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Ask Slashdot: Suitable Phone For a 4-Year Old? 682

blogologue writes "I have a kid that's turning 4-years old soon, and I'm not able to be with him as often as I want to. To remedy this, I'm looking into whether or not getting him a phone could be a good idea to keep in touch. Being able to have a video chat is important, and as it is rare that a 4-year old has a mobile phone, and because he's got other things to do, it would be good to be able to turn off for example games and so on during time in the kindergarten. So other kids don't go around asking their parents for a smartphone. The main reason for getting the phone is keeping in touch, and as a bonus it can function as a device for games and so on during allowed times. Are there any phones that are suitable for such use? I don't mind if it's Android, iOS or something else, as long as it can be used to make video calls to other Android/iOS phones, and if it features other applications such as games, have limited, pre-defined functionality during certain periods of the day."

Vermont Bans Fracking 278

eldavojohn writes "Vermont is the first state to ban fracking (hydraulic fracturing), a process that was to revolutionize the United States' position into a major producer of natural gas. New York currently has a moratorium on fracking but it is not yet a statewide ban. Video of the signing indicates the concern over drinking water as the motivation for Vermont's measures (PDF draft of legislation). Slashdot has frequently encountered news debating the safety of such practices."

Comment Re:I haven't read it (Score 1) 1054

I would highly recommend it... the first four books (Enders Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind) are much better than the later concurrent-sequel / whatever you would call them books.

As for the original question... no, I cannot think of anything which could be remotely construed as pornographic; and I would rate myself as quite conservative when it comes to that sort of thing. Violence, mature situations, absolutely. I would say that it is appropriate for kids somewhere around 10 - 12+ years, depending on the child in question.

Comment Re:according to tfa slashdot (Score 2) 554

White bread is tasteless, textureless goo; I am all for food to taste good, but whole wheat bread (with extra grains such as flax and whatnot added for texture and taste, as well as nutritional value) is far ahead of white bread. Whenever given the chance, I pick whole wheat over white bread, and am very happy with that choice.

Comment Re:Not a Mac dumb down, please (Score 1) 803

You can enable some hidden setting somewhere to show hidden files, but then it shows it shows EVERYTHING, including dot files. There's now way to get it to show /bin, etc but not .bashrc and stuff.

Sure you can:
/Developer/Tools/SetFile -a v <File> #make a file / folder visible
/Developer/Tools/SetFile -a V <File> #make a file / folder invisible


RIM Server Crash Leaves Millions Without BBM 191

Several readers have sent word that "tens of millions of BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have been unable to receive or send emails and messages through their phones, following an outage at the server systems of parent company Research In Motion." RIM has confirmed that they're aware of the problem and working to restore service. A former RIM employee said to The Guardian, "They didn't start looking at scalability until about 2007, when they had around 8M active devices. The attitude was, 'We're going to grow and grow but making sure our infrastructure can support it isn't a priority.' They have their own clunky infrastructure to do something that you don't really need a clunky infrastructure to do anymore."

Comment Re:YES (Score 1) 559

The problem with this (from a manufacturer's POV) is that they cannot differentiate their laptops from others based on form factor. The Macbook Air, for instance, has its sole selling feature that it can fit in an envelope. If it was fit into a standard case, this would either not work, or would work for everyone.

As much as I would love a standard laptop case, I don't see this happening anytime soon... :-(


NASA Satellite Falls Back To Earth; Landfall in Canada 62

CNET, among many other sources, reports that the declining orbit of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite has declined all the way; the satellite reentered and broke up in Earth's atmosphere last night, though the exact time, and thus location, of the reentry was unknown at the time. CNET quotes NASA's release, which says the satellite "fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23, and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24." The Christian Science Monitor has a newer story, which reports that at least some debris from the satellite hit land in Okotoks, Canada, with no injuries. NASA's Science Office page on the satellite (not yet updated to account for the deorbit) says the satellite was launched in 1991, with a planned operational life of three years.

Comment Re:Lasik (Score 3, Insightful) 203

LASIK doesn't have better outcomes; the success rates for PRK and LASIK are just about identical. However LASIK does give you faster healing. I opted to do PRK for my surgery. Even though it was about a month before I was back to perfect vision, IMHO it was worth it. Since there was no flap cut into my cornea, my eyes are now 100% healed (in fact the eye doctor couldn't even tell that I had had surgery). With LASIK, even though the flap does heal well, it is never 100% as strong as before. As another poster pointed out, though, even the USAF has authorized LASIK surgeries for their pilots for some years, so the differences are minimal. Cheers

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