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Submission + - Is Dell Bias against Firefox?

makitso writes: I am astounded at what I have just discovered.

I have a new Dell 15z laptop with the M525 Nvidia graphics card. I enjoy using Firefox. However, there has been a nagging problem with FF (7, and 8) in that I can't save bookmarks and the password manager will not run correctly. Everything does work correctly when FF is launched in safe mode however.

I traced the problem to a binary named dwm.exe, which is Windows Composting Window Manager. Turns out that FF uses 3D on the top header and that 3D is provided by dwm.exe. However, its not working with the Nvidia drivers. I traced the problem to the GT525 Nvidia driver that is installed by Dell and available on their web site.

Now here is the good part. NVIDIA has a utility known as the Nvidia Control Pannel. This great utility allows you to tune the graphics capabilities by application. In the default list are Chrome, IE, and other applications (I use Chrome as well). When I tried to add Firefox.exe it would not let me. I could add any other binary and it worked fine but not FF. Wonder why — something is stinky here.

So, I went to the NVIDIA site and downloaded and installed their 525m driver version 2.8562. After it was installed I then used the NVIDIA Control Panel and guess what, Firefox was listed!

So, I picked option #2 and selected High Performance NVIDIA processor and option #3 Vertical Sync and set it to OFF . Problem solved.

So, IMO, Dell must have intentionally add coded or did something to prevent FF from being managed by the Nvidia Control Panel.

Low Quality Alloy Cause of Shuttle Main Tank Issue 118

BJ_Covert_Action writes "NASA engineers have finally discovered the root cause of the cracks that have been found on space shuttle Discovery's main external tank. The main tank, one of the 'Super Lightweight Tank' models developed by Lockheed-Martin, employs an aluminum-lithium alloy developed by Lockheed-Martin specifically for this application. The new alloy is used in various structural stringers throughout the SLWT design. Unfortunately, the batch of this alloy used in the tank that is currently mated with the Discovery shuttle appears to be of low quality. The alloy used in the stringers has a 'mottled' appearance, compared to the nominal appearance typically used in the main tank stringers (see picture in article). This appearance is indicative of a fracture threshold that is significantly lower than typical. NASA has determined, through testing, that this low grade alloy has only 65% of the fracture strength of the nominal alloy typically used. NASA engineers have devised a potential fix to the problem that they are currently testing to ensure the repair will cause no unintended consequences. NASA plans to have the Discovery shuttle ready to launch again by February 24th, 2011."

IT Worker's Revenge Lands Her In Jail 347

aesoteric writes "A 30-year-old IT worker at a Florida-based health centre was this week sentenced to 19 months in a US federal prison for hacking, and then locking, her former employer's IT systems. Four days after being fired from the Suncoast Community Health Centers' for insubordination, Patricia Marie Fowler exacter her revenge by hacking the centre's systems, deleting files, changing passwords, removing access to infrastructure systems, and tampering with pay and accrued leave rates of staff."

40 Million Year Old Primate Fossils Found In Asia 91

sosaited writes "It has been widely believed that our ancestors originated out of Africa, but a paper published in Nature by Carnegie Museum of Natural History scientists puts this in doubt. The paper is based on the fossils of four primate species found in Asia which are 40 million years old, during which period Africa was thought to not have these species. The diversity and timing of the new anthropoids raises two scenarios. Anthropoids might simply have emerged in Africa much earlier than thought, and gone undiscovered by modern paleontologists. Or they could have crossed over from Asia, where evidence suggests that anthropoids lived 55 million years ago, flourishing and diversifying in the wide-open ecological niches of an anthropoid-free Africa."

Physicists Discover Universal "Wet-Dog Shake" Rule 97

Dog owners can sleep easy tonight because physicists have discovered how rapidly a wet dog should oscillate its body to dry its fur. Presumably, dogs already know. From the article: "Today we have an answer thanks to the pioneering work of Andrew Dickerson at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and a few buddies. But more than that, their work generates an interesting new conundrum about the nature of shaken fur dynamics. Dickerson and co filmed a number of dogs shaking their fur and used the images to measure the period of oscillation of the dogs' skin. For a labrador retriever, this turns out to be 4.3 Hz."

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