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Friday Morning (5 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 14-September-2007  07:20:48 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Daryl spotted a thread going on in the Pub about the future of computer swap meets. Max and Dorothea have been receiving a significant amount of harassment by lawyers acting in relation to the sale of counterfeit goods at the swapmeets and by Computer Trader. They have found the allegations and threats of legal action against them to be very stressful and detrimental to their health and general well being. The allegations are untrue and the threats are without foundation.

If you thought the Optimus Keyboard was expensive, wait until you see this one which costs $US28,000, thanks Justin. So you thought the $1,536 Optimus Maximus keyboard was a tad expensive? Peep this: the Ä20,000 (about $28,000) XYNERGI programmable controller from Fairlight. To be fair, you get a hell of a lot more than just a keyboard for your 28-grand as the kit includes Fairlight's CC-1 digital media engine as well. While it's targeted at media professionals, it also integrates like a peach with Microsoft Office and all your other Windows applications.

Nick spotted this unusual project where a guy is trying to put a 300m banana 50km above Texas. Their project is called "Geostationary Banana Over Texas". Montreal artist Cesar Saez is making a giant, helium filled banana that he intends to launch in Texas, sending it 20-30 miles up. The title of the project is "Geostationary Banana Over Texas." The BBC says it will be "between 15-20% of the size of the full moon" when viewed from Earth.

Google has announced the Google Lunar X Prize which will award US$20 million to the people who can get a probe to the moon and do various tasks. Hot on the heels of the success of the Ansari X PRIZE, which was designed to spur on the development of a commercial spacecraft able to reach low earth orbit, the Google Lunar X PRIZE will be awarded to "the team that can soft land a craft on the Moon that roams for at least 500 meters and transmits a Mooncast back to Earth. The Grand Prize is $20M until December 31, 2012; thereafter it will drop to $15M until December 31, 2014, at which point the competition will be terminated unless extended by Google and the X PRIZE Foundation."

DigitalTrends have posted a guide to avoiding phishing scams. Like most people in the Western world, or so it seems, youíve probably received an e-mail from a bank (or eBay or Paypal) about security concerns on your account. It offers a link for you to click on in order to login and warns of dire consequences, like the closing of your account, if you donít comply.

Techgage went down to the GDC in Austin and interviewed some people, including Monty Sharma of Vivox and Bill2Phone. The first is with Vivox, a company that's creating some really cool technologies for online game voice chat. The second is with Bill2Phone, a service that allows gamers to charge subscriptions and other online purchases to their phone bill, instead of a credit card.

IGN have conducted an interview with Brian Matt about Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. He talks about the challenges of delivering a perfect port of the PC game, while simplifying the controls to suit the 360's pad. Matt also discusses Xbox Live demos, addresses the lack of cross-platform play and hints at community content and expansions.

Tech-Arp have reported on AMD Barcelona technology. Although we have been critical of AMD's less-than-stellar PR and marketing actions in the recent weeks, we do believe in good competition. We are certainly looking forward to the new quad-core Opteron processors to provide just that. Looking at the most recent SPEC CPU2006 results, the new Opteron processors seem to be more than capable of matching the Intel Xeon processors clock for clock. This will make it most enticing for current AMD users, especially since the upgrade process will be relatively painless.

Linux.com have posted a guide on giving low end Canon cameras RAW support, thanks Bernard. If you have a point-and-click digital camera made by Canon, you may be able to turn on all sorts of features usually reserved for more expensive SLRs. That includes live histograms, depth-of-field calculation, under and overexposure highlighting, and -- best of all -- shooting your pictures in RAW. The secret is CHDK, an enhanced, free software replacement firmware.

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