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+ - Ask Slashdot: Pioneers of online entertainment? 1

Submitted by NKuruna
NKuruna writes: Hi Slashdot. I'm working on a documentary about the evolution of online entertainment and people who are able to make a living doing creative work on the web. The film will have an emphasis on flash animation and games but also touches on podcasting, blogging etc. I have a decent list of of interviews in the can, but who else should I be trying to talk to? Who were the folks who in some way perpetuated the idea that regular, non tech savvy people could sit down and watch programing online like they watch their TVs? When did a bunch of web pages become "online content?" Who broke ground in making creative work on the internet into a viable profession?

+ - Debunked:Electric Cars Won't Strain the Power Grid->

Submitted by thecarchik
thecarchik writes: Last week's heat wave prompted another eruption of that perennial question: Won't electric cars that recharge from grid power overload the nation's electricity system? A comprehensive and wide-ranging two-volume study from 2007, Environmental Assessment of Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles, looked at the impact of plug-in vehicles on the U.S. electrical grid. It also analyzed the "wells-to-wheels" carbon emissions of plug-ins versus gasoline cars. The load of one plug-in recharging (about 2 kilowatts) is roughly the same as that of four or five plasma television sets. Plasma TVs hardly brought worries about grid crashes.
Link to Original Source

+ - Mozilla reveals plans for Firefox 3.2->

Submitted by
Barence writes: "Mozilla is planning to include simple-text commands and desktop web apps in the next version of Firefox. Firefox 3.2 will see the company build the Mozilla Labs project, Ubiquity, into the browser, allowing users to type natural language phrases into the browser to perform certain tasks, such as typing "map 10 Downing Street" to instantly see a Google map of that address. It will also include "lightweight theming" for customising the browser design, and elements of another Labs project called Prism, which allows you to turn web apps such as Gmail into pseudo desktop apps which are accessed from the Windows desktop or Start menu. "We're looking for more pure innovation than just incrementally getting better. It's nice to try stuff where we don't know if it's going to work.""
Link to Original Source

Privacy Group Calls Google Latitude a Real 'Danger' 227

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-latitude-for-latitude dept.
CWmike writes "Privacy International is calling Google's new mapping application an 'unnecessary danger' to users' security and privacy. The criticism follows the unveiling this week of Google Latitude, an upgrade to Google Maps that allows people to track the exact location of friends or family through their mobile devices. Google Latitude not only shows the location of friends, but it can also be used to contact them via SMS, Google Talk or Gmail. 'Many people will see Latitude as a cool product, but the reality is that Google has yet again failed to deliver strong privacy and security,' said Simon Davies, director of London-based Privacy International, in a statement. The group's chief concern is that Google Latitude lacks sufficient safeguards to keep someone from surreptitiously opting into the tracking feature on someone else's device."

IBM Hides the Bodies, Eyes US Government Billions 410

Posted by kdawson
from the what-layoffs dept.
theodp writes "As his company was striving to hide the bodies of its laid-off North American workers, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano stood beside President Barack Obama and waxed patriotic: 'We need to reignite growth in our country,' Palmisano said. 'We need to undertake projects that actually will create jobs.' While Sam positions IBM to get a slice of the $825 billion stimulus pie, Big Blue is quietly cutting thousands of jobs and refusing to release the numbers or locations, arguing that SEC disclosure rules don't apply since the US job cuts are immaterial in its big global picture. The layoffs included hundreds in East Fishkill, coming early in the year after NY taxpayers paid IBM $45 million not to cut additional jobs in East Fishkill in 2008. Some are questioning whether IBM incentives are worth the cost."

+ - Protoypes stolen from Sony Ericsson lab

Submitted by praps
praps writes: A worker at Sony Ericsson's development center in southern Sweden has been arrested on suspicion of having stolen several mobile phone prototypes each valued at around $6,000. Industrial espionage or just a greedy geek? So far police are saying very little, but they reportedly found 15 different prototypes, a laptop reported missing from the office and hundreds of other mobile phones in his home. Sony Ericsson is playing down the man's links to the company — which makes the lab's security even more suspect.

Attempt To "Digitalize" Beatles Goes Sour 434

Posted by timothy
from the when-you're-64-and-probably-not-even-then dept.
An anonymous reader points to this article at, which begins "Just when Beatles fans thought the band were finally going digital, the Norwegian national broadcaster has been forced to call off the deal. Broadcasting company NRK has had to remove a series of 212 podcasts, each of which featured a different Beatles song and would have effectively allowed fans to legally download the entire Fab Four catalogue for free."

The Player Is and Is Not the Character 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-agree-and-disagree dept.
Jill Duffy writes "GameCareerGuide has posted an intellectual article about video games which argues there is no such thing as 'breaking the fourth wall' in games. Written by Matthew Weise, a lead game designer for the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, the article considers the complex relationship between video game players and characters. Weise says that, unlike in theater and film, video games don't ever really break the fourth wall, as it were, because in games, there is no wall. Players are always tethered to the technology, and the player is always just as much the main character as not the main character. Weise looks at both modern experimental games, like Mirror's Edge, as well as old classics, like Sonic the Hedgehog, to defend his point. He writes, 'Both avatars and the technological devices we use to control them are never simply in one reality. They are inherently liminal entities, contributing to a mindset that we, as players, exist in two realities at once. It's just as natural for a player to say, "I defeated that boss," as it is to say, "Snake defeated that boss," since Snake is and is not the player at the same time. It is likewise natural for a player to say, "I punched an enemy soldier," when in reality, she punched no one. All she did was press a button.'"

At Atlantic Records, Digital Sales Surpass CDs 273

Posted by kdawson
from the trading-analog-dollars-for-digital-pennies dept.
The NYTimes reports that Atlantic is the first major label to report getting a majority of its revenue from digital sales, not CDs. Analysts say that Atlantic is out in front — the industry as a whole isn't expected to hit the 50% mark until 2011. By 2013, music industry revenues will be 37% down from their 1999 levels (when Napster arrived on the scene), according to Forrester. "'It's not at all clear that digital economics can make up for the drop in physical,' said John Rose, a former executive at EMI ... Instead, the music industry is now hoping to find growth from a variety of other revenue streams it has not always had access to, like concert ticket sales and merchandise from artist tours. ... In virtually all... corners of the media world, executives are fighting to hold onto as much of their old business as possible while transitioning to digital — a difficult process that NBC Universal's chief executive ... has described as 'trading analog dollars for digital pennies.'"

Setting Up a Home Dev/Testing Environment? 136

Posted by timothy
from the just-live-at-work dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I'm a Project Manager (hold the remarks) who recently decided that I want/need to get my dev skills more up-to-date, as more projects are looking for their PM's to be hands-on with the development. Looking around my house, I have quite the collection of older (read: real old — it's been a while) PCs — it's pretty much a PC graveyard. Nothing that would really help me set up a nice dev infrastructure for developing web/database apps. So, my question is as follows: Should I buy a number of cheaper PC's, or should I buy one monster machine and leverage (pick your favorite) virtual machine technology?"
Software V3.0 Sets Download Record, 80% Windows 451

Posted by timothy
from the constant-companion dept.
thefickler writes "The newest version of OpenOffice, version 3.0, has set a download record in its first week of availability. Most surprising is the fact that over 80% of downloads were from Windows users. As one commentator noted, when it comes to a choice between almost identical software (e.g. Microsoft Office and OpenOffice), price is the determining factor."

Microsoft, Google Battle Over Energy Efficiency 164

Posted by kdawson
from the anything-you-can-light-i-can-light-cheaper dept.
1sockchuck writes "Microsoft and Google have opened a new front in their battle for global domination: data center energy efficiency. Just weeks after Google published data on the extreme efficiency of its previously secret data centers, Microsoft says it has achieved similar results with shipping containers (despite Google's patent) packed with up to 2,500 servers. The geeky benchmark for the battle is Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), a green data-center metric advanced by The Green Grid. Microsoft says its containers tested at a PUE of 1.22, while Google reported an average PUE of 1.21 for its data centers, which apparently are also now using containers."

E17, Slimmed Down For Cell Phones 166

Posted by timothy
from the durned-amazing-looking dept.
twitter writes "Want to run Enlightenment on your cell phone? The Rasterman's recent efforts bring E17 to Open Moko FreeRunner and Treo 650: 'According to the Rasterman, when used with his updated illume stack and new Elementary widget set, E17 can now run in just 32MB of RAM, on an ARM9 processor clocked at 317MHz. To prove it, he is distributing a Linux kernel and E17/Illume/Elementary stack for Palm's Treo650. The stack can be launched from PalmOS without touching the device's flash storage, he says.' While Microsoft fumbles with limited 'instant on,' GNU/Linux rules the embedded world and that's the only thing going in the IT market right now."
Operating Systems

Microsoft Considers "Instant On" Windows 440

Posted by timothy
from the catch-up dept.
Barence writes "In what might be a glimpse of things to come in Windows 7, Microsoft is asking customers whether they would be interested in a new 'Instant-on' version of Windows. 'We would like your feedback on a new concept,' the Microsoft survey states. 'The Instant On experience is different from "Full Windows" because it limits what activities you can do and what applications you can have access to.' Sounds interesting but hardly new: Asus and Dell have produced laptops that provide swift access to apps and data using Linux subsystems."

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