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PC Games (Games)

An Early Look At Civilization V 286

c0mpliant writes "IGN and Gamespot have each released a preview of the recently announced and eagerly awaited Civilization V. Apart from the obvious new hexagon shape of tiles and improved graphics, the articles go on to outline some of the major changes in the game, such as updated AI, new 'flavors' to world leaders, and a potentially game-changing, one-unit-per-tile system. No more will the stack of doom come to your city's doorsteps. Some features which will not be returning are religion and espionage. The removal of these two have sparked a frenzy of discussion on fan-related forums."

Censorship By Glut 391

Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "A 2006 paper by Matthew Salganik, Peter Dodds and Duncan Watts, about the patterns that users follow in choosing and recommending songs to each other on a music download site, may be the key to understanding the most effective form of "censorship" that still exists in mostly-free countries like the US It also explains why your great ideas haven't made you famous, while lower-wattage bulbs always seem to find a platform to spout off their ideas (and you can keep your smart remarks to yourself)." Read on for the rest of Bennett's take on why the effects of peer ratings on a music download site go a long way towards explaining how good ideas can effectively be "censored" even in a country with no formal political censorship.

Daylight Saving Time Wastes Energy 550

An anonymous reader writes "With the time approaching when we'll be changing our clocks again, the Wall Street Journal is running a timely article on a study done by a UC-Santa Barbara economics professor and a Ph.D. student. The study unambiguously concludes that Daylight Saving Time not only doesn't save any energy, it actually wastes energy and costs more. The study used energy company records from Indiana before and after that state mandated DST for all of its counties, and calculated that the switch cost Indiana citizens $8.6M per year. 'I've never had a paper with such a clear and unambiguous finding as this,' the professor said."
GNU is Not Unix

Dealing With a GPL Violation? 204

Sortova writes "For many years now I've been maintaining OpenNMS, a free and open source network management framework published under the GPL. A couple of years ago it came to our attention that a company called Cittio was using OpenNMS as part of their proprietary and commercial network management application. I talked with Jamie Lerner, the Cittio founder, and he assured me that Cittio was abiding by the GPL. However, we were recently contacted by a potential client who was also considering Cittio's Watchtower, and it appears that they are not disclosing that they are using GPL'd code or at least not in the clear and concise fashion required by the GPL, including the offer of source code for all of the code they are including and any changes being made to that code. Since the copyright for OpenNMS is held by a number of commercial companies, the Software Freedom Law Center is not able to help us defend or even investigate a potential violation. I was curious if anyone here on Slashdot had experienced anything similar or has any advice?"
Internet Explorer

IE8 Will Be Standards-Compliant By Default 383

A number of readers wrote in to make sure we know about Microsoft's change of heart regarding IE8. The new version of the dominant browser will render in full standards mode by default. Developers wishing to use quirks mode for IE6- and IE7-compatible rendering will have to opt in explicitly. We've previously discussed IE8's render mode a few times. Perhaps Opera's complaint to the EU or the EU's record antitrust fine had something to do with Redmond's about-face.
United States

Help Find Steve Fossett 439

An anonymous reader invites us to join in the hunt for the missing Steve Fossett using Amazon's Mechanical Turk. DigitalGlobe, one of Google's imaging partners, has acquired new high-resolution satellite imagery of the area where Fossett disappeared on Monday. The public can now go through this imagery and quickly flag any images that might contain Fossett's plane. Flagged images will receive further review by search and rescue experts.

Submission + - Amazon's Shipping Algorithm Oscillating

alek writes: So a few days after it was announced, I ordered a Canon 40D DSLR from Amazon on Aug 26th ... and it shows an estimated shipping date of Sep 24th. A few days later, I read how people are getting their shipping dates moved by just fiddling with the shipping method ... and BAM, it then says scheduled to ship August 30th. A day later it won't ship until Sep 28th. Then it changes back to Sep 4th ... a few days later, it's now Sep 10th. It actually shipped on Sep 5th and here is the whole play-by-play with screenshots. On a semi-related point, Amazon accidentally leaked the Canon 40D details before Canon got their Press Release out ... which probably has an interesting behind-the-scenes story onto itself.

From the buzz online, I thought it would easily be over a month before I got the camera and Amazon's Order Page currently says "In stock soon ... item is in high demand" So despite the hijinks, I thought Amazon did a good job getting the camera to me in 10 days (including Labor Day Weekend). Plenty of time to get familiar with it so I can take pictures of my halloween decorations — D'OH. Since this camera was in high demand, I bet it was a real challenge to their shipping algorithms. As an IT person, I wonder what goes on behind the scenes that causes this type of whip-saw behavior as observed by me, the end-user. Heck, at least the algorithm just oscillated and didn't diverge! ;-)

Submission + - HP Blackbird Desktop w/ Integrated Water Cooling (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "After HP's acquisition of Voodoo PC last year, many speculated that the company's entrance into the high-end gaming PC market was imminent. After all, why else would they have bought Voodoo in the first place? In addition, HP was secretly working on their own gaming PC, and its codename was Blackbird. However, Blackbird wasn't being designed solely by the newly acquired engineers from Voodoo. In fact, the Blackbird project was well underway at HP before the acquisition was finalized. The two did collaborate on a design though, that ultimately became the product that is shown here at — a high-end, fully customizable machine with an integrated water cooling system and a chasis design that allow of complete ease of access. Benchmarks and a full design showcase are included in the article."
Data Storage

Submission + - UK Petition for Government Advocacy of ODF

jeevesbond writes: "An online petition has been created for Brits who'd like to see their government advocate the Open Document Format. From the petition:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to promote the use of Open Document Format within the UK government. Government documents must be available for tens if not hundreds of years. Currently much electronic documentation is stored in proprietary formats, such as Microsoft's .doc format. In order to allow future generations access to these documents it is imperative that they be in a fully documented standard.
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Numbers not looking good for PS3

Engineer Chris writes: An interesting look at some of the numbers behind console sales, and it's not looking good for Sony.

"The three points of the triangle are cost, installed base and games. If you don't have two of them, the third will never happen, and if you do have two, the third will come for free. Basically it is a feedback loop, you will excel at all three and ramp up the numbers or you will be in a death spiral quicker than you can say comprehensive Blu-Ray crack. There is no middle ground."

Submission + - UK Government Rejects Anti-DRM e-Petition

Anonymous Coward writes: "The UK government has rejected an e-Petition calling for a ban on DRM. In a response posted to the e-Petitions site, they claim that DRM gives users "unprecedented choice". BBC News reports on the response: "It said DRM acted as a policeman in that it protected digital content, but, it added, the technology also improved choice and the price consumers wished to pay." The response did, however, recognise that "the needs and rights of consumers must also be carefully safeguarded.""

Submission + - Severe Google Desktop XSS Vulnerability

Tsudohnimh writes: "A new research from Watchfire has revealed a serious vulnerability in Google Desktop.
The attack, which is fully presented in a new Watchfire research paper released today can allow a malicious individual to achieve not only remote, persistent access to sensitive data, but in some cases full system control as well.
The full paper can be found here (1).
A demonstration of the attack flow can be found here(2).
1. http://www.watchfire.com/resources/Overtaking-Goog le-Desktop.pdf
2. http://download.watchfire.com/googledesktopdemo/in dex.htm"

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