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Toys

Submission + - Unusual PC upgrades (pcmag.com)

prostoalex writes: "For holiday season PC Magazine runs a list of somewhat unusual PC upgrades. They recommend Thermaltake MediaLAB A2331 for turning any PC into a media center, M-Audio FireWire 410 for basic stereo recording, Sunbeam 20 in 1 Superior Panel for increased connectivity and extra ports, Highpoint RocketRAID 2302 for extra eSATA ports and RAID backup, as well as a few other products. Any unusual upgrades Slashdot readers would recommend?"
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - EVE Online update corrupts Windows installations

An anonymous reader writes: The recent EVE Online expansion, Trinity, appears to have an unbelievably nasty bug that makes one question whether the publisher, CCP, has any QA at all; a typo in the patch results in C:\boot.ini being deleted. The patcher adds an extra backslash onto a delete command for "boot.ini" resulting in "\boot.ini", which if the game is installed on C: refers to Windows' boot.ini file. Hundreds of players have reported their computers being unable to boot, and tens of thousands more will likely encounter the same problem when they attempt to turn on their computer tomorrow. Oops?
Bug

Submission + - EVE Online Expansion Renders Computers Unbootable

Chuu writes: "Today EVE Online launched a major expansion named 'Trinity' which included a major engine overhaul. The problem is that because of a bug in the install script, the graphics add-on deletes the system's boot.ini file which renders the system unbootable. There is no official word from CCP about this yet, however many large alliances in game and individuals in the official forums have confirmed the bug. Some discussion about the bug and what to do if effected is here."
Google

Submission + - Google disables mass Gmail accounts

bconway writes: Within the past few hours, Google has mass disabled Gmail accounts for unknown reasons. The support forum quickly filled up with hundreds of posts from disabled users. Even worse than not being able to log in and access mail, email sent to these accounts is being bounced. Google has not responded at this time.
Quake

Submission + - OpenArena 0.70 Now Available

An anonymous reader writes: OpenArena is a project designed to provide a free Quake 3 experience. While the source for Quake 3 is free, the data is not so OpenArena is making all new Q3A compatible data to go with an upgraded engine. Many existing Q3A maps and mods already work fine but the project needs your support. 0.70 is available for Windows, Linux and MacOSX and is mirrored at many popular sites. Try it out, and contribute if you can.
Businesses

Submission + - Opalescent plastic could be both pretty and handy

AnotherDaveB writes: A group of researchers from the University of Southampton, in England, and the German Plastics Institute in Darmstadt, led by Jeremy Baumberg, have discovered how to create a plastic with th Opal's iridescent properties. Their invention could be used to make a sparkling substitute for paint, banknotes that are hard to counterfeit and chemical sensors that can act as visible sell-by dates.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Id Goes Full Steam Ahead

Dr. Eggman writes: Today, quite wisper and rumors became fact as two FPS giants, Id and Valve joined forces to bring Id games back catalog to Valve's Steam. This marks a huge influx of old classics as well as opening up the possibility of bringing some of the newest, most anticipated Id games to Steam. Expect to hear more from Valve's appearance at Quakecon soon.
Data Storage

Submission + - Can CDs Be Recycled?

An anonymous reader writes: I was recently doing a closet-cleaning and came across literally hundreds of old software CDs that are no longer usable — both manufactured CDs and CD-Rs. Note that by "not usable", I mean that many of them simply couldn't be read anymore, possibly due to the fact that they'd been stored rather ineptly (no, I wasn't responsible for how they were stored). My question is: Is it possible to reclaim CDs for raw materials? It seems wrong to just throw them out, but are there other things that can be done with them that will allow their raw materials to be reused in some way?
Biotech

Submission + - Bionic eye could restore vision

MattSparkes writes: "A new bionic eye could restore vision to the profoundly blind. A prototype was tested on six patients and "within a few weeks all could detect light, identify objects and even perceive motion again. For one patient, this was the first time he had seen anything in half a century." The user wears a pair of glasses that contain a miniature camera and that wirelessly transmits video to a cellphone-sized computer in the wearer's pocket. This computer processes the image information and wirelessly transmits it to a tiny electronic receiver implanted in the wearer's head."
Windows

Submission + - Vista "express" upgrade program bungled

Josh M. writes: Thousands of customers who purchased new Windows PCs this past Christmas are still waiting on their promised Windows Vista upgrades, despite the Vista launch occurring more than two weeks ago. Ars reports that Dell and HP have both pushed their shipping dates 6-8 weeks back after launch, meaning some people won't get their upgrades well into April. It turns out that because those customers get free Vista support, the OEMs are waiting for better driver support, hence the delay. So much for "express."
Power

Submission + - Data centers sucking down electricity bigtime

BobB writes: "Energy consumption in corporate data centers doubled between 2000 and 2005, due in large part to the spreading use of volume servers, according to a new report. The study, conducted by a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories and a consulting professor at Stanford University, found that servers and associated infrastructure, such as cooling and uninterruptible power supplies, in U.S. data centers consumed about 45 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2005, accounting for about 1.2% of the country's electricity consumption, roughly equal to the power drawn by the nation's color televisions. The electricity costs for the servers and associated infrastructure reached $2.7 billion. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/021507-study .html"
The Media

Submission + - Hockey player fired for not signing flag

An anonymous reader writes: More news from the Patriotic Insanity department. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2006/ 12/18/nb-hockeyflag.html

From the article:
A junior hockey player has been ousted from the Saint John Sea Dogs after he did not sign a Canadian flag that the team was sending to troops in Afghanistan. Dave Bouchard — a 20-year-old from Jonquière, Que., who played left wing on the Quebec Major Junior team — said he thought someone else had already signed his name. But Sea Dogs coach Jacques Beaulieu said he did not accept that explanation and cut him from the team after Saturday's game. "Morally, we have standards with this hockey team and that's a standard that we believe in," Beaulieu told CBC News Monday. "I mean, if Dave doesn't believe in it, that's fine. But he won't be part of it. He won't be part of this organization. That's the standard that we set."
Nintendo

Submission + - Wii Remote Driver for Linux Released

keitosama writes: "Yesterday, version 0.1.2 of WMD, a Wii Remote driver for Linux, was released. It will allow the Wii Remote to act as a mouse and a keyboard, and while it might not yet be useful as much more than a media player remote controller, that's a great start.

WiiLi, a project aiming to port Linux to the Wii, are planning to develop a media center LiveCD called WiiLi Link for regular PCs, using the remote for this purpose. If you've got a working Bluetooth unit in your PC, it should be able to use the Wiimote. If you for some sadistic reason wish to use the Wiimote with your PS3, it's now possible with these patches."
The Almighty Buck

Melting Coins Now Illegal In the U.S. 778

A number of readers have noted the action by the U.S. Mint to outlaw the melting down or bulk export of coins. This has come about because the value of the precious metals contained in coins now exceeds their face value. The Mint would rather not have to replace pennies (at a cost of 1.73 cents per) or nickels (at 8.74 cents). The expectation is that Congress will mandate new compositions for some U.S. coins in 2007.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - commercial game written in pygame released

Horst JENS writes: "A game written in the python extension pygame was released this Saturday: Galcon is a hectic coffee-break game where you conquer planets by launching armadas of little spaceships against your enemy. The demo of the game is free to download, but to play the full version a key (US$ 19,95) has to be purchased. Mac and Windows versions are linked from the homepage, a linux version is not linked yet but can be found at http://www.imitationpickles.org/tmp/galcon.tgz"

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