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Friday Morning (9 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 11-February-2011  01:56:18 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Much to everyone's amazement, Duke Nukem Forever has made it through classification and is OK to sell in Australia. A quick perusal of the Classification Board earlier today revealed a classification for the mysterious title 000A, submitted by Take 2. Nice try, guys, but we see straight through your cunning plan. This game contains “Strong violence, sexual references, crude humour and drug references”, which sounds pretty much exactly like we’d expect from the Duke.

Rage and Sciby both sent in this cool Phantom of the Floppera video, where floppy drives play Bach's Toccata & Fugue. Features two 3 1/2" drives and two 5 1/4" drives connected to a PIC18f14k50 microcontroller. It interfaces to any MIDI source via MIDI over USB. Straight MIDI would also be possible with an additional small circuit and some minor firmware changes. This initial version can respond to all 128 MIDI notes, and pitch bends +/- 2 semitones.

Tweaktown have built and tested their Flood Appeal Dream System. At the end of January TweakTown's Aussie Flood Appeal Dream System was born and for a small donation of just $10 USD you could get a chance to win a beast of a PC that comes in just shy of $5,000 USD.

XbitLabs have a 3TB HDD roundup. For all these pitfalls, the transition to the new storage capacity could not be delayed much longer and the HDD manufacturers got to work on it. Their websites now offer special sections detailing the subtleties of the move to 3 terabytes, and we’ve got three HDDs of the record-breaking capacity, two of which can already be found in retail shops.

Customs are apparently cracking down on online purchases entering the country. A document from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service from late January details a three month campaign to crack-down on expensive parcels entering Australia marked as gifts or with a declared value under $1000, exempting them from liability for GST or duty payments. The document notes that the campaign aims to ensure that GST and duty exemptions for low-value goods entering Australia are not being "abused or exploited" by importers.

From MellowFellow: HP has just announced a trio of new devices running the WebOS operating system they inherited when they bought Palm last year. There's the world's smallest smart phone called the Veer with touch screen and slide-out keyboard, a new version of the original WebOS phone the Pre3 sporting a larger keyboard and 1.4GHz processor; and finally their own iPad clone the TouchPad which is spec-for-spec an iPad and will have a Kindle app on launch day. Palm has had a bad couple of years and most people thought the buy-out by HP would be the death of them but these devices are better than anything they're announced in a long time. As a long-time Palm user and fanoi of the best phone OS in the world: WebOS, i'm desperately hoping these will be enough to make Palm a household name again.

Wired have a more detailed article on the security firm that targeted Anonymous and got more than they bargained for. Thanks to the leaked e-mails, we now have the full story of how Barr infiltrated Anonymous, used social media to compile his lists, and even resorted to attacks on the codebase of the Low Orbit Ion Cannon used in attacks - and how others at his own company warned him about the pitfalls of his own research.

BBC report on plans for a private internet for robots. By contrast, RoboEarth hopes to start showing how the information that robots discover about the world can be defined so any other robot can find it and use it. RoboEarth will be a communication system and a database, he said. In the database will be maps of places that robots work, descriptions of objects they encounter and instructions for how to complete distinct actions.

Meanwhile a brain-controlled robotic arm is the first submission to be submitted to a new streamlined FDA approval process. The FDA today announced "Innovation Pathway", a new program to speed through regulatory approvals for groundbreaking medical technology. The first test case in the process will be an unnamed DARPA prosthetic arm that is controlled via a brain-computer interface implanted on the surface of the patient's brain.

Tech Report checked out memory speed and Sandy Bridge performance. K-Series Sandy Bridge CPUs have unlocked memory multipliers that make it easy to take advantage of faster memory modules. We explore performance with a range of memory configurations to see whether Intel's latest CPU architecture makes good use of exotic DIMMs.

TechWareLabs wonder how fast things can get with two Momentus XTs in RAID0. This little guy is a standard 2.5" 7200 RPM laptop drive with 32MB cache and a beautiful 4GB SSD attached. This SSD brings the performance up considerably. So, what are we going to do with it? Well Seagate gave us two, so we are going to RAID them in a RAID 0 and short stroke them to see what kind of performance we can get. Just like Artiom did with the VelociRaptor. We are directly comparing this to the SSD in Artiom's last editorial using the VelociRaptors.

From Manaz: Countries all over the world right now are trying to acquire an internet kill switch, which would cut off internet access to an entire country. Egypt did this last week, Austria already has the switch, and the U.S. has legislation that would give President Obama and his successors this power too. We need to stand up to our world leaders and demand they they keep the internet open for all and resist any efforts to develop an internet kill switch at home or abroad. I've already signed Access' petition to the UN asking member countries to stop the switch, will you join us? Here's the link.

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