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Media

HD VMD Shows Up Late For the Format War 280

Fishead writes "As the fight heats up between HD DVD and Blu-ray, and as consumers seem to care less and less, a new contender has entered the fray. Next month, New Medium Enterprises will be selling a 1080p player through Amazon and stores such as Radio Shack and Costco for around $150 — half what the cheapest HD DVD player costs, and a quarter the cost of a low-end Blu-ray. The difference this new HD VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) format brings is that the discs are created with the same (cheap) red laser as DVDs. From the article: 'HD VMD discs, which hold up to 30GB on a single side, are encoded with a maximum bit rate of 40 megabits per second... between HD DVD's 36 Mpbs and Blu-ray's 48 Mbps. The format uses MPEG-2 and VC1 video formats to encode at 1080p resolution for the time being, and will possibly move to the H.264 format in the future.'"
Security

BioShock Installs a Rootkit 529

An anonymous reader writes "Sony (the owner of SecureROM copy protection) is still up to its old tricks. One would think that they would have learned their lesson after the music CD DRM fiasco, which cost them millions. However, they have now started infesting PC gaming with their invasive DRM. Facts have surfaced that show that the recently released PC game BioShock installs a rootkit, which embeds itself into Explorer, as part of its SecureROM copy-protection scheme. Not only that, but just installing the demo infects your system with the rootkit. This begs the question: Since when did demos need copy protection?"
Space

Study: Martian Soil Has Signs of Life 382

geoffrobinson writes "Reuters is reporting that a scientist from Germany believes Viking probe data shows signs of life. From the article: "Joop Houtkooper of the University of Giessen, Germany, said on Friday the spacecraft may in fact have found signs of a weird life form based on hydrogen peroxide on the subfreezing, arid Martian surface. His analysis of one of the experiments carried out by the Viking spacecraft suggests that 0.1 percent of the Martian soil could be of biological origin.""

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