The Haus

Monday, October 27, 2003

MIT Threads the Copyright Needle

This is a neat concept: Students develop file-swap alternative is an CNN article explaining two MIT student's solutions to sharing music on-campus, in a legal fashion. Neat concept for dealing with the copyright issues of broadcast music.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

NFL Week #8

Congrats to the Marlins for not only doing in the "Evil Empire" that is the Yankees but also for bringing the baseball season mercifully to an end. Good riddance. Now on to a real sport. Here are my picks for this week's NFL clashes: Vikings, Patriots, Panthers, Bucs, Titans, Ravens, Lions, Seahawks, Rams, 49ers, Colts, Eagles, Chiefs, Dolphins. Here also are Eeyore's picks, italicized for your viewing discomfort: Panthers, Browns, Bucs, Ravens, Bears, Vikings, Bengals, Rams, Titans, 49ers, Colts, Eagles, Chiefs, Dolphins. Her picks were emailed to me yesterday because apparently they are out on their yacht this weekend or something.

Mandrake 9.2 vs. LG CD-ROMs

Mandrake Linux 9.2 has some packet-writing code in its kernel that can cause certain LG CD-ROMs to become doorstops. Apparently if you send an ATAPI "flush cache" command to it, it actually dumps its firmware. Nice feature, eh? This Google groups post has a list of affected drives. LG is claiming that Linux isn't supported, so as of now, it is turning a deaf ear. Thanks Slashdot, I think.

Unfortunately my drive (GCC-4480B) with its current firmware is susceptible. As an added bonus, the 1.0 firmware causes it to be flaky with DMA enabled (which might explain some problems I've been having). The 1.2 firmware causes it to be unable to read some of the disks it burns, although other CD drives can read them fine. Right now, I can't find any reference to any updated firmware for the drive on the LG websites. The way things are looking, this is the first and last LG drive I'll ever buy. I only got the stupid thing in March.

Hordes of the Underdark Interview

Neverwinter Vault conducted an interview about Hordes of the Underdark, the upcoming epic level expansion for Neverwinter Nights, with a few of the folks from Bioware. They talk about the new tilesets, the new functions available in the toolset, and several other topics. I think this one is supposed to be out next month. I'm looking forward to it.

Tablet PCs: Thanks, But No Thanks

The Register has an article about how tablet PC sales have been sluggish, thanks in part to the higher cost of Microsoft's tablet version of Windows. I really wonder what the market is for this device. It would seem to me that anything a tablet can do, a notebook can do better. Tablets seem like a PDA with a gland problem. Thanks Slashdot.

The Master comments: I know that Jerry Pournelle has a tablet PC that was supplied to him as a demo model. He seems to be quite taken by it, and uses it in cases where he needs something lighter than a notebook, but that has a reasonable screen for doing real work. He's done fiction writing on it, and I also know he's used it for email and other mundane tasks. So, I guess it has it's uses, but I'm still not going to plonk that kind of money down on a portable LCD. I'd rather get a more-power desktop, but that's just me :-)

No Old News

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