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Comment Destroying local knowledge? (Score 1) 519

Only for people who use it who would have gotten by just fine without it. For people like my wife, who lack the gene for direction sense, it's a godsend. For me, don't need it, won't use it - just another distraction, to compete with the plethora of things that already distract us in the car - cell phone, ipod, the Whopper that you are mostly wearing by the time you are done and the inability to find a decent block of music on the radio (hence the ipod).

Heh, the captcha is "quantity"

Mozilla

Firefox To Get Multi-Process Browsing 383

An anonymous reader writes with news that multi-process browsing will be coming to Firefox. The project is called Electrolysis, and the developers "have already assembled a prototype that renders a page in a separate process from the interface shell in which it is displayed." Mozilla's Benjamin Smedberg says they're currently "[sprinting] as fast as possible to get basic code working, running simple testcase plugins and content tabs in a separate process," after which they'll fix everything that breaks in the process. Further details of their plan are available on the Mozilla wiki, and a summary is up at TechFragments.
Privacy

Judge Rules IP Addresses Not "Personally Identifiable" 436

yuna49 writes "Online Media Daily reports that a federal judge in Seattle has held that IP addresses are not personal information. 'In order for "personally identifiable information" to be personally identifiable, it must identify a person. But an IP address identifies a computer,' US District Court Judge Richard Jones said in a written decision. Jones issued the ruling in the context of a class-action lawsuit brought by consumers against Microsoft stemming from an update that automatically installed new anti-piracy software. In that case, which dates back to 2006, consumers alleged that Microsoft violated its user agreement by collecting IP addresses in the course of the updates. This ruling flatly contradicts a recent EU decision to the contrary, as well as other cases in the US. Its potential relevance to the RIAA suits should be obvious to anyone who reads Slashdot."
PC Games (Games)

Experimental Video Game Evolves Its Own Content 167

Ken Stanley writes "Just as interest in user-generated content in video games is heating up, a team of researchers at the University of Central Florida has released an experimental multiplayer game in which content items compete with each other in an evolutionary arms race to satisfy the players. As a result, particle system-based weapons, which are the evolving class of content, continually invent their own new behaviors based on what users liked in the past. Does the resulting experience in this game, called Galactic Arms Race, suggest that evolutionary algorithms may be the key to automated content generation in future multiplayer gaming and MMOs?"
Microsoft

Submission + - WinXP, Office 2003 Evolve, Updates Semi-Retired 1

nandemoari writes: Microsoft recently announced that April 14, 2009 will mark the beginning of its "phase out" process for the Office 2003 productivity suite and the Windows XP operating system; two cornerstone programs that will be forced into semiretirement so that more resources can be used towards newer products. The lifespan of a Microsoft product is dependent on the amount of time and involvement the company allocates when implementing security updates, patches, and similar.
Communications

Is XMPP the 'Next Big Thing' 162

Open Standard Lover writes "XMPP (eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) has been getting a lot of attention during the last month and it seems that the protocol is finally taking off as a general purpose glue to build distributed web applications. It has been covered that AOL was experimenting with an XMPP gateway for its instant messaging platform. XMPP has been designed since the beginning as an open technology for generalized XML routing. However, the idea of an XMPP application server is taking shape and getting supporters. A recent example shows that ejabberd XMPP server can be used to develop a distributed Twitter-like system."
Real Time Strategy (Games)

The Physics of Football 163

Ponca City, We Love You writes "There will be a program on applied physics and real time strategy that you might want to watch on television today. Conservation of momentum during elastic and inelastic collisions is one aspect on which to focus as players tackle their opponents. It is of critical importance that the Patriots bring down New York's huge and powerful running back, 6-foot-4, 265-pound Brandon Jacobs. An average-size NFL defensive back's mass combined with his speed — on average, 4.56 seconds for the 40-yard dash — can produce up to 1600 pounds of tackling force. A tackle with half a ton of force may sound like a crippling blow, but the body can handle twice that amount because the player's equipment spreads out the incoming energy, lessening its severity." Nanotech specialists from Cornell have developed their own take on the "physics" of the Super Bowl by creating the world's smallest trophy, which will be awarded today to a contestant who best explains an aspect of football physics. Just some food for thought while you watch the game on your brand new HD television, though you'd better not be watching it in a church.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Build a Windows Home Server (extremetech.com)

ThinSkin writes: "While our important digital information is dangling at the mercy of our local hard drives, protecting that data with a home server isn't such a bad idea. For roughly $800, computer users can build a low-power, 1 terabyte Windows Home Server to ensure that our data doesn't go bump in the night. ExtremeTech has a primer on building this server, outlining which parts to buy, and also taking readers through each installation step. The cost is about the same as the HP MediaSmart Server EX475, though building a system allows PC users more flexibility and full access to the operating system."
Music

Submission + - Next for Apple: Lossless iTunes Store (cnet.co.uk)

DrJenny writes: C|net has an interesting piece running at the moment about why Apple developed their own lossless codec, and more importantly that iTunes will become a download store for lossless audio, potentially from all the major labels. This would be a massively positive move for people who spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on hi-fi gear, but refuse to give money to stores that only offer compressed music. It's a big FLAC, DRM, ALAC and GB discussion, but it's a very exciting perspective, and surely one that'll pan out meaning audiophiles will finally be able to take advantage of legal digital downloads.
Government

Submission + - New Zealand Justice Ministry prefers Open Source (nzoss.org.nz)

christian.einfeldt writes: "In a paper dated 11 Dec. 2007, the New Zealand Justice Ministry has taken a position favoring Free Open Source Software if all other aspects of the proprietary competitor are comparable. The policy does not rule out proprietary software; but it does state a clear preference for FOSS where all other things are equal. The nine-page paper (PDF warning) does not purport to express any sort of legal or commercial commitment by the Ministry, but instead 'is believed to be consistent with existing MoJ policies.' The most salient reasons given for the preference are summarized in one sentence: 'Given two equivalent packages, one open and one proprietary, the OSS one would be the preferable choice for reasons of better supportability and lower lifecycle cost.'"

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