By Soulskill from Slashdot's putting-the-fear-of-gabe-into-sony-microsoft-and-nintendo department
An anonymous reader writes "This article at the Verge claims that Valve is currently working on a way to bring Steam to the living room with its own gaming console. Quoting: 'According to sources, the company has been working on a hardware spec and associated software which would make up the backbone of a "Steam Box." The actual devices may be made by a variety of partners, and the software would be readily available to any company that wants to get in the game. Adding fuel to that fire is a rumor that the Alienware X51 may have been designed with an early spec of the system in mind, and will be retroactively upgradable to the software. Apparently meetings were held during CES to demo a hand-built version of the device to potential partners. We're told that the basic specs of the Steam Box include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles, and will also allow for rival gaming services (like EA's Origin) to be loaded up. Part of the goal of establishing a baseline for hardware, we're told, is that it will give developers a clear lifecycle for their products, with changes possibly coming every three to four years. Additionally, there won't be a required devkit, and there will be no licensing fees to create software for the platform.'"Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's get-it-resistance-ha-ha department
writes "The Hill reports that GM has announced to employees at one of its facilities that it is suspending production of the Chevy Volt for five weeks and temporarily laying off 1,300 employees. Back when GM launched the beleaguered electric car, it boldly targeted sales of 10,000 in 2011 and 60,000 in 2012 but GM only sold 7,671 Volts in 2011 and just 1,626 so far this year. 'We needed to maintain proper inventory and make sure that we continued to meet market demand,' says GM spokesman Chris Lee. 'We see positive trends, but we needed to make this market adjustment.' Although President Obama promised he would buy a Volt 'five years from now, when I'm not president anymore,' the Volt has come under criticism from Republicans in Congress because of reports of its batteries catching on fire during testing. Ironically, the shutdown comes as gas prices are soaring, exactly the time when an electric car should be an easy sell."
If it's still true that GM was taking a loss on every Volt sold
, perhaps this is a blessing in disguise.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's but-what-do-these-guys-know? department
A few countries, like Estonia, have gone for internet-based voting in national elections in a big way, and many others (like Ireland and Canada) have experimented with it. For Americans, with a presidential election approaching later this year, it's a timely issue: already, some states have come to allow at least certain forms of voting by internet. Proponents say online elections have compelling upsides, chief among them ease of participation. People who might not otherwise vote — in particular military personnel stationed abroad, but many others besides — are more and more reached by internet access. Online voting offers a way to keep the electoral process open to them. With online voting, too, there's no worry about conventional absentee ballots being lost or delayed in the postal system, either before reaching the voter or on the way back to be counted. The downsides, though, are daunting. According to RSA panelists David Jefferson and J. Alex Halderman, in fact, they're overwhelming. Speaking Thursday afternoon, the two laid out their case against e-voting.
(Read more for more, and look for a video interview with Halderman soon).Read Replies (0)