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The D&D Designers Answer Your Questions 211

In January we had the chance to ask the designers of Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition a few questions about the new version of the classic tabletop game. The Wizards of the Coast Community Manager, Mike "Gamer_Zer0" Lescault put our questions to members of the development team, including: Andrew Collins, Chris Perkins, Scott Rouse, and Sara Girard. Some of the questions weren't quite answered in as much detail as I would have liked. That said, they've given us a great opportunity to follow up on their responses. If you have a follow-up question, put it in a comment below (one question per comment please). We'll pass on five of the best, and the designers will answer your question on-camera at the Dungeons and Dragons Experience at the end of this month. We'll post the video to the site early in March. This is a great chance to put a face to some legendary designer names, and get your unanswered issues resolved. Get asking.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - How to avoid hiring an American

netbuzz writes: "Keep this video in mind next time someone like Bill Gates complains that they just can't find qualified American workers to fill key tech jobs. "Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified U.S. worker," a marketing executive for a law firm tells his audience. And what's the advice for those employers who fail to achieve that goal and are confronted with a qualified American: "find a legal basis to disqualify them." 1"
PlayStation (Games)

PS3 Breaks Records in UK Launch 131

Aided by racing titles MotorStorm and Formula One, the PlayStation 3 had the best UK console launch ever, according to Joystiq and MCVUK. This generation saw the Wii kick off with 105,000 units and the Xbox 360's sell through 70,000. The PSP still holds the record at 185,000 for a portable console, but I imagine Sony's pretty happy about this either way. "With plenty of consoles left in the 220,000 strong initial shipment, it would appear that a strong supply is the key to launch victory. Will sales remain brisk in the foreseeable future? We'll find out soon enough, but until then, expect some elaborately spun responses from Sony's competitors. Perhaps UK journalists ought to return those stacks of beer to Microsoft -- then again, alcohol already seems a likely explanation for steering the Xboat to the wrong continent."
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - Java DST Patch Breaks DST

Christopher_G_Lewis writes: "This is just coming out, but Sun's DST patch "may break backward compatibility for the Eastern, Hawaiian, and Mountain time zones, under certain circumstances." DST: Daylight Saving Time Changes (2007) There's a Sun alert, but only for subscribed members: Sun Alert 102836 for Java. The introduction of Olson Timezone (TZ) data, version 2005r or greater, may break backward compatibility for the Eastern, Hawaiian, and Mountain time zones, under certain circumstances. This issue is also outlined in Sun BugIDs 6466476 and 6530336, listed at: 6466476 6530336"

Submission + - Vista eats 684 megabytes of RAM for no reason?

JAB Creations writes: "We all know Vista is memory hungry but can anyone here please explain to me why Vista with all of it's services, startup applications, and virtual memory disabled still uses 684 megabytes of memory when it's critical processes only add up to 20-30 megabytes tops? This was using Vista Ultimate 64-Bit edition. Bad programming? Intentional waste to force "upgrades"? Both? Get ready to reinstall XP if you bought the upgrade version and infected your computer. Adding death to injury DirectX 10 has yet to materialize in to a game (or an affordable video card for the masses) and 3D audio is missing for the vast majority of us right now (in Vista) anyway. Time to test more Linux distros!"

Submission + - MS posts .NET 3.0 to Microsoft Update

punkrokk writes: "I was installing a test server and found .NET 3.0 in windows update. The Microsoft NET Framework 3.0 is the managed code programming model for Windows. Version 3.0 enhances version 2.0 with new technologies for building applications with visually compelling user experiences, seamless communication across technology boundaries, and the ability to support a wide range of business processes."

Submission + - Jim Gray is Missing

K-Man writes: "Jim Gray, Turing Award winner and developer of many fundamental database technologies, was reported missing at sea after a short solo sailing trip to the Farallon Islands near San Francisco. The Coast Guard is still searching for his vessel, and there have been no distress calls or signals of any kind."

Submission + - Eight Bells - Jim Gray died.

xx_chris writes: Jim Gray of Microsoft apparently died at sea, single-handing his sailboat Tenacious around the Farallon Islands off of San Francisco.
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - Macbook Pro Display only capable of 262,144 Colour

An anonymous reader writes: People have been noticing the Apple Macbook Pros have grainy displays. Apparently the problem lies in that the Macbook Pro's display is only capable of displaying 262,144 colours at a time. Beyond that it dithers, thus the graininess. For any old Amigans out there, they'll remember that number from HAM8! This link explains the nature of the problem in greater detail. How sad that Apple's flagship notebook display is defective by design.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - What to do with 1-lane PCI Express?

Very Long Time Anonymous Coward writes: I've recently put together my new PC from scratch, filling up the PCI slots with audio and firewire cards, and a graphics card in the 16-lane PCI Express slot. But my micro ATX motherboard also came with a PCI Express slot with a single lane. I've looked around on the net and the only cards I can find are Gigabit ethernet, which just about every new motherboard you can buy supports anyway. What do you do with your empty single lane PCI Express slot?

Submission + - Sony all too happy to void your warranty?

Hej writes: According to this post on the AVS Forum, a customer who bought a Playstation 3 had the warranty voided because he used 3rd party cables to hook it up to his television. From the thread, "Just got off the phone with Sony Support. Because I have a generic brand of component cables, instead of officially licensed Sony components, Sony has voided the warranty on my PS3 and will only replace it for $150 dollars! ... So now my system boots up and sits there with a blank screen. Thank god I kept the receipt." Original thread here. I'm curious if this is just a case of a customer service rep taking things a bit too literally, or if Sony is actually that eager to screw over their customers. Any Slashdotters with similiar stories of warranty woe?

Submission + - US Government Deals Serious Blow to Online Poker

walnutmon writes: In late 2006 the Safe Port Act was passed, this included a piggy-backed law that made moving money to and from online gambling sites illegal. However, some sites including Pokerstars, Bodog, and other online poker rooms continued to operate using intermediary funding sources such as FirePay and Neteller.

Today a very serious blow has bean dealt to online poker players.

After the arrests of two top officials from, they are no longer processing payments from Americans to any gambling sites. This made up a whopping 64% of's business. Neteller was a convenient way to get around the sneaky law, and now online poker players will have very little to turn to. From the article:

"This is the first piece of news that will really hurt the likes of Pokerstars and Full Tilt," said analyst Tejinder Randhawa at Evolution Securities.

"If you look at the gambling chat rooms, you'll see NETeller was one of the main payment methods," he added.

According to gambling portal, Full Tilt Poker depended on NETeller for 75 percent of transactions, and the world's biggest site, Pokerstars, used NETeller for around 60 percent of wagers.
There are many players who play online for the fun of the game; however, there are also many who have played online poker professionally to make a steady income. Sell your poker books, and look to a more American way of making a living. The safety of our ports depends on it.

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FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: #44 Zebras are colored with dark stripes on a light background.