donniebaseball23 writes "After discovering that electronics retailer Best Buy was charging ignorant customers $30 for the 'service' of installing updated firmware on PS3s, IndustryGamers got word from the company on its policy. Best Buy sees no problem with charging for this convenience, even though it's something Sony provides to PS3 owners completely free. 'While many gamers can handle firmware upgrades easily on their own, those customers who do want help can get it from Geek Squad, and we continue to evaluate this offering to ensure it meets their needs. The service goes beyond a firmware updates, and includes user account setup, parental control setup and other components,' a representative said."
Norwegian radio journalist Pia Beathe Pedersen quit on the air complaining that her bosses were making her read news on a day when "nothing important has happened." Pedersen claimed that broadcaster NRK put too much pressure on the staff and that she "wanted to be able to eat properly again and be able to breathe," during her nearly two-minute on-air resignation.
Research by Kurt Gray, a doctoral student in psychology at Harvard, shows that a person's capacity for willpower and physical endurance increases if they perceive themselves as good or evil. "Evil" acts in particular give a person a large boost in physical strength. From the article: “'People perceive those who do good and evil to have more efficacy, more willpower, and less sensitivity to discomfort,' Gray said. 'By perceiving themselves as good or evil, people embody these perceptions, actually becoming more capable of physical endurance.' Gray’s findings run counter to the notion that only those blessed with heightened willpower or self-control are capable of heroism, suggesting instead that simply attempting heroic deeds can confer personal power."
Brian McCrary just bought a website to complain about a $90 speeding ticket he received from the Bluff City PD — the Bluff City Police Department site. The department let its domain expire and McCrary was quick to pick it up. From the article: "Brian McCrary found the perfect venue to gripe about a $90 speeding ticket when he went to the Bluff City Police Department's website, saw that its domain name was about to expire, and bought it right out from under the city's nose. Now that McCrary is the proud owner of the site, bluffcitypd.com, the Gray, Tenn., computer network designer has been using it to post links about speed cameras — like the one on US Highway 11E that caught him — and how people don't like them."
lucidkoan writes "Two Rice University students have transformed a simple salad spinner into an electricity-free centrifuge that can be used to diagnose diseases on the cheap. Created by Lauren Theis and Lila Kerr, the ingenious DIY centrifuge is cobbled together using a salad spinner, some plastic lids, combs, yogurt containers, and a hot glue gun. The simple and easily-replicated design could be an invaluable tool for clinics in the developing world, enabling them to separate blood to detect diseases like anemia without electricity."
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has come up with an unusual way of saving money: changing their email font. The school expects to use 30% less ink by switching from Arial to Century Gothic. From the article: "Diane Blohowiak is the school's director of computing. She says the new font uses about 30 percent less ink than the previous one. That could add up to real savings, since the cost of printer ink works out to about $10,000 per gallon. Blohowiak says the decision is part of the school's five-year plan to go green. She tells Wisconsin Public Radio it's great that a change that's eco-friendly also saves money."
Arvisp writes "According to a blog post by former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee, Apple plans to produce nearly 10 million tablets in the still-unannounced product's first year. If Lee's blog post is to be believed, Apple plans to sell nearly twice as many tablets as it did iPhones in the product's first year."
sonamchauhan writes "A Londoner helped his wife deliver their baby by Googling 'how to deliver a baby' on his mobile phone. From the article: 'Today proud Mr Smith said: "The midwife had checked Emma earlier in the day but contractions started up again at about 8pm so we called the midwife to come back. But then everything happened so quickly I realized Emma was going to give birth. I wasn't sure what I was going to do so I just looked up the instructions on the internet using my BlackBerry."'"
http://androidandme.com/2009/09/news/10-reasons-to-start-saving-for-the-verizon-motorola-sholes-android-phone/ I think the current word on the street is early December?
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a review of an old but entertaining freeware Tron game called Armagetron . The author heaps praise on the game for its "beautiful simplicity" and its exciting multiplayer options. More screenshots and a wiki are available on the game's website. Quoting: "It's all about speed, really. You might think driving in clever geometric patterns would win you the game, but speed is the real the alpha and the omega of Armagetron. See, if you can drive parallel to old enemy trails for long enough to get your speed up to two times, three times or even four times more than your starting speed then you become a hunter of men. It becomes within your power to dart off towards other players, overtake them, and take a couple of quick turns that mean your trail boxes them into a tiny space."
I'm not seeing a lot of people arguing against the searching itself. While inconvenient and arguably not especially effective the way DHS has chosen to implement them, I think that a reasonable person could see where border searches are a good idea. The ideal, I hope, is that the DHS agents are trying to answer some important questions. "Are those illegal drugs that we don't allow in our country?", "Is that an explosive device?", "Is that some kind of toxin that you're going to use to attack our citizens?", and other similar questions that should be driving each and every search. Though there's a case to be made that this doesn't happen in practice let's ignore that tangent for now. I think the real sticking point for a lot of posters here seems to be the fact that something like a laptop can simply be taken during the course of that search and returned at an indeterminate later date, if at all. I may not be able to leave the country and come back ever again, as it's game over for me if I have to travel outside of the US with my company laptop, which has local copies of everything I'm currently working on so that I can work on it while I'm gone. Certainly, we have backups, so the only immediate loss is whatever I've worked on since the last time I was able to connect to our VPN and commit my changes to the source repository, but now code and company information worth several times what I make in a year are in the hands of heaven only knows who. The Wikipedia article was useful in reading up on the established legality and reasonableness, such as they are, of border searches, and I'm sure if I'd spent the time to read through the primary sources I'd be even more educated on the subject, but in my brief review of the link it didn't say anything about "...and it's also okay to take whatever we want without needing to prove that it's threatening or contraband"
Am I missing something here?
Am I missing something here?
Schwartzboy writes "Mythadventures.net and other sources are reporting that science fiction and fantasy author Robert Asprin died yesterday in his home, but there seem to be no details as to the cause of death. He was slated to appear as a Guest of Honor at MARCON in Columbus, OH starting today and was reportedly working on a number of new projects.
He will be Mythed by many."
Link to Original Source
He will be Mythed by many."
Link to Original Source