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Submission + - Skype Reads BIOS, Motherboard Serial no.

pfp writes: Myria at pagetable.com, among others, noticed that Skype reads the machine's BIOS code on startup. This probably would've gone unnoticed if the operation didn't fail on 64-bit windows. From the post: "It's dumping your system BIOS, which usually includes your motherboard's serial number, and pipes it to the Skype application. I have no idea what they're using it for, or whether they send anything to their servers, but I bet whatever they're doing is no good given their track record. [...] If they hadn't been ignorant of Win64's lack of NTVDM, nobody would've noticed this happening."
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Microsoft blames their customers for poor sales

coderpath writes: "Are you an Asian gamer? Have you bought your XBox 360 yet? Well Microsoft wants to know Whats Wrong With U?. Targeted at Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Singapore (not sure why they excluded Japan) it seems Microsoft is fed up with poor sales in Asian markets and is out to find out why. Is this a clever marketing ploy, or will it backfire?"

Submission + - Will Vista Run Your Games: The Final Word

Sexy Commando writes: extremetech.com has an article on testing the compatibility of games on Windows Vista. They tested varieties of Steam-based games and OpenGL-base games like Doom3, and even some games that involves anti-cheating programs like PunkBuster and the dreaded copy-protection software, StarForce. Most games runs smoothly except some video driver hiccups. Notable quotes: 'Prey worked fine in a window, with the Aero glass effects still going on, Flip3D still worked, etc. So much for all those conspiracy theories about Vista somehow killing off OpenGL.' 'So let's break it down: Has Vista got game? The basic answer is that yes, Vista is a pretty great OS for gamers. Great, but not perfect.'
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - Action Video Games Improve Eyesight

Dotnaught writes: "Gamers who play action video games such as Unreal Tournament or Quake for a few hours a day over the course of a month improved their ability to identify cluttered letters — a common vision test — according to new research from the University of Rochester, by way of InformationWeek. Tetris players, however, saw no such benefit. The research paper posits, "As video-game playing has become a ubiquitous activity in today's society, it is worth considering its potential consequences on perceptual and motor skills.""

Submission + - Microsoft SPURNED Gorbachev's appeal

sceptic-007 writes: "Today's news in Russia — as well as sources in English see a CNews.com article announced that Microsoft spurned appeal for clemency in one of the "anti-piracy" cases against a principal of a poor school pushed by Microsoft in rural Russia.

Disingeniously claiming that they have no part in this "criminal case initiated by .. public prosecutor's office in Russia" — a representative of the company was participating in prosecution and described by witnesses as "a fat bold man" — MS is "sure that the Russian courts will make a fair decision". (Read more.. ) "

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