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The Courts

Red Cross Debates If Virtual Killing Violates International Humanitarian Law 516

Ron2K writes in with a story about a Red Cross committee that is debating if people playing war video games should be subject to the same humanitarian laws as people in a real war. Seriously. "With 62 billion kills in Call of Duty: Black Ops alone, a committee of the Red Cross is debating whether the International Humanitarian Law is applicable to online gamers, and if they are violating it. From the committee's site: 'While the Movement works vigorously to promote international humanitarian law worldwide, there is also an audience of approximately 600 million gamers who may be virtually violating International Humanitarian Law. Exactly how video games influence individuals is a hotly debated topic, but for the first time, Movement partners discussed our role and responsibility to take action against violations of this law in video games.' While it's questionable if gamers themselves can be prosecuted for not obeying the Geneva convention, the Red Cross committee's actions seem to be aimed more at game developers — as first person shooters become more realistic, do game developers have an obligation to include humanitarian elements?"

Can We Really Tell Lossless From MP3? 849

EddieSpinola writes "Everyone knows that lossless codecs like FLAC produce better sounding music than lossy codecs like MP3. Well that's the theory anyway. The reality is that most of us can't tell the difference between MP3 and FLAC. In this quick and dirty test, a worrying preponderance of subjects rated the MP3 encodes higher than the FLAC files. Very interesting, if slightly disturbing reading!" Visiting with adblock and flashblock is highly recommended, lest you be blinded. The article is spread over 6 pages and there is no print version.
The Courts

Apple Believes Someone Is Behind Psystar 606

rgraham writes "From the article on Growler: 'Apple apparently believes that somebody else is behind Psystar, which might help to explain why a major law firm would take on what seems like a fly-by-night's case; also why Psystar has been so bold in continuing to sell its products. I knew this thing felt funny. As Alice in Wonderland might put it, "It gets interestinger and interestinger."'"
The Courts

Ray Beckerman Sued By the RIAA 725

An anonymous reader writes "Ray Beckerman, known for questioning the RIAAs legal tactics (also for frequent Slashdot contributions), was sued by the RIAA over his blog Recording Industry vs. People. In question is the 'vexatious' claims that the RIAAs legal tactics is a 'sham.' Beckerman is quoted as saying that the litigation against him is 'frivolous and irresponsible.'"

Reading Google Chrome's Fine Print 607

Much ink and many electrons are being spilled over Google's Chrome browser (discussed here twice in recent days): from deep backgrounders to performance benchmarks to its vulnerability to a carpet-bombing flaw. The latest angle to be explored is Chrome's end-user license agreement. It does not look consumer-friendly. "By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any content which you submit, post or display on or through, the services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the services and may be revoked for certain services as defined in the additional terms of those services."
First Person Shooters (Games)

The Duke Is Finally Back, For Real 309

After the first announcement on 1997-04-27 and over eleven years of fresh start after fresh start, Duke Nukem Forever finally comes to your system. At least if your system is an Xbox 360. Jon Siegler, the webmaster of 3D Realms, confirms this on their site: "As has been reported around the net today, we can confirm that the game has indeed passed final certification with Microsoft on Friday the 15th of August (on our first try, no less). That means the game is done — it is now in the hands of Microsoft." Update: 08/19 10:47 GMT by T : Several readers have written with a correction: this announcement is actually about Duke Nukem 3D, rather than Duke Nukem Forever.
The Military

USAF Launch Supersonic Bomb Firing Technology 257

coondoggie writes "Boeing and the US Air Force today said they have tested new technology that for the first time will let military aircraft launch bombs from aircraft moving at supersonic speeds. Researchers from Boeing Phantom Works and the Air Force Research Laboratory used a rocket sled in combination with what researchers called "active flow control" to successfully release a smart bomb known as MK-82 Joint Direct Attack Munition Standard Test Vehicle (JDAM) at a speed of about Mach 2 from a weapons bay with a size approximating that of the U.S. Air Force B-1 bomber, Boeing said. Active flow control is a tandem array of microjets upstream of the weapons bay that, when fired reduces the unsteady pressures inside the bay and modifies the flow outside to ensure the JDAM munition travels out of the bay correctly."

Rocket-Powered 21-Foot Long X-Wing Actually Flies 310

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that some crazy California enthusiasts have built a 21-foot long model of an X-Wing. While this might be impressive in its own right, this model actually flies. Powered by four solid-fuel rocket engines the group has high hopes for their launch next week. Let's hope the built-in R2 unit makes it out ok.

Apple vs Microsoft Both Copycats 207

jdbartlett writes "Yesterday, we read Paul Thurrott's response to Apple's Leopard preview. In his TechBlog, Jim Thompson trims Thurrott's bloated opinion piece and presents an alternative take on four major new features, admitting that each may have been inspired but certainly not by Microsoft. Thompson ignores 6 features; some (Core Animation, Accessibility improvements) needed no defense, but perhaps not all Thurrott's points were invalid."

Building a Video Editing Box? 143

RexDart asks: "I'm building a new AMD64/939 box and would like to build into the system: capabilities to capture video from analog and digital sources; edit; add text and overlays; and maybe do the occasional DVE. This is for home movies, wedding videos and occasional project for work. This will be a dual boot Linux (Red Hat or Ubuntu most likely) / WinXP system. Open source, free, software would be ideal (Audacity will definitely be installed), but commercial solutions are not out of the picture. I'd like to keep the media production on the Linux side of the system and reserve WinXP for gaming, but is Linux up to the task?"

"Anyone attempting to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of course, living in a state of sin." -- John Von Neumann