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China

Lenovo To Launch Chinese Gaming Platform Called Ebox 71

siliconbits writes "Chinese manufacturer Lenovo will build a video gaming console for the Chinese market and has already spun off a company called Eedoo Technology, including a team of 40 engineers, with the task of developing the platform. It will be called the Ebox, and will be specifically designed to recognize shapes and movement without the need for a dedicated game controller, not unlike Microsoft's Kinect."
Image

Company Presses Your Ashes Into Vinyl When You Die 101

Lanxon writes "Music lovers can now be immortalized when they die by having their ashes baked into vinyl records to leave behind for loved ones, reports Wired. A UK company called And Vinyly is offering people the chance to press their ashes in a vinyl recording of their own voice, their favorite tunes or their last will and testament. Minimalist audiophiles might want to go for the simple option of having no tunes or voiceover, and simply pressing the ashes into the vinyl to result in pops and crackles."
Role Playing (Games)

Co-op Neverwinter RPG Announced For 2011 169

Atari and Cryptic Studios are teaming up to make a new Dungeons & Dragons-based RPG called Neverwinter, planned for Q4 2011. Gameplay will center on five-person groups that can include other players and/or AI allies, and there will be an extensive content generation system. Gamespot spoke with Cryptic CEO Jack Emmert, who explained parts of the game in more depth: "I think there are two very unique gameplay elements in 4th Edition that we've done something interesting with: action points and healing surges. In the tabletop game, an action point lets a player perform a reroll or add an additional die to a roll. In our game, action points are earned through combat and spent to power special abilities called 'boons.' These boons give players special boosts, but only in certain circumstances. Healing surges represent the amount of times a player can heal himself before resting. In D&D and Neverwinter, various abilities let players use a surge immediately or perhaps replenish the number of surges available. It's a precious resource that players will need to husband as they adventure in the brave new world. Positioning, flanking, tactics, and using powers with your teammates are also all things that come from the 4th Edition that are interesting. Of course, we're using power names and trying to keep power behavior consistent with the pen-and-paper counterparts. Neverwinter will definitely feel familiar to anyone who has played the 4th Edition."

Comment Re:Firewall Builder (Score 2, Interesting) 414

fwbuilder also does a great job of managing multiple firewalls even if they are different platforms and will even manage your home router if it has openwrt installed. It will manage everything over ssh, so its definitely secure for remote firewall management over public ip addresses. I have been alpha/beta testing version 4.0 for many months now and there have been a lot of great improvements including cluster support.

Microsoft Demos Three Platforms Running the Same Game 196

suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Engadget: "Microsoft's Eric Rudder, speaking at TechEd Middle East, showed off a game developed in Visual Studio as a singular project (with 90% shared code) that plays on Windows with a keyboard, a Windows Phone 7 Series prototype device with accelerometer and touch controls, and the Xbox 360 with the Xbox gamepad. Interestingly, not only is the development cross-platform friendly, but the game itself (a simple Indiana Jones platformer was demoed) saves its place and lets you resume from that spot on whichever platform you happen to pick up."
Privacy

Net Users In Belarus May Soon Have To Register 89

Cwix writes "A new law proposed in Belarus would require all net users and online publications to register with the state: 'Belarus' authoritarian leader is promising to toughen regulation of the Internet and its users in an apparent effort to exert control over the last fully free medium in the former Soviet state. He told journalists that a new Internet bill, proposed Tuesday, would require the registration and identification of all online publications and of each Web user, including visitors to Internet cafes. Web service providers would have to report this information to police, courts, and special services.'"
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.

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