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Games

Submission + - Duke Nukem Forever (dukenukem.com)

dakohli writes: So, I was just in Best Buy (Canada) and saw the Duke Nukem Forever pre-order cards!

The Game is due out in the new year:

"All great things take time... a lot of time," laughs Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. "After a hiatus from the video game world, Duke Nukem is back and better than ever. The return of the King from the glory days of shooters will satisfy our patient, die-hard fans, as well as a new generation of bubble gum-chewing, flat top and shades-wearing bad-asses. Make no mistake about it — Duke Nukem Forever is a testament to the era of when shooters were bodacious and fun."

So Slashers, what do you think? Does this game have even a small chance of living up to expectations? Or, will Duke, just fade into oblivion?

Nintendo

Submission + - Goldeneye Source released (tekgoblin.com) 2

tekgoblin writes: Were you a fan of the original Goldeneye on N64? Well this 5 year Half-Life 2 mod called GoldenEye Source has just come out of beta and fully released free. The game is a fan-made creation with the objective to bring the original experiences from GoldenEye on N64 back to life. I remember spending hours upon hours playing Goldeneye on the N64 and was sad seeing it go.
Australia

Submission + - Inside Wikileaks ally, Anonymous (zdnet.com.au)

lukehopewell1 writes: Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and a Swiss bank have all been victims of the online militaristic revenge tactics of DDoS-ing hacker group Anonymous after the aforementioned companies pulled their support from whistleblower site Wikileaks. But who are Anonymous, and what are it's members really like?

ZDNet Australia managed to catch up with a member of the Anonymous attack squad.

One Anonymous attacker claimed that he and very few others attacked the PayPal blogs site because they felt the whistleblower's plight was similar to their own fight against cash-laden copyright laws.

But crippling the global MasterCard home page sites takes coordination and decision-making, which, in a hive-mind rabble of a thousand angry, overly excited online activists, is surely not an easy task?

Submission + - Microsoft to issue refunds for software licenses

BitHive writes: ""The New York Times reports that The FTC has reached a record $52 million settlement with Microsoft over the company's wrongly charging customers "mystery" licensing fees over the past several years — the largest settlement in FTC history. With the action, Microsoft's total costs associated with false license fees reached $78.9 billion, the largest payout for false business practices in the software industry. 'People shouldn't find mystery fees when they open their computer bills — and they certainly shouldn't have to pay for softwares they didn't want and didn't use,' says FTC Chairman Gene Lewbowski. 'In these rough economic times, every $199 counts.' Microsoft said in a news release that its overcharges were inadvertent. 'We accept responsibility for those errors, and apologize to our customers who received accidental software charges on their bills.'""
Book Reviews

Submission + - Create a social network with Joomla and JoomSocial

David Taiaroa writes: I was pleased to recieve a review copy of Joomla! Social Networking with JomSocial – Enhance your social networking with JomSocial by Beatrice A. Boateng and Kwasi Boateng. I've worked with many Joomla! extensions, but not with any of the social network options, so I was able to approach this book as someone learning about the topic for the first time.

The book is a well rounded and practical look at how to create a social network website using Joomla! and the JoomSocial extension, covering everything from installing Joomla! itself, to installing and configuring JoomSocial and other complementary extensions, some discussion of what makes a social networking site successful, and even an introduction to customising Joomla! templates.

The book starts with thorough instructions on how to install XAMPP on a local computer, then Joomla! itself. I thought these detailed instructions on creating a development environment on a local computer were well done, and could easily be followed by someone new to Joomla!

Installing the JoomSocial component follows the same proceedure as for any other Joomla! extension. The real work begins configuring the component and it's many plugins and modules. I think even experienced Joomla! professionals will find time saving suggestions in this section of the book. JoomSocial is a complex component, and without a good road map of where you are going and an overview of how everything fits together, you could have a lot of trial and error. This was one area of the book in particular which I think will be of interest to experienced and novice Joomla! users alike.

Clear instructions are given on how to migrate this draft site from our local development computer to an online server using Akeeba Backup. This is one of many examples in the book where novice users will learn not just about JoomSocial itself, but additional good Joomla! practices that they can take with them to other Joomla! projects. I think this will be an added bonus for many readers.

Once the site has been installed and is active on a remote web server, we can check that the process of adding user accounts and editing profiles within JoomSocial is working correctly.

A social network site needs users to be successful, and the book discusses some of the broader details a site administrator will have to think about – is the interface easy to use, how do users invite others to join, how do you encourage users to make connections within the network, and how will users add content to the site? Obviously important details if the site is to grow.

As part of the chapter on how to encourage users to submit content, the book covers in detail the task of installing SOBI2 and some of its associated modules. SOBI2 is a third party Joomla! component that allows for the creation of directory and review systems for Joomla! sites. I thought this section was another nice bonus in the book, since it gives good information on how to install and configure a component which has applications in many Joomla! websites.

Customising a Joomla! template isn't a topic I was expecting to find covered, and I thought it was interesting that the authors decided to include this. Throughout the book, the authours use a GPL template from RocketTheme. In latter sections of the book they touch on how to customise this template, with the intention of modifying the template design, and improving the interface for site users. Some of this may be outside the comfort zone of novice readers, and the book doesn't pretend to offer a full guidelines on how to create or customise Joomla! Templates. But for anyone who has had some exposure to HTML and PHP, this introduction to templates, how they work, and how to change them will be enough to get them off to a good start.

No book about social networks would be complete without a mention of Facebook and Twitter. JoomSocial lets users integrate these other networks into their profiles. It's a relatively easy process and the necessary steps are clearly described.

The final chapter of the book discusses some of the other social networking extensions for Joomla!, especially Community Builder. All extensions have thier strengths, and so I liked that the authours gave a brief overview of the other options available, how to install them, and how they compare to JoomSocial. Developing a social networking website is a large undertaking, and you want to be confident at the start that you've chosen the right software pakage, and that your site will come together at the end the way you picture it at the start.

Overall, what I enjoyed most about this book is that it looks at the big picture of what's involved in making a successful social networking website with JoomSocial and Joomla! Installing and configuring the component, its extensions and plugins is one thing. The book reminds us that to be successful, the website administrator also needs to think about the site design, its interface, and how users will will use, contribue and share the content on the site. Along the way, the book also discusses many 3rd party Joomla! extensions and good practice techniques which I think a lot readers will find valuable. The text gives thorough step by step instructions with screenshots throughout, and almost any reader will save time configuring the multitude of settings within JoomSocial by following the suggestions.

David Taiaroa is an experienced Joomla! and website designer with Panchroma Website Development: www.panchroma.ca
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Large Slow Airships could move buildings? (discovery.com) 1

Algorithmnast writes: Discovery has a short article on using large slow-moving airships to move large objects without the need to dismantle them.

The company mentioned, Skylifter, refers to the lifting ship as an "ariel crane", not a Thor weapon.

It could easily help move research labs to new parts of the Antarctic, or allow a Solar Tower to be inserted into an area that's difficult to drive to, like say a mesa in New Mexico?

Submission + - LucasFilm Sues Jedi Mind (techdirt.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Apparently the force is strong with LucasFilm's legal department, as they've sued the company Jedi Mind for trademark infringement and breach of contract, among other things. While LucasFilm doesn't actually own a trademark on "Jedi," it claims that its related marks are close enough, and that Jedi Mind had agreed last year to phase out the use of "Jedi" in its name and product names.

Submission + - Really secure Remote Access for small company?

pirateRob writes: I am a sysadmin at a small financial services company. We have large corporate partners which require us to have strict compliance and security policies in place. We need a solution for remote access into the environment for directors and IT staff ~ 5-10 staff. We need access to our Terminal Server. I am looking for a solution which would be secure and demonstrate our compliance to our partners. Basic VPN wont really cut it. The authentication needs to be something preceivably better. Some kind of Two Factor Authentication would be ideal, but I cant see us purchasing Citrix and RSA tokens for 5-10 people. I want a solution whereby it is easy for a director to setup, internet cafe ready and easily demonstrated to suits as "secure".

Submission + - NASA Removes Images From August 1st Solar Storm (astronomyreport.com)

An anonymous reader writes: When performing date searches on the SDO Data Browser, you can search by either Day or Date Range. Using either, try to search for data on any day in the last 2 months, and you'll be amazed with high-res images recorded from NASA's new SDO spacecraft in 16 different spectrums. However, if you search for data on 8/1/2010, the date of the alleged Solar Eruption, you'll be greeted with this message "There were no images found for that date, wavelength, and resolution."
Space

Submission + - Incoming! The Sun Unleashes CME at Earth (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: "It's been an exciting day on the sun. This morning, at 08:55 UT, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) detected a C3-class flare erupt inside a sunspot cluster. 100,000 kilometers away, deep within the solar atmosphere (the corona), an extended magnetic field filled with cool plasma forming a dark ribbon across the face of the sun (a feature known as a "filament") erupted at the exact same time. It seems very likely that both eruptions were connected after a powerful shock wave produced by the flare destabilized the filament, causing the eruption. A second solar observatory, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), then spotted a huge coronal mass ejection (CME) blast into space, straight in the direction of Earth. Solar physicists have calculated that this magnetic bubble filled with energetic particles should hit Earth on August 3, so look out for some intense aurorae, a solar storm is coming..."
Cellphones

Submission + - Cellphone interception at Defcon (tombom.co.uk)

ChrisPaget writes: I'm planning a pretty significant demonstration of GSM insecurity at Defcon next week, where I'll intercept and record cellular calls made by my attendees, live on-stage, no user-input required. As you can imagine, intercepting cellphones is a Very Big Deal in the eyes of the law; this blog post is an attempt to reassure everyone that their privacy is being taken seriously despite the nature of the demo. I'm not just making it up either — the EFF have helped significantly with the details.

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