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DTV Transition - One Year Later 431

commodore64_love writes "One year has passed since NTSC-analog television died (R.I.P. 6/12/09 — aged 68 years), and the new ATSC-digital television became standard. According to Retrovo, the transition had some successes and failures. Retailers saw this as an opportunity to sell new HDTVs and 46 million converter boxes, while cable providers advertised rates as low as $10/month. One-third of the converter boxes the US subsidized — approximately 600 million dollars worth — were never used by purchasers. Overall 51% of Americans felt the DTV transition was good, while 23% said it was not. 12% of respondents report that since the switch they have worse reception. Others received better reception, gaining 24-hour movie channels, retro channels, foreign programming, and other new networks that had not existed under the old analog system."

Giant Guatemalan 'Sinkhole' Is Worse Than We Thought 357

reillymj writes "Despite hundreds of media reports to the contrary, Sam Bonis, a geologist whose life work has been studying Guatemalan geology, has plainly said that the dramatic 'sinkhole' in Guatemala City that opened over the weekend isn't a sinkhole at all. Instead, he called it a 'piping feature' and warned that because the country's capital city sits on a pile of loose volcanic ash, the over one million people living on top of the pile are in danger. 'I'd hate to have to be in the government right now,' Bonis, who worked for the Guatemalan government's Instituto Geografico Nacional for 16 years, said. 'There is an excellent potential for this to happen again. It could happen almost anywhere in the city.'"

Submission + - Muslim anger prompts Pakistan to block Facebook (breitbart.com)

VindictivePantz writes:

Pakistan's government ordered Internet service providers to block Facebook on Wednesday amid anger over a page that encourages users to post images of Islam's Prophet Muhammad...Pakistan's minister of religious affairs, Hamid Saeed Kazmi, said the ban was only a temporary solution and suggested the government organize a conference of Muslim countries to figure out ways to prevent the publication of images of the prophet.

Submission + - Pakistan defriends Facebook (skunkpost.com)

crimeandpunishment writes: Pakistan wants to keep Facebook out of the country, as a result of Muslim anger over a page involving the Prophet Muhammad. The government ordered internet service providers to block the site, and it appears that order is being followed....access to Facebook is described as "sporadic". The Facebook page, "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day", encourages users to post images of the prophet. The page generated criticism and protests throughout Pakistan.

Submission + - Pakistan Court Orders Facebook Ban (aljazeera.net) 1

jitendraharlalka writes: A Pakistani court has issued a ban on the social networking site Facebook after a user-generated contest page encouraged members to post caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.

The Lahore High Court on Wednesday instructed the Pakistani Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to ban the site after the Islamic Lawyers Movement complained that a page called “Draw Mohammed Day” is blasphemous. "We have already blocked the URL link and issued instruction to internet service providers,” Khurram Mehran, a spokesperson for the PTA, said.

Comment Re:How about releasing the code? (Score 1) 52

Some of my own speculation of why they aren't releasing the mod-source for both TF2 and L4D are: - The stats/achievement thing: I can imagine someone with access to the source would be able to make a certain mod which can fool the stats/achievement system, and as such someone can 'cheat': For myself, I don't put too much pleasure in unlocking them that way, but I can see how people would to cheat with enhancing their E-peen (so imo, a half-valid option). - Afraid of people actually creating new content that can rival their next product: This is especially the case with L4D, whereas I can see that some of the things they're talking about in releasing in L4D2, has been stuff that me and a couple of my mates have been planning to actually do with L4D (but got severely disappointed at not seeing the source released). If this is one of their motivations behind this move... I can only be very disappointed. - Valve considering the HL2-source to be enough to release to the public, as in the end, simply said, TF2 and L4D are only enhanced modifications of the Source-engine. Again, if this would be the case, I severely disagree, as L4D has several components which are fairly unique to that game, but beg to be enhanced/explored in modifications.

I think #2 gets closest to what I consider to be the reason behind this - mods to multiplayer online games such as TF2, L4D and CS:S would fracture the player base.

Comment Re:YES! Cheaper video cards at last! (Score 1) 186

On the PC side, I can't remember the last good RTS or RPG that came out that played exclusively/best on PC.

This is the only part I have to disagree with, at least as far as RTS games are concerned. I can't think of a single console RTS game that performs as well on a console as it would on PC because consoles lack a decent control scheme.

Two recent, somewhat well-received console RTS games that come to mind are Tom Clancy's End War (which made use of voice-activated commands on Xbox 360) and Halo Wars (ugh). Either one would have benefited from a better control scheme. You mention mouse and keyboard support for the current console generation, and for all I know these games may have support for KB/mouse...I just think the average console user wouldn't bother.

Comment Re:Looks like Clearwire paid the bigger bribe. B-) (Score 1) 438

I don't disagree that the connections to Clearwire and WiMAX smells fishy, but important to note here is that Verizon has changed its original stance and is now supporting a DTV delay, so maybe the LTE rollout wasn't as ready as they'd have hoped.


Personally, I think the bandaid just needs to be ripped off. The same idiots that aren't ready, won't be ready.
The Courts

Monster Cables Pushes Around the Wrong Small Company 572

Alien54 writes "Audioholics has a fun read regarding a recent legal dustup involving Monster Cables. The well-known (some might say notorious) cabling company sent a cease and desist letter to Blue Jeans Cable over a supposed patent violation. What the Monster folks couldn't have known was that Blue Jeans president Kurt Denke used to be a lawyer. His response is as humorous as it is thorough. ' Let me begin by stating, without equivocation, that I have no interest whatsoever in infringing upon any intellectual property belonging to Monster Cable. Indeed, the less my customers think my products resemble Monster's, in form or in function, the better ... If there is more than one such connector design in actual use by Monster Cable as to which appropriation of trade dress is alleged, of course, I will require this information for each and every such design. On the basis of what I have seen, both in the USPTO documents you have sent and the actual appearance of Monster Cable connectors which I have observed in use in commerce, it does not appear to me that Monster Cable is in a position to advance a nonfrivolous claim for infringement of these marks.'"

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