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Microsoft

MS Says Windows 7 Will Run DirectX 10 On the CPU 503

arcticstoat writes "In what could be seen as an easy answer to the Vista-capable debacle, Microsoft has introduced a 'fully conformant software rasterizer' called WARP (Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform) 10, which does away with the need for a dedicated hardware 3D accelerator altogether. Microsoft says that WARP 10 will support all the features and precision requirements of Direct3D 10 and 10.1, as well as up to 8x multi-sampled anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering and all optional texture formats. The minimum CPU spec needed is just 800MHz, and it doesn't even need MMX or SSE, although it will work much quicker on multi-core CPUs with SSE 4.1. Of course, software rendering on a single desktop CPU isn't going to be able to compete with decent dedicated 3D graphics cards when it comes to high-end games, but Microsoft has released some interesting benchmarks that show the system to be quicker than Intel's current integrated DirectX 10 graphics. Running Crysis at 800 x 600 with the lowest quality settings, an eight-core Core i7 system managed an average frame rate of 7.36fps, compared with 5.17fps from Intel's DirectX 10 integrated graphics."
Space

Excluding Intelligent Design Principles From the Search For Alien Life 308

KIdPanda writes "Prompted by pictures of man-made structures in the Utah desert, a SETI astronomer explains the sometimes-ambiguous difference between seeing the hand of God, alien intelligence, or nature. 'In my photographs, Shostak's SETI-trained eye — standing in for a pattern-crunching computer program — searched for an unexpected increase in visual order (or, in thermodynamic terms, a decrease in entropy caused by the rebellion of life against universal decay). A road or a tended field is mathematically simpler than a mountainous jumble or naturally varied vegetation. ... But there's an obvious problem: nothing is simpler than a sweep of blue sky, or the inky blackness of space. If simplicity is the benchmark, space itself is evidence of design."
Displays

Asus Launches Touchscreen Eee Desktop 157

Barence writes "Asus has launched an Eee-branded 15.6" touchscreen desktop PC as a budget rival to HP's TouchSmart. Available for pre-order now on Play.com for £399.99 ($749), it shares much of the same specification as the Eee PC, but with a larger 160GB hard disk. Interestingly, it's listed as coming with XP installed, so we'd guess Asus will be using some sort of proprietary touchscreen interface — yet the image on the site clearly shows Linux on the screen, which may be a better bet for an easy-to-use touch system."
Transportation

Plug-In Hybrids Aren't Coming, They're Here 495

Wired is running a story about the small but vocal, and growing, number of people who aren't waiting for automakers to deliver plug-in hybrids. They're shelling out big money to have already thrifty cars converted into full-on plug-in hybrids capable of triple-digit fuel economy. "The conversions aren't cheap, and top-of-the-line kits with lithium-ion batteries can set you back as much as $35,000. Even a kit with lead-acid batteries — the type under the hood of the car you drive now — starts at five grand. That explains why most converted plug-ins are in the motor pools of places like Southern California Edison... No more than 150 or so belong to people like [extreme skiing champion Alison] Gannett, who had her $30,000 Ford Escape converted in December. Yes, that's right. The conversion cost more than the truck."

Comment Re:The update was to 2.0.2 (Score 4, Informative) 423

2.0.1 was the last update 2.0.2 is the most recent. And for the record my first gen iPhone works fine. The update fixed the slow typing bug and the battery drain bug. I don't know yet if it fixed the shuffle my home screen icons bug. True I wish Apple would give a complete change log. It sure would make it easier for us to give them feedback about those bugs if we knew what they were.

Well let me prefix this with "I love my iPhone 3G, but..." *cough* yeah right..

Apple doesn't want feedback. It's a privilege to use their products, if you don't like it, you know where to take it.

The audiobook reader speed adjustment is *STILL* broken on my 5G iPod, I haven't dared to try on my iPhone 3G. Apple will never fix it. I'm afraid the same applies for many bugs on the iPhone.

And no, I still have the slow keyboard bug with 2.0.2, except now my contacts list of 60 is unresponsive for up to 30 seconds after launching it. Excellent!!

Privacy

Bill To Outlaw Genetic Discrimination In US 353

fatduck sends us a brief note from New Scientist about the overwhelming passage in the US House of Representatives of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. As written, the bill would prohibit insurance companies from charging higher rates, and employers from discriminating in hiring, based on the results of genetic tests. A Boston Globe editorial notes that the bill has been held up in the Senate by the action of a single senator, who has an (outdated) objection based on his anti-abortion stance. President Bush has said he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

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