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Communications

AT&T Slaps Family With a $19,370 Cell Phone Bill 725

Posted by timothy
from the hearts-and-minds dept.
theodp writes "Mama, don't let your babies send e-mail and photos from Vancouver. A Portland family racked up nearly $20,000 in charges on their AT&T bill after their son headed north to Vancouver and used a laptop with an AirCard twenty-one times to send photos and e-mails back home. The family said they wished they would have received some kind of warning before receiving their chock-full-of-international-fees 200-page bill in the mail for $19,370. Guess they didn't read the fine print in that 'Stay connected whether you are traveling across town, the US, or the world' AT&T AirCard pitch. Hey, at least it wasn't $85,000."
Data Storage

The Great Zero Challenge Remains Unaccepted 496

Posted by timothy
from the no-fair-guessing-porn-names- dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Not even data recovery companies will accept The Great Zero Challenge and only four months remain! We've all heard how easily data can be recovered from hard drives. We're told to make multiple overwrites with random data, to degauss drives and even physically destroy them just to be extra safe. Let's get the word out. The challenge is almost over! It's put up or shut up time. Can you recover the data?"
Power

The Google Navy 259

Posted by timothy
from the but-it's-on-the-internet dept.
theodp writes "Is Google preparing to launch its own Navy? In its just-published application for a patent on the Water-Based Data Center, Google envisions a world where 'computing centers are located on a ship or ships, which are then anchored in a water body from which energy from natural motion of the water may be captured, and turned into electricity and/or pumping power for cooling pumps to carry heat away from computers in the data center.' And you thought The Onion was joking when it reported on Google's Fleet of Naval Warships!"
Games

Examining a Game Character's Physical Presence 29

Posted by Soulskill
from the ohhhh-iiiiiiii-ain't-got-no-boooooody dept.
GameSetWatch is running a feature about the evolution of game characters' physical presence. In many games, you can look down and not see your feet, or pass right through other players or NPCs. Other games rely on a believable model that can animate and collide with its surroundings. Tom Cross examines some of those scenarios, and also games that raise the bar for having a physical presence, such as the new Alone in the Dark. "Edward Carnby's body is a distinct factor in everything that the player does. Your inventory is carried inside Carnby's leather jacket. To use, drop, or combine items, you must open it wide and look down at your own chest. The healing mechanic, too, reinforces the oft-forgotten fact that you have a body. To heal yourself, you must look at the parts of your body (arms, leg, chest) that are wounded, and then spray them with first-aid liquid. Likewise, when you equip an item, Edward reaches for it, palming it and then switching back to the stock third or first person view."
Government

Sarah Palin's Stance On Technology Issues 1115

Posted by Soulskill
from the wait,-alaska-has-electricity? dept.
Revolution Radio writes "BetaNews has a short description of what we might expect from Governor Palin regarding technology issues. She demonstrated her familiarity with the internet by initiating an online education program for state workers, using the web for government transparency, and a supporting the general concept of 'long-distance distribution of services' (similar to net neutrality?)." We've previously discussed Senator Joe Biden's tech voting record and compared the technology platforms of Obama and McCain. In addition to the above story about Palin, Betanews also has analyses of Obama, McCain, and Biden regarding tech policy.
Quake

Carmack Talks Quake Live 36

Posted by Soulskill
from the air-rox-want-to-be-free dept.
CVG spoke with John Carmack about the in-development browser-based version of Quake III Arena called Quake Live. He discusses the development team's reasons for the new project and mentions that current mods will not work. However, he adds, "We're in no way shutting down the original Q3A scene, so anybody who wants to build things with the open-source code is still more than free to do so. That may even become a proving ground for moving things into Quake Live." Carmack also says Quake Live will be fully ad-supported to start, but "it's not out of the question that eventually we'll have some kind of a premium service. But we don't know what it's going to be yet, and we're certainly going out with the completely free-to-play model." We've looked at video clips from Quake Live in the past.
The Almighty Buck

+ - Apple holds out on resellers 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Anecdotal evidence from Australian consumers indicates Apple are holding back stock from their resellers, while shipping from their online store in record time. A workmate ordered a MBP 8 weeks ago from a reputable reseller who has been saying each week 'apple say they have no stock, they won't tell us when our orders will be filled', yet people ordering from the Apple online store are receiving their laptops within 1-2 business days. My workmate canceled his order on wednesday and ordered online, he just received his laptop today (friday), after phoning the reseller they still have no word on when stock will be coming through. Forum posters from around the state indicate similar issues."
Music

+ - Multiformat Listening Test at 64kbps 1

Submitted by
prospective_user
prospective_user writes "Do you think you have good ears? Think again.

The community at Hydrogenaudio has prepared a Public Listening Test for comparison of the most popular audio codecs (AAC, Vorbis, and Microsoft's WMA included) in a battle to see how they stand at compressing audio at 64kbps.

Many of the participants right now have expressed their surprise at being unable to determine which is the original and which is the compressed version of 18 samples covering a vast amount of musical styles.

The results of this test (and other that are conducted at Hydrogenaudio) will be used by the developers of the codecs to further improve the "transparency" and let this kind of test be even harder.

Everyone is invited to participate and show how good your listening is!"

No More Coding From Scratch? 323

Posted by Cliff
from the digging-through-the-automation dept.
Susan Elliott Sim asks: "In the science fiction novel, 'A Deepness in the Sky,' Vernor Vinge described a future where software is created by 'programmer archaeologists' who search archives for existing pieces of code, contextualize them, and combine them into new applications. So much complexity and automation has been built into code that it is simply infeasible to build from scratch. While this seems like the ultimate code reuse fantasy (or nightmare), we think it's starting to happen with the availability of Open Source software. We have observed a number of projects where software development is driven by the identification, selection, and combination of working software systems. More often than not, these constituent parts are Open Source software systems and typically not designed to be used as components. These parts are then made to interoperate through wrappers and glue code. We think this trend is a harbinger of things to come. What do you think? How prevalent is this approach to new software development? What do software developers think about their projects being used in such a way?"
User Journal

Journal: "-Wno-format-nonliteral"

Journal by voidref
So, theres a relatively new 'feature' of gcc. It spits out a warning if you use a variable for a format string in the *printf() functions. The warning seems unncesssary, and just creates flebbenge in build output. As the maintainers of gcc have decided to add this warning to -Wall, now I have to turn it off by using: "-Wno-format-nonliteral" Annoying!

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

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