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Comment: Microsoft's rush to next-gen could see the Xbox take a tumble   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Gamesindustry) from the article
 Microsoft may be making a colossal mistake by trying to force
 the industry into a next-generation cycle before it is ready
 to move. Sony, with its enormous dominance of the market, could
 probably just about get away with it - if it moved, the industry
 would have to move with it, however much it hated the idea. But
 Microsoft, still a relatively small player in the games industry,
 just doesn't look like a company that has the influence needed to
 force a shift like this. It may be backed up by the biggest
 software company in the world, but publishers will still look at
 the bottom line - in this case, installed base and cost of
 development - and base their decisions on that alone. Herein lies
 the arrogance; Microsoft isn't used to making decisions as an
 industry small-fry, and it's trying to act like an industry leader
 in an industry it simply doesn't lead.

PlayStation 2: Computational Cluster   25 Sep 04
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The NCSA has constructed a PlayStation 2 Linux cluster as a test bench for scientific computation on "toy" hardware. The cluster consists of 65 compute nodes, 4 user login and development nodes, and 1 prototype node for software installation tests. All the nodes run the Sony Linux distribution for PlayStation 2. The compute nodes fill a 24-inch rack; 5 shelves at 13 per shelf (see left); link Looking forward to see such solutions for the new upcoming Playstation 3.

Gametrak   25 Sep 04
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Gametrak. is a new videogames controller, giving you precise and intuitive control in 3D space. link

Unlike cameras, infra-red, RF systems or tilt technologies, Gametrak. allows movement forwards and backwards as well as up, down, left and right.

With Gametrak you can punch your opponents with your hands; sports games let you pick up and play using real golf clubs or tennis racquets . you can even bounce virtual basketballs!

Designed and manufactured by In2Games, Gametrak will launch across Europe o­n PS2 in September 2004 with the revolutionary fighting game, Dark Wind.

Future Gametrak titles include golf, baseball, adventure, dancing and basketball games.

FAQ

Good to know: Offline NT Password & Registry Editor, Bootdisk / CD   25 Sep 04
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I’ve put together a single floppy or CD which contains things needed to edit the passwords on most systems.

The bootdisk supports standard (dual)IDE controllers, and most SCSI-controllers with the drivers supplied in a seperate archive below. It does not need any other special hardware, it will run on 486 or higher, with at least 32MB (I think) ram or more. Unsupported hardware: MCA, EISA, i2o may not work. Some newer IDE/SCSI-raid systems may not work either.

Tested on: NT 3.51, NT 4, Windows 2000 (except datacenter?), Windows XP (all versions), Window Server 2003 (at least Enterprise).

DANGER WILL ROBINSON! If used on users that have EFS encrypted files, and the system is XP or later service packs on win2k, all encrypted files for that user will be UNREADABLE! and cannot be recovered unless you remember the old password again

link

This I believe! - Tom's 60 TIBs   25 Sep 04
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Tom Peters is back with more Big Ideas for your job, your company, and your life. The marketing and strategy guru holds forth on why audacity matters, why women are the future of leadership, and why diversity is crucial to business success. Those who have never read Tom will find an excellent primer here; those well-versed in Peters’ ideas can get up to speed on his latest thoughts. link direct pdf download

F*ing software patents will kill open source and small to medium size companies   25 Sep 04
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I just now came across this link on slashdot. The only thing I can say is that like in the RIAA (sic) cases one really wonders about our politicians. And this is the weakest way of putting it .. oh boy! Lessing has said it correctly: *If we don’t fight for our freedom, we do not deserve it*. I am so sick of all these stupid trivial patents like double-click, hyperlinks, etc. .. does anybody care that obvious prior art exists?

The /. link

Some nice quotes :-)

 Ministers were being trusted to represent the view of the government that sent
 them... but it seems as if business interests have found that these
 individuals are a weak link that can easily be "bought off" and convinced to act
 on their own.

 The corporations won the war.

R.W. Hamming on Round-Off   25 Sep 04
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Sven C. Koehler has started to read "Numerical Methods for Scientists and Engineers". He was so kind to send me a few quotes he likes from the introduction.

 Most books on computing stress the estimation of roundoff,
 especially the bounding of roundoff, but we shall concentrate
 on the avoidance of roundoff.  It seems better to avoid roundoff
 than to estimate what did not have to occur if common sense and
 few simple rules had been followed before the problem was put on
 the machine.

 Another standard algorithmic problem both in mathematics and in the use
 of computation to solve problems is the solution of simultaneous linear
 equations.  Unfortunately much of what is commonly taught is usually not
 relevant to the problem as it occurs in practice; nor is any completely
 statisfactory method of solution known at present.  Because the solution
 of simultaneous linear equations is so often a standard library package
 supplied by the computing center and because the corresponding
 description is so often misleading, it is necessary to discuss the
 limitations (and often the plain foolishness) of the method used by the
 package.  Thus it is necessary to examine carefully the obvious flaws and
 limitations, rather than pretending they do not exist.

update: (sorry, German only;) A big thanks to Sven C. Koehler for this summary

 Ich habe es nun in den groessten Teilen ueberflogen.  Die Ideen sind nicht
 wirklich neu: Umformen von Gleichungen, Vermeiden ungefaehr gleichgrosse
 Zahlen von einander abzuziehen, Approximation.  Beim Loesen von
 Gleichungssystemen schlägt er z.B. vor, ein Verfahren einzusetzen, das
 kein wiederholtes Dividieren benoetigt, dann wird's auch nicht ungenau.
 Trotzdem mag ich das Buch, weil es in mir den Eindruck weckt, dass es
 sehr fundiert ist.  Es ist voll von mathematischen Formeln, die ich alle
 nicht wirklich verstanden habe, aber ich werde in jedem Fall wieder darin
 nach Erklaerungen suchen, wenn ich mal wieder ein Numerik-Problem habe.

 Ich glaube für dich ist as Buch eher langweilig, das meiste kennst du
 bestimmt aus dem Studium. :-)

Is Tableau the Next Google?   25 Sep 04
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link

example graphs

 Will this company be successful and become another Google?
 First, graphical data mining has never been a big hit. And second,
 there are lots of competitors in the business intelligence sector,
 including at least Business Objects, Cognos, Hyperion and MicroStrategy.
 So make your bets and wait for the next multibillion-dollar IPO.

"Example instead of test-first"   25 Sep 04
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Just now seen on the pragprog-list by Massimiliano Mirra: Many have a problem with ``test-first’’ because they can’t see how a test can come before the thing to be tested even exists. So I just replace the word ``test’’ with ``example’’, and tell the student that ``one great thing is that not only examples do tell you where to go with your program, but if you shape them in a certain way, they’ll also serve as tests later’.

Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.

   --Albert Einstei

A Metric Leading to Agility   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Ron Jeffries) Nearly every metric can be perverted, since up- and down-ticks in the metric can come from good or bad causes. Teams driven by metrics often game the metrics rather than deliver useful software. There is a single metric that demands that a team become both agile and productive.The result: better projects done in better ways. www.xprogramming.com/xpmag/jatRtsMetric.htm

 

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