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November 25, 2009

Why it's still too soon to buy an e-reader

Netbooks, e-book readers, and other Black Friday bargains to avoid. - By Farhad Manjoo - Slate Magazine
This isn't a good time to buy any of them. For one thing, e-readers are too expensive. Though you might see a few small discounts over the holidays, you'll pay at least $250 for a model with wireless access. (The Nook and Kindle sell for $259; the Daily Reader and Irex DR800SG are $399.) At those prices, an e-reader makes sense only for commuters and frequent travelers—yes, e-books are cheaper than print books, but you'll only make up the difference if you buy at least a dozen or so books a year. What's more, buying any e-book reader now is a gamble. Every model has access to a different catalog of books, some of which are restricted by copy-protection schemes. This leads to a classic early-adopter format dilemma: Say you've got 30 e-books on the Kindle you purchased two years ago. Now you're in the market for a new reader, and you're leaning toward the Nook because it lets you share books with your friends. Tough luck—those Kindle books won't work on your Nook. Or imagine you buy the Nook today, but by 2012 Barnes & Noble decides to quit the e-book business because it can't compete with Amazon. Too bad—your Nook will be about as useful as an HD-DVD player. (For this same reason, I cautioned against buying Blu-ray players last year, and I'm sticking with the same advice this year.) And there's one more good reason to wait on an e-reader: Apple. Nobody knows whether Apple will ever release a touch-screen tablet PC, and if it does, nobody knows whether the mythical device will function as an e-book reader. But it could! Apple seems to be close to announcing a big-screen iPod Touch-like device, and given Steve Jobs' history of discombobulating the media markets he enters, it seems wise to wait for Apple to move before going for any of the e-readers now on the market.

November 24, 2009

Watch Zombies Flood Into Washington DC in Real Time

Zombie Outbreak Simulator | Class 3 Outbreak This is a...

November 20, 2009

The Pirate Bay shutsdown their tracker, lives forever

The Escapist : News : The Pirate Bay Shuts Down They straight-up pulled an Obi-Wan. They were struck down, and now they live forever. In a nutshell: Instead of having individual sites supply trackers to help share files, the Pirates have switched over to a distributed network system (DHT) that turns the world into one giant tracker. This effectively makes the Pirate Bay immune to lawsuits regarding their use of a dedicated tracker and also makes the bittorrent process much, much harder to kill.
None of that had anything to do with bringing the site down, however; what ultimately did it was simply the inevitable and inexorable march of progress. "The development of DHT has reached a stage where a tracker is no longer needed to use a torrent," a member of The Pirate Bay wrote on its blog. "These peers all came to you without the use of a central tracker service! This is what we consider to be the future. Faster and more stability for the users because there is no central point to rely upon." "Now that the decentralized system for finding peers is so well developed, TPB has decided that there is no need to run a tracker anymore, so it will remain down!" the blog entry continues. "It's the end of an era, but the era is no longer up2date. We have put a server in a museum already, and now the tracking can be put there as well." The move to the new technology means that BitTorrent will be "less vulnerable to downtime and outages" because there will be no central tracker that can be brought down and no reliance on a single server to store and distribute torrent files. "This is the future," the blog says. "And the present." TorrentFreak says The Pirate Bay founders are also encouraging owners of other BitTorrent sites to follow their lead. "We're talking to the other torrent admins on doing magnet links and DHT PEX for all sites. Moving away from torrents and trackers totally - like pick a date and all agree,'From this date, we'll not support torrents anymore'," a "Pirate Bay insider" told the site.

November 16, 2009

ICU64, the hacking tool that provides real-time view and edit of C64 memory

I love this kind of stuff. Played with a much, much simpler memory tool for the PC in my computer classes. Check out the part where he uses his mouse to alter the display memory to save his character from dying. :-) Via Waxy. ICU64: First Release of ICU64 and Frodo Redpill
After the first public preview of ICU64, the hacking tool that provides real-time view and edit of the C64 internals