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Music

$90 Asus Sound Card Whips Creative's Best 387

Posted by kdawson
from the listen-up dept.
EconolineCrush writes "Sound card giant Creative caught plenty of flak for its recent driver debacle, and has long been criticized for bullying competitors and stifling innovation. But few have been willing to compete with Creative head-on, allowing the company to milk its X-Fi audio processor for more than two and a half years. Now the SoundBlaster has a new challenger in the form of Asus' $90 Xonar DX, which delivers much better sound quality than the X-Fi, PCI Express connectivity, and support for real-time Dolby Digital Live encoding. The Xonar can even emulate the latest EAX positional audio effects, providing the most complete competition to the X-Fi available on the market."
Security

CIA Claims Cyber Attackers Blacked Out Cities 280

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the say-g'night-dick dept.
Dotnaught writes to tell us InformationWeek is reporting that the CIA admitted today that recent power outages in multiple cities outside the United States are the result of cyberattacks. "We have information, from multiple regions outside the United States, of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands. We suspect, but cannot confirm, that some of these attackers had the benefit of inside knowledge. We have information that cyberattacks have been used to disrupt power equipment in several regions outside the United States. In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities. We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the Internet."
Education

+ - OLPC a hit in remote Peruvian village->

Submitted by
mrcgran
mrcgran writes "Chicago Tribune is running a story about the effects of OLPC on a remote village in Peru: "Doubts about whether poor, rural children really can benefit from quirky little computers evaporate as quickly as the morning dew in this hilltop Andean village, where 50 primary school children got machines from the One Laptop Per Child project six months ago. At breakfast, they're already powering up the combination library/videocam/audio recorder/music maker/drawing kits. At night, they're dozing off in front of them — if they've managed to keep older siblings from waylaying the coveted machines. Peru made the single biggest order to date — more than 272,000 machines — in its quest to turn around a primary education system that the World Economic Forum recently ranked last among 131 countries surveyed." A detailed log has been kept and a youtube video is also available."
Link to Original Source
Windows

The Advantages of Upgrading From Vista To XP 765

Posted by kdawson
from the open-and-shut-case dept.
An anonymous reader passes us a blog posting, which may be just a bit tongue-in-cheek, about the pros and cons of upgrading from Vista to XP. "...there is only one conclusion to be made; Microsoft have really outdone themselves in delivering a brand new operating system that really excels in all the areas where Vista was sub-optimal. From my testing, discussions with friends and colleagues, and a review of the material out there on the web there seems to be no doubt whatsoever that that upgrade to XP is well worth the money. Microsoft can really pat themselves on the back for a job well done, delivering an operating system which is much faster and far more reliable than its predecessor. Anyone who thinks there are problems in the Microsoft Windows team need only point to this fantastic release and scoff loudly."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Note To Criminals — Don't Call Tech Support 266

Posted by kdawson
from the caught-short dept.
Billosaur writes "Darwin Awards, here he comes: Ars Technica has up a story about a would-be identity thief who did himself in by calling tech support about printer drivers. Timothy Short must have thought he'd hit the mother-lode when he stole a PC and a Digimarc printer from the Missouri Department of Revenue, perhaps with dreams of cranking out thousands of fake ids. Problem: he could not unlock the computer he stole and without the necessary drivers, he couldn't use the printer. Ever resourceful, Short called Digimarc tech support a couple of days later (twice), which brought him to the attention of a Secret Service agent, who recognized his voice from a recording of the calls. Short now faces a $250,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison."
Software

+ - OpenOffice vs MS Office 2007, a sad day for OO

Submitted by
NexTechNews
NexTechNews writes "With advocates of OpenSource bashing on Microsoft Office 2007 for its high price tag and supposed bloatedness, one blogger decided to take the plunge and put the latest from Microsoft and the Latest from OpenOffice and put the 2 systems to the test. The most astonishing test was probably the simplest possible, just opening up some OOXML and ODF format files.

The result though might put some opensource viewers to shame as Microsoft Office not only opened the files 5 times faster than the opensource counterpart, it also managed to use 4 times LESS memory than open office 2.2 did. The reviews show that OpenOffice has definitly made leaps and bounds since its previous versions, but its in no way ready to outperform MS Office 2007.

This comes at a critical time as many offices are deciding whether the upgrade to MS office is worthwhile when free alternatives exist. But the review shows what many don't see, while office integrates a new ribbon and may look like its bloated microsoft managed to keep performance leaps ahead of its opensource competitor, while still including a rich UI with new things like the Citation Manager that OpenOffice 2.2 just flat out doesn't have a counterpart for."
Businesses

+ - Tom's Hardware Guide acquired by Best of Media

Submitted by
Marco Polo
Marco Polo writes "From the horses mouth itself: TG Publishing, the company behind Tom's Hardware Guide, has been acquired by the independent French publisher Best of Media for an undisclosed sum, it has been announced this morning. The deal sees the Best of Media Group increase its revenues by 36% in 2006, with consolidated revenues of 10 million, and the company positioning itself as the only Pan-European alternative to Cnet Networks."

The bogosity meter just pegged.

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