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Education

Some Schools Ending Laptop Programs 308

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the great-expectations dept.
The New York Times reports that schools are abandoning their laptops-for-students programs. It turns out that the expense of providing laptops, expense of repairing laptops, difficulties of school network management, and discipline problems stemming from pornography, cheating, and cracking more than outweighed the educational benefits. Indeed, a number of schools have concluded that far from improving student achievement, laptops either had no effect or actively hindered academic performance. Apparently, politicians embracing technology as a quick fix for social problems doesn't always work out.
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft to buy Yahoo?

Submitted by
Rafajafar
Rafajafar writes "Speculation and rumors have going around Wall Street recently that Microsoft is in buyout talks with Yahoo. The news is being pretty good to Yahoo's shareholders, to say the least. From the article:

Yahoo Inc. shares surged following published reports Friday that Microsoft Corp. had resumed its pursuit of Yahoo to better compete with Web search and advertising leader Google Inc. Both companies declined comment on the reports.
There is still much doubt as to whether these talks will result in anything, however."
Editorial

+ - Blizzards's ban targets today's busy gamer

Submitted by
Marcus Eikenberry
Marcus Eikenberry writes "If you're a hard working adult, parent, or student who enjoys today's MMO's but have no time to grind to level 70, Blizzard's recent actions scream "Your S.O.L." Earlier this week Blizzard banned thousands of accounts in a matter of days. Buying, selling, trading, and even giving away your account results in banning without a second chance. Instead of innocent until proven guilty you're simply guilty. They even use their godly powers and ban any account associate with your credit card if you chose the monthly billing option. That's not accounting for the gamers who lost their accounts using game time cards. Those who haven't been banned have their accounts on a temporary lockdown until an I.D that has been notarized is faxed in and approved. Even if they get that information to Blizzard it will take time for the hold to be taken off, leaving the account dead until they deem fit. A majority of gamers believe that buying or trading an account is cheating, giving other players an unfair advantage. Although, what if you're a casual player as opposed to a hard core player? Not every gamer has the luxury of being able to play eight or more hours a day. Casual gamers want to experience the end game fun without spending a massive amount of time away from reality and their responsibilities. It's well known that trading an account is a violation of the terms of service. Even if you decide to give your account away it will result in a ban. Some will argue that it's not worth the ban and definitely not worth losing their other accounts that had nothing to due with the violation. The customer is still paying their monthly dues and Blizzard is still generating an income. Blizzard has yet to release a statement on why the harsh crack down this week, but few have their theories. Marcus Eikenberry from Markee Dragon Inc, a trusted guru in the online gaming community, gives his trusted opinion at: http://www.markeedragon.com/u/ubbthreads/showflat. php?Board=newsmd&Number=502154 Press Contacts: Marcus Eikenberry Markeedragon@markeedragon.com (866) 533-5010 www.MarkeeDragonInc.com Blizzard Entertainment Inc (949) 955-1382 www.Blizzard.com"
Space

+ - Astronomers Again Baffled by Solar Observations

Submitted by SteakNShake
SteakNShake (1097757) writes "Once again professional astronomers are struggling to understand observations of the sun. ScienceDaily reports that a team from Saint Andrew's University announced that the sun's magnetic fields dominate the behavior of the corona via a mechanism dubbed the "solar skeleton". Computer models continue to be built to mimic the observed behavior of the sun in terms of magnetic fields but apparently the ball is still being dropped; no mention in the announcement is made of the electric fields that must be the cause of the observed magnetic fields. Also conspicuously absent from the press releases is the conclusion that the sun's corona is so-dominated by electric and magnetic fields because it is a plasma. In light of past and present research revealing the electrical nature of the universe, this kind of crippling ignorance among professional astrophysicists is astonishing."
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft's HD Photo spec: Review at your own risk

Submitted by
PetManimal
PetManimal writes "Microsoft is preparing to submit its HD Photo standard as a replacement for the JPEG standard. Microsoft claims the new HD Photo standard can potentially display higher-quality photos that take up just half the storage space of an equivalent JPEG image. Unfortunately, it's not easy to actually read the HD spec — Microsoft forces users to agree to a legal document before downloading the spec. The agreement states that users cannot duplicate any part of the spec and Microsoft can "commercialize your feedback"."
Google

+ - Does Google Have a Mobile Phone in the Works?

Submitted by
narramissic
narramissic writes "A recent job opening posted on the Google Web site appears to confirm the rumors that have roiled the blogosphere that Google may be designing its own phone. 'Google is experimenting with a few wireless communications systems including some completely novel concepts,' according to the Web-site recruitment text. 'We are building a small team of top-notch Logic Designers and Analog Designers aimed at nothing less than making the entire world's information accessible from anywhere for free.' Heck, if Apple and Prada can do it, why not Google?"
Portables

+ - AMD brings Xbox 360 tech to handhelds

Submitted by almondcookie
almondcookie (1069864) writes "AMD has announced a new set of tools so that developers can make new gaming content for a number of portable devices. This includes Rendermonkey, which is already used for making PC and console games, and Ars Technica believes that these new tools enable Microsoft to turn the Zune into a gaming handheld. From the article:

Judging by the capabilities that AMD claims for Imageon and by the screenshots on the Imageon site, you could instantly add quite a bit of functionality to Zune with the inclusion of one of those processors. Zune could pick up a camera, and the new version of Rendermonkey, when combined with Imageon's support for unified shaders, could make it easier for Xbox 360 developers to do Zune ports.
"
Microsoft

'Gates for President' Group Gives Up 274

Posted by samzenpus
from the know-when-to-fold-them dept.
netbuzz writes "Dilbert creator Scott Adams had done his best to make this fantasy (or nightmare, depending on your point of view) a viable notion, but after three months of trying the group's leader has acknowledged that it's unlikely Gates will give up his current gig. They've tossed in the towel." Here is our original coverage of this ill-conceived plan.
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Scriptural violence can foster aggression (Nature)

Submitted by
quixote9
quixote9 writes "Unfortunately, Nature isn't even posting the abstract on this one, "Scriptural violence can foster aggression" by Heidi Ledford and probably others. (Title listed here. ) The article is behind a paywall ($30, I believe).

The title is so intriguing, that I thought maybe Slashdot has a budget for this kind of thing ...? ;-} Bests, quixote9."
Yahoo!

+ - Yahoo apologizes to the bloggers

Submitted by
evuraan
evuraan writes "Contents from a handful of Indian bloggers were used without permission on Yahoo's India's new Malayalam-language Web portal. This sparked an online protest among bloggers. A Yahoo spokeswoman said the reproduction of the content was inadvertent and blamed the incident on a company it hired to develop content for its Web site, Webdunia.com (India) Pvt. Ltd. Yahoo asked the content provider to remove the recipes when it learned of the incident and Webdunia has been in contact with the woman to apologize, the spokeswoman said. Bloggers, however, were also demanding an apology from Yahoo. The company planned to post a statement on its Malayalam Web site later Thursday, the spokeswoman said, which reads, in part: "Yahoo respects the blogging community and the etiquette followed by bloggers. We regret any inconvenience caused by the inadvertent posting of the recipe without attribution." The content is provided to Yahoo with the understanding that Webdunia holds all necessary rights to its use, the company said."

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"

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