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MA High School Forces All Students To Buy MacBooks 1217

An anonymous reader sends in this excerpt from the Salem News: "A new program at Beverly High will equip every student with a new laptop computer to prepare kids for a high-tech future. But there's a catch. The money for the $900 Apple MacBooks will come out of parents' pockets. 'You're kidding me,' parent Jenn Parisella said when she found out she'd have to buy her sophomore daughter, Sky, a new computer. 'She has a laptop. Why would I buy her another laptop?' Sky has a Dell. Come September 2011, every student will need an Apple. They'll bring it to class and use it for homework. Superintendent James Hayes sees the technology as an essential move to prepare kids for the future. The School Committee approved the move last year, and Hayes said he's getting the news out now so families can prepare. 'We have one platform,' Hayes said. 'And that's going to be the Mac.'"

Linux Games For Non-Gamers? 460

Nethead writes "Due to some down-time, I'm looking for some Linux games to pass the time. I've been playing BattleMaster, a PHP web game but it's only two turns a day, and I'd like something a bit faster. I've not really played PC games since the Doom era so I'm really out of touch here. I don't have a real gamer box, just a simple video card. What do Slashdotters think I should try? A simple FPS or some type of networked game would do. What's out there for Linux?"

Comment Re:Tough Question (Score 1) 548

Private schools, however, can be selective about their admissions in a way that public schools cannot, taking students that are better prepared to begin with, or have a better support system outside of school to augment their in-school learning. It's far from clear that they achieve better results with lower costs once you control for that factor.

The parent poster's point, I believe, was that public schools, and public roads, are a socialized function in order to achieve universality. There are economic and social benefits to an educated population, and to improved flow of labor and commerce, which accrue to everyone to some degree.

Whether that same universality is a desirable thing for health care is currently a matter of debate. Personally, I think it is, but I don't have it in me to argue the point at this time of night.


Celebrate Your Next Birthday At the Microsoft Store 301

theodp writes "Chuck E. Cheese, meet Bill H. Gates. A leaked PowerPoint posted at Gizmodo provides a glimpse of what Microsoft's retail shops may look like, noting that you'll even be able to pay to celebrate your birthday there. Some of the stores that were profiled for ideas were Nike, Nokia, Sony, Apple, and AT&T. Microsoft's take on the Genius Bar is the Answers Bar (aka Guru Bar, Windows Bar)."

Why Apple Should Acquire AMD 340

slashdotLIKES writes " columnist Gundeep Hora has a new column up that discusses why Apple should acquire AMD and how both companies would be a good fit for each other. From the article, "After private equity groups, let's look at a more strategic acquisition. For that, Apple is the best bet. Yes, I know it sounds way too radical to be taken seriously. However, Apple could drop Intel altogether and adopt AMD for its Macintosh PCs. Sure, the transition is going to take sometime, and it would probably make Apple announce a brand new line of PCs. However, it will be well worth it. We know Steve Jobs is ruthless when it comes to making interesting deals with powerful companies. This makes AMD a perfect match. Obviously Intel isn't going to be too delighted, but other companies don't bother Jobs. We all know he's the type of executive who crafts deals on his own terms. If Intel wants to be associated with Apple, then they won't really have much of a choice."

Submission user-submitted guitar tabs == infringement?

hudster writes: The site has apparently been threatened by legal action due to allegations of copyright infringement. Currently, when attempting to view any of the guitar tabs on the site, the following message is displayed (see example here):

Dear All Good Tabs vistors, All Good Tabs has been threatened with legal action by the National Music Publishers Association and the Music Publishers Association of America. The basis of their position is that by publishing the tabs transcribed by you hard working musicians, we are constituting copyright infringement. We completely disagree with this and are currently investigating our legal options. Click here for an explanation of the publishing company's position, and contact details for you to express your opinions on this matter to them.

Submission Broadcasting Television

JakobSke writes: "I am currently living in Sweden working for a small local TV Station. At the moment, we are so low-tech, that we use a DVD player set to continous repeat to air our broadcast. What this means is that I have no control over WHEN programs are airing, and have no means to update the content aired without disconnecting the entire broadcast and starting it over with the new content embedded into the single DVD. What I need is a program that will automate different video files to play at certain, predetermined time, and have the ability to update the playlist during playback. Does such a program even exist? I have done the reasearch, but there does not seem to be any viable solutions for low-budget stations. I have no wish to spend upwards of 10,000 US dollars for a pre-packaged broadcasting system that could just as easily be obtained with a standard PC (with video card) and clever software solutions."
The Media

Submission Trademark trials: Leo Stoller's terrible 2006

jokestress writes: "Remember Leo Stoller? He's the "intellectual property entrepreneur" who threatened to sue anyone who allegedly infringed his "famous trademarks," especially the word "stealth." Since the last /. article on Stoller, Leo hasn't had the best time of it, so here's a recap of his illustrious career, culminating with a $969,000 judgment against him last month:
  • Charged and fined in illegal fund solicitations for 9/11 victims (charities he listed said they never got any money).
  • Lost a trademark case where he claimed software maker Centra 2000(TM) infringed his "Sentra" trademark. Stoller filed corporate bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid paying after losing.
  • Got a smackdown from Columbia Pictures after threatening to sue them over the title of their film Stealth.
  • Sued Hall-of-Famer George Brett for selling a Stealth(TM) brand baseball bat. The judge found for Brett's company and cancelled Stoller's trademark registration in that category.
  • In 2006, the US Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board sanctioned Stoller for filing 1,100 extension requests in 5 months for trademarks he was opposing. He can't file any more for two years.
  • The real legal beatdown came at the hands of Pure Fishing, Inc., maker of Spiderwire® Stealth(TM) and other Stealth(TM) brand fishing gear. Stoller went after them and they fought back. Hard.
  • Before a final judgment could be entered, Stoller again declared bankruptcy under Chapter 13, which had an automatic stay on all litigation. Pure Fishing filed a claim in the case and requested the corporate bankruptcy be converted from reorganization to Chapter 7 (liquidation of all Stoller's assets, corporate and personal).
  • The bankruptcy judge found that Stoller's Chapter 13 filing contained bogus information and unreported assets, so he not only approved the liquidation, but found that Stoller's personal assets and corporate assets were one and the same.
  • The trustee appointed to liquidate Stoller's assets was granted additional authority to act as sole shareholder of Stoller's many corporate entities, and he promptly began settling all outstanding trademark litigation, including Stoller's claim that he owned the trademark "Google" for a brand of exercise balls.
  • The court cancelled 44 of Stoller's existing and pending "Stealth" trademarks on October 4.
  • On December 12, the court awarded Pure Fishing over $969,000, affirming the statement that Stoller and companies were vexatious litigants.
Pure Fishing's legal team put up a page with key legal documents for those who want to see how this all played out. The document that gives in-depth analysis of Stoller's modus operandi is Judge Jack B. Schmetterer's thoroughly-researched findings and conclusions in the Stoller bankruptcy decision.

Stay tuned for more Leo Stoller(TM) Adventures® in © 2007!"
PC Games (Games)

How 'Games for Windows' Will Change PC Gaming 392

Joystiq has a short piece up talking with Windows (GFW) Marketing Director Kevin Unangst and PR Manager Michael Wolf about the future of the 'Games for Windows' initiative. With the launch of Vista, Microsoft is making a big push to turn PC games into a 'console-like' cohesive brand. Instead of relying on the good name of individual publishers to sell titles, Redmond is requiring that all titles use similar packaging and a distinctive logo. Along with the new gamer-centric features in Vista, and the tie-in to Xbox 360 with 'Live Anywhere', this is meant to reinvigorate the PC games market for the sometimes not-so-savvy consumer. From the article: "By making gaming a priority in the Vista experience, Microsoft is molding a powerful pairing of the Games for Windows and Xbox 360 brands. To some extent, this is based on a hope that Live Anywhere will be embraced by GFW developers and publishers, pulling Xbox Live (and your Gamertag) outside of the 'Box, in turn encouraging an unrivaled virtual community. But there are simpler touches that also spark our interest. For example, start up Vista's Minesweeper, connect your 360 controller, and enjoy a subtle rumble each time you slip up. It's the melding with the familiar that will drive new and lost consumers to the Games for Windows brand."

UK Schools Bans WiFi Due To Health Concerns 535

Mantrid42 writes "Schools in the UK are getting rid of their WiFi network, citing health concerns from parents and teachers. The wireless emanations, parents fear, may be the root cause of a host of problems from simple fatigue to the possibility of cancer. A few scientists think younger humans may be more vulnerable to the transmissions, because of thinner skulls. From the article: "Vivienne Baron, who is bringing up Sebastian, her ten-year-old grandson, said: 'I did not want Sebastian exposed to a wireless computer network at school. No real evidence has been produced to prove that this new technology is safe in the long term. Until it is, I think we should take a precautionary approach and use cabled systems.'"

Should Developers Switch to GPLv3? 174

Isaac IANAL asks: "Victor Loh of ExtremeTech writes about the General Public License version 3's clause, which requires releasing digital signature keys — in other words, the software should be able to retain interoperability when modified. The article raises an objection, citing Linus Torvalds, that the so-called TiVoisation clause would inhibit open-source adoption in embedded devices among entities such as governments, health care providers, and finance firms. The issue has been discussed on Slashdot many times before. If you're a developer for a platform that needs to run signed code, could you use software under the GPLv3, or does the GPLv3 (at its current, unreleased state) truly inhibit your control as a developer over your device?"

The 'Truth in Videogame Rating' Act 131

The Escapist News Room reports on the introduction of the Truth in Videogame Ratings act to the floor of Congress. The act would require ratings boards to entirely complete the content of a videogame before applying a rating, and would involve the Government Accountability Office to oversee the ESRB's practices. This is a big change from the current system of developer disclosure. From the article: "Under the microscope would be the ESRB's effectiveness, the validity of peer review and advertisements targeted toward ages younger than a game's recommended audience. Less specific to the ESRB, the bill would also require research on 'the efficacy of a universal ratings system for visual content, including films, broadcast and cable TV, and video and computer games.' Game Politics notes that Co-Sponsors Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC) are up for re-election this November along with Congressman Cliff Stearns."

Microsoft Encouraging OEMs to Beautify Computers 563

Grooves writes "Microsoft has shipped a 'Vista Industrial Design Toolkit' to PC manufacturers, meant to encourage them to design computers that are more visually appealing. From the article: 'From color palettes to suggestions about how the power and reset buttons should appear, the kit basically describes Microsoft's vision of what a Vista PC should look like. The look features accelerated curves and purposeful contrast, among other qualities.' The report goes on to say that Microsoft wants 'PCs to be objects of pure desire.' Sound familiar? It's hard to see budget-conscious OEMs stepping up to this."

How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? One to hold the giraffe and one to fill the bathtub with brightly colored power tools.