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Flickr Patenting "Interestingness" 95

tjcrowder noted that Boing Boing is reporting that Flickr has filed for a patent on a system for determining "interestingness". From the patent application abstract: "Media objects, such as images or soundtracks, may be ranked according to a new class of metrics known as "interestingness." These rankings may be based at least in part on the quantity of user-entered metadata concerning the media object, the number of users who have assigned metadata to the media object, access patterns related to the media object, and/or a lapse of time related to the media object." So basically, nobody else can use tags to label files. Totally original thinking from the folks at flickr. *cough*

Worst Christmas Ever For Gadgets? 305

An anonymous reader writes, "CNet says this will be the most disappointing Christmas ever for gadget-lovers. The Playstation 3 is delayed across most of the world, the Zune MP3 player is cancelled for everyone outside the US, Vista won't be out for home users before the big day, and even Final Fantasy XII won't reach Europe in time. From the article: 'It's enough to make you slit your wrists with the shards of a smashed Christmas tree bauble... Santa fails to deliver on almost all of his Yuletide promises. Most of the major technologies that were supposed to be ready for purchase have been delayed until next year.' The writer goes on to suggest phrases to use over Christmas dinner when the offending companies' products are mentioned. To reduce the pain of a Zune-less party, he suggests remarking: 'Imagine the stability and usability of Windows migrated to an MP3 player. In short, imagine a small portable version of Hell.'"

U.S. Government Crippled by Sex, Gaming Sites 283

BobB writes "The U.S. Department of the Interior's inspector general has released a report that says department employees are wasting their taxpayer-funded work time going to prohibited web sites. Some of these sites relate to sex, computer games, gambling and auctions. The study found that almost $2 billion a year in productivity was being lost to these 'excessive indulgences.'" From the article: "Computer-use logs revealed more than 4,732 entries relating to sexually explicit Web sites and gambling sites. Some computers accessed sex sites for 30 to 60 minutes during the test period. More than 1 million log entries were discovered indicating 7,763 Department computer users spent 2,004-plus hours accessing game and auction sites. Extrapolated over the year, that could account for 100,000 lost work hours. Put another way, this would equal 50 full-time employees doing nothing but surfing online game and auction sites."

Our informal mission is to improve the love life of operators worldwide. -- Peter Behrendt, president of Exabyte