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Submission + - Build Your Own Left4Dead Map With Google Sketchup

notthatwillsmith writes: Do you love Left4Dead? Ever wanted to build a zombie-filled map of your hometown, office, or grocery store? Maximum PC just posted a how-to that shows you how to convert photos of real world locations into ready-to-play L4D 1 or 2 maps. It's everything you need to know in order to kill zombies with your friends, in the comfort of your own backyard.

Submission + - 20-ft Mecha Robot Exoskeleton with Flamethrowers (

MMBK writes: Mention Wasilla, Alaska, and presidential also-ran Sarah Palin leaps to mind like a caribou. But the southern Alaskan town’s more animated, engaging, and intelligent invention is easily a 20-foot-tall robotic mecha robot with flamethrowers for hands.

Submission + - How Revolutionary Hardware Shaped the Modern PC

notthatwillsmith writes: Maximum PC just posted its timeline of the most important desktop PC components of the last fifteen years. This is the hardware that shaped the modern computing era. From groundbreaking processors to game-changing 3D accelerators to the venerable dial-up modem, these were the must-have parts for any PC-building enthusiast. Who wasn't envious of the first kid on the block who bought an Obsidian X24 graphics card or the first consumer-level dual-CPU motherboard?

Submission + - The History of x86 CPUs: From 8086 to Core i7

notthatwillsmith writes: This marks the 31st year of the x86 architecture's iron grip on the personal computer. To celebrate, Maximum PC has posted a visual retrospective of x86-compatible CPUs, starting with the original 8086, documenting the rise of the 486-compatible chips, Intel's Netburst failure and the subsequent dominance of the Athlon 64, all the way up to the modern monolithic quad-core designs of today.

Submission + - Twitter on Scala (

machaut writes: "Twitter, one of the highest profile Ruby on Rails-backed websites on the internet, has in the past year started replacing some of their Ruby infrastructure with an emerging language called Scala. Although they still prefer Ruby on Rails for user-facing web applications, they have started replacing Ruby daemon servers with Scala alternatives, and plan to eventually serve API requests, which comprise the majority of their traffic, with Scala not Ruby. This week several articles have appeared that discuss this shift at Twitter. A technical interview of three Twitter developers was published on Artima. One of those developers, Alex Payne, Twitter's API lead, gave a talk on this subject at the Web 2.0 Expo this week. His talk was covered in articles at Technology Review, Internet Evolution, and The Register."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Build Your Own Multi-Touch Tabletop "Surface&# 1

notthatwillsmith writes: We've all seen the nifty demos of Microsoft's Surface PC, but you may not have known that you can build your own multi-touch tabletop PC today. Maximum PC details the process, showing how you can build the cabinet and combine that with a standard PC, a decent projector, about $350 worth of assorted hardware (cameras, lenses, mirrors, and screens), and a handful of free apps to build your own Surface-like PC--without giving Microsoft $10,000.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - SPAM: Largest high-tech tornado chase ever set to spin

coondoggie writes: "Next month, with the help of a variety of high-tech gear, researchers will begin a wide-ranging project to better understand the origin, structure and evolution of tornadoes with the ultimate goal of being able to better predict when the destructive storms will happen and get people out of harms way faster. The National Science Foundation has given $9.1 million to the project known as Verification Of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment 2, or more simply, VORTEX2, which will take place from May 10-June 13. Researchers say Vortex2 is the largest attempt in history to study tornadoes, and will involve more than 50 scientists and 40 research vehicles, including 10 mobile radars covering 900 square miles of ground in southern South Dakota, western Iowa, eastern Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, the Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Oil-Immersion Cooled PCs Goes To Retail

notthatwillsmith writes: "Everyone's seen mods where someone super-cools a PC by submersing it in a non-conductive oil. It's a neat idea, but most components aren't designed to withstand a hot oil bath; after prolonged exposure materials break down and components begin to fail. Maximum PC has an exclusive hands-on, first look at the new Hardcore Computer Reactor, the first oil-cooled PC available for sale. Hardcore engineered the Reactor to withstand the oil, using space-age materials and proprietary oil. The Reactor's custom-manufactured motherboard, videocards, memory, and SSD drives are submersed in the oil, while the dry components sit outside the bulletproof tank. The motherboard lifts out of the oil bath on rails, giving you relatively easy access to components, and the overall design is simply jaw-dropping. Of course, we'd expect nothing less for a machine with a base price of $4000 that goes all the way up to $11k for a fully maxed out config."
Social Networks

Submission + - SPAM: Digg's Kevin Rose: "We have to do better"

alphadogg writes: Digg founder Kevin Rose said the social news recommendation site is not doing enough to reach people with niche interests, which will be key to keeping users engaged. Over the next two years or so, Digg's engineers will focus on ways to link users with similar interests and create tools that allow them to share news that's not necessarily of broad general interest. "We don't really do a good job of servicing the long tail of content," said Rose, who spoke at the Future of Web Apps conference in London on Thursday.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Comcast Filtering-For-Profit

An anonymous reader writes: Maximum PC intercepted the following memorandum from a high-level Comcast executive to the company's Board of Directors. We suggest you read it once, and then immediately delete all traces of this text from your PC. This is seriously twisted stuff.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - = Thunderdome for Computer Modders (

notthatwillsmith writes: We just launched a new site for modders — the folks who build the amazing custom PCs you see linked all over the net. The Mod Shop offers hardware hackers a place to share their building secrets with their fans, friends, and foes. Modders can enter their rigs in our monthly tournament, where their creations will compete Thunderdome-style in a series of head-to-head battles, where the site's visitors vote to determine the winners of more than $2000 in monthly prizes.
The Internet

Submission + - Comcast's Net Filtering Version 2.0 Unveiled?

notthatwillsmith writes: We all know that Comcast shouldn't be filtering protocols for their users, but it's only a problem for media pirates (and Lotus Notes users), who really deserve to be punished, right? Wrong. Here's a look at one possible outcome if we don't take action now to ensure that Comcast changes their filtering ways.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - The Statistical Trends of a Poker Game

eldavojohn writes: "There's a paper out for review on the statistics of poker. While one may wonder why we would turn such a fun game into a crusty old statistics problem, PhysOrg is running a summary on the paper. There's no breakthrough research coming out of this, but the models that Sire & Majumdar fit to poker games have resulted in some very interesting revelations about the game — and perhaps even the stock market or computational biology: "the growth rate of the blind bets entirely controls the pace of a tournament, which in practice allows the organizers of a tournament to control its duration. The model shows that the total duration of a tournament grows only logarithmically (i.e. very slowly) with the initial number of players, which explains why the wide range of real tournament sizes (100-10,000 players) remains manageable. "The model can also help poker players to evaluate their current ranking in a poker tournament," Sire said. "For instance, if a player owns twice the average stack, he is currently in the top 90%. If his holding is only half of the average stack, he only precedes 25% of the other players. "Consider a temporal random signal [such as the graph of a company's stock]. Its persistence is the probability that it never goes below (or above) a given threshold," Sire explains. "With my colleague Satya Majumdar, we have devised several ways to compute this quantity in various contexts, which decays exponentially fast, or as a power-law. Persistence has been measured in many physical systems, and has obvious applications outside physics: for example, what is the probability that Google's stock remains above $450 for the next year (certainly high, I admit)?" Other connections involve biological evolution. Due to the competitive nature of the game, Sire found similarities with evolutionary models dealing with competing agents. Also, when analyzing the statistical properties of the chip leader (player with the most chips at a given time), Sire found the same phenomenon that occurs in the 'leader problem' in evolutionary models. Namely, the average number of chip leaders grows logarithmically (i.e. very slowly) with the number of competing agents, or total number of players.""

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