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Businesses

EA Shuts Down Pandemic Studios, Cuts 200 Jobs 161

Posted by Soulskill
from the say-goodnight-folks dept.
lbalbalba writes "Electronic Arts is shutting down its Westwood-based game developer Pandemic Studios just two years after acquiring it, putting nearly 200 people out of work. 'The struggling video game publisher informed employees Tuesday morning that it was closing the studio as part of a recently announced plan to eliminate 1,500 jobs, or 16% of its global workforce. Pandemic has about 220 employees, but an EA spokesman said that a core team, estimated by two people close to the studio to be about 25, will be integrated into the publisher's other Los Angeles studio, in Playa Vista.' An ex-developer for Pandemic attributed the studio's struggles to poor decisions from the management."
The Courts

FTC Shuts Down Calif. ISP For Botnets, Child Porn 224

Posted by timothy
from the child-porn-world-needs-more-suicides dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Federal Trade Commission has convinced a federal judge to pull the plug on a 3FN.net, a.k.a. 'Pricewert LLC,' a Northern California based hosting provider. The FTC alleges that 3FN/Pricewert was directly involved in setting up spam-spewing botnets, among other illegal activities, the Washington Post's Security Fix Blog writes. From the story: 'Pricewert hosts very little legitimate content and vast quantities of illegal, malicious, and harmful content, including child pornography, botnet command and control servers, spyware, viruses, trojans, phishing related sites, illegal online pharmacies, investment and other Web-based scams, and pornography featuring violence, bestiality, and incest.' The story quotes a former Justice Dept. expert saying the FTC action may be a smoke screen for a larger criminal investigation by the federal government in 3FN's activities."
Hardware Hacking

+ - What is open source hardware?

Submitted by
ptorrone
ptorrone writes "What is open source hardware? In this article MAKE magazine divides up electronic hardware into layers, each of which has different document types and licensing concerns: Hardware (mechanical) diagrams, schematics & circuit diagrams, layout diagrams, core/firmware, software/API — each layer has an example provided and links to many of the open source hardware projects currently being worked on."
The Internet

+ - Civil Disobedience - WoW Player Protest

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "While forum trolling is nothing new I am quite simply fascinated by the sheer number of World of Warcraft players who are so dissatisfied with the current state of the game as well as the planned changes that they would brazenly defy a moderator and continue in civil disobedience as a show of protest despite the likely consequences.

Unhappy with recent comments made by Kalgan (World of Warcraft's lead designer), players have chosen to protest by flooding the Warlock class forums with nonsensical posts in an effort to gain attention to their plight. Thousands upon thousands of posts have been made with no sign of slowing.

While the dawn of a new morn (Roughly 8 o'clock Monday) is sure to bring the wrath of the unforgiving "Blue" (Moderators) down upon your heads I would like to offer up this toast:

Here's to you the underprivileged classes of Warcraft! May you one day all be as powerful as the mighty Warlock!"
Space

+ - The Solar oxygen crisis

Submitted by Astrophysicist
Astrophysicist (666) writes "The Astrophysical Journal publishes this week an article about the abundance of oxygen in the Sun. Oxygen (O) is the third most abundant atom in the universe, behind Hydrogen (H) and Helium (He). Most of the H and He was formed in the Big Bang, which means that O is the element most frequently produced by nuclear fusion reactions in the interior of the stars. The solar abundance of O, which is key in Astrophysics because of its use as a calibration reference for other objects, was thought to be well established since the 80s. However, recent evidence indicates that it has been overestimated by almost a factor of two. A revision of the Solar oxygen abundance would have a cascading effect on other important elements, such as Carbon, Nitrogen and Neon, whose abundance is only known relative to that of O. In addition to the impact on the chemical composition of many stars, models of solar interior may require some reworking in order to be consistent with the new data."
Databases

+ - Congestion Control in New York threatens Privacy

Submitted by
Etherwalk
Etherwalk writes "NY's Mayor Bloomberg announced today a series of green initiatives to reduce pollution in New York City, notably planting 1 million new trees and adding an $8 fee for all cars and $21 for commercial trucks driving below 86th Street from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on weekdays, the fee to be levied via EZ-Pass and license photos. The system's implementation effectively would make it a crime to enter lower Manhattan in your own vehicle without creating a record of your driving habits for the state."
Math

+ - Busting the MythBusters' Yawn Experiment

Submitted by
markmcb
markmcb writes "Most everyone knows and loves the MythBusters, two guys who attempt to set the story straight on so many things people just take for granted. Well, everyone except Brandon Hansen, who has offered them a taste of their own medicine as he busts the MythBusters' improper use of statistics in their experiment to show yawning is contagious. While the article maintains it is still possible yawns are contagious, the author makes it clear that he's not giving the MythBusters any credit for proving such a claim, 'not with a correlation coefficient of .045835.'"
Toys

+ - Fog Machine Blinds Car Thieves

Submitted by
aariasp
aariasp writes "Thieve brakes into car, car sprays him with thick fog so that he can't see anything. He can't take items from the car or try to drive away. Very public too. Story has been picked up by wired, c-net, Gizmodo, etc... http://www.wired.com/news/technology/autotech/0,72 886-0.html?tw=wn_index_6 http://www.cnettv.com/9710-1_53-26476.html http://www.nextlust.com/ http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/flashfog-car-se curity-this-time-the-fog-is-inside-the-car-242183. php We had this product for retail stores, but it's also proving popular for cars. also at http://www.burglarysecurity.com/"
Windows

+ - Command line list in Windows Vista

Submitted by
JamesVista
JamesVista writes "Windows Vista is seen as a vast improvement graphically, over Windows XP, however for administrators and other power users, the command line will sill be open every half an hour to get to the core of the operating system when the mouse is lost in favor of the keyboard. Hundreds of programs can be spawned from the command line as well with additional switches to give you a much more powerful control over the GUI. The command line may not be Linux but it is still powerful enough not to forget about and sometimes finding those commands can require some serious searching! This list of commands explains it all in terms of commands easily found as well as those tucked away, plus commands to get straight into settings and less known GUI applications contained within the vista operating system."

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