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PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Lemon Law for PC Games?

Monk writes: "Recently I purchased Gears of War from Gamestop, for the PC. I liked the Xbox version, but since I don't have an xbox, and instead I have decently powerful computer, I wanted to play it without buying a console system. The first time I played it, it crashed within 10 minutes. For the next hour, I couldn't play the game for more than 10 minutes without it crashing. It seems others have the same problem as me, after reading the Gears of War forum, so I wanted to take the game back and get my money back. There's no point in paying for a game that is unplayable. When I tried to take the game back, they would only exchange it for another copy. What do I do? Keep the game and wait for a patch? Throw it away and consider it a "loss"? Is there any legal help for consumers who buy software that doesn't work? Who do I blame? Microsoft for Vista? Nvidia? Epic? Or myself for buying a console port of a game?"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - What Geeky Things Must Be Done? 2

John writes: A few weeks ago, my friends were discussing "The Princess Bride", and most of the references went completely over my head — I've not seen it all the way through, nor read the book. Naturally, revealing this fact made these people look at me as if I'd just moved into town from under some rock. This led into a discussion of the things that most general geeks should be expected to know; for example, reciting the inscription on the One Ring, or (apparently) quoting "Princess Bride" on-demand. The suggestions we came up with ranged from personal things, like having one's movie/game library in an online database, to big, world-scoped things like contributing to an open-source project of your choosing. I'm curious to know what the general consensus is on the most obvious or biggest geek/nerd things that should be seen, done, or read/watched/heard.
The Courts

Submission + - Public buildings don't get intellectual protection (

TuringTest writes: Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, of international fame, recently sued the city of Bilbao (Spain) for violation of intellectual property after his Zubizuri bridge was modified by the city council to add a new footbridge on its side. Now a judge has sentenced against Calatrava saying that public right prevails over intellectual property. Altough the ruling acknowledges that the building design has intellectual property, it also concludes that a bridge is to walk on it. (Beware, some links are in Spanish. Translate at your own risk.)

Submission + - Wii to sellout despite 1.8 million made each month (

Wowzer writes: "Despite 1.8 million Wii being manufactured each month, Wii's are said to sell out anyway. To quote Nintendo's President: "I can't guarantee that we're going to meet demand. As a matter of fact, I can tell you on the record that we won't." You might want to buy a Wii early if you want one under the Christmas tree, considering Nintendo started boosting the production output during the three months ending June 30, 2007. Additionally, in a Fox TV interview with Alexis Glick, Nintendo's President Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed the Wii would not be lowered in price."
The Military

Journal SPAM: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise 20

One Nato figure said the effect was "as big a shock as the Russians launching Sputnik." American military chiefs have been left dumbstruck by an undetected Chinese submarine popping up at the heart of a recent Pacific exercise and close to the vast U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. By the time it surfaced the 160ft Song Class diesel-electric attack submarine sailed within viable range fo

Linux Business

Submission + - Wal-Mart's $200 Linux PC Sells Out (

hankmt writes: "About a week ago Wal-Mart began selling a $200 linux machine running on a 1.5 ghz Via C7 processor and 512 megs of RAM. While the specs are useless for vista, it works blazingly fast on Ubuntu with the Enlightenment Window Manager. The machine is now officially sold out of their online warehouses, and the product sales page at is full of glowing reviews from new and old linux users alike."

Submission + - Transition from Academia to Industry 2

Pseudonymous writes: I am an assistant professor in a computer science department wanting to go into industry (not out of choice but necessity). Over the past pretenure years, I have worked on pretty theoretical problems, involving algorithms and complexity so I think I am unprepared or unskilled to join the software industry. I have of course taught the basic courses in C and Java (which unfortunately does not mean that I know enough to jump into a huge software project). So how do I go from a theoretician to someone that industry might value ? What skills should I aim to develop before I put myself out there ?

Submission + - FBI data-mines grocery stores. Did Visa/MC help? (

An anonymous reader writes: Recent media reports indicate that in 2005-06, the FBI went trawling through grocery store records in order to track down Iranian terror cells. They hoped to be able to locate Iranians through the purchase of specific food items. The problem with this, of course, is that most Iranians buy their middle eastern food at small ethnic markets, and not the big supermarket chains — for the simple reason that muslims are required to eat halal meat, which is not sold in most places. The majority of mom and pop ethnic markets do not have the detailed computer purchase histories that Safeway or Whole Foods have. Thus, what is more likely is that the FBI simply put together a list of everyone who had purchased anything at a middle eastern food market. As this "CNET article discusses, all signs point to the credit card companies (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) providing this data, and not the individual stores. This could be the tip of a (potentially illegal) data-mining iceberg.
The Internet

Submission + - Are you a victim of Wikipedia deletionists?

CowardX10 writes: The recent Slashdot story Call For Halt To Wikipedia Webcomic Deletions combined with the commentary I read for the Wikinews article on this subject made me feel the scope of what's happening in terms of deletionist admins angering and driving away a lot of contributors. I posted the following comment there and now here hoping to get feedback showing that this problem goes far beyond Webcomics.

The assholes have definitely taken over

My friend who used to contribute a lot in terms of articles and even money decided to stop because the deletionist assholes made it such a pain for him that he now despises the site. And although almost none of his contributions were deleted, he hated the way half his time was spent arguing with deletors about his work.

Even Jimbo Whales has experienced this. He started an article on Mzoli's Meats , a butcher shop and restaurant in South Africa. When it was almost speedily deleted, he told the deletors to "excuse themselves from the project and find a new hobby.". In other words, get a life and stop ruining the project. Unfortunately, a bunch of editors added information to the article so it's now kept, saving Jimbo from having to confront either the bitterness many have felt in getting their work destroyed or remaking policy so that people like my friend would continue contributing.

These asshole admins are really making Wikipedia a crappy site, and their effect on valuable editors is worse than what any nasty vandal might do since admins are part of the power hierarchy. This is another valuable lesson in what happens when you give thoughtless small minded people a little power. They make their pronouncements and mass annihilations without any consideration on what the effect might be on a person who has spent sometimes hundreds of man hours creating, maintaining, and protecting his/her articles. They dismiss people by spouting some arbitrary interpretation of policy backed up by their cabals, while those who have better things to do like actually create content get fucked over. James Derk of The Daily Southtown wrote an article where he talks about having a similar experience.

Also, here's a good Slashdot thread illustrating the intellectual dishonesty of the deletionist admins. It is part of the Slashdot story Call For Halt To Wikipedia Webcomic Deletions which is filled with former contributors testifying to their own treatment at the hands of these assholes. It's sad how some people seem to really get off on destroying the work of others.

I think it's interesting how when I don't know about a subject, editing an article on it would be considered vandalism. But it's perfectly OK for the deletors to destroy work relating to things they often know nothing about. Sometimes they even use their very ignorance as justification.

I think Wikipedia has a choice right now. Allow a lot more in than they are currently doing and piss off the deletionists, or let these deletionists have their way and piss off the content creators(And I should add, it's not only deleted articles that are targeted, but plot synopses, trivia sections, clearly permissible images, etc. have all succumbed to the slash and burn mentality of these deletionists.). So Jimbo, who would you rather keep around?
Linux Business

Submission + - SPAM: Cheap Linux PCs could pressure OLPC

alphadogg writes: As component prices drop, the aggressive pricing of commercial Linux notebooks could hamper efforts by One Laptop Per Child to supply inexpensive laptops to children in developing markets.Those competitive prices may draw buyers to commercial laptops over OLPC's specialized XO laptops, which will carry a $200 price tag when they ship on Nov. 12, analysts say.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Is it time to kill the RIAA? Artists think so. (

thefickler writes: "On the surface, record labels exist to distribute the music of our favorite artists, but if you look much deeper, their main purpose is to make money, lots of money. There was a time when the label was needed, but today, artists can record and distribute their content much more easily thanks to the Internet on the home computer. Now artists are beginning to agree, in order for the artist and music to prosper, we must kill the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Low budget open source VGA compatible video card ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Seeing how the Open Graphics Project is only making slow progress, a new card is being developed by a few students to get a fast, simple and above all cheap video card out the door. Started just two months ago, they're already nearing completion of the circuit board. It sports a reasonably sized reprogrammable FPGA which should kickstart development of a full-fledged open source video card in the future, and the design currently only costs about a hundred euro.

Submission + - OLPC makes its entry into India - finally!

An anonymous reader writes: When the OLPC first made news, a prominent official in the HRD ministry of the Indian government had gone on record snubbing the OLPC project ($100 laptop), even making a preposterous claim that work was under way to create India's own $10 laptop. But as things have worked out, OLPC has already made an entry into India in the form of a pilot project in a rural primary school in a village in the state of Maharasthra.

Submission + - John Udell on the Geeks' Spreadsheet (

rcs1000 writes: "John Udell has a interesting article on a new type of spreadsheet: one targetted specifically at geeks. The skinny — if I get this right — is that any spreadsheet is actually a computer program, only in Udell's piece this is explicit (and IronPython rather than VBA), rather than implicit. There are some other cool things it does — allowing cells to contain objects, and allowing spreadsheets to back-end websites. The screencast is particularly fun."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Intel Chief Evangelist comments on Linux scheduler

ByeByeWintel writes: "James Reinders is Intel's Chief Evangelist for Intel's Software Development Products. In a recent interview on he stated: "If I could get ONE wish fulfilled would be for OS scheduling to focus on processes, and not threads, for scheduling. And demand that processes manage their scheduling of threads. Why? Because an effective parallel program is going to assume, in general, that all threads are either running or stopped. It is messy to write a parallel program when the OS may be scheduling and unscheduling individual threads which are trying to cooperate. [...] There is a lot of opportunity for operating systems to offer these types of control in the "running of applications" interfaces. I'd like an OS to let me specify the 'world' my application runs in (which processors, how many, etc.) These interfaces are available in Windows at run time (the task manager will let you adjust where a running task can go). I'd like to have more global tools to specify and adjust policies (8-core machinerun "only Outlook" here, run applications on these 4 cores, OS only here, explorer here, etc.)""

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