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Media

3D Blu-ray Spec Finalized, PS3 Supported 157

Lucas123 writes "The Blu-ray Disc Association announced today that it has finalized the specification for Blu-ray 3-D discs. The market for 3-D, which includes 3-D enabled televisions, is expected to be $15.8 billion by 2015. Blu-ray 3-D will create a full 1080p resolution image for both eyes using MPEG4-MVC format. Even though two hi-def images are produced, the overhead is typically only 50% compared to equivalent 2D content. The spec also allows PS3 game consoles to play Blu-ray 3-D content. 'The specification also incorporates enhanced graphic features for 3D. These features provide a new experience for users, enabling navigation using 3D graphic menus and displaying 3D subtitles positioned in 3D video.'"
First Person Shooters (Games)

Infinity Ward Fights Against Modern Warfare 2 Cheaters 203

Faithbleed writes "IW's Robert Bowling reports on his twitter account that Infinity Ward is giving 2,500 Modern Warfare 2 cheaters the boot. The news comes as the war between IW and MW2's fans rages over the decision to go with IWnet hosting instead of dedicated servers. Unhappy players were quick to come up with hacks that would allow their own servers and various other changes." Despite the dedicated-server complaints, Modern Warfare 2 has sold ridiculously well.
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."
Security

Easing the Job of Family Tech Support? 932

DarkDevil writes "Ever since I was introduced to computers at a very young age, I've been the resident tech support for a household of 7 users. I've been in a cycle for the last ~8 years where something happens to my parents' computer, I spend a week or two trying to non-destructively fix the problem (and try to explain to the users what caused it and how to avoid it), and then if it's not easily fixed I'll reformat and start from scratch. Most often, the level of infection warrants a reformat, which usually ends up taking even more time to get the computer back to how my parents know how to use it. 4-8 months later, it happens again. Recently, I found ~380 instances of malware and 6 viruses. I only realized something was wrong with their computer after it slowed down the entire network whenever anyone used it. My question for Slashdot is: are there any resources out there that explain computer viruses, malware, adware, and general safe computer practices to non-technical people in an easy-to-digest format? The security flaws in my house are 9, 26, and ~50 years old, with no technical background aside from surfing the internet. Something in video format would be ideal as they are perfectly happy with our current arrangement and so it'll be hard to get them reading pages and pages of technical papers."
Google

D&D On Google Wave 118

Jon Stokes at the Opposable Thumbs blog relates his experience using Google Wave as a platform for Dungeons and Dragons — the true test of success for any new communications technology. A post at Spirits of Eden lists some of Wave's strengths for gaming. Quoting: "The few games I'm following typically have at least three waves: one for recruiting and general discussion, another for out-of-character interactions ('table talk'), and the main wave where the actual in-character gaming takes place. Individual players are also encouraged to start waves between themselves for any conversations that the GM shouldn't be privy to. Character sheets can be posted in a private wave between a player and the GM, and character biographies can go anywhere where the other players can get access to them. The waves are persistent, accessible to anyone who's added to them, and include the ability to track changes, so they ultimately work quite well as a medium for the non-tactical parts of an RPG. A newcomer can jump right in and get up-to-speed on past interactions, and a GM or industrious player can constantly maintain the official record of play by going back and fixing errors, formatting text, adding and deleting material, and reorganizing posts."

Comment Re:Macro economics not micro economics (Score 1) 240

If you look at my previous post above about my solar system that NJ paid for almost 65% of the cost, I was only able to get that rebate by having my system connected to the grid which means anything that is generated that I am not using at that moment goes directly into the grid to all my neighbors. Since I keep detailed stats on everything, I can tell you, depending on the month, I put roughly anywhere from 25%-60% of the electricity I generate back into the grid. June through August are the months i put little back into the grid because of air conditioning and the pool pump. If you want to look at my yearly totals, in 2007 I generated about 9590kW and put 3670kW back into the grid which is about 39% to my neighbors. For 2008 I generated about 9596kW and put 4010kW back into the grid which is about 42%. You will notice that I had a 3% increase back to the grid due to me starting to become more energy conscience. I know I probably use more electricity than I should, but I have been trying to make more of an effort to reduce my carbon footprint and not just with electricity. While its not 50% (or 65% in my case), I am still putting a decent amount back into the grid. So anyone claiming that its rare a house generates more than it consumes is probably false. You have to remember that its only the electricity the house uses during the day that will come from the electricity generated by the panels. Anything used at night comes from the grid. Most people are not home during the day which means less electricity is used during the day because tv's, stereos, appliances, possibly computers and whatever else that someone would use while home that consumes electricity are turned off, which means more electricity back into the grid. Lights which are also another electricity hog (unless you are using compact florescent) are mostly used at night so none of that comes directly from the panels.

Comment Solar on my NJ house (Score 5, Informative) 240

I live in NJ and have a 7.8kW solar system on my roof. I purchased it through Home Dept/BP Solar. The state rebate covered about 65% of the cost. I only had to pay the other 35% of the cost up front. I applied for the system in 2005 and about 6 months later in April 2006 I had a working system on my roof. I have been extremely happy with its performance especially since my roof faces pretty much directly south. Not only do I save in electricity, I also get Solar Renewable Energy Credits that I can sell to help pay for my cost of the system. An SREC is received for every 1000kWH of electricity generated. My system generates about 9 SREC's per solar year. The solar year begins in June and ends in May. After it was installed I immediately purchased RS485 communcation boards for the two inverters and an RS232 to RS485 converter for a PC and runs the SunnyData software that continuously monitors the system. It reads various data every 8 seconds and I use ssh/rsync to push it to a linux server every minute where I wrote some scripts to parse the data and create almost real time graphs of its performance. For anyone interested, I setup my own domain mysolarenergysystem.com where you can view all the details about the system. I also had the electric company replace my meter with a net meter, so each month on my bill I can see my exact in and out usage. The net meter has what looks like a phone jack that can be used for remote monitoring. I asked them about it because I wanted to connect it to my computer, but unfortunately they didn't give me much of an answer except that its not used, but would have been nice to monitor and graph daily statistics for that as well.

Comment Re:Performance (Score 2, Informative) 117

I just bought the linux version and started playing it and have not had any problems with performance so far. I am running kubuntu 9.04 x86_64 with an Intel core2quad 2.83G with 8G DDR1066 and dual Radeon HD 4550 in crossfirex mode using the latest ati catalyst 9.6 fglrx driver. The movement is very smooth without any hiccups with all the video options at their highest settings. I can't give you a comparison to the windows version since I have no intention on getting it, but I can tell you that it works great on my linux system.

Comment Re:This might be a dumb question (Score 1) 132

Geothermal heat transfer is a great way to do cooling (and heating if needed). The initial investment will be high, but the savings will also be high in the long run (and not just in $). Add solar panels and/or wind turbines that can power the heat pump and some of the data center equipment. I had a solar system installed on the roof of my house a few years ago. I received major incentive rebates from the state, I can sell my SREC's and I get "free" electricity; and in a few more years time the cost of the system will have paid for itself. It has been a good investment. I researched geothermal for the house earlier this year and plan to invest in that within in the next few years. I have already reduced my carbon footprint by more than 30% in the last few years and plan to reduce it further. Just think how much more they could be reducing their carbon footprint.

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