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The Internet

Social Computing and Badger's Paws 123

An anonymous reader writes "When Yahoo!'s Jeremy Zawodny recently asked What the heck is Web 2.0 anyway? he received a set of responses reminiscent of those garnered by The Register back in 2005, which famously concluded, based on its readers' responses, that Web 2.0 was made up of 12% badger's paws, 6% JavaScript worms, and 26% nothing. Nonetheless, as Social Computing (SoC) widens and deepens its footprint, another Jeremy — Jeremy Geelan — has asked if we are witnessing the death of 'Personal' Computing. SoC, Geelan notes, has already become an academic field of study. But perhaps Social Computing too is just badger's paws?"

"Very Severe Hole" In Vista UAC Design 813

Cuts and bruises writes "Hacker Joanna Rutkowska has flagged a "very severe hole" in the design of Windows Vista's User Account Controls (UAC) feature. The issue is that Vista automatically assumes that all setup programs (application installers) should be run with administrator privileges — and gives the user no option to let them run without elevated privileges. This means that a freeware Tetris installer would be allowed to load kernel drivers. Microsoft's Mark Russinovich acknowledges the risk factor but says it was a 'design choice' to balance security with ease of use."

Restrictions On Social Sites Proposed In Georgia 349

A state senator in Georgia, Cecil Staton, has introduced a bill that would require parents' permission before kids could sign up at a social networking site such as MySpace and Facebook, and mandate that the sites let parents see all material their kids generate there. Quoting: "[Senate Bill 59] would make it illegal for the owner or operator of a social networking Web site to allow minors to create or maintain a Web page without parental permission [and require] parents or guardians to have access to their children's Web pages at all times. If owners or operators of a company failed to comply with the proposed law, they would be guilty of a misdemeanor on the first offense. A second offense would be a felony and could lead to imprisonment for between one and five years and a fine up to $50,000 or both." The recently offered MySpace parental tools fall short of the bill's requirements. This coverage from the Athens Banner-Herald quotes Facebook's CPO saying that federal law forbids the company to allow anyone but the account creator to access it..

Comment Re:More benifits then just game size.. (Score 1) 132

But thats not how things are done in games - the textures are generated, then cached as traditional textures for use on the video card. So you don't have any quality benifit from procedural techniques, and in most cases loose quality because an artist cannot simply grab the brush and paint some pixels. If procedural textures are going to become a mainstream in game graphics, it's not going to work the way it does now. These approaches are mathmatical in nature, and require a special kind of thought process which is quite different from how artists trained in traditional painting think. Additionally, we have more than enough storage on modern hardware, and more on the way, so it's not like we'e hurting for space or anything. If these textures were being generated on the fly, per frame, then they might offer some advantages, but thats not really a good use of the processing power right now.

PS3 Problems Parried 177

Via Joystiq, an article on Gaming Horizon defending the PS3 from its detractors. The article looks at a number of the biggest concerns about the system (price, HD, rumble, blu-ray), and attempts to explain why most of these problems are nothing to worry about. From the article: "As Sony is a company that manufactures HD-TVs, it's in their interest to add that compatibility to give consumers another reason to upgrade. There's various numbers about how long it'll take for HD to 'replace' standard-feed televisions (just as broadband has all but eliminated dial-up), but it's conceivable that HD televisions will become affordable during the PS3's lifecycle, and for those of us that have been blessed by the high-def gods, it's another reason to take advantage of the highest-quality visual equipment available."

Regulation That Could Stifle Video Over the Net? 155

bb writes to tell us that recent comments made by the FCC could be cause for concern for proponents of internet video. Being considered under the guise of a push against child pornography on the internet, VoN founder Jeff Pulver stated that this is just a warning shot. From the article: "He drew a parallel between this potential regulation and an attempt to ban or restrict Internet voice in 1996, and predicted a long battle and offered to help advocates of rights of IP video innovators. 'The VoN coalition will take people through the stages of what's going to happen,' he said."

Piracy Killing PC Gaming? 584

1up reports on comments from Kevin Cloud, co-owner of id, saying that piracy is killing the PC games business. He says that, in most markets, it's hard to sell official products because pirates can beat them to market. From the article: "'It's the primary reason retailers are moving to the console,' Cloud said, continuing on to say that ways to reduce piracy are in the forefront of every PC developer's mind, and citing World of Warcraft's subscription-based nature as an example of a possible solution to the problem."

What if Game Graphics Never Aged? 398

An anonymous reader writes "If you've heard of Procedural Synthesis, you already think it's amazing. It's been used to create some extraordinary visuals in tiny packages, like .kkrieger, which is less than 96 Kilobytes big but still has graphics that look like like a modern PC title. Beyond that, there's even more that Procedural Synthesis might be able to do; what if your old video games never aged, never looked out-of-date? Imagine putting Halo 2 into your Xbox 360 only to have it automatically upgraded to look like Halo 3 in graphical quality. This article examines the unexpected way that Procedural Synthesis might impact gaming in the generation after the Xbox 360, PS3, and Nintendo Wii."

Another Robotic Vehicle to Help Soldiers 154

Roland Piquepaille writes "There are many teams of U.S. scientists working on robots able to find improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq before they can kill American soldiers. Today, let's look at an effort going on at Florida State University (FSU) to build unmanned ground vehicles that could save soldiers' lives. The researchers are creating complex algorithms to control these robots who will have to integrate many different factors such as the type of ground surface or obstacles that might block the vehicle's path. Some of these robots, which also could be used for civilian missions, are currently being tested at FSU. Read more for additional references and pictures of these robots which will have to navigate among dense obstacles."

Parasitic Infection Flummoxes Victims and Doctors 581

Toxictoy writes "Imagine having a disease that is so controversial that doctors refuse to treat you. Individuals with this disease report disturbing crawling, stinging, and biting sensations, as well as non-healing skin lesions, which are associated with highly unusual structures. These structures can be described as fiber-like or filamentous, and are the most striking feature of this disease. In addition, patients report the presence of seed-like granules and black speck-like material associated with their skin. Sound like a bad plot for a Sci-Fi channel movie? Think again - it could be Morgellon's Syndrome."

Mapping a Path For the 3D Web 156

An anonymous reader writes to mention C|Net coverage of the Metaverse Roadmap Summit, an event designed to look at the future of 3D Web environments. From the article: "While many took issue with the basic premise that an overriding 3D Web will be in place within 10 years, it was clear that most in attendance relished mixing it up as part of an august group that included Microsoft's Robert Scoble, former Sony Online Entertainment chief creative officer Raph Koster, PARC researcher Bob Moore, online game pioneer Randy Farmer, There.com founder and currently IMVU CEO Will Harvey, and CNET Networks editor at large Esther Dyson."

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