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Comment: Asking the right questions (Score 1) 356

by sidney (#34868580) Attached to: Google vs. Bing — a Quasi-Empirical Study

Acting as if I really wanted to know the answer, I tried the Google query, chose the first hit, which was the product page for the Frigidaire FPHC2398LF (at this point if I were really doing this I would have had the clue to enter my own model number), which below the flash stuff has a navigation bar that has a button for Guides/Manuals. Click on that, click on download the English User Guide which is a PDF, and "Bing!" there in the table of contents is has "Changing the Filter" on page 15

The Bing hits for the question has as the first hit the home page of the Frigidaire web site. If I went there maybe I would think to click on the filters & accessories tab, which is a blind alley for this. Maybe I would click on the Refrigerators link and get clue that I want to look for my own model number and eventually get to that same page that was Google's first hit. The other hits on Bing had a number of reviews and links for Frigidaire appliances other than refrigerators.

I guess I would rank Google and Bing as being equally useless if I ask a question that is not specific enough to give the exact answer I want and if I am too clueless to use the results I get to track down the answer or figure out how to refine the question. In this case, Google got me about two clicks from the exact answer, Bing got me pretty much nowhere.

If as a result of this experience I realize that what I really want to search for the user manual, and next time I try that, and also indicate that I want a professional series refrigerator rather than, say, an oven, (search term frigidaire professional series refrigerator user manual) Google gets me results on the Frigidaire web site in the first two hits, Bing gets all third party sites and reviews on their first page of hits.

Idle

Canadian Blood Services Promotes Pseudoscience 219

Posted by samzenpus
from the type-A-negative-personality dept.
trianglecat writes "The not-for-profit agency Canadian Blood Services has a section of their website based on the Japanese cultural belief of ketsueki-gata, which claims that a person's blood group determines or predicts their personality type. Disappointing for a self-proclaimed 'science-based' organization. The Ottawa Skeptics, based in the nation's capital, appear to be taking some action."

Comment: Your whois lookup is wrong (Score 1) 296

by sidney (#28156067) Attached to: New Mac Clone Maker 'Quo' To Open Retail Store

From TFA: "The Quo Web site is being worked on now and is set to launch next week."

From a whois lookup directly on the domaincontender.com site:

      Domain Name: QUOCOMPUTER.COM
      Registrar: DOMAIN CONTENDER, LLC
      Whois Server: whois.domaincontender.com
      Referral URL: http://www.domaincontender.com/
      Name Server: NS1.IZDIGITAL.NET
      Name Server: NS2.IZDIGITAL.NET
      Status: ok
      Updated Date: 16-mar-2009
      Creation Date: 29-jan-2009
      Expiration Date: 29-jan-2010

    >>> Last update of whois database: Sun, 31 May 2009 06:16:55 UTC

Comment: My 10 yr old likes Scratch (Score 1) 962

by sidney (#26069297) Attached to: Best Introduction To Programming For Bright 11-14-Year-Olds?

My 10 year old started with LOGO, a commercial version called MicroWorlds EX. That would be a good one to try if you have the budget to buy a classroom license. He tried Alice, but didn't care for it much because of limitations on what he could do with it.

He now spends most of his time on Scratch, I think mostly because he gets to upload projects to the Scratch website and share with friends he has made there. Since Scratch is free, teaches all the fundamental principles of programming languages without warping the brain as Basic would, and allows one to immediately create cool graphics stuff and collaborate with other kids, I would recommend it. http://scratch.mit.edu/

Lately he has also started hacking a Javascript tutorial because he wants to learn how to make web pages that do interesting things. I don't think it would be a good first programming language, but you might keep it in mind as an adjunct to a first course. Motivation is as important as the language, and being able to create cool stuff provides that.

Books

On the Economics of the Kindle 398

Posted by kdawson
from the how-much-is-cool-worth dept.
perlow writes "Just how many books a year would you need to read before the cost of Amazon's Kindle is justified? The answer is not so cut-and-dried. If you're a college student and all of your texts were available on Kindle (possible but unlikely), you could recover the cost of the reader in a semester and a half. For consumers to break even with Kindle's cost in that time, they would have to be in the habit of buying and reading four new hardback books per month — if the convenience factor wasn't part of the equation. At two books per month, breakeven would be in three years." Here is the spreadsheet if you want to play with the numbers.
Security

+ - Fox News' FTP Password Anyone?

Submitted by Paris The Pirate
Paris The Pirate (799954) writes "Jeff Goodman writes "While browsing around the Fox News website, I found that directory indexes are turned on. So, I started following the tree up, until I got to /admin. Eventually, I found my way into /admin/xml_parser/zdnet/, in which, there is a shell script. Seeing as it's a shell script, and I use Linux, I took a peek. Inside, is a username and password to an FTP. So, of course, I tried to login. The result? Epic fail on Fox's part. And seriously, what kind of password is T1me Out. This is just pathetic." Anyone want to suggest a password policy to Fox?"
Microsoft

+ - Vista DRM: Longest Suicide Note in History

Submitted by enos
enos (627034) writes "Peter Gutmann describes the consequences of Vista's DRM including the intentional crippling of functionality, unnecessary burdens on hardware manufacturers as well as unintended side effects. For example, Vista automatically and silently reduces the quality of audio and video on untrusted devices when "premium" content is present. This can have life threatening consequences when used in medical imaging where the compression artifacts can be misinterpreted."

Under the Hood of Quantum Computing 156

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fun-facts dept.
nanotrends writes "Gordie Rose, the CTO of Dwave Systems, the venture funded company that plans to offer paid use of a superconducting quantum computer starting in 2007, reveals secrets of his quantum computer construction. It is based on nobium superconducting 'circuits of atoms' and is not RSFQ. (Rapid Single Flux quantum)."

Australia Wants to Regulate Internet Streaming 257

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-you-streaming-mate dept.
Paul writes "After an incident that occurred on a popular television show's internet stream, the Australian government has once again demonstrated that it simply does not understand the internet by indicating that they intend to regulate streaming video. I wonder what these geniuses plan on doing with porn streamed from Europe?"

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein

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