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Wednesday Evening (1 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 31-December-2008  20:04:06 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

A quick reminder that the Christmas Iron Musician is open of voting. Check out the three finalists and vote for your favourite.

Dan has more letters. Slim graphics cards, Ethernet to phone line conversions, digital sound issues and Blu-ray HTPCs.

Dan also talks about GPGPUs. It Is Written that when a new, much-ballyhooed feature shows up in cutting edge expensive graphics cards, you shouldn't expect that feature to actually amount to anything for at least another couple of hardware generations. This Law of New Features applies to everything. Remember hardware transform and lighting? How about full-scene antialiasing, and anisotropic filtering? Every feature is introduced with great fanfare and gold-embossed text on the box, but it's not actually good for anything until a few years later.

There are a few surprises in the Windows 7 EULA. Over the weekend, I had a chance to spend some quality time with the leaked Windows 7 build thatís zipping around the Internet. No one at Microsoft will confirm whether this code is the same as the beta due to be officially released in early January, but it bears every earmark of being the real thing. One of the first things I did before installing the software was to read the end user license agreement (EULA), carefully. Most of it was boilerplate, but I found a few surprises hidden within the legalese.

World of Warcraft has reached 11.5 million subscribers. The record was set shortly after the release of the latest expansion pack: Wrath of the Lich King, which sold over 2.8 million copies within its first 24 hours of availability. The game series has set records (even beating its own at times) with each expansion pack, and its popularity continues to grow at an astounding rate. The game currently holds the world record for the most popular MMORPG, not surprising when you consider that the Wrath of the Lich King expansion pack sold over 4 million copies in the month after it hit the shelves.

Fantasy author Terry Pratchett has been knighted. Pratchett, 60, best known for his satirical Discworld fantasy series, becomes a knight, one of the queen's most important honours, and will now be addressed as a 'Sir'. "There are times when phrases such as 'totally astonished' just don't do the job," he said. "I am of course delighted and honoured and needless to say, flabbergasted." In December 2007 Pratchett announced he had a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's disease, and earlier this year he donated $725,000 to research into the disorder.

With 2008 rapidly dissappearing, lets look back over the most forgettable moments of this year. Optimism drives the IT industry and - in particular - Silicon Valley, a place where people look to the future and try to forget the painful past. Here, then, is The Register's list of the worst, most cringe-worthy and jaw-dropping moments from the last 12 months that people would probably prefer to forget about. Nine wags of the finger plus - because it wasn't all bad this year - one tip of the hat, for balance.

Finally, a little brainteaser to close out the year. If You Dropped a Corn Kernel From Space, Would it Pop During Reentry? Thereís a little bit of water inside each kernel of popcorn, and if you can heat the kernel above 212įF, that water should boil, turn into high-pressure steam, and pop the kernel. But in orbit, things arenít so simple.

Have a great 2008 (what's left of it) and a happy new year to all!

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.