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Media (Apple)

Submission + - Will the iPod be the New CD?

FunkeyMonk writes: "Leander Khaney writes for Wired News:
"On Monday, Apple Inc. and the Beatles' Apple Corps announced that a 15-year legal spat over the "Apple" trademark had been settled in Steve Jobs' favor.
But the biggest news wasn't mentioned at all in the joint press release: The new contract clears the way for Jobs to sell iPods loaded with music.
Who cares?
Well, the iPod could become the new CD, especially if Apple starts offering cheap shuffle iPods pre-loaded with hot new albums or artists' catalogs. Imagine a whole range of inexpensive, special-edition iPods branded with popular bands containing a new album, or their whole catalogs."

So Slashdotters — would you buy a new iPod just to have it preloaded with tunes?"
Media (Apple)

Submission + - Steve Jobs Comes Out Swinging Against DRM

tommertron writes: "Steve Jobs has posted what is ostensibly a response to Europe's wish to open up the iPod and iTunes Music store. Jobs argues that the technical limitations of licensing Fairplay to competitors make it impractical and almost impossible to implement in a secure way. He then puts pressures on the record companies themselves, saying that the answer is to allow music stores to sell unrestricted, DRM-free music on the Internet. He says that "this is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat," if only the music companies would allow it. It seems like this is a public calling out of the record companies. Will this result in a DRM-free year, as some have suggested for 2007?"
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - OpenGL for gamers who love linux

An anonymous reader writes: Having rigth now such different flavours of linux distros, with amazing visually graphics like gnome or kde gaining more space every day, why game developers are not launching OpenGL games for linux? I'm not an expert on DirectX and OpenGL, but i know (work in) linux environment, and use windows for gaming. as far as i know opengl is superior than directx, at least for heavy detail works, like medical and labs applications. Nvidia still hasnt launch a decent driver for Vista, and benchmarks shows that vista+dx10 doesn't make an interesting advance. in terms of performance. Personally, i just need opengl games to finally dump my windows partition. I know the majority of cards are being developed best for directX support. Just wanna read some comments, i've been wondering this for years now.

Videogames Sharpen Player Vision 72

Via GameSpot, the news on the University of Rochester site is that playing videogames can actually improve your vision. Games, especially action shooters, actually change the way your brain looks at the world. According to the findings of researchers Daphne Bavelier and Shawn Green, visual processing is enhanced through consistent play of complex graphical titles. Simple orientation tests were much easier for a group that played UT, compared to a group that only played Tetris.

Submission + - Bad Research, Worse Reporting on Global Warming

Attila Dimedici writes: In trying to prove that the Bush administration is throttling research into global warming, the Union of Concerned Scientists rolled out some breathtakingly bad science. The group unveiled a supposedly scientific survey of more than 1,600 federal climate scientists as evidence that the administration was engaged in "wide-ranging political interference in research related to global warming." "The new evidence shows that political interference in climate science is no longer a series of isolated incidents but a system-wide epidemic," Dr. Francesca Grifo, Director of the UCS Scientific Integrity Program, said in a press release. "Tailoring scientific fact for political purposes has become a problem across many federal science agencies." Grifo obviously doesn't' appreciate the irony when he trots out a poll that is so flawed that it is manifest evidence of exaggeration, incompetence or dishonesty on his group's part. You don't have to be a social scientist to understand that the survey was deceptive, for example, when it lumped into the same category scientists who said they actually experienced the alleged tampering and scientists who simply "perceived" that it happened to someone else. For example, the group's press release said "Forty-three percent of respondents reported they had perceived or personally experienced changes or edits during review of their work that changed the meaning of their scientific findings." But turn to the study's appendix, and you'll find that only 15 percent of the respondents said that they had actually experienced such interference. bad_research_horrendous_report.html
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Free Online Games are the Future?

Lauriebravo writes: "Free Online Games are the Future?

Are browser based games the future? The evidience says yes. There will soon be a huge influx of better, more graphically advanced, more accessible browser based games. Leading the industry into a market where users pay nothing and expect more and more.

A while ago a little Flash game, elements TD, ( which can be found at ) based on a popular Blizzard game was released, within days hits rose to over a million a day. In two weeks the traffic to the game has risen over 10,000%, currently the game which is only around 100kb in file size, hogs over 40 Gigabits of bandwidth a day. This is just one example of the rapid rise of Flash game development.

In-browser games have been around for a long time. "Arcade" websites like have arisen to collect these games into one place and market them.

Despite the enormous range of sites like these the quality has up until now been rather poor. However the Flash Elements TD example proves that a great game can be developed independently and marketed successfully. It also showshow great game ideas can be taken from existing desktop games and turned into viral web based extravaganzas.

An epidemic in online game creation is about to overtake us. We are at a tipping point, a flash point when online-in-browser-based gaming crosses the threshold and becomes mainstream. The fuel for this explosion isn't going to be provided by a large corporation like Microsoft or Google. The fuel will come from the powerhouse of the Internet's organic infrastructure and its never ending demand for quality, it's users.

There are many reasons as to why this increase in browser games has come about.One is the growth of Flash development. Adobe Flash has developed over the years into a sophisticated tool for developers, the only thing blocking good game production in the past has been a lack of skilled and imaginative developers. With the growth of online gaming developers who may have been focussed upon desktop games production now turning their heads towards free browser based games, more and more intelligent playable games are arrising.

Another reason for the significant rise in browser games is the increased bandwidth, both for users and cheaper bandwidth serving for producers. Broadband has climbed over the coveted 50% market penetration mark, making Flash a much more viable option for content development. Now games can be produced in Flash and delivered without the fear of turning large numbers of users away because of loading time.

The Digg factor is also extremely important, websites like Digg and Stumble lead users towards these games without the users having to search for them. It is now far easier to find and share great ideas as they happen. An independent developer can, today, creaqte a cool product and get it in front of thousands of users within days, and if it is good enough the users will increase exponentially.

So what can we expect? Obviously more games. But perhaps more importantly more services like YouTube where users can upload and share their work without having to cover bandwidth costs.

Brace yourself. Free browser based games are the future, are you ready?


Submission + - A notebook tough enough for Mad Mike Magee

An anonymous reader writes: Noticed the Inq linking to a story about Panasonics notebook design center. This is where they create all those machines that can be dropped on the floor, covered in sand and sprayed with water. Aparently Mad Mike himself uses a toughbook on a daily basis, so they cant be bad! 7/02/06/Zen-And-The-Art-Of-ToughBooks/p1

Submission + - Microsoft goes bottom-up with open identity

Rob writes: Microsoft will support and help develop the OpenID digital identity specification, and OpenID proponents, unlike many others who have seen Microsoft embrace their open standards in the past, seem very happy about it. In a keynote at the RSA Conference in San Francisco yesterday morning, Bill Gates and Microsoft chief strategist Craig Mundie announced that the company would work with Sxip, VeriSign and JanRain to integrate OpenID with Microsoft's CardSpace. OpenID's leading thinkers and developers appeared to warmly welcome the move, on their respective web sites, as an endorsement of a community-driven movement that will help propagate and improve the technology.
It's funny.  Laugh.

A New Twist On Skywriting 149

Nugget writes "The advent of Internet-based flight tracking technology enables an entirely new kind of skywriting. Gulfstream Aerospace sent up one of their $50M business jets today on an 8.5-hour test flight spanning 11 states for the sole purpose of leaving their mark on the Net in the form of a flight track that spells out 'GV' (the nickname of the Gulfstream V aircraft being flown) when viewed online."

Submission + - CabBoots - Shoes with integrated Gudiance System

Martin Frey writes: "
CabBoots is a concept for an innovative interface with a pedestrian navigation system. The information transmission process can be perceived tactilely, is intuitively understandable, and is applied to the part of the body most directly involved in the act of walking: the foot. The applied communications metaphor is familiar to all; it's something that everyone who's ever walked along a well-trodden path is aware of. It functions astoundingly well in this new application.
Starting Point
Conventional navigational devices normally communicate with the user on the acoustic and visual levels. CabBoots pursues a more intuitive mode of information delivery: the feedback is tactilely perceptible. Here, CabBoots utilizes the faculty of kinesthetic perception present in the entire foot and ankle, and thus takes advantage of a simple principle that everyone absorbs as part of the process of learning to walk.
"Walking on a Path"
Paths on a natural surface, for instance — usually have a concave cross-section. When you walk along such a well-trodden path, your feet come down on a flat surface only right in the middle of the trail. Veering over to the edge ofthe path, they land on a slight outward slope that causes the ankle to be angulated slightly. While walking, the body registers this angulation and intuitively compensates by steering back towards the middle. This actually allows you to walk the path "blind".
Virtual Topography
Electromechanical elements in the sole of the CabBoots can produce an artificial angulation of the shoes and, thereby, of the foot. The resulting oblique posture ofthe foot is difficult to distinguish from the real thing. Individual and virtual paths can thus be communicated via the shoe. Tests with a prototype have shown that the principle of walking a well-trodden path also functions on a virtually-generated topography. A decisive advantage accrues from the intuitive perception of the directions given: channels of communication like seeing and hearing are not involved and thus remain available to receive stimuli from other sources.
Future Work
In the initial prototype, tiny flaps were used to generate the path. In future models, it would be preferable to replace them with pneumatic activators or ones based on electrorheological fluids. The software to determine the wearer's position and calculate the subsequent path could run on a mobile device like a cell phone or PDA that can communicate wirelessly with the shoe. Needless to say, CabBoots could also be a great help to people with visual impairments."
XBox (Games)

Alan Wake Reconfirmed As PC/360 Exclusive 47

Alan Wake (the game with the really great tornado from last year's E3) has been reconfirmed as an exclusive title for Microsoft platforms. Via Wired's Game|Life blog, the news comes from the awesomely named Helsingin Sanomat website. Remedy (makers of the Max Payne titles) had this game slated as a 360/PC exclusive back in their E3 2006 trailers, but news of Microsoft's new 'mentoring' role for the company appears to have renewed interest in the game. It's unclear why Microsoft isn't following their general pattern of purchasing the company outright, but the 30-employee strong company is staying independent. Microsoft's resources still back the company, though: "Microsoft has huge machinery for games production. If a team of 80 voice actors are needed from the States, they can provide it. Their test laboratory is also fantastic."
United States

Submission + - Why You Can't Overthrow the Government

CausalCrunch writes: ""(and Why You Would Almost Certainly Regret It If You Did)

Admit it — you've fantasized about overthrowing the government.

Wealthy corporations and well-paid politicians leave us just enough democracy to keep the masses happy, but we know they're literally getting away with murder. There seems to be no fully effective response to the unilateral invasions and aggression of the United States, nor is there any easy way to expose the blatant lies used to justify them. It appears that the massive amount of suffering in the world, much of which could surely be abated with the determined rational efforts of compassionate people, will instead to some extent or another continue to be exacerbated by systems which create people obsessed with the pursuit of power without regard to the welfare of others...." 70127_why_you_can_t_overth.htm"

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"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw