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Microsoft

MS Design Lets You Put Batteries In Any Way You Want 453

jangel writes "While its strategy for mobile devices might be a mess, Microsoft has announced something we'll all benefit from. The company's patented design for battery contacts will allow users of portable devices — digital cameras, flashlights, remote controls, toys, you name it — to insert their batteries in any direction. Compatible with AA and AAA cells, among others, the 'InstaLoad' technology does not require special electronics or circuitry, the company claims."
PC Games (Games)

Future Ubisoft Games To Require Constant Internet Access 497

Following up on our discussion yesterday of annoying game distribution platforms, Ubisoft has announced the details of their Online Services Platform, which they will use to distribute and administer future PC game releases. The platform will require internet access in order to play installed games, saved games will be stored remotely, and the game you're playing will even pause and try to reconnect if your connection is lost during play. Quoting Rock, Paper, Shotgun: "This seems like such a bizarre, bewildering backward step. Of course we haven't experienced it yet, but based on Ubi’s own description of the system so many concerns arise. Yes, certainly, most people have the internet all the time on their PCs. But not all people. So already a percentage of the audience is lost. Then comes those who own gaming laptops, who now will not be able to play games on trains, buses, in the park, or anywhere they may not be able to find a WiFi connection (something that’s rarely free in the UK, of course – fancy paying the £10/hour in the airport to play your Ubisoft game?). Then there's the day your internet is down, and the engineers can’t come out to fix it until tomorrow. No game for you. Or any of the dozens of other situations when the internet is not available to a player. But further, there are people who do not wish to let a publisher know their private gaming habits. People who do not wish to report in to a company they’ve no affiliation with, nor accountability to, whenever they play a game they’ve legally bought. People who don’t want their save data stored remotely. This new system renders all customers beholden to Ubisoft in perpetuity whenever they buy their games."
NASA

Submission + - First fully time deterministic Java library. (javolution.org)

dautelle writes: "The national space agency is very much interested in using Java for its Real-Time/Safety-Critical systems. Unfortunately the standard Java library is not time-predictable (lazy initialization, array resizing, map rehashing, etc) which makes it unsuitable for such systems. An alternative fully time-deterministic Java library (Javolution) has been developed and introduced for the first time to the scientific community during the Space 2007 conference (Long Beach CA). Here is the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) paper (.pdf) introducing this open-source library. Because of its high-performance (see collections benchmark results) this library may be of interest to non real-time Java applications as well."
Space

Submission + - Mystery illness from meteor crash is solved. (nationalgeographic.com)

Technician writes: The meteor that crashed in Peru caused a mystery illnesses. The cause of the illness has been found. The meteor was not toxic. The ground water it contacted contains arsenic. The resulting steam cloud is what caused the mystery illness. "The meteorite created the gases when the object's hot surface met an underground water supply tainted with arsenic, the scientists said." http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/09/070921-meteor-peru.html There is a very good photo of the impact crater in the article. The rim of the crater is lined with people for a size comparison.
Microsoft

Submission + - EU thinktank urges full Windows unbundling

leffeman writes: An influential Brussels think tank is urging the European Commission to ban the bundling of operating systems with desktop and laptop computers. The Globalisation Institute's submission to the Commission says that bundling 'is not in the public interest' and that the dominance of Windows has 'slowed technical improvements and prevented new alternatives entering from the marketplace.' It says the Microsoft tax is a burden on EU businesses: the price of operating systems would be lower in a competitive market. This is the first time a major free-market think tank has published in favour of taking action against Microsoft's monopoly power.
Displays

Submission + - World's Brightest Single LED developed

morpheus83 writes: "Seoul semiconductors has developed a single LED with brightness of 400 lumens. This is around 4 times brighter than convention LED emitting around 100 lumens maximum. This high performance LED, as a next-generation lighting source, is also claimed to be the brightest LED at the level of 8W in the industry. The single package product emits up to 420 lumens at 600mA maximum and 350 lumens on average."
Graphics

Submission + - Drawing on Air

Roland Piquepaille writes: "In a recent article, PhysOrg.com reports that a team of computer scientists at Brown University has developed Drawing on Air, a haptic-aided interface to help artists to create 3D illustrations while wearing a virtual reality mask. 'The technique introduces two new strategies, using one hand or two hands, to give artists the tools they need for drawing different types of curves, and for viewing and editing their work.' The researchers hope that these techniques will improve the precision with which scientists can interact with their 3D data using a computer. This also would help artists to illustrate complicated artistic, scientific, and medical subjects. Read more for additional details and several pictures made with this system, a bat flight, a bearded man and a Swahili bride."
Displays

Submission + - AMD releases register specs for R5xx and R6xx (arstechnica.com) 2

ianare writes: AMD has recently released register specifications for the ATI Radeon R5xx and R6xx graphic devices. This allows the OSS community to develop 2D (and theoretically 3D) drivers, given time. In fact, engineers from Novell have released a first alpha quality Open Source driver which currently supports initial mode settings. Although current work is focused on 2D, rather than 3D acceleration, this type of information sharing could conceivably lead to an OSS 3D driver.
Media

Submission + - MediaDefender Leaks Saga : unexpected outcomes (p2pnet.net) 4

ShakaZ writes: Following the leaks of all the internal emails and later the source code of all the anti-p2p software of MediaDefender, the boss and an employee of the company have been arrested by the LA police. They are charged for illegal uploading with intent to deceive, bandwidth theft, and grievous misrepresentation.
More handcuffs there : http://www.p2pnet.net/story/13397

Due to the released emails, ThePirateBay have proof of infrastructural sabotage, denial of service attacks, hacking and spamming, for which they filed a complaint to the Swedish police. 10 companies of the music, movie and gaming industries are listed in the complaint.
More pirates here : http://thepiratebay.org/blog

Patents

802.11n May Never Happen Due to Patent Concerns 174

afabbro writes "The Register is reporting that the 802.11n standard is imperiled because the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organization has refused to submit a Letter of Assurance, promising not to sue those who implement the standard. '...the realization that CSIRO holds essential patents, and has failed to provide a Letter of Assurance as required by the IEEE, could prevent the standard ever being finalized ... 802.11n promises to deliver a fivefold increase in speed, and double the range of 802.11g. Indeed in many cases it's already delivering something approximating that, as pre-standard kit has been available for almost a year. In May the Wi-Fi Alliance got so bored waiting for the IEEE to complete the standard that they started certifying kit as conforming to the draft, even though the final version isn't expected until 2008."
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Crappy Halo 3 Limited Edition case scratches discs (maxconsole.net)

Anonymous Coward writes: "Gamers are reporting that the Halo 3 discs in the Limited Edition Halo 3 bundle come heavily scratched upon purchase. The problem reportedly lies within the fact that there is a poorly made plastic nub and foam disc pad holding mechanism which results in the discs becoming loose easily and consequently scratched in their case."

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