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Idle

Bad Driving May Have Genetic Basis 449

Serenissima writes "Bad drivers may in part have their genes to blame, suggests a new study by UC Irvine neuroscientists. People with a particular gene variant performed more than 20 percent worse on a driving test than people without it — and a follow-up test a few days later yielded similar results. About 30 percent of Americans have the variant. 'These people make more errors from the get-go, and they forget more of what they learned after time away,' said Dr. Steven Cramer, neurology associate professor and senior author of the study published recently in the journal Cerebral Cortex."
Cellphones

iPhone 3.0 Software Announced 619

Apple unveiled the iPhone 3.0 software just now in Cupertino. Here's MacWorld's live-action blow-by-blow coverage. The announcement included new features for developers and users. For developers, the big items were in-app purchasing (for example for game upgrades, map content, and subscriptions) for paid apps only; peer-to-peer connectivity via Bluetooth; giving apps access to hardware via the dock connector or Bluetooth; maps embeddable in apps; and push notifications. For users, there's finally cut-copy-paste available in all apps; search across everything in the iPhone; landscape keyboard; MMS messaging; and voice memos. Developer beta starts today and 3.0 will be available in the summer — free for all 3G phones, $10 for iPod Touch.
Cellphones

Japanese "Hate" For the iPhone All a Big Mistake 327

MBCook writes "AppleInsider has posted a great article explaining that Wired's story about Japanese iPhone hate was completely false and has been edited at least twice. The comments in the article were recycled and taken out of context, with those interviewed blogging about the mistakes. The piece then goes on to analyze the iPhone's standing in Japan, as well as some of the major factors working for and against it. At last it points out that the Wall Street Journal tried the same myth of failure just after the phone's launch in Japan, recycled from a myth the year before, pushed by a research company with a possible anti-Apple agenda."
Privacy

ASCII Art Steganography 120

bigearcow writes "ASCII art is nothing new, but this site takes it one step further by allowing you to embed another data file within the image. The resulting ASCII art remains printable (i.e. no special unicode symbols) — this means you can print the image out, hang it on your wall, and have it look like an innocent ASCII art when it's hiding a secret document of your choice." You'll need a small (200x200 pixel max) base image from which the ASCII art will be built.
The Courts

RIAA Claim of Stopping Suits "Months" Ago Is False 141

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "According to a report on Wired.com, the RIAA spokesman claimed that the RIAA has not filed any new lawsuits 'for months,' and according to the Wall Street Journal report discussed here yesterday, the RIAA stopped filing mass lawsuits 'early this fall.' Knowing that the RIAA has a problem with telling the truth, I did a little investigating, and found out that the RIAA had, in fact, commenced a wave of lawsuits just last week. Why would anyone believe anything their spokesperson says? This is an organization that has a tendency to misspeak a lot, if you know what I mean, even when under oath." CNet has a copy of the RIAA's new form letter that it will ask ISPs to pass on to alleged copyright-infringing users. It says, in part, "This letter does not constitute a waiver of our members' rights to recover or claim relief for damages incurred by this illegal activity, nor does it waive the right to bring legal action against the user at issue for engaging in music theft."
PC Games (Games)

Multi Theft Auto - San Andreas Goes Open Source 127

dan writes " Multi Theft Auto is a third-party modification for Rockstar's hit title Grand Theft Auto San Andreas — and it has become open-source after over four years of closed source development. As a (somewhat) regular player of MTA since the early days of GTAIII, this hit me by surprise, somewhat." (The news is on the project's front page, from which dan extracts more details, below.)
Communications

Adobe Releases Preview of 64-bit Flash For Linux 329

Rinisari writes "Finally, the day has come. Adobe has released a pre-release version of the 64-bit Flash player. It is available at the Adobe Labs Flash Player 10 download site immediately. Where are the Windows and Mac versions? 'Release of this alpha version of 64-bit Flash Player on Linux is the first step in delivering upon Adobe's commitment to make Flash Player native 64-bit across platforms. We chose Linux as our initial platform in response to numerous requests in our public Flash Player bug and issue management system and the fact that Linux distributions do not ship with a 32-bit browser or a comprehensive 32-bit emulation layer by default. Until this pre-release, use of 32-bit Flash Player on Linux has required the use of a plugin wrapper, which prevents full compatibility with 64-bit browsers. With this pre-release, Flash Player 10 is now a full native participant on 64-bit Linux distributions.' Windows and Mac OS X 64-bit versions will follow, and the final versions all will be released simultaneously. Tamarin, the JIT compiler in Flash, is now capable of producing 64-bit code and nspluginwrapper is no longer required. There are, however, no plans to release a debugger version of the 64-bit plugin."
Sony

LittleBigPlanet Delayed Due To Qur'an-Sampling Audio 995

Several readers have pointed out that Sony's much-awaited LittleBigPlanet has hit a snag and will be delayed worldwide. The delay came after it was discovered that a song licensed for use in the soundtrack contained audio samples from the Qur'an. All advanced copies sent to retailers for the target release of October 21 in North America, 22 in PAL territories, and 24 in the UK and Ireland, have been recalled. "The post, by user 'Solid08', indicates of the specific references in the composition: 'In the 18th second: "kollo nafsin tha'iqatol mawt", literally: "Every soul shall have the taste of death' ... almost immediately after, in the 27th second: "kollo man alaiha fan", literally: "All that is on earth will perish."'"
Nintendo

The Complete History of Nintendo 118

SlappingOysters writes "Gameplayer are running a comprehensive feature on the history of Nintendo that runs through all 119 years of their existence, from humble card maker to gaming powerhouse. It is documented in chronological order and includes a stack of trivia about the company that will be thoroughly enjoyed by all Nintendo fans. As an interesting side note, it links to a sister article that explores how Mario can improve your sex life."
Data Storage

Why Power Failures Can Always Lead To Data Loss 456

bigsmoke writes "So, all your servers run on RAID. You back up religiously. You're even sure that your backups are recoverable. But do you also need a UPS? According to Halfgaar (on Slashdot before to promote better Linux backup practices), yes, usually you do. He argues that despite technological advancements such as file system journaling, power failures can still cause data loss in most setups."

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