mallumax sends word from the NYTimes that US government officials today declared a public health emergency over increasing cases of the swine flu first seen in Mexico. Here is additional coverage from CNN. From the Times: "American health officials [say]... that they had confirmed 20 cases of the disease in the United States and expected to see more as investigators fan out to track down the path of the outbreak. Other governments around the world stepped up their response to the incipient outbreak, racing to contain the infection amid reports of potential new cases from New Zealand to Hong Kong to Spain, raising concerns about the potential for a global pandemic. The cases in US looked to be similar to the deadly strain of swine flu that has killed more than 80 people in Mexico and infected 1,300 more." Reader "The man who walks in the woods" sends a link to accounts emailed to the BBC from readers in Mexico. While these are anecdotal, they do paint a picture of a more serious situation than government announcements have indicated so far.
Soulskill from the year-of-something-on-the-something dept.
Iddo Genuth writes "Since first entering the consumer market about two years ago, solid state drives (SSDs) have improved significantly. While prices remain substantially higher than conventional magnetic storage, it is predicted that in 2009 SSDs will finally make an impact on both the consumer and business markets bringing blazing fast speeds at reasonable prices for the first time — will it finally happen?"
It seems likely, as Samsung began mass-producing both 128GB and 256GB SSDs this year. Intel and Micron have also posted recentbreakthroughs which will help to bring the technology into the mainstream.
I could be wrong, but I believe the reasoning for this is so if a hash check fails with any one particular file, the server can send down the original one so that the player can still join the server, instead of kicking the player back to the main menu.
CmdrTaco from the please-jj-don't-hurt-em dept.
roelbj writes "The full trailer to the next Star Trek movie is now available at the movie's official web site. The upcoming J.J. Abrams-helmed installment represents a changing of the guard, a reboot of the franchise, and a return to the original-series crew. It should prove interesting to see how Abrams' writing staff (Cloverfield, Lost, Alias) tackles the Star Trek universe and all the continuity and baggage that comes with it."
An anonymous reader writes "Many people I know — and unsurprisingly, many people online — have already written that the quality of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix standard DVD is of such poor quality that a VHS tape is a superior version. Even older DVDs from earlier movies in the series stand up with higher quality than this release. Is this a ploy by Warner Bros. to push the HD versions of the film?"
GraphicsGus writes "NVIDIA's GeForce 8800 line of graphics cards was already the fastest on the block and AMD (formerly ATI) has had no rebuttal since its launch in November. Apparently that still wasn't good enough for the NVIDIA as they announced the new GeForce 8800 Ultra today that tops their GTX part as the world's fastest GPU. PC Perspective has put the new card through a large battery of tests including Rainbow Six Vegas, Supreme Commander Oblivion and five other titles. And guess what? It wins them all. AMD better hope that R600 is the powerhouse we are all expecting, but at over $800 MSRP, the 8800 Ultra is still going to have a limited audience, to say the least."