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Submission + - Becta slams Microsoft academic licensing

Rob writes: Computer Business Review is reporting that Becta, the UK agency responsible for technology in education, has slammed Microsoft's current licensing arrangements saying that the majority of schools report no value from them. Meanwhile it has also stated that it sees no 'must have features' in either Vista or Office 2007 and had advised schools not to adopt them for at least a year.

Journal Journal: Snickers and Aquafina in Pegasus?

(minor spoilers ahead!)

It seems that they make snickers chocolate bars and Aquafina-brand water bottles in the Pegasus Galaxy. Anyone in Canada who saw episode 3x17 "The Ark" of Stargate Atlantis last night, probably noticed something funny....

When Herick activates the shuttle's engines, you can clearly see an open snickers bar on the console and multiple water bottles beside his chair (Seemingly Aquafina brand).

Data Storage

Submission + - Good-bye Blu-ray? Leading Porn House Picks HD DVD

An anonymous reader writes: Many attribute the demise of Betamax to the fact that VHS had more porn titles. Will the same occur with Blu-ray? One of the most highly regarded adult video producers, Digital Playground, just switched loyalties from Blu-ray to HD DVD. Now, practically the whole genre is subscribing to the format. Does this spell the end for Blu-ray?

Submission + - Cal. college bans school mag for video game story

RCTrucker7 writes: "From Cali School Bans Video Game-Inspired Fiction School admin. rushes to squash controversial story. By Susan Arendt, 01/09/2007 You hear about some edifice of education banning a student-penned story, you expect it to be some Mean Girls-esque slam book at the local public high school, not a magazine at San Francisco's Art Institute of California, but as GamePolitics reveals, that's the epicenter of the censorship in question. The story, entitled "Homicide," describes the exploits of three young black men on a rape/killing spree. The big ZOMG at the end of the piece is that the trio are actually characters in a video game being played by three white suburban teenagers. Simone Mitchell, who wrote the tale, told the L.A. Times he was trying to make a point about racial stereotypes and video game violence, saying, "There are so many stereotypes in games, of African Americans as thugs, for example. Video gamers are exposed to this kind of violence and offensive language all the time and need to think about what they are doing." Whether it was the language, the violence, or the twist at the end that set off the school's administration is still in question, but whatever the motivation, the magazine in which the story appeared, Mute/Off, was a ghost within hours. The school even refused to let the library keep a copy for archival purposes. Worse, when Mitchell's teacher spoke up about the censorship, he was fired. Let's just start the goosestepping now, shall we? Senator Leland Yee — you may remember him from his efforts to make it illegal to sell violent games to minors — also sponsored legislation making California the first state to prevent censorship of college newspapers and magazines, but unfortunately the law doesn't cover private institutions. Lee, never one to shy away from a news cycle, said he's looking into the matter."
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Sony claims fictional award for SixAxis

NexusTw1n writes: On Monday, Sony claimed their revolutionary SixAxis controller had been honoured with an Emmy , leaving many wondering why the Wiimote had been ignored.

Today, that press release has been clarified , with a statement making it clear the award was actually for the PS2 Dual Shock controller, rather than the new PS3 model.

"I would like to confirm that Sony did not win for their PS3 controller, they won for their Dual Shock Analog controller," the NATAS representative concluded. Somewhat at odds, then, with Monday's press release: "Sony Computer Entertainment America Wins Emmy Award for PLAYSTATION 3 SIXAXIS Wireless Controller," where SCEA president and CEO Jack Tretton attributed his company's fictional success to "overwhelming consumer demand and critical acclaim".

Submission + - Wii outselling PS3 in Japan

saintory writes: Apparently the Japanese console consumers are sinking their teeth into the modest Wii and are not as interested in the power-packed PS3. According to the article:
Enterbrain ... said that about 980,000 Wii units had been sold as of the end of 2006, while Sony Computer Entertainment had sold only 460,000 of its PlayStation 3 consoles, signifying a clear win for Nintendo.

Submission + - What tech tools do you use?

Minupla writes: "I've been asked to put together a new IT dept in a regional office. Among other things, I'm going to need to put together a set of tools, both hardware and software for my department. So that got me to thinking "What things have other geeks found handy in doing their jobs?" So how about it? What tool in your kit would you never want to do without?"

Submission + - Wii sell-out success will continue

jtorry writes: "Leading high street retailer HMV remains highly optimistic about the future of Wii, despite predicted figures suggesting it could come third in the next-gen console race. The company believes the Wii's flying start at retail will continue for a long time to come, as the innovative console has captured the imagination of both hardcore and casual gamers since its launch last year.

Speaking exclusively to Pro-G, HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said: "We feel Wii has already made a really strong impression, not just with core gamers but with the wider audience too, and we don't see why this won't continue in the future."

He was responding to predictions made by a research company which suggested that by 2010 Nintendo's global next-gen market share could dip to 20%, far behind Xbox 360 (34%) and expected leader PlayStation 3 (46%).

Castaldo added: "We don't dispute that PlayStation 3 won't be the market leader overall, but its delayed launch until March in Europe has given the Wii a great head start here and hopefully it will keep building on this momentum. There just needs to be the levels of stock to meet the huge demand for the console."

Submission + - First Time In Vegas

Stick writes: "So, this last weekend I went to Vegas for the first time (for a wedding. Not mine, thank goodness). Anyway, I went to the Luxor poker room to play some poker. The first time I had played in ANY poker room.

I'm seated directly to the right of the dealer on a 2/4 table. The table is full of drunk/loose players; mostly college students, but a couple older folk. The only people playing tight are me and the fellow to my right.

Anyway, there's this guy, third to the left of the dealer, splashing the pot and crowing his wins, irritating and amusing the rest of us. The hand is dealt and I have AA. on the button. OOOooo, shaky hands! He raises and most others call. I raise. The blinds fold. Most everyone else calls.

The flop comes up 2-5-8 or some such. Anyway, it's checked to him and he bets. Everyone folds, except me, but he can't see me well, so the guy laughs and turns over his QQ. I speak up and say that I haven't bet yet. Ah, geez! Now I hear it! You can't take advantage of me! This is a friendly game! and so forth. Well dammit! I would a raised normally, but now I feel like a jerk!

By this time the dealer has had about enough of this guy and says under his breath: "raise him". I raise, he folds, I get the pot. He's pissed. I'm stared at and glared at by this guy for the next couple hours.

He cools down by the end of the night, back into happy-drunk stage, and is busy telling everyone at the table what a rock I am. I wish I had had the cards or the nads to take advantage of this table image, but I stuck to my tight play."

First Look At Final OLPC Design 224

blackbearnh writes "At the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday, AMD hosted a presentation of the final Industrial Prototype (Beta 1) of the One Laptop Per Child XO Laptop. Linux Today has extensive reporting, including new photos and details about power consumption, networking, and the logistics of distributing and servicing what will be the largest rollout of any computing platform in history: 5 million units in the first year. This will represent nearly a 10% increase in the total worldwide laptop production for 2007."

Submission + - Indian Rocket puts 4 satellites in Polar Orbit

TheCybernator writes: "Satellites in polar orbit after successful Indian launch BY STEPHEN CLARK SPACEFLIGHT NOW Posted: January 10, 2007 An Indian rocket successfully orbited a cache of four satellites Wednesday in the first space launch of the year. Liftoff of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle was at 0353 GMT (10:53 p.m. EST Tuesday) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on India's east coast. The four-stage rocket and its payloads arrived in orbit about 16 minutes after launch, and deployment of the satellites was completed about four minutes later. The booster was shooting for a Sun-synchronous orbit about 395 miles high, according to the Indian Space Research Organization. The 145-foot-tall rocket was the first PSLV to use a dual payload adapter to launch two primary payloads on the same mission. The Cartosat 2 Earth observation satellite rode atop the apparatus, while a recoverable capsule was housed below."

Submission + - OLPC available to the public "early next year&

Zoxed writes: "The BBC is reporting that the OLPC will be available to the public early next year on a buy-2-get-1 basis through eBay.

With its cheap price, fully open spec. and full/open hardware support for Linux, expandability, 2W rating and LinuxBIOS booting it sounds like an embedded-Linux hackers dream.

Where can I sign up ?"

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