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Thursday Afternoon (4 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 13-May-2010  13:41:49 (GMT +10) - by Agg

A zillion people sent word that Portal is free until the 24th of May. "Capital news! But the excellent puzzle adventure Portal won over 40 Game of the Year awards; Surely it must cost at least five or six hundred dollars." You'd think that, especially since it actually won over 70 Game of the Year Awards. But, like we keep saying, Portal is free. Free on the Mac. Free on the PC. But only until May 24th. Ah-hah, this is just a ploy to get people to install the new Steam for Mac client. I imagine it will be very successful. :) Discussion here.

PCPerspective report on a new SandForce firmware from OCZ, which unlocks 20% more capacity. OCZ is still working out exactly how they plan to push this unit out to the masses. A few extra models with slightly tweaked product names might appear, but the cost is expected to match that of the current 100GB models, meaning the added capacity will come for free.

They also checked out quad-velociraptors vs dual-SSDs. When comparing the world of SSDs to spindle-based storage it is easy to just dismiss the SSDs due to price and capacity or to dismiss standard drives based on performance. What if you are looking for a really high end solution for something like...a video editing machine? Do arrays of either technology make a difference worth noting?

The Space Shuttle Atlantis will make its final scheduled launch on Friday. A high-pressure system continues to dominate Florida's weather pattern, resulting in favorable weather for the rest of the week. The primary launch weather concern is a low cloud ceiling, but the forecast is good overall, calling for a 70 percent chance of favorable conditions at launch time.

Meanwhile Voyager 2 has been having some issues, thanks Tzorst. Launched in 1977 on a tour of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, Voyager 2 is about 8.6 billion miles from Earth as it traverses the outer regions of the heliosphere, or the furthest reaches of the sun's influence. Based on its history I'm amazed it's still working at all!

Another next-gen iPhone prototype has surfaced in Vietnam, which no doubt has Apple's legal team scrambling. We've spotted a difference from this model and the unit that Gizmodo bought. Notably, the pair of screws at the bottom of the device are gone. The cleaner design could indicate a newer prototype (closer to the actual retail model) though both the iPhone 3G and 3GS went to market with a similar pair of screws.

Bill Gates meanwhile is funding a cloud whitening technology which may have an effect on climate change, thanks Dopefish. More info here. Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire, is funding research into machines to suck up ten tonnes of seawater every second and spray it upwards. This would seed vast banks of white clouds to reflect the Sunís rays away from Earth.

Apparently Google have been noting Wifi info as they map out Street View data. Google Australia will today be sent a "please explain" letter from two local privacy organisations demanding to know why the company has been collecting personal Wi-Fi network data from Australian homes alongside the images it takes with its Street View cameras. Discussion here.

EA are planning to lock out multiplayer from used games. Those who purchase the game used can buy an Online Pass for $10 or sign up for a free 7-day trial. The pass will be implemented for NCAA Football 11, NHL 11, Madden NFL 11, NBA 11, FIFA 11, and EA Sports MMA as well. The pass offers different features for each title, however, players will not have access to basic multiplayer features if purchased used.

Mike sent word that Stephen Conroy has a new job. Despite delays and cost concerns over the rollout of the National Broadband Network, Senator Conroy has been appointed as a founder member of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development at the International Telecommunication Union - the UN agency for communications. I wonder if his plan for the UN will include a filtering system.

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