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Comment No sole arbiter (Score 1) 211

In general, there is no sole arbiter of what words, grammar or syntax is English. English is largely defined by common usage.

The Oxford English Dictionary, and other popular dictionaries or encyclopedia may well be used as supporting evidence for how we use English, but I certainly don't look to the Associated Press, as reported by ABC News, as a strong basis for what I should be doing with my speech and writing.

Comment Re:Bios code? (Score 1) 533

I thought that in old CPUs, like 6502 the processor would not listen to interupts anymore. ...

The original 6502 certainly had no HALT instruction (or similar variant). I don't believe there's any way to stop it listening for an NMI (Non-Maskable Interrupt), although obviously a "normal" maskable interrupt is trivially blocked by setting the IRQ disable bit in the status register.

Input Devices

Throwable 36-Camera Ball Nearly Ready To Toss 68

An anonymous reader writes "About 2 years ago, Jonas Pfeil, created a Throwable Panorama Ball: A rugged, grapefruit-sized ball with 36 fixed-focus, 2-megapixel digital camera sensors that capture simultaneously when thrown in the air, creating a full spherical panorama of the surrounding scene. Now, an Indiegogo campaign aims to produce the the camera (Now known as Panono) available for about $500. The quality of the sample images is impressive: the resolution is quite good and most importantly, the stitching artifacts are hardly visible."

Child Abuse Verdict Held Back By MS Word Glitch 191

An anonymous reader writes "Last week several defendants including one high-profile TV presenter were sentenced in Portugal in what has been known as the Casa Pia scandal. The judges delivered on September 3 a summary of the 2000-page verdict, which would be disclosed in full only three days later. The disclosure of the full verdict has been postponed from September 8 to a yet-to-be-announced date, allegedly because the full document was written in several MS Word files which, when merged together, retained 'computer related annotations which should not be present in any legal document.' (Google translated article.) Microsoft specialists were called in to help the judges sort out the 'text formatting glitch,' while the defendants and their lawyers eagerly wait to access the full text of the verdict."

Comment Re:easier way to get the power (Score 1) 351

Not to mention you'd also destroy pretty much every non-military (ie very seriously rad-hardened) satellite which didn't have the Earth between it and the nuclear device.

So, a large area of Earth based elecronics destroyed, and even if you've managed to avoid that, no communications or Earth observation satellites to aid in recovery.

(...and yes, most satellites are built with rad-hard components, but they're not designed to withstand an EMP, which requires substantially more shielding).

Comment Re:the worst nightmare of data center peeps (Score 1) 135

Across town could be 20 miles away in London. On the other side of the Thames is very likely to have it's power and data coming from completely independent systems, even a different power station and over a different part of the national grid.

Since BT was historically the only telecoms provider, even now they are plenty big enough to easily be in a position to have multiple independent data feeds, and if they all fail, nothing else in the capital is working anyway, so a DC's survival would be a minor issue.

A six hour drive from London going North would almost put you in Scotland, and in the other direction, you would have run out of land, and be well on your way to Paris if you crossed the Channel.


How To Replace FileVault With EncFS 65

agoston.horvath writes "I've written a HOWTO on replacing Mac OS X's built-in encryption (FileVault) with the well-known FUSE-based EncFS. It worked well for me, and most importantly: it is a lot handier than what Apple has put together. This is especially useful if you are using a backup solution like Time Machine. Includes Whys, Why Nots, and step-by-step instructions."

Best Man Rigs Newlyweds' Bed To Tweet During Sex 272

When an UK man was asked to be the best man at a friend's wedding he agreed that he would not pull any pranks before or during the ceremony. Now the groom wishes he had extended the agreement to after the blessed occasion as well. The best man snuck into the newlyweds' house while they were away on their honeymoon and placed a pressure-sensitive device under their mattress. The device now automatically tweets when the couple have sex. The updates include the length of activity and how vigorous the act was on a scale of 1-10.

The Struggle For Private Game Servers 125

A story at the BBC takes a look at the use of private game servers for games that tend not to allow them. While most gamers are happy to let companies like Blizzard and NCSoft administer the servers that host their MMORPGs, others want different rules, a cheaper way to play, or the technical challenge of setting up their own. A South African player called Hendrick put up his own WoW server because the game "wasn't available in the country at the time." A 21-year-old Swede created a server called Epilogue, which "had strict codes of conduct and rules, as well as a high degree of customized content (such as new currency, methods of earning experience, the ability to construct buildings and hire non-player characters, plus 'permanent' player death) unavailable in the retail version of the game." The game companies make an effort to quash these servers when they can, though it's frequently more trouble that it's worth. An NCSoft representative referenced the "growing menace" of IP theft, and a Blizzard spokesperson said,"We also have a responsibility to our players to ensure the integrity and reliability of their World of Warcraft gaming experience and that responsibility compels us to protect our rights."

Atari Talks Ghostbusters Date, Popular Franchises 33

Early last month, Atari announced the production of a new Ghostbusters game featuring many of the original actors and set for some time in 2009. Now, they've announced that the game will be scheduled for June. Atari executives also took the opportunity to discuss several of their popular franchises, saying they had plans to revisit the Neverwinter Nights series as well as Baldur's Gate. A console version of The Witcher was confirmed, and Atari detailed "a partnership with famed rhythm-game designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi and Q! Entertainment on a new music-based game for the Wii. Details on the game are slim, and it's operating under the working title 'QJ.'"
Data Storage

Shuttleworth On Redefining File Systems 414

moteyalpha writes "Mark Shuttleworth described the beginnings of what could a great step forward in making file systems more usable. I've personally had the experience of trying to find a file for a customer who had just finished editing a critical report, saved it, and then couldn't locate it to deliver to their client. Quoting: 'My biggest concern on this front is that it be done in a way that every desktop environment can embrace. We need a consistent experience across GNOME, KDE, OpenOffice and Firefox so that content can flow from app to app in a seamless fashion and the user's expectations can be met no matter which app or environment they happen to use. If someone sends a file to me over Empathy, and I want to open it in Amarok, then I shouldn't have to work with two completely different mental models of content storage.'"

Comment Re:Evil is Microsoft's most important product? (Score 1) 156

gmack said:
Actually the quote from Ecclesiastes is "The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil." The missing word is quite significant. For some reason it's one of the most often misquoted scriptures.

...and is apparently often misattributed as well, since that quote comes from Timothy 6:10, not Ecclesiastes.


Submission + - Primary and backup power fails, websites offline.

An anonymous reader writes: The Los Angeles Times has an article describing how the power outage in San Francisco yesterday knocked several popular web sites (including craigslist and technorati) off line. These sites were hosted at 365 Main. The article points out the irony in a 365 Main press release that day announcing one customer had shut down its "redundant" data center in the Midwest and was thrilled with 365 Main after "two years of continuous uptime." 365 Main has posted a summary of the incident.

Submission + - TrueCrypt 4.3 Released

RedBear writes: "A new update to the best open source transparent encryption software has been released. Sadly there is still no Linux GUI or Mac OS X port in sight. If you are one of the thronging hordes who have been patiently awaiting ubiquitous multi-platform encryption please consider donating time or money to the cause, and add your voice to the forum so the developers get some idea of how many of us need this software to work on other platforms. For those not in the know, TrueCrypt is (the only?) open source encryption software capable of creating and mounting encrypted virtual disk images that can then be worked with transparently like any other storage drive, with data being encrypted and decrypted in real-time. These virtual disks can be created as files, or entire partitions or physical drives can be encrypted and mounted transparently. Also including features like plausible deniability, steganographically hidden volumes, unidentifiable partition headers, traveller mode, and your choice of the strongest available encryption algorithms up to and including multi-algorithm cascades, it is practically the Holy Grail for advocates of free ubiquitous encryption. Now, if only it was platform independent. From the site:

We are pleased to announce that TrueCrypt 4.3 has been released. Among the new features is full compatibility with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista, support for devices and file systems that use a sector size other than 512 bytes (such as new hard drives, USB flash drives, DVD-RAM, MP3 players, etc.), auto-dismount when a host device (e.g., a USB flash drive) is inadvertently removed, and many more. In addition to new features, there are many significant improvements.
To reduce load on their servers here are some Coralized versions of all the links above:

TrueCrypt home page
Future development goals
Forum thread about Mac OS X version
Donations page
General forum
Plausible deniability
Hidden volumes
Traveller mode
Encryption algorithms
Multi-algorithm cascades
Version history"

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