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Microsoft Clears MechWarrior4 Free Launch 131

Vamman writes "If you've been following the drama surrounding the free release of MechWarrior4, then you're probably aware that the initial announcement, made last summer, was a bit premature. Now, nearly a year since that announcement was made, MekTek Studios has announced that Microsoft Legal has given clearance for the free release of Mechwarrior4. This move by Microsoft Games couldn't come at a better time for the community, as the owners of MechWarrior are attempting a reboot of the franchise."

Comment Book Selection (Score 2, Interesting) 542

As a current Kindle 2 owner, the thing that matters the most (at least to me) is book selection. An e-reader is only as useful as the books you can put on it. B&Ns claims of "over a million titles available" (thereby claiming they have more titles then the what's available for the Kindle) is spurious at best, as I believe (IIRC) it includes a lot of free public domain books, books that are freely available on the Kindle, just not necessarily from the Kindle store. Sure, it's nice that they include more of those books in their own store, but that doesn't mean their EXCLUSIVE selection is any better. For anybody looking to compare Nook from Kindle, look at which books are available in the respective stores first.

Comment Re:I always maintained blue ray was moot (Score 1) 685

Maybe downloadable content will be the winner much further down the track, but for the moment I think the problem is that Blu-ray hasn't done enough to dethrone DVDs as the standard format.

Think about what DVDs had to offer over VHS - much smaller form factor (you can get about three TV seasons worth of content in a case the size of a VHS tape), significantly increased quality (both picture and sound), the ability to choose subtitles in dozens of languages with a click of a button, no rewinding, multiple soundtracks on the one disc, selectable camera angles, chapter selection, usable menus, special features, audio commentaries, no degradation of the signal from repeated use, etc...

Blu-ray offers... a slightly better picture. If you fork out ridiculous amounts of cash for the new discs, players and a HD Television to go with it.

Sure, I can tell the difference, and so can most people, but DVDs are actually reasonably good quality to begin with, and good enough for most people out there, myself included.

Clearly you have not heard of BD-Live?!



Senator Arlen Specter Becomes a Democrat 1124

Akido37 was one of many readers letting us know that US Sen. Arlen Specter has changed parties to become a Democrat. This gives the Democrats 59 seats in the Senate, and 60 if and when Al Franken gets seated from Minnesota. However, Specter said in his announcement that he will not be an automatic 60th vote for breaking Republican filibusters. While the senator's move seems to have surprised many Republicans, it is understandable to moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, who said, "You haven't certainly heard warm encouraging words of how they [Republicans] view moderates. Either you are with us or against us." Specter noted that in his home state of Pennsylvania, 200,000 formerly Republican voters switched party allegiance last year.
Sun Microsystems

Oracle Buys Sun 906

bruunb writes "Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) and Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Oracle will acquire Sun common stock for $9.50 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $7.4 billion, or $5.6 billion net of Sun's cash and debt. 'We expect this acquisition to be accretive to Oracle's earnings by at least 15 cents on a non-GAAP basis in the first full year after closing. We estimate that the acquired business will contribute over $1.5 billion to Oracle's non-GAAP operating profit in the first year, increasing to over $2 billion in the second year. This would make the Sun acquisition more profitable in per share contribution in the first year than we had planned for the acquisitions of BEA, PeopleSoft and Siebel combined,' said Oracle President Safra Catz."

Submission + - FTC says 8.3 million hit with identity theft (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "The Federal Trade Commission today released a survey showing that 8.3 million American adults, or almost 4% of all American adults, were victims of identity theft in 2005. A Gartner study in 2006 said ID theft victims numbered 15 million victims. Of the 2005 victims, the FTC said 3.2 million experienced misuse of their existing credit card accounts; 3.3 million experienced misuse of non-credit card accounts; and 1.8 million victims found that new accounts were opened or other frauds were committed using their personal identifying information.The survey found that the costs associated with identity theft varied widely. In at least half of all incidents, thieves obtained goods or services worth $500 or less. In 10 percent of cases, however, thieves got at least $6,000 worth of goods or services. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/22306"

Submission + - Verizon to allow "any app, any device" (electronista.com)

JonathanF writes: "Looks like Verizon decided it was better to go with the flow and is opening up its network so that 'any' device or program can run on its cellular and Internet services. Of course, this being a major US carrier, they're not going to unlock their own cellphones — you'll have to roll with something you've bought separately instead. But at least Verizon will test devices to make sure they hold up. Hopefully this means that phones running Google Android will work on Verizon's network."

Jack Thompson Facing Disbarment Trial 258

pwizard2 writes "Gamepolitics reports that controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson faces the start of an ethics trial this morning, a process which could ultimately see him disbarred. The review board has set aside the entire week to hear details on the case. 'Over the weekend, Thompson turned to the Florida Supreme Court in an apparent effort to block this morning's trial from moving forward. In one court filing Thompson asserted that he was willing to accept a 90-day suspension of his license to practice law. The embattled attorney claimed that such an offer had been on the table, but that the Florida Bar was now seeking his permanent disbarment.'"

Submission + - Astronaut to Run the Boston Marathon From Space

BostonBehindTheScenes writes: "American astronaut Sunita Williams will run 26.2 miles on a treadmill on Patriot's Day (April 16th for those of you outside of Massachusetts) while runners on the ground will compete in the 111th Boston Marathon, according this New Scientist article:

She says she is doing it to motivate children to be fit. "I encourage kids to start making physical fitness part of their daily lives," Williams said. "I think a big goal like a marathon will help get this message out there."
And yes, she is an actual registered participant who qualified by finishing among the top 100 women in the Houston Marathon in 2006. NASA's press release touts this as yet another space first:

She will run the famed race in April as an official entrant from 210 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station. This will be the first time an astronaut in space will be an official participant in a marathon.

Submission + - Massive Yahoo Groups Glitch Bombards Inboxes

Talaria writes: "What appears to be a massive internal glitch in the Yahoo Groups system has caused users' inboxes to be overloaded, and left Yahoo Groups owners and moderators dealing with complaints and dozens of copies of every administrative request. According to reports, Yahoo users' inboxes have been filled beyond storage capacity, with no relief in sight. No word yet from Yahoo on the cause of the problem or when it will be fixed. Ironically, Yahoo just announced that starting in May, all users will have unlimited storage capacity for email."

Journal Journal: OpenOffice 2.2

At OpenOffice's web site we can get the new release of the suite. Bug fixing and new features, specially for Base and Calc are now present, including the ability to import Excel Sheets with Pivot tables from external data, among other thing, according to the release notes.


Submission + - Tatooine's Double-Sunset a Common Site

anthemaniac writes: Thirty years ago, Luke Skywalker saw what scientists are just now realizing, that double sunsets are likely common in the universe. Astronomers have long known that binary star systems are common. And models suggested that planets could form in these systems, even though there's a double-tug of gravity on the material that would have to form a planet. Observations from NASA's Spitzer telescope, show that binary systems are just as likely to be surrounded by planet-forming debris disks are are lone stars.
Star Wars Prequels

Submission + - USPS announced Star Wars stamp set

morpheus83 writes: "After R2D2 letter boxes USPS continues the saga, as it unveiled 15 new stamps featuring Star Wars characters at Grauman's Chinese theater in Hollywood where the original "Star Wars" movie opened 30 years ago. The 41 cent stamps will be released on May 25, all the 15 stamps will be issued on a single sheet resembling a movie poster."

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