“The Children of Hurin” released!

W00T!!! I’m on my way right now to pick up my copy of “The Children of Hurin”!

According to this story by ABC News, they mention the Silmarillion (not by name oddly enough) and state “Outside of Tolkien scholars and Middle-earth fanatics, few read them.” Yes, reading the Silmarillion is like reading the Old Testament of The Bible in terms of complexity. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart – but “Túrin Turambar” is one of the greatest stories I’ve ever read, even in it’s unfinished form.

Unfinished that is, until now.

“The Children of Hurin” is the completion of this work, compiled by J.R.R. Tolkein’s son, Christopher. I say “compiled” because there is almost no new content in the book. Rather, it’s finally been arranged in a way that is presentable as a complete work.

If you haven’t read it, pick it up (along with a copy of “The Tolkein Illustrated Encyclopedia” if you’re new to this), strap yourself in, and prepare yourself for an epic story about inner conflict, sadness, and grief. It’s not an uplifting or inspirational story, so be ready for that. It’s a story that’s written with some of the most incredible imagery ever conceived, and it’s true to life in that very few conflicts end happily ever after.

China moves to curb online gaming

Could you imagine living in China, plowing into your fourth hour of BF2 (well, maybe not BF2 since the Chinese weapons all suck except for the J-10) and all of a sudden at the end of a half-hour round where you pwned to no end, your score on the board comes up as… zero?

Well, there it is.  Done deal.  If you’re a WoW player in China, you’re one pissed off gamer right about now.  I just can’t fathom my government controlling my score in a *game*.  Blizzard should file a complaint with the WTO, for whatever that would be worth – since this new law is eating directly into their bottom line.

[flippant] How can Chinese citizens afford MMORPG monthly fees anyway?  Isn’t $14 like a whole month’s salary to them? [/flippant]

Fab@Home – Home 3D fabrication is here

Who here has read Neal Stephenson’s Diamond Age? Remember the “matter compiler”? Any Star Trek fans remember a little device called a “replicator”?  Well, we’re getting there.
Janeway and the Replicator

Three dimensional fabrication machines have been around for a while, but they’re typically owned by really large companies and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Here’s how it works – you use a CAD program to create a digital three dimensional object, and the fabricator creates that object, typically using a plastic polymer. It’s like a printer for three dimensional objects.

So the barrier with fabrication machines has always been cost – until now. Evan Malone, a grad student at Cornell, has created a 3D fab machine that an enthusiastic hobbyist can create for less than $2500.

The Fab@Home Machine

Personally, I think this has *much* larger ramifications than just being cool. This is no less of a revolution than was printed paper. This makes *object creation* within the typical person’s reach. This particular fab machine can not only use plastics, but can use just about anything to create it’s objects – chocolate, for instance.Sit back for a moment and consider where this could go…

Thanks again Ars

Ubuntu and Vista & the HardOCP 30 day test

VERY interesting articles here on the author’s experiences with both Ubuntu Linux and Vista…

Oh, and btw, if all you want is your desktop to look different, for heaven’s sake just install WindowBlinds – you don’t have to install a new freakin’ OS just for that.  Personally, I run the Azenus2 skin…  *very* nice.

New WEP cracking app chainsaws your 104-bit keys

Still running that Rev A Linksys AP?  Your neighborhood geek utes sure hope so.  They are now able to tear through your WEP keys in two minutes flat – and that’s using a crappy old laptop.  It’s not the processor speed that’s doing the crunching – it’s the amount of data they can capture and analyze for your keys that’s new.  Used to be 500K packets captured would yield them… now with just 80K they can get them with a 95% probability.

Thanks for the heads up Ars…