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The Internet

Submission + - 10 internet history myths ( 1

Barence writes: "PC Pro's Davey Winder smashes 10 myths about the history of the internet that appear to have become common currency. The internet wasn't designed to survive a nuclear war, QWERTYUIOP wasn't the content of the first email, and Tim Berners-Lee didn't invent hyperlinks. Nor does Sir Tim's empty ex-office at the CERN lab lend its name to the error code for unfound web pages. "Alas, there has never been a room 404 at the CERN labs in Switzerland," Winder explains."
The Courts

FBI Bullet Analysis Technique Invalidated With Science

Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that the FBI has abandoned comparative bullet-lead analysis, the technique using chemistry to link crime-scene bullets to ones possessed by suspects. The comparison was made on the theory that each batch of lead had a unique elemental makeup. The National Academy of Sciences has revealed that decades of FBI statements to jurors linking a particular bullet to those found in a suspect's gun or cartridge box were so overstated that such testimony should be considered 'misleading under federal rules of evidence.' NAS says that the flaw is in using a statistical method called chaining (pdf). Analysts sequentially compared crime scene bullets to a set of reference bullets ... which can lead to the formation of artificially large sets of matching bullets. The government has fought releasing the list of the estimated 2,500 cases over three decades in which the FBI performed the flawed analysis."
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - First U.S. Sega Genesis Game Released since 1998 (

Om writes: "Beggar Prince is the first commercial Sega Genesis game released in the United States since 1998. The game is a roleplaying game originally released in Taiwan and was adapted by an American company called Super Fighter Team. Gamespot has an interview with the owner Brandon Cobb which lends some insight into why this project, which can only be described as a labor of love, started. The game itself "ships inside a plastic clam-shell case along with a glossy 27-page instruction manual, and is compatible with both NTSC and PAL Genesis Megadrive game systems." So for all of you looking for a trip down memory lane and own either a Genesis or the Sega Nomad, this is probably your best bet."
Classic Games (Games)

Submission + - PS3 Guitar Hero III has Severe Playability Issues (

rbgrn writes: "As the latest in one of the most successful video game series today, Guitar Hero III offers the same rhythm-based game play as the previous releases. It is available for PS2, PS3, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360. So far as I have read, the game runs very well on all platforms except the PS3. Playstation 3 users are plagued with issues including controller problems and strange game behavior. I was one of the unfortunate ones to have excitedly purchased this game for PS3 only to find out that it's very difficult if not impossible to have a positive gaming experience with it. I spent some time researching the problems and my conclusion is that the PS3 version was rushed and absolutely not ready for market."

Submission + - California Testers Find Flaws in Voting Machines ( 1

quanticle writes: According to Ars Technica, California testers have discovered severe flaws in the ES&S voting machines. The paper seals were easily bypassed, and the lock could be picked with a "common office implement". After cracking the physical security the device, the testers found it simple to reconfigure the BIOS to boot off external media. After booting a version of Linux, they found that critical system files were stored in plain text. They also found that the election management system that initializes the voting machines used unencrypted protocols to transmit the initialization data to the voting machines, allowing for a man-in-the-middle attack.

Altogether, it is a troubling report for a company already in hot water for selling uncertified equipment to counties.

Data Storage

Submission + - Samsung's 64GB SSD drive review ( 4

Lucas123 writes: "Computerworld's Rich Ericson reviewed Samsung's first large capacity solid state disk drive and says it's heartier and faster than the drive in Sony's new flash-based notebook. It's also got an impressive mean time between failure of more than 2 million hours, versus under 500,000 hours for the Samsung's other traditional hard drives and the company says the drive can withstand an operating shock of 1,500Gs at .5 miliseconds (versus 300Gs at 2 miliseconds for a traditional hard drive. "Power consumption is just 1 watt when the system is active, 0.1 watt when idle, and .06 watt in standby mode. (Equivalent power consumption figures with hard drives are 2.1, 1.5, and .2 watts, respectively.) That could explain why we got 5 hours, 22 minutes of power in Max Battery mode when surfing the Web, creating documents with OpenOffice, or uploading and downloading files to an FTP server.""

Feed Engadget: Wiimote used in Buckyball Bowling, other educational simulations (

Filed under: Gaming

Seriously, is there anything the Wiimote can't do? Just when you thought the world had exhausted all possibilities for Nintendo's oh-so-versatile controller, along comes the crew at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to prove otherwise. Programmed to operate with BigBen -- PSC's 4,000 processor, 21-teraflop Cray XT3 supercomputing system -- the Wiimote was seen controlling a round of Buckyball Bowling, which just might be the nerdiest (that's a compliment, ya know) title for a game to date. Additionally, it was suggested that the WiiMD technology could eventually "offer scientists an easily usable tool to gain insight into simulations," and moreover, provide "an entertaining educational outreach tool to help interest students in biology, chemistry and physics." Man, lecturing is so last year.

[Via EarthTimes]

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


MythTV Scheduling Service Reveals Pricing 236

An anonymous reader writes "A group of open source developers have been working behind the scenes to create a new service known as Schedules Direct to provide affordable scheduling data for North American users of MythTV. Today, they've announced an initial pricing plan of $15 for a 3 month block, non-recurring. Details are still fairly light at the moment, but there's a mailing list and a FAQ available on the site — one notable tidbit is that the developers 'expect pricing to drop by the end of the initial term. Our goal is $20/year.' This comes weeks before the planned shutdown of Zap2it Labs' Data Direct service mentioned previously."

Submission + - MPAA: Plagarism good, Piracy bad? 1

BillGatesLoveChild writes: The MPAA is fast to complain about their Intellectual Property being violated, but have no qualms about violating the Intellectual Property of others. The SMH reports another case of a Hollywood Studio plagarizing a film as their own. Adam Sandler's I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007) is a tale of two firemen who pretend to be gay to get domestic partner benefits. Curiously Paul Hogan's Strange Bedfellows (2004) made three years earlier, is also a tale of two firemen who pretend to be gay to get domestic partner benefits. Universal Studios issued a statement claiming "the similarities are purely coincidental". The producers of "Strange Bedfellows" are amused but not convinced.

This isn't the first time, with similar accusations being made against Spielberg's Julie Newmar (1995) vs Priscilla (1994) and Eddie Murphy's "Coming to America" which the courts found was stolen from writer Art Buchwald. Add to that "Hollywood Accounting" fleecing artists (The Forest Gump movie didn't pay the author a cent in royalties), the Record Industry doing the same and the MPAA itself caught yet unrepentant for pirating movies. Before The Senate rushes off to do their bidding, shouldn't the MPAA and RIAA be ordered to clean up their own houses?

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.