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Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 101

There are also many mods available for TA such as TA Esc that add a new tech level and many more units; the engine in TA is spectacular; each shot is modelled as a projectile with newtonian physics, so that hits/misses are calculated based on shot speed/angle etc rather than being purely hardcoded like in starcraft.

One downside to TA is the singleplayer story; Starcraft had a truly epic story with multiple sides, good character motivation etc - TA didn't really have that, it just had "here is a mission, kill the other side" - as two automated robotic armies who have been fighting for so long, they forget why they fight - there isn't much scope for heroes in a story like that

Comment Re:crash faster (Score 1) 563

I keep getting a weird issue where Windows will behave as if the CTRL key is stuck down on the keyboard, even when it isn't (and so trying to switch app in the taskbar just selects multiple). I get this on basically every computer I've used, so it can't be a hardware problem.
Anyone else get this?

Comment Re:File here: (Score 1) 233

Seems they are having bandwidth problems, anyone have a mirror?
Anyone know if the passwords leaked were part of a particular service (I read something about Yahoo Voice) or are they just a random selection of normal e-mail accounts?
I work at a school and am trying to decide whether to e-mail my users with advice about changing their passwords or not (judging by outgoing smtp over half of them have yahoo accounts.. I wonder why it is so popular?)

Comment Re:I miss work (Score 1) 404

Seconded. I find it takes about 4 or so months until I'm comfortable enough to show up to work without the "heart in chest" sensation. Once I'm settled in, I'm fine. It's the whole process of going through the interviews, being the "new guy", meeting many new faces to be daunting enough for me to not answer the phone when the prospective bosses phone up.
I was unemployed for about a year - either not bothering to apply for jobs, or working up the courage to send off my application only to claim unavailability when the interview phone call came. I decided I needed to get over my fears and applied to work in a high school. Been there over three years now.

Comment Re:32" + 15" LCDs (Score 1) 375

I bought a cheap 32" 1080p LCD TV for use as my primary display and I'm happy with it so far; the main things I've had:

using VGA output sucks - I never really noticed a difference between VGA and DVI on my 22" LCD, but on this 32" LCD the colours are washed out and the text a little blurred (you see this most with red text). Using a DVI - HDMI adapter with a HDMI lead is fine. This could be VGA itself or just an issue with my cheap 32" panel.

The pixel size is fine for me, but even at 1080p resolutions in games Anti-Aliasing is still needed.

I run mine with a DPI of about 125 (as opposed to Windows's standard 90dpi) so I've upped the font size a little.
The rational for getting a HDTV was that it was practically as cheap as the cheapest 26-27" 1080p monitors were - so I opted to just go for a 32" HDTV.
I have bad eyes (bad eyes at 24 years old!) and I get headaches, I find the further away I sit from a display the better.
A few other users wonder how I can even use a display and font sizes so large. I wonder the same when I sit at their 19" displays set with tiny little fonts.

I also bought a wall-mounting kit, but the kit I have is meant for standard monitors - a standard VESA mount will not fit a HDTV as the HDTV mount holes are spaced much further apart. (you can actually tilt a vesa mount sideways and use the two top holes on the HDTV to bolt onto it... but I don't fancy having my display falling off of my wall) Bit of a dumb mistake to make on my part. :)

You will need to buy a specific HDTV mount.

Education

Lower Merion School District Update 367

Mike_EE_U_of_I and jargon82 were among a number of readers who sent an update on the Lower Merion School District webcam spying case (see Related Stories for our discussions of the affair over the last couple of months). The school had originally stated that capturing laptop photos in students' homes had only happened 42 times. It turns out what they meant was that there were 42 instances when they began intensive surveillance on the suspected stolen computers. This consisted of (among other things) transmitting a picture from the laptop's webcam every 15 minutes. This may have gone on for weeks. In total, it appears that there were thousands of photos. One of the key administrators involved has been answering all questions about the program by invoking the Fifth Amendment.
The Almighty Buck

Record-Breaking Black Friday For eBay's PayPal 115

adeelarshad82 writes "eBay's PayPal division reported that PayPal processed 20 percent more transactions on Black Friday compared to last year. PayPal didn't release the total payment volume, but claimed that its Payflow Gateway system processes nearly a quarter of e-commerce, while its direct sales numbers reflect 12 percent of all e-commerce. In general, reports from a number of e-tailers and retailers indicated that consumers spent more on Black Friday than in 2008, when the United States was in the midst of a recession. However, it's still unclear whether shoppers bought more on Black Friday, when they could expect a discount on what usually is one of the busiest days in the holiday season, or whether the pattern will continue. In 2008, shoppers stopped buying in early December, a shock that the US economy felt well into 2009." How did your Black Friday turn out? Did you wait in endless lines and contribute to the trampling deaths of fellow shoppers, sit at home and help take down your favorite online retailer's servers, or eschew the process altogether?
Handhelds

Modded UX490 UMPC Shows Off Years of Community Development 75

An anonymous reader writes "The community at www.MicroPCTalk.com have spent the last few years devising all sorts of mods and tweaks for the Sony VAIO UX-series UMPC. Now they've thrown nearly all of their major breakthroughs into one machine. Using the latest UX model (UX490) as the base, the original SSD has been swapped for a speedy 128GB SSD, the CPU has been unsoldered from the mobo and replaced with a Core 2 Duo U7700 (making this probably the smallest computer to use said CPU). The original EDGE module has been removed, and carefully put in its place is an E169 Huawei terminal which provides up to 7.2mbps 3G (HSDPA), voice and texting. On top of this, the unit quad-boots Mac OS X, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP (and the Huawei terminal works under Mac OS X as well)."
The Internet

Pirate Bay Shuts Down Tracker, Switches To Distributed Hash Table 327

think_nix writes "The Pirate Bay has shut down their BitTorrent tracker. Instead TPB is now using Distributed Hash Table to distribute the torrents. The Pirate Bay Blog states that DHT along with PEX (Peer Exchange) Technology is just as effective if not better for finding peers than a centralized service. The Local reports that shutting down the tracker and implementing DHT & PEX could be due to the latest court rulings in Sweden against 2 of TPB's owners, and may decide the outcome of the case."

Comment Re:One flaw (Score 1) 316

I was an ordinary helpdesk drone and I had access to all of my customers e-mails. I worked for a large UK DSL ISP.
Infact, I would semi-regularly have customers phoning me up asking me to read out their e-mails, as if I was some sort of human "speaking clock".

"Do I have any e-mails from 'sonnyjim'? Oh, could you read it out to me? See, I'm not at my computer and sonnyjim is my son who's in Australia..."

I would do so if I was happy with the customers identity.
I don't recall anyone ever abusing this facility. From what I saw, the contents of every mailbox I went into wouldn't make riveting reading - it's not all "carry on" affairs in there. We had better things to do, like browsing BBC news and reading Slashdot.

Businesses

Nothing To Fear But Fearlessness Itself? 660

theodp writes "In a post last August, Robert X. Cringely voiced fears that Goldman Sachs and others were not so much evil as 'clueless about the implications of their work,' leaving it up to the government to fix any mess they leave behind. 'But what if government runs out of options,' worried Cringely. 'Our economic policy doesn't imagine it, nor does our foreign policy, because superpowers don't acknowledge weakness.' And now his fears are echoed in a WSJ opinion piece by Peggy Noonan titled 'We're Governed by Callous Children.' She writes, 'We are governed at all levels by America's luckiest children, sons and daughters of the abundance, and they call themselves optimists but they're not optimists — they're unimaginative. They don't have faith, they've just never been foreclosed on. They are stupid and they are callous, and they don't mind it when people become disheartened. They don't even notice.' With apologies to FDR, do we have nothing to fear but fearlessness itself?"
Games

Blizzcon 2009 Wrap-Up 297

Last year's Blizzcon was tremendously popular. So much so that their servers were unable to handle the strain of fans competing for 15,000 available tickets. This year, Blizzard was more prepared; they made an additional 5,000 tickets available and set up a queue so that the transaction servers weren't overwhelmed. CEO Mike Morhaime said during the keynote address that if you weren't able to get into the queue within 30 seconds of its opening, the tickets were sold out before your turn came. Tens of thousands more chose to order the pay-per-view coverage, demonstrating the extraordinary enthusiasm felt for Blizzard's games. Their presentations didn't disappoint. Read on for details on the status of StarCraft II, Diablo III, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, and the new Battle.net. It's divided into sections by game in case you're only interested in one or two of them.

IBM

IBM, Other Multinationals "Detaching" From the US 812

theodp writes "If you're brilliant, work really hard, and earn a world-class doctorate from a US university, IBM has a job for you at one of its US research sites — as a 'complementary worker' (as this 1996 piece defined the then-emerging term). But be prepared to ship out to India or China after you've soaked up knowledge for 13 months as a 'long-term supplemental worker.' Newsweek sketches some of the bigger picture, reporting that IBM, HP, Accenture, and others are finding it profitable to detach from the United States (even patenting the process). 'IBM is one of the multinationals that propelled America to the apex of its power, and it is now emblematic of the process of creative destruction pushing America to a new, less dominant, and less comfortable position.'"

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