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Games

GTA IV DLC Announced 49

Rockstar Games recently announced upcoming downloadable content for Grand Theft Auto IV, entitled The Lost and Damned. It's due out on February 17th, and it focuses on a member of a Liberty City biker gang, rather than Niko Bellic. Joystiq has some early screenshots. "In the original game, Niko crossed paths with The Lost several times. This time, Niko has only a bit part, [Rockstar's Dan Houser] says. 'The story is not directly impacted by decisions you took in the main game,' he says. But 'tons of details and mysteries from the main story get explained, so it will add a lot of color to the main story.'"
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft unleashes perverted Santabot on children

ShieldW0lf writes: Microsoft has been encouraging children to chat with "Santa" by adding northpole@live.com to their contact lists. The bot would pretend to be Santa, asking what they want for Christmas and replying intelligently.

Until, one fateful day, a young girl invited Santa to eat pizza too many times, only to have Santa say "You want me to eat what?!? It's fun to talk about oral sex, but I want to chat about something else."

Microsoft spokesman Adam Sohn said the company's engineers tried to clean up Santa's vocabulary, but even after making changes to the software, the company wasn't comfortable keeping him online.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hfu6h1t4qkRcUbVddT45BCQ5MnQAD8TBITI80
Portables

Submission + - Inside The Asus Eee PC, A Full Retail Evaluation (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "The Asus Eee PC is now available for sale in the US as of today and there is more than enough buzz about this new, low-cost, ultra-portal computer that ships with a custom KDE-built interface for Linux. Though the machine has been positioned by some as a response to the XO-1 laptop from OLPC, it appears to be a bit more and much less toy-like in its design. This full evaluation shows the Eee PC is built on Intel's mobile Celeron and the 910GML Express chipset. Power consumption was measured at a miserly 15 Watts idle and 18 Watts under load with battery life in excess of three hours. There is also an abundance of software pre-installed on the machine, like Open Office applications, Skype and Pigeon."
Microsoft

Submission + - Windows Vista Corrupts Database Files

Major General Ist writes: ""Time for a rant. If ever there was proof that Vista was rushed out the door, this is it. If ever there was proof that there is slow uptake of Vista by enterprise clients, this is it. Let me explain..." This blog article goes on to discuss how the much hyped Bitmap Differential Transfer (BDT) feature of Windows Vista's Folder Redirection corrupts databases! It seems that the new block synchronization needs some work. I'm amazed this hasn't been discussed everywhere."
Communications

Submission + - South Africa adopts ODF as Government standard. (tectonic.co.za)

eugene_roux writes: Tectonic reports:

The ODF standard is included in the government's Mininimum Interoperability Standards for Information Systems in government (MIOS) released yesterday.

In the foreword to the document, department of public service and administration minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, says that "this updated version of MIOS contains an explicit definition of open standards as well as the inclusion of the ISO Open Document Format".

Patents

Submission + - Patent case against red hat and novell

raffe writes: From Groklaw: IP Innovation LLC has just filed a patent infringement They claim against Red Hat and Novell. It was filed October 9, case no. 2:2007cv00447, IP Innovation, LLC et al v. Red Hat Inc. et al, in Texas. You might recall the patent was used in litigation against Apple in April 2007, and Beta News reported at the time that it's a 1991 Xerox PARC patent. But ars technica provided the detail that it references earlier patents going back to 1984 claim to have the rights to U.S. Patent No. 5,072,412 for a User Interface with Multiple Workspaces for Sharing Display System Objects issued Dec. 10, 1991 along with two other similar patents. So in July one Microsoft executive arrives; then as of October 1, there is the second, a patent guy. October 9, IP Innovation, a subsidiary, sues Red Hat. And Novell. So much for being Microsoft's little buddy. I think SCO II has arrived
Windows

Submission + - Dutchconsumer boycott against Windows Vista.

rootnl writes: Here in The Netherlands the Dutch Consumer bond is calling for a consumer boycott consumer boycott against Windows Vista.

The Dutch Consumer Bond (Consementenbond) is an organization that tests products for quality and safety. Recently they had an internet poll about the problems experienced with Windows Vista. About 4200 complaints were submitted of which 59% is software problems, 46% hardware peripheral problems, 34% complaints about bad performance and computer crashes, 17% about network problems, especially wireless networks and 12% complained about long startup times.

The results were publicly published and subsequently picked up by the press. Microsoft was not very happy about this and complained about the fact that they (Consementenbond) published the information instead of dealing directly with Microsoft.

Last Thursday, the two parties had a meeting to discuss the problems resulted from the poll. In the meeting, the Consumer bond insisted that Microsoft must help consumers having problems with Vista by offering Windows XP. Microsoft refused with a big no. Because of this, the Consumer bond is calling a consumer boycott against Windows Vista.

Microsoft Netherlands will issue a press statement today about the actions of the Consumer bond.
Robotics

Submission + - Computerised pillow stops snoring (news.com.au)

HOTTILA.COM writes: "A scientist has created a solution for snoring — a computerised pillow that shifts the head's sleeping position until the noise stops. "The pillow is attached to a computer, which is the size of a book, rests on a bedside table, and analyses snoring noises," Daryoush Bazargani, professor of computer science at the University of Rostock, Germany and the pillow's inventor, said. "The computer then reduces or enlarges air compartments within the pillow to facilitate nasal airflow to minimize snoring as the user shifts during sleep," he said. The ergonomic pillow can also be used for neck massages. Mr Bazargani said several US firms were interested in manufacturing the pillow. "I invented it because I snore," he said. "I tried all sorts of products, but nothing worked. I hope people who use it will sleep more peacefully." Mr Bazargani was displaying a prototype of his pillow at a health conference in Germany."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Ubuntu Disappoints, Breaks Promises As It Grows (osweekly.com)

An anonymous reader writes: OSWeekly.com's Matt Hartley is disappointed in Ubuntu. Why? Because he thinks Ubuntu has broken promises of quality along the way after its rapid growth. He continues: "It's time to stop adding beta features and start looking at those which only partially work. Not for the sake of my hardware (my Linux PCs are extensive in number), but for those who are using different hardware combinations that are also sick of it. Consistent OS behavior, not cube spinning nonsense with half-done utility pipe-dreams, please.
Space

Submission + - Falcon HTV-3X hypersonic cruiser tested

An anonymous reader writes: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne have successfully tested a sub-scale combustor for a dual-mode ramjet engine. This could power the Falcon HTV-3X (financed by DARPA) hypersonic cruiser to Mach 6 and beyond. With the Dual-mode, the engine can function both at subsonic speeds and then speed up to supersonic scramjet speeds (greater than Mach 5). This engine technology was developed for Lockheed Martin's Falcon Combined-Cycle Engine Technology (FaCET) program.
AMD

Submission + - First Open Source ATI Drivers Now Available (opensuse.org)

apokryphos writes: "After AMD partnered with SUSE to release open source specs, they have now made some alpha ATI Radeon 5xxx/6xxx drivers available, supporting initial mode settings. The next steps are adding support for more hardware, RandR 1.2 support, video overlay support and 2D acceleration. The source and packages for Fedora, Mandriva, openSUSE and SLED are available in the openSUSE Build Service, with Debian and Ubuntu packages following shortly."
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Rejecting Safari on the Mac? 1

iMouse writes: "Recent changes to Microsoft's Hotmail service appears to have left Safari-using Mac users out of luck. Currently, logging into Hotmail with a Safari browser causes an infinite redirect loop (or stops when Safari has said "enough redirects!"). Some users on the Apple Support Forums state that they have experienced the login problem beginning 5 days ago, while others are seeing their accounts become inaccessible with Safari as of this morning. http://discussions.apple.com/search.jspa?objID=f876&search=Go&q=safari+and+hotmail

This may be related to a change in Windows Live or a gradual migration to a new configuration as more and more Mac users are finding themselves unable to access their accounts using Safari. Some users have commented that they have contacted Microsoft, to which Microsoft responds with a generic statement that their Hotmail system is not experiencing any technical issues at this time."

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