Saturday, August 27, 2005 via PvPonline.com ? Hosted By SPEAKEASY.NET
Dark Iron: War Report
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005
Starting the PvP guild on the Dark Iron server has helped me become a World of Warcraft power-gamer. I'm not playing any more or less than I was on previous servers, it's just that now I understand how the game works better than I ever have before.
It feels like it's easier to play on the horde side than the alliance side. I'm not sure if that's real or perceived. A huge stumbling block for me has always been when you reach the level where soloing your character is no longer an option. On Dark Iron, there are always at least 50 people online to give a helping hand. Most of them have the same quests you're trying to complete, and all have something about the game they can teach me.
PvP is fun, but sometimes it seems really pointless. The battle over the Hillsbrad foothills is an exercise in futility. As is any conflict over Ashenvale. Really intelligent players turn into retarded monkeys once they enter a raid group. How hard is it to understand that chasing the enemy into their own town is a really bad idea? And yet...they can't help themselves. Like mosquitoes heading towards a bug-zapper they are compelled to run headstrong into a group of Southshore guards who quickly dispatch them. BZZT! BZZZT! Can I get a rez???? BZZT! BZZZT! I'm guilty of it myself. On more than one occasion I have woken up inside enemy lines like a drunk nursing a hangover. How did I get here? Who did I just sleep with?
I look forward to the more goal-oriented battlegrounds. Until that time comes, I'll have to remain content commanding my 'Hillsbrad Special Olympics Team' in our goal to almost-not-quite-kinda-not-really-almost beat the forces of the Alliance. Again.
Oh well. At least I look fly doing it.
via New York Times (registration required)
Apple, Digital Music's Angel, Earns Record Industry's ScornBy JEFF LEEDS
Published: August 27, 2005
Two and a half years after the music business lined up behind the chief executive of Apple, Steven P. Jobs, and hailed him and his iTunes music service for breathing life into music sales, the industry's allegiance to Mr. Jobs has eroded sharply.
Skip to next paragraph
Forum: Technology and the Internet
Mr. Jobs is now girding for a showdown with at least two of the four major record companies over the price of songs on the iTunes service.
If he loses, the one-price model that iTunes has adopted - 99 cents to download any song - could be replaced with a more complex structure that prices songs by popularity. A hot new single, for example, could sell for $1.49, while a golden oldie could go for substantially less than 99 cents.
Music executives who support Mr. Jobs say the higher prices could backfire, sending iTunes' customers in search of songs on free, unauthorized file-swapping networks.
Signs of conflict over pricing issues are increasingly apparent. This month, Apple started its iTunes service in Japan without songs from the two major companies - Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group - leaving artists like Avril Lavigne, Beyonc?and Rob Thomas out of the catalog because the companies refused to license their music to iTunes, executives involved in the talks said.
That gap in the Japanese music market, the world's second biggest, is considered a harbinger of what may await American consumers as the contracts that record companies have with Apple in the United States come up for renewal early next year.
Mr. Jobs in the past has cast himself as an innovator battling established media giants like Disney and Microsoft. But these days, allies and adversaries both agree, he has more power online than Wal-Mart has in the bricks-and-mortar world.
Apple commands an estimated 75 percent of digital music sales, and roughly 80 percent of sales of MP3 players, with its market-leading iPod. While many still admire Mr. Jobs's touch - iTunes quickly established a market for paid downloads after the industry wasted years on misfires - he also inspires enmity or jealousy from others in the industry, which is back in a slump after a modest rebound last year.
Mr. Jobs' vision of simple, uniform pricing for songs and a policy of limiting Apple's music to Apple's devices are increasingly under attack.
'He'd like to continue to define the rules of the game,' said Paul Vidich, a special adviser to America Online and former executive vice president of the Warner Music Group. Mr. Vidich said the digital music market, while growing, was still a fraction of the music business, but added, 'I just think the music companies are now at a point where there's too much money on the table not to insist' that Apple accept variable prices.
'The question is,' Mr. Vidich said, 'what do they want the profile of the business to look like going forward?'
A sore point for some music executives is the fact that Apple generates much more money selling iPod players than it does as a digital music retailer, leading to complaints that Mr. Jobs is profiting mornere from tracks downloaded to fill the 21 million iPods sold so far than are the labels that produced the recordings.
Andrew Lack, the chief executive of Sony BMG, discussed the state of the overall digital market at a media and technology conference three months ago and said that Mr. Jobs 'has got two revenue streams: one from our music and one from the sale of his iPods.'
'I've got one revenue stream,' Mr. Lack said, joking that it would require a medical professional to locate. 'It's not pretty.'
Thursday, August 25, 2005
[Politech] Sign-on letter tells Bush admin to back off in .xxxfight [fs]
From Declan McCullagh's Politech
via View from Satellite
View from SatelliteTo view the Earth as currently seen from a satellite in Earth orbit, choose the satellite from the list below and press the 'View Earth from Satellite' button. The satellite database is updated regularly but may not reflect the current position of satellites, such as the U.S. Space Shuttle, which maneuver frequently after reaching orbit.
At right is an image (screencapture) of the view from Echostar 9...To pick your own view, click here... posted by Gary Williams at 8:29 PM | link |
via Penny Arcade!
Resetting NintendogsThis can be accomplished by starting the game, and immediately holding down A, B, X, Y, R, and L. I'm pretty sure.
(CW)TB posted by Gary Williams at 11:24 AM | link |
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 via venganza.org
Open Letter To The Kansas School BoardLet us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.
It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I’m sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith.
Some find that hard to believe, so it may be helpful to tell you a little more about our beliefs. We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005 via SPACE.com -- Astronotes
NASA: Deorbit Module Unneeded for Hubble, James Webb Telescope Costs SoarThe idea of hooking a special deorbit module to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has apparently been scuttled by NASA.
“It does not look like a propulsion module will be necessary for a shuttle servicing mission,” said Chris Shank, special assistant to NASA chief, Michael Griffin, at the 8th International Mars Society Convention, held August 11-14 at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Meanwhile, the HST is very unlikely to fall back to Earth prior to 2020, although if the Sun is much more active than expected next cycle, reentry might occur a little earlier…perhaps a few years, said Nicholas Johnson, NASA Orbital Debris Program Manager and Chief Scientist for Orbital Debris at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Johnson emphasized that this is considered very unlikely. “If another servicing mission is undertaken, HST would probably be given another small boost in altitude at its conclusion. This would further delay a natural reentry of HST,” he told SPACE.com via email.
Shank noted at the Mars Society meeting that HST’s follow-on space scope -- the James Webb Space Telescope -- is over-budget big-time. “There’s a $1 billion cost overrun that we’re looking at,” he said.
posted by Gary Williams at 1:27 PM | link |
Monday, August 22, 2005 via The Register
Exploit for unpatched IE vuln fuels hacker fearsBy John Leyden
Published Friday 19th August 2005 11:04 GMT
Get breaking Security news straight to your desktop - click here to find out how
Microsoft is investigating an IE security bug amid fears that a hacker attack based on the vulnerability is imminent. A flaw in Microsoft DDS Library Shape Control COM object (msdds.dll) is at the centre of the security flap.
Security researchers warn that msdss.dll might be called from a webpage loaded by Internet Explorer and crash in such a way that allows hackers to inject potentially hostile code into vulnerable systems. That's because IE attempts to load COM objects found on a web page as ActiveX controls, as is the case with msdds.dll. A programming object is not supposed to be used in this way. So hackers might be able to take control of systems by tricking users into visiting a maliciously constructed web site. US-CERT warns that exploit code to do this is already available but Microsoft said it's not aware of any attacks.
No patch is available but Microsoft has posted a bulletin detailing possible workarounds. These include disabling ActiveX controls, setting the kill bit for msdds.dll and unregistering msdds.dll. Use of an alternative browser (such as Firefox, Opera) is also an option.
Coolsig.htmI was downloading the files from my server's home directory to recover the files I'd stored there and found this: coolsig.htm. I don't know where it came from, but it's clearly cool lines from people's sig files:
Just found this too:
Too bad I can't get alt.religion.kibology any more... posted by Gary Williams at 1:42 AM | link |
Sunday, August 21, 2005 via New York Times (registration required)
Keeping Your Computer and Its Contents SafeBy DAVID A. KELLY
Published: August 21, 2005
IT'S hard not to experience anxiety when you're traveling with a laptop. A computer can certainly make life easier for travelers keeping an online travel journal, serial e-mailers and those who want to keep up with their jobs. But there are, as every laptop-toting traveler knows, numerous risks: accidental drops during security screenings, theft from a hotel room, loss in a taxi or restaurant or hardware failure from too many jolts.
Skip to next paragraph
Josh Reynolds/Associated Press
Jeff Dean uses his laptop at Logan International Airport in Boston.
'Laptops are great because you can take your entire office with you wherever you go, but you need to recognize that your entire office might be lost, stolen or damaged beyond use,' said Ann Westerheim, president of Ekaru, a technology services company.
Perhaps the most important safety measure, Ms. Westerheim said, is protecting the information on your computer, so that if it is damaged, lost or stolen, the data remain safe. Travelers now have many backup devices to choose from.
Beside storing your files and data on a removable CD or DVD disk, there is a variety of other portable storage devices. Particularly convenient are flash drives: small key-chain-size plastic devices that weigh only an ounce or so and plug into a computer's U.S.B. port (the port typically used for connecting printers and other peripherals). You can copy your e-mail files, documents, pictures or data files to the U.S.B. flash drive and can then keep the files with you or keep them in the hotel safe.
Lexar makes a U.S.B. memory device, JumpDrive Secure, with one gigabyte of storage, large enough for lots of documents, photos and e-mail ($75.99 at Amazon.com), that includes software that allows only users with a password to download data.
For additional security, there are flash drives with biometric capabilities, like a fingerprint reader that allows access only with a matching fingerprint. For example, ACP makes a U.S.B. memory drive (Security Key Fingerprint Mini Flash Drive, $200.99 at www.compusa.com) with one gigabyte of storage. Other U.S.B. flash drives, like the Relay 512MB ($49.98 from Staples) simply provide portable storage without any additional security capabilities.
Alternatively, you might even want to consider storing or backing up your data files on the memory cards that slip into comparably equipped digital cameras or cellular phones. For example, my Nokia 6230 phone from Cingular accepts standard MultiMedia Cards (SanDisk 256MB MC Card, $39.99 at www.sandisk.com) that I can remove from the phone and slide into a computer to copy and store files, while my digital camera accepts Memory Stick styles of memory cards. This solution is good for travelers who simply want backup.
[Imc-sc] IMC Newsreal - September Deadline
[BAD SIGNAL]It's Gone Black, No Wonder My Kidneys Hurt