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The Windows 8 Power Struggle: Metro Vs Desktop 590 590

MojoKid writes "Metro, Microsoft's new UI, is bold; a dramatic departure from anything the company has previously done in the desktop/laptop space, and absolutely great. It's tangible proof that Redmond really can design and build its own unique products and experiences. However, the transition to Metro's Start menu is jarring for some desktop users, and worse yet, Desktop mode and Metro don't mesh well at all. The best strategy Microsoft could take would be to introduce users to Metro via its included apps and through tablets, while prominently offering the option to maintain the Desktop environment. Power users who choose to use the classic UI for desktops and laptops can still be exposed to Metro via tablets and applications without being forced to wade through it on their way to do something important."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Psychics Say Apollo 16 Astronauts Found Alien Ship 285 285

astroengine writes "A group called Transception Incorporated, self-described as an Austin, Texas-based psychic R&D operation, sent a letter (PDF) to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden that nominates the Apollo 16 crew for the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. Why? Well, a variety of 'shipwreck elements' on the Moon — described as 'structures, people/aliens, biological technology, and their plight' — were reportedly 'seen' through remote viewing (PDF) by six experts at Transception. These 'elements' can be seen, along with Apollo 16 moonwalkers John Young and Charles Duke, in photographs during that famous mission, obviously making this the first ever alien encounter."

Outgoing CRTC Head Says Technology Is Eroding Canadian Culture 404 404

Patchw0rk F0g writes "Canada's outgoing CRTC head, Konrad von Finckenstein, has some choice words for his successor: Internet and wireless technology has disarmed federal regulators of their weapons to protect cultural identity. The retiring Finckenstein cites over-the-top broadcasting, new Internet technologies and (perhaps most importantly) the fact that the CRTC is antiquated and can't keep up with these emerging technologies as factors in the (still)-growing culture-loss of Canada to the U.S. 'We have now moved into an era where the consumer is in control, and where thanks to the Internet and mobile devices, you cannot control access any more,' he said in one of his last interviews."
Piracy Founder Gets 14 Months 239 239

angry tapir writes "A Virginia judge has sentenced Matthew David Howard Smith, a founder of the website, to 14 months in prison, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday. Smith was indicted along with four others late last year. The DOJ charged that they illegally provided copyright-protected movies and TV programs for download from the website. The site operated from February 2008 until authorities shut it down in June 2010."

Predicting Life 100 Years From Now 552 552

New submitter Simon321 writes "BBC News has an interesting article about the top predictions for life 100 years from now. The highlights include extensive farming of the ocean, wiring all sorts of computers to our brains, space elevators, and the break-up of the United States. 'There are some indications already that California wants to split off and such pressures tend to build over time. It is hard to see this waiting until the end of the century. Maybe an East Coast cluster will want to break off too. Pressures come from the enormous differences in wealth generation capability, and people not wanting to fund others if they can avoid it.'"

Controlled Quantum Levitation Used To Build Wipeout Track 162 Screenshot-sm 162

First time accepted submitter gentryx writes "Researchers at the Japan Institute of Science and Technology have build a miniature Wipeout track (YouTube video) using high temperature superconductors and quantum levitation. Right now this is fundamental research, but in the future large scale transportation systems could be built with technology akin to this. I have a different vision: let Nintendo sell this as an accessory for the Wii U. I'd buy several of these tracks, let the gliders race through the whole house and track them on our TV!" Update: 01/05 22:08 GMT by S : As many readers have pointed out, this is CGI.

Chile Forbids Carriers From Selling Network-Locked Phones 291 291

An anonymous reader writes "As from today, network operators in Chile are no longer allowed to sell carrier-locked phones, and must unlock free of charge all devices already sold to costumers through a simple form on their respective websites. The new regulation came into effect in preparations for the rollout of Mobile Number Portability, set to begin on January 16th. This is one among other restrictions that forbid carriers to lock in the customers through 'abusive clauses' in their contracts, one of which was through selling locked devices. Now if a customer wishes to change carriers he/she needs only to have the bills up to date and the process of porting the number should only take 24 hours."

Ask Slashdot: Changing Passwords For the New Year? 339 339

New submitter windcask asks "Every New Year's Day, I assemble and memorize a random collection of seven to ten mixed-case alphanumeric characters and proceed to change every password I have on the interwebs to these characters (plus a few extra characters unique to the site). The problem is I only change them on the sites I visit. Once in a while, I'll come across a site I haven't visited for a few years, and I may end up not being able to guess the password before the try-lockout takes effect. What are your password-changing rituals, and how do they deal with situations like mine? I do use Keepass for work, but it is sometimes impractical for times I'm at other computers."

Comment: Re:Let's face it (Score 1) 110 110

My point is a bit more relevant when dealing with a crypto situation directly, because in my world (and the idealist world of accountability) it would make more sense that, if your communications are sensitive enough to warrant cryptography that you should know the very basics about how keys work. I still learnt how to drive a car before taking it for the first spin. If I were to do anything more advanced with the car, you can damn well bet that I will be learning all that I can about it. I'd complain some about laziness and apathy but I can't be arsed..

Ask Slashdot: Handing Over Personal Work Without Compensation? 848 848

rsmith84 writes "I'm the Senior Systems administrator for a small trade college. When I was hired on, it was strictly for L3 related tasks such as advanced server administration, Exchange design and implementation, etc. They have no in-house programmers, no help desk software, and no budget to purchase one. I'm a moderate PHP and MySQL programmer on the side and am easily capable of writing something to meet their needs, but do not believe I should be A) asked to or B) required to, as my job description and employment terms are not based upon this skill set. I like a challenge, and since all of my goals outlined since my hire date have been met and exceeded, I have a lot of down time. So I wrote the application. It streamlines several critical processes, allows for a central repository of FAQ, and provides end users with access to multiple systems all in one place. I've kept a detailed time log of my work and feel I should be remunerated for the work before just handing over the code. The entire source was developed on personal equipment off company hours. My question is: what should I do? If they are willing to compensate me, I will gladly hand it over. However, it's been mentioned that, if I do the project, it is all but guaranteed that I will see no compensation. The application would streamline a lot of processes and take a lot of the burden off my team, freeing them up to handle what I deem to be more challenging items on their respective punch lists and a better utilization of their time and respective skills. I'm a firm believer in not getting 'something for nothing,' especially when the skills are above my pay grade."

Comment: Re:I almost feel sorry for the PR Guy (Score 1) 419 419

I originally saw the story on Reddit as a warning that they were actually scamming customers, but now it just seems like shitty PR.. I don't know what to believe. It's not the first time he's done this, either.. I can't believe Paul was still working for n-control after the last incident!

Comment: Re:Maybe this is a sign.. (Score 3, Interesting) 390 390

If I hadn't posted in this thread, you'd receive mod points from me.

I agree that we need to fight the establishment, since the people in charge almost invariably try to strip away rights to protect their own interests. If an eBook is being lent out, I think that the author deserves some sort of royalty at a fraction of the cost of the paperback/hardcove ( simply because the electronic copy costs the author a lot less capital to produce and distribute (near-$0))

I'm at a loss as to how I should generalize this though. Maybe if the author disagrees with the royalty agreements for their eBooks they can merely NOT release one; but it will be converted into one and pirated regardless. The alternative would be to self-publish on your own terms, negotiating royalties or handling payment on your own.

Libraries receive money through late fees; eBooks can't be returned late, can they?

The first myth of management is that it exists. The second myth of management is that success equals skill. -- Robert Heller