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The Internet

Do the Blind Deserve More Effort on the Web? 663

Posted by Zonk
from the some-effort-would-be-a-good-start dept.
dratcw writes "An article was posted this week to ComputerWorld, detailing the frustrations faced by blind people struggling to use the Web. The piece shows how little progress has been made and the inadequacy of solutions such as Microsoft's Narrator screen reader. While the article generated many positive comments, one reader said the disabled should 'get a grip' and maintained they 'have no more right to demand that others provide for their needs than I, as a diabetic, have a right to demand that sugar no longer be used.' Should Web sites and software makers do more, or does the reality of today's economics dictate that the blind/disabled will continue to struggle and learn to live with it?"
XBox (Games)

Journal: Xbox Repair Journal 1

Journal by vrtladept

This is my journal of my xbox 360 repair saga (it's turning into one and I thought I should document it somewhere).

My xbox gave me the red ring of death on December 9, 2007. This is a log of my repair process:

December 9th - Went online and requested a repair of my in-warranty xbox 360 console

December 12 - Received coffin for xbox via UPS

December 13 - Dropped off broken xbox in coffin for shipping

Google

False Ad Clicks Cost Google 1 Billion Dollars A Year 233

Posted by Zonk
from the heaping-helping-of-fraud dept.
Meshach writes "There is an interesting story at CBC which claims that Google loses one billion dollars per year to fraudulent ad clicks. The article contains an interesting description how how the company determines if a click is false. 'The company explained that it determines which clicks are invalid through a three-stage system. Most of the illegitimate clicks are automatically detected analyzed and filtered out in the first stage ... The second part uses automatic and manual analysis of the AdSense network to weed out false clicks before they are logged to an advertiser's account.'"
Biotech

Cancer Drug Found; Scientist Annoyed 349

Posted by kdawson
from the serendipity dept.
sporkme writes "A scientist was frustrated when the compound she was working with (called PPAR-gamma) destroyed her sample of cancer cells. Further research revealed that the substance was surprisingly well suited as a cancer treatment. Lab test results on mice resulted in the destruction of colon tumors without making the mice sick." Quoting: "'I made a calculation error and used a lot more than I should have. And my cells died,' Schaefer said. A colleague overheard her complaining. 'The co-author on my paper said, "Did I hear you say you killed some cancer?" I said "Oh," and took a closer look.' ... [They found that the compound killed] 'pretty much every epithelial tumor cell lines we have seen.'" Update: 02/15 17:27 GMT by KD : As reader CorporalKlinger pointed out, PPAR-gamma is a cellular receptor, not a compound; and this news is not particularly new.
PlayStation (Games)

The Decline of the PS3 Grey Market 274

Posted by Zonk
from the ground-floor dept.
Kotaku has a great piece up looking at trends over time in the PS3 grey market. Michael Fahey has been tracking the falling prices for Sony's new console, via sales on eBay and other markers. He called around to stores as well, getting a feel for the number of returns and current availability of the console. His conclusions: "As it turns out my gamer instincts and the threat of hordes of angry readers steered me clear of potential disaster. Aside from a couple brief spikes, there is no way I'd have been able to pull off the television, and I know damn well I would have waited for Christmas like so many others did, only to lose even more. The moral of this story? There's no such creature as a sure thing. The majority of eBay prospectors walked away from this experience with that lesson burned into the back of their brains. My suggestion for the future? If you want to gamble, go to Vegas. If you want to invest, try mutual funds. Leave the video game system buying to the gamers. We'll all be happier for it. "

NASA To Determine Hubble's Fate 192

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the you-can-store-it-on-my-lawn dept.
clickclickdrone writes "According to the BBC NASA is debating whether or not to send astronauts in to space to service the Hubble telescope. Without intervention it is thought to be good for another 24-36months. Given the quality of images and data it has produced since it's launch, it sounds like a no brainer to me but the people who hold the purse strings are rarely predictable when it comes to spending money."

Windows XP SP3 Postponed Until 2008 259

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wait-or-upgrade dept.
Rockgod quotes an article saying "With Microsoft now saying that its next major service pack for Windows XP will not ship until 2008, some Windows users are wondering whether the software upgrade will ever be released." and then later "Michael Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, agrees that Microsoft may very well decide to drop XP Service Pack 3. "It absolutely could happen. Microsoft is under no obligation to produce any service packs, ever," he explains. "They feel that because these fixes are available through the auto-update that there's less need to create a service pack."

Wired's Very Short Stories 665

Posted by Zonk
from the dragons-eye-opened-the-hafling-wept-michael-zenke dept.
Wired's games blog Game|Life alerted me to a great feature on the main Wired site. Called Very Short Stories, the piece features the work of 33 well-known writers practicing their craft in six word chunks. Their work is combined with several talented graphic designers to generate some very creative works of art. Some of my favorites: "The baby's blood type? Human, mostly'. - Orson Scott Card
'Lie detector eyeglasses perfected: Civilization collapses.' - Richard Powers
'Kirby had never eaten toes before.' - Kevin Smith"
The games blog makes a point to highlight the works of game writers Mark Laidlaw and Steve Meretzky. Laidlaw's contribution: ">Help! Trapped in a text adventure!" Alrighty, folks ... let's hear yours.

Xbox for Stroke Rehabilitation 147

Posted by samzenpus
from the play-your-way-to-a-healthier-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Using an Xbox modified to run Linux, researchers have developed virtual reality hand exercises for rehabilitating stroke patients. An inexpensive glove controller is used to interact with the Xbox. The hardware cost is a tenth of a comparable commercial hand rehabilitation system, leading to the possibility of deployment in patients' homes."

Do-It-Yourself Robotics 90

Posted by samzenpus
from the homemade-droids dept.
PreacherTom writes "Imagine Legos and Erector Sets on crack. The fruit of a collaboration between Lego and the MIT Media Lab, the Toronto-based startup Playful Invention Company is offering the PicoCricket, "a kit of parts that can be used to build an infinite variety of robotic inventions. The kit contains an assortment of pom poms, pipe cleaners, and other craft materials reminiscent of a summer camp art period. It also includes a collection of Lego bricks and electronics: the Cricket "brain" and a motor, colored lights and a soundbox, a digital display, and an infrared beamer that allows the Cricket to communicate with a PC on which kids write the programs that control their invention's behavior. Perhaps the most important parts in the Cricket kit are the four sensors, which detect light, sound, touch, and electrical resistance. "It was lots of fun making things and controlling their action," says Grover Venkatasubramaniam (age 10). "The most fun was programming the robots. It felt like giving life to lifeless bodies.""

Continued Opposition To Laptops in Schools 528

Posted by Zonk
from the grinding-for-faction-in-math-class dept.
theskeptic writes "The WSJ has an article about opposition to programs that provide laptops to 6-8th grade kids. Detractors say that the kids are wasting too much time online browsing dangerous sites, instant messaging friends, and posting to Myspace. Parents are worried that serious learning is being neglected in the quest to 'dazzle up presentations with fancy fonts instead of digging through library books.' Some parents however are 'enthusiastic laptop proponents,' one saying the laptop has helped her twelve-year-old son 'master critical professional skills like how to compile a PowerPoint presentation.'" Gaaah.

God made machine language; all the rest is the work of man.

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