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PC Games (Games)

Windows 7 Gaming Performance Tested 179

Timmus writes "Gamers holding onto Windows XP may not have to fear sluggish performance when Windows 7 debuts. While Windows Vista's gaming performance was pretty spotty at launch, the Windows 7 beta build seems to handle most games well. Firingsquad has tested the Windows 7 beta against Windows XP SP3 and Vista SP1 on midrange and high-end gaming PCs across 7 different games. While the beta stumbles in a couple of cases, overall it performs within a few percentage points of Windows XP, actually outrunning XP in multiple benchmarks."
The Military

Submission + - Boeing: We zapped a UAV with a laser (cnet.com)

mytrip writes: "Boeing is seeing a glimmer of progress in its work toward fielding laser weapons.

The defense industry giant on Monday said tests of its Laser Avenger system in December marked "the first time a combat vehicle has used a laser to shoot down a UAV," or unmanned aerial vehicle. In the testing, the Humvee-mounted Laser Avenger located and tracked three small UAVs in flight over the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and knocked one of the drone aircraft out of the sky.

Boeing didn't go into much detail about the shoot-down. In response to a query by CNET News, it did say this much about the strike by the the kilowatt-class laser: "A hole was burned in a critical flight control element of the UAV, rendering the aircraft unflyable.""

Software

OpenOffice.org 3.0 Is Officially Here 284

SNate writes "After a grinding three-year development cycle, the OpenOffice.org team has finally squeezed out a new release. New features include support for the controversial Microsoft OOXML file format, multi-page views in Writer, and PDF import via an extension. Linux Format has an overview of the new release, asking the question: is it really worth the 3.0 label?"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - GoDaddy Lets Their SSL Certificate Expire (superubergeek.com)

SuperUberGeek writes: "GoDaddy Lets Their SSL Certificate Expire

Of all the biggest blunders you do not want to do, GoDaddy.com has let their security certificate expire and is now taken offline. As of 4:10 PST, Dec 19, 2007 Godaddy.com has ceased to exist. This is a major blooper for a company that prides itself in reselling SSL Certificates, and in providing web based tools to manage your domain names, websites, and auctions for domain names. All three which can expire in the time godaddy is down, presenting a huge problem for anyone who has a domain name expiring tonight, or who needs to manage something for a client using the tools at godaddy."

Sony

Submission + - Sony silently drops PS3 linux support. (ps2dev.org) 4

t0qer writes: "Up until this week, hackers at the PS2dev.org forums have been hot on the trail of writing a hardware accellerated driver for the PS3 RSX chip until Sony released thier new firmware. Now it seems that updating to the new 2.10 version of PS3 firmware not only blocks RSX access completely, but breaks linux installs as well. This is a harsh blow to the PS3 linux community."

Bees Can Optimize Internet Bottlenecks 128

prostoalex writes "Georgia Tech and University of Oxford scientists claim bees can help up develop a better Internet traffic algorithms. By observing bees, the researchers noticed that bees pass back information on route quality. 'On a basic level, the honeybee's dilemma is a tale of two flower patches. If one patch is yielding better nectar than the other, how can the hive use its workforce most efficiently to retrieve the best supply at the moment? The solution, which earned Austrian zoologist Karl von Frisch a Nobel Prize, is a communication system called the waggle dance.' Any practical applications of that? Well, apparently ad servers, serving banners across a variety of servers, can report back on the time it took to generate the page."
Programming

Submission + - What happens to your brain when you're coding?

youthoftoday writes: Discussions with friends have shown that we all have slightly different mental approaches to coding. I personally find that often the code just appears under my fingers. Sometimes when trying to code something complex (usually with pointers) I have to actively stop thinking about the problem and some more abstract part of my brain over which I have no control writes the code for me. This seems to raise a few eyebrows.

So how do slashdot readers write code? Cold and logical? Subconscious and inexplicable? Is there some truth in http://xkcd.com/323 ?
Portables

Submission + - Penny-sized flash module holds 16GB (linuxdevices.com) 1

nerdyH writes: Intel describes its new 2GB to 16GB SSDs (solid state disks) as "smaller than a penny, and weighing less than a drop of water." The parts are "400 times smaller in volume than a 1.8-inch hard drive," Intel boasts, "and at 0.6 grams, 75 times lighter." Sampling now, with mass production set for Q1, the Z-P140 is described as an "optional" part of Intel's Menlow chipset, built in turn as part of Intel's vision for Linux-based Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs).
Privacy

Submission + - Judge:Man can't be forced to divulge passphrase (news.com) 2

mytrip writes: "A federal judge in Vermont has ruled that prosecutors can't force a criminal defendant accused of having illegal images on his hard drive to divulge his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) passphrase.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerome Niedermeier ruled that a man charged with transporting child pornography on his laptop across the Canadian border has a Fifth Amendment right not to turn over the passphrase to prosecutors. The Fifth Amendment protects the right to avoid self-incrimination.

Niedermeier tossed out a grand jury's subpoena that directed Sebastien Boucher to provide "any passwords" used with his Alienware laptop. "Compelling Boucher to enter the password forces him to produce evidence that could be used to incriminate him," the judge wrote in an order dated November 29 that went unnoticed until this week. "Producing the password, as if it were a key to a locked container, forces Boucher to produce the contents of his laptop."

Especially if this ruling is appealed, U.S. v. Boucher could become a landmark case. The question of whether a criminal defendant can be legally compelled to cough up his encryption passphrase remains an unsettled one, with law review articles for the last decade arguing the merits of either approach. (A U.S. Justice Department attorney wrote an article in 1996, for instance, titled "Compelled Production of Plaintext and Keys.")"

Tech Gifts for the Holidays 245

MrCopilot pointed out that every year there are a slew of gadgets geeks desire for Christmas, and approximately 7 million web pages dedicated to compiling lists of them. So why shouldn't we join in the fun. Here are stories from Dallas News, CBS News, Seattle Times, E Media Wire, Detroit News and MSNBC. So lets take a crack at your own list. There's still another day or two where things could conceivably be shipped on time for the holidays. I highly recommend Rock Band, although my aching hands might disagree.

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