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The Internet

+ - Links Slashdot's RSS Feed

Submitted by DoorFrame
DoorFrame (22108) writes "Why is it that Slashdot, one of the first bastions of tech-friendly news, is so un-hip when it comes to RSS feeds? I can accept the ads in Slashdot's RSS feed (with a heavy sigh), but what I can't accept or understand is Slashdot's unwillingness to provide direct links within the RSS feed so I can go directly to the news item of interest. I have to click through Slashdot to get to where I want to go. I understand that this increases ad revenue, but it dramatically decreases the point and utility of having RSS feeds in the first place.

So, what's up with that? When Slashdot is behaving like Digg rather than Reddit, you know there's a problem."
GNU is Not Unix

+ - All GNU! CBS goes after the elusive nerd market->

Submitted by DoorFrame
DoorFrame (22108) writes "This ad ran as a full page in today's LA Times. Given that the first show listed is the surprisingly tolerable uber-geek sitcom Big Bang Theory, I suspect CBS of using dog whistle techniques targeting nerds. On behalf of nerds everywhere, let me be the first to welcome this blatant attempt at pandering. Whatever you're selling, CBS, I'm buying it!"
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

Microsoft Should Abandon Vista? 1119

Posted by Zonk
from the seems-a-bit-harsh dept.
mr_mischief writes "An editorial written by Don Reisinger over at CNet's News.com takes Microsoft to task for the outright failure of Vista. He suggests that Vista may be the downfall of the company as, despite years in development, Vista was delivered to market too early. His suggestion? Support those who are running it, but otherwise ditch Vista and move on. 'Never before have I seen such an abysmal start to an operating system release. For almost a year, people have been adopting Vista and becoming incensed by how poorly it operates. Not only does it cost too much, it requires more to run than XP, there is still poor driver support ... With Mac OS X hot on its tail, Vista is simply not capable of competing at an OS level with some of the best software around. If Microsoft continues down this path, it will be Vista that will bring the software giant to its knees--not Bill Gates' departure.'"
The Media

Time Magazine Person of the Year — It's You 244

Posted by kdawson
from the who-me? dept.
Thib writes to point out that Time Magazine has picked you — or us, or the Internet — as Person of the Year because you control the Information Age. From the article: "But look at 2006 through a different lens and you'll see another story, one that isn't about conflict or great men. It's a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It's about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people's network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes."
Music

DRM 'Too Complicated' Says Gates 196

Posted by Zonk
from the comments-good-for-three-days-or-three-plays dept.
arbirk writes "BBC News is reporting on comments made by Bill Gates concerning DRM.. It seems he has got the point (DRM is bad for consumers), but that opinion differs widely from the approach taken by Microsoft on Zune and their other music related products. The comments were originally posted on Micro Persuasion. The article also has a take on Apple's DRM." From the BBC article: "Microsoft is one of the biggest exponents of DRM, which is used to protect music and video files on lots of different online services, including Napster and the Zune store. Blogger Michael Arrington, of Techcrunch.com, said Bill Gates' short-term advice for people wanting to transfer songs from one system to another was to 'buy a CD and rip it'. Most CDs do not have any copy protection and can be copied to a PC and to an MP3 player easily and, in the United States at least, legally."
Privacy

FBI Taps Cell Phone Microphones in Mafia Case 274

Posted by Zonk
from the lots-of-conversations-about-merchandise dept.
cnet-declan writes "We already knew the FBI can secretly listen in to car conversations by activating microphones of systems like OnStar. A new Mafia court case suggests that the FBI can do the same thing to cell phones. The judge's opinion and some background information [pdf] are available for reading online. The most disturbing thing? According to the judge, the bug worked even if the phone appeared to be 'powered off.' Anyone up for an open-source handset already?" From the article: "This week, Judge Kaplan in the southern district of New York concluded that the 'roving bugs' were legally permitted to capture hundreds of hours of conversations because the FBI had obtained a court order and alternatives probably wouldn't work. The FBI's 'applications made a sufficient case for electronic surveillance,' Kaplan wrote. 'They indicated that alternative methods of investigation either had failed or were unlikely to produce results, in part because the subjects deliberately avoided government surveillance.'"
The Internet

YouTube Coming Soon To Cellphones 78

Posted by Zonk
from the finally-something-useful dept.
Krishna Dagli writes to mention a short New York Times article about a deal between Verizon and Google. YouTube will be coming to Verizon's VCast service. There's lots of catches: It's a $15/month fee, and you don't gain access to all of the content YouTube has to offer. Just the same, the article makes Google out to be thinking along these lines; YouTube may start showing up in many different places. From the article: "'Everybody carries a phone with them, but they may not have a computer,' said Steve Chen, chief technology officer and a co-founder of YouTube. People can 'take the phone out of their pocket while waiting for the bus' and watch a video, he added. Verizon Wireless and YouTube said the service would be available early next month. The companies would not discuss the financial terms of their deal but said Verizon would have the exclusive rights to distribute YouTube videos on mobile phones 'for a limited period of time.'"
Patents

Test for "Obvious" Patents Questioned 172

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the state-the-obvious dept.
bulled writes "News.com is running a story about a case coming before the US Supreme Court on testing new patents for 'obviousness'. The decision has potential to significantly impact the High Tech industry." From the article: "Several Silicon Valley heavyweights, including Intel and Cisco Systems, have submitted supporting briefs that urge the Supreme Court to revise an earlier ruling. That ruling, they claim, has helped make it easier to obtain patents on seemingly 'obvious' combinations of pre-existing inventions."
Television

No Business Case for HDTV? 525

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the dire-just-means-higher-prices-for-consumers dept.
Lev13than writes "The head of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation argues that there is no business model for HDTV. Speaking at a regulatory hearing being held by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), CBC president Robert Rabinovitch noted that 'There's no evidence either in Canada or the United States that we have found for advertisers willing to pay a premium for a program that's in HD.' In order to cope with infrastructure and programming costs that are roughly 25 per cent higher, Rabinovitch proposes that the CBC start charging cable and satellite companies to carry their signal, and to limit over-the-air transmission. HDTV — good for Best Buy, bad for broadcasters?"

Life Without Traffic Signs 604

Posted by kdawson
from the sign-language dept.
zuikaku writes, "Der Spiegel has an article titled European Cities Do Away with Traffic Signs reporting that seven cities and regions in Europe are doing away with traffic signs, signals, painted lines, and even sidewalks. With the motto 'Unsafe is Safe,' the idea is that, when faced with an uncertain, unregulated situation, drivers will be naturally cautious and courteous. Then again, they may end up with streets jammed with pedestrians, bicyclists, and cars like some places in India and China." I can't see this idea getting traction in the U.S.

Optimus OLED Keyboard Pre-Orders Start Dec. 12 289

Posted by kdawson
from the every-key-a-function-key dept.
Jupix writes, "After almost a year and a half of public development, the Optimus OLED keyboard is nearing completion. According to the project blog, pre-orders for the Optimus-103 will start on December 12. The price is unspecified at this time, but Art Lebedev has said the keyboard will cost 'less than a good mobile phone' (probably about $400). Don't expect to see those 10 programmable function keys on the left on this first version, though, as they will not make their debut until the Optimus-113, released later."

US Gambling Law May Cause Flouting of IP Laws 231

Posted by Zonk
from the tit-for-tat dept.
Red Flayer writes "Slate Magazine reports that the US's recent actions to clarify restrictions of on-line gambling may have some very important unintended consequences. Antigua has challenged the legitimacy of the US's partial restrictions under the WTO, claiming that the laws represent a free trade infringement. What is so significant about this is that Antigua would be fully justified (and I imagine, would get a lot of support from other nations) in ignoring the US's patent and trademark laws. Freetrade.org has a more in-depth analysis (albeit with a predetermined opinion on the topic). Pre-register now for your copy of Antiguasoft Vista."

Physicist Trying To Send a Signal Back In Time 685

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-be-so-gullible-McFly dept.
phil reed writes "University of Washington physicist John Cramer is attempting to send a signal back through time." From the article: "We're going to shoot an ultraviolet laser into a (special type of) crystal, and out will come two. lower-energy photons that are entangled," Cramer said. For the first phase of the experiment, to be started early next year, they will look for evidence of signaling between the entangled photons. Finding that would, by itself, represent a stunning achievement. Ultimately, the UW scientists hope to test for retrocausality — evidence of a signal sent between photons backward in time. The test will involve sending one of the photons down 10 miles of fiber optic cable, delaying it by 50 microseconds, then testing a quantum-mechanical aspect of the delayed photon. Due to quantum entanglement, the non-delayed photon would need to reflect the measurement made 50 microseconds later on the delayed photon. In order for this to happen, some kind of signal would need to be sent 50 microseconds back in time from the delayed photon to the non-delayed photon. (Confusing? Quantum physics is like that.)

Comment: Is this the best use of your communication time? (Score 2, Interesting) 499

by mcarbone (#10497356) Attached to: Ask Neal Stephenson
First off, I want to thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for the slashdot crowd. Most of us know from reading your web page that you take your time very seriously, and rarely respond directly to inquiries from fans.

That being said, is this the best way to intelligently interact with your fans? In other words, do you believe that the slashdot moderation system, with which I'll assume you are familiar, truly pushes up the most interesting questions to the fore? Can you imagine an alternative way for a celebrity to engage in profound discourse with his fans in this many-to-one relationship?

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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