Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - Wii Smashes Aussie Sales Record, Retailers Respond

Anonymous Coward writes: "Gameworld Network are reporting that the Wii sold through 32,901 consoles in the first four days on sale in Australia, and almost 50,000 games. This represents the most successful console launch ever in the country, beating out the Xbox 360 launch earlier in the year where Microsoft sold an admirable 30,000 consoles.

Nintendo consoles (including Wii and DS) accounted for 67% of all video game hardware sales last week.

"Myer has just experienced a strong spike in total business which can be largely attributed to the introduction of Wii," explains Bernie Brookes, Myer CEO. "We couldn't be happier with the fantastic products Nintendo are releasing. Our Wii launch experience has really shown that consumers have made Myer a destination store for gaming."

Meanwhile, local retailer Harvey Norman missed out on the Wii altogether, with Nintendo citing that the retail chain was demanding the consoles at a cheaper price point than everyone else. Late last year, the retailer also pulled GameCube hardware and software from shelves. Perhaps now, with the success of the Wii, they will have to reconsider how they do business with Nintendo."

Why Does Everyone Hate Microsoft? 1540

MrSplog asks: "I'm doing a short project on Microsoft and its impact on society. A considerable part of this project has been looking into people's perceptions of Microsoft and the heavily negative bias of that perception. Since Slashdot is one of the world's forefront leaders on Microsoft hatred, I wanted to know: just why do you hate Microsoft? Please be as descriptive and as thorough as you like. Counter arguments and positive comments are also appreciated."

Submission + - The Head IMAX Sound Engineer's Home Theater

junger writes: "As the chief sound engineer for IMAX, the company that makes wraparound theaters for you-are-there experiences, Lynn McCroskey knows a thing or two about massive audio and video. When it came time to build his own home theater, he took what he knew from his job at IMAX — and a few studio-grade custom speakers — to develop a room completely isolated acoustically from the rest of his house. It has walls built within walls, and the ceiling is isolated from the floor above. Even the doors have solid cores, and there are drop thresholds that rise up and seal the door when it closes, just as in an IMAX theater."
Red Hat Software

Submission + - Overhaul of the RPM

hdparm writes: "Earlier today, Fedora Project Leader Max Spevack has made an announcement on fedora-announce mailing list about the big cleanup of the codebase and reorganisation of the maintenance for Red Hat Package Manager, better known as RPM.

Whatever people think about RPM, or Red Hat for that matter, turns out Red Hat is again doing the right thing. They have again acted in the best interest of the FLOSS community and released to it software critical to Linux development and wider addoption. Kudos and another round of respect go to Red Hat. They deserve it for true leadership and the fact that they care.

More information can be found on the new project's site. Project is hosted by Duke University."
The Media

Submission + - Male circumcision reduces HIV risk

gustgr writes: "The US National Institutes of Health announced the results of recent clinical trials in Africa that confirms the effectiveness of male circumcision in reducing by 50% the rate of HIV infection. The findings supports a previous South African study which reported similar results. This fact was already noted when Aids first began to appear in Africa: men who were circumcised (due cultural and religious reasons) seemed to be at less risk of infection. The circumcision protects the individuals from the virus because some specific cells in the foreskin may be potential targets for HIV infection and also the skin under the foreskin becomes less sensitive and is less likely to bleed reducing risk of infection following circumcision."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Wal-Mart asked to drop 'Left Behind' PC Game

Canordis writes: The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that an "extremely violent" game based on the popular Left Behind series of Christian fiction is being protested against by liberal and Progressive Christian groups. From TFA:
"It's an incredibly violent video game," said Stevens. "Sure, there is no blood. (The dead just fade off the screen.) But you are mowing down your enemy with a gun. It pushes a message of religious intolerance. You can either play for the 'good side' by trying to convert nonbelievers to your side or join the Antichrist."

Submission + - Java 6 Released

Espectr0 writes: "Sun has officially released Java SE 6. With a development cycle of over two years, and frequent releases to the public, the release is the first one after Sun's commitment to release the complete Java SE (language, compiler and libraries) in the first half of 2007. Java 6 is focused on the desktop users this time, with a range of features, including double buffering , performance tweaks and desktop integration."

Submission + - Vista's TCP/IP Promises and Perils writes: "More information on Vista's TCP/IP stack from Network Performance Daily, this time from Robert Maercklein and Zach Belcher: " policy will come from a centralized source. When you get your DHCP lease, your computer will report to the stack what OS you're using, what version level, what patches, what anti-virus software that's active — all that kind of stuff. It will have the ability to restrict your network access if you have a down-level machine... We could see a lot of our customers with much higher WAN network utilization because of this new TCP/IP stack... CTCP can be enabled/disabled from the command prompt but there has been no mention of tuning parameters which leads us to ask the question: How are you supposed to configure this setting in Vista?... What worries us... is that Microsoft is basing this on packet round trip time. The round-trip time from the client-side will have the server processing time in it; but the clients aren't likely going to be the running the CTCP at first. If you have a server-to-server backup running, for example, CTCP may think its part of the round-trip time and it'll throw the delay window through the roof...""

Submission + - FTC Moves to Stop Astroturfing

Marketers Anonymous writes: "The Washington Post is reporting that a recent FTC staff letter said that paid marketers must disclose their company affiliation when engaged in Word-of-Mouth Marketing (AKA astroturfing). Hopefully, this will curb advertising practices many people find dishonorable, such as Sony's recent YouTube campaign, or the telecom's anti-Net Neutrality commercials, although it won't put a complete stop to them so long as they make it clear that they're paid commercial endorsements. Further details can be found in the FTC Staff Opinion Letter [PDF]."
United States

Submission + - Earth's Atmosphere Is Shrinking

Dotnaught writes: "Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels will produce a 3 percent reduction in the density of Earth's outermost atmosphere by 2017, according to a team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research and The Pennsylvania State University. The good news? A thinner atmosphere will mean satellites and space junk can stay in orbit longer due to the reduced drag and rockets will require less fuel to place satellites."

Submission + - Gifts for the "Intelligent Designer"

ptorrone writes: "We (MAKE) asked a few really smart makers of fashion, hardware, software and electronics to tell us what is on their wish list this holiday season (we like to call them intelligent designers) and boy did they come up with some good ones! Check out the dozens of ideas and gifts they put together that may just help you figure out what to give that special intelligent designer. Yes, we're trying to reclaim the name — intelligent design."

Submission + - Huge test of 21 personal firewalls

mork writes: Comprehensive Leak test of 21 personal firewalls. Leak tests imitate common methods used by trojans or spyware to send your information from your computer. Windows Firewall XP SP2 fails every test, so the fears that the days of third party firewall software was over seem groundless. Surprisingly the two top programs are both freeware.

iTunes Sales 'Collapsing' 651

Alien54 writes to tell us The Register is reporting that based on reported revenues this year iTunes sales are plummetting. From the article: "Secretive Apple doesn't break out revenues from iTunes, but Forrester conducted an analysis of credit card transactions over a 27-month period. And this year's numbers aren't good. While the iTunes service saw healthy growth for much of the period, since January the monthly revenue has fallen by 65 per cent, with the average transaction size falling 17 per cent. The previous spring's rebound wasn't repeated this year."

Submission + - Debian Etch 4.0 Frozen

ajdlinux writes: "Andreas Barth officially announced that Debian's testing distribution, 'Etch', to be released as 4.0, has now frozen, somewhat behind schedule (the original release date was intended for December 4.) Judging by previous releases, I would guess that Etch will be released within two months — what do you think?"

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