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Movies

Study Finds Film Enjoyment Is Contagious 129

Posted by Zonk
from the crowd-mood-still-won't-let-me-like-shrek dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "A report from Science Daily says that scientists have proven that the presence of other people may enhance our movie-watching experiences by influencing and gradually synchronizing viewer emotional responses. This mutual mimicry also affects each participant's evaluation of the overall experience — the more in sync we are with the people around us, the more we like the movie. In a series of experiments, researchers found that people watching a film together appeared to evaluate the film within the same broad mood and another study found that synchrony of evaluations can be traced to glances at the other person during the film and adoption of the observed expressions. 'By mimicking expressions, people catch each other's moods leading to a shared emotional experience. That feels good to people and they attribute that good feeling to the quality of the movie,' said one researcher."
Television

+ - The New King of All Media?->

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Last Friday DRM-king Macrovision announced the controversial purchase of TV Guide for 2.8 billion dollars. This follows on the heels of recent acquisitions of All Media Guide (AMG) and the DRM technology behind Blu-ray. On the one hand, Macrovision management have put together all of the pieces necessary to build a networked living room of the future, including DRM, music, movie, game, and television metadata, media identification technologies, DLNA technologies and more. Macrovision hopes to integrate these pieces and profit by licensing its newly created technology and metadata portfolio to entertainment content producers, distributors, and consumer electronics companies. On the other hand, the stock market has serious doubts about Macrovision's ability to execute on this grand vision due to the size of TV Guide, as well as the large amount of debt incurred to make the purchase. Macrovision and TV Guide shares were down 20%! Slashdotters, what do you think? Will Macrovision successfully execute on its vision? Or will the deal fall apart?"
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Software

+ - Russian chatbot passes Turing Test->

Submitted by
CurtMonash
CurtMonash writes "According to Ina Fried, a chatbot is making the rounds that successfully emulates an easily-laid woman. As such, it dupes lonely Russian males into divulging personal and financial details at a rate of one every three minutes. All jokes aside — and a lot of them come quickly to mind — that sure sounds like the Turing Test to me. Of course, there are caveats. Reports of scary internet security threats are commonly overblown. There are some pretty obvious ways the chatbot could be designed to lessen its AI challenge by seeking to direct the conversation. And finally, while we are told the bot has fooled a few victims, we don't know its overall success rate at fooling the involuntary Turing "judges.""
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Businesses

+ - Dyslexia is Rampant Among Entrepreneurs

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Five years ago Fortune magazine published a story about dyslexic business leaders including Craig McCaw, who pioneered the cellular industry; Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways; Charles Schwab, founder of the discount brokerage firm; and Paul Orfalea, founder of the Kinko's copy chain. Now a study of entrepreneurs in the United States by Julie Logan, professor of entrepreneurship at the Cass Business School in London, has found that 35 percent of the entrepreneurs she surveyed identified themselves as dyslexic. "We found that dyslexics who succeed had overcome an awful lot in their lives by developing compensatory skills," Logan says. "If you tell your friends and acquaintances that you plan to start a business, you'll hear over and over, 'It won't work. It can't be done.' But dyslexics are extraordinarily creative about maneuvering their way around problems." Mr. Orfalea, who left Kinko's seven years ago, and who now dabbles in a hodgepodge of business undertakings, is almost proud of having dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. "I get bored easily, and that is a great motivator," he said. "I think everybody should have dyslexia and A.D.D.""
Businesses

+ - CompUSA Sold and Closing Stores->

Submitted by
stoolpigeon
stoolpigeon writes "CompUSA has been sold and their stores will be closed.CompUSA operates 103 stores, which plan to run store-closing sales during the holidays. Privately held CompUSA, controlled by Mexican financier Carlos Slim Helu's Grupo Carso SA, said discussions were under way to sell certain stores in key markets. Stores that can't be sold will be closed."
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It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - MICROSOFT drops support for OOXML!-> 1

Submitted by
michuk
michuk writes "Multi-trade International Corporation for Research of Office Software Open Format Technologies (MICROSOFT) has announced their surprise decision, that they cease to support OOXML document format (Office Open XML), acknowledging at the same time, that the ANSI-developed & supported TXT format will be a better, universal, solution. Got it Microsoft? Got it Jasow Matusow? Any misread acronym can make sensational headline."
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Education

+ - The Dangerous Wealth of the Ivy League 1

Submitted by
theodp
theodp writes "BusinessWeek reports that higher education is increasingly a tale of two worlds, with elite schools getting richer and buying up all the talent. Thanks to endowments like the one that netted Harvard $5.7B in investment gains just last year, the Ivy Plus colleges — which account for less than 1% of students — have been able to lift their spending into the stratosphere, including extravagances like $272,000-a-bed-dorms and even a $4M student-horse-housing rehab. 'People used to look at every penny,' says a Yale Dean. 'The mind-set is different now.' Meanwhile, reports BW, public colleges and universities struggle to educate 75% of the country's students in an era when most states are devoting a dwindling share of their budgets to higher ed."
User Journal

Journal: Google Quietly Adds HTTPS Support to GMail 4

Journal by jdray

This may be old news, but I just noticed myself and thought I'd report it. I've been using the "New Version" of GMail for a couple of weeks (I hardly notice the difference from the "Old Version"), and happened to notice today that the inbox URL still used "http://", even after all the complaints that they didn't maintain "https://" after login. I decided a quick test was in order, and added the all-important "s" to the protocol indicator. It worked fine. After clicking around some, openin

Biotech

+ - Tree Frogs Inspire Reusable Superglue [pics]->

Submitted by
grrlscientist
grrlscientist writes "Do you like to sneakily unwrap your gifts before Christmas to learn what they are? Well, scientists are helping you do this by developing a new reusable adhesive superglue!

From the story: The reason that conventional tape cannot be reused is because the adhesive forms permanent cracks when peeled from a surface. While these tiny cracks allow tape to be removed, they also render it useless. But a team of scientists, led by Abhijit Majumder at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India, discovered that the adhesive on the toe pads of tree frogs and crickets contain microscopic channels that prevent cracking when they are peeled from a surface."

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PlayStation (Games)

+ - Playstation: The Rumblepack returns

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Sony made a surprise announcement late on Wednesday, saying that it will introduce an new PS3 controller with rumble feature in spring of next year. Called Dualshock 3, the new controller will re-introduce the vibration functionality to the Playstation controller — a feature that had disappeared with the introduction of the Playstation 3 and the motion sensitive "Sixaxis" controller. It looks like that the new controller was made possible largely because Sony and Immersion resolved their patent dispute earlier this year. Back then, the two companies said that they had "entered into a new business agreement to explore the inclusion of Immersion technology in Playstation format products." Judging from today's announcement, the agreement apparently is bearing fruit."
The Media

+ - NBC drops the other shoe-> 2

Submitted by stekylsha
stekylsha (171162) writes "NBC has managed to figure out this internut thing after all. In a brilliant move, reminicent of Napoleon and his attack on Russia, NBC has decided to sell their award winning shows themselves which "NBC executives say they expect to become a viable competitor to iTunes." From the article:

"The NBC service, called NBC Direct, will begin a testing period in October with plans to be operational in November. The service will allow customers to download full episodes of NBC shows for seven days on Windows-based PCs. The file will expire after the seven days."

One must wonder why this business model hasn't been tried before."

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Censorship

+ - MediaDefender and the Streisand Effect->

Submitted by Foldarn
Foldarn (1152051) writes "It looks like MediaDefender, in an effort to quell the explosion of negative publicity, has instead done the opposite (also known as the Streisand Effect) and made it even more widespread. The folks over at Ars Technica have an article about a few popular BitTorrent sites MegaNova and IsoHunt that are being demanded to remove the ever incriminating emails. What's more, Ars is reporting that it appears that MediaDefender, in response to IsoHunt's decline to remove, may be behind a massive denial of service attack against IsoHunt."
Link to Original Source
Music

+ - Real dumps Gracenote music service

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "According to Valleywag, the Silicon Valley rumor site, "Gracenote runs the service that automatically fills in song names, musicians, and album names when you rip a CD to your PC's hard drive. Without it, we'd be stuck spending years entering CD track data manually. But the company is no longer without competition — and it just lost a big client to a rival. Gracenote has been discreetly dropped by RealNetworks. A tipster alerts us that RealPlayer and Rhaposdy are now using All Media Guide's identification service, Lasso. Real joins a growing list of AMG adopters, including Sony and Apple. It's no surprise that the music services, facing thin margins, are shopping around.""

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