Warhound VIP Video Presentation

22 11 2007

New Warhound movie footage captured at game presentation.

Click here to view the Video

A dumb way to die in Halo

2 11 2007

One moment you’re walking, the other you’re dead. WTF what killed me so instantly?

Normally you wouldn’t know in most games. But this is Halo 3, so you have the ability to play back, switch camera positions and check from every angle of the level… You’ll be surprised who or WHAT was the killer…

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Apple or PC?

30 10 2007

Apple might be the flavor of the moment in the consumer PC world, but hundreds of thousands of customers every year continue to choose plain vanilla “white box” PCs.Those purchases go on as Hewlett-Packard and Dell churn out millions of name-brand PCs every quarter, Acer enjoys double- and triple-digit growth rates, and Apple continues to be the darling of the hardware business.

At first glance, it would appear the white-box market hasn’t changed so dramatically in the past several years. The share of white-box computers (which includes PCs without brand names and those from smaller manufacturers) has decreased from a 44 percent share of the worldwide market in 2003 to 37 percent as of 2006, according to market researcher IDC.

But the growing popularity of notebook PCs spells big trouble for the future of white-box manufacturing. The “white-book” market has dwindled from an already-small 8.5 percent share to a 5.6 percent share between 2003 and 2006. That comes while notebooks have, over the same period of time, become the dominant PC form factor for top vendors Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, and Acer, accounting for two-thirds of consumer PC sales.

The smaller PC assemblers can’t participate as easily in the notebook market. That’s because their bread and butter–an oversupply of parts they can buy at a discount–are intended more and more for specific notebook models. Read the rest of this entry »

Creating Power out of thin air!

30 10 2007

The Princeton, N.J.-based company is working on a material that, when combined with another substance, will generate electricity with ambient room heat, Andrew Surany, the company’s president, told CNET News.com this week.

Conceivably, one could take that material and fashion it into a passive fuel cell that can create power by just sitting in an ordinary room heated to about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to self-charging electronic devices.

“It derives heat from the environment” and converts it to electricity, Surany said. “I’m talking about embedding cells into doors or the panels on a car. In a laptop, I am talking about embedding cells into the case.”

And no, it won’t suck out all the heat like some freakish invention from Mr. Freeze on the old Batman show. As long as the sun doesn’t explode or Earth doesn’t get plunged into nuclear winter, it conceivably could produce electricity without effort indefinitely.

Theoretically, one could heat the material, too, to get better results. If you heated one square meter of the material to 100 degrees Celsius, or the boiling point of water, the material could absorb 1.2 kilojoules of heat energy. Converting 5 percent of that heat to electricity would give you enough energy to power a car, Surany asserted.

So how does it work? Syrdec is trying to combine something called the Seebeck effect and the product of nuclear fusion. In the Seebeck effect, electric current can be generated from temperature differentials. Put metals or semiconductors near each other that exist in radically different energy states and you get power. It’s not just theoretical: Germany’s EnOcean, another energy-harvesting specialist, has come up with sensors that get power from the temperature differentials between the interaction material that makes up a pipe filled with hot gases and a material heated to room temperature. Read the rest of this entry »

Whois may be scrapped to break deadlock….

30 10 2007

Tech industry lawyer Mark Bohannon frequently taps a group of searchable databases called Whois to figure out who may be behind a Web site that distributes pirated software or tricks visitors into revealing passwords.

Like a “411” for the Internet, Whois contains information such as names and phone numbers on the owners of millions of “.com” and other Internet addresses. Bohannon and his staff at the Software and Information Industry Association rely on the free databases daily in their efforts to combat theft and fraud.

Law-enforcement officials, trademark lawyers and journalists, as well as spammers, also use it regularly.

Credits: Yahoo.com

“The Whois database is in fact the best, most well-recognized tool that we have to be able to track down who in fact you are doing business with,” said Bohannon, the trade group’s general counsel, adding that alternatives such as issuing subpoenas to service providers take more time and cost money.

Nonetheless, some privacy advocates are proposing scrapping the system entirely because they can’t agree with the people who use the system on how to give domain name owners more options when they register — such as designating third-party agents. Privacy advocates say individuals shouldn’t have to reveal personal information simply to have a Web site.

The so-called “sunset” proposal is expected to come up Wednesday before a committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, a key Internet oversight agency.

It will have a tough time winning approval — and could create chaos. But the fact that abandoning Whois is on the table underscores frustrations among privacy advocates that ICANN appears on the verge of launching new studies and deferring a decision yet again after some six years of debate.

Ross Rader, a member of ICANN’s generic names council and the sunset proposal’s chief sponsor, said many negotiators are stalling because they prefer the status quo, which gives them the access to Whois that they desire.

An executive with domain registration company Tucows Inc., Rader said he is just trying to break the deadlock and doesn’t necessarily want the databases to disappear.

“What removing the status quo will do is force all of the actors to come together without the benefit of a status quo to fall back on and say, `We are now all screwed. What will we do?'” Rader said. “It will lead to better good-faith negotiations.”

Think of it as saving the system by breaking it first.

Marilyn Cade, a former AT&T executive who has been active on Whois advocacy, called the sunset proposal “an emotional overreaction that somehow got crystalized into an option. Everyone who has done the long hours of hard work to examine policy options thinks that they have a monopoly on what is best, but the facts are not yet there.”

Cade is part of the camp that prefers further studies on the extent of any Whois abuse and the degree to which individuals are actually registering names for personal use — which could justify more privacy — rather than for businesses, nonprofit endeavors or domain name speculation.

Those findings, she said, would help ICANN tailor new policies that address actual problems, even if it means delay. And the study option seems likelier than the sunset proposal to prevail Wednesday.

When the current addressing system started in the 1980s, government and university researchers who dominated the Internet knew one another and didn’t mind sharing personal details to resolve technical problems.

Since then, the use of Whois has changed greatly.

Law-enforcement officials and Internet service providers use it to fight fraud and hacking. Lawyers depend on it to chase trademark and copyright violators. Journalists rely on it to reach Web site owners. And spammers mine it to send junk mailings for Web site hosting and other services.

Internet users, meanwhile, have come to expect more privacy and even anonymity. The requirements for domain name owners to provide such details also contradict some European privacy laws that are stricter than those in the United States.

There’s agreement that more could be done to improve the accuracy of Whois, as scammers and even legitimate individuals who want to remain anonymous can easily enter fake data.

The disagreements are over “who gets to see it (and) how can we protect people’s privacy while at the same time making accurate information available to those who need it,” said Vint Cerf, ICANN’s chairman.

ICANN’s Generic Names Supporting Organization Council appeared to break a logjam in March when it formed a working group to consider letting domain name owners designate third-party agents in Whois listings. Currently, owners must provide their full names, organizations, postal and e-mail addresses and phone numbers.

But when the working group started developing an implementation plan, the opposing sides quickly disagreed on the basics, including the level of detail required.

“There were a number of parties that just would not compromise and could not accept that there are legitimate uses of Whois,” said Margie Milam, a working group member and general counsel of the brand-protection firm MarkMonitor.

Approval of the sunset proposal, as drafted, would mean abolishing the current Whois requirements by late 2008. After that, individual registration companies would be able to decide whether to continue offering data on their customers, leading to gaps in the registration records.

The threat of losing Whois would force serious negotiations before it happens, said Milton Mueller, a Syracuse University professor on the Whois working group. “The sense of shock that would settle around certain people would be rapid and immediate.”

Microsoft apologizes for their Windows Update snafus

30 10 2007

Microsoft has been having all sorts of problems with automatic Windows updates lately. First, it was reports of users who had turned off automatic update installations finding that their computers had installed and rebooted anyway without their consent, then some enterprise Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) users found out that Windows Desktop Search (WDS) had been installed without administrator approval. Microsoft acknowledged the first problem but denied the second, then relented and issued an apology via WSUS product manager Bobbie Harder’s blog. Read the rest of this entry »

Apple has responded for the Leopard installation issue

30 10 2007

Apple has posted a fix on its Web site for a serious problem that causes its Macintosh computers to seize up when users attempt to upgrade to the company’s new Leopard operating system.”It may be necessary to perform an Archive and Install installation of Leopard,” Apple says in the support bulletin, which appeared over the weekend.

The workaround moves existing files on a user’s computer to a folder named Previous System, over which the new software is installed. “Applications, plug-ins, and other software may have to be reinstalled after an ‘Archive and Install,'” Apple warns.

Apple launched Leopard — officially known as OS X 10.5 — on Friday amid considerable hype. The operating system offers numerous graphical and security enhancements designed to entice computer users away from Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)’s Windows Vista. Within hours of the launch, however, users were reporting the so-called ‘Blue Screen of Death’ problem on the company’s online support forums.

“I was so excited to get my hands on this software and momentously disappointed with the results,” said a post from ‘Christian Jones1′ of North Wales, U.K. Jones said his Mac froze up after the Leopard installation process was only 5% complete.

Thousands of similar posts indicate the problem is widespread.

For its part, Apple says software on users’ machines that may not be Leopard-compatible is to blame. “You may have third-party ‘enhancement’ software installed that does not work with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard,” the company said in its support post.

Some on the Apple forum said the problem was due to a glitch in a third-party program called APE (Application Enhancer), created by developer Unsanity. “It looks like Application Enhancer is NOT compatible with Leopard,” wrote poster ‘Jon Thornburg.’

Leopard’s ‘Blue Screen of Death’ troubles could prove particularly embarrassing for Apple, which prides itself on offering a simpler, more user-friendly alternative to Microsoft’s computing environment. Now, as Apple aims for a bigger chunk of the OS market, its customers are encountering a problem all too familiar to Windows users.