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Submission + - Hardware-accelerated video transcoding under the microscope (

crookedvulture writes: "For years, AMD, Intel, and Nvidia have hyped the hardware-accelerated video transcoding capabilities of their CPUs and GPUs. Some implementations use dedicated logic, while others leverage the arrays of shader processors in modern graphics chips. Turns out all this hardware-accelerated mojo may be no better than old-school software transcoding. This look at video transcoding on the PC provides a detailed comparison of the latest solutions, and software transcoding consistently produces the highest-quality results. If you can live with artifacts, the QuickSync logic built into Intel's recent CPUs is easily the fastest of the hardware-accelerated solutions, though the output quality varies widely with the software used. A beta version of the hardware-accelerated x264 encoder produces consistently good results on multiple hardware configurations, but it's not much faster than pure software transcoding on a modern CPU."

Submission + - A pound of flesh: how Cisco's "unmitigated gall" d (

CortxVortx writes: High-tech entrepreneur Peter Adekeye's yearlong nightmare began after he dropped his wife off at the Vancouver International airport and headed downtown to The Wedgewood, a posh boutique hotel. Inside a tasteful boardroom adorned with gilt-framed mirrors, the US District Court for Northern California, San Jose division, had convened a special sitting to hear Adekeye's deposition as part of a massive antitrust action he had launched against his former employer, the computer giant Cisco Systems. At 5:15pm, however, two plainclothes women—the shorter one brandishing a badge—and two uniformed police officers entered the room. Adekeye was confused, as were his two Wall Street lawyers and the special judicial master conducting the hearing. But the four lawyers for Cisco knew exactly what was going on...

Submission + - Depression May Provide Cognitive Advantages 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "Paul W. Andrews and J. Anderson Thomson, Jr. argue in Scientific American that although depression is considered a mental disorder, depression may in fact be a mental adaptation which provides real benefits. This is not to say that depression is not a problem. Depressed people often have trouble performing everyday activities, they can't concentrate on their work, they tend to socially isolate themselves, they are lethargic, and they often lose the ability to take pleasure from such activities such as eating and sex. So what could be so useful about depression? "Depressed people often think intensely about their problems," write the authors. "These thoughts are called ruminations; they are persistent and depressed people have difficulty thinking about anything else. Numerous studies have also shown that this thinking style is often highly analytical. They dwell on a complex problem, breaking it down into smaller components, which are considered one at a time." Various studies have found that people in depressed mood states are better at solving social dilemmas and there is evidence that people who get more depressed while they are working on complex problems in an intelligence test tend to score higher on the test (PDF). "When one considers all the evidence, depression seems less like a disorder where the brain is operating in a haphazard way, or malfunctioning. Instead, depression seems more like the vertebrate eye--an intricate, highly organized piece of machinery that performs a specific function.""
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Myst Online to be turned into open source project (

gripen40k writes: Seems like the troubled game MystOnline: Uru Live, developed by Cyan Worlds, is releasing the game and associated materials as open source. According to the game's official web site, "Cyan has decided to give make MystOnline available to the fans by releasing the source code for the servers, client and tools for MystOnline as an open source project. We will also host a data server with the data for MystOnline. MORE is still possible but only with the help from fans."
Social Networks

Submission + - Ex-Craigslist Employee Starts Free Adult Website

An anonymous reader writes: In the wake of Craigslist's recent decision to begin charging horny folks to post under "erotic services," a former employee has decided to take advantage of the controversy by starting a free adults only website, The simple website includes only three categories, including "casual sex" and "erotic services." It is also rumored that this rogue employee teamed up with a local savvy "working girl' to help facilitate the transition of users to the new site.

Submission + - Leave Your Laptop At Home When Entering the US ( 4

rah1420 writes: "According to a recent sidebar in the NY Times, a couple of federal appeals courts have upheld the right of the government to inspect the hard drive contents of any hard drive entering the US. So make sure you leave the pr0n at home. And your finances. And your personal correspondence. And your notes and contact list (if you're a reporter.) For my part, I am buying another hard disk. I'll just install Ubuntu and Firefox and use that if I have to travel abroad."

Submission + - Brazil to build the first ethanolduct in the world

An anonymous reader writes: The technology of aqueducts has been known for centuries. A few decades ago, a technology was developed to displace massive amounts of oil and gas. Now, Brazil, the biggest producer of ethanol in the world, announced the construction of the first ethanol duct in the world. The duct will be over 1,000 km long, and will transport a volume of alcohol which would otherwise demand 1,000 trucks per day. See map and a sketch of the first ethanol duct in the world.

Submission + - OpenOffice goes online (

MrGond writes: "Ulteo (the company co-founded by Gael Duval, father of Mandriva), has put on public beta the online version of OpenOffice (JRE required). 1GB of online storage is available for your documents. Registration required (if using a GMail account, check your spam folder)"

Submission + - WiFi worms: the next generation of virus (

KentuckyFC writes: "The density of WiFi routers within our cities has reached a critical value that allows malware to spread from machine to machine without having to travel over the internet. Researchers have simulated how this spread would occur in several major US cities and say that 37 per cent of routers would be affected within two weeks (abstract published on the physics arxiv). They say that poor password hygiene, known problems with WEP encryption and the absence of antiviral software for routers all contribute to make the threat critical."

Microsoft Giving Away Vista Ultimate, With a Catch 495

Opinari writes "In case you haven't heard, Microsoft is giving away copies of Windows Vista Ultimate (32-bit or 64-bit DVD), Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007, Microsoft Money Plus Premium, Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2008, or Microsoft Streets and Trips 2008 — you can choose any one. The caveat is that you have to let them monitor your use of the program."
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA steers clear of colleges that resist 4

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that 22 institutions have been targeted in the RIAA's new round of attacks. I notice that the RIAA continues to steer clear of Harvard. Could it be because of this or this? And I notice it isn't serving any more subpoenas on the University of Oregon... could it be because of this or this? And I don't see any more subpoenas to College of William & Mary or George Washington University or University of South Florida of University of New Mexico. Could that have to do with this or this or this or this? There seems to be a pattern here. The RIAA is staying away from places where it might have a fight on their hands."

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne