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Comment Re:How the mighty have fallen... (Score 1) 266

Sony definitely lost their way ever since they went into the content business. Eventually the content executives took over and started calling the shots. No longer was technology the main driver of the business. Now technology only exists as a way to deliver their content. This is why Howard Stringer is the CEO. He's a media guy who worked in the media business for over 30 years before he worked at Sony. This is why Sony failed to capture the MP3 player market, or the cellphone market. They were more capable than Apple in creating an iPod or an iPhone, but their content division crippled them.


China's Cyber-Militia 196

D. J. Keenan notes that the cover story of the current issue of National Journal reports in depth on China's cyber-aggression against US targets in the government, military, and business. We have discussed China's actions on numerous occasions over the years. The news in this report is the suggestion that Chinese cyber-attackers may have been involved in major power outages in the US. "Computer hackers in China, including those working on behalf of the Chinese government and military, have penetrated deeply into the information systems of US companies and government agencies, stolen proprietary information from American executives in advance of their business meetings in China, and, in a few cases, gained access to electric power plants in the United States, possibly triggering two recent and widespread blackouts in Florida and the Northeast, according to US government officials and computer-security experts..."

Comment It's about the lack of choice (Score 1) 337

Buying or selling a house should be like buying or selling a car. You can do it yourself, but you probably will need a mechanic, get it certified, and so on.

Likewise, buying or selling a house should be the same. If you need to fix up the house before selling it, employ a home repair person. Need advice about neighbourhoods or values, search it online yourself, or hire a specialist.

The problem is that with a home, your choices are limited. You are paying 3% regardless of the job your real estate broker is doing, even if you don't need one. To those who say a real estate agent does this and that, or how valuable their agent was, wouldn't that be the same if you employed a specialist and paid them hourly? Let's see $5000 / $50/hour is 100 hours... that should be enough time for you to employ any specialist to fix up your house, drive you around, do some research for you.

One way to break this monopoly is to first create a national database of homes sold along with contact number of the person selling. Make it required by law. After everyone is enrolled in this database, make it available to the public.

Problem solved.
The Courts

Hans Reiser Guilty of First Degree Murder 1395

Anonymous Meoward writes "Today Hans Reiser was found guilty of first degree murder in Oakland, California. Quoting Wired: 'In a murder case with no body, no crime scene, no reliable eyewitness and virtually no physical evidence, the prosecution began the trial last November with a daunting task ahead... The turning point in the trial came when Reiser took the stand in his own defense March 3.' Whether he really did it or not, Hans basically just didn't know when to shut up."
XBox (Games)

Mass Effect Sells A Million, Halo 3 Sells Five 69

Sales news is starting to trickle out for some of the big Fall games, with the Xbox 360 so far looking very strong. BioWare's Mass Effect has sold a million copies, while Bungie's blockbuster Halo 3 has already sold over five million copies since its September 25th release date. That last figure comes from a GameDaily interview with Xbox Marketing VP Jeff Bell. Aside from noting this week's release of Halo 3's first downloadable map pack, Bell also connected these sales back to the console itself: "The reaction has been very positive. In fact, we saw incredible sales of Xbox 360 for the week of November 18, including Black Friday of more than 310,000 Xbox 360 in the U.S. alone. This is really strong momentum for us given that we're already in our third year on the market."

Why Xbox Live Doesn't Take Exact Change 233

With ever-more tempting content on Xbox Live (like the awesome Exit), it's really frustrating to have to 'overpay' and buy Points in bulk. 1up got an official response from Xbox 360 group product manager Aaron Greenberg on that issue, explaining why the service always leaves you with a little bit left over: "The reason why we do that, the core reason, is around credit card transaction fees ... If we do this in bulk, we don't have to burden the consumer with the transaction fees, or ourselves or publishers. It's about keeping infrastructure costs down and I know sometimes it's frustrating because you end up with odd points, but we don't have any plans to change that." Greenberg also addressed why the service limits you to 100 friends on your friends list.

Submission + - Best Text Editor for 2008 2

gamer4Life writes: Seven years ago, Slashdot users got to vote for their favourite open-source text editor. While this vim and emacs are stalwarts for the Linux platform, I was wondering what the best text editor is for Windows?
The Courts

Verizon Being Sued for GPL Infringement 195

darthcamaro writes "According to the SFLC, Verizon can be added to the list of companies infringing on the GPL. They filed a lawsuit in New York yesterday (pdf) alleging that the company is handing out routers using the GPL'd software 'BusyBox' without accompanying source code. Today the SFLC spoke to the media to lay out its case: 'The legal action against Verizon come as the fourth action that the SFLC has undertaken this year on behalf of BusyBox on GPL issues. The GPL is a reciprocal license that requires users of GPL-protected technology to make their source code available to end-users. To date, the SFLC has settled with one defendant out of court. Two actions, facing Xterasys Corporation and High-Gain Antennas, are ongoing and Ravicher said he's optimistic about negotiations resulting in a resolution with each.'"
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - User-created content on consoles

gamer4Life writes: Gamasutra sat down with Marc Rein of Epic Games and discussed Epics future plans with the Unreal Engine on consoles. He talks about everything from using the Unreal Engine for a game on XBLA as well as creating mods on the PC and porting it over to the PS3. Some interesting comments were made, such as blacklisting questionable content, to selling a mod.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - Mark Rein talks about Unreal Tournament 3

gamer4Life writes: Epic Games Vice President, Mark Rein, talks about Unreal Tournament 3 which came out on the PC in the past month and is slated to come to the PS3 this December. In this interview, Mark gives his insight into opening up consoles to play mods created on the PC, as well as online gaming in general. He gets particularly annoyed when the interviewer asks why all "Unreal games look the same". All in all, a good interview, both informative and entertaining.
PlayStation (Games)

Orange Box Dysfunctional on the PS3? 154

Via Next Generation, a preview of the PS3 version of the Orange Box . 1up is the site running the piece, and it's notable because it's so incredibly negative. PS3 fans may have some frustrations in store when the game pack releases soon: "After spending a significant amount of time with a near final version of the PS3 game, it's apparent that this version suffers from a number of technical flaws, which at best merely hinder game play and at worst make the experience downright unplayable. Framerate is a consistent issue throughout the Half-Life series of games included in The Orange Box. One moment you'll be cruising through the game at 30 frames per second and the next you'll be enjoying a slideshow of series protagonist Gordon Freeman cruising down the river. "
XBox (Games)

On the Process of Effecting Mass 55

Dean Takahashi, of the San Jose Mercury News, has up a lengthy interview with Mass Effect project director Casey Hudson on the almost four-year-long development of the title. The two men go into some detail on BioWare's approach to game creation, as well as discussing the numerous technical and storytelling leaps they made with the game. "Hudson said, 'One thing I'm hoping people see in it is how much more there is for a player to make decisions on. It makes it really hard for us to develop, given the customization that we make possible in the game. For example, from the beginning, you are not pre-made as a character. You can play Commander Shepard. But you can also create your own character, male or female. You can choose your special abilities. Those are ways to make your game different and unique. These are things that make it much harder for us to make the game so that it is consistent all the way through, given your choices.'"

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C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]