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Comment Re:Good Luck (Score 1) 123

I've got Charter's Ultra100 service (was Ultra60 originally) and I've had a couple of service issues - one was a hardware issue at some box a mile or two from here and one was supposedly some card at the "head-end". Both times I've had to escalate the issue to get it addressed; but beyond that I've pretty much gotten the advertised speed the entire time I've had them.

That being said, I was not amused with the "caps" as while I've never hit them - we specifically asked about that when we signed up and were of course promised that the Ultra60 tier wouldn't have any.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Gears of War 3 Officially Confirmed For April 2011 76

A few days after an untimely leak on Xbox Live, Epic Games has now officially announced Gears of War 3 for next April. Details are scant (though Edge speculates on possible new gameplay features), but it will contain 4-player co-op and be an Xbox 360 exclusive. A trailer was released for the game, and designer Cliff Bleszinski had this to say: "When we released Gears of War more than three years ago, we set out to tell the world an unforgettable story of bravery and sacrifice in the face of insurmountable odds, and a year from now, players will get the chance to experience the final chapter in the story of Marcus Fenix and his companions in Delta Squad. This is definitely the biggest and most dramatic chapter yet in the Gears of War saga, and we can't wait to deliver it."

Comment Re:Designed Obsolescence (Score 1) 252

Agreed. I've got a XBOX360 HD drive and a couple of stand-alone HD-DVD players that gather dust while we watch movies on the PS3's and/or PC's with Blu-Ray drives...

Blu-Ray burners and discs still (at least in my opinion) aren't to a price point where they are common; but yet lets throw another format into the mix. How many of these do they really think the market will bear? These guys never learn....


Ubisoft DRM Causing More Problems 279

Joe Helfrich writes "Ubisoft's Settlers 7 servers have been causing problems for over a week for users worldwide, and Australian gamers are hardly able to connect at all. 'The problem reportedly strikes after the game has already confirmed an active Internet connection, and prevents the user from playing even the single-player campaign, returning the error "server not available." But they are available, because other people are logged into them and merrily playing away.' Wonder how they're going to describe this one as an attack."

Submission + - Chase "rips off" charities in Facebook Contest (

ssv03 writes: As reported in the New York Times: Chase Community Giving of Chase Bank recently held a contest on Facebook in which users were encouraged to vote for their favorite charities. At the end of the contest, the 100 charities with the most votes would win $25,000 and advance to the next round to have a chance to win $1 million. Initially, the vote counts for each organization were made public, but two days before voting ended they were hidden, and the final totals have still not been released. While Chase had no official leader board during the voting, several organizations were keeping track of projected winners. Those projections were almost identical to the final results, yet several organizations including Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), Marijuana Policy Project and several anti-abortion groups were not finalists. They had been performing very well (some within the top 20) until the vote counters were removed. Chase Bank has so far refused to discuss the issue with the organizations. SSDP has released a press release here and is calling for a boycott.

Comment Re:It is their right, but aggressive move nonethel (Score 2, Insightful) 254

I have no problems with what they did; but I question their logic. Those consoles that are banned from Live for being "modded" can still obviously play pirated games. What they *can't* do is go on live and among other things purchase things. So while they will undoubtedly sell some more consoles (Craigslist and eBay are full of banned consoles) and probably some more games - I don't really see this as doing much to stop piracy - I only see it stopping any legit spending from those consoles.

Seems to me that there must've been a better way to handle this; but that's just me.


Submission + - Microsoft closing the book on Encarta (

mytrip writes: Microsoft has quietly confirmed that it is getting out of the encyclopedia business, ending its long-standing Encarta product.

As noted by Ars Technica, the software maker says it will discontinue all its online Encarta products by October, with the exception of Encarta Japan, which will run through the end of the year. It will also stop selling Microsoft Student and Encarta Premium, paid software products that included the online encyclopedia.

In a posting on its Web site, Microsoft said that the move reflected the change in the way people use reference material. It didn't mention Wikipedia by name, but I think we all know the biggest change to encyclopedias to come around in recent memory.


Submission + - Netflix offers second price hike in 6 months

Jherico writes: "Having added a $1 surcharge for blu-ray access in October, Netflix has decided the best way to deal with the recession is to raise the price again.

As we buy more, you are able to choose from a rapidly expanding selection of Blu-ray titles. And as you've probably heard, Blu-ray discs are substantially more expensive than standard definition DVDs — often as much as 30% more. We're committed to providing a high quality Blu-ray experience for our members who choose to add Blu-ray access, and in order to do that we need to adjust Blu-ray pricing. As a result, the monthly charge for Blu-ray access is increasing for most plans and will now vary by plan.

The new pricing is essentially $1 per slot in your plan, plus $1 for the account, i.e. $6 for a 5-at-a-time plan. Customer response has been immediate and venemous."


Submission + - Segregated bathrooms in space (

phlack writes: Florida Today (via the Associated Press) has an article discussing the politics surrounding the operations of the International Space Station, mainly about how the resources are allocated. Specifically, Americans astronauts have to eat their own food, and Russian Cosmonauts can't use American bathrooms or exercise machines. Didn't we get rid of this nonsense in the 1960's?

Submission + - Steve Gibson Discusses Software Patents

MasterOfMagic writes: On this week's episode of Security Now, Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte discuss software patents, how they are different from trademarks and copyrights, and why they think that they are bad. The actual discussion about software patents starts 15:50 into the podcast. They also discuss IBM's patent portfolio, the RIM patent matter, and the Novel-Microsoft pact. As a bonus, they discuss Apple's Airport responding to request to closed ports instead of ignoring requests to them, and a follow up to the allegation that The Geek Squad used SpinRite without permission. While I know that software patents is a quite divisive issue on Slashdot, the discussion is a good introduction and refresher for people that are 'new around here'. IANAL, nor is Steve Gibson or Leo Laporte, but their discussion is a good starting point.

Submission + - Community-driven Windows Longhorn revival

CompSci101 writes: ZDNet has a blog posting about a community effort to build out Windows Longhorn features that were dropped before the release of Vista, including WinFS, using an older version of the Longhorn previews.

The link to the blog entry is here: (zdnet), which comes complete with links to the community site and even a screenshot. How this work will be accomplished without access to the source isn't clear, as the community site and linked Wiki don't have much information, although there is a version available for download off the community site.

Zune Team Getting Amnesty for iPod Use 303

MsManhattan writes "The Zune development team at Microsoft is apparently offering amnesty to employees who give up their iPods in favor of using the Zune MP3 player. An MSNBC employee has posted a photo on Flickr of the company's 'iPod Amnesty Bin,' which sports an image of a bitten green apple and the words 'Bite me.' Whether it's to be taken seriously or is a joke to boost employee morale is anyone's guess, and naturally no one at Microsoft was available for comment. From what can be seen in the photo, only a few early-model iPods have been deposited."

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