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Comment What a stupid article... use a square box (Score 1) 1268

Did they try to use something else besides parens? Growing up, to solve math problems, I had to fill in a square box, or place the answer above an underscore. Parens actually have meaning in mathematical notation, so perhaps that is the real source of confusion, and not the equal sign.

Comment Wait till swine flu appears again (Score 3, Interesting) 355

I briefly worked at a company which used a hand scanner in lieu of a badge. It was unwisely put between your desk and the restroom. It's no secret not everyone washes their hands after relieving themselves, so I avoided eating lunch at my desk unless I had a bottle of hand sanitizer with me.

Now imagine 4 year olds, touching everything and sucking their thumb, and then checking out a book.

Technologically, scanners work well enough. Implementation, however, is done by the foolish.

Comment Not too different from Wall St. (Score 1) 467

I knew a co-worker who programmed lotto machines. He later joined a major stock exchange. Last I heard, he was happily coding for a hedge fund. What all the employers were keen on were his Linux skills -- which were pretty sharp. Maybe working in the gambling industry didn't hurt him because gambling and "investing" are not too different. :)

The Courts

US Couple Gets Prison Time For Internet Obscenity 574

angry tapir writes "The husband and wife owners of a California company that distributed pornographic materials over the Internet have been each sentenced to one year and one day in prison. Extreme Associates and owners Robert Zicari, also known as Rob Black, 35, and his wife, Janet Romano, aka Lizzie Borden, 32, pleaded guilty in March to a felony charge of conspiracy to distribute obscene material through the mail and over the Internet."

The Hysteria of the Cyber-Warriors 150

Willfro sends in a piece by Evgeny Morozov at the Boston Review about the hyperbole and the reality of "cyber war." Quoting: "At the end of May, President Obama called cyber-security 'one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation.' His words echo a flurry of gloomy think-tank reports. Unfortunately, these reports are usually richer in vivid metaphor — with fears of 'digital Pearl Harbors' and 'cyber-Katrinas' — than in factual foundation. So why is there so much concern about 'cyber-terrorism?' Answering a question with a question: who frames the debate? Much of the data are gathered by ultra-secretive government agencies — which need to justify their own existence — and cyber-security companies — which derive commercial benefits from popular anxiety. Journalists do not help. Gloomy scenarios and speculations about cyber-Armaggedon draw attention, even if they are relatively short on facts."

Comment Re:I don't understand it. (Score 1) 294

Thanks for a thoughtful post. So the fine point is that the gene itself is not patented, but the process to access the gene is. In addition, no one else is allowed read access to the gene unless they pay a fee to Myriad.

That's like patenting fire. You discover it and patent the process of rubbing 2 sticks together. While I am free to use the sun and a magifying glass, I am not allowed to make a fire because of the cost you incurred discovering it.

I will have to check if Myriad gets government funding.

Comment XP Introduced Cleartype, Remote Desktop access (Score 1) 392

Cleartype improved readability on LCD screens, although its sub-pixel rendering has been debated in tech circles.

For the corporate world, remote access was a boon and available in XP Pro.

Vista failed for many reasons -- buggy, limited driver support, marketing too many editions, etc.

I agree though that Microsoft Marketing tries to churn the market. Not sure what's in Windows 7 that will be of interest and value to customers.