accessible. The talk puts up several recommandations. There is also a demo project on github http://github.com/nst/spyphone/.
IBM

Submission + - SPAM: Racing to reverse engineer the human brain

destinyland writes: Citing competing teams on both sides of the Atlantic, this article describes the race to develop cognitive computing by reverse engineering the brain. While IBM is using the world's fourth-fastest supercomputer, the same supercomputer is also being used by the Blue Brain project at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. (The head of the project notes the difficulty in "recreating the three-dimensional structure of the brain in a 2-D piece of silicon... It's not a brain. It's more of a computer processor that has some of the accelerated parallel computing that the brain has.") Meanwhile IBM still hopes "to noninvasively measure and map the connections between all cortical and sub-cortical locations within the human brain using magnetic resonance diffusion weighted imaging." With rapidly accelerating advances in supercomputer architectures, can a simulated human brain be far off?
Link to Original Source
Intel

Submission + - Intel Shows 48-core x86 Processor (pcper.com)

Vigile writes: Intel unveiled a completely new processor design today the company is dubbing the "Single-chip Cloud Computer" (but was previously codenamed Bangalore). Justin Rattner, the company's CTO, discussed the new product at a press event in Santa Clara and revealed some interesting information about the goals and design of the new CPU. While terascale processing has been discussed for some time, this new CPU is the first to integrate full IA x86 cores rather than simple floating point units. The 48 cores are set 2 to a "tile" and each tile communicates with others via a 2D mesh networking capable of 256 GB/s rather than a large cache structure. There are more details on the design and its massive die size in this summary at PC Perspective.

Comment Re:Doomsday Machine (Score 1) 638

> Nothing can go wrong!

If you read the whole article, it really does seem like a safe and sane design. Among other things, even once it's activated it doesn't do squat unless communication with the Kremlin is lost *and* there is evidence of a nuclear strike, at the same time. Even then, the worst thing it ever does is turn control of the nukes over to the humans in the nuclear launch bunkers. Nothing gets launched unless a human makes the decision to launch.

In other words, the Dead Hand is in no way a "Doomsday Machine". It's a failsafe system to allow the military to continue to function if the top brass is wiped out by a nuclear strike.

Furthermore it is actually a good deal more cautious than the US solution to the same problem: during the Cold War, we actually kept the security codes on all of the nuclear missiles set to an all-zeroes passcode, and everyone who worked with them knew it, so the humans who were in the launch bunkers had the capability to make the decision to launch at *any* time, whether there was evidence of a Soviet attack or not, and whether the lines of communication with the White House were compromised or not. I like the Soviet approach better. It provides better protection against a trigger-happy young officer in the launch bunker.

Comment It's not business (Score 4, Insightful) 463

It IS greed. There are successful businesses, and then there are businesses who care about naught but lining their and their shareholders' pockets with money. Time, time, time, and time again, history has shown that you can run a business that people like and make money, or you can be a greedy monster and make money. It works for some time, but will those businesses be around in 100 years? If you go around the world and look at some of the companies that HAVE been around for over a century (a lot of food companies have), you'll find that the workers there are typically treated well and are very happy.

It's the same as the old king analogy. As a king, you can rule with kindness or you can rule by fear. By kindness and you can have everything you want (and everything your prosperous country can produce) and will be remembered forever. By fear and you can have everything (only what your pitiful starving country can give you) and will be forgotten over the centuries. For some reason, a lot of leaders tend to choose the latter.

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