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Classic Games (Games)

The Return of (Old) PC Graphic Adventures 93

KingofGnG writes "Though they belong to a genre already considered defunct and inadequate for the mainstream video game market, adventure games have a glorious past, a past that deserves to be remembered, and, of course, replayed. At the center of a good part of this effort of collective memory, there is ScummVM, the virtual machine which acts like an interface between the feelings and the puzzles from the good old times and the modern operating systems. As already highlighted before, the ScummVM target has grown immensely over time, going from the simple support of the 'classic' adventure games par excellence published by Lucasfilm/Lucasarts, to a range that includes virtually any single puzzle-solving game developed from the beginning of time up to the advent of the (Windows) NT platform. The last video game engine added to ScummVM within the past few days is Groovie, created by the software house Trilobyte for its first title released in 1993, The 7th Guest ."
Image

World's Oldest Marijuana Stash Found 108

jage2 writes "Researchers say they have located the world's oldest stash of marijuana in a tomb in a remote part of China. The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly 'cultivated for psychoactive purposes,' rather than as fibre for clothing, or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany. The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China."
Programming

Solving the Knight's Tour Puzzle In 60 Lines of Python 311

ttsiod writes "When I was a kid, I used to play the Knight's Tour puzzle with pen and paper: you simply had to pass once from every square of a chess board, moving like a Knight. Nowadays, I no longer play chess; but somehow I remembered this nice little puzzle and coded a 60-line Python solver that can tackle even 100x100 boards in less than a second. Try beating this, fellow coders!"
Editorial

Proprietary Blobs and the Pursuit of a Free Kernel 405

jammag writes "Ever since the GNewSense team pointed out that the Linux kernel contains proprietary firmware blobs, the question of whether a given distro is truly free software has gotten messier, notes Linux pundit Bruce Byfield. The FSF changed the definition of a free distribution, and a search for how to respond to this new definition is now well underway. Who wins and what solutions are implemented could have a major effect on the future of free and open source software. Debian has its own solution (by allowing users to choose their download), as do Ubuntu and Fedora (they include the offending firmware by default but make it possible to remove it). Meanwhile, the debate over firmware rages on. What resolves this issue?"

Microsoft Embraces AMQP Open Middleware Standard 122

AlexGr writes to tell us that Microsoft apparently has plans to embrace a little known messaging standard called AMQP (Advanced Message Queuing Protocol). Red Hat, a founding member of the AMQP working group, was very excited about the news and wrote to welcome Microsoft to the party. "Suffice it is to say that AMQP is to high-value, reliable business messaging what SMTP is to e-mail. The proprietary message oriented middleware (MOM) products on the market today like IBM's MQ or Tibco's Rendezvous fulfill the same function as AMQP. But they operate exclusively in single-vendor fashion and utterly fail to interoperate with each other. They are also — perhaps not by coincidence — burdensomely expensive. As a result their use is mostly limited to wealthy organizations such as Wall Street banks (at least the ones who are still in business) that need to exchange huge volumes of business messages very reliably and very quickly. But AMQP's supporters feel the market for such reliable messaging could be much larger if a less expensive and truly open solution became available."
It's funny.  Laugh.

The Greatest Scientific Hoaxes? 496

Ponca City, We love you writes "The New Scientist has an amusing story about the seven greatest scientific hoaxes of all time. Of course, there have been serious cases of scientific fraud, such as the stem cell researchers recently found guilty of falsifying data, and the South Korean cloning fraud, but the hoaxes selected point more to human gullibility than malevolence and include the Piltdown Man (constructed from a medieval human cranium); a ten-foot "petrified man" dug up on a small farm in Cardiff; fossils 'found' in Wurzburg, Germany depicting comets, moons and suns, Alan Sokal's paper loaded with nonsensical jargon that was accepted by the journal Social Text; the claim of the Upas tree on the island of Java so poisonous that it killed everything within a 15-mile radius; and Johann Heinrich Cohausen's claim of an elixir produced by collecting the breath of young women in bottles that produced immortality. Our favorite: BBC's broadcast in 1957 about the spaghetti tree in Switzerland that showed a family harvesting pasta that hung from the branches of the tree. After watching the program, hundreds of people phoned in asking how they could grow their own tree but, alas, the program turned out to be an April Fools' Day joke." What massive scientific hoaxes/jokes have other people witnessed?
Science

Fictional Town "Eureka" To Become Real? 337

Zarath writes "The fictional town of Eureka (from the TV series by the same name) is going to potentially become a real life town as the University of Queensland, in Australia, plans to build a multibillion-dollar 'brain city' dedicated to science and research. The city, hoping to hold at least 10,000 people, is looking to attract 4,500 of the brightest scientists from around the world to live and work there. The city is planned to be built west of the city of Brisbane, in Queensland. While not funded by the Department of Defense (like the [city of the] TV series), the potential for such a community is very interesting and exciting."
Security

Submission + - FFXI accounts jacked by trojan keylogger 2

An anonymous reader writes: A trojan virus targeting the players of the MMO Final Fantasy XI was released through a popular community page (ffxi.somepage.com). The virus keylogs players' account information and uses it to steal their accounts, strip them of sellable gear, and sometimes to put them to use as Real Money Trade bots. No official word on exactly how many accounts were stolen, but the thefts seem to have started at the end of November and haven't stopped since. World of Warcraft players may also be at risk. One community responded by identifying the infection and making lists of stolen accounts. Square-Enix responds on the game's homepage by reminding everyone that the "Starlight Festival is almost here"!
Privacy

Submission + - Illegal Downloads To Be Banned In France

An anonymous reader writes: The French authorities seem to be prepared to launch a campaign against the illegal downloaders in the country as they want to stop the distribution of pirated music and videos. According to Financial Times, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to create a special government body which will be responsible for blocking these illegal downloads. But what's more interesting is that the authorities want to remove the access to the Internet for the ones discovered as illegal downloaders. Although some of you might believe this move is way too harsh, it can be pretty efficient as the pirates will be unable to download additional illegal files after they are first detected.
Operating Systems

Submission + - What's the difference between Linux distributions? 1

Malarame writes: I've been trying to get away from Windows lately, so I'm turning to Linux. I understand the difference between desktop environments like GNOME and KDE, but I'm still not clear on the differences between distributions. How is Debian running GNOME different from SUSE running GNOME (for example) from the perspective of an end user who only wants a desktop for word processing, internet usage, and maybe a couple other programs?
Media

Submission + - The New School of Videographers (osnews.com)

Provataki writes: This editorial discusses the impending explosion of hobbyist artistic videographers, in the same way that happened with digital photography just a few short years ago. The article claims that it's time camera manufacturers create camcorders equivalent in principle to the cheap DSLRs that we currently enjoy. Some beautiful HD footage, shot by amateurs, is shown too.
Software

Submission + - Transferring More Than Data, Why So Hard?

An anonymous reader writes: A friend of mine asked me how to transfer his data from his old laptop to his new laptop. In particular, he was interested in the big three types of files on most personal computers these days: documents, music, and photos. "I know where I keep all my files, so I just copy them over to where I want them on the new computer, right?" Well, he's right for one of three categories of files: documents. But when I asked him if he was interested in preserving his iTunes playlists, song ratings, and album art or his Picasa photo albums (basically, any of his "metadata"), he gave me the "of course" look. Little did he know the headache that awaited him, none of that information moves when you simply copy or backup files. http://www.techconsumer.com/2007/11/02/transferring-more-than-data-why-so-hard/
United States

Submission + - Wikia busted purchasing FFXIClopedia for $200,000?

An anonymous reader writes: Final Fantasy XI (FFXI), Square-Enix's unique entry into the MMORPG
market, is not the most popular of the genre. Nonetheless, one of its
strengths lies in the broad community support that it inspires in its
fans. A number of unique metadata sites have sprung up around it,
including the groundbreaking FFXIAH (http://www.ffxiah.com) Auction
House tracking service.

One of the newer entries to this list is FFXIclopedia
(http://www.ffxiclopedia.org), an FFXI wiki. As with most wikis, the
content was provided principally by the users and the community. So
what happens when businesses notice such a grass-roots niche market?
Apparently, the answer is: a cover-up of misspent fund-raiser moneys,
and a sale of the content to Wikia for USD $200,000 in cash and stock
options. Source: http://euphidime.com/wp/?p=4
Media

Submission + - SuprNova is back (suprnova.tfr.se)

SharpFang writes: Suprnova is back, under the wings of guys from PirateBay. In a welcome message, they write "This is how it works. Whatever you sink, we build back up. Whomever you sue, ten new pirates are recruited. Wherever you go, we are already ahead of you. You are the past and the forgotten, we are the internet and the future. y'arr!"
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - FULL HARDWARE UNLOCK OF IPHONE COMPLETE

An anonymous reader writes: Yes thats right, we have an unlocked iPhone. The hardware is only used to unlock the iPhone, and can be removed after it's unlocked. Thanks to gray, iProof, geohot, dinopio, lazyc0der, and an anonymous contributor for making this possible. Thanks also to everyone who donated and stuck with us in #iphone.unlock. Our group has agreed to release the method in one week. The current method involves taking apart your phone and doing some complicated soldering, with a high probablity of a bricked phone. Although after the phone is unlocked all the hardware can be removed. We hope to find a software unlock very soon. So in one week exactly from this blog post(thats less than the time it takes to ship a turbosim) we will release simple step by step instructions for unlocking, probably not even involving hardware. Sorry about the wait, but I assure you it will be worth it. Video

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