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United States

Iowa Seeks To Remove Electoral College 1088

Zebano writes "Since changing the US constitution is too much work, the Iowa senate is considering a bill that would send all 7 of Iowa's electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote in a presidential election. This would only go into affect after enough states totaling 270 electoral votes (enough to elect a president) adopted similar resolutions."

Comment Re: new MBPs (Score 1) 504

Amen. I hate how everyone who complains about the glossy screen neither owns one or uses one frequently (could be correlation or causation, but still lack of experience either way). The screen is fully functional and the machine works great, there's nothing to complain about. I am a semi-pro photographer and the color and performance of the screen have been more than acceptable. The reflections are a non-issue, and I can't believe people are still up in arms over this. Get over it.

Comment How far we've come. (Score 1) 88

My laptop history:

1) At the age of 11, fervently desiring a WinBook that was shown in all those awesome computer ads in PC Magazine. It had interchangeable CD-drive bays and a floppy drive built in (very, very important). I continued to be frustrated with my parents' 486-33 instead.

2) Graduating high school, received gift of IBM ThinkPad R31 - PIII 1.13GHz. Lasted 6 years, then power supply died last year. It was a workhorse.

3) Hand-me-down 17" 9-pound Dell Centrino 1.4 GHz with 2GB RAM. It was a clunky brick.

4) Last week, bought new-version MacBook Pro 15". 2.4GHz Core2 Duo, 4GB RAM, etc. etc. Rumors of shiny screens killing babies are greatly exaggerated. Finally consolidating 3 computers into one, getting rid of the rest. This is the ideal computer at this time, from a guaranteed non-fanboy, having only owned this computer for a week. It's just quality.

The laptop is finally doing everything! Go miniaturization.

Flash Cookies, a Little-Known Privacy Threat 225

Wiini recommends a blog posting exploring Flash cookies, a little-known threat to privacy, and how you can get control of them. 98% of browsers have Macromedia Flash Player installed, and the cookies it enables have some interesting properties. They have no expiration date; they store 100 KB of data by default, with an unlimited maximum; they can't be deleted by your browser; and they send previous visit information and history, by default, without your permission. I was amazed at some of the sites, not visited in a year or more, that still had Flash cookies on my machine. Here's the user-unfriendly GUI for deleting them, one at a time, each one requiring confirmation.

Dispelling Myths About Geomagnetic Reversal 158

UniverseToday has an interesting look at geomagnetic reversal, the process in which the Earth's magnetic poles trade places. The article cites known trends and recent studies to debunk doomsday myths and unsubstantiated claims about the process. One such study is attempting to model the earth's core with a 26-ton ball of molten metal. Another recently found evidence that the Earth has a second, weaker magnetic field. "We do know that this magnetic pole flip-flop has occurred many times in the last few million years; the last occurred 780,000 years ago according to ferromagnetic sediment. A few scaremongering articles have said geomagnetic reversal occurs with 'clockwork regularity' — this is simply not true."

Asus N10 Review — the First Netbook For Gaming 126

Kim Hawley writes "Mobile Computer has a review of another new netbook from Asus. The N10 comes from Asus’ notebook division rather than its Eee PC division, and has an impressive specification. Most notable are the ExpressCard/34 slot and switchable nVidia GeForce 9300M graphics, and the video shows the N10 playing Call of Duty 4 very smoothly. Pre-orders in the US are around $600 – about the same as the Eee PC 1000. The N10 is closer to a traditional laptop than a true netbook, though – is feature-creep killing this new market already?"
PC Games (Games)

id CEO Claims PC Hardware Manufacturers Love Piracy 676

arcticstoat sends a link to an interview with the CEO of id Software, Todd Hollenshead, in which he suggests that hardware manufacturers count on piracy to help drive profits, rather than doing something to prevent it. Quoting: "...I think that there's been this dirty little secret among hardware manufacturers, which is that the perception of free content — even if you're supposed to pay for it on PCs — is some sort hidden benefit that you get when you buy a PC, like a right to download music for free or a right to download pirated movies and games. ...And I think that just based on their actions...what they say is one thing, but what they do is another. When it comes into debates about whether peer-to-peer file-sharing networks that by-and-large have the vast majority, I'm talking 99 per cent of the content is illicitly trading copyrighted property, they'll come out on the side of the 1 per cent of the user doing it for legitimate benefit."

Is Anyone Using the Google Web Toolkit? 470

eldavojohn writes "After seeing some applications from Google and participating in the Google Codejam (which seems to be built using the GWT), I kind of expected to see websites spring up left and right based off the GWT. Well, it's been a year and a half since they open sourced it and I have to admit that I am more than a little disappointed by its low profile in the UI community. I've been trolling their blog and have seen a few books out on it. But the one thing I'm not seeing is its use outside of Google. I've worked through the examples and tutorials at home and though I've been impressed with the speed, I am disturbed by the actual result — a whole ton of generated Javascript. But this is the first UI technology I've found where I can write in the native language of the server (Java) to generate and unit-test the UI code. Aside from Google's use and the games of Ryan Dewsbury like KDice & GPokr, does anyone know of major sites using the GWT? If you don't and you've used it yourself, why isn't it taking off? Is it too immature? Is it a solution to a problem that already has too many solutions? Is it fundamentally lacking in some way?"

Clarinet Wins Robotic Orchestra Competition 94

Sasha writes "The Australian designed robotic clarinet beat out Dutch and Finnish entries this year at the robotic orchestra competition. The researchers don't expect to replace human musicians, but are instead interested in what makes the difference between playing music well and playing music poorly. There is also a video available of the performance."

NASA Plans Probe to the Sun 352

FudRucker writes "For more than 400 years, astronomers have studied the sun from afar. Now NASA has decided to go there. 'We are going to visit a living, breathing star for the first time,' says program scientist Lika Guhathakurta of NASA Headquarters. 'This is an unexplored region of the solar system and the possibilities for discovery are off the charts.'"

World of Warcraft Arena PvP Season 4 Announced 55

WoW Insider is reporting that Blizzard has announced the next season of Arena PvP combat, set to launch on June 24th. "As usual, teams will be allowed to keep any accumulated points, but all team and personal ratings will reset to 1500, and all titles from Season 2 will be removed. Also, the top rated teams from Season 3 will receive their titles, and for the very top, Armored Netherdrakes. It is also worth noting that this season will herald new Arena ratings requirements on most Season 4 gear, including many of the new honor rewards. In addition, Season 3's shoulder and weapon Arena rating requirements will drop slightly, all season 3 gear will cost fewer arena points, and the Season 2 gear will be purchasable for Honor."

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