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Drifting Satellite Could Knock Out Cable TV 217

A few days back we discussed some of the problems caused by the demise of Intelsat's Galaxy 15, including possible degradation of GPS and its WAAS refinement. Now reader crimeandpunishment writes in with another damage scenario, one which could affect vastly more people — interference with cable TV programming across the US. "A TV communications satellite is drifting out of control thousands of miles above the Earth, threatening to wander into another satellite's orbit... Galaxy 15 continues to receive and transmit satellite signals, and they will probably interfere with the second satellite, known as AMC 11, if Galaxy 15 drifts into its orbit as expected around May 23... [A spokesman] said one option would be using AMC 11's propulsion system to shift that satellite about 60 miles (100 kilometers) away to an orbit that's still within its carefully prescribed 'orbital box' but as far away as possible from Galaxy 15."

Submission + - Veteran Rock Performers Against 3-Strike rule (

An anonymous reader writes: As Australia prepares to consider implementing a 3-strike rule, veteran rock performers in the UK have published a full page ad stating that they are against the 3-strike rule and believe it to be backward thinking. They want the music industry to come up with more interesting, novel, approaches to sell music. We, the consumers seem onboard to new business models, the artists seem open to new business models, which just leaves the middlemen. How long is it going to take them to wake up?

Comment Re:That Analogy Falls Apart (Score 1) 917

Try tracing back random pieces of modern technology to all of their component parts/materials, and all of those's component parts/materials, and so forth, with the components needed for manufacturing/refining along the way, and if any of those are consumable, trace those back.

Little bit off-topic but directly related to this, find the book The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance. It covers all the technology and industries that had to spring up in order to make and mass produce a simple pencil. Fascinating read.

Comment Re:Depends on how much money you have to put down. (Score 1) 548

I live in New Zealand, similar health system to Canada. I broke my pinky finger a few months ago, late-ish on a Saturday night - busy time for the drunks and so forth attending the emergency department. 45 minutes in and out, x-ray'd, splinted and with follow up appointment booked. A few weeks later I started seeing a hand therapist to make sure all the mobility came back, total of 6 visits.

No private health insurance, total cost to myself: $0

I travel to the states regularly for work (medical devices, so I see it from the inside as well) and carry a travel insurance card with at *all* times. I will not leave the hotel without it. The last thing I want is to fall down some stairs and break a leg, and then go through your healthcare system without insurance. The second to last thing is to go through your healthcare system at all - remember I see it from the inside as well. Not a great reputation for a country to have with it's visitors, really.

Comment Re:I hate photorealism in video games (Score 1) 506

Just in case you haven't found it, try

I'm currently reliving my childhood, to the detriment of my adulthood, but ah well, plenty of time to be old later. Also Steam has a large number of smaller indie titles as well as the time-consuming AAA titles, not least of which is the old LucasArts games, with more to come.


Windows 7 To Come In Multiple Versions 821

Crazy Taco writes "Tom's Hardware reports on newly discovered screenshots that reveal Microsoft is planning to release their newest version of Windows in multiple confusing versions ... again. The information comes from the latest version of the Windows 7 beta, build 7025 (the public beta is build 7000), and shows a screen during installation that asks the user which version of the OS he or she would like to install. Who's up for guessing what the difference is between Windows 7 'Starter' and Windows 7 'Home Basic?'"

Comment Re:But MS doesn't want to totally disable autorun (Score 2, Informative) 290

1. If autorun is running an arbitrary executable on removable media just because, then yes, I would consider it one of the more idiotic ideas that has come up. 2. If autorun is running a known application already installed on the PC when a recognised device type is connected, then no it's not the "dumbest idea ever". There's no technical reason that you need (1) active to support (2). Whether there is a way to separately disable them in Windows is another question. (anyone have an answer to that?)

Comment Re:One problem is... (Score 2, Interesting) 549

Story submitter here (although apparently I'm known as anonymous these days):

If they are going to do this, they better be damned sure of the training and ability of the people who will be issuing the death penalty to the gamers.

I think that's one part of the problem, but I don't think that's *the* major problem (although I'm sure there will be plenty of false bans that will cause enough of a problem without the complications of linking the games/forums). I see more of a problem in the linking between games; Daddy buys two games, one for little Johnny and one for little Suzy, which he installs and registers via the same EA account. Little Johnny posts something stupid or does something in-game that results in a ban, and little Suzy loses her rights to play Barbie Dressup 2008 or whatever. That's not going to please Daddy, and the problem gets a lot more complicated if little Johnny sells his game to a friend who then gets banned.

PC Games (Games)

Submission + - All your base are belong to EA

Ithaca_nz writes: An interesting post from EA representative "Apoc" has appeared in the EA Support forums for Command and Conquer. The post affects more than just C&C, however — it seems that posting in the EA forums is now a risky business:

Your forum account will be directly tied to your Master EA Account, so if we ban you on the forums, you would be banned from the game as well since the login process is the same. And you'd actually be banned from your other EA games as well since its all tied to your account. So if you have SPORE and Red Alert 3 and you get yourself banned on our forums or in-game, well, your SPORE account would be banned to. It's all one in the same, so I strongly reccommend people play nice and act mature.

Beyond that, this also effectively blocks you from selling any EA game once you're finished with it. If the person you sold an EA game to a year ago is banned for any reason, any other EA games you still own and the latest blockbuster you've just bought are now expensive drink coasters...


Submission + - RIAA Must Pay Attorney Fees of $68,685.23

An anonymous reader writes: The RIAA has lost its first case against a file-sharer accused of copyright infringement. The court has granted the defendant a total of $68,685.23. Has the RIAA given up? Not quite, according to a statement provided to

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