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PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."
Games

How APB's Persistent World Will Work 33

Edge Magazine recently sat down with David Jones, creative director for Realtime Worlds, the studio behind upcoming action MMO APB. He spends some time talking about their thinking behind the game, and he also gets into how their persistent online worlds will work. Quoting: "... you absolutely want 'moments' in the game. Even if it's just for thirty minutes, you want people to become celebrities — OJ Simpson on TV with the police chasing after him: you want those kind of moments in the game. We can't create them, so it's about what mission can ultimately lead to those kinds of experiences. We have what we call heat mechanics in the game, so if a criminal has just been on a complete rampage, recklessly blowing stuff up and killing people, heat builds up until eventually we unlock him to every single enforcer on the server. It's not part of their missions, it's just that this guy has become number one wanted and everyone has the authority to take him down. That's a fun mechanic from both sides; everybody who's a criminal is going to want to reach that and if you're on a mission for the enforcers you'll see that guy and wonder whether you should break away to get him. You get a lot of compound stuff which we never planned for, because it's a hundred real players interacting in ways we don't expect."
Patents

Touchpad Patent Holder Tsera Sues Just About Everyone 168

eldavojohn writes "Okay, well, maybe not everyone but more than twenty companies (including Apple, Qualcomm, Motorola and Microsoft) are being sued for a generic patent that reads: 'Apparatus and methods for controlling a portable electronic device, such as an MP3 player; portable radio, voice recorder, or portable CD player are disclosed. A touchpad is mounted on the housing of the device, and a user enters commands by tracing patterns with his finger on a surface of the touchpad. No immediate visual feedback is provided as a command pattern is traced, and the user does not need to view the device to enter commands.' Sounds like their may be a few companies using that technology. The suit was filed on July 15th in the favoritest place ever to file patent claim lawsuits: Texas Eastern District Court. It's a pretty classic patent troll; they've been holding this patent since 2003 and they just noticed now that everyone and his dog are using touchpads to control portable electronic devices."
Windows

Submission + - Windows 7 faceoff with Vista (pcauthority.com.au)

gollygee writes: "I thought it time for someone to faceoff Windows 7 agains Vista, offering the good, the bad, and the ugly of both systems; after all, not everyone may like Windows 7, and one is supposed to have Vista installed to get Windows 7 (damn, I have XP)! Not everyone is savvy with platforms and rely on such as PC Authority to inform them of the benefits, costs, as well as if they can instal them or not if they have a certain platform; so, why has this not been done may I ask? I for one have XP on my machine, and if Windows 7 only upgrades from Vista, that would mean that I would have to go out and buy Vista, load that, and then for heavens sake, go out again and buy Windows 7; not on in my books! So, how about it, can you, will you, are you going to advise your readers?"
Graphics

Submission + - ATI 9.3 drivers are released :)

Oryn writes: Looks like The ATI Catalist 9.3 drivers are released http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx Though rumors suggested that owners of cards less than 2xxx would not be supported I see support for X18xx and X19xx cards. Looks like they have finaly added support for opengl inside compositing managers such as kde4 and compiz
NASA

Submission + - Take out asteroid soon, UN urged

stevedmc writes: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21247126-2,00 .html

THE United Nations has been urged to launch a space mission designed to take out an asteroid threatening to smash into the Earth in 2036.

In scenes straight out of Hollywood action movie Armageddon, a group of astronauts, engineers and scientists say they are monitoring an asteroid named Apophis, which has a one in 45,000 chance of striking Earth on April 13, 2036.

A recent congressional mandate for NASA to upgrade its tracking of near-Earth asteroids is expected to uncover a host of threatening space rocks in the near future, former astronaut Rusty Schweickart said.

"It's not just Apophis we're looking at. Every country is at risk. We need a set of general principles to deal with this issue," Mr Schweickart, a member of the Apollo 9 crew that orbited the moon in March 1969, told an American Association for the Advancement of Science conference.

Mr Schweickart plans to present an update this week to the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on plans to develop a blueprint for a global response to an asteroid threat.

The Association of Space Explorers, a group of former astronauts and cosmonauts, intends to host a series of high-level workshops this year to flesh out the plan and will make a formal proposal to the UN in 2009, he said.
Space

Interstellar Ark 703

xantox writes "There are three strategies to travel 10.5 light-years from Earth to Epsilon Eridani and bring humanity into a new stellar system : 1) Wait for future discovery of Star Trek physics and go there almost instantaneously, 2) Build a relativistic rocket powered by antimatter and go there in 22 years by accelerating constantly at 1g, provided that you master stellar amounts of energy (so, nothing realistic until now), but what about 3): go there by classical means, by building a gigantic Ark of several miles in radius, propulsed by nuclear fusion and featuring artificial gravity, oceans and cities, for a travel of seven centuries — where many generations of men and women would live ? This new speculation uses some actual physics and math to figure out how far are our fantasies of space travel from their actual implementation."
User Journal

Journal Journal: FF 2: ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^ And an idea.

edit: I overlooked a simple checkbox.

Just upgraded from Firefox 1.5 to 2, and Tabbrowser Extensions don't work anymore. I found Tab Mix Plus, which is almost as good. [Edit: cut, snip, delete.]

Education

Submission + - Instructor led Online Training possible?

revantj writes: "Hello,

I was just going through Google and found bunch of IT companies that provided training for various programming languages(C#, PHP, c++, etc.) That got me thinking would it be actually possible to provide Instructor Led Training online? I think with the right experienced instructors, good course material, system of testing and appropriate technology such a service could be possible and much more convenient. What do you guys think ?

           "
Networking

5 Things the Boss Should Know About Spam Fighting 168

Esther Schindler writes "Sysadmins and email administrators were asked to identify the one thing they wish the CIO understood about their efforts to fight spam. The CIO website is now running their five most important tips, in an effort to educate the corporate brass. Recommendations are mostly along the lines of informing corporate management; letting bosses know that there is no 'silver bullet', and that the battle will never really end. There's also a suggestion to educate on technical matters, bringing executives into the loop on terms like SMTP and POP. Their first recommendation, though, is to make sure no mail is lost. 'This is a risk management practice, and you need to decide where you want to put your risk. Would you rather risk getting spam with lower risk of losing/delaying messages you actually wanted to get, or would you rather risk losing/delaying legitimate messages with lower risk of spam? You can't have both, no matter how loudly you scream.'"

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