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How Sony's Development of the Cell Processor Benefited Microsoft 155

The Wall Street Journal is running an article about a recently released book entitled "The Race for a New Game Machine" which details Sony's development of the Cell processor, written by two of the engineers who worked on it. They also discuss how Sony's efforts to create a next-gen system backfired by directly helping Microsoft, one of their main competitors. Quoting: "Sony, Toshiba and IBM committed themselves to spending $400 million over five years to design the Cell, not counting the millions of dollars it would take to build two production facilities for making the chip itself. IBM provided the bulk of the manpower, with the design team headquartered at its Austin, Texas, offices. ... But a funny thing happened along the way: A new 'partner' entered the picture. In late 2002, Microsoft approached IBM about making the chip for Microsoft's rival game console, the (as yet unnamed) Xbox 360. In 2003, IBM's Adam Bennett showed Microsoft specs for the still-in-development Cell core. Microsoft was interested and contracted with IBM for their own chip, to be built around the core that IBM was still building with Sony. All three of the original partners had agreed that IBM would eventually sell the Cell to other clients. But it does not seem to have occurred to Sony that IBM would sell key parts of the Cell before it was complete and to Sony's primary videogame-console competitor. The result was that Sony's R&D money was spent creating a component for Microsoft to use against it."
PC Games (Games)

An In-Depth Look At Game Piracy 504

TweakGuides is running a detailed examination of PC game piracy. The author begins with a look at the legal, moral, and monetary issues behind copyright infringement, and goes on to measure the scale of game piracy and how it affects developers and publishers. He also discusses some of the intended solutions to piracy. He provides examples of copy protection and DRM schemes that have perhaps done more harm than good, as well as less intrusive measures which are enjoying more success. The author criticizes the "culture of piracy" that has developed, saying. "Fast forward to the 21st century, and piracy has apparently somehow become a political struggle, a fight against greedy corporations and evil copy protection, and in some cases, I've even seen some people refer to the rise of piracy as a 'revolution.' What an absolute farce. ... Piracy is the result of human nature: when faced with the option of getting something for free or paying for it, and in the absence of any significant risks, you don't need complex economic studies to show you that most people will opt for the free route."

McCain Campaign Sells Info-Loaded Blackberry PDAs 165

An anonymous reader writes "A news station in Washington D.C. has reported that the McCain Campaign has allegedly sold to reporters Blackberry handhelds with campaign-related information such as e-mail messages and phone numbers: 'We traced the Blackberry back to a staffer who worked for "Citizens for McCain" ... The emails contain an insider's look at how grassroots operations work, full of scheduling questions and rallying cries for support ... But most of the numbers were private cell phones for campaign leaders, politicians, lobbyists and journalists. "Somebody made a mistake," one owner told us. "People's numbers and addresses were supposed to be erased."'"

Comment How does it compare with a PC? (Score 1) 46

15 fps in Crysis? What could you get for a comparably priced (ie $2000+) laptop or desktop PC?

I know the Very High Quality setting in the,2073-18.htmlrecent Video Card rundown at Toms Hardware was seeing in excess of 30. So how does the Mac really stack up for gaming?

The Almighty Buck

Fuel Efficiency and Slow Driving? 1114

vile8 writes "With the high gas prices and ongoing gas gouging in my hometown many people are trying to find a reasonable way to save gas. One of the things I've noticed is people driving exceptionally slow, 30mph in 45mph zones, etc. So I had to take a quick look and find out if driving slow is helpful in getting better mileage. I know horsepower increases substantially with wind resistance, but with charts like this one from it appears mileage is actually about the same between 27mph and 58mph or so. So I'm curious what all the drivers out there with the cool efficiency computers are getting ... of specific interest would be the hemis with MDS; how do those do with the cylinder shutoff mode at different speeds?" Related: are there any practical hypermiling techniques that you've found for people not ready to purchase a new car, nor give up driving generally?

Feed The Register: Upgrade drags Stealth Bomber IT systems into the 90s (

Pentium, code written in C - cutting edge stuff

US aerospace heavyweight Northrop Grumman has revealed some details of a planned upgrade to the computing system of the famous B-2 Stealth Bomber, one of the most expensive and unusual aircraft in the world. According to reports, the well-known but seldom seen ghost bomber will be finally moving up to Pentium processors and code written in C. The B-2 will also get a new disk drive.


Submission + - New Solar Energy Technology

qazsedcft writes: The BBC is reporting:

A new way capturing the energy from the Sun could increase the power generated by solar panels tenfold, a team of American scientists has shown. The new technique involves coating glass with a specific mixture of transparent dyes which redirect light to photovoltaic cells in the frame. The technology, outlined in the journal Science, could be used to convert glass buildings into vast energy plants. The technology could be in production within three years, the team said.

The Internet

Submission + - The Culture of Startup Mediocrity (

Frank Spinetti writes: "Back in early June, TechCrunch launched its 'Elevator Pitches', a key component in the popularization of the venture capitalist funding process. Securing funds for a startup is less and less the stuff of closed door meetings, suits and briefcases, it's fast becoming the everyman game. How far do sites like Elevator Pitches go in contributing to a culture of startup mediocrity? To what extent are web entrepreneurs hoodwinked by the prospect of 6-7 figure VC seed money? Have startups become a form of speculative Web currency?
This article takes TechCrunch Elevator Pitches as an example to explore some of these themes."


Submission + - Second Life OSS client victim of GPL violation

sithlord2 writes: "A while ago, Linden Labs,the creators of the 3D Virtual World "Second Life", released the sourcecode of their viewer under the GPLv2. This lead to various improvements in the SL-viewer.

Recently however, someone created an alternative viewer called "NakedLife", which is a derived version of the GPL viewer, that allows the user to see other avatars naked. While this is probably a violation of LL's TOS, the creator refuses to release the changes to the sourcecode.

Linden Labs has been made aware of the issue, but the discussion is still going on"

Submission + - The Best Mathematics Reference?

An anonymous reader writes: As my kid goes through school I'm going to have to clean out the cobwebs on some parts of the brain that haven't seen light in 20 years. Long division, calculus... algebra... etc. Can anyone recommend the best mathematics reference? Preferably electronic, but book form also considered. I'm actually hoping for something that starts with the basics and covers everything up to university level mathematics subjects, but I realise that might be a hard ask.

Submission + - Riemann Hypothesis -- The Other Sabot Drops

jim.shilliday writes: A recent Slashdot article ( ) notes the publication of a preprint by Xian-Jin Li of Brigham Young University claiming to prove the Riemann Hypothesis. The proof cites and appears to be based in part on the work of the leading French theorist Alain Connes. A few hours ago, Connes posted a comment on his blog stating that the purported proof is so badly flawed that he stopped reading it: Connes is one of a relatively few people qualified to express an authoritative opinion. Li will have to respond.

Submission + - Next Quake to be Free and Run on your Browser (

Iddo Genuth writes: "The next version of Quake is going to be different, very different. According to id Software it will be free and will run on a web browser instead of a huge install on your computer. Did the guys at id Software lost their minds and decided to join Mother Teresa? probably not. The company is planing to introduce a substantial amount of advertisement into the game all that while drowning new players into the Quake world which would normally not buy the software. Is it a sharp move or another a huge potential failure — only time will tell. In the meantime, we are more interested in how Quake Live graphics will look..."
The Internet

Submission + - Andrew Keen: Internet Anonymity Breeds Criminals

An anonymous reader writes: Renowned for his radical, anti-Internet views, Silicon Valley author, broadcaster, and entrepreneur Andrew Keen argues that Internet anonymity breeds faceless criminals. He insists that posting anonymously on social forums is fast becoming the norm and is the reason for inhumane consequences such as Megan Meier's death. Falling short of suggesting implementing tyrannical legislation against anonymous Internet users, Keen insists that those who do not want to reveal their true selves online have no business using the Internet.

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Ya'll hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch some rays and became a tangent ?