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Comment: Edge service (Score 2, Interesting) 210

by Lon (#26314039) Attached to: AT&T 3G Upgrades Degrade 2G Signal Strength

Where I live, AT&T has both Edge (2.5G) and 3G deployed - I only have the first gen iPhone so I cannot speak to 3G quality here, but over the past couple of months I have seen an improvement in 2G coverage and quality. My house used to be on the edge (hah!) of an Edge dead zone - but now we get nearly full bars and no missed calls.

Comment: Re:Good omens (Score 1) 366

by Lon (#26287329) Attached to: Terry Pratchett Knighted

I got "Nation" for Christmas, and am looking forward to reading it. But it's a collaborative work: if my claim is correct, it's exactly how Sir Pratchett could extend his useful time as a beloved author.

It was a joy to read to my daughter. However, I must be missing something, I don't recall Nation being a collaborative work. Do you have a pointer to the facts on this?

Do not mistake my remarks to be an attack on your hypothesis regarding creativity and Alzheimer's - I just think it may be a tad premature to be drawing conclusions at this point.

Biotech

+ - Anthrax in Connecticut

Submitted by saxoholic
saxoholic (992773) writes "As my local news affiliate is reporting, anthrax has been found in Danbury, Connecticut, and two people have been infected. It appears the spores were contracted from cow and goat skins imported from Africa, which were used by the infected parties to build and restore African drums. Another news affiliate addresses it here. The form of anthrax is cutaneous skin anthrax."
Sony

+ - Sony blames poor PS3 sales on Internet

Submitted by i_like_spam
i_like_spam (874080) writes "During a recent interview with GamePro, Sony's PR head, Dave Karraker, responded candidly to questions about the negative consumer perceptions of the PS3. He responded, 'I think a lot of this goes back to the proliferation of the Internet, where a very vocal minority can make a lot of noise and potentially alter perceptions of the masses, whether they are accurate or not.'

He also replied: 'A lot of the perceptions are not justified and seem fueled by people who don't have all the facts or have some kind of axe to grind. It is funny how myopic people can be when a new system comes along.'

There you have it, Sony's biggest quarterly loss in four years is due to inept consumers and FUD."
Education

+ - Computer science PhD is turnoff

Submitted by nbauman
nbauman (624611) writes "The prospects for PhDs in computer science look even more dismal. According to research done by Professor Richard Wiseman at the Edinburgh International Science Festival http://www.generationscience.co.uk/html/news_relea se.html, one of the worst pick-up lines is, 'I have a PhD in computing.' 100 members of the public took part in 500 speed dates. During the event, participants rated the attractiveness of their dates and indicated whether they would like to meet that person again. To uncover the best type of chat-up lines, researchers compared the conversations of participants rated as very desirable by their dates with those seen as especially undesirable. Those highly skilled in seduction encouraged their dates to talk about themselves in an unusual, quirky, way. The most memorable lines from the top-rated man and woman in the study illustrate the point. The top-rated male's best line was: 'If you were on Stars In Their Eyes, who would you be?', whilst the top-rated female asked: 'What's your favourite pizza topping?'. In contrast, failed Casanovas tended to be far less creative, employing old chestnuts like 'Do you come here often?' or struggling to impress with comments such as 'I have a PhD in computing'. "Whenever our couples spoke about films they really increased their chance of disagreement", commented Wiseman. "In contrast, conversations about travel tend to revolve around great holidays and dream destinations, and that makes people feel good and so appear more attractive to one another"."
Power

+ - Compressed air car from India could kill GM, EXXON

Submitted by
vaporland
vaporland writes "This article in Business Week describes a car that runs on compressed air, ready for production in India. The fiberglass MiniC.A.T. runs on compressed air, and offers zero pollution and very low running costs. It is expected that US politicians will be able to easily refuel it by speaking into a hose located in the passenger compartment . . ."
Businesses

+ - Digital Trash More Valuable Than Gold, Copper Ore

Submitted by
tcd004
tcd004 writes "Imagine sheer mountains of discarded Pentium III's, tractor trailers overflowing with discarded wall warts. Photojournalist Natalie Behring visited Guiyu, China and documented the world's biggest digital dump where, for $2 per day, the locals sort, disassemble and pulverize hundreds of tons of e-waste. The payoff is huge: computer waste contains 17 times more gold than gold ore, 40 times more copper than copper ore. But the detritus also leaches chemicals and metals into local water supplies."
Space

+ - Dr. Michael Turner asks, "Cosmology Solved?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In 1998, Dr. Michael Turner published a famous paper titled "Cosmology Solved? Quite Possibly!" where he outlined seven major issues cosmologists should address in the next ten years. Nine years later, he revisits the list in an interview with the Slackerpedia Galactica podcast. He summarizes progress on each issue, adds some new goals for the next ten years, and even suggests that cosmology is now more interesting than science fiction!"
Media (Apple)

+ - EMI strikes DRM free deal with Apple

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Media industry executives and analysts have expressed surprise and alarm at last week's decision by EMI, the record label, to start selling music videos without the protection of anti-piracy software.

The decision was a little-noticed part of the company's ground-breaking deal with Apple that made all of EMI's catalogue available on iTunes in a format that can be copied and played on any digital device without restriction. That deal, announced with fanfare by EMI chief executive Eric Nicoli and Apple founder Steve Jobs, was hailed as ushering in a new digital music era."
Music

+ - EMI will sell DRM-free music through iTunes

Submitted by
caffeine_monkey
caffeine_monkey writes "That anticipated announcement by EMI and Steve Jobs turned out not to be about the Beatles, but that the iTunes store is now going to sell DRM-free music from the EMI catalog. In addition, the files will be "twice the sound quality" (presumably 256 kbps AAC). There will be price premium for single songs purchased — $1.29 per song, although whole albums will stay the same price and be DRM-free. Already purchased tracks can be upgraded for $0.30 per track. From the press release: "Protecting the intellectual property of EMI and our artists is as important as ever, and we will continue to work to fight piracy in all its forms and to educate consumers. We believe that fans will be excited by the flexibility that DRM-free formats provide, and will see this as an incentive to purchase more of our artists' music.""
Robotics

+ - Synthetic Snail Slime for Climbing Robots

Submitted by Frumious Wombat
Frumious Wombat (845680) writes "A team of engineers have set a small robot climbing walls in order to compare how natural and artificial snail slimes work. Co-worker Randy Ewoldt, of MIT, said: "An important result is that snail mucus per se is not required for robots to climb walls. We can make our own adhesive locomotion material with commercial products (instead) of harvesting slime from a snail farm." The real article is here for the technically (or gastropodically) inclined.

I, for one, welcome our ubiquitious, wall-climbing, robot overlords."

"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_

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