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Comment: Re:Seen this before? (Score 1) 369

by zero_offset (#27122751) Attached to: Wolfram Promises Computing That Answers Questions

Not even close. I asked it for the population of a nearby county and the answer was something like "Hopefully this page can answer your question:" with a link to the Wikipedia page about that county. Click on the link explaining how Start works and you'll see that even they don't pretend that it's really the same thing. The emphasis with Start is on parsing Natural Language Queries, period.

Announcements

+ - Medison comes out in open regarding $150 laptop 3

Submitted by
Vinit
Vinit writes "Medison's representatives have come out in open to say they aren't fakes and the controversial $150 laptop is on it's way for 15 August release (hopefully). In a press conference in Sweden, Medison displayed the notebook in front of ten journalists and defended itself against accusations of fraud. Regarding the low price of it's laptop, Medison said it's not their main revenue source. They plan to make money by advertising on it's site. http://www.pclaunches.com/notebooks/medison_comes_ out_in_open_regarding_celebrity_laptop.php"
Linux Business

Turns Out Ubuntu Dell Costs $225 More 361

Posted by kdawson
from the implemented-and-reneged dept.
An anonymous reader writes "One week ago this community discussed the apparent price advantage of Ubuntu Dell over Vista. The article linked to a Dell IdeaStorm page with the status: 'Implemented.' Today the status has changed on that page to 'Reneged: Ubuntu Dell is $225 More Than Windows Dell.' The full price of a Ubuntu Inspiron 1420N is indeed $50 cheaper than the identical hardware configuration with Vista — except that a $275 free upgrade to 2GB memory and a 160-GB hard drive is available for Windows only."
The Internet

+ - Teen Video Chat Web Site is Linked to Porn

Submitted by
Dekortage
Dekortage writes "Stickam, a video chat web site popular among teens, shares owners and offices with live pornography services. That's what a former vice president, Alex Becker, alleges in the New York Times, saying that although Stickam is owned by Advanced Video Communications, AVC is owned by DTI Services, a "vast network" of video porn. Stickam even shares offices with one of the porn companies. This is unwelcome news to some of Stickam's big-name partners, like Lionsgate, Warner Brothers Records and the Los Angeles Film Festival."
Biotech

+ - The Biofuel Myths->

Submitted by
JagsLive
JagsLive writes "this 'International Herald Tribune' article outlines the Biofuel Myths: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/07/10/opinion/edh olt.php (1) Biofuels are clean and green. Because photosynthesis performed by fuel crops removes greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and can reduce fossil fuel consumption, we are told they are green. But when the full lifecycle of biofuels is considered, from land clearing to consumption, the moderate emission savings are outweighed by far greater emissions from deforestation, burning, peat drainage, cultivation and soil-carbon losses. (2) Biofuels will not result in deforestation. Proponents of biofuels argue that fuel crops planted on ecologically degraded lands will improve rather than destroy the environment. Perhaps the government of Brazil had this in mind when it reclassified some 200 million hectares of dry-tropical forests, grassland and marshes as degraded and apt for cultivation."
Link to Original Source
Programming

+ - Are IT deadlines too strict?->

Submitted by
wikinerd
wikinerd writes "Reading the latest issue of Information Age, a publication of the ACS (Australian Computer Society), an organisation with which I am associated, I became concerned by an article about ethics in ICT. Citing a recent ACS-funded online survey among public and private sector ICT professionals, with over 40% of them being aware of ACS Code of Ethics, the authors show that the leading cause of concern about ICT ethics among respondends is compromising quality to meet deadlines (54.9%), while the second (49.7%) is about unprofessional behaviour. Concerns over deadlines also appear as the 7th and 8th cause of worry among ICT pros: 29.9% say consider compromising user requirements to meet deadlines an ethical issue facing ICT, and 29.6% say the same about compromising functionality to meet deadlines.

What are your own personal observations regarding deadlines of IT and software projects and their correlation with the quality of the delivered projects? Have unrealistic deadline demands from PHBs forced you or your team to deliver something below your own quality standards? If you work solo, have you tried to explain to pushy clients that quality is not subject to cutbacks, especially in critical systems? Would you ever accept to deliver a system knowing that it is highly likely to fail in operation? How many do the right thing, ie attempting to discuss and explain the issue to the client and if unsuccessful turn down a contract before committing to a client asking you to underdeliver in your chosen profession?"

Link to Original Source
Announcements

+ - 'No Sun link' to climate change->

Submitted by BarneyL
BarneyL (578636) writes "The next stop in the great climate change debate has just arrived with a new scientific study published in the Royal Society's journal Proceedings A which concludes that changes in the Sun's output cannot be causing modern-day climate change.
Quoted from the BBC

The scientists' main approach on this new analysis was simple; to look at solar output and cosmic ray intensity over the last 30-40 years, and compare those trends with the graph for global average surface temperature, which has risen by about 0.4C over the period.
"

Link to Original Source
Google

+ - Google Loses Desktop Search Market->

Submitted by
OSW
OSW writes "Google has been playing it pretty rough with Microsoft for the past few years now, and now that Microsoft is protecting its desktop from Google Desktop, Google is crying foul. However, the truth is that Google has lost this battle because of Microsoft's control on its Windows platform. The article states, "I like having choices, such as the choice that I have as to what default search engine I use in my Web browser, but it's different with an operating system. If Google wants to have their search fully integrated throughout a desktop operating system, then it's time for them to build their own from the ground up. Until then, they're just going to have to be treated as an additional option that requires action from the user if they want to use it. That's what it's like providing third-party software — deal with it."
Link to Original Source
XBox (Games)

+ - Microsoft sued about scratched Xbox 360 discs->

Submitted by
Xbm360
Xbm360 writes "Microsoft has been sued by Jorge Brouwer from the US who claims that Xbox 360s scratched his game discs, making them unusable. Jack Evans, a Microsoft spokesman, stated about these complaints; "Out of the millions of Xbox consoles in use, Microsoft has not received any widespread reports of Xbox 360s scratching discs""
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

Microsoft's OOXML Formulas Could Be Dangerous 360

Posted by kdawson
from the who-approved-this-stuff dept.
hill101 writes "According to Rob Weir's blog, Microsoft's 325-page OOXML specification for spreadsheet formulas is deeply flawed. From basic trigonometric functions that forget to specify units, to statistical functions, to critical financial functions — the specification does not contain correct formulas that could possibly be implemented in an interoperable way. Quoting Mr. Weir: 'It has incorrect formulas that, if implemented according to the standard, may cause loss of life, property, and capital... Shame on all those who praised and continue to praise the OOXML formula specification without actually reading it.'"
Censorship

+ - ASCAP at it again - going after Mom & Pop shop->

Submitted by gordette
gordette (1114219) writes "ASCAP is extorting money from mom & pop coffee shops that allow musicians to play covers of songs written by others. The music industry giant blackmailed a small Florida coffee shop even though the shop charged no cover and made no payment to the bands that played in the venu. One company even demanded money of one bar owner because a song aired on the bar's television preceding Monday Night Football."
Link to Original Source
Businesses

+ - Companies attack EU music copyright->

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "The Financial Times writes that some of Europe's biggest media and telecoms groups have attacked the European Commission's policy on music copyrights, warning that their businesses and the continent's "cultural diversity" will suffer if Brussels refuses to change track.

The European Commission had expressed concern in 2004 that "the cross-licensing arrangements that the collecting societies have between themselves lead to an effective lock up of national territories, transposing into the Internet the national monopolies the societies have traditionally held in the offline world. The Commission believes that there should be competition between collecting societies to the benefit of companies that offer music on the Internet and to consumers that listen to it".

Full EC press release from 2004 here and even more details here (pdf)."

Link to Original Source

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