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Networking

Submission + - Small router reliability

An anonymous reader writes: I've been having bad luck with small routers for home/small business use. My old Belkin was requiring a reset multiple time a day. I was given a Netgear wireless four port, the same model as I had at work. The Netgear at work kept freezing until I put it on top of a fan, which worked for about a year. The one at home never made it on a fan and is now starting to lock up. Googling hasn't been particularly helpful, and most of the review sites don't/can't look at long term reliability (at least a couple years, please?). I just need an 8 port router for normal home/office use that doesn't cost $500. I don't really need wireless. Recommendations for/against? Should I just roll the dice? Thanks
Patents

Submission + - Blackboard plegdges not to use patents against OSS

An anonymous reader writes: Blackboard, Inc. (site) announced a legal pledge that it will not enforce its patents (much discussed lately on /.) against Open Source Software projects or homegrown closed source systems that are not bundled with proprietary software products.
Television

Submission + - Can the NFL control Super Bowl broadcast?

youvegottobekidding writes: "The Indy Star has an article ( http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID= 2007702010431 )about Super Bowl Party Rules. It appears the NFL is ready to bust churches for holding Super Bowl parties because they: use "Super Bowl" in the promotion, show the game on a TV larger than 55", and are not a sports bar. Can they really control how the broadcast is shown when it is sent over the airwaves? It's not like this is pay tv. Call out the ACLU!!!"
The Internet

Netvibes May Give My Yahoo Run For Money 72

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Wall Street Journal columnist Walter S. Mossberg reviews Netvibes, which allows users to create personalized pages with modules that gather headlines, email, weather and other data from all over the Web, and 'combines some of the best features of My Yahoo and [Apple's] Dashboard,' Mossberg writes. More from the article: 'Among the modules you can add to your Netvibes page right from this menu, without navigating to any setup page, are weather forecasts, a notepad, a to-do list and calendar, and modules that perform searches for Web pages, blogs, pictures, videos and podcasts. There are also email modules that will display your new messages from Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, AOL Mail or any regular old email account you configure. Others display content from eBay, MySpace, Fox Sports and more.' In an accompanying video, Mossberg demonstrates Netvibes."
Games

Overcoming Challenges To Game 30

1up has another feature up worth investigating, this one detailing the challenges faced by gamers with disabilities who just want to enjoy their hobby. The article discusses gals and guys who may be physically different than the average gamer, but who seek that Mortal Kombat fatality or enjoy the story of Half-Life 2 just as much as anyone else. They also touch on the unique peripherals available to players who may not be able to utilize standard controllers, and the palliative effect that games can have on folks in stressful circumstances (as we've seen via Child's Play in the past). It's just another instance where the usual gaming labels break down in the face of reality: "In the media's rush to blame school shootings on violent videogames, sometimes stories about gaming's role in communication and positive tenacity get left behind. While some parents worry about their children submerging themselves in the fantasy worlds of videogames and losing themselves to the real world, that same 'escape' often proves soothing to gamers who, for various reasons, are cut off to the world around them."
Databases

Submission + - Database pioneer Jim Gray lost at sea

elmiller writes: Jim Gray, database pioneer, hasn't returned from a Sunday morning solo sailing trip to the Farallon Islands outside San Francisco's Golden Gate. The Coast Guard searched all night Sunday evening, with no success and no signals of any kind from Dr. Gray's sailboat. Updates at the SF Chronicle web site (current story is here).
Software

Submission + - Large step in game AI.

hunter_invul writes: "The upcoming game "S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow of Chernobyl" is taking the games AI into the next generation of gaming. But the game has two main groups of enemies, Mutants and other Stalkers. The Mutants AI is more scripted, but has actions like hunting, hungry, fight, or exploring, some only appear at night while others in the day. So that is interesting. The enemy Stalkers AI is more advanced and made to appear as though you are playing online. For instance the enemy Stalkers use their enviroment heavily, and are programmed so that they would appear as though they had their own mind. For instance, if your down a hill firing at an enemy Stalker, he won't just charge dow the hill, he'll duck, hide behind busted cars, and crawl. You can also team up with different clans of Stalkers, which is interesting. The AI for the Stalkers is supposed to surpass that of F.E.A.R's and Gears of War. The enviroment of the game is more interactive. If you shoot a light, it will fall and spin creating shadows, while flickering on and off. Also the maps in the game can be a vast outside terrian to the ghostly halls of the Chernobyl power plant. The game was made to look post apocalyptic, so it will have more of a spooky feel to it."
The Internet

Submission + - Hosting Provider Builds Own Power Substation

1sockchuck writes: "With data centers using more and more power, Sacramento managed hosting provider RagingWire wanted to ensure that its customers wouldn't run out of juice. So the company built its own 69kV power substation on its property, which will supply its data center with up to 46 megawatts — enough to power about 25,000 single-family homes. Concerns about the availability of electricity for data center prompted a Silicon Valley "power summit" last month. Is this a sign of things to come?"
Businesses

Submission + - Communicating with companies like Verizon?

chaoskitty writes: "Ok — so you run a mail server or 10, and you've gotten all of the bugs ironed out. You are confident that your email delivery and reception are working perfectly — after all, you pass hundreds of thousands of legitimate email a day. Then, one of your users contacts you telling you that mail from your server is not getting delivered. You ask for a copy of the error report so you can see what's going on, and you see something like this:

(reason: 550 You are not allowed to send mail:sv25.verizon.net)

So you look in the mail logs, and it's clear that the problem is on Verizon's end:

... Jan 29 12:12:25 bigtime sm-mta[17704]: l0TJwls8005690: to=, ctladdr= (10001/10000), delay=00:13:38, xdelay=00:00:01, mailer=esmtp, pri=213168, relay=relay.verizon.net. [206.46.232.11], dsn=4.0.0, stat=Deferred: 450 Requested mail action not taken-Try later:sv18pub.verizon.net
Jan 29 12:22:41 bigtime sm-mta[6426]: l0TJwls8005690: to=, ctladdr= (10001/10000), delay=00:23:54, xdelay=00:00:12, mailer=esmtp, pri=303168, relay=relay.verizon.net. [206.46.232.11], dsn=5.0.0, stat=Service unavailable Jan 29 12:22:41 bigtime sm-mta[6426]: l0TJwls8005690: l0TKMRb4006426: DSN: Service unavailable

So you decide to contact Verizon. But email to postmaster@verizon.net and support@verizon.net aren't answered. You try to call the numbers in the WHOIS, and you get shuffled to Verizon Support, who obviously won't help you because you don't have a Verizon account regardless of how patiently you try to explain that the problem is on their end.

You look up 550 errors and Verizon in Google, and you see that LOTS of other people are having the same problems. But nobody knows why Verizon is randomly rejecting email. It's not even consistent, as your user corresponds with the same Verizon accounts all the time.

What do you do now? Is there a way to get a company like Verizon to respond to seemingly ongoing mail server problems on their end? How do you get someone at Yahoo to read the email you send them to tell them that they're registering and hosting phishing sites and phishing-collecting email addresses?

What do YOU do when that huge company offers no way to communicate? Is it time to start advising people to AVOID email accounts from large providers?"
United States

US Missle Interceptor Tests a Success 391

An anonymous reader writes to mention that the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Lockheed Martin recently reported success in the test flight of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system. "THAAD is designed to defend U.S. troops, allied forces, population centers and critical infrastructure against short- to intermediate range ballistic missiles. THAAD comprises a fire control and communications system, interceptors, launchers and a radar. The THAAD interceptor uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy targets, and is the only weapon system that engages threat ballistic missiles at both endo- and exo-atmospheric altitudes."

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