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UAE Police Claim BlackBerry Outage Made Roads Safer 206

An anonymous reader writes "Road traffic accidents in Abu Dhabi and Dubai plummeted last week — and the local police have a theory as to why: drivers' BlackBerrys weren't working. Police in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have claimed that last week's worldwide BlackBerry outage, which frustrated business people around the world who were unable to communicate with their colleagues, had one positive result — less texting and reading of emails by people who should have been concentrating on driving instead. There could be other factors at play, however. For instance, popular UAE soccer player Theyab Awana was killed in a high speed crash near Abu Dhabi in September, amid claims that he was sending a message on his BlackBerry when he hit a lorry. The football star's father, Awana Ahmad Al Mosabi, made an emotional plea to people not to use smartphones while driving, and a Facebook campaign against the use of BlackBerry Messenger while driving has grown in popularity."

Intel Details Handling Anti-Aliasing On CPUs 190

MojoKid writes "When AMD launched their Barts GPU that powers the Radeon 6850 and 6870, they added support for a new type of anti-aliasing called Morphological AA (MLAA). However, Intel originally developed MLAA in 2009 and they have released a follow-up paper on the topic--including a discussion of how the technique could be handled by the CPU. Supersampling is much more computationally and bandwidth intensive than multisampling, but both techniques are generally too demanding of more horsepower than modern consoles or mobile devices are able to provide. Morphological Anti-aliasing, in contrast, is performed on an already-rendered image. The technique is embarrassingly parallel and, unlike traditional hardware anti-aliasing, can be effectively handled by the CPU in real time. MLAA is also equally compatible with ray tracing or rasterized graphics."

Marking 125 Years Since the Great Gauge Change 426

Arnold Reinhold writes "This month ends with the 125th anniversary of one of the most remarkable achievements in technology history. Over two days beginning Monday, May 31, 1886, the railroad network in the southern United States was converted from a five-foot gauge to one compatible with the slightly narrower gauge used in the US North, now know as standard gauge. The shift was meticulously planned and executed. It required one side of every track to be moved three inches closer to the other. All wheel sets had to be adjusted as well. Some minor track and rolling stock was sensibly deferred until later, but by Wednesday the South's 11,500 mile rail network was back in business and able to exchange rail cars with the North. Other countries are still struggling with incompatible rail gauges. Australia still has three. Most of Europe runs on standard gauge, but Russia uses essentially the same five foot gauge as the old South and Spain and Portugal use an even broader gauge. India has a multi-year Project Unigauge, aimed at converting its narrow gauge lines to the subcontinent's five foot six inch standard."

Comment Re:Well, there goes Nintendo... (Score 2) 287

I thought you trusted that Nintendo didn't release hardware just for the sake of releasing hardware. The 3DS is a speed bump, but does add 3D, a gyro from the wiimote tech and a pedometer from the pokewalker. The play coins are a cool feature and improves upon the chances of finding someone to streetpass which is also a cool feature. No one knows the feature list of the next home console (being more important than the spec sheet) and so no one can really say. That said, it is disappointing to know that there are games that are still in development for Wii (like Dragon Quest X) and will look outdated after a new console comes out..

Comment Re:Not all that impressive, really. (Score 1) 101

And I had a dream to build a mechanical setup to control a 360 controller to "TAS" Trials HD. That game begs to be demonstrated as a perfect play. But alas, I don't have any skills like that so the dream is dead.. I suppose it would be easier to try to take apart a controller, learn the signalling and basically have a minute long macro button. Any takers?

Comment Re:Freedom? (Score 1) 148

In short, I think this law would have little impact on the types of kids who are out and about at that time of night.

You're right about that part.. What I don't get is why enforce a curfew on a subset of youth? If you're going to try to straighten out youth, I would figure that you would want to target teens who would be more likely to commit crimes rather than a group that is less likely to do so.. To punish people for not committing a crime? Bad form imo..

Comment Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (Score 1) 541

I think you're thinking of Aqua not Cocoa.. Cocoa is Objective C programming for the game engine which is a different ball of wax than what it would be like to port to linux. The graphics libraries being OpenGL - yeah that will help a move to linux, but it's obviously not 100% to the point of running a mac binary on a linux box.

Comment Re:Not the best idea (Score 4, Insightful) 572

If emergency calls cannot go through under "100%" usage of the tower, something is seriously wrong. There needs to be bandwidth provisioned and reserved for emergency calls for every tower and trunk.

If this does affect emergency calls, AT&T really does need to get their shit together. I assume there are laws in place to enforce the transmission of emergency calls. Hell AT&T gets a free stress test of their network which is something they should be doing anyway. Real world data of extreme usage. Study, learn and yes: build a better network because of it.

Comment Re:Street fighter 4 PC does localization right... (Score 1) 90

The first .hack series had Japanese or English audio which was great. The fact that the game was spread over four games wasn't so good... But the tone and intonation was lost between the two and is a frequent thing. I'm enough of a japanophile to notice/care/whine about things like that.. When you get things like MGS4 which they claim fills the 50 GB BD DL without room for multi audio, I get suspicious, but it's mainly RPGs that I care about anyway... Theory goes that Bluray's capacity will help this process along.. It makes no sense to have all that work and just throw it out when it adds value to the game.. How hard is it to maintain a list of audio files j0001.wav vs. e0001.wav? The second .hack series didn't have this option, but you should search online about undubs.. There are people who splice in the Japanese audio into US games.. (Mainly PS2) They are really neat except for when you come across a game that has better dubs than the original like Persona 4.. Igor sounds pretty badass and cryptic in English and like a fruitcake in Japanese.. I only hope Tales of Vesperia PS3 makes it here and with full audio in English and Japanese..

Comment Re:This will end badly (Score 1) 148

Actually (at least for Canada), you CAN'T buy iPhone apps using a gift card. It's only good for music/TV/movies.. Not sure if the allowance could work for iPhone apps, but hopefully that's just a temporary "iPhone apps are new and it's not implemented" type thing rather than a decision...

Comment Re:Skytel (Score 1) 584

Do you know what all the paging tone songs are? I can only figure out #1 of 8 which is The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel.. I've been trying too hard to figure it out.. Maybe some of those iPhone apps that take the mic input to return a song/artist name would help

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