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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: how do you recommend desktops?

lamasquerade writes: Like many of you I get asked for recommendations on what computer to buy fairly often. These days though it's generally always a laptop, and as I've had a few and am constantly recommending them I'm up with the trends and have my stock recommendations sorted out pretty quickly depending on the circumstances. But recently a guy asked what he should get as a desktop. I haven't owned one for so long or been involved in buying one so I've really got no idea. And they're so commodified and cheap the question is does anything set them apart? Do you just go to Dell and find the right one for the budget? Or the local guy? Are the real differences in quality? I don't want to custom spec one up though — I don't want to spend hours on it — but what are the pertinent factors these days? Anything where the minimum available actually isn't sufficient for normal use? (i.e. not games, not graphic design, not video editing) Any favourites?

Submission + - Response to California BigTV Legislation (

An anonymous reader writes: It's great that unelected California legislators are clamoring to save energy, but when they target your big screen TVs for elimination, consumers and manufacturers are apt to declare war. While CEDIA and the CEA are up in arms over this, Audioholics has an interesting response that involves setting the TVs in "SCAM" mode to technically meet the energy criteria without having to add additional cost and increase costs to consumers.

In this mode, the display brightness/contrast settings would be set a few clicks to the right of zero, audio would be disabled and backlighting would be set to minimum. The power consumption should be measured in this mode much like an A/V receiver power consumption is measured with one channel driven at full rated power and the other channels at 1/8th power.

This is an example of an impending train wreck of unintended consequences and several groups are grabbing the popcorn and pulling up chairs to watch.


Submission + - Emergency Government Control of the Internet ( 1

TheZid writes: Here is another blow to our freedoms. A newly proposed bill that would give Uncle Sam the power to disconnect private sector computers from the internet in the event of a 'cyber security emergency'. As usual, citing security our government is trying to take away our privacy. What actually counts as a 'Cyber-Security Emergency?' Does the president now have the option of disconnecting people when they disagree with his policies? Disconnect bloggers that criticize his health-reform? What counts as an emergency, can political opponents be deemed a cyber security emergency? This is just the next step in the demise of our freedoms and privacy. Its probably a step forward for any government figure wanting to control our every move and thought. Big Brother here we come

Submission + - Dell says Re-Imaging HDs a Burden If Word Banned (

N!NJA writes: In an amicus curiae brief filed on Aug. 24, Dell asked the judge overseeing the Eastern District Court of Texas to reconsider its order blocking sales of Word, part of the original ruling in favor of Canadian software developer i4i. In the worst case, the brief argued, the injunction should be delayed by 120 days.

"The District Court's injunction of Microsoft Word will have an impact far beyond Microsoft," Dell and HP wrote. "Microsoft Word is ubiquitous among word processing software and is included on [redacted] computers sold by Dell."

"If Microsoft is required to ship a revised version of Word in Dell's computers, a change would need to be made to Dell's images," Dell wrote. "Making such a change would require extensive time- and resource- consuming testing."

An addendum to the brief notes that it was authored in Microsoft Word, part of Office 2003.


You're Too Fat to Eat Here 7

Mississippi legislators have introduced a bill that would make it illegal for state licensed restaurants to serve obese patrons. The work of Republicans W. T. Mayhall Jr., John Read, and Democrat Bobby Shows, the bill proposes that the state's Department of Health establish weight criteria after consultation with Mississippi's Council on Obesity. Some in the Mississippi legislature worry that the new law would be too draconian in nature, not making allowances for the chunky, thick, husky or big boned.

If it's worth hacking on well, it's worth hacking on for money.