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Star Wars Prequels

The Star Wars Christmas Special Still Exists 316

rapturizer noted the critical news that "Fans of "Star Wars" have a chance to see a free screening of the notoriously bad 'Star Wars Holiday Special' next week in Minneapolis." Nothing brings out the Christmas spirit like watching what may very well be the worst TV ever produced. Sadly however, I'm not sure that this is the worst *Star Wars* merch ever made.
Television

D-Link's New Boxee Box Runs Linux, Eyes Netflix 138

DeviceGuru writes "OpenBoxeeBox.com is reporting that D-Link's new DM-380 Boxee Box, demonstrated last night in New York at Boxee's Boxee Beta unveiling, runs Linux but does not yet stream Netflix video-on-demand titles. However, according to an unnamed Boxee insider, 'the goal is to have the device support Netflix.' The DM-380 features ports for HDMI, optical digital and analog audio, dual USB, and wired Ethernet, plus it has an SD card slot and built-in WiFi. Photos and screenshots are at OpenBoxeeBox, and additional details are on D-Link's website."

Comment Re:That's weird (Score 1) 664

I really do think that is the only thing going for this. It has to be the cheapest thing around. Jane or John Doe goes to Wal-Mart and next to the >$500 laptops is this and it is cheap as hell but does everything they need. They get something new that just works for them. Just how cheap?
Earth

NASA Attempts To Assuage 2012 Fears 881

eldavojohn writes "The apocalyptic film 2012 has dominated the box office, taking in $65 million on opening weekend. But with all those uninformed eyeballs watching the film, NASA has found itself answering so many common questions that their Ask an Astrobiologist blog offers calming, professional reassurance that there is no planet Nibiru, nor will it collide with Earth (although I do recall a massive solar storm forecast). NASA's main site even offers a FAQ answering similar questions. NPR has more on NASA scientist David Morrison and his efforts to calm the ensuing public hysteria, but survivalists are already planning for the big one. Pretty funny, right? Not according to Morrison: 'I've had three from young people saying they were contemplating committing suicide. I've had two from women contemplating killing their children and themselves. I had one last week from a person who said, "I'm so scared, my only friend is my little dog. When should I put it to sleep so it won't suffer?" And I don't know how to answer those questions.'"
The Internet

Comcast's New Throttling Plan Uses Trigger Conditions, Not Silent Blocking 698

clang_jangle writes with this excerpt from The Inquirer outlining Comcast's new traffic-throttling scheme, based on information from Comcast's latest FCC filing. "Its network throttling implements a two-tier packet queueing system at the routers, driven by two trigger conditions. Comcast's first traffic throttling trigger is tripped by using more than 70 per cent of your maximum downstream or upstream bandwidth for more than 15 minutes. Its second traffic throttling trigger is tripped when the Cable Modem Termination System you're hooked-up to – along with up to 15,000 other Comcast subscribers – gets congested, and your traffic is somehow identified as being responsible. Tripping either of Comcast's high bandwidth usage rate triggers results in throttling for at least 15 minutes, or until your average bandwidth utilisation rate drops below 50 per cent for 15 minutes."
Security

In Test, Windows 7 Vulnerable To 8 Out of 10 Viruses 843

As Windows 7's market share passes 3.6%, up from 1.9% the day before launch, llManDrakell notes an experiment they did over at Sophos. They installed Windows 7 on a clean machine — with no anti-virus protection — with User Access Control in its default configuration. They threw at it the next 10 virus/worm samples that came in the door. Seven of them ran; UAC stopped only one baddie that had run in the absense of UAC. "Lesson learned? You still need to run anti-virus on Windows 7."
The Courts

Data Entry Errors Resulted In Improper Sentences 138

shrik writes "Slate has a look at the efforts of Emily Owens, in 2005 a Ph.D student in economics at the University of Maryland, who 'came across thousands of inconsistencies and errors in the sentencing recommendations provided to judges' by the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy. Quoting: 'The sentencing guidelines for judges were based on a work-sheet [PDF] that "graded the severity of a convict's crime and his risk to society", ostensibly to make the rulings meted out more objective in nature. But on carefully studying her data, Owens noticed something wasn't adding up — the system seemed to be producing 1 error in every ten trials. She also realized that this "recommendation system" actually mattered: crimes and criminals analyzed to be quite similar were resulting in systematically different punishments correlated with the work-sheet.' The source of these discrepancies was ultimately found to be a simple, but very significant, PEBKAC: 'More than 90 percent of errors resulted from the person completing the work sheet [usually the DA, but signed off by the defense attorney] entering the figure from a cell next to the correct one. ... The remaining errors came mostly from incorrect choice of criminal statute in calculating the offense score and from a handful of math errors (in operations that were literally as simple as adding two plus two).' Timo Elliott's BI Questions Blog lists the morals of the story."
NASA

Astronaut Group Endorses Commercial Spaceflight 144

FleaPlus writes "Buzz Aldrin and twelve other astronauts have published a joint endorsement of commercial human spaceflight, stating that 'while it's completely appropriate for NASA to continue developing systems and the new technologies necessary to take crews farther out into our solar system, [the astronauts] believe that the commercial sector is fully capable of safely handling the critical task of low-Earth-orbit human transportation.' They are confident that commercial systems (which NASA already relies on for launching multibillion-dollar science payloads) can provide a level of safety equal to the Russian Soyuz and higher than the Space Shuttle, while strengthening US economic competitiveness. They also support the expected endorsement of the White House's Augustine Commission regarding NASA's use of commercial spaceflight — the Commission's final report will be released today." And here's the Augustine report itself (PDF).
The Media

Rupert Murdoch Says Google Is Stealing His Content 504

Hugh Pickens writes Weston Kosova writes in Newsweek that Rupert Murdoch gave an impassioned speech to media executives in Beijing decrying that search engines — in particular Google — are stealing from him, because Google links to his stories but doesn't pay News Corp. to do so. 'The aggregators and plagiarists will soon have to pay a price for the co-opting of our content,' Murdoch says. 'But if we do not take advantage of the current movement toward paid content, it will be the content creators — the people in this hall — who will pay the ultimate price and the content kleptomaniacs who triumph.' But if Murdoch really thinks Google is stealing from him, and if he really wants Google to stop driving all those readers to his Web sites at no charge, he can simply stop Google from linking to their news stories by going to his Web site's robot.txt file and adding 'Disallow.'"

Submission + - Common Diabetic Drug Delivers Killing Blow to Can (aacrjournals.org) 1

SubtleGuest writes: "In the latest issue of Cancer Research, a breakthrough study shows that Metformin, a cheap and common diabetic medicine, kills cancer stem cells- the cells postulated to be responsible for tumor resistance and recurrence after chemotherapy. It has been known that diabetics taking Metformin experience lower cancer rates, and now it is apparent why that may be and how it may apply to non-diabetics as well. When combined with Doxorubicin to kill non-stem cancer cells, the results are nothing short of astonishing: total remission in a mouse xenograft model. The results are achieved at levels below the dosage needed for diabetic control, opening many new avenues in cancer treatment and prevention."
Media (Apple)

Casinos Warn iPhone Card-Counting App is Illegal 462

An anonymous reader writes "Gaming commissions in Nevada are informing casinos that a new card counting program has made its way to the Apple iPhone, called Hi Lo. This program can be used in the Stealth Mode. When the program is used in the Stealth Mode the screen of the phone will remain shut off, and as long as the user knows where the keys are located the program can be run effortlessly without detection. Randall Sayre, of the Nevada Gaming Commission says 'Use of this type of program or possession of a device with this type of program on it (with the intent to use it), in a licensed gaming establishment, is a violation of NRS 465.075.'"
Windows

Average User Only Runs 2 Apps, So Microsoft Will Charge For More 842

Barence writes "Microsoft's decision to limit Windows 7 Starter Edition to running only three concurrent applications could force up the price of netbooks as many manufacturers opt for the more expensive Home Premium. The three-app rule includes applications running in the background but excludes antivirus, and the company claims most users wouldn't be affected by the limit. 'We ran a study which suggested that the average consumer has open just over two applications [at any time]. We would expect the limit of three applications wouldn't affect very many people.' However, Microsoft told journalists at last year's Professional Developers Conference that 70% of Windows users have between eight and 15 windows open at any one time."
Windows

MS Confirms Six Different Versions of Windows 7 758

darien writes "Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 7 will be offered in six different editions. In a seeming admission that the numerous versions of Vista were confusing to consumers, the company says that this time its marketing will focus on just two editions — 'Home Premium' and 'Professional.' But the reality is more complex, with different packages offering different subsets of the total range of Windows 7 features."

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