Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Mars

Infertility Could Impede Human Space Colonization 360

Posted by timothy
from the happy-valentine's-day dept.
intellitech writes "The prospect of long-term space travel has led scientists to consider, increasingly seriously, the following conundrum: if travelling to a new home might take thousands of years, would humans be able to successfully procreate along the way? The early indications from NASA are not encouraging. Space, it seems, is simply not a good place to have sex."
Microsoft

Time To Dump XP? 1213

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wasn't-that-ship-date dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Gartner is saying it's time to plan your migration now (if you havent already done it). I for one know my company still has loads of users still on XP, citing training costs (time and money) rather than software license fees. Is my company alone in wanting to stay in the 1990s or is Windows 7 the way forward?"
Internet Explorer

Why IE9 Will Not Support Codecs Other Than H.264 436

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the time-is-of-the-ess dept.
jlp2097 writes "There is a new article up on Microsoft's IEBlog explaining why IE9 will support only the H.264 codec: 'First and most important, we think it is the best available video codec today for HTML5 for our customers. Relative to alternatives, H.264 maintains strong hardware support in PCs and mobile devices as well as a breadth of implementation in consumer electronics devices around the world, excellent video quality, scale of existing usage, availability of tools and content authoring systems, and overall industry momentum – each an important factor that contributes to our point of view. H.264 also provides the best certainty and clarity with respect to legal rights from the many companies that have patents in this area.'"
Cellphones

Mexico Will Shut Down 25.9 Million Cell Phones 370

Posted by timothy
from the sort-of-thing-governments-tend-to-do dept.
Several months ago, as a way to prevent the use of cellular phones in criminal activities, the government of Mexico started a program to require all phone owners to register cell phones in their own names. The registry associates each phone with the listed owner's Clave Unica de Registro de Poblacion (CURP) [CURP, in English], which is supposed to be a unique ID for every Mexican citizen. Now, as nanahuatzin writes, Yesterday the timeline to register the cell phones expired, and there are [approx 26] million cell phones yet unregistered (English translation of the Spanish original). While the procedure is simple, sending a text message with the CURP to a special number, most people do not want to register: some are wary of the uses to which the government will put the data; others did not understand or did not know the procedure. So far, only 69% have registered, most of them in the last few days, while the system to register has been oversaturated. So in an unprecedented move for any country, the Mexican government is announcing the shutdown of 25.9 million cell phone lines. Meanwhile, as a measure of protest, hundreds of people have registered their cell phones in the name of the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, to show how pointless is the registry."
Games

+ - Wii Update 4.2 tries (and fails) to block homebrew-> 3

Submitted by
marcansoft
marcansoft writes "On September 28, Nintendo released a Wii update, titled 4.2. This update was targeted squarely at homebrew, performing sweeping changes throughout the system. It hardly achieved that goal, though, because just two days later a new version of the HackMii installer was released that brings full homebrew capabilities back to all Wii consoles, including unmodified consoles running 4.2.

However, as part of their attempt to annoy homebrew users, Nintendo updated the lowest level updateable component of the Wii software stack: boot2 (part of the system bootloader chain). Homebrew users have been using BootMii to patch boot2 in order to gain low level system access and recovery functions (running Linux natively, fixing bricks, etc). The update hasn't hindered this, as users can simply reinstall BootMii after updating (it is compatible with the update). But there's a much bigger problem: Nintendo's boot2 update code is buggy. Boot2 had never been updated in retail consoles until now. During BootMii's development, its authors noticed that Nintendo's code had critical bugs and could sometimes permanently brick a console by writing incorrect or unchecked data to flash memory, so they decided to write their own, much safer flashing code. Now, Nintendo has pushed a boot2 update to all Wii users, and the results are what was expected: users are reporting bricks after installing 4.2 on unmodified consoles. Nintendo is currently attempting to censor posts and remove references to homebrew.

It is worth noting that the new boot2 does not attempt to block anything or offer any additional protection or functionality. Its sole purpose is to simply replace current versions which may or may not have been modified with BootMii. Another interesting tidbit is that Nintendo is not believed to have any method to repair this kind of brick at a factory, short of replacing the entire motherboard."

Link to Original Source
The Internet

How Piracy Affected the Launch of Demigod 613

Posted by Soulskill
from the might-need-more-than-three-bullets-this-time dept.
Demigod is an RTS/RPG hybrid developed by Gas Powered Games and published by Stardock, a company notable for their progressive and lenient stance on DRM. The game was set to be released on April 14th, and shipped without any form of copy protection. Unfortunately, retailer Gamestop broke the street date and released it earlier in the week. A day after pointing this out, Gas Powered Games posted some numbers about the players hitting their servers. Roughly 18,000 connections were made from legitimately purchased copies; over 100,000 were made from pirated copies. Meanwhile, the servers, which were not yet ready for that level of traffic, buckled under the strain, resulting in poor experiences for people trying to participate in multiplayer. While some reviews were positive, others criticized the game for the connectivity issues. After another day, they were able to stabilize the servers to the point they'd planned on for the original launch.
The Internet

Lobby Groups Launch Full Assault For Canadian DMCA 135

Posted by Soulskill
from the sneak-it-through-while-everyone's-watching-playoff-hockey dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Bill C-61, the previous attempt at a Canadian DMCA, may have failed, but it is clear that the music, movie, and business software industries are engaged in putting massive pressure on the Canadian government to bring it back. Lobbying records show several meetings each week with Government Ministers for CRIA, CMPDA, and Microsoft over the past month. Meanwhile, the CRIA is preparing a grassroots campaign in support of new copyright laws, even claiming that the current rules are costing jobs to truck drivers delivering CDs and DVDs."
Software

Mozilla Donates $100K To the Ogg Project 334

Posted by kdawson
from the big-eyed-fox dept.
LWATCDR writes "Mozilla has given the Wikimedia foundation $100,000 to fund Ogg development. The reason is simple: 'Open standards for audio and video are important because they can be used by anyone for any purpose without royalties, and can be inspected and improved by an open community. Today, video and audio on the web are dominated by proprietary technologies, most frequently patent-encumbered codecs wrapped into closed-source player widgets.' While Vorbis is a better standard than MP3, everything I have heard about Theora is that it is technically inferior to many other video codecs. I wonder if wouldn't be better to direct effort to Dirac, perhaps putting Dirac into an Ogg container. No mention was made of FLAC or Speex funding. If more media players supported Speex it would be an ideal codec for many podcasts and audio books. It really is too bad that these codecs so often get overlooked."
Microsoft

Microsoft Donates Code To Apache's "Stonehenge" Project 184

Posted by timothy
from the but-one-dimensional-villains-are-easier-to-comprehend dept.
dp619 writes "Several months after joining the Apache Foundation, Microsoft has made its first code contribution to an Apache project. The project, known as Stonehenge, is made up of companies and developers seeking to test the interoperability of Web standards implementations."Reader Da Massive adds a link to coverage at Computer World.
Portables

Fujitsu Offers Free Laptop Upgrades For Life 166

Posted by samzenpus
from the one's-all-you-need dept.
Barence writes "Fujitsu Siemens is offering its customers free laptop upgrades for life with its Lifebook4Life scheme. Customers buying a Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook will be offered a free upgrade three years after their original purchase, and every subsequent three years for the rest of their life — as long as they purchase an extended three-year warranty. Customers will have to hope inflation stays low, though: the value of each new notebook cannot exceed the value of the previous one, adjusted 10% for inflation. Fujitsu says the scheme is profitable, and a raft of small print ensures plenty of people will find they've excluded themselves from the scheme for all sorts of reasons."
The Internet

What's the Best Video Game Download Service? 227

Posted by Soulskill
from the usenet-and-bittorrent-don't-count dept.
ThinSkin writes "Who needs a brick-and-mortar game shop when you have the world wide web of video game download services? Joel Durham Jr. over at ExtremeTech examines some game download services to decide once and for all which virtual storefront has the best deal for gamers. Among the services reviewed are: Steam, Impulse, Direct2Drive, Good Old Games, and WildTangent Orb. The most popular site in the roundup, Steam, was also the most favored because of its wide selection of popular titles, while Direct2Drive also scored top marks because it has 'just about every title in the universe.'" Which service(s) do you like the most, and what have your experiences with them been?
Graphics

Trolltech Adopts GPL 3 for Qt 240

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the for-making-cute-software dept.
Funkmaster F writes "At the KDE Developer Conference today, Trolltech CEO Havaard Nord announced that its Qt application development toolkit will be released under GPL 3. 'Here at the KDE release event, Nord's announcement was met with applause. Like Trolltech's initial decision to move from its own QPL license to the GPL, this announcement and the company's more recent decision to adopt the GPL for all platforms rather than just Linux, demonstrate the company's ongoing commitment to openness.'"

Administration: An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. -- Ambrose Bierce

Working...