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Comment: Re:Let a hundred extensions bloom? (Score 2, Informative) 167

by Tinyn (#25078129) Attached to: SGI Releases OpenGL As Free Software
A significant portion of those NV and ATI (and SGI and APPLE and etc) specific extensions have been promoted to cross-manufacturer standards when a EXT or ARB version of the extension is created. When DirectX gets a new feature added to the cards they get exposed in OpenGL as a (usually) NV extention first, and then when the next OpenGL version comes out there would be a EXT or ARB extention for it that will probably work on ATI cards by that time as well.
Microsoft

Microsoft Deprecating Some OOXML Functionality 138

Posted by Zonk
from the dotting-the-is-crossing-the-ts dept.
christian.einfeldt writes "According to open standards advocate Russell Ossendryver, Microsoft will be deprecating certain functionality in its Microsoft Office Open XML specification. Ossendryver says the move is an attempt to quiet critics of the specification in the run up to the crucial February ISO vote. The Microsoft-led industry standards group formally offering OOXML confirms in a 21 December 2007 announcement that issues related to the 'leap year bug', VML, compatibility settings such as 'AutoSpaceLikeWord95' and others will be 'extracted from the main specification and relocated to an independent annex in DIS 29500 for deprecated functionality.'"
Music

+ - The Death of High Fidelity 1

Submitted by
Ponca City, We Love You
Ponca City, We Love You writes "Rolling Stone has an interesting story on how record producers alter the way they mix albums to compensate for the limitations of MP3 sound. Much of the information left out during MP3 compression is at the very high and low ends, which is why some MP3s sound flat. Without enough low end, "you don't get the punch anymore. It decreases the punch of the kick drum and how the speaker gets pushed when the guitarist plays a power chord." The inner ear automatically compresses blasts of high volume to protect itself, so we associate compression with loudness and human brains have evolved to pay particular attention to loud noises, so compressed sounds initially seem more exciting. But the effect doesn't last. After a few minutes, constant loudness grows fatiguing to the brain. Though few listeners realize this consciously, many feel an urge to skip to another song. "We're conforming to the way machines pay music. It's robots' choice. It used to be ladies' choice — now it's robots' choice," says Steely Dan frontman Donald Fagen."
Desktops (Apple)

Is the Dell XPS One Better than the Apple iMac? 627

Posted by Zonk
from the dell-box-better-than-an-osx-one dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Apple iMac is probably the standard all-in-one desktop computer. Great operating system, built-in software and design around solid, but pretty normal, hardware guts. According to Walter Mossberg, there's a new kid in town that not only matches it but is 'sightly ahead': the Dell XPS One. His latest review is already causing the usual suspects to weigh in. Mossberg says it is a better machine, but Vista and its built-in software make it inferior than Apple iMac's Leopard and iLife suite. Would you choose the better hardware of the Dell XPS One -which is more expensive- or the elegant design and software of the Apple iMac?"
Portables (Games)

+ - Should Retailers Wipe Used Games and Consoles? 2

Submitted by
Draconum
Draconum writes "For Christmas this year, one of my (much) younger cousins received a used copy of Nintendogs for the DS. However, the previous owner of the cartridge felt it prudent to name his pet dog a racial slur that is highly offensive and not printable on Slashdot. As well, the saved file was not yet at the point at which you can change game settings or erase the save, so erasing it would mean my cousin (or at least someone else) would have had to play through the game's introductory section, all the while being exposed to that highly offensive term.

My aunt, who purchased the cartridge for her, was outraged and felt that the retailer should take responsibility for this. My question is, then, do you think it's reasonable for retailers to be required to factory-reset game cartridges that could possibly contain highly offensive user-created content? (This is not as simple as it seems, though, as many games make it difficult or impossible to do this effectively.) Note that I'm not questioning whether or not they should accept a return, but whether or not they should responsible for literally erasing the saved files before reselling them.

It occurs to me that, additionally, as consoles (Wii, Xbox360, and PS3 included) are starting to allow storage of vast amounts of content within the console itself, on hard drives or flash memory, should retailers wipe those as well? (As far fetched as it seems — or not — think pornographic images, offensive text, etc.)"
Announcements

+ - New AT&T DSL Ripoff 1

Submitted by
rhadagast
rhadagast writes "The AT&T $10 DSL is a great deal. I signed up for it last summer and have been enjoying $10 DSL since.

But to make it even better, AT&T sent me a great offer(?) in the mail this week.

I can increase my speed by "up to 2X your internet speed without paying 2X more"

If I sign up for this great new offer, my cost goes from only $10 a month to only $32.95 a month. What a deal. I can get UP TO 2X the speed, and NOT pay 2X more. I only have to pay 3.295X more. What a deal!!!"
Displays

+ - The Screens Of The Future (transparent OLED)->

Submitted by indigor
indigor (1184981) writes "First flat screen technology was Liquid Crystal Display technology (LCD), then plasma, then Surface-conduction Electron-emitter (SED) and now Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED). Scientists at the Fraunhofer succeeded in constructing transparent OLED displays. They used light-emitting polymers. When Fraunhofer Institute made them transparent they have opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Now it is possible to make display panels in laminated glass."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Mono: Does anybody want it?-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "When you think mono, you think tired. You think sleepy. You think shut-yourself-up-in-your-bedroom-for-two-weeks-and-snooze-like-Rip-Van-Winkle. You get the idea. But that is not how it should be. Mono isn't boring. Mono should excite people! I am speaking, of course, of the open source implementation of the Microsoft .NET Framework. It should make them stand up and say, "Wow! Here is one of the most interesting projects I've seen in a long time in the wonderful world of Linux." And yet, this is not the case. People are taking their prescription sleep aids, turning off their cell-phones and settling down for a long winter's nap. So why is it that one of the most ambitious projects that I have ever laid eyes on is not garnering more enthusiasm?"
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Gates foundation deathly side-effects-> 3

Submitted by HuguesT
HuguesT (84078) writes "An long and detailed article from the L.A. Times points out severe, unintended side effects of the health policies of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. This foundation has given away almost 2 billions US$ to the fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria worldwide. Thanks in no small measure to this effort, the death toll from AIDS in most of Africa are finally levelling off. However, the money from the foundation is earmarked to the fight against these three diseases, to the detriment of global health. Sick people can also be hungry and not able to ingest healing drugs. Doctors in these countries prefer to be well paid working against AIDS than poorly working against all the other health problems, which creates a brain drain. Numerous children also suffer from diarrhea or asphyxia due to lack of basic care. The paradox is that countries where the foundation has invested most have seen their mortality rate increase, whereas it has improved in countries where the foundation was least involved."
Link to Original Source
Data Storage

+ - Fujitsu develops high-speed, power-efficient ReRAM

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The hard working researchers at Japanese storage giant Fujitsu have developed a new kind of memory that promises better speed and power efficiency. A product of Fujitsu Labs, the resistive RAM(ReRAM) is a type of non-volatile memory which combines low power consumption with limited fluctuation of resistance value. ReRAM is a type of memory that uses material for which the resistance value changes when voltage is applied. ReRAM is amenable to miniaturization and can be manufactured inexpensively, making it attractive as an alternative to flash memory."
Sci-Fi

+ - Terry Pratchett diagnosed with Alzheimer's->

Submitted by
The Solitaire
The Solitaire writes "Terry Pratchett, author of the hugely popular Discworld series of comic-fantasy novels, has announced that he has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's".

From the announcement:

I would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to keep my publishers informed, it seems to me unfair to withhold the news. I have been diagnosed with a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer's, which lay behind this year's phantom "stroke".

We are taking it fairly philosophically down here and possibly with a mild optimism. For now work is continuing on the completion of Nation and the basic notes are already being laid down for Unseen Academicals. All other things being equal, I expect to meet most current and, as far as possible, future commitments but will discuss things with the various organisers. Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books yet :o)

Geeks everywhere will undoubtedly be very saddened by the news, although it's nice to know he plans to continue writing."

Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft's OOXML claims its first scalp!->

Submitted by
The Open Sourcerer
The Open Sourcerer writes "In what is an astonishingly outspoken report, Martin Bryan, Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 WG1 has given insight into the total mess that Microsoft/ECMA has caused during their scandalous, underhand and unremitting attempts to get — what is a very poorly written specification — approved as an ISO standard. "The disparity of rules for PAS, Fast-Track and ISO committee generated standards is fast making ISO a laughing stock in IT circles. The days of open standards development are fast disappearing. Instead we are getting "standardization by corporation", something I have been fighting against for the 20 years I have served on ISO committees. I am glad to be retiring before the situation becomes impossible. I wish my colleagues every success for their future efforts, which I sincerely hope will not prove to be as wasted as I fear they could be." The Open Sourcerer"
Link to Original Source

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