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Comment Tactile Controls (Score 1) 208

I wish we could move toward pre-80's tactile controls. There certainly would be a lot more work creating limited interfaces that could work with them. It seems to me that it's less distracting when a function is a distinct control with some good feedback, like a switch or knob, than the controls that seem to line my dash these days.

It's probably not so much worth worrying about anymore. Automatic cruise control and braking are soon going to be the standard, and ease us into nearly automated driving. Computers don't get distracted.

Comment Colder is better (Score 1) 439

While (I believe) there's been less precipitation then normal here in Pittsburgh, it's been consistently below freezing, so we've had some good snow buildup. And it's not been icy, nor has there been a miserable cold rain. Being a little colder then normal beats the just above freezing cold rain.

I have an old AMC Eagle, an all-wheel drive car designed in 1979 if you haven't seen one and can picture it. It's part car and part Jeep. It drives very well in the snow, and there hasn't been a storm in years where it has had any problems out here.

Once the first few snows get everyone in the mental frame for driving in winter again, it's not so bad driving out there, although I wish a few more people with neither the vehicle nor the skill for driving in the snow would just stay home. Although it often probably is because of our antique labor laws that make them have to go to work for one reason or another.

But, yeah, Cold, snowy and wonderful here.

Image

Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed 1352

A survey of American voters by World Public Opinion shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. One of the most interesting questions was about President Obama's birthplace. 63 percent of Fox viewers believe Obama was not born in the US (or that it is unclear). In 2003 a similar study about the Iraq war showed that Fox viewers were once again less knowledgeable on the subject than average. Let the flame war begin!

Comment Re:Price (Score 1) 931

Price does have a trade off: user productivity.

Some applications, like desktop publishing, graphics, and CAD are still moving fast enough that new hardware and software every few years actually makes enough of an improvement in productivity that it can pay itself back. Someone waiting on a drawing to render on 4 year old hardware is wasting time!

Comment Old solutions (Score 1) 213

The old London sewer system had a system of gas lamps atop flues that drew the air out of the sewers, and the flame helped reduce the odor of the sewer gases. Most of these sewer problems have been looked at for a couple thousand years now. Electric wires are a new addition, but I'm sure that other ignition sources were problems before.

I'm actually surprised that several hundred gas explosions that rocket 300 pound discs of steel into populated areas is considered so minor, but perhaps the chances of death are much less then I would expect.

Slashdot.org

Submission + - CmdrTaco: 44th most important person on the Web

floateyedumpi writes: Slashdot's own CmdrTaco has recently been heralded as the 44th most important person on the Web by PC World Magazine, right behind Mikko Hypponen (F-Secure director of antivirus research), and ahead of the likes of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium. What is the world coming to?
Television

C-SPAN Adopts Creative Commons-Style License 86

Trillian_1138 writes "C-SPAN, a network in the US dedicated to airing governmental proceedings, has adopted a Creative Commons-style license for all its content. This follows the network claiming Speaker of the House Pelosi's use of C-Span videos on her site violated their copyright. Specifically, 'C-SPAN is introducing a liberalized copyright policy for current, future, and past coverage of any official events sponsored by Congress and any federal agency — about half of all programming offered on the C-SPAN television networks — which will allow non-commercial copying, sharing, and posting of C-SPAN video on the Internet, with attribution.' Here is the press release. The question remains whether videos of governmental proceedings should be public domain by default or whether the attribution requirement is reasonable in the face of easy video copying and distribution."
Mandriva

Submission + - Mandriva Linux guide updated for One 2007

squidsuk writes: "Mandriva in the news

Mandriva Club member Wim Coulier has updated his excellent in-depth home user's guide to choosing, installing and using Mandriva Linux. This comprehensive article goes into great detail on whether to choose Mandriva Linux, trying it out, preparing to install it, and using it once it's installed. If you're new to Mandriva Linux, or you want to introduce it to a first-time user, this guide will be a great help.

Last discussed on Slashdot for the 2006 article, now in a newly updated and revised version for Mandriva Linux One 2007."
Space

Submission + - Pluto still a planet, at least in New Mexico, USA.

space_hippy writes: "The New Mexico State Legislature has decided that Pluto is a planet and "Pluto planet day" is March 13th. From the article on spaceref.com:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that, as Pluto passes overhead through New Mexico's excellent night skies, it be declared a planet and that March 13, 2007 be declared "Pluto Planet Day" at the legislature.
I would have hoped the New Mexico State Legislature had better things to do."
Digital

Submission + - Comic Relief - Red Nose Day 2007 game - Red Lead

Stuart Howarth writes: "VIRAL GAME FOR RED NOSE DAY 2007 ALREADY DELIVERS 28,000 CLICKTHROUGHS

In response to the digital challenge set by Comic Relief to online agencies to "Spread the Red" this year, digital marketing agency TAMBA launched Red Lead on 1st March, a viral game in which users must save red noses.

The game is being independently tracked by both the Viral Chart and Memecounter and is also being monitored by Comic Relief to assess how many of the gameplays translate to donations to the cause.

So far the game has achieved over 130,000 plays and Comic Relief report over 28,000 clickthroughs to their donations page. Statistics provided by MemeCounter also show the game has a 48% returning player rate.

The agency has also created a MySpace page for the game to take advantage of the power of social networking as a tool to extend the game's reach. MySpace users can copy the code for the game to embed it in their own MySpace page or website.

"Whilst the game is designed to be fun and addictive to play, it does have some important tasks to do," said Kay Hammond, MD of TAMBA Internet. "It encourages players to donate from the game screen, and also promotes the date of this years Red Nose Day — Friday 16th March."

TAMBA has seen a surge in viral requirements from across its spectrum of B2B and B2C clients this year and is currently developing game campaigns for organisations including charity Bullying Online, air conditioning brand Heatbusters and The Savoy hotel in Jersey.

Game URL: www.rednoseday2007game.co.uk"
Space

Possible Large Impact Crater In Nevada 29

While participating in amateur rocket launches in Black Rock Desert (the site of Burning Man), Ian Kluft noticed rocks with some oddities. Through the Internet he learned the characteristics of impact craters, then found some clues in photographs and Google Maps. Examining the area, he collected samples of rock with impact patterns and other evidence. He found that previous geological puzzles in the region are well explained as impact structures. Volunteers are finding peculiarities in satellite imagery of the area. Kluft presents his evidence here — "Submitted for Study: Discovery of Possible Impact Crater at Nevada's Black Rock Desert." This is a preliminary, six-week effort intended to bring the site to the attention of geologists. Confirmation will take some time and more elaborate tools than his group has.

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