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Comment: Actually you can easily "lend" on the kindle (Score 1) 259

by pfrCalif (#35203292) Attached to: E-Book Lending Stands Up To Corporate Mongering

One of the things that we discovered, as more members of my family got kindles, is that it's easy to switch the account that your kindle is on. When you switch accounts you get access to all the books on that account. It also doesn't remove any of the books you already have on your kindle (just don't archive them).

Now, Is it sanctioned/legal? Nope. It's questionable at best, but the Amazon rep who basically explained the loophole to us said that there was no issue switching the account a kindle was on. The only issue is that there are download limits to books (another reason never to "archive" off your kindle), so it's not something that works on a massive scale, but for small groups that lend a lot, it's actually way nicer than paper books.

Comment: In short... (Score 2) 596

by pfrCalif (#35091984) Attached to: Microsoft Vehemently Denies Google's "Bing Sting"

Here's how I parse this:

"Yes, we knowingly steal your data, but we do it through an semi-willing intermediary, so it's ok." - Microsoft

I'm not sure how because they are pulling the results through someone else, it's ok. That's like saying because I didn't pirate this piece of software directly, but downloaded it from a pirate site, it's fine.

Comment: Hold your Horses there SharpieMarker (Score 5, Insightful) 1128

by pfrCalif (#34715980) Attached to: Democrats Crowdsourcing To Vote Palin In Primaries

"In what could be the most extreme and influential crowdsourcing project ever ..

Isn't it a little early to call something like this "the most extreme and influential crowdsourcing"? Not that it's the end-all metric of popularity, but it has 16 follows so far 25 facebook likes for god's sake. Slow down a bit before you hurt yourself.

Image

Review: Dragon Age: Origins 452 Screenshot-sm

Posted by Soulskill
from the blood-spattered-goodness dept.
Since the release of Baldur's Gate in 1998, BioWare has cultivated a strong reputation for quality role-playing games, exploring various aspects of the genre ranging from traditional D&D roles and rules to space marine and Jedi Knights. Dragon Age: Origins is a shift back to traditional swords-and-sorcery standards, unashamedly embracing the archetypes that made RPGs what they are, and using them to tell a complex, interesting story in a familiar yet unexplored world. In addition, BioWare has done yet another iteration of their combat system to make it deeper and allow the player to dictate the level of engagement. The result is that Dragon Age: Origins is one of the best RPGs in recent history. Read on for the rest of my thoughts.
Image

Teenager Invents Cheap Solar Panel From Human Hair 366 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the 50-watt-shampoo dept.
Renoise writes "Milan Karki, 18, who comes from a village in rural Nepal, believes he has found the solution to the developing world's energy needs. A solar panel made from human hair. The hair replaces silicon, a pricey component typically used in solar panels, and means the panels can be produced at a low cost for those with no access to power. The solar panel, which produces 9 volts (18 watts) of energy, costs around $38 US (£23) to make from raw materials. Gentlemen, start your beards. The future of hair farming is here!"
Businesses

Ballmer Pleads For Openness To Compete With Apple 532

Posted by Soulskill
from the outside-looking-in dept.
mjasay writes "At the Mobile World Congress, Steve Ballmer took aim at Apple's closed iPhone ecosystem with an ironic plea for openness: 'Openness is central because it's the foundation of choice.' Ballmer has apparently forgotten his company's own efforts to vertically integrate hardware and software (Zune, XBox), its history of vertically integrating software (tying SharePoint into Office, IE, SQL Server, Active Directory, etc.), as well as years of illegally tying Windows to Internet Explorer that only the US Justice Department could undo. Indeed, Microsoft's effect on the browser market has pushed Mozilla to get involved in a recent European Commission action against the software giant, with Mozilla's Mitchell Baker recently declaring that 'A number of illegal activities were also involved in creating IE's market dominance,' now requiring government intervention to open up the browser market to fair competition. Putting aside Microsoft's own tainted reputation in the field of openness, is Ballmer right? Should Apple open up its iPhone platform to outside competition, both in terms of hardware and software?"

Comment: Tribes / Garagegames TGE should be prior art (Score 1) 261

by pfrCalif (#26264913) Attached to: Worlds.com Sues NCSoft Over MMO-Patent
From working with the Torque Game Engine a while back - which was based on the Tribes engine (I think originally from 1998 but I might be wrong) - I think TGE works exactly like this in multiplayer mode. There's a central server that controls object position/etc so even if it's not a traditional MMO framework I think it fit's the bill.
Media

Linux Now an Equal Flash Player 437

Posted by timothy
from the cheek-by-jowl dept.
nerdyH writes "As recently as 2007, Linux users waited six months for Flash 9 to arrive. Now, with Microsoft pushing its Silverlight alternative, Adobe is touting the universality of its Flash format, which has penetrated '98 percent of Internet-enabled desktops,' it claims. And, it today released Flash 10 for Linux concurrently with other platforms. Welcome to the future." Handily enough, Real Networks released this summer RealPlayer 11 for Linux, the first release for which they've included a .deb package, and offers nightly builds of their Helix player, for which Linux is one of the supported platforms.
Linux Business

Is Ubuntu Selling Out or Growing Up? 345

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the six-of-one dept.
AlexGr notes an article by Jeff Gould where he says " Sometimes I wonder whether Ubuntu is really an open source software company any more. Yes, yes, I realize Ubuntu is not a company at all but a free Linux distribution, GPL'd and open source by definition. But still, the Ubuntu distro is sponsored by a traditional for-profit company. The answer that has recently emerged to this question is, "yes and no." Yes, of course, because Ubuntu's web site promises that the distro "will always be free of charge, including enterprise releases and security updates." But Ubuntu the enterprise ecosystem — understood as the collection of desktops and servers running Ubuntu in a given organization — is not."
Censorship

+ - Yaman Salahi Watch

Submitted by pfrCalif
pfrCalif (819380) writes "There are two sides to every story, and the 'Lee Kaplan Watch' story from earlier didn't smell right to me. Most Watchdog websites go out of their way to use documented, cited facts to prove their points, but Yaman's website seemed to be rife with anonymous sources and unsubstantiated alarm. Lee Kaplan has a response that is worth reading.

The Cal student at Berkeley took great glee in what he had done. In detail, he explained on his site how he had gone about smearing my reputation, something that would later become evidence in court. He also began interlinking over with other web blogs set up by other students and other people active in the ISM and even began sending out whatever false accusations he could to web sources, citing himself anonymously as a viable news source. Incredibly, many of the other sites printed his calumny.
"
Java

Sun Debuts JavaFX As Alternative To AJAX 441

Posted by kdawson
from the YASL dept.
r7 writes "Internetnews is reporting on Sun's introduction of JavaFX at JavaOne today. Looks like a combination Applet, Flash, Javascript, and AJAX with a friendly programming interface. Does this really spell the end of AJAX? I sincerely hope so. Nothing built on Javascript will ever achieve the security, cross-platform reliability, and programmatic friendliness that Web 2.0 needs. Proprietary solutions and vendor lock-in are also dead ends. JavaFX has the potential to satisfy this opportunity even better than did Java over a decade ago. Along with AJAX, let's hope JavaFX also puts paid to Microsoft's viral Active-X and JScript, and, more importantly, that it really is a web scripting language that developers can grok."
Patents

Companies Asked to Donate Unused Patents 140

Posted by Hemos
from the bring-out-yer-dead dept.
Radon360 writes "There are countless patents that are promising but sitting idle, stowed in the corporate file room. In fact, about 90 percent to 95 percent of all patents are idle. Countless patents sit unused when companies decide not to develop them into products. Now, not-for-profit groups and state governments are asking companies to donate dormant patents so they can be passed to local entrepreneurs who try to build businesses out of them. "

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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