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Music

+ - Vista's changes rob Creative of PC audio crown 4

Submitted by Dr. Damage
Dr. Damage (123558) writes "Creative has ruled PC sound almost since the beginning, but Vista's new audio layer changes the game by essentially killing off 3D positional audio acceleration. The Tech Report has reviewed a pair of post-Vista sound cards, with surprising results. Motherboard maker Asus saw the opening and created perhaps the best consumer-level sound card yet, the Xonar D2X, with quality components, an EMI shield, color-illuminated ports, the best objective measurements and subjective listening test scores we've ever seen, and (finally!) a PCI Express x1 connector. Could the Sound Blaster era finally be over?"
Wine

+ - Winefix - improved desktop integration for Wine->

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "I found this on the Ubuntu user forums, thanks goes out to (deadlydeathcone) here is his post.

A script called winefix. In short, it allows Wine applications to be run just as easily as those native to Linux, meaning that they can be linked to or run from any directory, whether from a terminal or even a file manager like nautilus. It also handles some of the more awkward Wine extensions like .lnk and .msi, akkowing them to be run with a double click.

It also offers a good number of enhancements and fixes over "vanilla" Wine, especially in regards to Compiz and Beryl. If either of the two are running when a Wine application requiring DirectX or OpenGL is run, you'll be asked if they should be temporarily disabled, and reinstated immediately after the application exits. it also allows for the "Legacy Apps" workaround in Compiz Fusion to be similarly enabled and disabled, as always leaving it on is a disaster — while it can fix the fullscreen modes of Wine apps, it actually breaks those of most native ones. The other enhancements allow the option for each application to have it's own dedicated virtual Windows desktop (basically whether a program should be started "windowed" ), be reniced, ensure that fullscreen applications restore the desktop resolution properly, or, for 64 bit machines, run in 32-bit compatability mode (thanks to mikey for suggesting the last two!)

The script also changes Wine's error reporting behavior. Wine normally reports every error and fixme message that is encountered when an application is running, meaning that running programs via terminal results in a deluge of error messages that can greatly hurt performance, and that running them via script or file manager results in losing the ability to see any error messages at all. This script, by default, only reports critical system and Wine error messages, and only displays them if a Wine program actually crashes, in which case you'll then see a dialog much like this:

If it's the first time a particular application has crashed, you'll also be given the option to view its Winehq.org Application Database page, or if not found, asked if you'd like to create one.

The script also allows for more thorough error reporting by the use of command line options. Adding the flag "-d 1" causes all errors normally reported by Wine to be displayed, and saves application to the "log" folder in your Wine directory. There's also a "-d 2" option that causes ALL errors and system relays to be reported, but it's really only useful for debugging (it's insanely slow).

Using the script is pretty easy — it's used in exactly the same manner as wine itself, ie 'winefix drive_c/Program Files/dwarfort.exe' or 'winefix "C:\Program Files\dwarfort.exe"', and accepts all of wine's environment varables. It adds many command line options as well — run "winefix -?" in a terminal for a complete list.

The easiest way to use the script is to install the attached deb — the script will be automatically integrated with Gnome, allowing Wine apps to be run with a double click — something that can't be reliably done with Wine alone (see Bug #1, below). It does the same with Wine files of the .msi, and .lnk extensions, and adds Tango icons to the Wine menu as well:"

Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Open Source Political Party in the making

Submitted by amesolaire
amesolaire (207000) writes "This is something most of us geeks have been contemplating on at least somewhat subconscious level since the day we started to realize the importance and the potential of community-based sites such as wikipedia, slashdot and digg. Now an undisclosed entity has put up a heartwarming manifesto with the stated intent to gauge the public interest in such an idea. Among the 10 points of the manifesto are: "wiki-style collaborative writing of proposed laws and bills" and "all politicians keep regularly updated blogs, with open comment systems, to maintain contact with their constituents". While it is slightly ironic that a site advocating openness and transparency misses to disclose the identities of the people behind the initiative and is all-around frugal on details, sparking serious discussion on the role of the "social Internet" in politics and government seems ever more pressing in the face of the failure that is the current US administration."

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington

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