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Submission + - Microsoft's WGA servers dead, fix days away

Downgrade writes: Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage system is offline, so users who are attempting to validate their installs are getting notices that their copies of Windows are not legit. The company is now saying that it is working to have a fix not later today, not tomorrow, but on Tuesday! Ars says that users who are hit by the outage should avoid rebooting their computers, because WGA failures will result in Aero being disabled. Way to punish your customers, Microsoft!

Submission + - Untapped Energy Below Us ( 1

EskimoJoe writes: "BASEL, Switzerland — When tremors started cracking walls and bathroom tiles in this Swiss city on the Rhine, the engineers knew they had a problem. "The glass vases on the shelf rattled, and there was a loud bang," Catherine Wueest, a teashop owner, recalls. "I thought a truck had crashed into the building." But the 3.4 magnitude tremor on the evening of Dec. 8 was no ordinary act of nature: It had been accidentally triggered by engineers drilling deep into the Earth's crust to tap its inner heat and thus break new ground — literally — in the world's search for new sources of energy. On paper, the Basel project looks fairly straightforward: Drill down, shoot cold water into the shaft and bring it up again superheated and capable of generating enough power through a steam turbine to meet the electricity needs of 10,000 households, and heat 2,700 homes. Scientists say this geothermal energy, clean, quiet and virtually inexhaustible, could fill the world's annual needs 250,000 times over with nearly zero impact on the climate or the environment. A study released this year by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said if 40 percent of the heat under the United States could be tapped, it would meet demand 56,000 times over. It said an investment of $800 million to $1 billion could produce more than 100 gigawatts of electricity by 2050, equaling the combined output of all 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S."

Submission + - Open Sound System (OSS4) goes GPLv2 (

mrcgran writes: "The Open Sound System (OSS) is one of the first sound systems for Linux, predating ALSA, but in the last 10 years it's stalled in version 3.8 (the last public GPL version) and it's being replaced by ALSA as the sound system of choice in Linux. ALSA is a Linux-only solution, while OSS works in a range of Unixes as well, and both have advantages and disadvantages over the other. Now, OSS4 is out under a GPLv2 license, with a number of advanced features over ALSA, like its new dynamic VMIXing capabilities, low-latency kernel modules, simple API and many other features. This release seems to be important enough to shake the foundations of the current desktop sound systems, specially in Linux."

Submission + - MSXML4 to be Disabled in Late 2007

nextdrewsaid writes: "[from the MSXML Blog] As a part of our MSXML4 End of Life plan , we are going to kill bit MSXML4 in the October — December timeframe of this year. This kill bit applies to Internet Explorer only. After the kill bit, web applications will not be able to create MSXML4 objects in the browser. Applications which are not kill-bit aware will continue to work with MSXML4. We are announcing this in advance so that our customers get sufficient time to try their applications with MSXML6 and give us feedback on their experience. Please email us at with feedback/questions/concerns. Why: We are going to kill-bit MSXML4 to ensure a secure browsing experience for our customers. We are planning to also remove MSXML4 from the Download Center page within the next 12 months. Support for MSXML4 going forward will be restricted to high impact security issues only. MSXML6 is the latest version available to MSXML customers today. This is where all the functionality, performance and security improvements are going in. In addition MSXML6 provides improved W3C compliance and increased compatibility with System.XML in .Net. The recommendation for MSXML customers is to program using MSXML6 and upgrade apps using older versions to MSXML6. We strongly encourage everyone to start using MSXML6 SP1. MSXML6 SP1 is now available for all supported down-level platforms and can be downloaded from milyID=d21c292c-368b-4ce1-9dab-3e9827b70604&displa ylang=en"

Will the Lack of DX10 on XP Spur OpenGL Dev? 168

Sparr0 asks: "Microsoft has announcement that DirectX 10 will not be released for Windows XP (which means no Shader Model 4.0 and no Geometry Shaders). I have since been waiting for news of game developers switching to OpenGL, in order to get the best graphics on the best hardware on the most popular gaming OS, however there is nary a whisper of such. Will such a shift occur, even if only in small amounts? When? Why not? It is probably safe to say that Unreal Tournament 3 (AKA UT2007) will have OpenGL as an option in Windows, but that is both unsurprising and also a long way off. Ditto for Quake Wars, and most other games that are planning a native Linux clients. Where are all of the other big names with Windows-only offerings? Why haven't we heard from Valve, Blizzard, Sony, or EA, to name a few?"

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