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An anonymous reader writes "LifeReboot.com has an article discussing 10 Reasons it doesn't pay to be "The Computer Guy." Reasons vary from the declining cost of computers to some less obvious but still valid points. The article begins with a familiar scene: a group of strangers take immediate interest in you after mentioning you work with computers."
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
w1z4rd writes "According to an article in the Guardian, scientists and economists have been offered large bribes by a lobbying group funded by ExxonMobil. The offers were extended by the American Enterprise Institute group, which apparently has numerous ties to the Bush administration. Couched in terms of an offer to write 'dissenting papers' against the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, several scientists contacted for the article refused the offers on conflict of interest grounds."
Boj writes "The Times online is carrying stories on fraud carried out on eBay using shill bidding. Citing eBay's changes to security as aiding the shill bidders and this fraud: "Last November eBay changed its rules to conceal bidders' identity — making it even more difficult for customers to see whether sellers are bidding on their own lots.""
So does loaded language in the OP such as "that seek to confuse the public on global warming science" and "Would a 'global warming controversy' exist..." bother you as well? Seems to me there's some subtle but obvious condescension and ridicule there, and it isn't exactly what I'd call "conservative".
Erik Moeller writes "According to a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, oil company ExxonMobil 'has funneled nearly $16 million between 1998 and 2005 to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that seek to confuse the public on global warming science.' The report compares the tactics employed by the oil giant to those used by the tobacco industry in previous decades, and identifies key individuals who have worked on both campaigns. Would a 'global warming controversy' exist without the millions of dollars spent by fossil fuel companies to discredit scientific conclusions?"
Gamespot is reporting on the Wii's launch in Britain. As with the U.S. launch, things seem to have gone quite smoothly. Celebrities and very long lines of gamers marked the occasion, with one store giving out pizza, merchandise, and champaign to their customers. From the article: "At Nintendo's official event in HMV on Oxford Street, celebrities Ian Wright, Nell McAndrew, Pat Cash, and Ricky Hatton turned up to play Wii Sports. Cash and McAndrew played Wii Tennis, with Cash winning two games to zero. Wright and Hatton sparred at Wii Boxing, with the ex-footballer winning the virtual game against the boxer. Heba Elgamal, who had been camping outside the store in an alley for two days, was first in line for a console at the HMV store, and it was presented to him by Ian Wright. Elgamal bought The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess with his purchase, and Wright asked him if Zelda was a fighting game--which didn't go down well with the crowd. " Errr ... who is Ian Wright? And how has he never heard of Zelda?
ColinPL writes "BitTorrent, Inc. has taken the next step — the acquisition of uTorrent. In a joint announcement made today, the two firms have publicly solidified the merger. 'Together, we are pleased to announce that BitTorrent, Inc. and uTorrent AB have decided to join forces ... BitTorrent has acquired uTorrent as it recognized the merits of uTorrent's exceptionally well-written codebase and robust user community. Bringing together uTorrent's efficient implementation and compelling UI with BitTorrent's expertise in networking protocols will significantly benefit the community with what we envision will be the best BitTorrent client.'"
Vicissidude writes "At the National Targeting Center, the Automated Targeting System program harvests up to 50 fields of passenger data from international flights, including names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers, and uses watchlists, criminal databases and other government systems to assign risk scores to every passenger. When passengers deplane, Customs and Border Protection personnel then target the high scorers for extra screening. Data and the scores can be kept for 40 years, shared widely, and be used in hiring decisions. Travelers may neither see nor contest their scores. The ATS program appears to fly in the face of legal requirements Congress has placed in the Homeland Security appropriations bills for the last three years." From the article: "Marc Rotenberg, the director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said he was unaware of the language but that it clearly applies to the Automated Targeting System, not just Secure Flight, the delayed successor to CAPPS II. 'Bingo, that's it -- the program is unlawful,' Rotenberg said. 'I think 514(e) stands apart logically (from the other provisions) and 514 says the restrictions apply to any 'other follow-on or successor passenger prescreening program'. It would be very hard to argue that ATS as applied to travelers is not of the kind contemplated (by the lawmakers).'"
moon_monkey writes "There's an interesting post on NewScientistTech's blog about virtual reality inducing false memories during a recent experiment (pdf). Ann Schlosser at the University of Washington tested students' ability to learn how to use a real digital camera by operating a virtual one. Although those students who used the virtual camera found it easier to remember how the camera worked, they also experienced more 'false memories'. As the post points out, could this be a serious problem for VR going forward?"
kop writes "The richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of all household wealth, according to a new study by a United Nations research institute. Most previous studies of economic disparity have looked at income, whereas this one looks at wealth — assets minus debts. The survey is based on data for the year 2000. Many figures, especially for developing countries, have had to be estimated. Nonetheless, the authors say it is the most comprehensive study of personal wealth ever undertaken." The study itself is available from the World Institute for Development Economics Research.
Amtiskaw writes "Discussion of climate change is rife with claims and counter-claims of partisanship and bias. Some of the most serious of which being that the scientific community is smothering more skeptical research in the field. Now the BBC is asking for evidence of this self-censorship. From the article: 'Journals are meant to publish the best research irrespective of whether it accepts that the sky is blue, or finds it could really be green ... So the accusations that all is not well at the heart of climate science, and that censorship is rife in organisations which award research grants, the editorial boards of journals and the committees of the IPCC, should be examined seriously. Readers are asked to submit evidence of bias, which the the BBC will then investigate.'" Actually, the phrase "rife with claims and counter-claims" is making more of the counter-claims then they are; the vast body of the evidence indicates climate change is real; Lomborg is the only serious counter-claimaint that I am aware of.
J. J. Ramsey writes "Talk.Origins is an archive with thousands of pages exposing creationist pseudoscience. Rather mysteriously, Google pulled the plug on its search engine, giving only the vague reason: 'No pages from your site are currently included in Google's index due to violations of the webmaster guidelines.' This was apparently triggered by a recent cracking of the site that added 'hidden links to non-topical sites,' but Google won't say just what the violations were. Talk.Origins webmaster Wesley R. Elsberry believes that this Google policy harms honest webmasters." From the article: "My mission, whether I liked it or not, was to find and fix whatever problem the [Talk.Origins Archive] might have, with no guidance as to what the problem was and nothing at all about where to start looking... I was extremely lucky. The damage to my site was limited and in the first place that I happened to look. Other honest webmasters might not be so lucky. They may have to undertake an arduous process of vetting pages, essentially having to second-guess the mind of the cracker in trying to locate a problem that Google knows the exact location of." Thanks to an alert reader who sent in Matt's blog posting about how Google handles hacked sites.
feuerfalke writes "Homeland Security recently disclosed a plan regarding an Automated Targeting System, or ATS, that would generate a 'terrorist risk rating' based on information collected about the traveler. This information would include things such as where they are from, how they paid for tickets, their motor vehicle records, past one-way travel, seating preference and the meals they ordered in-flight. These ratings have now been assigned to millions of international travelers, including Americans, and the ATS is exempt from many provisions of the Privacy Act — one cannot view their rating or the information used to generate it."
An anonymous reader writes, "PC manufacturer Acer is complaining that Microsoft has jacked up the price of Vista, and that the basic versions are so basic no one will ship them. Since the collapse of the Microsoft anti-trust case under the Bush administration in 2001, manufacturers have no choice but to accede, adding hundreds of dollars to the cost of each PC. With Gates now proclaiming victory over European regulators, Microsoft once again seems unstoppable. But Microsoft had drawn itself close to the Republican Party. With the Republicans now evicted from the House and Senate, is it time to look at the Microsoft anti-trust suit? Could Microsoft be compelled to lower its inflating Vista prices, or to open their tech or even supply funding to Linux-flavored Windows such as Wine? What do Slashdot readers think about the likelihood of another go at breaking up the Windows monopoly?"
Terror Alert Brown writes "Reuters is reporting that a UK woman has been charged as a terrorist because of computer files on her hard drive. According to the article, these files included 'the Al Qaeda Manual, The Terrorists Handbook, The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook, a manual for a Dragunov sniper rifle, and The Firearms and RPG Handbook.' She was picked up in connection with the plot stopped in August to detonate explosives in airplanes flying out of Heathrow airport. Now might be a good time to delete any copies of the Anarchist's Cookbook you once read for amusement and still have floating around on your hard drive."