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Businesses

Ask Slashdot: What's Your Take On Stand-Up Desks? 347

Posted by timothy
from the desks-that-won't-rat-under-pressure dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I work at a non-profit that doesn't have the resources to automatically bend to each and every whim. However, I've been told that I can't use a cardboard box to put my computer on, for OSHA and fire prevention reasons. So the choice is, sit down for nine hours each day or else get a standup desk to the tune of 500 bucks or more. Is this worth it? Can I make one myself? Anything to know before I get in deep?" There are lots of home-grown stand-up desks out there (search IKEA Hackers for "stand-up desk" if that's your aesthetic leaning), and some ready-made ones from plainish to very expensive. If you've used a stand-up desk, what are your thoughts?

Comment: Use Google's 'Closure Compiler' (Score 3, Informative) 575

http://code.google.com/closure/compiler/ It's exactly what you're looking for. It does type checking, it checks syntax and variable reference, it does file dependancy, and has a great inheritance system so you can get back to your Java/C++ ways. It's just awesome.
Apple

+ - DoJ investigates eBook price fixing->

Submitted by dave562
dave562 (969951) writes "The U.S. Justice Department's antitrust arm said it was looking into potentially unfair pricing practices by electronic booksellers, joining European regulators and state attorneys general in a widening probe of large U.S. and international e-book publishers.

A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed that the probe involved the possibility of "anticompetitive practices involving e-book sales."

Attorneys general in Connecticut and, reportedly, Texas, have also begun inquiries into the way electronic booksellers price their wares, and whether companies such as Apple and Amazon have set up pricing practices that are ultimately harmful to consumers."

Link to Original Source
Science

+ - Video released of new "FoFu-1" reliability tests->

Submitted by DerekShannon
DerekShannon (1913376) writes "Flipping a few switches might not seem like a big deal, but when you're researching fusion energy it can be cause for celebration — Or agonizing frustration. For the Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPPpower.com) "Focus Fusion-1" device, an array of high voltage spark-gap switches must fire within tens of nanoseconds to reach the parameters predicted to achieve net fusion energy. Progress has been slowed for months by switches firing too early or not at all. On September 29th, the team tested a simple change in hopes of improved reliability. The Focus Fusion Society (focusfusion.org) has released video of that experiment that also shows how the device will operate during upcoming net energy tests. Even when aiming for a big breakthrough, science tends to advance in very small steps!"
Link to Original Source
Piracy

DRM vs. Unfinished Games 462

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-not-a-bug-it's-a-really-irritating-feature dept.
Rod Cousens is the CEO of Codemasters, and he recently spoke with CVG about how he thinks DRM is the wrong way to fight piracy. Instead, he suggests that the games industry increase its reliance on downloadable content and microtransactions. Quoting: "The video games industry has to learn to operate in a different way. My answer is for us as publishers to actually sell unfinished games — and to offer the consumer multiple micro-payments to buy elements of the full experience. That would create an offering that is affordable at retail — but over a period of time may also generate more revenue for the publishers to reinvest in our games. If these games are pirated, those who get their hands on them won't be able to complete the experience. There will be technology, coding aspects, that will come to bear that will unlock some aspects. Some people will want them and some won't. When it comes to piracy, I think you have to make the experience the answer to the issue — rather than respond the other way round and risk damaging that experience for the user."
Books

Google Accused of Violating Copyright In China 247

Posted by timothy
from the capitalist-running-dogs dept.
angry tapir writes "The Chinese Authors Society has demanded that Google present a resolution plan by the end of the year and quickly handle compensation for Chinese authors whose books the US company has scanned without permission as part of its Book Search program. A local copyright protection group, co-founded by the authors group, has said it found at least 17,000 Chinese works included in Google's scanning plan."
Internet Explorer

Microsoft Aims To Close Performance Gap With Internet Explorer 9 477

Posted by Soulskill
from the roll-up-your-sleeves dept.
Barence writes "Microsoft has unveiled the first details of Internet Explorer 9, promising that it will close the performance gap on rival browsers. The major newcomer is a revamped rendering engine that will tap the power of the PC's graphics card to accelerate text and graphics performance. 'We're changing IE to use the DirectX family of Windows APIs to enable many advances for web developers,' explains Internet Explorer's general manager, Dean Hachamovitch. As well as improving performance, Microsoft claims the hardware acceleration will enhance the appearance and readability of fonts on the web, with sub-pixel positioning that eradicates the jagged edges on large typefaces."
The Internet

Murdoch To Explore Blocking Google Searches 549

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the why-is-no-one-calling-for-his-head dept.
In another move sure to continue the certain doom looming over classic publications, Rupert Murdoch has elaborated on the direction he would take in an effort to monetize the content that his websites deliver by attempting to block much of Google's ability to scan and index his news sites. "Murdoch believes that search engines cannot legally use headlines and paragraphs of news stories as search results. 'There's a doctrine called "fair use," which we believe to be challenged in the courts and would bar it altogether,' Mr Murdoch told the TV channel. 'But we'll take that slowly.'"
Businesses

Do Retailers Often Screen User Reviews? 454

Posted by Soulskill
from the four-and-a-half-stars dept.
Mechanist.tm writes "I recently purchased a NAS from a well-known online computer component shop. I have purchased several items from the website and have never had much trouble before. That was until I realized what I had bought was a terrible NAS. All the reviews on the site from users seemed very good. After a little research, it became clear that the product in question was indeed terrible. After finding the product pretty much useless for its intended purpose, I proceeded to write a review for it on the website to inform other would-be buyers. After about a week, I noticed that the review never made it up there, so I wrote another one just in case. After several attempts to leave a negative review for the product, I realized that the website was screening reviews and only posting the ones that made the products look good. All the reviews on the website are positive; I've only found one at less than 3 out of 5 stars. Is this legal? Ethically speaking, it's wrong, and it's intentionally misleading to the customer. Is there a good place to report behavior like this? How common is this among online retailers who provide user reviews?"

+ - Turning Plastic Trash Into Fuel->

Submitted by El_Oscuro
El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "According to the Washington post, a D.C. Start-Up Aims to Pitch Oil Made From Plastic Waste. Plastic soda bottles, Big Gulp cups and empty sour cream containers get fed into the top of the three-story machine. About 10 minutes later, out the other side comes a light-brown synthetic oil that can be converted into fuel for a truck or a jet airplane.

The Envion Oil Generator, scheduled for an official unveiling at Montgomery County's Solid Waste Transfer Station on Wednesday, represents a local company's decade-long effort to fight rising fuel costs and help protect the environment. As part of a pilot program, the company recently assembled the first of its fuel-producing generators at the Derwood waste facility.

Envion said its new generator can consume any type of plastic and convert it into synthetic oil; depending on the type of plastic, one ton can be converted into three to six barrels of fuel. Envion said it costs about $10 to convert the plastic waste into a barrel's worth of synthetic oil; currently, crude oil sells for close to $70 a barrel.

How much oil could we recover from the Pacific Garbage Patch?"

Link to Original Source
Science

+ - Gene Therapy Cures Color-Blind Monkeys->

Submitted by SpuriousLogic
SpuriousLogic (1183411) writes "After receiving injections of genes that produce color-detecting proteins, two color-blind monkeys have seen red and green for the first time.

Except in its extreme forms, color blindness isn't a debilitating condition, but it's a convenient stand-in for other types of blindness that might be treated with gene therapy. The monkey success raises the possibility of reversing those diseases, in a manner that most scientists considered impossible.

"We said it was possible to give an adult monkey with a model of human red-green color blindness the retina of a person with normal color vision. Every single person I talked to said, absolutely not," said study co-author Jay Neitz, a University of Washington ophthalmologist. "And almost every unsolved vision defect out there has this component in one way or another, where the ability to translate light into a gene signal is involved."

The full-spectrum supplementation of the squirrel monkeys' sight, described Wednesday in Nature, comes just less than a year after researchers used gene therapy to restore light perception in people afflicted by Leber Congenital Amaurosis, a rare and untreatable form of blindness."

Link to Original Source
Government

+ - Obama's CTO Seeks 'Social Network on Steroids'

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The nation's first federal CTO, Aneesh Chopra, detailed his plans to implement a "social network on steroids" across all federal agencies. Chopra described the networks as "expert panels" where citizens and government officials can come together to discuss public policy. The details of this will be included in an upcoming "Open Government Directive" written by the Office of Budget and Management. The directive will require all federal agencies to write a plan for how, specifically, they intend to use the Web to take advantage of Data.gov and engage the public in policy making."

You know, the difference between this company and the Titanic is that the Titanic had paying customers.

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