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Adblock Plus Blocked From Attending Online Ad Industry's Big Annual Conference ( 442

An anonymous reader writes: Adblock Plus has been uninvited to the upcoming IAB Leadership Summit and is having its registration fee refunded. The company was informed of the cancellation in an email with little explanation. A company blog post reads in part: "Unfortunately, the top brass at the US IAB don't want us coming to their Leadership Summit next week in Palm Desert, California. We attended last year, and we signed up again for their 2016 meeting including paying the hefty entrance fee. We were fully confirmed and they even listed us on their website as a participant. Then this week we got one of those sudden emails that land in your inbox innocently, then floor you with something weird, unbelievable or ridiculous when you click on them. This one came from an unfamiliar IAB address, and it informed us that our registration for the summit was canceled and our fee refunded."

Emergency Room Visits From Distracted Walking Skyrocket ( 142

schwit1 writes: An estimated ten percent of pedestrian injuries that land people in emergency rooms are due to distracted walking, a recent study found. That's thousands of people injured — sometimes killed. In San Diego, investigators believe Joshua Burwell may have been trying to take a picture of the sunset when he took a fatal fall some 40 feet off Sunset Cliffs. "A lot of people don't admit that they do it," said Dr. Claudette Lajam, an orthopedic surgeon. "It's getting worse as we have more and more features on these devices that we carry around with us that can distract us."

Drone Ban Extends 30 Miles Around DC, Per FAA ( 410

DewDude writes: If you thought done registration was bad enough; it just got worse for anyone living in the nation's capital. On Christmas Day (of all days); the FAA put into effect a rule that bans the flying of drones/quadcopters within a 30-mile radius around DC. This more than doubles the initial 15 mile radius no-fly-zone. The ban includes the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, and the independent cities in the vicinity on the Virginia side. On the Maryland side; it includes Montgomery, Prince Georges, Howard, Anne Arundel; and parts of Calvert, Baltimore, and the extreme north-western end of St. Marys Counties in Maryland.

Comment Re:Going to be keeping my car for a while... (Score 1) 112

How far we've come...
Remember back in the early 90s? All we dreamed about was cramming a computer into everything.

But with experience, our optimism has cooled a bit, hasn't it?

And we're the PRO-tech guys.

Well at least we got a little out of it, if you compare public perception of computers today with that of our childhood; back then, people really were afraid that monstrous computers would become all-knowing. Today, common people have realized that computers are NOT intelligent, are rather fragile and consequently have an appreciation of the gulf between what computers are and what they used to be afraid of.

Comment Re:Going to be keeping my car for a while... (Score 4, Interesting) 112

Thank you for writing out what lots of us are thinking.

I bought an android 'smartphone' 5 years ago. At the time, it was cutting-edge.

Now it's constantly locking-up/rebooting and incredibly slow.

I also can't install many of the newer apps on it because its firmware revision is too ancient(?!).

I thought "maybe if I go to the telephone vendor and ask if they can upgrade the firmware"

"Naw, we can't update it, buy a new phone"

I can just imagine what dumb excuses the car-makers will have.


North Carolina Town Defeats Big Solar's Plan To Suck Up the Sun ( 760

mdsolar writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: The citizens of Woodland, N.C. have spoken loud and clear: They don't want none of them highfalutin solar panels in their good town. They scare off the kids. "All the young people are going to move out," warned Bobby Mann, a local resident concerned about the future of his burg. Worse, Mann said, the solar panels would suck up all the energy from the Sun. Another resident -- a retired science teacher, no less -- expressed concern that a proposed solar farm would block photosynthesis, and prevent nearby plants from growing. Jane Mann then went on to add that there seemed to have been a lot of cancer deaths in the area, and that no one could tell her solar panels didn't cause cancer. "I want information," Mann said. "Enough is enough."
The Media

Montana Newspaper Plans To Out Anonymous Commenters Retroactively ( 246 writes: Eugene Volokh reports at the Washington Post that in a stunning policy shift, The Montana Standard, a daily newspaper in Butte, Montana, has decided to replace commenters' pseudonyms with their real names. "The kicker here is that the change is retroactive," writes Paul Alan Levy. "Apparently unwilling to part with the wealth of comments that are already posted on its web site under the old policy, but also, apparently, unwilling to configure its software so that comments posted before the new policy is implemented remain under the chosen screen names, the Standard announces that past comments will suddenly appear using the users' real names unless users contact the paper no later than December 26 to ask that their comments be removed." In a November 12 editorial outlining the new real-name policy, the newspaper said, "We have encountered consistent difficulty with posts that exceed the bounds of civil discourse — as have many sites where comments from anonymous posters are allowed."

The paper's new policy has proven controversial among readers. "This is the end of open and honest comments on this site," wrote one user, who goes by the name BGF. "It is easy to put your name to your comments if you are retired. But it is another thing altogether if you have to worry about upsetting your peers and bosses at work." The newspaper editor, David McCumber, says he has extensively investigated the feasibility of configuring the newspaper's software to keep comments posted before the new policy is implemented under the chosen screen names. He says he was told by his content-management software experts that such a configuration is impossible. "Based on that, I am trying to do what is most equitable to all of our readers," says McCumber. "When a relatively small city is at the center of your market, just about everybody commented about is known, and the anonymous comments sting."


US Government IT Outsourcing Is Poorly Managed ( 85

itwbennett writes: The U.S. government is spending way more than it has to on IT outsourcing. That's the finding of a report released in September by the Government Accountability Office that studied IT services outsourcing at three military branches within the Department of Defense, along with the Department of Homeland Security and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. According to the report, while efforts to better manage their IT outsourcing had improved, most of these agencies' IT spending "continues to be obligated through hundreds of potentially duplicative contracts that diminish the government's buying power."

Open-Source GPU Drivers Show Less Than Ideal Experience For SteamOS/Linux Gaming ( 109

An anonymous reader writes: Phoronix's recent 22-Way SteamOS Graphics Card Comparison showed that NVIDIA wins across the board when it comes to closed-source OpenGL driver performance. However, when it comes to the open-source driver performance for Steam Linux gaming, no one is really the winner. A new article, "Are The Open-Source Graphics Drivers Good Enough For Steam Linux Gaming?" answers that question with "heck no" by its author. While AMD is generally regarded as having better open-source support, their newer graphics cards still can't run at their rated clock frequencies due to lack of power management support, the lack of enough OpenGL 4.x support means many AAA Linux games simply cannot run yet, not enough QA means regressions are common, and other issues were noted when it comes to testing a number of modern graphics cards on the open-source drivers.

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