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Comment Note Taking (Score 1) 804

I use my laptop in lectures simply to take notes, banning laptops would be somewhat of an inconvenience for me. I will admit to doing other things on my laptop during lectures, but not to the detriment of my notes or others. I am aware of how distracting laptops can be for people behind which is why I tend to sit up the back of the lecture theatre, which is normally where the power sockets are anyway. Most other laptop users in my lectures do this too.

Submission + - BBC Wants DRM on HD Broadcasts ( 1

NickFortune writes: Over on BoingBoing, Danny O'Brien has pointed out that, the BBC has asked the regulator for permission to add DRM to their High Definition broadcasts.
Apparently this is at the behest of "content providers".

Offcom, the regulatory body in question, has asked for comments, but the window closes today. So if you don't want DRM added to the Beeb's broadcasts, read the
proposal and explain why this is a bad idea.

Comment Re:What's it good for? (Score 1) 124

Don't you people ever need to apply BIOS updates?

My motherboard (Asus P5Q) allows me to place the BIOS update file onto a USB drive (or floppy, if you wish) and then you just enter the flash tool from the BIOS. No messing around with DOS. Most modern motherboards appear to have this functionality now.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Team Fortress 2 Update To Bring Maps, Sniper and Spy Upgrades 88

Over the past several days, Valve has been releasing details on an update to Team Fortress 2. They first revealed that the Sniper was taking its turn in a series of class upgrades, getting a bow and arrow that's capable of pinning an enemy to a wall. Next, they showed off a pair of new maps — a sawmill arena map that's in the midst of heavy rainfall and a circular map built around a doomsday weapon. Valve also mentioned a new game mode called Payload Race — it's similar to a regular Payload match, but both teams have a cart to push. The next day brought about an electrified shield for the Sniper, and hinted that the Spy would be getting an update as well. The following announcement confirmed it, introducing a device that would allow the Spy to feign death, and another that lets the Spy remain invisible permanently, only draining their power while in motion.

Comment Re:Only one... (Score 1) 503

...but it's a gigantic 1920x1200 mofo. I could always connect my old 1280x1024 also, but thus far I actually haven't needed to.

Same here, apart from the fact i've also attached my old 1280x1024. It's great to be able to have something displayed on the secondary screen while you're working on the primary one. Beats alt-tabbing by a mile!

Internet Explorer

Submission + - Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 8 (

Slatterz writes: Microsoft has officially released Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) for download, the latest version of its web browser, adding improved compliance with web standards, greater security features and improved performance. The new browser adheres much more closely to published web standards than previous versions, and has features designed to offer greater user privacy and stronger protection against malicious web pages. However, Gartner analyst Ray Valdes maintained that IE8 has no compelling new features from an end-user perspective. "But Microsoft doesn't need to have compelling features — it just needs to be in the same ball park as rival browsers," Valdes argues. Sad, but probably true.

Submission + - Researcher cracks Mac in 10 seconds at PWN2OWN, wi (

An anonymous reader writes: Charlie Miller, the security researcher who hacked a Mac in two minutes last year at CanSecWest's PWN2OWN contest, improved his time today by breaking into another Mac in under 10 seconds.

Miller, a principal analyst at Independent Security Evaluators LLC, walked off with a $5,000 cash prize and the MacBook he hacked.

"I can't talk about the details of the vulnerability, but it was a Mac, fully patched, with Safari, fully patched," said Miller Wednesday not long after he had won the prize. "It probably took 5 or 10 seconds." He confirmed that he had researched and written the exploit before he arrived at the challenge...

Comment Re:That's ok if you're in the US... (Score 1) 478

I myself live in the UK, and am stuck on 2.5mbit (That's ADSL2+ speeds as well). However, I regularly download huge games off Steam - take GTAIV for example at 16 GB, it only took about a day or so to download.

If you have a 30GB limit, you need to start looking elsewhere. I have 60GB "peak" usage and truly unlimited Offpeak for £30 a month.

While I could go cable, I refuse to go with the only cable company due to their reliability and policies. While 2.5mbit is painfully slow compared to the rest of Europe, it doesn't prevent you from downloading huge games.

Going back to your original claim of having to max your 2mbit connection for a week to get 8GB, this is incorrect. At ~230kb/s (2mbit/s) it would take around 9 to 10 hours to download 8GB of data.
It's funny.  Laugh.

1,234,567,890 Seconds Since Unix Time Began 187

os2man was one of many readers to let us know that later on today, at 23:31:30 UTC (30 seconds after this story went live), the number of seconds since January 1st 1970 will be exactly 1234567890. January 1st, 1970 marks the start of the clock for the Unix operating system and many other operating systems. Here is a list of celebrations of the moment around the world.
Data Storage

USB Flash Drive Comparison Part 2 — FAT32 Vs. NTFS 198

Dampeal writes "Ok, a little while back I ran a somewhat large USB Flash Drive Comparison with 21 drives compared, today I got part two of that comparison. I've taken the 8gig and 4 gig drives, nine in total, and formatted them FAT32, NTFS and ExFAT and ran all of the tests over again for a comparison of how the file systems work on the drives." Good news — after some exhaustively graphed testing scenarios, the author comes to a nice conclusion for lazy people, writing "[I]n my opinion the all around best choice is FAT32, or the default for most all USB drives out there today, it seems to give us the best average performance overall."
PC Games (Games)

Second GTA IV Patch Released, Early Look At DLC 41

IllusionMPN notes that a new patch has been issued for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV. It primarily contains bug fixes and optimization changes, though it's created an issue with some input devices. We're also starting to get hands-on previews of the upcoming downloadable "episodic content," The Lost and the Damned. Trailers and an achievement list are available as well. The original game's Niko Bellic won't have much of a role in the new content.
GNU is Not Unix

Tricked Into Buying 543

mldkfa writes "Recently I told a friend about OpenOffice and how it was a great alternative to the big name pay office suites. She went home and searched on Google for it and thought she found the website, filled typical registration information, and downloaded 3.0. The next time she opened her e-mail she found a request for 98 [Euro] for her 1-year subscription to 3.0 from the company that she downloaded it from. Apparently the EULA stated this cost and here in Germany she is required to pay up. So I thought I would ask Slashdot, should she pay? On the German website there is a warning of these schemes being legal. Shouldn't Sun change the license of to protect their fans or are they doing this to protect someone else? It has really made me think about recommending it to any more friends." Below, read Google's translation of the warning; it wouldn't be the first time that open source software has been lightly repackaged and sold in ways that should raise eyebrows among anyone familiar with the wide, free availability of the same apps.

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