Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:How about opt in? (Score 1) 377

by IL-CSIXTY4 (#26242423) Attached to: UK Culture Secretary Wants Website Ratings, Censorship

A platform for this has existed almost as long as the web itself. PICS is a W3C standard for labeling content. There is a working draft out for an RDF-based version of PICS called POWDER.

PICS ratings are assigned by the IRCA, now part of The Family Online Safety Institute.

The problems with PICS adoption were predictable. First, like with the V-Chip, few parents enabled content filtering on their browsers, or even knew that feature was available. Second, the honest content providers, the ones who got their sites labeled for language, violence, or adult situations, got screwed because of all the sites out there who didn't opt into the system, and which could be viewed by everyone.

The Almighty Buck

+ - Finally, those cheap Chinese HD DVD players!->

Submitted by
sirdvd
sirdvd writes "Venturer Electronics today announced the launch of its first HD DVD player for the North American market. Responding to strong consumer demand for high definition video playback devices, Venturer will introduce the SHD7000 that offers the superior HD movie experience as defined by the DVD Forum. Featuring 1080i video output and an HDMI connection, the SHD7000 is designed to be compatible with the vast majority of HDTVs already in North American consumers' homes. With Ethernet connectivity to the network , the SHD7000 also allows users to access bonus features from movie studio web servers and unlock special prerecorded content on some HD DVD discs. Dolby TrueHD rounds out the high definition experience by presenting the HD DVD disc soundtrack as it was meant to be heard, virtually equal to the studio master. In addition to its HD DVD playback capability, the SHD7000 will upconvert standard DVDs to near HD picture quality via its HDMI connection, allowing a consumer's existing library of DVDs to look better than ever. CD playback is also supported. The SHD7000 will be distributed in North America by Venturer Electronics of Markham, Ontario, and sold through national retailers with retail prices expected to be one of the lowest among entry-level HD DVD players. Venturer Electronics, headquartered in Markham, Ontario, offers a wide selection of value-priced, high quality consumer electronics products. Since 1988, Venturer has focused on making the latest technologies affordable to North American consumers."
Link to Original Source
Upgrades

+ - Getting out while the Gettin's good? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "OK, so I live in the Bay Area, and have for years and years now. I also run my own small but growing and successful local business. I have a lot to keep me here, friends, clients, and more. Yet, due to fortune of birth, I also have Canadian citizenship. And, due to fortune of my skills and profession, I know folks there who could get me a decent job pretty easily while I restart my business there. I've never thought about moving out of the good ol' USA, but these days it don't always seem so Good. Seeing that I've got an easy out, and how so many here when topics such as Real ID come up say to 'get out' while we can, well, as a big ol' geek I ask Slashdot: Should I get out while the gettin's good?"
Space

+ - Aerogel Hailed As New Wonder Material-> 1

Submitted by
Twinbee
Twinbee writes "The amazing properties of the space-age material aerogel have been known for some time, but only now is it beginning to be manufactured for widespread use. Highlights of the news article include resistance from a blowtorch at more than 1,300C, and how "6mm of aerogel was left almost unscathed by a direct dynamite blast". Perhaps the most obvious use for the 'super-sponge' like material is for insulation, whether we're talking about mountain boots, house insulation, or any winter wear.

Quote: "However, it has failed to convince the fashion world. Hugo Boss created a line of winter jackets out of the material but had to withdraw them after complaints that they were too hot.""

Link to Original Source
Editorial

+ - What's next after Social Networks?->

Submitted by Anonymous Howard
Anonymous Howard (666) writes "Have you thought about what will come after social networking becomes old news? Digital Trends' Patricia has, and she thinks its a mashup of entertainment/media and social networking. It's a great article, concise article on how current companies seem to be focusing too much on Facebooks of the 'net instead of focusing on what's to come."
Link to Original Source
Handhelds

+ - What's Keeping US Phones in the Stone Age?

Submitted by knapper_tech
knapper_tech (813569) writes "After seeing the iPhone introduction in the US, I was totally confused by how much excitement it generated in the US. It offered no features I could see beyond my Casio W41CA's capabilities. I had a lot of apprehension towards the idea of a virtual keypad and the bare screen looked like a scratch magnet. Looks aren't enough. Finally, the price is rediculous. The device is an order of magnitude more expensive than my now year-old keitai even with a two-year contract.

After returning to the US, I've come to realize the horrible truth behind iPhone's buzz. Over the year I was gone, US phones haven't really done anything. Providers push a miniscule lineup of uninspiring designs and then charge unbelievable prices for even basic things like text messages. I was greeted at every kiosk by more tired clamshells built to last until obselescense, and money can't buy a replacement for my W41CA. I finally broke down and got a $20 Virgin phone to at least get me connected until I get over my initial shock. In short, American phones suck, and iPhone is hopefully a wakeup call to US providers and customers. Why is the American phone situation so depressing?

Before I left for Japan about a year ago, I was using a Nokia 3160. It cost me $40 US and I had to sign a one year contract that Cingular later decided was a two-year contract. I was paying about $40 a month for service and had extra fees for SMS messages.

After I got to Kyoto, I quickly ended up at an AU shop and landed a Casio W41CA. It does email, music, pc web browsing, gps, fm radio, tv, phone-wallet, pictures (2megapixel), videos, calculator etc. I walked out of the store for less than ¥5000 (about $41) including activation fees, and I was only paying slightly over ¥4000 (about $33) per month. That included ¥3000 for a voice plan I rarely used and ¥1000 for effectively unlimited data (emails and internet).

Perhaps someone with more knowledge of the costs facing American mobile providers can explain the huge technology and cost gap between the US and Japan. Why are we paying so much for such basic features?

At first, I thought maybe it was something to do with network infrastructure. The US is a huge land area and Japan is very tiny. However, Japan would have lots of towers because of the terrain. Imagine something like Colorado covered in metropolitan area. Also, even though places like rural New Mexico exist, nobody has an obligation to cover them, and from the look of coverage maps, no providers do. Operating a US network that reaches 40% of the nation's population requires nowhere near reaching 40% of the land area. The coverage explanation alone isn't enough.

Another possibility was the notion that because Americans keep their phones until they break, phone companies don't focus much on selling cutting edge phones and won't dare ship a spin-chassis to Oklahoma. However, with the contract life longer, the cost of the phone could be spread out over a longer period. If Americans like phones that are built to last and then let them last, the phones should be really cheap. From my perspective, they are rediculously priced, so this argument also fails.

The next exlpanation I turned to is that people in the US tend to want winners. We like one ring to rule them all and one phone to establish all of what is good in phone fashion for the next three years. However, Motorola's sales are sagging as the population got tired of dime-a-dozen RAZR's and subsequent knockoffs. Apparently, we have more fashion sense or at least desire for individuality than to keep buying hundreds of millions of the same design. Arguing that the US market tends to gravitate to one phone and then champion it is not making Motorola money.

At last I started to wonder if it was because Americans buy less phones as a whole, making the cost of marketing as many different models as the Japanese prohibitive. However, with something like three times the population, the US should be more than enough market for all the glittery treasures of Akiba. What is the problem?

I'm out of leads at this point. It's not like the FCC is charging Cingular and Verizon billions of dollars per year and the costs are getting passed on to the consumer. Japanese don't have genetically superior cellphone taste. I remember that there was talk of how fierce mobile competition was and how it was hurting mobile providers' earnings. However, if Japanese companies can make money at those prices while selling those phones, what's the problem in the US? It seems to me more like competition is non-existent and US providers are ramming yesteryear's designs down our throats while charging us an arm and a leg! Someone please give me some insight."
X

+ - New Linux desktop environment built on Firefox->

Submitted by
IL-CSIXTY4
IL-CSIXTY4 writes "
Pyro is a new kind of desktop environment for Linux built on Mozilla Firefox. Its goal is to enable true integration between the Web and modern desktop computing.
This looks like an interesting marriage of the web and the desktop. In Pyro, Web apps run in windows on the desktop, right alongside desktop apps (through compositing). Features expected in a desktop environment, like task/window selection and an Expose-like function, are written in Javascript."

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Fingerprints at School 2

Submitted by
Inda
Inda writes "My daughter, 7, is about to start at a new school that likes to think they excel in technology. They use an interesting system for checking out library books using a single thumb print. When I first heard this, alarm bells rang. The way I understand it, once a fingerprint is compromised, it is compromised forever.

I'm told the children enjoy using the fingerprint system and I would not want to single my daughter out as being different. The alternative to fingerprints are library cards, with barcodes, that are scanned manually.

I am not confident that the school's security is up to scratch. Their website is poorly written in FrontPage by the headmaster, all the staff use the Comic Sans MS font; I'm sure you get the picture. At the end of the day, they're teachers, not security experts. Security is not my field of expertise either.

Should I be concerned? Have I been reading Slashdot too long? Should I put the tinfoil hat down?"

You see but you do not observe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"

Working...