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Microsoft

Submission + - DirectX10 drops Hardware Acceleration for Audio.

shrewd writes: ""Imagine your surprise when you fire up one of your favourite games in Vista — say World of Warcraft or Prey — only to find your fancy EAX-endowed soundcard and 5.1 surround speakers are dribbling out flat, unenhanced stereo sound. Then, in a vain attempt to spruce up the audio by enabling EAX, you get a nice taut error message saying EAX is not detected on your hardware. What's going on? Welcome to the world of Vista audio. And a brave new world it is.""
Democrats

Obama Announces for President, Boosts Broadband 846

Arlen writes "As many as 17,000 people (according to police estimates) watched Senator Barack Obama officially announce his candidacy for President in Springfield, Illinois today. He mentioned several things that will interest readers of Slashdot. The Senator said he wanted to free America from 'the tyranny of oil' and went on to promote alternative energy sources such as ethanol — a popular stance in the Midwest where he announced, because of all the corn farmers. He also talked about using science and technology to help those with chronic diseases, which is likely to have been an allusion to his staunch support for stem cell research. Perhaps most of interest to readers here is the following statement halfway through Obama's speech: 'Let's invest in scientific research, and let's lay down broadband lines through the heart of inner cities and rural towns all across America. We can do that.' Like nearly everything in his speech, this was met with robust applause from the crowd. You can watch a video of the entire speech at Obama's website."
Hardware

Dell Laptop Burns House Down 405

Nuclear Elephant writes "The Consumerist is running a story about a house burned down by a Dell laptop. 'My 130-year-old former farm house was engulfed in flames, with thick dark smoke pouring out of the windows and roof... Hours later, after investigation the fire marshal investigator took me aside asked me if I had a laptop computer. Yes — I told him I had a Dell Inspiron 1200.' It was determined that the laptop, battery, or cord malfunctioned after its owner left for work, leaving the fire to spread through the entire house. All attempts to contact Dell have failed. 'I have tried to call Dell to at least notify them of my problems, but each time I have called I get transferred into an endless loop of "Joe" or "Alan" all speaking a delectable version of English I presume emanates from Bangalore. I have been outright hung up on each time I get someone who speaks a reasonable version of English, or sounds like they might be in charge of something. Promises of call backs have gone, of course, unreturned.'"
Patents

MS Seeks Patent For Repossessing School Computers 299

theodp writes "Microsoft has applied for a patent for 'securely providing advertising subsidized computer usage.' The application describes how face-recognition webcams and CAPTCHAs can be used in schools to ensure that computer users are paying attention to ads, and the recourse of 'disabling or even repossessing the computer' if they are not."
Power

Storing Wind Power In Cold Stores 242

Roland Piquepaille writes "According to Nature, a European-funded project has been launched to store electricity created from wind in refrigerated warehouses used to store food. As the production of wind energy is variable every day, it cannot easily be accommodated on the electrical grid. So the 'Night Wind' project wants to store wind energy produced at night in refrigerated warehouses and to release this energy during daytime peak hours. The first tests will be done in the Netherlands this year. And as the cold stores exist already, practically no extra cost should be incurred to store as much as 50,000 megawatt-hours of energy. Here are additional details and a picture illustrating this brilliant idea."
Censorship

Teens Prosecuted For Racy Photos 740

An anonymous reader writes with a story on CNet about two teens who were prosecuted under anti-child-porn laws in Florida for having made and emailed racy photos of each other. Both were under 18 years old, so the resulting pictures are clearly illegal; but the teens' intent was not to share the pictures with anyone else. An appeals court majority opinion found that emailing the photos from one of the kids to the other was a careless act that should, it seems, bring down the full weight of the law. A minority opinion argued that the laws were intended to protect children from exploitative adults, not from other children.

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