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Comment: Re:Get ready to Bend over America (Score 1) 410

by tehSpork (#33149596) Attached to: Google and Verizon In Talks To Prioritize Traffic (Updated)
The Gulf of Mexico didn't "break Aunt Hilda's internet." Were Google to simply stop providing service to Verizon customers due to the way Verizon was doing business I guarantee you they would have half their customer base marching on the nearest customer service center.

Comment: Re:Not news (Score 3, Interesting) 89

by tehSpork (#32560696) Attached to: Can Transistors Be Made To Work When They're Off?
Same here. I took VLSI Winter 2009 and we spent an inordinate amount of time studying and working on sub-threshold designs. Part of our final project (and final exam) was to produce a simulated and laid-out circuit using a sub-threshold supply. It's not very complicated, you just lower your clockspeed and source voltage, most of your existing circuits work just fine. The major problem is that they are now working at very low clockrates (KHz as opposed to MHz) which doesn't make too many people very excited.
PC Games (Games)

Civilization V To Use Steamworks 295

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-it-doesn't-get-you-in-hot-water dept.
sopssa writes "2K Games today announced that Civilization V will be using Steamworks for online matchmaking, automated updates, downloadable content and DRM for the game. Steam's Civ V store page is also available now, revealing some new information about the game. There will be an 'In-Game Community Hub' for online matchmaking, communication, and for sharing scenarios between players. While including Steamworks might put some people off, it might also indicate better online gameplay than in the previous Civilization games, where it was almost impossible to have a good game without playing with just friends."

Comment: Re:This will fail (Score 4, Insightful) 227

by tehSpork (#31649342) Attached to: Rapidshare Trying To Convert Pirates Into Customers

I passed over both Assassin's Creed II and C&C 4 due to the DRM (both of which resulted in canceled preorders). After hearing the horror stories about the more recent DRM "innovations" the vast majority of my gamer friends have followed suit.

Personally I won't purchase Assassin's Creed II until a crack or patch is released that resolved the DRM problem. If that means waiting until the game is a $5 steam special I'm fine with that, I don't have to play a game the instant it comes out.

What is so annoying about this entire affair is that I am not a thief, pirate, rampant violator of intellectual property, etc. I just want to be able to use the software I purchase without my crappy Comcast connection compromising my single-player gaming experience. Is this too much to ask?


Secret Service Runs At "Six Sixes" Availability 248

Posted by timothy
from the only-need-half-as-many dept.
PCM2 writes "ABC News is reporting that the US Secret Service is in dire need of server upgrades. 'Currently, 42 mission-oriented applications run on a 1980s IBM mainframe with a 68 percent performance reliability rating,' says one leaked memo. That finding was the result of an NSA study commissioned by the Secret Service to evaluate the severity of their computer problems. Curiously, upgrades to the Service's computers are being championed by Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who says he's had 'concern for a while' about the issue."

Comment: Re:Hell no! (Score 1) 512

by tehSpork (#31086062) Attached to: Is Internet Explorer 6/7 Support Required Now?

How do you explain something like Mirror's Edge then?

I love how people keep trotting this out as an example of how EA is not really as "boring" and formulaic as the community makes them out to be. That is the exception, not the rule. And they're making another one, so really EA just gained another formula to churn through every so-often.


Hollywood Sets $10 Billion Box Office Record 276

Posted by kdawson
from the crying-to-the-bank dept.
kamikazearun sends in a TorrentFreak analysis that begins "Claims by the MPAA that illegal downloads are killing the industry and causing billions in losses are once again being shredded. In 2009, the leading Hollywood studios made more films and generated more revenue than ever before, and for the first time in history the domestic box office grosses will surpass $10 billion. ... [N]either the ever-increasing piracy rates nor the global recession could prevent Hollywood having its best year ever in 2009. With an estimated $10.6 billion in consumer spending at the US and Canadian box office, the movie industry will break the 2008 record by nearly a billion dollars."

Comment: Re:Awesome! (Score 2, Interesting) 124

by tehSpork (#30121176) Attached to: Intel Allows Release of Full 4004 Chip-Set Details
Unfortunately the Intel 4004 is much less sophisticated than even the simplistic models I studied as an undergrad. Not to mention that real chips suffer from real compromises and real problems, something our academic fantasy-land models never had to deal with. The simple models allow the students to learn the important concepts (such as multi-cycle instructions, pipelining, caching) without having to worry about why it was implemented a certain way, the concepts are what counted.

In my computer architecture classes we at least looked at the IA32 architecture but it was more of a space-filler and not a primary focus, our professor was heavily into MIPS.

NVIDIA To Exit Chipset Business 185

Posted by kdawson
from the told-you-so dept.
The rumor that we discussed a few months back is looking more real. Vigile writes "Once the darling of the enthusiast chipset market, NVIDIA has apparently decided to quit development of future chipsets for all platforms. This 'state of NVIDIA' editorial at PC Perspective first highlighted the fact that the company was backing away from its plans to develop a DMI-based chipset for Intel's Lynnfield processors due to legal pressure from Intel and debates over licensing restrictions. That effectively left NVIDIA out in the cold in terms of high-end chipsets, but even more interesting is the later revelation that NVIDIA has only one remaining chipset product to release, what we know as ION 2, and that it was mainly built for Apple's upcoming products. NVIDIA still plans to sell its current offerings, like MCP61 for AMD platforms and current generation ION for netbooks and nettops, but will focus solely on discrete graphics options after this final release."

Patch Re-Enables PhysX When ATI Card Is Present 130

Posted by kdawson
from the until-they-break-it-again dept.
An anonymous reader points us to a forum posting with the inevitable followup to NVIDIA's crippling of PhysX for users of any other display adapter. "Windows 7 allows two display drivers to be used at once — like in Windows XP. Therefore, it is possible to use an NVIDIA card for PhysX and ATI card for graphics rendering. Sadly, since the release of 186 graphics drivers, NVIDIA has decided to block this feature anytime a Non-NVIDIA GPU is present in the system. In addition, for some incomprehensible reasons, the latest version of PhysX System Software also prevents PPU cards from working if a Non-NVIDIA GPU is present. ... A forum member by the name of GenL has released an experimental beta patch [that] intercepts disable-PhysX-if-Radeon-is-present-code. So far, according to user comments the patch delivers successful results." The forum post has a link to the patch for Windows 7.

Comment: Re:Do NOT get a HP TX. (Score 2, Informative) 176

by tehSpork (#29527089) Attached to: Best Tablet PC For Classroom Instruction?
The tx2xxx series also tends to ship with Broadcom wireless cards that have an alarming failure rate, we've had to replace untold numbers of these.

Between this and the problems with most of the rest of the HP laptops we see coming in at work my opinion of HP has gone from bad to worse in the last couple years.

Comment: Re:Should I Be Concerned... (Score 1) 188

by tehSpork (#29470209) Attached to: Blizzard Offers Look Inside WoW at GDC
Even more worrying is the American Express website - they have a 6 - 8 character limit and disallow special characters. They had better lock people out after a few bad tries as there are a frighteningly limited number of passwords you can come up with that fit those restrictions.

The websites both have terrible usability issues as well but you would think that they would at least be a little concerned about security.

Comment: Re:Bogus outdated thinking (Score 1) 444

by tehSpork (#29467537) Attached to: RAID's Days May Be Numbered

The problem is IT guys and PHB's that think RAID=Backup.

Bullshit. If that's true where you work then you'd better be looking for some new IT guys. In my time in IT I have never seen a RAID without a tape jukebox or some other backup system behind it.

Now were you to qualify that as "the unqualified scabs doing IT for most small businesses" that could be a different story.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.