Empire: Total War


One could argue that there are two significantly different periods in the history of the Total War series, as created by Creative Assembly: there are the first two games, Shogun and Medieval, where the strategic map is more of an excuse for players to get into the innovative (at that time) and beautiful tactical battles
, and then there are the last three, Rome, Medieval 2 and the recently released Empire, where the tactical battles and strategic map are equally important, leading some players to even ignore the previous releases altogether, playing the entire game as some sort of period-themed empire builder.

Empire is a fine balancing act between the overall strategy and the tactical battles, with a better Artificial Intelligence than its predecessors and with a diplomatic system that works just a little better. There are some significant changes to the way the game is played and there are some good ways in which the series has progressed. If you look at Medieval 2: Total War like the high school years of the franchise, where finesse was necessary but brute force could still win the day, then Empire is where Total War really goes to college. It manages to juggle a lot more stuff, the complexity factor has been taken up and the whole philosophy behind tactical battles has been changed. Get ready to build your empire, if you can get over the lack of stability of the title and if you have the gaming machine to run this hog of a game.

What's new in Mandriva Linux 2009.1 RC1?

Well, the most important feature of this release is draksnapshot a.k.a. the brand new system restore functionality. Another cool addition is the HDT (Hardware Detection Tool) that allows users to get a complete description of the hardware without needing to install the operating system to the hard drive.

In Mandriva Linux 2009.1 RC1, the developers offer a first glance at the 2009 Spring artwork with quite a few wallpapers to choose from. Furthermore, users now have the ability to add a special ISO to a USB drive and from there install it on netbooks or other devices that lack an optical drive.

Mandriva Linux 2009.1 RC1, which boots with either the GNOME 2.26 RC or the KDE 4.2.1 desktop environments, is built on top of Linux kernel 2.6.29 RC6. Let's have a look now at some of the packages that were updated in this release:

• X.org server 1.6.0
• Qt Creator 1.0
• Qt 4.5.0
• OpenOffice.Org 3.0.1
• GIMP 2.6.5
• Amarok 2.0.2

The installer was also improved and a new interactive firewall was added. A Live CD, a Live DVD for the 32-bit or 64-bit architecture and a Dual CD providing support for both, are available for download (see below for links). Without further ado, here is the screenshot tour showing off both desktop environments (KDE and GNOME) in Mandriva 2009.1 RC1

Championship Manager 2009

Take total control with Championship Manager 2009, the leading name in football management simulations is back with a brand new look and a host of new features to bring the most loved sport in the world straight to your PC.

The fully animated, 3D match engine (featuring 500 fully motion captured animations per players) propels you right into the heart of the action on matchday, taking your management experience one step further. The only match engine specifically designed and created for a football management game allows you to watch the team in action as they put your carefully crafted tactics into action, view individual performances and be on hand to make changes when things go wrong.

With the development of a comprehensive training suite, managers can fine tune their tactics and their players. Fully customisable schedules, and numerous different drills, means managers can put individual players through their paces and then watch training unfold in full 3D glory.

With a brand new interface and backed by a huge database with all the latest data from the 2009 campaign, begin the journey to manage your team to success and bathe in glory.


A new trend is currently making its way through the various groups and communities that make up the world of Facebook, and they are the lists. Not just any type of lists, but the “25 Random Things”-kind, which basically give users the possibility to fill them out with 25 things they assume people in their social network of friends do not know about.

This naturally comes along with the demand to send the list forward to yet other users, which then have to fill it out and pass it on. There are many aspects to consider about this issue, because, even though some say that the practice is annoying, others argue that it helps them find out a lot more things about their friends, and therefore creates a feeling of belonging.

The psychological aspect of the matter is perhaps the most important. Experts maintain that the Internet, in itself, is a very lonely place, and that social networks, no matter how much people they incorporate and regardless of how hard they try to get more and more individuals to communicate, will still be a lousy surrogate for real life. That's why lists such as the “25 Things” one are so popular – they offer people a chance to get to know a little more about the person from another country they spend all day chatting with and so on.

I think the Internet gives us a superficial way to know other people. Doing things like this 25 Things note allows us to go a little bit deeper, because we do search for a deeper relationship interpersonally. Here are just a few of the group invites that have sprung up against this phenomenon:

“Tired of being tagged in 25 random things over and over again, wasting valuable time reading about your friends' unusual habits that would better be left unknown? Make a stand and show your support against this phenomenon sweeping all of Facebook.”

“Hey, you're a great person, and I'm glad we're friends, but the fact that you love to eat Chinese food with your left hand in San Diego during August just isn't that high up on my 'things I really need to know' list.”

“Join us as we protest mindless repetition and conformation to the mass mailing ways of our society!”

These is only a small number of the messages that attempt to stop the mindless spreading of such useless and repetitive lists throughout the site. There's no way of knowing if the people opposing these forms of befriending will be able to avoid the effects of these lists, as the “tag” function makes it easier for persons using the lists to nominate those against it in their “25 Things.”

Google Chrome

At the end of the past week, Google made available a new development milestone of the next iteration of the Chrome browser. The Mountain View company is making headway with the development of Chrome 2.0 and has now reached version

At the same time, Microsoft is on the verge of releasing Internet Explorer 8 RTW, which has already been reported as being finalized, while Mozilla will rebrand Firefox 3.1 as Firefox 3.5, in the evolution from Beta 3 to Beta 4 of the next version of its open source browser.
“Google Chrome's Dev channel has been updated to The highlights for this week: new – NTLM auth without automatic logon; Remote Desktop and Vista Theme changes now work nicely; new French and Polish dictionaries; and better support for PAC files and use of V8 to process them (use --proxy-resolver-v8 to try). Fixes: more improvements to full screen mode and many crash and stability fixes,” Jonathan Conradt, Google Engineering program manager, revealed.
Chrome is a dev channel build, which comes to the table with fixes for in excess of 150 bugs. At the same time, Google has introduced a new version of its JavaScript engine. The Mountain View search giant indicated that “Update v8 to version containing a fix for a crash bug in new 'eval' optimization code.”
At the same time, there are known issues with Chrome that end-users have to be aware of. “Browser hangs if history page shows after clearing history. History tab search tab eats every alternate clicks Regression: about:network dialog shows up behind current Chrome window. Javascript alerts don't work in New Tab Page. Cannot switch to background Chrome window with modal dialog open. Copying most visited page screenshot and selecting paste and go causes crash. Bookmarking a page not reflected on history page when open. Browser crash on 'Remove/Remove All' of passwords,” Conradt added.

10 Cheap and Free Ways to Protect Your Mobile Workers Without Driving Them Buggy

The security of your corporate data and the integrity of your company network are put at risk whenever you travel with a business laptop. That's because the laptop is no longer protected by the physical security that your office provides, or the security systems designed to protect the software running on it. And any malware that gets on to your laptop has the potential to infect other devices on your network next time your laptop connects to it. But mobile security need not be expensive: here are ten ways you can minimize these risks to your laptop at little or even no cost:

1. Encrypt the hard drive
2. Use a VPN
3. Update and patch your software
4. Run a firewall and anti-virus software
5. Bolt down your browser
6. Chain up your laptop
7. Encrypt your e-mails
8. Keep your backup data secure
9. Practice safe computing
10. Password protect.


xRaptor for StyleXP comes complete with visual style, desktop icons (with .iconzip and source PNG's), custom shellstyle, system sounds and fonts, desktop wallpaper(s), cursors, explorer toolbar icons, shutdown/logoff dialogs, .theme file and installation instructions.The Windowblinds version comes with desktop wallpaper(s), shellstyle, shutdown/logoff dialogs and explorer toolbar icons. Desktop icons with source PNG's are also included inside the .zip file. This themes has been designed for Windows XP only.

New Windows


Microsoft is indirectly confirming Windows 7 Build 7048 from the Release Candidate branch by stating that Internet Explorer 8 can indeed be removed from the operating system. The software giant says that it's about giving users choice and control, when it comes down to functionality in Windows 7, designed to permit the switching off or on of default components shipping with the operating system. Moving from Beta Build 7000 to Release Candidate, the Turn Windows Features On or Off has evolved. As of Build 7048, Windows 7 features an extended list with additional components compared to older releases of Windows and to previous development milestones of Windows 7. “Windows Features” can be accessed via “Programs and Features” in Control Panel.

If a feature is deselected, it is not available for use. This means the files (binaries and data) are not loaded by the operating system (for security-conscious customers) and not available to users on the computer. These same files are staged so that the features can easily be added back to the running OS without additional media.

At the same time, removing a feature is not synonymous with uninstalling it or deleting it from the platform. Fact is that the staging permits users to add the feature back at any time via the same dialog box, rather than having to turn to the installation media. “In Windows 7 we are expanding the number of features you have control over in this regard, giving customers more control, flexibility and choice in managing the features available in this version of Windows.

As of Windows 7 Build 7048, users will be able to turn off a variety of additional components compared to Vista. The RC of Windows 7 will permit the disabling of the following features: Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, Windows DVD Maker, Internet Explorer 8, Windows Search, Handwriting Recognition (through the Tablet PC Components option), Windows Gadget Platform, Fax and Scan, and XPS Viewer and Services (including the Virtual Print Driver) in addition to what Vista allowed.