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Microsoft

+ - WARNING: driver updates causing Vista deactivation->

Submitted by
KrispySausage
KrispySausage writes "After weeks of gruelling troubleshooting, I've finally had it confirmed by Microsoft Australia and USA — something as small as swapping the video card or updating a device driver can trigger a total Vista deactivation.

Put simply, your copy of Windows will stop working with very little notice (three days) and your PC will go into "reduced functionality" mode, where you can't do anything but use the web browser for half an hour.

How can this ridiculous situation occur, and what is Microsoft's response... read on."

Link to Original Source
Puzzle Games (Games)

+ - Alberta Researchers Solve Checkers

Submitted by abscissa
abscissa (136568) writes "It took them almost 18 years, but the solution to checkers has been found. You can't win at checkers unless your opponent makes a mistake! Now all that remains is elusive solution to chess! With more possible ways to play a game of chess than there are electrons in the known universe, it does seem far off. Until then, study your perfect opening books for checkers!"
Biotech

Thin Water Acts Like a Solid 138

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the mash-downs dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "What happens when you compress water in a nano-sized space? According to Georgia Tech physicists, water starts to behave like a solid. "The confined water film behaves like a solid in the vertical direction by forming layers parallel to the confining surface, while maintaining it's liquidity in the horizontal direction where it can flow out," said one of the researchers. "Water is a wonderful lubricant, but it flows too easily for many applications. At the one nanometer scale, water is a viscous fluid and could be a much better lubricant," added another one."
Education

Should Schools Block Sites Like Wikipedia? 545

Posted by Cliff
from the concerned-about-its-accuracy dept.
Londovir asks: "Recently, our school board made the decision to block Wikipedia from our school district's WAN system. This was a complete block — there aren't even provisions in place for teachers or administrators to input a password to bypass the restriction. The reason given was that Wikipedia (being user created and edited) did not represent a credible or reliable source of information for schools. Should we block sites such as Wikipedia because students may be exposed to misinformation, or should we encourage sites such as Wikipedia as an outlet for students to investigate and determine the validity of the information?"
Robotics

Satellites Mating Via Robotic Arm 91

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-one-way-to-do-it dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "The launch of the Orbital Express mission, with its two satellites ASTRO and NextSat, the first one servicing the other, was widely covered a month ago. But what is happening in space now? In 'Robotic satellite servicer rehearsal underway in orbit,' Spaceflight Now reports about the progress done. A week ago, the two satellites were able to link to each other to operate the first transfer of hydrazine fuel from ASTRO's propellant tanks into NextSat. This weekend, ASTRO's ten-foot-long robotic arm is going to be used to move objects to NextSat. But what does it mean for international satellite operators when they need help with their space birds? Will they use a system designed for U.S.'s DARPA? "
Graphics

3-D Virtual Maps For the Blind 50

Posted by kdawson
from the see-me-feel-me dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes to let us know about research into producing palpable maps for the blind. Scientific American has the story of Greek researchers who produce 3D "haptic" maps that "use force fields to represent walls and roads so the visually impaired can better understand the layout of buildings and cities." Two separate systems produce haptic output from standard video and from 2D maps. The systems have been tested on a small number of users. Currently the devices that interpret the "force fields" for sight-impaired users are not portable, and so the systems are most appropriate for doing research before, e.g., visiting a new city.
The Internet

The Virtual Teacher 94

Posted by samzenpus
from the aibo-ate-my-homework dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers from Illinois and Florida are developing a networking system which will create virtual representations of real people to improve our knowledge. They will use artificial intelligence and natural language processing software to enable us to interact with these avatars. The goal of the project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is to give us the possibility to interact with these virtual representations as if they were the actual person, complete with the ability to understand and answer questions. We should see the results at the beginning of 2008 — if the researchers succeed."
Education

Vista Failing "Blackboard" College Courses 207

Posted by Zonk
from the stay-awake-in-the-back-there dept.
writertype writes "Although Blackboard is used to communicate between students and professors at virtually all of PC Magazine/Princeton Review's top 20 wired colleges, when run under a Vista environment users can see glitches. Moreover, IT departments told PC Mag that if Blackboard is used with Vista plus IE7, students can't communicate via the software. When asked why, Microsoft ... waffled. Blackboard says they'll have a fix in place by summer. Meanwhile, are there any other common college apps that Vista fails to work with?"
Hardware Hacking

Apple TV Already Being Hacked 260

Posted by kdawson
from the let-me-at-it dept.
TunesBoy writes "Only a couple of days after being shipped, the Apple TV is already being modified in a variety of ways. A thread at Something Awful discusses installing VLC, and a dedicated site, AppleTVHacks.net, has appeared and is cataloging hacks including a hard-drive upgrade tutorial. Did Apple intend for the Apple TV to be so easy to upgrade and hack?"
The Internet

Game Theory Computer Model Backs Net Neutrality 315

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the skynet-opinions dept.
Stu writes "'A world without net neutrality is one devoid of intellectual development' said Sir Tim Berners Lee in a presentation to congress last week. Well, now there's a computer model that uses game theory to back that forecast up. Developed at the University of Florida, the model shows that everyone loses if the IPs get their way — even, eventually, the IPs."
The Internet

+ - Lying Admin No Longer at Wikipedia

Submitted by abscissa
abscissa (136568) writes "Essjay, the one of highest level ups on Wikipedia who lied about his credentials in an effort to "protect his identity" (though he later announced his real name, age, and place of residence), announced that he will be leaving Wikipedia. He claimed to have several advanced degrees in theology and even went so far as to pretend to be a professor and write in support of a student (that content has now been permanently erased). He had been promoted to a paid Wikia position by Jimbo Wales, but after an outpouring of anger he was asked to resign by Jimbo (who claimed not to have all the facts until very recently)."
Businesses

Can Apple Penetrate the Corporation? 500

Posted by kdawson
from the awareness-gap dept.
coondoggie sends us a NetworkWorld story on the prospects for Apple gaining market share in the corporation. A number of factors are helping to catch the eye of those responsible for upgrading desktops and servers, the article claims: "Apple's shift to the Intel architecture; the inclusion of infrastructure and interoperability hooks, such as directory services, in the Mac OS X Server; dual-boot capabilities; clustering and storage technology; third-party virtualization software; and comparison shopping, which is being fostered by migration costs and hardware overhauls associated with Microsoft's Vista." On this last point, one network admin is quoted: "The changes in Vista are significant enough that we think we can absorb the change going to Macs just as easily as going to Vista."
Television

+ - TV delays drive viewers to piracy

Submitted by Astat1ne
Astat1ne (519290) writes "The Register has a story about the delays Australian TV viewers are experiencing with overseas-produced series and how it is driving many of them to download the shows via BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer networks. From the story: "According to a survey based on a sample of 119 current or recent free-to-air TV series', Australian viewers are waiting an average of almost 17 months for the first run series' first seen overseas. Over the past two years, average Australian broadcast delays for free-to-air television viewers have more than doubled from 7.9 to 16.7 months." According to the article, the situation is compounded by the fact that Australian viewers are unable to download legal copies of the episodes from the US iTunes website and are turning to unauthorised means to get copies of their favorite shows."

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