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PC Gamers Too Good For Consoles Gamers? 324

thsoundman sends in a blog post from Rahul Sood, CTO of HP's gaming business, who claims there was once a project in development at Microsoft to let Xbox users compete against PC users playing the same game. According to Sood, the project was killed because the console players kept getting destroyed by their PC counterparts. He wrote, "Those of us who have been in the gaming business for over a decade know the real deal. You simply don't get the same level of detail or control as you do with a PC over a console. It's a real shame that Microsoft killed this — because had they kept it alive it might have actually increased the desire of game developers and gamers alike to continue developing and playing rich experiences on the PC, which would trickle down to the console as it has in the past."

Submission + - Alien Planet Being Eaten Alive (

cremeglace writes: Astronomers reports the hottest alien planet ever found, with a surface temperature of 1500 degrees Celsius. Why? Because it's orbiting a star so closely that the star is slowing ripping away the planet's atmosphere, and will one day boil it away entirely. ScienceNOW has the full scoop.

Submission + - HP: Cow poop can make data centers greener (

tsamsoniw writes: Colocating a data center and a dairy farm can be mutually beneficial, according to new research from HP. The biogas extracted from the manure of 10,000 cows would be enough to power a 1MW data center — with watts to spare. Meanwhile, the heat waste from the data center could be used on the farm for such uses as helping break down manure for biogas. Beyond the economic benefits, there are the environmental benefits of putting methane — which is 21 times more damaging than CO2 — to good use.

Why Overheard Cell Phone Chats Are Annoying 344

__roo writes "American researchers think they have found the answer to the question of why overhearing cell phone chats are annoying. According to scientists at Cornell University, when only half of the conversation is overheard, it drains more attention and concentration than when overhearing two people talking. According to one researcher, 'We have less control to move away our attention from half a conversation (or halfalogue) than when listening to a dialogue. Since halfalogues really are more distracting and you can't tune them out, this could explain why people are irritated.' Their study will be published in the journal Psychological Science."

Submission + - NASA satellites take aim at nasty ticks (

coondoggie writes: Nasty ticks and NASA aren't two topics you'd generally find associated with each other but university students this spring used the agencies' satellites to help figure out where the blood sucking, disease-causing arachnids would most likely thrive.

Submission + - Your License to Kill Is Hereby Revoked ( 6

Anders writes: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the largest animal rights organization in the world, endorse a new FLOSS license.

"The Harm-Less Permissive License (HPL) is a permissive, non copyleft, software license. It is based on the FreeBSD license but with one additional restriction; the "harm-less" clause. It prevents software, licensed under the HPL, to be used for harming humans or animals."

HPL details:

It's funny.  Laugh.

The Biggest Cults In Tech 397

bobby f. writes "Infoworld has published its list of the biggest cults in tech — including Palmists, Newtonians, Commodorians, the Brotherhood of the Ruby, IBM power systems fanboys, Ubuntu-ists, and Lispers. A pretty fun read (unless you really are a cult member)." Although I think it's pretty clear that the Apple camp isn't an opinionated cult, they're just always right. Fire away.

Your Mashup Is Probably Legal 149

TV Barn writes "We've been conditioned to think that if you pull something off the web and use it, you're committing some sort of copyright infringement. But increasingly, the law is moving in the opposite direction. Provided you are making a truly new use of the content, you are free to make money off those copyrighted images and video and sound. On Monday the Center for Social Media released 'Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in Online Video,' which reflects the latest changes in copyright law that has expanded the understanding of fair use to include 'transformational effect.' Already Miro has endorsed the guidelines, as have several public broadcasters. The Center has a good track record, having issued guidelines for documentary filmmakers that have greatly reduced copyright claims in that area. The website has plenty of resources for mashers and mixers; I interviewed the Center's director in this podcast that summarizes the most important findings of the report." On the other hand, says reader kaliphonia, your guitar tablature sites may not fare so well.

Submission + - OpenOffice vs MS Office 2007, a sad day for OO

NexTechNews writes: "With advocates of OpenSource bashing on Microsoft Office 2007 for its high price tag and supposed bloatedness, one blogger decided to take the plunge and put the latest from Microsoft and the Latest from OpenOffice and put the 2 systems to the test. The most astonishing test was probably the simplest possible, just opening up some OOXML and ODF format files.

The result though might put some opensource viewers to shame as Microsoft Office not only opened the files 5 times faster than the opensource counterpart, it also managed to use 4 times LESS memory than open office 2.2 did. The reviews show that OpenOffice has definitly made leaps and bounds since its previous versions, but its in no way ready to outperform MS Office 2007.

This comes at a critical time as many offices are deciding whether the upgrade to MS office is worthwhile when free alternatives exist. But the review shows what many don't see, while office integrates a new ribbon and may look like its bloated microsoft managed to keep performance leaps ahead of its opensource competitor, while still including a rich UI with new things like the Citation Manager that OpenOffice 2.2 just flat out doesn't have a counterpart for."

How Google Earth Images Are Made 122

An anonymous reader writes "The Google Librarian Central site has up a piece by Mark Aubin, a Software Engineer who works on Google Earth. Aubin explains some of the process behind capturing satellite imagery for use with the product. 'Most people are surprised to learn that we have more than one source for our imagery. We collect it via airplane and satellite, but also just about any way you can imagine getting a camera above the Earth's surface: hot air balloons, model airplanes - even kites. The traditional aerial survey involves mounting a special gyroscopic, stabilized camera in the belly of an airplane and flying it at an elevation of between 15,000 feet and 30,000 feet, depending on the resolution of imagery you're interested in. As the plane takes a predefined route over the desired area, it forms a series of parallel lines with about 40 percent overlap between lines and 60 percent overlap in the direction of flight. This overlap of images is what provides us with enough detail to remove distortions caused by the varying shape of the Earth's surface.'
Input Devices

Submission + - The best gamer furniture?

jsenek writes: I'm moving into a new apartment, and since my previous one came furnished and the new one does not, it's time to pick out some furniture. What should I look for, as a gamer, that will be comfortable for those long sessions of WoW, but not break my budget? Should I go the "gamer chair" route and look for some kind of keyboard/mouse stand, or should I stick to the tried-and-true office desk and chair combination?

Submission + - Real D: The Future of Cinema

GunSlinger writes: On IGN Movies — linkage . 3-D is making a cinematic comeback via Real D's sophisticated new tech. (Yes, you still wear glasses, no you don't get a headache, and yes the effect is fantastic). This story looks at the technology, past and future projects, and why just about every major studio is now planning in three dimensions.

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