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British Pizza Chain To Install Cones of Silence 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the sound-of-silence dept.
itwbennett writes "British pizza chain Pizza Express is installing iPod docks and soundproof domes in booths of their new iPizzeria stores. 'The idea is that you can plug in your iPod and play whatever music you like without disturbing other diners,' says blogger Peter Smith. 'But I'm sure it'd work for talking about government secrets and other spy stuff, too.'"

Comment: Re:Choices (Score 1) 702

by maccam (#33225424) Attached to: The Case Against Net Neutrality
"The goal of society and government is to benefit certain people to the detriment of other people"

I think you mean perceived detriment. Even a very large corporation will benefit directly only a tiny segment of the population--a segment motivated by greed. The government should regulate so that society as whole benefits over the longer term.

Comment: Why choose Windows? (Score 1) 434

by maccam (#32304858) Attached to: Most Useful OS For High-School Science Education?

This thread seems to be dominated by the pro Windows crowd. For what it is worth, I work in a Mac dominated science department at a University with an IT support unit that does not support Apple and has lobbied actively to discourage any use of Apple products. Two weeks ago IT began exploring ways to begin Apple support. What caused the reversal in policy? Over the the past decade Apple usage has increased in all departments, and the voice demanding Mac support has increased in volume. Last week the University revealed that 50% of the access to the campus-wide wireless was from Apple devices. All this happened in the face of active opposition from central IT, which is a pretty strong statement of the Mac platform succeeding on merit.

Ten years of consulting on university IT issues and working in the only Mac majority department at the time, demonstrated to me that Mac support is much easier than Windows. What is more difficult, is to support Macs exactly the same as Windows, which is what Windows support staff feel compelled to do. What Windows support staff mostly fail to recognize is that Macs don't need the wild support gymnastics the Windows requires.

Theneed to run a gatekeeper (Antivirus software) to protect OS is an admission the underlying OS is so hopelessly screwed up that it can never be fixed. I realize that there are circumstances where Windows is the only recourse, but why choose to use that mess where it is not necessary?

One additional comment: Windows software controlling instrumentation has also been mentioned in several comments. Using this implementation as a case for teaching Windows is a red herring. Much of this software has been ported from Unix, uses very eccentric UI elements (paragons of poor design and bad programming) and mostly freezes the OS version it was written on, because OS updates will break it. Our university IT support won't touch these computers. We had one very expensive analytical machine networked because the manufacturer did remote online support. That machine got a Windows virus and was down for two weeks; it has never been networked again.

Cellphones

BlackBerry Bold Tops Radiation Ranking 189

Posted by timothy
from the woo-top-of-the-list-awesome dept.
geek4 writes with this excerpt from eWeek Europe: "Data from the Environmental Working Group places the BlackBerry Bold 9700 as the mobile device with the highest legal levels of cell phone radiation among popular smartphones. Research In Motion's BlackBerry Bold 9700 scores the highest among popular smartphones for exposing users to the highest legal levels of cell phone radiation, according to the latest 2010 Environmental Working Group ranking. Following the Bold 9700 are the Motorola Droid, the LG Chocolate and Google's HTC Nexus One. The rankings still put the phones well within federal guidelines and rules."
Government

Leak Shows US Lead Opponent of ACTA Transparency 164

Posted by timothy
from the putting-on-an-acta dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Throughout the debate over ACTA transparency, the secret copyright treaty, many countries have taken public positions that they support release of the actual text, but that other countries do not. Since full transparency requires consensus of all the ACTA partners, the text simply can't be released until everyone is in agreement. A new leak from the Netherlands fingers who the chief opponents of transparency are: the United States, South Korea, Singapore, and Denmark lead the way, with Belgium, Germany, and Portugal not far behind as problem countries."
Graphics

DirectX 11 Coming To Browser Games 200

Posted by Soulskill
from the see-the-stubble-on-your-stick-figure's-chin dept.
arcticstoat writes "Forget Farmville, Flash puzzlers and 8-bit home computer emulators. The next generation of browser games will be able to take advantage of DirectX 11 effects, not to mention multi-core processing and both Havok and PhysX physics effects. A new browser plug-in called WebVision will be available for Trinergy's new game engine, Vision Engine 8. This will enable game developers to port all the advanced effects from the game engine over to all the common browsers. Of course, any budding 3D-browser-game dev will face the problem that not every PC has a decent graphics card that can handle advanced graphics effects. Not only that, but limited bandwidth will also limit what effects a developer can realistically implement into a browser game. Nevertheless, this is an interesting development that could result in some tight 3D programming, as well as some much more interesting browser games."

Comment: Re:Eh wouldn't surprise me... (Score 1) 451

by maccam (#31228588) Attached to: Windows 7 Memory Usage Critic Outed As Fraud
I bet AERO did not run very well (or at all?) on that under a grand computer. Eliminating AERO is how the speed is achieved. AERO is the first Windows GUI that stresses the hardware comparably to the Mac OS X. There lies the true comparison. Macs have always had a resource hungry graphics layer, but the history, even with Mac Classic, is successive releases always improved speed. The history of Windows is successive releases always slow it down. Will history repeat itself with W7?
Businesses

Failed Games That Damaged Or Killed Their Companies 397

Posted by Soulskill
from the cause-or-symptom dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Develop has an excellent piece up profiling a bunch of average to awful titles that flopped so hard they harmed or sunk their studio or publisher. The list includes Haze, Enter The Matrix, Hellgate: London, Daikatana, Tabula Rasa, and — of course — Duke Nukem Forever. 'Daikatana was finally released in June 2000, over two and a half years late. Gamers weren't convinced the wait was worth it. A buggy game with sidekicks (touted as an innovation) who more often caused you hindrance than helped ... achieved an average rating of 53. By this time, Eidos is believed to have invested over $25 million in the studio. And they called it a day. Eidos closed the Dallas Ion Storm office in 2001.'"
Image

Police Called Over 11-Year-Old's Science Project 687

Posted by samzenpus
from the duck-and-cover dept.
garg0yle writes "Police in San Diego were called to investigate an 11-year-old's science project, consisting of 'a motion detector made out of an empty Gatorade bottle and some electronics,' after the vice-principal came to the conclusion that it was a bomb. Charges aren't being laid against the youth, but it's being recommended that he and his family 'get counseling.' Apparently, the student violated school policies — I'm assuming these are policies against having any kind of independent thought?"
Science

Antarctic's First Plane, Found In Ice 110

Posted by timothy
from the ice-tractor-cometh dept.
Arvisp writes "In 1912 Australian explorer Douglas Mawson planned to fly over the southern pole. His lost plane has now been found. The plane – the first off the Vickers production line in Britain – was built in 1911, only eight years after the Wright brothers executed the first powered flight. For the past three years, a team of Australian explorers has been engaged in a fruitless search for the aircraft, last seen in 1975. Then on Friday, a carpenter with the team, Mark Farrell, struck gold: wandering along the icy shore near the team's camp, he noticed large fragments of metal sitting among the rocks, just a few inches beneath the water."

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