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Comment Re:Cell phones with no battery chargers? (Score 1) 213 213

New England resident here: I've got a Duracell Pocket Power charger, a battery-less solar USB charger, and an old 4-AA battery iPod charger (clunky, but can still give an iPhone a charge). I'm in the city now, but long power outages used to be a problem back in the boonies. It's always good to be prepared.

It's crazy how many people who live anywhere (city or country) who don't have a maglite/crank radio/space blankets/stash of emergency food.

Comment GOG Beta is Great So Far (Score 1) 227 227

But I seriously doubt I'll buy anything aside from Fallout 1&2 + Tactics from there.

GameTap is somewhat broken with Vista and gimped on Mac so I gave it up. I've got the Source engine pack from Steam, but I played it to death and got a bit bored with it. Steam overall seems to be relatively painless.

Physical DVDs have recently lured be back, especially when they contain both Mac and PC versions (as much as I want to hate EA, I can play Spore on the road and on the beast PC at home).
Television

Complaints Pour In After Digital TV Test 537 537

djupedal writes "'Even if all goes smoothly, next February's digital television shift is likely to generate hundreds of thousands of complaints from television viewers around the country. A major problem during a test run in Wilmington, N.C., was the inability of over-the-air viewers to receive new digital signals, according to figures collected after the test.'"
NASA

"Dark Flow" Outside Observable Universe 583 583

DynaSoar writes "NASA astrophysicists have discovered what they claim is something outside the observable universe exerting an effect on the observable. The material is pulling clusters of galaxies towards a region of space known not to contain sufficient matter to create the effect. They can only speculate on what the material is and how space might differ there: 'In these regions, space-time might be very different, and likely doesn't contain stars and galaxies (which only formed because of the particular density pattern of mass in our bubble). It could include giant, massive structures much larger than anything in our own observable universe. These structures are what researchers suspect are tugging on the galaxy clusters, causing the dark flow.'"
Privacy

Homeland Security Department Testing "Pre-Crime" Detector 580 580

holy_calamity writes "New Scientist reports that the Department of Homeland Security recently tested something called Future Attribute Screening Technologies (FAST) — a battery of sensors that determine whether someone is a security threat from a distance. Sensors look at facial expressions, body heat and can measure pulse and breathing rate from a distance. In trials using 140 volunteers those told to act suspicious were detected with 'about 78% accuracy on mal-intent detection, and 80% on deception,' says a DHS spokesman."
XBox (Games)

Submission + - More moves for Xbox amateur devs from Microsoft->

Michael French writes: "Over at Develop we've been covering the big announcements from Microsoft's XNA Gamefest developer event, for those making games for Xbox 360, Xbox Live Arcade and PC. First up (http://www.developmag.com/news/28300/Microsoft-re veals-XNA-Game-Studio-Express-20) is that XNA Game Studio is moving to a unified version 2.0 — combining the amateur and pro apps — with, most importantly, Xbox Live functionality which should provide a boost for developers (and perhaps Windows Live).

More interesting, however, is the fact that Microsoft has also granted consumers "a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable licence to use and display Game Content and to create derivative works based upon Game Content, strictly for noncommercial and personal use". (http://www.developmag.com/news/28301/Microsoft-op ens-game-IP-for-non-commercial-projects) So materials from Halo, Viva Pinata, Shadowrun, Forza and PGR can now by used for homebrew and machinima projects. There are loads of catches, but it's still a pretty cool move. I doubt we'd ever see Nintendo do that with Mario."

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