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Submission + - Dan O'Bannon, "Alien" Screenwriter, Dead At 63 ( 1

Dave Knott writes: "The notable science fiction screenwriter and director Dan O'Bannon has died at the age of 63. O'Bannon's career began with a writing credit for John Carpenter's Dark Star and he went on the write many enduring science fiction and horror films such as Blue Thunder, Lifeforce, Screamers and Total Recall. He was also an occasional director, whose credits include The Return Of The Living Dead, the campy horror film that made popular the zombie chant of "braaiiiinnnsss". However, he will be best remembered as the writer of Alien, one of the all-time classics of both the science fiction and horror genres. O'Bannon died after a 30 year battle with Crohn's disease and is survived by his wife, Diane, and son, Adam."

Submission + - Laptop Reliability: Asus on top, HP at the bottom (

Foredecker writes: SquareTrade looked at 30,000 randomly sampled mobile systems over their first three years of ownership. 31% of laptop owners reported a failure. Two thirds of these (20.4% total) were hardware failures.

Asus and Toshiba laptops where the best, failing at just over half the rate of HP systems, which rated the least reliable.

SquareTrade projects that Notebooks will have a 20% higher failure rate from hardware failures than more expensive mobile systems.

What does this bode for the notebook market? Will the reliability of these systems improve with time as the market matures? Or will cost pressures be a persistent problem? Will this hurt their image with consumers?

You can find the report here. Their report links to another relevant item here.


Students Take Pictures From Space On $150 Budget 215

An anonymous reader writes "Two MIT students have successfully photographed the earth from space on a strikingly low budget of $148. Perhaps more significantly, they managed to accomplish this feat using components available off-the-shelf to the average layperson, opening the door for a new generation of amateur space enthusiasts. The pair plan to launch again soon and hope that their achievements will inspire teachers and students to pursue similar endeavors."

Submission + - Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack (

An anonymous reader writes: As I was trying to find some new updates on Windows 7, I have discovered an interesting clause on Windows 7 Home Premium licensing plan. The clause may be driving towards the possibility that Microsoft will be offering a "family pack" licensing plan to users which will cover up to three household computers when they are going to purchase the said OS version. I got the clause of the Installation and Use Rights of Windows 7 Home Premium from Kristan Kenney which states: Family Pack. If you are a "Qualified Family Pack User", you may install one copy of the software marked as "Family Pack" on three computers in your household for use by people who reside there. Those computers are the "licensed computers" and are subject to these license terms. If you do not know whether you are a Qualified Family Pack User, visit or contact the Microsoft affiliate serving your country.

Submission + - Act now! Sign the petition, keep Pirate Bay free. (

An anonymous reader writes: Global Gaming Factory (GGF) confirmed that sharing on the Pirate Bay will come with a cost, as the new owners plan to charge the users of the site a monthly fee. Act now! Sign the petition to keep The Pirate Bay free!

Comment Re:Online Banking (Score 1) 291

My method as well... although "memory" would also be a true statement. I know everyone is excited to see a CowboyNeal option but this poll seriously needed an "other - please specify".

Book Reviews

The Symantec Guide To Home Internet Security 139

r3lody writes "There are many households that have high-speed Internet connections, yet most people are simply not doing enough to protect themselves from the many exploits that exist. The Symantec Guide to Home Internet Security by Andrew Conry-Murray and Vincent Weafer was written to speak to those people. Symantec Press is the publisher, yet it remains reasonably vendor-neutral. This book is for non-technical people. Its ten chapters cover a relatively slim 240 pages, so it should not intimidate someone who is not a computer professional. Also, you do not really have to read the book front-to-back, but you can focus in on the chapter or chapters that interest you and have fairly complete information." Read on for the rest of Ray's review.

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