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Submission + - Vista problems reaching mainstream press

mcgrew (sm62704) writes: "The tech press has been talking about Vista's shortcomings for quite a while now; Slashdot has posted numerous stories. Today I saw a "Tech Talk" in the St Louis Post Dispatch, one of the US' largest mainstream newspapers. The article is about a "normal" (i.e., non-geek) user's woes. From the article:

After his initial computer purchase from a local retailer, he tried starting Vista and had no luck: It gagged on other preinstalled software, and the retailer had no remedy. He received a replacement laptop.

On our colleague's second try, he ran into a wall with Microsoft, which insisted through its online validation process that his copy of Vista was not legitimate. About a third of all new Vista owners with valid copies of the OS already have suffered through this. The retailer assured our colleague that his Vista was valid but replaced his laptop again anyway to solve the problem.

Armed with yet another new laptop, our colleague escaped repeats of the first two problems but hit a new bump: Vista refused to acknowledge his computer's peripheral devices, even though Microsoft's own hardware compatibility list said it should.

He returned to the retailer and this time asked for his money back. He says he might try buying his first Mac with the refund. "There's only so much I'm willing to put up with," our colleague said. "I just wanted the [expletive] computer to work, you know. Isn't that all anyone wants?"
I notice that he returned the second computer because of MS' onerous DRM, which insisted that the OS was counterfeit. I'm aghast that one in three valid copies are flagged as "pirated". Note: I'm not a Mac user; my OS of choice is Mandriva."

Submission + - Slashdot's Firehose: Misplaced democracy?

PetManimal writes: "The Slashdot Firehose is a 'bad metaphor and a bad idea,' or so says Computerworld's Joyce Carpenter, who has been using the user-directed submission rating system since it was introduced a few months ago. She points to an increase in unworthy submissions — some of which seem to be part of 'viral marketing scams' — and says that they make Firehose unpleasant for everyone:

The increased number of unworthy submissions makes more unpleasant work for the editors as well as members of the community. A bigger hose with more crap in it just means that the editors have to read all that crap — and so do the voting members of the community. That's just more work for everyone.
She also questions whether Zonk and Co. are even using the recommendations that make it to the top of the Firehose ratings:

So far as I can tell, the editors still make the decisions. Good for them. I have no need for democracy in the selection of stories at a site that has done an excellent, if elitist, job of using editorial judgment. That's what makes it such a good site. Drain the hydrant and throw away with the hose.

Submission + - Bill bans NSA eavesdropping

Anonymous Coward writes: "The US house of representatives today passed a bill outlawing illegal domestic wiretapping by the government. Now Bush can pry into your private communications only under terms of FISA.

The ACLU noted that, despite many recent hearings about "modernization" and "technology neutrality," the administration has not publicly provided Congress with a single example of how current FISA standards have either prevented the intelligence community from using new technologies, or proven unworkable for the agents tasked with following them."

Submission + - Remains of James Doohan lost after landing

caffiend666 writes: "According to a news article the cremated remains of 200 people were lost in mountains after trip to space. 'The search for the UP Aerospace payload of experiments and the cremated remains of some 200 people — including "Scotty" of Star Trek fame, as well as pioneeering NASA Mercury astronaut, Gordon Cooper — continues within rugged New Mexico mountain landscape.' Is it just me, or does it appropriate that they lost the landing party? He wasn't wearing a red shirt, was he? Here's to a safe recovery!"

Submission + - HBO Says DRM Is Misnomer; Has even better term!

TheOrderOfTheGrandWhoop writes: Broadcast Newsrooms is reporting, via the AP, that HBO's CTO Bob Zitter thinks Digital rights management (DRM) is the wrong term for technology that secures programmers' content as it moves to new digital platforms since it emphasized restrictions instead of opportunities. Instead, Zitter would like to provide us, the consumers, with a new, snazzy, even better, Firefox-spell-checker hating: Digital Consumer Enablement or DCE for 'those in the biz'. Zitter also laments that the fact that current high-definition set-tops still output unencrypted analog video through their component video outputs makes it too much of a piracy risk to widely offer high-definition HBO content on-demand today.

Submission + - Google relaunches IG for social networking ?

cyberianpan writes: The recently troubled Google Homepage is to be rebranded as iGoogle. Feature enhancements will include being able to make your own gadgets including picture albums,youtueb videos , daily plan etc. Interestingly your gadgets will be shared with "your community" being your gmail contacts. This smells like MySpace -is this Google's first serious step into social networking space ?

Submission + - Wireless power on the desktop scale

RockDoctor writes: Nature are reporting early versions of a desktop-ready device for wirelessly powering equipment. A plastic sheet a millimeter thick on the desktop contains induction coils, microelectromechanical switches and control circuitry, applied to a conductive polymer base by various forms of printing. When the sheet detects a compatible receiver within range (~2.5cm), the nearest coil is switched on and provides the receiver with up to 40W of power inductively. The devices are not yet ready for mainstream — another 5 years of development is estimated — and there is the issue of persuading manufacturers to incorporate the receiving equipment into their new designs. But a projected price of ~$100 for a square metre of transmitter is credible (SG $ ? or CA or US? not specified in the article; the developers are in Japan). Now, if you could get power receivers that would supply (for example) a conventional mobile-phone charging-cradle, that would be a useful step towards widespread acceptance.

Could this lead to the start of a new VHS-vs-BetaMax or HDDVD-vs-BluRay style compatibility war? If one manufacturer is trying such an obvious idea, likely others are.

Submission + - The Week Of Vista Bugs [TWOVB]

codepupil writes: During one week (2007-04-02/08) new undisclosed vulnerabilities / discovered in the Windows Vista operating system and softwares will be publicly disclosed on this page, . This project is launched as a challenge by an unofficial team of security experts. Security advisories including advanced technical details will be provided

Submission + - RAD PHP Development with Delphi for PHP

santakrooz writes: HP/tabid/237/Default.aspx "When it comes to creating dynamic Web applications, PHP developers have had basic source code editing and debugging tools; what's really missing for PHP has been Rapid Development tools and component frameworks that rival modern tools, like Visual Studio® and Delphi and frameworks like ASP.NET and VCL," said Michael Swindell, CodeGear vice president of products and strategy. "Delphi for PHP offers all the features and functionality needed to rapidly and visually create powerful PHP applications, new PHP components, and package existing PHP code into reusable visual components. Delphi for PHP does this all with seamless support for MySQL®, InterBase® from CodeGear, and other SQL databases and it does it with an open source VCL for PHP. Microsoft® Windows® RAD developers will now have the familiarity and ease of use that Delphi and C++Builder® have always provided, and can move into PHP development with speed and confidence," said Swindell.

Important features of Delphi for PHP include:
— RAD environment for PHP
— VCL for PHP — Open source PHP 5 visual component library with more than 50 extendable and reusable components with seamless AJAX integration
— Out-of-the-box database integration with InterBase, MySQL, Oracle®, Microsoft SQL Server, and other popular databases
— Integrated PHP debugger
— Deployment of PHP applications on Windows, Linux, Solaris and other platforms
— Internationalization support for applications
— Drag and drop database application development using the Data Explorer for InterBase and MySQL
— Code editor with Code Insight, Code Explorer, and Code Templates, making it easier and faster to write PHP code

VCL for PHP is based on the most popular open source PHP scripts and libraries, including Qooxdoo, Adodb, DynAPI, Smarty, XAjax and JSCalendar. Inspired by VCL for Delphi, the component architecture is 100 percent written in PHP. Developers can create and integrate components into the IDE and extend the existing components to fit their needs.
The Internet

Submission + - What's the Real Cost of BitTorrent vs Legit?

SharkeeTX writes: "How much do you really save using BitTorrent for TV? How much does leaving your computer on to download cost? This study reveals the costs and savings of BitTorrent, iTunes TV, XBox Marketplace TV, and Digital Cable. When is one cheaper than another? How much TV do you watch determines the answer and guides you to a cheapest solution."
Emulation (Games)

Submission + - Sony and Nintendo Make the Emulators of the Year

Croakyvoice writes: Sony and Nintendo are the arch enemies of Emulation with both over the years doing their upmost to stop it, just ask the creators of Bleem and VGS. But this year both companies have released what are the very best emulators of easily the last year, Sony`s Full speed PS1 Emulator for the PSP and Nintendo`s range of emulators for the Wii.

Submission + - Open Graphics Round Table

cranos writes: "In this fortnights episode of Open Source On The Air, I sit down with three Graphic Artists who have based their entire work flow on Free and Open Source Software.

We talk about the state of the current FOSS graphics toolset, how this has affected things like barriers to entry, as well as discussing the growing interaction between the audience and the graphic artists.

You can find the full show here:"
Puzzle Games (Games)

Submission + - Memory...Can you remember all without writing down

MacD writes: "About a year ago I saw that a company called Posit Science had a flash based game called the Brain Speed Test. It was a pretty amusing mind exercise. I went back to there cite last week and noticed they still have a newer version of the Brain Speed Test(although its seems to be in look only), but also a sister site about Brain Fitness. On this site they have new memory exercise called Word List Recall. Its pretty simple, but first couple times I found it tough to memorize...maybe Im just getting older. Enjoy."

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