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Submission + - Can you hear me now? (

grimwell writes: An unknown object in the nearby galaxy M82 has started sending out radio waves, and the emission does not look like anything seen anywhere in the universe before.

Submission + - Why IT Product Roadmaps Go Bad, and Warning Signs (

storagedude writes: How to spot signs that an IT vendor might not execute on its product strategy, including financial health, past history, and technological complexity. One thing to watch for — a timely testing plan for the product.

From the article:

"One of the first questions I always ask to get a feel if the vendor is up to the task is to ask about all of the new regression tests that must be developed. Who cares about the technology if it is not well tested? What I find is that vendors that have a realistic plan have already developed or are developing the new testing framework with new testers that know some of the issues in testing new technologies. A good percentage of projects that are late are late because of poor testing, poor test methodologies or, worst of all, lack of developed tests. I always laugh my hardest when a vendor says to me, 'We did not develop the complete testing suite in time.' Not the kind of thing I'd want to hear if I were a stock holder in the company. So for me, one of the most important questions if I do not understand the technology is what is the test plan and where are the tests? Complex technology can come out on time if the plan takes into account important details, and testing is a good benchmark for telling if those important details have been considered.


Submission + - PS3 and Linux: is the love affair over? (

An anonymous reader writes: Sony has decided to end support for "Other OS" on all models of the PlayStation 3, apparently due to security concerns. From the PlayStation Blog, 'PS3 Firmware 3.21 will be available this Thursday. It will disable the “Install Other OS” feature that was available on the PS3 systems prior to the current slimmer models, launched in September 2009. This feature enabled users to install an operating system, but due to security concerns, we’re now removing this feature.' This comes a something of a surprise. Particularly because only a month ago Sony Computer Entertainment management seemed committed to the continued support of the Other OS option on the PS3.

Submission + - "Install Other OS" Feature removed from the PS3 ( 4

Hann1bal writes: The next system software update for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) system will be released on April 1, 2010 (JST), and will disable the “Install Other OS” feature that was available on the PS3 systems prior to the current slimmer models, launched in September 2009. This feature enabled users to install an operating system, but due to security concerns, Sony Computer Entertainment will remove the functionality through the 3.21 system software update.

Submission + - Bill Gates May Build Small Nuclear Reactor

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Wall Street Journal reports that TerraPower, an energy start-up backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, is in discussions with Toshiba Corp. to develop a small-scale nuclear reactor that would represent a long-term bet to make nuclear power safer and cheaper. Toshiba confirmed it is in preliminary discussions with TerraPower, a unit of Intellectual Ventures, a patent-holding concern partially funded by Gates and Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Ohmori says the two sides are talking about how they could collaborate on nuclear technology although discussions are still in early stages and that nothing has been decided on investment or development. TerraPower has publicly said its Traveling Wave Reactor could run for decades on depleted uranium without refueling (PDF) or removing spent fuel from the device. The reactor, the company has said, could be safer, cheaper and more socially acceptable than today's reactors. Gates's recent focus on nuclear power has been fueled by an interest in developing new power systems for developing countries where he says that new energy solutions are needed to combat climate change. Terrapower faces a lengthy, multi-year process to get its “traveling wave” reactor concept reviewed by regulators but if TerraPower succeeds in advancing its plans, it could provide an alternative blueprint for the nuclear industry at a time when new reactors may be coming online."

Submission + - Girls in gaming: The current (pretty good) truth (

Lanxon writes: Female games journalist and writer Katharine Fletcher has written a lengthy and largely positive editorial in Wired about the current state of girls in the video games industry — both from her own perspective as a games writer of presenter, and from that of the "simultaneously respected and lusted after games journalist Alex Sim-Wise, who expanded a successful career in modelling to include journalism." The article covers numerous ups and a couple of downs (one being "the PR rep who asked me at a hands-on game preview if my cameraman was going to film me 'pretending to play'"), but highlights the fact that in 2010 girl's in the game world are doing pretty well.

Submission + - James Randi Comes Out of the Closet (

ffflala writes: James Randi, is the 81 year old founder of JREF who has debunked countless fraudulent claims of paranormal abilities, recently and publicly declared his homosexuality. Randi's announcement describes changes in cultural perception he has observed throughout his life.

"Well, here goes. I really resent the term, but I use it because it’s recognized and accepted. I’m gay. From some seventy years of personal experience, I can tell you that there’s not much “gay” about being homosexual. For the first twenty years of my life, I had to live in the shadows, in a culture that was — at least outwardly — totally hostile to any hint of that variation of life-style. At no time did I choose to adopt any protective coloration, though; my cultivation of an abundant beard was not at all a deception, but part of my costume as a conjuror. Gradually, the general attitude that I’d perceived around me began to change, and presently I find that there has emerged a distinctly healthy acceptance of different social styles of living — except, of course, in cultures that live in constant and abject fear of divine retribution for infractions found in the various Holy Books In another two decades, I’m confident that young people will find themselves in a vastly improved atmosphere of acceptance."

Submission + - AT & T slamming DSL? 2

Dr_Ish writes: A few days ago, I got a sales call from someone attempting to sign me up for AT and T DSL service (I have long distance service with AT and T). I politely told the person to go to hell, as I have much higher speed and cheaper on-line access through my local utility company. This afternoon, a UPS truck pulled up at the house with a package — a new DSL modem from AT and T! When I called, AT and T claimed that the order had been placed by an external contractor, but they could not identify who. They said they would send me a mailing label, but if they did not get their modem back, then I would be charged for it. To me, this appears to be a blatant case of DSL slamming. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Submission + - HP Slate | Apple iPad | tablets (

tugfoigel writes: The war of the tablets has begun, with companies such as HP, Dell, Sony, Lenovo and Microsoft readying devices that will go head-to-head with Apple's iPad following its launch next month.

Manufacturers have already convinced us to shell out for smartphones and netbooks but many are now predicting the sweet spot may be the tablet form factor, which sits between a laptop and smartphone and is operated by touch.

Tablets are virtually as powerful as a regular PCs but are small enough to be used as a portable internet and media devices for browsing web pages, reading books and magazines, watching videos and playing games.

Submission + - national biometric identification card ( 1

schwit1 writes: A WSJ article says Lawmakers working to craft a new comprehensive immigration bill have settled on a way to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants: a national biometric identification card all American workers would eventually be required to obtain.

Under the potentially controversial plan still taking shape in the Senate, all legal U.S. workers, including citizens and immigrants, would be issued an ID card with embedded information, such as fingerprints, to tie the card to the worker.

Submission + - Making sense of CPU and GPU model numbers (

b4dc0d3r writes: How do you make sense of the various model numbers or naming schemes for CPUs, graphics cards, and the related chipsets? All I want is something that will run Oblivion and output full 1080 video to a TV. Last time I built my own computer I just went to Pricewatch, made a few easy choices, and everything came to my door. Do I really have to research the difference between Core i5, Core 2 Duo, Pentium 4, Pentium D, Semperon, Athlon, Phenom... and that's just the processor. Is there a reference somewhere? Sure Wikipedia has some info, but I'm in for a lot of reading. In short, how the hell do you buy a computer these days?
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - There go our web standards..... ( 2

blozza2070 writes: Jeff Jaffe (AKA Zonker), Software Patent Supporter, Microsoft Apologist, Ex-IBM, Ex-Novell, FSF hating troll is now the CEO of the W3C. It is the organization responsible for web standards which have been promoted by Firefox, Opera, and Google. The w3c has been known for hiring bad staff but this just takes the cake. How long do you think it will take before MS-invented standards are pushed as defacto standards?

Submission + - Major Electronics Vendors Accused of Price Fixing (

Lucas123 writes: After the DOJ launched an investigation last fall into price fixing by major optical disk drive manufacturers, a home electronics retail store filed a class-aciton lawsuit this week seeking triple damages for what it is claiming to be long-standing collusion between Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, LG Electronics and Hitachi to raise and fix prices on the drives. The suit claims the vendors used trade organization forums as meeting places to discuss the price fixing. "These are big Asian smoke-stack industries where they're investing in big fabrication plants. You can't have a technology destroy the business," said the attorney representing the plaintiff. "If you fire up a big fab plant with CRT tubes, and the next generation technology destroys it, then you have a big fab plant manufacturing buggy whips. So they have to make sure the price points for these [newer] technologies ... don't destroy existing markets."

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