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Half of All Data Centers Understaffed 211

alphadogg writes "Fifty percent of IT executives say their data centers are understaffed, and companies are still looking for more ways to cut costs, according to Symantec's latest 'State of the Data Center' report. Sixteen percent of survey respondents said their data centers are extremely understaffed, and another 34% called their data centers somewhat understaffed. At the same time, data centers are becoming more complex and harder to manage, with more applications, data and increasingly demanding service-level agreements. 'Data center complexity has led to a lot of staffing challenges,' says Sean Derrington, director of storage management and high availability at Symantec."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Celebrity AD&D Character Sheets 194

GnomeIllusionist writes "In their continuing tribute to Gary Gygax, Wired has created character sheets for nine celebrities. Apparently, Stephen Hawking can do 10D6 radiation damage to his enemies and Rick Astley is a 20th-Level bard. Steve Jobs' black turtleneck is actually magical armor with +6 against edged attacks." Most of them are kinda cheesy and obvious- I wonder if you can do better.

Windows 7 in the Next Year? 385

Microsoft's efforts to get businesses to adopt Vista may come to a screeching halt now that Bill Gates has announced "Sometime in the next year or so we will have a new version", referring to Windows 7, the next expected version of the company's flagship desktop operating system.With a new version available soon, many organizations may decide to wait and see if they can avoid the pain of a Vista rollout altogether.

Submission + - President Vetoes Bill to Prohibit Waterboarding

Hugh Pickens writes: "President Bush has vetoed legislation that would ban the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods such as waterboarding to break suspected terrorists because it would end practices that have prevented attacks. "The bill Congress sent me would take away one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror," Bush said in his weekly radio address taped for broadcast Saturday. "This is no time for Congress to abandon practices that have a proven track record of keeping America safe." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would work to override Bush's veto next week. "In the final analysis, our ability to lead the world will depend not only on our military might, but on our moral authority," said Pelosi. Waterboarding involves strapping a person down and pouring water over his cloth-covered face to create the sensation of drowning. It has been traced back hundreds of years to the Spanish Inquisition and is condemned by nations around the world and human rights organizations as torture. There are concerns that the use of waterboarding would undermine the U.S. human rights efforts overseas and could place Americans at greater risk of being tortured when captured."

Mega-Cash Prizes and Revolutionary Science 134

Bruce G Charlton writes "A new paper in Medical Hypotheses suggests that very big cash prizes could specifically be targeted to stimulate 'revolutionary' science. Usually, prizes tend to stimulate 'applied' science — as in the most famous example of Harrison's improved clock solving the 'longitude' problem. But for prizes successfully to stimulate revolutionary science the prizes need to be: 1. Very large (and we are talking seven figure 'pop star' earnings, here) to compensate for the high risk of failure when tackling major scientific problems, 2. Awarded to scientists at a young enough age that it influences their behavior in (about) their mid-late twenties — when they are deciding on their career path, and: 3. Include objective and transparent scientometric criteria, to prevent the prize award process being corrupted by 'political' incentives. Such mega-cash prizes, in sufficient numbers, might incentivize some of the very best young scientists to make more ambitious, long-term — but high-risk — career choices. The real winner of this would be society as a whole; since ordinary science can successfully be done by second-raters — but only first-rate scientists can tackle the toughest scientific problems."
The Internet

ICANN Wants To End Commerce Dept. Oversight In 2009 58

Ian Lamont writes "ICANN's current Joint Project Agreement with the US Commerce Department is set to expire in September of 2009, and ICANN wants to become more autonomous and switch to a global governance model, says ICANN's executive officer. The agreement between the nonprofit ICANN and the Commerce Department has been in place since 1998, and was renewed in 2006 despite international protests. A few US-based groups named in the article — including the Center for Democracy and Technology, the trade group TechNet and a conservative think tank iGrowthGlobal — would like the agreement with the Commerce Department to continue, in part to provide 'accountability.' The ICANN officer quoted in the article says expiration of the Commerce Department agreement would not remove accountability, as ICANN still has a contract with the US to operate the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority and must follow California law governing nonprofits. The Register is running a related story about why some people are uncomfortable with the United States' influence on ICANN. We discussed ICANN's request for independence a few months ago."

New Book Cuts Through Violent Video Game Myths 213

Terry Bosky suggests a recent interview from Game Couch with one of the authors of an upcoming book which fights the "myths and hysteria" surrounding violent video games. Dr. Cheryl K. Olson explains how many of the studies linking aggression with video games were flawed or misguided, and she discusses some of her own findings. Quoting: "Until now, the most-publicized studies came from a small group of experimental psychologists, studying college students playing nonviolent or violent games for 15 minutes. It's debatable whether those studies are relevant to real children, playing self-selected games for their own reasons (not for cash or extra credit!), in social settings, over many years. But media reports and political rhetoric often ignore that distinction. Also, the most-published researchers have built their careers around media violence. Their studies were designed under the assumption that violent video games are harmful, which dictated the questions they asked and how they framed their results. Media violence is just a small part of what we do, so we could look at the issue with fresh eyes and no agenda."

De Icaza Regrets Novell/Microsoft Pact 264

Ian Lamont writes "Novell Vice President and GNOME architect Miguel de Icaza sounded off at a MIX 08 panel on a number of topics. First, he claimed that he was 'not happy' with Novell's cross-patent licensing agreement with Microsoft, saying that if he had his way, the company would have stayed with the open-source community. He also said that neither Windows nor Linux are relevant in the long term, thanks to Web 2.0 business models: 'They might be fantastic products ... but Google has shown itself to be a cash cow. There is a feature beyond selling corporate [software] and patents ... it's going to be owning end users.' He also tangled with Mike Schroepfer, a Mozilla engineering executive, about extending patent protection for Moonlight to third parties. However, de Icaza did say that Novell has 'done the best it could to balance open-source interests with patent indemnification.' We discussed the beginnings of the deal between Microsoft and Novell back in 2006."

The Universe Is 13.73 Billion Years Old 755

CaptainCarrot writes "Phil Plait, aka The Bad Astronomer has summarized for his readers the new results released by NASA from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), which has been surveying the 3K microwave radiation left over from the Big Bang. Some of the most interesting results: The age of the universe is now known to unprecedented accuracy: 13.73 billion years old, +/- 120 million. Spacetime is flat to within a 2% error margin. And ordinary matter and energy account for only 4.62% of the universe's total. Plait's comment on the age result: 'Some people might say it doesn't look a day over 6000 years. They're wrong.'"

NVIDIA Doubts Ray Tracing Is the Future of Games 198

SizeWise writes "After Intel's prominent work in ray tracing in the both the desktop and mobile spaces, many gamers might be thinking that the move to ray-tracing engines is inevitable. NVIDIA's Chief Scientist, Dr. David Kirk, thinks otherwise as revealed in this interview on rasterization and ray tracing. Kirk counters many of Intel's claims of ray tracing's superiority, such as the inherent benefit to polygon complexity, while pointing out areas where ray-tracing engines would falter, such as basic antialiasing. The interview concludes with discussions on mixing the two rendering technologies and whether NVIDIA hardware can efficiently handle ray tracing calculations as well."

Submission + - Former MS (now FF)Security Honcho: MS Hides Holes ( 1

theranjan writes: "When Jeff Jones, a Security Strategy Director at Microsoft, decided to compare Internet Explorer security vulnerabilities with those of Mozilla Firefox, and decided to publish his results showing that Internet Explorer was more secure, he perhaps forgot that the Head Security Strategist of Mozilla, Window Snyder, was a former MS employee, in fact the security lead for the Service pack of Windows XP and Server. In a rebuttal of the study, Window Snyder said that the number of vulnerabilities publicly acknowledged was just a "small subset" of all vulnerabilities fixed internally. The vulnerabilities found internally are fixed in service packs and major updates without public knowledge. This is probably one of the first times that we have confirmation from one of Microsoft's former workers that this practice is routinely followed in Microsoft. This also confirms that the studies performed or referenced by Microsoft touting itself as the safest Operating system, comparing the vulnerabilities between OSes, needs to be taken with bucketfuls of salt. Finally, Window speaks out against the practice of counting bugs,stating plainly that "If we as an industry would just acknowledge that counting bugs is useless then vendors could feel safe talking about what they are doing to protect users" and "Were not building fixes for our PR team, were building them for our users. Go ahead and count.""

Submission + - New exclusive GAME Wii SKU for Christmas (

LewieP writes: "SavyGamer reports — "GAME have just struck a deal with Nintendo for a supply of Wii consoles over Christmas — Exclusive packs which have games included with the hardware, a separate SKU. There is a 2 game and a 3 game bundle price (tentatively) at £250 and £280 respectively. The Games seem to be 1st party, most likely "Mario & Sonic at the Olympics", "Mario Party 8" and possibly "Super Mario Galaxy"

These bundles will be shipping from Monday, they may be in stock on Monday, or may be in warehouses on Monday, and in stores later in the week. These bundles are totally exclusive to GAME — Nintendo is thanking GAME for their support over the years, and repaying loyality.

The number of Wii shipping has been described as "considerate", and continuing up to Christmas. Previous shipments have been "small amount"." I suspect this is because with previous forced bundles from GAME, if you keep the games sealed, you can return them, and end up paying RRP for the console on it's own. This way GAME benefit more from the excess demand, since they can't charge more than RRP for the console, and sell the most additional games this way. I do find it funny that Nintendo are thanking for support, since I know pretty early on the Gamecube section in my local GAME store was far smaller than the PS2 or Xbox equivalent. This is not a hardware revision (or at least, we have no reason to believe so yet), so it is safe to assume it will just be like any other consoles, just different packaging."

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