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Input Devices

The Gym Arcade 143

theodp writes "Cross Halo with an exercise bike, and you get Expresso Fitness' S3, which lets you blow away dragons by squeezing handlebar-mounted triggers as you pedal hard through the Chinese countryside. Portfolio notes that a new generation of Wii-like workouts is hitting gyms and homes, with companies like GameRunner incorporating treadmills into First Person Shooters and Kickstart offering mini steppers and cycles for popular game systems."
United States

NYT Notes Flaws In Current Electronic Voting Methods 121

dstates writes "The New York time has an informative article on electronic voting with some frightening statistics and interesting anecdotes. Printers on Diebold machines in Cayahoga County OH jammed 20% of the time, making paper trail recounts suspect. Crashing voting machines in California reportedly resulted from Windows CE sensing fingers sliding from one key to another as a drag and drop event, and the Diebold software failing to handle the event. Of course, rather than just ignore this unanticipated condition, the OS did the right thing for a voting machine and crashed."

Domains May Disappear After Search 379

Ponca City, We Love You writes "Daily Domainer has a story alleging that there may be a leak that allows domain tasters to intercept, analyze and register your domain ideas in minutes. 'Every time you do a whois search with any service, you run a risk of losing your domain,' says one industry insider. ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC ) has not been able to find hard evidence of Domain Name Front Running but they have issued an advisory (pdf) for people to come forward with hard evidence it is happening. Here is how domain name research theft crimes can occur and some tips to avoiding being a victim."
PlayStation (Games)

A Peek At the Origin of PS3's New Visualizer 48

Folks at the Gamasutra network had a quick sitdown with the Q-Games team, the people behind the PlayStation 3's new Gaia music visualizer. They discuss the origins of the project, as well as some possible plans for the future. "McLaren explains: 'This representation of the earth is a 3D model with some shaders and SPU trickery going on. We tried to accurately model the earth's atmosphere and have all the correct highlights on the oceans, etc. The texture data is sourced from the NASA Blue Marble project.'"

Dr. Bussard Passes Away, Polywell Fusion Continues 79

Vinz writes "Dr Bussard, the man behind the Bussard Collector and inventor of the Polywell fusion device, passed away last Sunday in the morning. He leaves behind him a legacy of EM fusion devices, and a team determined to continue his efforts. The news of funding extension for the construction of his WB-7 fusion devices made it to slashdot months ago (as well as his talk at google). They may be a serious candidate in the run to bring commercial fusion, and may work at lower scales than other projects. Let's hope the project continues in good shape despite his departure."
Operating Systems

Replacing Atime With Relatime in the Kernel 416

eldavojohn writes "Our friend Jeremy at the Kernal Trap has dug up some interesting criticism of atime from Linus Torvalds. As Linus submitted patches to improve relatime he noted: 'I cannot over-emphasize how much of a deal it is in practice. Atime updates are by far the biggest IO performance deficiency that Linux has today. Getting rid of atime updates would give us more everyday Linux performance than all the pagecache speedups of the past 10 years, _combined_.' And later severely beat atime about the head with a pointed stick: 'It's also perhaps the most stupid Unix design idea of all times. Unix is really nice and well done, but think about this a bit: 'For every file that is read from the disk, lets do a ... write to the disk! And, for every file that is already cached and which we read from the cache ... do a write to the disk!'" Well, I guess I can expect my Linux machine to become a little bit faster!"

US Intensifies Fight Against Child Pornography 663

TechnoGuyRob writes "BBC News is reporting that the Bush administration has recently stepped up its measures against child pornography. From the article 'Sadly, the internet age has created a vicious cycle in which child pornography continually becomes more widespread, more graphic, more sadistic, using younger and younger children. [...] Mr. Gonzales also said that he is investigating ways to ensure that ISPs retain records of a user's web activities to track down offenders.'"

Seeking Prior Art Before Filing Patent? 86

An anonymous reader asks: "I had a sort of out-there idea for computer hardware, and wanted to investigate design and manufacture. I figure the first step would be to patent the idea so that I am protected from it being stolen, while I confer with contractors about fabrication and circuit design. Does anyone know of ways to check for prior art, other than hitting up Google for something similar? I believe this idea is unique, but you never know what could have been out there, and I didn't know if there were any good resources on the web. Since the readership seems to be an inventive bunch, I think discussion on this topic may help more people than myself."

What Do You Look For In Screenshots? 105

_iris asks: "Most software creators offer screenshots of their software in action. Screenshots are also included in most 3rd party software reviews and previews. The screenshots are usually focused on the unique features of the program. When I am evaluating software, I am usually interested in how the software differs in the more mundane ways. I'm more interested in differences in the file open/save dialogs, what program presents to me when I first open it, how the help system is integrated into the system, etc. My reasoning is that if there is only one or two programs that accomplish my needs, it doesn't matter much how it works or what it looks like because I am stuck either using it or writing my own. Do you care about the unique features or do you care about the slight differences in the common features or do you focus on something else entirely?"

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"