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The Murky Origins of Zork's Name 70

mjn writes "Computational media researcher Nick Montfort traces the murky origins of Zork's name. It's well known that the word was used in MIT hacker jargon around that time, but how did it get there? Candidates are the term 'zorch' from late 1950s DIY electronics slang, the use of the term as a placeholder in some early 1970s textbooks, the typo a QWERTY user would get if he typed 'work' on an AZERTY keyboard, and several uses in obscure sci-fi. No solid answers so far, though, as there are problems with many of the possible explanations that would have made MIT hackers unlikely to have run across them at the right time."

Comment Re:Car analogy! (Score 1) 366

So if you rented a car and then left that by the road with a sign that said, "take me please I'm free" then surely that would fall about as close as a car analogy could get, but even then I don't think it fits. The car was received through a service while still remaining the property of the company providing that service. You took the property obtained in that service transaction and exercised rights to that property that were neither given nor implied. The obvious glaring difference is that it is physical property and the theft leaves the owner without a car whereas the theft of a file is more like someone took the rented car and allowed people to build their own with their purchased materials using the rented car as a guide. The rented car is still there, but the next person who may have purchased the car has one without the original owner making a profit.
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Ubuntu running on the Xbox 360

Anonymous Coward writes: "Cpasjuste has managed to get Ubuntu (comunity developed Linux-based operating system) running on the Xbox 360. It contains all the standard applications such as a WEB BROWSER, spreadsheet software, instant messaging software and more. To get it running King Kong is required as well as the vulnerable kernels. Read more about it here at: 13#post467013 The news stub can be found here:"

Submission + - Economist Talks on Details of Software Startups

bobdole3k writes: Larry Smith, a world class economist from the University of Waterloo has dedicated his career to studying software enterprises. Recently, he gave a talk on the mechanics of starting a successful software company. Through his extensive knowledge of the industry, Smith provides a detailed analysis of what worked and what didn't in software startups. A video of the talk is available on the Computer Science Club's media archive.

MS Trying To Spur Vista Sales With Discounts 329

Ang writes "Is Microsoft having worries about selling Vista already? Ars reports that Microsoft has announced yet another 'discount program' for Vista, but these new discounts work out to only about 10% off list price — not much when you notice that retailers already sell Vista below list. To make matters worse, the discount program would still end up costing you $100 more than the older 'family' discount built around Vista Ultimate in some situations. Ars spends seven paragraphs explaining this convoluted offer. Is all of this complexity supposed to help sell Vista?" If you must buy Vista, it might be advisable to sit on your wallet for a while. The discounts are bound to get sweeter.

Submission + - Million Dollar Laptop

thefekete writes: 'UK-based bespoke luxury goods creator Luvaglio has created the first million dollar laptop.'

'Full details of the laptop have not been released at this point, but it is known that it incorporates a 17" widescreen LED lit screen with a specially designed anti-reflective glare coating for clear and brighter image, 128GB of Solid State Disk space and a slot loading Blue-Ray drive. There is an integrated screen cleaning device and a very rare coloured diamond piece of jewellery [sic] that doubles up as the power button when placed into the laptop and also acts as security identification.'

Story from
Red Hat Software

Submission + - RHEL5 Released

An anonymous reader writes: Red Hat's new operating system's modular design answers critics of "bloated" operating systems, says Red Hat executive

Designer Warren Spector Has Two Games in the Works 52

Eurogamer had the chance to speak with well known game designer Warren Spector (Deus Ex, Thief) about current plans for his new studio, Junction Point. In a detailed interview, Spector discusses the studio's current slate of two titles. He also makes some bold proclamations about his future in the industry: "He now wants to shake a bit of life back into the world of games, a market he believes is still too niche and enclosed, by delivering something new and original rather than a rehash of old experiences. He'd rather 'fail spectacularly' than create another sports game or driving simulation. 'I think that most of what passes for a game, even now, just sucks. It's hard for me not to talk, but I've seen the dangers of doing that. I'm hoping that in the next couple of months we'll have something to say.'"
The Internet

Researchers Scheming to Rebuild Internet From Scratch 254

BobB writes "Stanford University researchers have launched an initiative called the Clean Slate Design for the Internet. The project aims to make the network more secure, have higher throughput, and support better applications, all by essentially rebuilding the Internet from scratch. From the article: 'Among McKeown's cohorts on the effort is electrical engineering Professor Bernd Girod, a pioneer of Internet multimedia delivery. Vendors such as Cisco, Deutsche Telekom and NEC are also involved. The researchers already have projects underway to support their effort: Flow-level models for the future Internet; clean slate approach to wireless spectrum usage; fast dynamic optical light paths for the Internet core; and a clean slate approach to enterprise network security (Ethane).'"

Submission + - Mars Express gauges water around south pole

thhamm writes: Using it's radar instrument, ESA's Mars Express Probe gauged the water quantity around the martian south pole: 'The amount of water trapped in frozen layers over Mars' south polar region is equivalent to a liquid layer about 11 metres deep covering the planet. This new estimate comes from mapping the thickness of the dusty ice by the Mars Express radar instrument that has made more than 300 virtual slices through layered deposits covering the pole.'

Submission + - Delutube can watch deleted YouTube videos

An anonymous reader writes: ted-youtube-videos-still-available-on-the-web.html

"Delutube allows visitors to enter the video ID (pulled from the end of the YouTube URL) of a deleted clip, then attempts to retrieve the clip from YouTube's system. Clips are not apparently deleted from YouTube's database at the moment they are taken down (or they at least persist in YouTube's cache before being cleared), allowing Delutube a chance of retrieving them. The site also allows for the easy downloading of clips."

Available @
Role Playing (Games)

EVE Online Answers Your Questions 249

Last week at GDC I had the privilege of sitting down to speak with a representative from CCP, the folks who maintain EVE Online. The week before, we'd asked for questions to pass on. I had the chance to put them directly to Magnus Bergsson, CMO at CCP. He very directly tackles the recent scandal involving a CCP developer, the reason why EVE's hardcore gameplay is so appealing, the balance between casual and hardcore players, and some information on the future of the game. Read on for his answers to your questions in a transcript of the interview, as well as audio live from the GDC Expo floor.

Submission + - NIST May Reverse Vista Ban

An anonymous reader writes: Following the recent string of bad news for Microsoft, where both the U.S. DOT and the National Institute of Standards and Technology said they'd ban upgrades to Windows Vista, now comes a slight turnabout. IWeek reports that the chief information office at NIST is now saying that his agency will likely lift a moratorium on deployments of Vista if the OS passes a rigorous set of security and compatibility tests. Until then, however, NIST will continue to forbid its 4,700 computer users to install Windows Vista on agency desktops or laptops or on home computers that they intend to connect to the NIST network. "For the time being, Vista is not allowed," said NIST Simon Szykman. Do you think this indicates that Vista, like all things Microsoft, will inevitably become ubiquitous, or are there serious, long-term technical issues here which could prove a stumbling block to adoption.

Summer of Code Student Applications Now Open 78

The accepted Google Summer of Code 2007 mentors list is now complete at the Summer of Code website — 131 projects could use your help. Student applications are open and the end date is March 24. Google has an application guide in the Summer of Code Announce discussion group that provides more information on the application process.

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