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Submission + - Pirates offer Windows 7 on USB sticks

Sam writes: Ars reports: Pirates have been selling Windows 7 on the black market long before the operating system was officially released on October 22, 2009. That said, as far we can tell, it's a first to see Windows 7 being sold illegally on USB drives, the selling point being that they work much faster than DVDs. In China, Netac U208 8GB USB drives preloaded with Windows 7 are being sold for 98 yuan, or about $14.

Rubik's Cube Algorithm Cut Again, Down to 23 Moves 202

Bryan writes "The number of moves necessary to solve an arbitrary Rubik's cube configuration has been cut down to 23 moves, according to an update on Tomas Rokicki's homepage (and here). As reported in March, Rokicki developed a very efficient strategy for studying cube solvability, which he used it to show that 25 moves are sufficient to solve any (solvable) Rubik's cube. Since then, he's upgraded from 8GB of memory and a Q6600 CPU, to the supercomputers at Sony Pictures Imageworks (his latest result was produced during idle-time between productions). Combined with some of Rokicki's earlier work, this new result implies that for any arbitrary cube configuration, a solution exists in either 21, 22, or 23 moves. This is in agreement with informal group-theoretic arguments (see Hofstadter 1996, ch. 14) suggesting that the necessary and sufficient number of moves should be in the low 20s. From the producers of Spiderman 3 and Surf's Up, we bring you: 2 steps closer to God's Algorithm!"

Metallica to Star in Next Major Guitar Hero? 115

Many readers have written in to let us know Metallica may be the star of the next major installment to the Guitar Hero franchise. "Edward Woo, a Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst, was going through some SEC filings from Activision, and found the following plan. 'In fiscal 2009, we plan to publish Guitar Hero: On Tour for the NDS; Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, Guitar Hero: Metallica, and Guitar Hero IV across multiple platforms,' the report read. Since the fiscal year ends March 31, 2009, it doesn't sound like we have long to wait for this title. That's four Guitar Hero games coming in the next year. How many can the market take?"

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