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Comment RG6, wallplates and your cable/satellite company (Score 1) 372

Coming from a background in broadband, I'd agree with ka9dgx. Run conduit through an attic or crawl space. Each wall plate would ideally have two coax connections, an ethernet port and usb charging port unless the wall plate is specifically for a device (i.e. wall mounted tv). Having two coax ports allows an easy way to have both satellite and cable (for the internet) without dealing with a specialty splitter. Also, only activate the cable jacks you'll be using and if you are just going to activate a bunch, make sure to have a bi-directional amp (not regular house amp) or else your transmit will end up too high from too many splitters (if you're going with cable). If you do end up going with a cable company for tv or internet, have them send a tech out and let them check the system and show them where you're putting jacks and what the overall plan is so they can help give you on site ideas for streamlining it.

Sony Joins the Offensive Against Pre-Owned Games 461

BanjoTed writes "In a move to counter sales of pre-owned games, EA recently revealed DLC perks for those who buy new copies of Mass Effect 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Now, PlayStation platform holder Sony has jumped on the bandwagon with similar plans for the PSP's SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3. '[Players] will need to register their game online before they are able to access the multiplayer component of the title. UMD copies will use a redeemable code while the digital version will authenticate automatically in the background. Furthermore ... anyone buying a pre-owned copy of the game will be forced to cough up $20 to obtain a code to play online."

EA Shuts Down Pandemic Studios, Cuts 200 Jobs 161

lbalbalba writes "Electronic Arts is shutting down its Westwood-based game developer Pandemic Studios just two years after acquiring it, putting nearly 200 people out of work. 'The struggling video game publisher informed employees Tuesday morning that it was closing the studio as part of a recently announced plan to eliminate 1,500 jobs, or 16% of its global workforce. Pandemic has about 220 employees, but an EA spokesman said that a core team, estimated by two people close to the studio to be about 25, will be integrated into the publisher's other Los Angeles studio, in Playa Vista.' An ex-developer for Pandemic attributed the studio's struggles to poor decisions from the management."
The Courts

Judge Rules Games Are "Expressive Works" 157

There has been an ongoing legal battle over the past few years about how and when game makers can use the likenesses of football players without their permission. Former college football player Samuel Keller filed a class action suit in May against Electronic Arts for the publisher's use of NCAA players' information — including things like jersey number, height, weight, skin tone and hair style, but not names — to recreate actual teams within sports games. An earlier suit filed by NFL Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown brought up the fact that video games weren't even a consideration when contracts and licensing rights were negotiated in the '50s and '60s, yet many football players from that era (including Brown) are represented in the occasional sports game whether they like it or not. A ruling came down from a district court judge last Wednesday stating that video games are "expressive works, akin to an expressive painting that depicts celebrity athletes of past and present in a realistic sporting environment," and are thus protected under the First Amendment. Brown and fellow Hall-of-Famer Herb Adderley are now seeking to throw their support behind Keller's lawsuit.

What Is the Best Way To Track Stolen Gadgets? 101

An anonymous reader writes "Now that gadgets can determine their location and phone home, many companies are creating tools for finding lost and stolen gadgets. It sounds like a simple process, but this NY Times article describes a number of wildly different approaches. Some report all of the information back to the owner while others deliberately keep the owner in the dark to avoid dangerous confrontations. Some start grabbing pictures from the web cameras and logging keystrokes. Others just record IP addresses. Some don't do anything but record serial numbers to make it easier for the police to do their job. Are sophisticated systems dangerous because the tracking mechanisms could be misused to violate the privacy of the owner? Are the stakes different when a company purchases the software and gives the IT manager the ability to track everyone in the company? What are the best practices that are emerging? What should I recommend if my boss reads this article and wants to track our laptops and Blackberries?"

Company Makes Paper Out Of Wombat Poo 71

Creative Paper attracted worldwide interest for its paper made of kangaroo droppings in 2005. Well it's been four years and the best and brightest at Creative Paper haven't been sitting on their laurels. What's their great new idea? They have now launched a kind of paper made from wombat poo. Scat-obsessed Darren Simpson from Creative Paper says the paper is green or gold depending on the time of year the droppings are harvested. The wombat paper will be unveiled at an international paper conference in Burnie, Australia later this month.

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