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Comment Re:Ill-fated? (Score 1, Interesting) 81

I find it amazing that Sony is still around actually. Nintendo always makes money on their console and they're the only one of the three to consistently turn large profits from the gaming industry. By comparison, its two competitors spend their time either sinking into the red and losing money or going back and forth between making and losing money.

If anyone was to survive in this industry, it would be Nintendo because they've proven time and again that they can profit from anything (even Gamecube-esqe sales). At this point, it's a wonder that Sony's stakeholders aren't raising more complaints about Sony's business model of selling their console for a heavy loss. If the PS3 fails any harder than it already has been so far, the future of a PS4 looks mighty grim. Sadly, most of this is due to shoehorning their BluRay format into the console which forced the price to skyrocket even to the point where they would sacrifice functionality of the unit to keep the costs down.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is finally starting to post gains with their gaming division which is practically unheard of. If they could overhaul the 360 to get rid of the costs and negative PR added by continuously having to deal with RRoDs, it's likely that the 360 would stay in the black.

All in all, Nintendo will continue on its merry way making Mario and Zelda games until the end of time. Microsoft will continue attempting to take over your home media center and continue trying to kick Sony in the balls at every opportunity. Sony will continue pushing their BluRay player even as it destroys their games division.

Submission + - IBM beats Microsoft over the head with own code (

bednarz writes: "IBM added a delicious twist on its new commitment to help battle Microsoft Office by donating code that was originally derived in part from a Microsoft-developed technology. IBM's iAccessible2, code-named Project Missouri, is a specification for technology used to help the visually impaired interact with Open Document Format (ODF)-compliant applications and was developed in part using Microsoft Active Accessibility (MAA)."
The Courts

Submission + - Record Company Collusion a Defense to RIAA Case?

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Is collusion by the record companies a defense to an RIAA case? We're about to find out, because the RIAA has made a motion to strike the affirmative defense of Marie Lindor, who alleged that "the plaintiffs, who are competitors, are a cartel acting collusively in violation of the antitrust laws and of public policy, by tying their copyrights to each other, collusively litigating and settling all cases together, and by entering into an unlawful agreement among themselves to prosecute and to dispose of all cases in accordance with a uniform agreement, and through common lawyers, thus overreaching the bounds and scope of whatever copyrights they might have" in UMG v. Lindor. The motion will be decided by the same judge who agreed with legal scholars in sustaining another affirmative defense of Ms. Lindor, in which she alleges (pdf) that the RIAA's $750-per-song-file statutory damages theory is "unconstitutionally excessive and disproportionate to any actual damages that may have been sustained, in violation of the Due Process Clause"."

Submission + - Irregularities reported in OOXML ISO process (

Basile Schaeli writes: Irregularities are being reported in national standardisation bodies of several EU member states that are deciding how to vote on OOXML. Participants found issues in the voting process in Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands.

Submission + - New info on OOXML-vote in Sweden

Gunnar writes: Yesterday, the news came that Microsoft had rigged the Swedish SIS vote on OOXML. Today a mail from Microsoft to the partners has leaked, where Microsoft expect from their partners to show up att the vote, they would have to pay the 17000 SEK, but in return they were promised extra market subsidies and extra support in form of Microsoft resources.

Microsoft supplied the arguments that they were supposed use in favour of OOXML.
Article in Swedish

Submission + - Google censoring has started

An anonymous reader writes: Apparently Google has started censoring content to please the governments where they do business. According to a report from India, a politician pressurized Google to remove content which portrayed her in a bad light. Truth hurts.

Submission + - Banning internet programming in schools 2

An anonymous reader writes: Clark County School District in southern Nevada is proud to be the fifth largest school district in the U.S. In the past 5 years they have spent dozens of millions of dollars to build out a state of the art fiber network to deliver cutting edge media delivery to most schools in the district. They are trying to move every school onto their district-wide VoIP telephone system. They are aggressively pursuing grants and other sources of funding to keep their extensive computer labs stocked with modern hardware. In the district's Technology Plan, the introductory Vision Statement states, " Through the effective integration of technology, our schools will provide learning experiences which are active, personalized, involve teamwork, and focus on solving real-world problems." In enumerating the district's goals, the Technology Plan further states, "Goal 1: All students and teachers will have access to information technology in their classrooms, schools, and communities."

Over the last two years the principal at the local high school banned all computer programming classes. The school's technical computer efforts have been decimated. Now that the principal has been promoted to another school, some in the community are trying to rebuild. However, word comes that the school district has banned all "web programming" education. Any programming classes related to the internet are forbidden. This doesn't seem to line up with Goal 3: "All students will have technology and information literacy skills as aligned with national/state standards and district goals."

The Clark County High School Curriculum Guide certainly neglects technology and information literacy completely. What national standards are there for "technology and information literacy skills"? What standards should there be?
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - EA Spore finished

xtracto writes: Spore is finished. That's the first thing I learn as I head in to my play session at the Leipzig Games Convention. Obviously, the game isn't finished finished (as in ready to ship), but in terms of its content offering, it's all there — the game is complete. At this point, EA is spending the next several months paying attention to feedback from players to tweak and polish Spore for its release next Spring. But otherwise, it's done.

Submission + - Wal-Mart "DRM-Free" MP3 Site: Windows-Only

Skavoovie5 writes: Despite all the raving about the new DRM-Free MP3 Download section of Wal-Mart, it would appear that Wal-Mart still expects its customers to chain themselves to a sub-standard OS. No Linux, no OS X.

Isn't the entire purpose of DRM-Free music to enable the purchaser the freedom to use the music on the platform and method they see fit? Apparently only as long as you're willing to run Windows, Internet Explorer, and Windows Media Player. No thanks!

When attempting to access Wal-Marts MP3 download section of their website via Linux, the user is presented with the following error message:

"We're sorry, your operating system is incompatible. To provide the best download experience, we can no longer support Windows 98, ME or NT. Please visit again after you upgrade to Windows 2000 or XP. Visit our Help section for complete system requirements information."

Following the "Help section" link leads to a page listing the minimum system requirements:

What are the system requirements for using Wal-Mart Music Downloads?

        * Windows 2000 or XP (sorry, no Macintosh or Linux) ...
        * Internet Explorer version 6.0 or higher
        * Windows Media Player version 9 or later
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Disney puts Euro gamers on ignore (

Kiriel writes: Disney once again proves it is just not ready to become a real player in the gaming industry. Today they announced the unveiling of the official site for their upcoming MMO based on the immensely popular Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Excited non-US gamers clicking on the link to visit the website will undoubtedly feel somewhat disappointed when they are presented with a friendly message saying: "Thank you for your interest. Pirates of the Caribbean Online is not currently available to Guests outside the United States. Check soon for future updates!"
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - repowering-utility-carts-makes-green (

thienhahhg writes: Repowering utility carts makes Green Sense, But does it make financial sense? Golfers at the Hindman Park Golf Course in Little Rock, Arkansa have something to brag about they have the greenest greens in the state. Not the color green green as in environmentally friendly. Environmentally friendly golf courses came to national attention about ten years ago, when the Environmental Protection Agency, the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), the United States Golf Association (USGA), Audubon International and the National Wildlife Federation came together and created a set of guidelines for developing greener golf courses. According to the Audubon Society, golf courses are a natural place (no pun intended) to turn for wildlife shelters and habitats. The guidelines, published in 1997, offer tips and suggestions for golf course owners and municipalities that keep the greens even greener environmentally. Hindman Parks Supervisor took their suggestions to heart. He and his crew have put up over 40 nesting boxes around the course, and planted 100 fruit trees to encourage and attract wildlife. The intent is to add another 100 trees each of the next four years all of which will grow without the aid of pesticides or fertilizers. The relationship between golf courses and environmentalists is a new one but it shouldnt be a surprising one. After all, part of the pleasure of golfing is in being a part of the natural outdoor world. Preserving that world so that golfers can continue to enjoy it should be part of taking care of the golf course. Across the country, municipal and private golf courses are taking their stewardship of the land seriously by instilling new methods of irrigation and greens keeping. While most of the attention has been focused on designing environmentally friendly golf courses, the decisions that the grounds service makes every day can also affect how green a golf course is and not by picking a new fertilizer. The engines that power grounds keeping and grooming equipment are one of the targets of environmentalist concern. The NOx emissions of diesel and gas powered equipment particularly older equipment are often well above the new emissions standards. Replacing older engines on machines like lawnmowers, sand groomers, utility carts and tractors can go a long way toward cutting down on the noxious fumes that tend to pollute the atmosphere. New equipment must meet the new EPA standards for emissions control but the price is often out of reach, especially for a small private course or a municipal course struggling to stay within the Parks & Rec budget. The solution is easy dont replace. Repower the equipment with new, cleaner engines. For the cost of a new Toro'>">Toro Sand Pro, you can repower your old Toro Sand Pro with a new Kohler Engine, and have enough left to repower four Toro Greensmaster lawnmowers. If you choose to repower a Rake-o-Vac instead of replacing it with a new one for $31,000, you can practically repower your entire fleet! Choosing to repower doesnt only make financial sense. It makes green sense. By replacing old engines with new kohler repower engines, you reduce the NOx emissions of your fleet by as much as 70%. In addition, since youre not scrapping your old machine, it wont be sitting in a landfill challenging the Earth to break it down and deal with it. Green is a label that golf courses have always worn with pride, and now its more of a badge than ever before. Make your golf course a greener place to be choose to repower your old machines with more efficient, more powerful and more environmentally friendly Kohler engines. epowering-utility-carts-makes-green.html

Submission + - Diebold rebrands what noone wants.

Irvu writes: Diebold has apparently failed in their bid to sell their tainted elections systems unit. Unable to find a buyer the CEO of Diebold promised that the system will be run more "openly and independently." To prove that they are serious, they renamed it. Diebold Election Systems is now Premiere Election Solutions. They still sell GEMS, AccuVote OS and the ever-unpopular AccuVote-TSX which performed so disastrously in California's Top-to-Bottom Review under the same names. Apparently their rebranding effort only goes so far.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Dungeons and Dragon's 4th edition (

An anonymous reader writes: 0816005037/dungeons-dragonsr-flashes-4-ward-at-gen -con.html Today Wizards of the Coast confirms that the new edition will launch in May 2008 with the release of the D&D Player's Handbook(R). A pop culture icon, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is the #1 tabletop roleplaying game in the world and is revered by legions of gamers of all ages. The 4th Edition DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game includes elements familiar to current D&D players, including illustrated rulebooks and pre-painted plastic miniatures. Also releasing next year will be new Web-based tools and online community forums through the brand new DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Insider (D&D Insider(TM)) digital offering. D&D Insider lowers the barriers of entry for new players while simultaneously offering the depth of play that appeals to veteran players.

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