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XBox (Games)

Submission + - 33% of the XBox 360 are defective? (dailytech.com)

sodul writes: DailyTech has contacted several retailers to get the actual percentage of XBox failures. While Microsoft is claiming a 'normal' 3% rate, the retailers claim that one third of the XBox are breaking. This is the highest failure rate ever witnessed by the retailers while the other consoles like the PS3 have a less than 1% failure rate. This could explain The Man Who Went Through 11 Xbox 360s.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Slackware 12.0 is released (slackware.com)

Matt writes: "Straight from our good friend and colleague in the fight for quality distributions, Mr. Patrick Volkerding, comes a brand-new and eagerly-awaited release of Slackware, version 12. HAL automount, KDE 3.5.7 and XFCE 4.4.1, Xorg 7.2, 2.6 kernels as far as the eye can see, oodles of updated applications and utilities, and hardware support for just about anything under the sun. Enjoy! I know I will."
Announcements

Submission + - Slackware 12.0 Released!

lazyeye writes: Pat Volkerding and the rest of the Slackware team have graced us with a brand new version of Slackware, version 12.0. From the release announcement:

Among the many program updates and distribution enhancements, you'll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.4.1, a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy to use desktop environment, and KDE 3.5.7, the latest version of the award-winning K Desktop Environment. We have added to Slackware support for HAL (the Hardware Abstraction Layer) which allows the system administrator to add users to the cdrom and plugdev groups. Then they will be able to use items such as USB flash sticks, USB cameras that appear like USB storage, portable hard drives, CD and DVD media, MP3 players, and more, all without requiring sudo, the mount or umount command. Just plug and play. Properly set up, Slackware's desktop should be suitable for any level of Linux experience.
Announcements

Submission + - Jim Butterfield, 1936 - 2007 1

ewhac writes: "While nearly everyone was going crazy over the iPhone, the computing community lost a luminary on Friday. Jim Butterfield, an early columnist and author for hobbyist computing in the 1970's and 80's, passed away peacefully in his sleep at 1:30 AM on 29 June. He was 71. Jim had been battling cancer since at least December of last year, when he announced he was beginning chemotherapy. Jim was a frequent contributor to periodicals such as The Transactor, COMPUTE!, and TPUG; and was the author of several books on introductory programming. Jim's clear and incisive writing helped introduce a generation of newcomers to the joys and wonders of computers and computer programming. No small fraction of today's engineers owe their livlihoods to Jim's writing and enthusiasm, this chronicler included. He will be missed."
Communications

Submission + - OpenMoko to begin selling Neo1973's July 9th (openmoko.com)

Jaidan writes: "OpenMoko is to begin selling Neo1973's on July 9th according to a post on openmoko.com. According to the site the initial release will be about 1000 (400 ready now, and another 600 soon). Two versions will be sold: a base version for $300, and an advanced version for $450.

The post also indicates that a mass production version known as GTA02 will be available in October. This version will be the same as the original excepting that it will include a number of new features such as:
  • 802.11 b/g WiFi
  • Samsung 2442 SoC
  • SMedia 3362 Graphics Accelerator
  • 2 3D Accelerometers
  • 256MB Flash


The mass market version according to the site will run $450 and $600 for the base and advanced versions respectively."

Portables

Submission + - Are laptop batteries the next "printer ink"

Quixote writes: Sometime back I bought a Dell Inspiron laptop because Dell was offering a very good deal on it. A few weeks after the warranty expired, the battery suddenly died. It was as if the battery was non-existent: the laptop would shutdown if unplugged even if the battery had been in the laptop the whole time. When plugged in, the battery charging light would keep flashing. This seemed quite puzzling, since just days before this, the battery used to give me a good 2 hours or so of use.

Searching around on the web to see if the flashing lights meant anything, I came across this page. It seems like lots of people have been reporting the same symptoms: just after the warranty expires, the battery mysteriously "dies". Even the Dell forums are replete with posts from unhappy users.

The solution from Dell is: buy a new battery. But they aren't cheap: a Dell one runs you about $100.

I know I should have known better than buying a Dell (cue the "Dude!" jokes). But this begs a bigger question: is this legal (it certainly doesn't seem ethical)? How many of these (working) batteries end up in the landfill? Have laptop batteries become the next "printer ink", forcing us to keep buying new ones?
Security

Submission + - Phrack has reborn : #64 is out

The Circle of Lost Hackers writes: "The hacking electronic magazine Phrack is back online. A new issue has been released this week-end, which ends up more than a year and a half without publication. This issue features a mix of scene articles and many highly technical papers dealing with almost all topics of computer hacking: Hardware, Code analysis & Reverse engineering, previously unpublished Kernel & Heap exploits techniques, applied network intrusion on Windows and UNIX, Cryptanalysis, OsX kernel tricks, are waiting for you. A new volume of a very high quality that reminds some old-school issues as it also includes its amount of Underground and body/mind experiences reports. A must read."
Networking

Submission + - A Linux Computer in Every Garage?

An anonymous reader writes: A U.S. government- and industry-led coalition aiming to equip every car and roadside in America with wirelessly connected computers has tapped Linux for the design of a system that aims to lower driver death rates, reduce traffic jams, and media-enable cars. The project, which is under the auspices of the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Consortium (VII-C) and funded by the Department of Transportation (DOT), ten state departments of transportation, and seven vehicle manufacturers, has adopted an Linux and open source strategy, at least at the prototype level.
Puzzle Games (Games)

Submission + - Checkers has been Solved

r55man writes: "The Chinook project recently announced that checkers has been solved. Perfect play from both sides results in a draw. From their website:

On May 8, 2007, we were pleased to announce that checkers is now solved. From the standard starting position, Black (who moves first) is guaranteed a draw with perfect play. White (moving second) is also guaranteed a draw, regardless of what Black plays as the opening move. Checkers is the largest game that has been solved to date.
"
Security

Submission + - Phone-based Two-Factor Coolness

dispensa writes: "Today at Interop Las Vegas, Positive Networks debuted its new two-factor authentication service, called PhoneFactor. Unlike other two-factor technologies, this one works by placing a confirmation call to your phone during login, so it works with any phone and with no software to install.

PhoneFactor will be made available for free to anyone. Enterprise-level upgrades will also be available.

More here:
    http://weblog.infoworld.com/smbit/archives/2007/05 /interop_twofact.html
    http://kernelmustard.com/2007/05/21/phonefactor-fr ee-two-factor-authentication-for-everyone/

(Disclaimer: I'm an architect and coder on this project, and Positive's CTO.)"
Security

Submission + - First OpenOffice virus emerges

Slinkysausage writes: "Pop the champagne corks, Microsoft. Yes, it's another round of FUD from an anti-malware vendor that has gotten hold of a proof-of-concept virus that has never been spotted in the wild. STILL, it is kinda interesting: the worm exploits a vulnerability in the "StarBasic" scripting language included in OpenOffice to drop scripts in platform-appropriate languages onto the host computer. For example, on Windows it drops Javascript files as well as using MiRC to propagate, on OS X, Rubyscript, and on Linux, Python and Pearl. APC Magazine has the lowdown including part of the indecent picture the virus shows ... of a man in a bunny suit doing a gal in the woods."

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