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Media

Submission + - Paramount Drops Blu-ray; Goes HD DVD Exclusive

An anonymous reader writes: Just as it was beginning to seem like Blu-ray had a lock on the high-def format war, in an unexpected move, Paramount Pictures today announced that it would drop its dual-format support, and moving forward would release its movies on HD DVD exclusively. For those keeping track, now it's Disney, Fox and Sony in the Blu-ray camp versus Universal and Paramount in the HD DVD camp. Warner Bros is now the only major studio currently supporting both high-def formats. In a company press release, Paramount attributed its decision to HD DVD's lower manufacturing costs.
Google

Submission + - Google Filters Torrents From Search Results (torrentfreak.com) 1

HiddenL writes: According to TorrentFreak.com:

Google has been filtering its search results for years. That's proven very useful for the Chinese government, and of course content owner representatives like the MPAA and RIAA. According to Google, the filtering of torrents from the search results is a response to the DMCA complaints they receive. The owner of SumoTorrent told TorrentFreak that he discovered that A search on Google for sumotorrent now triggers the following message at the bottom of the results page:

In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org.
A search for other BitTorrent sites like Torrentspy and Torrentreactor comes up with the same message (note. the sites are still indexed but some results are removed).
Apparently "Do No Evil" includes mass filtering of legitimate content.

Windows

Submission + - Vista, wireless don't make the Olympic IT roster (itworld.com)

narramissic writes: "Deemed too risky, Vista has been sidelined for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. All the Olympic Games' vital PC-related tasks, including games management systems, the results systems, commentator information systems, and the staff and scheduling systems, are running on XP.

Wireless networking will also be sitting this one out. There will be no wireless used among the core systems of the Olympic Games, said Leon Xie, director of Olympic Technology and Sponsorship at Lenovo (the official computing sponsor of the games). All networking will take place over wirelines, including the backup system."

Space

Submission + - Black hole seen swallowing star (and belching)

mcgrew (sm62704) writes: "New Sceintest reports that the Swift satellite has detected GRB 070610. From the article:

A black hole has been spotted belching out a burst of gamma rays after gulping down part of a nearby star, something never seen before. Such violent burps may actually be the most common type of explosive "gamma-ray burst" in the universe.

Astronomers led by Mansi Kasliwal of Caltech in Pasadena, US, traced the burst to a star system in our own galaxy, where a black hole and a star slightly less massive than the Sun are orbiting each other.

Observing this black hole outburst from nearby would be a risky prospect. "If you were as close to the black hole as the [companion] star, things wouldn't be pretty," Kasliwal told New Scientist. "I don't think you'd want to be near it."
Raise shields, Mr. Sulu!"
Biotech

Submission + - So what is the 'Evil Color'?

marvinglenn writes: LEDs are being everywhere, and nearly for everything, now. Apparently, if you get the right wavelength LEDs, you can make people vomit. If this pans out, it's a nice non-lethal weapon. The US Department of Homeland Security has awarded a contract for a company developing just that. All I want to know is: what's the wavelength of this 'evil color' (from TFA)?
United States

Submission + - Forensics Expert says Al-Qaeda Images Altered

WerewolfOfVulcan writes: Wired reports that researcher Neal Krawetz revealed some veeeeeery interesting things about the Al-Qaeda images that our government loves to show off.

From the article: "Krawetz was also able to determine that the writing on the banner behind al-Zawahiri's head was added to the image afterward. In the second picture above showing the results of the error level analysis, the light clusters on the image indicate areas of the image that were added or changed. The subtitles and logos in the upper right and lower left corners (IntelCenter is an organization that monitors terrorist activity and As-Sahab is the video production branch of al Qaeda) were all added at the same time, while the banner writing was added at a different time, likely around the same time that al-Zawahiri was added, Krawetz says." Why would Al-Qaeda add an IntelCenter logo to their video? Why would IntelCenter add an Al-Qaeda logo? Methinks we have bigger fish to fry than Gonzo and his fired attorneys... }:-) The article contains links to Krawetz's presentation and the source code he used to analyze the photos.
Software

Submission + - a real telemarketer filter

hate-those-telemarketers writes: I just had one of those telemarketers call me despite being on the do-not-call list. There's still organizations that don't need to adhere to that list. Having googled the caller-id I came accross http://www.whocalled.us/ that seems to be a very comprehensive database of annoying caller-id's calling. What's even better is that in the "about" tab there's a script for asterisk to check all calls against that database. This is like a IP-list for spammers only for real telephony. Fantastic. I've implemented this and now I wish I weren't on the do-not-call list to see telemarketers deal with the very annoying Telemarket torture script that can be found on this site: http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/Asterisk+Telema rketer+Torture woo-hoo!!!
Robotics

Submission + - DARPA artificial arm comes with VR training

An anonymous reader writes: The first prototype of an artificial limb commissioned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency can reportedly be controlled naturally, provide sensory feedback and allows for eight degrees of freedom — way beyond the current state of the art for prosthetic limbs. Oh yeah, it also has its own VR environement to learn how to use it.
Nintendo

Submission + - Nintendo game sales up 90% and DS hits 40 million

Wowzer writes: "Nintendo today announced they doubled their yearly profit in 2006. The final fiscal year operating profits are US$1.965 billion for the year 2006 ending March 31, 2007. The company's video game sales experienced a record high increase of 90 percent. From the article: "The results are due largely to full-year sales of more than 23 million portable Nintendo DS systems globally, along with 123 million Nintendo DS games. Since introduction, the Nintendo DS has now eclipsed lifetime sales of 40 million systems. Nintendo projects sales of 22 million Nintendo DS Lite hardware units in the coming year." Nintendo's latest DS release, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, sold 1 million copies in the U.S. in the 5 days since their Sunday launch, not surprising as the DS has a game attach rate of nearly 5. This ratio is the same for the Wii that sold 5.84 million units worldwide, instead of the announced production 6 million, within 5 months since launch. Nintendo expects to sell 14 million Wii's in the coming year."

Feed Xbox 360 Elite arrives - unboxing, comparison ensues (engadget.com)

Filed under: Features, Gaming

Well, our Xbox 360 Elite finally arrived! We're not going to spoil the moment with a lot of words, so check out all our photos (including comparison shots to the original, now completely obsolete Xbox 360), and stay tuned for more coverage.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Ken Kutaragi steps down from Sony Entertainment

ringbarer writes: Gamers Reports have the news that Ken Kuntaragi has stepped down from his role as Chairman and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment. In no doubt his influence has been felt across the last fifteen years of gaming, but clearly the lackluster performance of the PS3 is responsible for his departure.
Communications

Submission + - Bering Strait tunnel

igny writes: Russia considers plans to build the world's longest tunnel, a transport and pipeline link under the Bering Strait to Alaska, as part of a $65 billion US project to supply the U.S. with oil, natural gas and electricity from Siberia.

The proposed railroad would stretch about 6,000 kilometers, including 4,000 kilometers in Russia, and the tunnel would be 102 kilometers long. Ultimately, it would be able to carry 70 million tonnes per year. It could take nine to twelve years to build the railroad and 13 to 15 years to receive a return on the project.

However, a number of technical and environmental issues remain unresolved. Also there are risks of strong earthquakes which are relatively frequent in the region.
PlayStation (Games)

Sony To Expand Commercial Uses of PS3 68

Sony is considering proposals from commercial distributed computing concerns, mulling over rolling out more Folding@Home-like clients to their PlayStation 3 consoles. Gamasutra reports on a Financial Times article, discussing the future of the system. Because they would be commercial and not charitable organizations, the company is considering some form of compensation for users who would participate. "Sony Computer Entertainment CTO Masa Chatani indicated in an interview that Sony had already received numerous inquiries. 'A start-up or a pharmaceutical company that lacks a super-computer could utilize this kind of infrastructure. We are discussing various options with companies and exploring commercial applications', he said."
Robotics

Submission + - Hobbyist One-Ups Sandia Labs

An anonymous reader writes: A robotics hobbyist has created what he claims is the world's smallest autonomous robot. The robot is half the volume of the robots produced by Sandia National Labs in 2001, moves quite a bit faster, and was made using techniques and supplies accessible to anyone.

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