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Submission + - UK Government to monitor all internet use

krou writes: The BBC is reporting that, after scrapping plans for a giant, central database, the UK government now intends to "ask communications companies — from internet service providers to mobile phone networks — to extend the range of information they currently hold on their subscribers and organise it so that it can be better used by the police, MI5 and other public bodies investigating crime and terrorism". Home Secretary Jacqui Smith stated that it was necessary "for law enforcement agencies to track murderers, paedophiles, save lives and tackle crime", and stressed that "there are absolutely no plans for a single central store". The plan will cost some £2 billion, including compensation for private companies to implement the proposals. In addition to storing details of e-mails, phone calls and internet use, content service providers "will also be asked to record some third party data or information partly based overseas, such as visits to an online chatroom and social network sites like Facebook or Twitter." Jacqui Smith stated that no actual content would be kept: "What we are talking about is who is at one end [of a communication] and who is at the other — and how they are communicating". NO2ID attacked the plans, stating: "Ministers are making a distinction between content and communications data into sound-bite of the year. But it is spurious. Officials from dozens of departments and quangos could know what you read online, and who all your friends are, who you emailed, when, and where you were when you did so — all without a warrant."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - Not the best parenting? (

tonyreadsnews writes: Ok, this CNN story is pretty bad about a mom buying guns for her kid to "indulge" him.
The part about the DA saying "This is not the best parenting I've ever seen, obviously...", I think could qualify for understatement of the year.

The kid had a "rifle, about 30 air-powered guns, swords, knives, grenades" among some other stuff.

It's not tech, but I'll bet if the kid had done anything, they'd have blamed it first on videogames.


Submission + - Write your own Linux network server (

davidmwilliams writes: "Linux has a rich suite of network services. With a bit of knowledge of C and how TCP/IP sockets work it's a snap to roll your own servers, listening on a port and waiting for connections. This two part article shows how to do it by demonstrating with a service that creates user accounts and was used within an ISP. It includes a script to go into /etc/rc2.d so that everything runs nicely at startup. Part one is at Part two is at"
The Internet

Submission + - The IT industry's Red Shift Theory

Stony Stevenson writes: Sun Microsystems' CTO, Greg Papadopoulos has come out with a Red Shift Theory for IT which posits that an elite group of companies are consuming inordinate amounts of IT infrastructure, well beyond most other businesses, and that their demand is growing exponentially. This trend, Papadopoulos maintains, has implications not just for IT's most insatiable consumers, but for the structure of the computing industry itself. It's not just about how many CPU cycles a company uses. Papadopoulos argues that red-shift companies will enjoy exponential business growth in the coming years. Blue-shift companies — those whose processing needs aren't exploding — will grow at about the same rate as GDP, he says.

He uses red shift to describe the rapidly expanding universe of computing demand as data processing requirements — not only from Web companies like Google, YouTube, MySpace, and, but also from large conventional users of high-performance computing like pharmaceutical, financial, and energy companies — exceed the ability of Moore's Law to keep up.

This in depth article takes a look at what Papadopoulos's theory is about and its impact on the wider IT community.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - ESA Altered Wikipedia Entries on Mod Chips (

sesshomaru writes: Game Politics is reporting that the Entertainment Software Association has been editing Wikipedia entries on modchips and abandonware so that they will be more favorable to their point of view. In other words, they've edited them so that any discussion of legal or moral gray areas are removed and the Wikipedia entries say that these things are illegal, period. Here's a link to the Game Politics article:

ESA Altered Wikipedia Entries on Mod Chips, Abandonware

Links to the alterations made in the article can be found in the article, and thanks to Wikipedia Scanner for uncovering this scandal.


Submission + - The first quark supernova ( 2

KentuckyFC writes: "The largest supernova ever recorded ain't what it seems. Astronomers watched this thing explode in real time last year and were amazed to see it release 100 times more energy than any other supernova. Now astrophysicists think the only way to account for all the energy is if the star were made entirely of quarks. That's cool because quark stars were proposed by Ed Witten at Princeton over 20 years ago."
The Internet

Submission + - Comcast Blocks BitTorrent (

FsG writes: Over the past few weeks, more and more Comcast users have reported that their BitTorrent traffic is severely throttled and they are totally unable to seed. Comcast doesn't seem to discriminate between legitimate and infringing torrent traffic, and most of the BitTorrent encryption techniques in use today aren't helping. If more ISPs adopt their strategy, could this mean the end of BitTorrent?
Data Storage

Submission + - CD turns 25 today

mchrew writes: "The AP (via Yahoo) says that the compact disc is now a full quarter of a century old. Richard Strauss' "Alpine Symphony" started coming off the assembly line on Aug. 17, 1982.

I read somewhere that the standard CD's 72 minute length was determined by the project's head, he being a Beethooven fan and insisting the Beethooven's 9th symphony fit on the new medium, but I can't find the article I'd read or verification of this anywhere. Perhaps a reader can give a link (or change the Wikipedia entry)?"

Submission + - Serious Gaming (

dnolan9000 writes: "The digital gaming industry is getting a lot of attention lately, but not because of their newest titles and record breaking sales. Analysts and investors are rethinking the industry and the use of gaming technology for non-entertainment purposes. A new industry sector is emerging, Serious Gaming.

Serious Gaming leverages traditional gaming technology for use in non-gaming forums. The technology is being utilized in corporate training, K-12 education, healthcare, medical training, simulation, advertising, and in a number of military and defense applications.

The British Midlands, located just 90 miles north of London, is at the forefront of the Serious Gaming industry. The region has a long history in traditional gaming and is now producing some of the top Serious Gaming applications.

The Midlands is home to over 25% of the United Kingdom's gaming industry, representing over 160 companies, including globally known names such as PIXELearning, Blitz Games, Rebellion Derby, Free Radical Design, Circle Studio, Nu Generation Games, and Codemasters, Europe's largest independent games publisher.

Game developers are now realizing the potential of serious gaming. Blitz Games has launched TruSim, a serious gaming division that has received contracts to produce defence and civilian medical demonstrators from the UK Government (including MoD funds via the UK's Human Factors Integration Defence Technology Centre — — see below). Many more companies are following suit and forming Serious Teams to capitalize on the growing financial potential of the industry. Analysts predict that up to 40% of US companies will adopt serious gaming technology into their training efforts by 2008.

"The British Midlands has a critical mass of game developers and a very successful gaming industry," said Vern Sebby, President and CEO of The British Midlands Development Corporation, "Gaming is big business, but all indicators point to the fact that Serious Gaming will represent a larger market than traditional gaming."

Another factor contributing to the success of the [tag-tec] Serious Gaming industry in The British Midlands is the work coming out of the University of Birmingham. Professor Robert Stone, Chair of Interactive Multimedia Systems at the University of Birmingham and Research Director for the Human Factors Integration Defence Technology Centre, mentioned above, is working on a wide range of Serious Gaming programs and applications for the UK military and for other stakeholders.

In addition to providing consultative input to the US Pulse!! virtual healthcare program, led by Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, Professor Stone and his team are developing:

- Defence and Civilian Surgical Trainers

- Mental Health Therapy Support Tools

- Explosive Ordnance Search and Disposal Planning Support Tools

- Unmanned Land/Air/Underwater Vehicle Demonstrators

— Close-Range Weapons Training

- Submarine Spatial Awareness Training

- Marine Archaeology/Heritage and Environmental Awareness Education Applications

- Space physics education demonstrators

The market potential for Serious Games is immense and demand for the various applications is on the rise. To put it in perspective, the global leisure gaming software industry was worth over $23 billion in 2006. The potential for a market catering to corporate, military, and healthcare industries will far exceed the demand for leisure products.

The British Midlands is the top business environment for Serious Gaming in Europe. Supported by gaming curriculum in 5 regional universities, including the Serious Games Institute at Coventry University, and over 160 gaming companies, The Midlands has the infrastructure for companies pursuing growth and success in the gaming industry.

About The British Midlands Development Corporation

The British Midlands Development Corporation is the North American economic development agency for central England. The Midlands region is located to the northwest of London and includes the major commercial centers of Birmingham, Nottingham, Coventry and Northampton.

As an agency funded by the UK Government, The British Midlands Development Corporation provides specialist advice and support to North American companies seeking to invest or expand in the region. The British Midlands Development Corporation provides access to business networks, details about sources for grants and funding, business support services, and information to help companies identify overseas investment and corporate relocation opportunities to develop and grow.

The British Midlands Development Corporation is based in Chicago with branch offices in Boston, Washington DC and San Jose. For more information, please visit our website at"

PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Carmack Explains DOSBox Usage on Steam (

An anonymous reader writes: With the recent release of Id Software games over Steam, the use DOSBox to run the older titles has stirred up plenty of questions. Over at Doomworld, Andrew "Linguica" Stein went ahead and asked John Carmack exactly why they chose to use DOSBox instead of newer versions of some of the games, specifically the ones running on the original Doom engine. His reply was fairly straightfoward:

It all comes down to resources — re-qualifying a release of anything takes a lot of time, money, and support, while just shipping the exact same executables was fairly straightforward.

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