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Comment Re:Not Surprising (Score 1) 116

Video games are better to spectate than sports. Broadcasters have known this for decades, doing what they could to compensate. Gimmicks won't stall change forever though, sooner than later they'll have to face this fact. The real interesting stuff will be the cultural shift when video games start to challenge the popularity of athletic sports.

Decades? That would imply at least two decades. So you are suggesting that in 1994 broadcasters knew that video games are better to spectate that sports? I think that might be overstating things a little...

Comment Re:Does it make me a bad person... (Score 5, Insightful) 293

Are not the sentences "There is not a good left-leaning news channel out there." and "Also, the American news channels are nothing but spin. I want nothing but news." in direct contradiction? Is not the very definition of "left-leaning" (or "right-leaning") equal to "spin"? If you desire spin-free news, you cannot also desire that it lean to the left (or right, or any other direction).

Comment Re:The NSA did what they were chartered to do ... (Score 1) 180

Yes. Do you suppose the role of an intelligence organization is to spy on its allies? How much of an ally can they really be if we spy on them like we do our enemies? The role of the NSA is not (or should not be) to spy on everyone. Spying is not a friendly activity. Spying is fundamentally a hostile activity and subjecting our allies to hostile activity will quickly result in a loss of allies.

Would you be friendly with someone who was spying on you?

Data Storage

ZFS Hits an Important Milestone, Version 0.6.1 Released 99

sfcrazy writes "ZFS on Linux has reached what Brian Behlendorf calls an important milestone with the official 0.6.1 release. Version 0.6.1 not only brings the usual bug fixes but also introduces a new property called 'snapdev.' Brian explains, 'The snapdev property was introduced to control the visibility of zvol snapshot devices and may be set to either visible or hidden. When set to hidden, which is the default, zvol snapshot devices will not be created under /dev/. To gain access to these devices the property must be set to visible. This behavior is analogous to the existing snapdir property.'"

Security Fix Leads To PostgreSQL Lock Down 100

hypnosec writes "The developers of the PostgreSQL have announced that they are locking down access to the PostgreSQL repositories to only committers while a fix for a "sufficiently bad" security issue applied. The lock down is temporary and will be lifted once the next release is available. The core committee has announced that they 'apologize in advance for any disruption' adding that 'It seems necessary in this instance, however.'"
Open Source

Submission + - Hardware Hacker Ladyada Proposes Patent and Education Reform to President of USA (

ptorrone writes: "In a welcome turn of events, President Barack Obama spoke directly to the patent troll problem and the need for more comprehensive patent reform yesterday in a "Fireside Hangout" — a live question and answer session hosted in a Google+ hangout. The President was responding to a question by the prominent electrical engineer and entrepreneur Limor "Ladyada" Fried of Adafruit Industries, who in 2009 won an EFF Pioneer Award for her work with free software and open-source hardware."

Comment Serve other people (Score 1) 823

I believe that the absolute best way to obtain an appropriate perspective on the value of others is to serve them. Make service part of your everyday life. There are endless opportunities and ways. It can be something as simple as opening the door for people and saying hello with a smile. You can join a service oriented club at your school. You could join a local church on some service project. You could visit people in a retirement center or hospital. You could volunteer whenever the chance arises.

Nothing has helped me appreciate other people more than serving them. I have found an awful lot of happiness in holding doors open, greeting others in a kind way, picking things up for people when they drop them, and participating in service groups. When you serve someone with a smile without expectation of reward, you obtain a happiness and humility that cannot be found in any other way.

Feed Bruce Lee Lives On (

Filmmaker Justin Lin resurrects the martial-arts master with his latest film, Finishing the Game. Long live "Bruceploitation." By Lisa Katayama.


Submission + - HD DVD lagging, NEC making Blu-ray players

An anonymous reader writes: Former HD-DVD champion NEC has turned agnostic and is working with Sony to launch a lineup of Blu-ray players. This is presumably driven by the market numbers, which show Blu-ray outselling HD-DVD by nearly 5:1 last week according to Neilsen. NEC isn't the only member of the HD DVD which is wavering. Microsoft is openly discussing Blu-ray support for the XBox 360, and rumors are swirling that Universal is considering Blu-ray. To stay in the game, Toshiba is slashing HD DVD player prices to $399, though Blu-ray players are selling for $469 on Amazon. Of course, DVD is outselling both and neither format has any real open source support, so maybe none of this matters.

Submission + - Record-breaking 165,000 PS3s sold at UK launch

pl1ght writes: " 5000-PS3s-sold-at-UK-launch The PS3 becomes fastest-selling home console ever over its debut weekend. The figure is three quarters of the total 220,000 UK launch stock for day one, and makes PS3 second only to PSP in the overall launch weekend sales stakes. The Sony handheld shifted 185,000 during its opening weekend back in September 2005. PS3's record-breaking debut for a home console comfortably beats the previous top seller Nintendo Wii, which sold 105,000 after its frantic launch weekend in December last year. Fellow format rival Xbox 360 racked up an estimated 70,000 at launch in December 2005. The figure also means that Sony has not sold all of its opening weekend stock, something the platform holder claims is part of its overall strategy at retail."

Submission + - What graphics company should I buy from?

PalmKiller writes: My question is who is a reputable graphics company (reputable as in stands behind their warranty) that makes an AGP 4x/8x video card that performs as well as my Geforce 4 Ti4400 did (i know I know pci-e...but I don't want to upgrade my memory, mb, cpu right now)? I am not stuck on nvidia chipsets though they seem to work better with my amd processor. My Ti4400 spec page: orce4/ti4400agp.asp

And here is why I am asking:

Well a few days ago my PNY Ti4400 video card went belly up. Flashing color blocks in text mode, the whole gory end type thing. I bought it in june 2003 from a internet reseller, so its slightly less than 4 years old. I put in a geforce 4 mx card I had laying around, and well needless to say it sucks. It had a lifetime warranty, and I am short on cash so due to the wife, new baby, I then decided to request an RMA from was promptly denied.

When I asked why I got this explanation (cut and pasted with only my personal info obscured):

Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 12:03:37 -0400
From: Technical
To: *My Real Name*
Subject: RE: RMA Request via Web — Verto Graphics Card

The life time warranty means: the lifetime of the product or life cycle
of the product. All product has a time where it becomes obsolete, as is
this case. It is considered old technology and can not be replaced.

— Original Message —
From: *My Real Name* []
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 11:41 AM
To: Technical
Subject: RE: RMA Request via Web — Verto Graphics Card

It says in my paperwork that it has a lifetime warranty. I am still
alive as is the computer it was put into, so what exactly does lifetime
mean to your company?

thank you
*My Real Name*

On Fri, 23 Mar 2007, Technical wrote:

> Randal,
> We're sorry that video cards life cycle has expired and the warranty
> no longer in place.
> ________________________________
> From: []
> Sent: Friday, March 23, 2007 5:06 PM
> To: Technical
> Subject: RMA Request via Web — Verto Graphics Card
> Name: *My Real Name*
> Email:
> Phone Number: 870-853-xxxx
> Address: *My Street*
> City: *My City*
> State: *My State*
> Zipcode: *My Zip*
> Country: United States of America
> Date of Purchase: 06/04/2003
> Proof of Purchase: yes
> UPC Code: N/A Lost box
> Product Category: Verto Graphics Card
> Product: GeForce4 Ti4400
> System Information: Soyo Dragon 333 Ultra motherboard
> Operating System: Windows 2000
> Description: Was working great with this mainboard, suddenly it has
> strange color blocks all over the place in graphics modes, and funny
> text in text mode. Does the same thing with a new gigabyte mainboard.
> I tried a geforce 440mx in the mainboard and it worked properly, so I
> determined that this board has died.

Submission + - Surveillance society must be managed

An anonymous reader writes: People think there has to be a choice between privacy and security; that increased security means more collection and processing of personal private information. However, in a challenging report published on Monday 26 March 2007, The Royal Academy of Engineering says that, with the right engineering solutions, we can have both increased privacy and more security. Engineers have a key role in achieving the right balance.

One of the issues that Dilemmas of Privacy and Surveillance — challenges of technological change looks at is how we can buy ordinary goods and services without having to prove who we are. For many electronic transactions, a name or identity is not needed; just assurance that we are old enough or that we have the money to pay. In short, authorisation, not identification should be all that is required. Services for travel and shopping can be designed to maintain privacy by allowing people to buy goods and use public transport anonymously. "It should be possible to sign up for a loyalty card without having to register it to a particular individual — consumers should be able to decide what information is collected about them," says Professor Nigel Gilbert, Chairman of the Academy working group that produced the report. "We have supermarkets collecting data on our shopping habits and also offering life insurance services. What will they be able to do in 20 years' time, knowing how many donuts we have bought?"

Another issue is that, in the future, there will be more databases holding sensitive personal information. As government moves to providing more electronic services and constructs the National Identity Register, databases will be created that hold information crucial for accessing essential services such as health care and social security. But complex databases and IT networks can suffer from mechanical failure or software bugs. Human error can lead to personal data being lost or stolen. If the system breaks down, as a result of accident or sabotage, millions could be inconvenienced or even have their lives put in danger.

The Academy's report calls for the government to take action to prepare for such failures, making full use of engineering expertise in managing the risks posed by surveillance and data management technologies. It also calls for stricter guidelines for companies who hold personal data, requiring companies to store data securely, to notify customers if their data are lost or stolen, and to tell us what the data are being used for.

"Technologies for collecting, storing, transmitting and processing data are developing rapidly with many potential benefits, from making paying bills more convenient to providing better healthcare," says Professor Gilbert. "However, these techniques could make a significant impact on our privacy. Their development must be monitored and managed so that the effects are properly understood and controlled." Engineering solutions should also be devised which protect the privacy and security of data. For example: electronic personal information could be protected by methods similar to the digital rights management software used to safeguard copyrighted electronic material like music releases, limiting the threat of snooping and leaks of personal data.

The report also investigates the changes in camera surveillance — CCTV cameras can now record digital images that could be stored forever. Predicted improvements in automatic number-plate recognition, recognition of individual's faces and faster methods of searching images mean that it may become possible to search back in time through vast amounts of digital data to find out where people were and what they were doing. The Royal Academy of Engineering's report calls for greater control over the proliferation of camera surveillance and for more research into how public spaces can be monitored while minimising the impact on privacy.

"Engineers' knowledge and experience can help to 'design in privacy' into new IT developments," says Professor Gilbert. "But first, the government and corporations must recognise that they put at risk the trust of citizens and customers if they do not treat privacy issues seriously."

The full report is at s_of_privacy_and_surveillance_report.pdf

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An engineer is someone who does list processing in FORTRAN.