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Windows

Microsoft Kills Support For XP SP2 315

Trailrunner7 writes "Microsoft's announcement this week that it is preparing to end support for machines running Windows XP SP2 not only represents a challenge for the thousands of businesses still running SP2, but also is the end of an era for both Microsoft and its customers. It wasn't until 2004 that the final release of XP SP2 hit the streets, but when it did, it represented a huge step forward in security for Windows users. It wasn't necessarily the feature set that mattered as much as the fact that the protections were enabled by default and taken out of the users' hands."
Role Playing (Games)

Genre Wars — the Downside of the RPG Takeover 248

Phaethon360 writes "From Bioshock and Modern Warfare 2 to even Team Fortress 2, RPG elements are creeping into game genres that we never imagined they would. This change for the most part has managed to subtly improve upon genres that needed new life, but there's a cost that hasn't been tallied by the majority of game developers. 'The simple act of removing mod tools, along with the much discussed dedicated server issue, has made [MW2] a bit of a joke among competitive players. Gone are the days of "promod," and the only option you have is to play it their way. If Infinity Ward are so insistent on improving the variety of our experiences, they don’t have to do it at the expense of the experience that many of us already love. It really is that simple. If they don’t want to provide a good "back to basics experience," they could at least continue to provide the tools that allow us to do that for ourselves.'"

Comment Re:Metric: like the rest of the World! (Score 1) 1233

Metric. by the way, is actually American. It was Ben Franklin who came up with the system

As with most of the things that are claimed without citing sources, this is dubious. Why would Benjamin Franklin name an International System "SI" as in the french: "Systeme International" ? Why not have a look in an encyclopedia and see what they say about that ?

Submission + - DragonFly 2.4 released

electrostaticcarrot writes: "DragonFly — that fourth major BSD — has had its 2.4 release. The "most invasive change" is the addition and usage of a DevFS for /dev; building on this, drives are now also recognized by serial number (along with /etc/devtab for aliases) as listed in /dev/serno. This is also the first release with a x86-64 ISO, stable but with limited pkgsrc support.

Other larger changes include a ported and feature-extended (with full hotplug and port multiplier support) AHCI driver (and SILI driver based on it) originally taken from OpenBSD, major NFS changes, and HAMMER updates. A pkgsrc GIT mirror has also been set up and put in use to make future pkgsrc updates quicker and smoother.

Two of the mirrors:
http://chlamydia.fs.ei.tum.de/pub/DragonFly/iso-images/
http://avalon.dragonflybsd.org/iso-images/"
Movies

Submission + - Gladiator Ruined By Studio On Blu Ray Debut

pimpforalivin writes: Ridley Scott's Gladiator will be released on Blu Ray on September 1st. Early reports are in that the studio behind this release has applied heavy processing resulting in arrows and spears disappearing from the image. Detail also suffers and edge enhancement which is a sharpening tool adds a halo like image around the borders of objects and people. Click here and here to see mouseover comparisons which show the extent of the damage done to the move, and note also the processed look of the image. Edge enhancement is an unnecessary evil on high definition content and is usually only applied if too much digital noise reduction or heavy processing has reduced image detail. The usual reason for doing this is because they are using a very old master and do not want to pay to strike a new one so instead apply additional processing.
Windows

Submission + - FSF's Windows 7 Sins Campaign Violates Own Beliefs

Bryant writes: "It seems the Free Software Foundation, in their latest campaign against closed source, may have committed an egregious sin of their own. The content of their latest campaign is licensed, perhaps against their own ideals, under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License (ironically, their choice of license does not prohibit commercial redistribution of their work). Furthermore, they may have actually nullified their own license by infringing on Microsoft's intellectual property. The campaign itself leads some to question whether the FSF might be squandering funds on what may come off as a campaign of fear, uncertainty, and doubt, an accusation perhaps given credibility by their latest efforts to contact Fortune 500 companies, a step typically unusual for them. What are your thoughts: is the Free Software Foundation doing free open source software any good with their campaigns, or might their campaigns simply be causing more problems than they solve?"
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Atari is stealing music

An anonymous reader writes: A few month after the fight when Atari was claimed to left out graphic artist Dan Schoening in the final credits of the game Ghostbusters: The Video Game, even though Sony / Sierra had given them his word he would be in the final credits.... Atari does it again. Swedish musician Jonne Dahlberg, also known as "svenzzon" , famous for his underground demoscene music found in many scene related productions, can now find his music in the videogame. No credits, no compensation. The music is played during a visit in the Arcade hall: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJVFntSiuWA and reflects the old commodore days. The music is actually a remix of Chris Huelsbecks old intro music to Turrican 2. Huelsbeck is also the legal owner to the Turrican music and he also confirms that no credits has been given to him, or Jonne Dahlberg. Its funny, these big publishers like Sony that stands for strict copyrights when asked about sites like The Pirate Bay, but when it comes to their own products, stealing is not an issue.
Businesses

Submission + - Unchain the Office Computers! 3

theodp writes: "During a town hall meeting for State Dept. workers, Hillary Clinton was asked this question: 'Can you please let the staff use an alternative Web browser called Firefox?' The room erupted in cheers. But then an aide stepped in to explain that the free program was too expensive — 'it has to be administered, the patches have to be loaded.' Slate's Farhad Manjoo has had-it-up-to-here with this kind of IT tyranny, and argues that corporate IT should let us browse any way we want. 'The restrictions infantilize workers,' explains Manjoo. 'They foster resentment, reduce morale, lock people into inefficient routines, and, worst of all, they kill our incentives to work productively. In the information age, most companies' success depends entirely on the creativity and drive of their workers. IT restrictions are corrosive to that creativity — they keep everyone under the thumb of people who have no idea which tools we need to do our jobs but who are charged with deciding anyway.' Can he get an 'Amen', Brothers and Sisters?"
Mozilla

Submission + - Porn collection put people off upgrading Firefox (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: "Mozilla's Security team has disclosed a very interesting piece of research which suggests people refused to upgrade to Firefox 3 because they were afraid the browser would expose their porn collection. Mozilla's research found that the number one reason for not upgrading was the new location bar, and the fact that it delved into people's bookmark collections to suggest sites as they typed. "When we expanded the capabilities of the location bar to search against all history and bookmarks in Firefox 3, a lot of people contacted us to say that they had certain bookmarks they didn't really want to have displayed," Firefox's principal designer, Alex Faaborg, tactfully explains. "In some cases users had intentionally hidden these bookmarks in deep hierarchies of folders, somewhat similar to how one might hide a physical object.""
Programming

Dirty Coding Tricks To Make a Deadline 683

Gamasutra is running an article with a collection of anecdotes from game developers who had to employ some quick and dirty fixes to get their products to ship on time. Here's a brief excerpt: "Back at [company X] — I think it was near the end of [the project] — we had an object in one of the levels that needed to be hidden. We didn't want to re-export the level and we did not use checksum names. So right smack in the middle of the engine code we had something like the following. The game shipped with this in: if( level == 10 && object == 56 ) {HideObject();} Maybe a year later, an artist using our engine came to us very frustrated about why an object in their level was not showing up after exporting to what resolved to level 10. I wonder why?" Have you ever needed to insert terrible code to make something work at the last minute?

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