Mel Brooks may have coined the phrase “it’s good to be the king”, but that probably wasn’t what the president of Sony France was thinking when he was taken hostage by the angry employees at his soon to be closed Pontonx-sur-l'Adour tape manufacturing plant. Workers held Serge Foucher overnight before freeing him on Friday to take part in his meeting with head office officials to continue negotiating their severance package. “I am happy to be free and to see the light of day again” he told reporters as he climbed into a mini-bus with other union officials.
Sony press spokeswoman Delphine Viers said the situation was under control and the manager had been in contact with the local state security chief regularly throughout his captivity. "It's true that this might seem surprising abroad, but it's less surprising in France, where we're more used to this kind of situation," she said, adding that it was unlikely that the firm would make a criminal complaint.
The Pontonx-sur-l'Adour plant is slated to close April 17th, and has been producing video tapes for Sony since 1984. This isn’t the first time disgruntled workers have held bosses hostage in France, but I wouldn’t suggest trying it here. I’m not sure North American CEO’s would have the same level of patience.
All servers are not created equal. Some leave you feeling all warm-and-squishy after each match, while others insult humanity as a whole nearly as often as they insult your mother. Valve understands this and – with an eagerness to please its fans that’s borderline depressing (Just imagine: you’ll probably never be as devoted to anything as Valve is to you) – has braved the numerical gorilla pen that is mathematics in order to bring you a solution.
"After kicking around some proposals, we came up with a simple system built around the theory that player time on a server is a useful metric for how happy the player is with that server. It's game rules agnostic, and we can measure it on our steam backend entirely from steam client data, so servers can't interfere with it,” said Valve’s Robin Walker.
The finished product, then, operates on a point system -- sending well-behaved servers out for some time in the yard and booting rabble-rousers straight to the chair.
“In short, servers that have lots of players joining & leaving rapidly will score badly. Servers that consistently have players join and stay on for long periods of time will score well,” Walker explained.
“Our first step in improving this part of the player experience has been to delist all the really bad servers. The master server will simply stop giving these to you when you fire up the serverbrowser.”
“After that, we're going to keep improving our ability to measure this kind of problem.”
For those that are looking to help the folks at Mozilla test out the latest version of their popular Firefox browser, you’re in luck! At long last, Beta 3 of Firefox 3.1 is up for download, and you can get it here.
The new version is, as usual, a free download and is available for Windows and Linux. So, be sure to give this a test and let us (and Mozilla) know what you think!
It’s expected that the ARM processor will take over market dominance over Intel’s Atom in 2012.
Ever since Asus introduced the first Eee PCs in 2007, netbooks have become a mainstay of the mobile market and currently, Intel’s Atom is a driving force of virtually the entire industry. However, this is mostly due to there being little to no competition in this area.
Dr. Robert Castellano, an analyst with The Information Network, believes that ARM’s Cortex-A9 multicore processor will be the Atom’s primary challenger. He trusts that this will be thanks to a Linux-based netbook that could sell at a price that an Intel/Windows netbook wouldn’t match.
There are still others that disagree, such as IDC’s Mario Morales, who sees Intel on top for years to come. “You don’t want to burn Intel,” stated Morales. “If I am an AsusTek, I need to get processors for my other product lines from them.”
The Taipei Timesreports that the Taiwanese edition of Internet Explorer 8 will be released next Friday, March 20. The Times interviewed several Microsoft Taiwan personnel, including GM Davis Tsai and platform marketing manager Juno Su, for the story.
So, what does this mean for IE8 in other markets? It's unlikely Redmond would launch the newest version of its browser in only one market on March 20, but if you're still skeptical, take a look at Neowin.net's collection of About IE screen shots gathered from recent Windows 7 builds (7048 and 7057) - there's no mention of IE8 being a Release Candidate or beta as with the IE8 version included in the Windows 7 public beta. Neowin suggests that the most likely venue for the formal roll-out will be next week's Microsoft MixO9 Web Development and Design Conference in Las Vegas. Stay tuned to MaximumPC.com for the latest information.
Join us after the jump for your chance to chime in on IE8.
Pretty soon you may be able to link multiple gadgets together to create a larger display. The idea is part of Intel's "Carry Small, Live Large" initiative, in which the company looks to take mobile computing to the next level.
In the case of "Multi-Client Display Linking," as Intel's calling it, the chip maker isn't saying a whole lot just yet. But the gist of the concept is that users could take the displayed output from both new and legacy applications and span it across multiple devices. To give a real-world example, Intel says "Imagine you and 3 friends placing your mobile devices together while on the road to review the video of the day's events."
How Intel plans to link various mobile devices together and which ones will be supported remains to be seen. But stay tuned, as we have no doubt that we'll be hearing more about this concept in the coming months.
It's been well documented how what you post on MySpace and other social networking sites can get you into trouble (just ask 16-year-old office worker Kimberly Swann who was fired over a Facebook entry calling her job boring), but for the first time (that we're aware of), the opposite is now true. At least that's the case for an ex-con who was caught taking a joyride on a stolen motorcycle.
Officer Vaughan Ettienne chased down the suspect, who also was allegedly carrying a loaded gun and a bag of ammunition. Under most circumstances, this would probably be an open-and-shut case, but the suspect claims Ettienne planted the gun on him to justify a beating that caused three broken ribs. Here's where it gets interesting.
Ettienne had set his MySpace status to "Devious" one day before the alleged beating, and changed his Facebook status to read "Vaughan is watching Training Day' to brush up on proper police procedure." But what really has Ettienne in hot water is posting a comment on a video of a police office punching a suspect that reads "If he wanted to tune him up some he shoulda delayed cuffing him...And if you WERE gonna hit a cuffed suspect at least get your moneys (sic) worth cause now he's gonna get disciplined for a (expletive deleted) love tap!"
Ettienne's social networking profiles and comments have been subpoenaed by the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn and will be used to help determined if he used police brutality on the suspect.
Driving with cruise control is a pretty nice luxury. The added bonus of not having to worry about using your feet to adjust the speed is pretty gratifying, but what if you could forget about using the gas and break altogether? The masterminds behind Sentience are looking to make this a reality.
Reportedly, Sentience will analyze the best route for you to get from point A to point B, and will then take care of all needed acceleration and breaking for the plotted trip. This will be done through GPS and mapping data that will recognize roundabouts, speed bumps, corners, and yes, speed limits.
What’s more, is that it’s being claimed that this system will save 5-24 percent of fuel on a trip, and could be available as early as 2012.
Following its rapid release schedule, eager Ubuntu fans need only wait until April 23rd for the next release of the open-source Linux distro. In the meantime, if a little over a month is just too long to wait, you can take a sneak peek at Ubuntu 9.04, Jaunty Jackalope, currently in alpha form.
The just released Jaunty Jackalope Alpha 6 is the fifth alpha release of Ubuntu 9.04 and includes several new features, along with a handful of known bugs. Among the former is a new X.Org server, version 1.6, better font-size optimization tailored to your monitor rather than defaulting to 96 dpi, new style for notifications and notification preferences, a new Linux kernel (2.6.28-8.26), and support for the new ext4 file system.
Keep in mind that as an alpha release, you should expect instability. Known issues include the disabling of the "encrypted home directory" option, video driver problems with the XServer, mis-reporting of proper font sizes resulting in abnormally small or large fonts, CTRL-ALT-Backspace is disabled, and users of Intel's i846 or i865 video chipsets receive an error message stating "Fatal server error: Couldn't bind memory for BO front buffer."
When it comes to software, free trials have become the norm and not the exception. The same doesn't apply to computer hardware, or at least it didn't before now.
EVGA has launched a Loaner Program in which participants can "test out the latest and greatest technology offered for two weeks right in your home." Once you sign up, EVGA says it will randomly select participants, who will then have two weeks to test and review the item(s) before shipping it all off to the next person selected by EVGA. There's no fee to join, however participants are responsible for shipping via UPS to the next tester.
Right now EVGA is offering two programs, one consisting of a Samsung 22-inch 120Hz LCD monitor and Nvidia GeForce 3D Vision glasses, and the other includes an EVGA X58 3X SLI Classified motherboard.