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Followup On Java As "Damaging" To Students 626

hedley writes "A prior article on the damage Java does to CS education was discussed here recently. There was substantial feedback and the mailbox of one of the authors, Prof Dewar, also has been filled with mainly positive responses. In this followup to the article, Prof. Dewar clarifies his position on Java. In his view the core of the problem is universities 'dumbing down programs, hoping to make them more accessible and popular. Aspects of curriculum that are too demanding, or perceived as tedious, are downplayed in favor of simplified material that attracts a larger enrollment.'"
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Nearly Entire id Back Catalog Now on Steam

Pluvius writes: "The constantly growing list of games available on Valve's online-gaming network Steam has become even more impressive with a contribution from id software. With the exception of the relatively new Quake IV and a few early games, every PC game released by id is now available, including the first five Commander Keen episodes, the Wolfenstein games, the Doom series, most of the Quake series, Heretic and HeXen, and all of the addons and expansions thereof. Better yet, all of these games can be bought together at the low price of $70, minus a 10% discount if you buy before August 10. Other packages are also available."

Feed Engadget: Dell XPS M1730 spotted in the wild? (engadget.com)

Filed under: Gaming, Laptops

It looks like Dell is finally readying a followup to its M1710 speedster with the XPS M1730. The 17-inch laptop will of course be packing some Santa Rosa muscle, but according to rumors Dell's also going to provide that new Core 2 Extreme X7800 chip for the real speed demons / big spenders out there. For graphics the base models will be getting an NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GS card with 256MB of memory, with a 512MB GeForce 8700M GT waiting in the wings. Other rumored specs include 4GB max of RAM and a 512MB or 1GB Intel Turbo Memory option, Bluetooth 2.0, Blu-ray and that welcome numeric keypad addition. The word is this one will go on sale August 27th, and while the paint job is bordering on "crime against humanity," hopefully Dell will have a few more acceptable options to decorate this gaming beast whenever it does hit the market.

[Thanks, Matthias]

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Submission + - Untapped Energy Below Us (yahoo.com) 1

EskimoJoe writes: "BASEL, Switzerland — When tremors started cracking walls and bathroom tiles in this Swiss city on the Rhine, the engineers knew they had a problem. "The glass vases on the shelf rattled, and there was a loud bang," Catherine Wueest, a teashop owner, recalls. "I thought a truck had crashed into the building." But the 3.4 magnitude tremor on the evening of Dec. 8 was no ordinary act of nature: It had been accidentally triggered by engineers drilling deep into the Earth's crust to tap its inner heat and thus break new ground — literally — in the world's search for new sources of energy. On paper, the Basel project looks fairly straightforward: Drill down, shoot cold water into the shaft and bring it up again superheated and capable of generating enough power through a steam turbine to meet the electricity needs of 10,000 households, and heat 2,700 homes. Scientists say this geothermal energy, clean, quiet and virtually inexhaustible, could fill the world's annual needs 250,000 times over with nearly zero impact on the climate or the environment. A study released this year by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said if 40 percent of the heat under the United States could be tapped, it would meet demand 56,000 times over. It said an investment of $800 million to $1 billion could produce more than 100 gigawatts of electricity by 2050, equaling the combined output of all 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S."

Submission + - Automatix Activly Dangerous to Ubuntu

exeme writes: Ubuntu developer Matthew Garrett has recently analysed famed Ubuntu illegal software installer Automatix and found it to be actively dangerous to Ubuntu desktop systems. In a detailed report which only took Garrett a couple of hours he found many serious, show-stopper bugs and concluded that Ubuntu could not officially support Automatix in its current state. Garrett also goes on to say that simple Debian packages could provide all of the functionality of Automatix without any of the problems it exhibits.
Data Storage

Submission + - WD's New Caviar SE16 750G Hard Drive, Huge, Fast (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "Western Digital took a bit longer than expected to finally release a desktop drive larger than 500 Gig, but their first release, the Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS looks to be an impressive rendition of new advancements in hard disk perpendicular recording technology. This new 750G WD drive gave Seagate's 7200.10 equivalent a run for its money and beat it in every performance test shown at HotHardware. Also, with storage prices so low right now, the 750G monster weighs in at a svelte $0.33/GB or better, with current street prices falling below the $250 range.""

Feed Engadget: Samsung resumes chip production, minifies losses (engadget.com)

Filed under: Storage

Merely hours after Samsung was staring at "at least" $54 million in losses from an unexpected power outage at its Giheung complex, the firm is now reporting that the half dozen production lines are "fully operational." Moreover, the outfit is now projecting losses to peak at around $43 million, which actually doesn't sound too horrific compared to prior estimates. It was noted, however, that the disruption could extend a shortage of NAND flash memory through "at least the first half of August," and reports are already claiming that prices of select NAND chips have risen "6.3-percent to a record $19.02."

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Submission + - Hydrogen turbines generate clean electricity

Roland Piquepaille writes: "The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) has developed near-zero-emission gas turbines using pure hydrogen as a fuel. But because this LSI (low-swirl injector) technology also can use other fuels, it has the potential to help eliminate millions of tons of carbon dioxide and thousands of tons of nitrous oxides (NOx) from power plants each year. In fact, burners with the LSI emit 2 parts per million of NOx, more than five times less than conventional burners. The multi-patented technology is currently available for licensing. I sure hope that a utility company will be interested. But read more for many additional references and photographs comparing a high-swirl injector (HIS) and a low-swirl injector (LSI)."

Submission + - World of Warcraft Expansion info leaked (mmo-champion.com)

reddcell writes: *The dark, necromatic Death Knight — the first new character class added to World of Warcraft since its launch.

*Northrend, the harsh, icy continent where the Lich King holds rule, complete with new zones, quests, items and monsters.

*New level cap of 80 providing access to mighty new powers and talents

*New battlegrounds featuring siege engine warfare and destructable buildings

*Expanding character customisation options including new hairstyles & dances, the ability to change the hairstyles of existing characters, and new skin color variants.

"Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown!" -- The Ghostbusters