writes: Because of the recent currency devaluation Steam has now added region locking for games sold in Russia and CIS. Brazil and local area and Indonesia and local area are also being locked.
Where the locking affects you is if you purchase a game from one of those regions you cannot gift it to somone outside of the area. So someone from Russia can gift a game to someone to Georgia but not to someone in the USA.
You want to see the prices in the Russia store and compare them to the Steam Christmas Sale which should be starting in a few hours.Link to Original Source
writes: In an effort to cut carbon emissions, and reduce costs, Finland's postal company, Itella, has begun a pilot program wherein snail-mail letters are converted into PDFs and made viewable online by their addressees, instead or in advance of physical delivery. The effort is volunteer only, a little over 100 people and around 20 business as of last month, but it has already sparked concerns in Finland about privacy and government overreach.
The volunteers will have images of all their letters viewable on a computer or phone. The postman will still arrive twice a week to deliver the scanned letters, as well as any packages or attachments. Additionally, the postal service will filter out junk mail.Link to Original Source
writes: Propworx after all the recent auctions for their Battlestar Galactica props are now selling off 15 years of Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis props. Over the next couple of months minor items will be sold off on ebay and the major items will be sold off in two live auctions.
Ebay auctions will consist of smaller props, most costumes, drawing and even parts of stargates. The live auctions will contain items such as the Thor puppet, The Ark of Truth and the only fully working Stargate*.
*Multiple Stargates needed for travel.Link to Original Source
writes: During a recent visit to the Whitehouse American President, Barak Obama, gave the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, a present of 25 DVDs. It now turns out that those DVD were encoded as Region 1 and the UK uses Region 2, causing the works "Wrong Region" to appear when the PM tried to use his gift. Questions about the technical solution have been directed to the White House.
Hopefully Gordon Brown gift of a pen holder made of the timbers of an anti-slave ship and the sister ship to a ship whose timbers were used to make a desk that has sat in the Oval Room since 1880 came with a pen that does not run out of ink after one use.
writes: Since Slashdot has a long history of article and comments about Schoolhouse Rock! I figured it should be noted that one of the most famous singers died this week.Blossom Dearie sang many of song for that series, including "Mother Necessity," "Figure Eight" and "Unpack Your Adjectives."
Besides Schoolhouse Rock! she sang in her girlish voice for over 50 years primarily in jazz and cabaret. In addition to singing she played the piano and wrote various songs. However the songs she sung for Schoolhouse Rock! were written, composed and played by Bob Dorough, who is still alive.
She died of natural causes after many years of failing health.
writes: The people at iSuppli have taken apart an October 2008 version and create a build of materials, along with providing a comparison to original PS3.
The article provides information about the changes Sony has made. Some of the big ones are the hardware has gone from costing $690.23 to the current price of $448.73. This was done using a combination of removing parts currently 2,820 vs the original 4,048, cutting the cost of the CPU $46.46 vs $64.40, and cutting the cost of the graphic processor to $46.46 from $64.40.
The PS3 accounted for 16.4 percent of global video game unit shipments in the second quarter of 2008, second only to the Nintendo Wii, which accounted for 54.2 percent of the market.
writes: Battlestar Galactica, the SciFi channel one, will be holding multiple auctions to sell off props and costumes. The first auction will be Jan 16-18 with a print and on-line catalog coming out in December; the second auction will be in April catalog at a future date. Auction site is the Pasadena Convention Center but they will be offering internet live bidding, with live internet broadcasting, and will handle world-wide shipping, cost extra.
These auction are for the expensive and key items of the show such as Adama's lighter, Arrow of Athena, and maybe even a Viper. During the final 10 weeks of the show they will be holding Internet auctions on lesser price items.
Until the auction they are high lighting items as they catalog them and posting them on the web site where you can subscribe to the RSS feed, or email to receive notification. So far the post have been interesting with pictures of the items, screen shots of the item in the show, a history of the item and how it was made.
writes: Over the weekend it was announced that Microsoft is making jQuery a part of Microsoft development platform aka Visual Studio. Future versions of Visual Studio, and VS2008 by way of a patch in a few weeks, will ship with jQuery and be modified to include examples, documentation and intellisense support.
The version shipped will be unmodified from the official version but Microsoft plans to change asp.net AJAX to provide additional capabilies based on jQuery, along with controls to provide new functionality.
Any bug fixes or changes that Microsoft wants in the jQuery library will be processed through the normal jQuery process; in the words of the jQuery team "no free ride will be given."
Announcement from Microsoft
Announcement from the jQuery team
At the same time Nokia has announced they will be shipping jQuery as part of the Symbian OS development kit.