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Slashback: Armada, Coverage, Slap 68

The ongoing Slashback assault on previous stories here reveals that (among other things) 1) Maybe Compaq's Transmeta plans are at least slightly more up in the air than previously claimed; 2) Hasbro has again been unable to nab a clue(.com); 3) Hope still springs eternal that you won't have to give your address and DNA sample to RadioShack in order to use some nice (but high-ping) satellite bandwidth. Read on.

It's not that we're abandoning Crusoe -- oh, no! Gorilla_Man writes: "ZDNet's e-week has posted "this story about Compaq denying recent reports that it ditched Transmeta's chips." In truth, the claims of the Compaq spokesbeings here still don't sound like an endorsement of Transmeta, more like a clarification of where in the process of designing the upcoming Armadas thoughts of Transmeta stopped manifesting themselves.

Perhaps the larger player can wake up Mr. Brayne? biggaloot writes: "Just heard from the attorney for Clue Computing that the U.S. District Court in Boston upheld the earlier Clue victory against toy giant Hasbro in the dispute over clue.com. A victory for the small domain name owner... if you can get to court with these cases and hang in there, I think your chances of success are much better than with the problematic Universal Dispute Resolution Policy."

See Clue Computing site's rundown of events to see court documents, including the latest swat from the appeals court. There may be some truly exploitive domain-name grabs in the world (and Yes, "I'll know it when I see it") but this case isn't one of them. Trying to claim proprietary rights to common words like "table," "childhood" or "clue" is too absurd to consider seriously -- thanks to their four years of bullying, I'm willing to concede that Hasbro may have some minor claim to "clueless.com," though. Just don't sue anyone over it.

Oh, and you can find Hasbro's toll-free consumer line number on that site as well; I just spoke (politely, I hope) to "Veronica," who'd never heard of this dispute, but promised to pass on my objections to the right Hasbroids.

You can roll at least part of your own. As the possibility for full-time satellite wireless coverage gets closer, the niggly details start to get more important. dBle writes in with word that the Starband-provided coverage under the joint RadioShack/MSN flag will not actually require purchasing a Compaq from RadioShack.

He writes: "Turns out that there is a external USB version. This will support Win98/98SE/2000/ME. Furthermore, users may use their own PC (not having to purchase the RatShack model). ... StarBand's site lists speeds as 500kb up and 150kb down, though they don't hesitate to point out their goal of providing service of 1500/50Kb during peak usage hours. Still, this continental US-wide service is an interesting possibility for those of us who would like more speed than 56k/ISDN can provide. Also, this could be a viable solution for rural businesses/schools."

If Starband wants to sell to the famous "early adopters," shouldn't they release enough specs at least to make this a kernel rev or two from Linux support?

Ah, that's better. Galvatron writes: "After writing to AOL's customer service complaining about the lack of a homepage feature in 6.0, as reported earlier. This is the letter I recieved from AOL in response, which calls the CNET article "an hoax" (sic). After downloading the new version, I confirmed that AOL 6.0 in fact does allow changing one's homepage. So was it misinformation, or deliberate slandering on CNET's part?"

Well, here is the heart of the email sent to him by an AOL customer representative, and it sounds like some misinterpretations were presented as fact:

The article on the C-net is only an hoax. Please be reminded that AOL Member Services is collecting the data about the service and I assure you the feelings and input of every member are being used to help AOL make the best possible online experience only.

Don't believe that article it's just a matter of advertisement on their part to gather member for their service.

[This headline has been censored in the name of good taste.] schlach announces: "There is a group collecting our purchasing power to acquire WebPlayer units on the cheap from the boneyard. If anyone wishes they had gotten on the band wagon before the sweet deal expired, now's your chance."

For the hoped-for 50 or so dollars, this sounds like a fun toy, not to mention a weird momento. Perhaps eBay will see a flurry of suddenly-unsupported WebPlayers as well. Why would anyone send them back to Virgin?

After arduous Antarctic trials, back on feet. limbostar writes "Pokey The Penguin really is back. Personally I think the strip is pretty funny, I know a lot of other people agree with me." Evidently, slashdot readers can just barely get enough Pokey;)

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Slashback: Armada, Coverage,

Comments Filter:
  • by thekernel32 ( 240428 ) on Thursday November 09, 2000 @03:29PM (#633658) Homepage
    Unless I am mistaken the hardware StarBand uses is made by a company called Gilat [gilat.com] They are funded by Microsoft and when I was seeking docs from them to write a driver they told me that company policy is unfriendly to anything non-Windows. Now this is all assuming that it is running on the Gilat hardware. I hope it isn't.
  • sooo.. basically what yer saying is.. I'm not "A american"?

    I don't think that's correct, then again... I might be "an giant".
  • Someone who can't get xDSL, or even ISDN? I understand that one of the targets of this service will be rural areas where you can't get a broadband connection for love or money.
  • a) How would you know (The specific "you" that is), and

    b) How would you know?

    methinks the first is more scary, having known you <g>

    --pssst you know who I am, timothy. Take a wild guess.
  • by WillSeattle ( 239206 ) on Thursday November 09, 2000 @04:45PM (#633662) Homepage
    Even though the story was rejected, one piece of news today on Yahoo Business was that the US Army has announced they will be using Transmeta [transmeta.com] chips for their battlefield backpack computers.

    Who needs Compaq anyway ...

  • DirectPC has slashed the price of their unlimited satellite access from $150.00 a month to $50.00. It's just $40.00 if you use your own ISP for the uplink. They also have a joint-marketing deal with AOL.

    Check out both www.directpc.com as well as the similiar www.direcpc.com.

  • I am think that you not understanding english propers. AOL is a equal employer in opportunity.
  • ...it certainly depends which side of the pond one learns to pronounce 'istorian. Eh?

    have a day,


  • If Starband wants to sell to the famous "early adopters," shouldn't they release enough specs at least to make this a kernel rev or two from Linux support?

    Oh, please.

    Anyone reading /. realizes that there is a viable *nix market out there. What timothy doesn't seem to want to admit is that said market is a tiny drop in the bucket when compared to all the M$ users out there.

    Yes, *nix users are/can be technophiles, and thereby early adopters. Yes, early adopters are necessary to get new technology into the mainstream. But for crying out loud, Nameless Faceless Corp. Inc. isn't going to see that, they're going to see MICROSOFT = 90%++ MARKET SHARE and stop right there.

    Yes, *nix support would be nice. But please be realistic. (Note to moderators: flamebait or reality check? Your call, I guess.)

    "There's a party," she said,
    "We'll sing and we'll dance,
    It's come as you are."

  • Guilty, as charged. I will turn myself in to the first Jesse Jackson Official Junior Thought Police Officer I meet for reeducation.

    Does anyone have any handcuffs?

  • When I pronounce a/an I use the same rules you describe - I agree it sounds odd the other way. I am still sure that written formal English has different rules and that the commonly used rules for a/an are modernised versions of the originals.
  • The Bios Password 'schwasck' works!

  • I believe you say.. "A hoax" not "AN hoax".. correct me if I'm wrong.
    Then, Pokey makes me forget everything I might be thinking. AN Hilarious episode of pokey the penguin...
    Let's just hope pokey doesn't poke tux eye... you know, after he went away he might have joined the evil empire [microsoft.com]
  • I found after reading a few, they weren't very funny but after reading a lot, I think it's one of the most hilarious things I've ever seen. It's funny in the same way that Jerk City is funny, kind of.

    Of course, it's a matter of taste. Not everyone will like it. The less sober you are, the funnier it is though :-)

    AFAIK, there is no "story", but there are a few recurring themes...
  • While it's true that THE AUTHORS haven't been updating their page as regularly as they used to, there have still been semiregular updates of the strip for the year or so I've been following it.

    There has, however, been a major restructuring of the site, including moving archives and images to seperate servers under the .yellow5.com domain, and the addition of an ad banner, about which I'm ambivalent. While I think THE AUTHORS deserve to be rewarded for their hard work, it's annoying to have to look at animated banners, even on pages you support (so everyone buy shirts).

    Also, several new Pokey-related projects are in the works:
    New POKEY SHIRTS [fojar.com]! A POKEY COMPUTER GAME [fojar.com], called Mutton Kombat. Unfortunately, being developed only for Mac at the current time, but ports [fojar.com] are under discussion.

    If you're up to it, check out some of my personal favorites:
    THE ABANDONED CASTLE [yellow5.com]
    POKEY AND THE MOON-CHEESE [yellow5.com]
    POKEY HAS UNTERNET [yellow5.com]
    POKEY IN MONOCHROME [yellow5.com]
    THE DEVIL [yellow5.com]
    NO ID MEANS NO WHISKEY [yellow5.com]
    POOR SKEPTOPOTAMUS [yellow5.com]
    PENNIES FROM HEAVEN [yellow5.com]
    POKEY AND MEATSPACE [yellow5.com]
    ADIEU, MR DEBUSSY! [yellow5.com]


  • by thekernel32 ( 240428 ) on Thursday November 09, 2000 @03:32PM (#633673) Homepage
    Dagnabit... I just looked at the Gilat main page and saw this. ---- The bad news ---- Hot Off The Press Last updated: Sunday, October 15, 2000 00:40:03 Gilat Announces Filing of StarBand Registration Statement (11, Oct 00) ---- This means little or no hope of getting this service to users of linux. Gilat was hevily funded by Microsoft and hence are anti open source. I know, I checked. Argh...
  • by TheDullBlade ( 28998 ) on Thursday November 09, 2000 @03:34PM (#633674)
    AOL are in concern with our representative, and his difficult grammar. This happening to our customer did not help, and the correction will be taken under immediately.

    Thank you for bearing with our in this trouble. AOL is still your best choose for wanting the best.

  • Friend Bear >>> Pokey.

    http://www.friendbear.com [friendbear.com]

  • Oh, of course. Yoda obviously needed to do something when he wasn't filming Episode 2...
  • When I first saw Pokey I hurt bits of my brain trying to 'get' it. It didn't take too long to figure out that there just isn't any logic, rationale or meaning to most of the strips and that's one of the best things. I don't think I'll ever be able to explain why it's funny. It just is.
    The artwork is visually stunning, as well. Drawing the the characters exactly the same each time must be the work of a genius :)
  • by Yardley ( 135408 ) on Thursday November 09, 2000 @05:15PM (#633678) Homepage
    Fellow Virgin WebPlayer owners (in case you got one -- I do!), here's the news you've been waiting for. As reported on The Register, [theregister.co.uk] and found in the new WebPlayer FAQ's, [virginconnect.com] you do not [virginconnect.com] have to return your webplayer and you do not [virginconnect.com] have to pay anything for it. Pretty nifty, especially if we can figure out how to hack it. [larwe.com] Read up more on this message board. [kenseglerdesigns.com]

  • If you used the word "niggly", Mayor Williams might have to fire you for racist remarks.


  • by Mooset ( 9986 ) on Thursday November 09, 2000 @05:30PM (#633680)
    Transmeta fans (and non-fans) will probably be amused by today's edition of Something Awful. Check it out [somethingawful.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Join the Virgin Web Player Co-Op The Virgin WebPlayer Co-Op

    This is a quick info page to inform and register interested parties. The Co-Op exists to gather the collective purchasing power of /. readers and associated appliance hackers, so that we can bargain collectively for bulk rates of defunct and recalled Web Players. With bulk rates, we can enjoy a lower purchase cost, and the offer might actually attract Virgin enough to convince them to sell us units rather than scrap them. We don't think they'll consider it worthwhile to sell to individual customers at this point, but if they do, you can be sure it will cost a lot more.

    If you are interested in joining us, please send mail to Jake Schlachter, at schlach@hotmail.com, and subscribe to the listserv (instructions below). Include in email the maximum you'd be willing to spend on a Web Player, including shipping, and how many units you're looking at picking up. I think $50 US per is reasonable, but less than that may be possible.


    Post by schlach at 5:15 pm EST
    We now have a listserv compliments of egroups.com [egroups.com]. To join, send email to

    The list info page is here [egroups.com], and it has a little bit more information on the list, as well as archives of old messages.

    Post by schlach at 3:30 pm EST
    Virgin wasn't kidding about the dead number. There are 11 people left at IAN, and none of them seem to be in the office at the moment. =) Poor Silicon Ally fscked company. I just wish we could do more for them... =)

    Continuing to look for someone to talk to.

    Post by schlach at 3:10 pm EST
    Alright! Initial response has been good, but the more the better, so please spread the word. I'm going to see if /. will update the story with a link. If anyone wants to post to any of the appliance hacking BBSs, please do.

    Virgin fronts the Web Player for Internet Appliance Network, IAN, which is who went belly-up. The network service was provided by Vertical One Corp. Virgin's number for IAN is already out-of-service, but they're checking for any other contact info.

    Post by schlach at 11:00 am EST
    This page created at 11 am EST. Initial contact with Virgin at 10:30 am EST. I'll post bulletins here as events warrant, including how many interested people there are in the Co-Op at a given time, what price the units should be, etc. Glad you guys are interested.
  • Why would I pay $60/mo. for a service that's *hoping* to promise 150K/50K when loaded, doesn't allow "bandwidth hogs" such as streaming video or non-personal web sites, and has 0.5sec ping times that are going to make web browsing (how many server look-ups per page?) horrible?

    I'm just getting used to the idea of having to pay $60/mo for IDSL (too far for ADSL) but, at least it's guaranteed 144K/144K with fast ping and no usage restrictions!

  • I want to see this "joint flag" that Radioshack/MSN are under.
  • Escuse me - how is this any more off-topic than the 3 higher levels of posts in this thread (including the one given a score or +3)?!

  • It still boggles me that they went with USB, thus requiring drivers and OS support and all.

    Why didn't they just do an ethernet version, thus making this completely OS independent, easier to use with older machines that might have ethernet but certainly not USB (and the same could be said aboud OS versions)..
  • "yes I got the joke, I was mocking the 75% of /. to literal-minded to get it."

    That should be "too literal-minded."
    It us understandable to be surly sometimes.
  • I got similar results, and am assuming that RadioShack intends to be dastardly about this until after the holidays. MSN has a link on their site for signing up for high speed access, but the final submit button is non-functional. Teasers. The ping might suck, but I can't even get ISDN...and having another connection method means that I could badmouth Ameritech even more.
  • by cr0sh ( 43134 )
    Sub-domain'ing off their main domain makes much better sense - Hasbro isn't the only company who pick up domains left and right for everything under the sun.

    Actually what would make more sense (from a consumer standpoint), is to simply have a seperate "directory", so that one would type "http://www.hasbro.com/monopoly" - in ads they would just need to give their web address of www.hasbro.com, and be done with it. If their site is properly organised (HAHA - right!!!), it shouldn't take more than one or two clicks to get to the product's "page".

    Actually, now that I think about it, "http://www.hasbro.com/games/monopoly" would be best, since Hasbro makes/distributes other things as well (software, dolls, etc). Still, should be only one click from the main page, or two (one click to the games page, a second to the Monopoly page).

    Of course, one could say fsck the whole thing and just go here [antimonopoly.com].

    I support the EFF [eff.org] - do you?
  • by jonfromspace ( 179394 ) <jonwilkins&gmail,com> on Thursday November 09, 2000 @03:10PM (#633689)
    CNN is reporting [cnn.com] that ViA will be shipping there next genneration wearable computers with the Crusoe processor.
  • Hey some of the links point to Slashdot itself...Perhaps proofreading before posting would be a good idea?
  • Hey, what was the censored headline?

    I was thinking it could have been:

    "Buy a Virgin for $50"
  • by Bieeardo ( 123434 ) on Thursday November 09, 2000 @03:10PM (#633692)
    That customer rep's English skills scare me, profoundly. When a person whose job is to be as articulate as possible makes that many grammatical and spelling errors in an official missive, you know it's time to get off the planet.
  • No linux drivers for the satellite modem because MSN does not want you using anything other than windows. Even though you can still hook up to their regular dial-up service with linux or a mac, they will explicitly tell you that you can't. Would anyone expect them to be different offering a broadband satellite modem?

  • There's been new episodes every couple of days for the past couple of weeks at least...

    Pokey hovers between 'insane' and 'surreal'. It's strangely hypnotic.
  • Please read this FAQ [yi.org].

    Did you know: Slashdot's lameness filter
  • It was supposed to be a joke. It's fairly well known that sometimes hitting the "Preview" button will fsck up links. It's a bug in the slashcode.

    Oh well, They say if you have to explain it, it wasn't a good joke.

  • a) You don't *roll* crack! You smoke it in a glass pipe. (The universal "you" that is.)

    b) niggly means picayune or persnickety.

  • I believe you say.. "A hoax" not "AN hoax".. correct me if I'm wrong.

    Depends on 'ow ye 'eve learned to say 'H', innit?

    Seriously, the a/an flip is purely vocal: if it SOUNDS like a vowel, it needs 'an' to separate the words. A holy shrine. An original thought. An MRI scan [sounds like em ar ai]. A user [sounds like yooser].

  • You use "an" whenever there's a vowel sound. This includes words beginning with vowels, words beginning with silent hs that have vowel sounds ("hour" takes an, whereas "historic" should take a) and things like "spell it with an s". Many grammar rules are far simpler than is usually made out - if it sounds like it should be an, use an. Otherwise, use a.
  • And what the hell does "niggly" mean?

    The same thing as "nitty gritty", or several other variations on the phrase from the American South. The most official way I've heard it said is "niggling details". It means the real details involved. You can plan the overview, but you eventually have to get down to the niggly by coding the project.

    In my experience, it's had less of a negative connotation, but Mirriam-Webster defines it as:

    Main Entry: nig%3.gle
    Pronunciation: 'ni-g&l
    Function: verb
    Inflected Form(s): nig%3.gled; nig%3.gling
    Etymology: origin unknown
    Date: circa 1616
    intransitive senses
    1 a: TRIFLE b: to spend too much effort on minor details
    2: to find fault constantly in a petty way : CARP (she haggles, she niggles, she wears out our patience -- Virginia Woolf)
    3: GNAW
    transitive senses: to give stingily or in tiny portions
    - nig%3.gler /-g(&-)l&r/ noun


  • well think about it... it's _america_ on line... not like we speak real english hear half the time
  • I don't get why they need thier own domain for that. Wouldn't monopoly.hasbro.com make more sense? In all seriousness i wish ICANN would move to that domain scheme, and bring back the 'one domain name for one company' rule.

  • Regardless of whether this was a hoax or misinformation, the disturbing fact remains that nobody was surprised to hear that AOL was assuming control of yet another aspect of users' machines.

  • you think maybe the doj is preparing a case against them?
  • I figure the oft-mentioned "Pokey Gene" is in fact the gene that allows one to enjoy outsider art. The ability to appreciate the music of Wesley Willis [wesleywillis.com] or Jandek as art rather a freakshow, for example. Pokeyphiles who are also music lovers might want to check out Songs in the Key of Z [keyofz.com] by Irwin Chusid.
    Zardoz has spoken!

  • When I first saw Pokey I hurt bits of my brain trying to 'get' it. It didn't take too long to figure out that there just isn't any logic...

    Its like Fred Basset then eh?

    I've never gotten it, I don't get it and I never will, but given the shear number of publications the strip appears in, obviously a lot of others DO get it.
  • We are trying to discuss POKEY THE PENGUIN!!! Please do not dilute the conversation with topics so boring and unimportant as the fate of superpowers. It's Nutty industries that gives the ocean its distinctive color and odor.
  • Ok maybe I'm just stupid, but will someone please tell me what the deal is with pokey the penguin?

    what's the joke? is there a story behind it?
  • I have to agree with you. It's based on pronunciation, not spelling.

    HOwever... in my part of the world 'hotel' and 'home' are phonetically similar, both start off the same way. Same with historical. I always thought 'an historical' to be strange...

  • I managed to get my karma down to like 30 in a day :)
  • ...and advize the folks who do. When someone asks me what sound card (for instance) to buy, I suggest something that's Worked For Me. If the best device isn't available on my platform, the nearest thing I can say is that "I hear they run well on Windows, but this is what I use".

    I suspect the number of Windows users who go to their local *nix geek (who may be their company's sysadmin, the alpha geek at the local college of computer science, whatever) for advice is not a tiny market. I get enough of them myself, at least.

    Anyhow, how much does it cost to release a fscking spec sheet? Let's say you pay a tech writer a day's wages to clean it up for release... $160 or so... as long as you do the whole "WE DON'T SUPPORT THIS THING WHATSOEVER ON ANY OS BUT WINDOWS" thing, your costs are minimal and thus the market is more than large enough to make up for it.
  • "You can roll at least part of your own. As the possibility for full-time satellite wireless coverage gets closer, the niggly details start to get more important. dBle writes in with word that the Starband-provided coverage under the joint RadioShack/MSN flag will not actually require purchasing a Compaq from RadioShack."

    I think Timmy's been "rollin his own" if you get my drift.

    And what the hell does "niggly" mean?

  • Maybe the links were right before they hit "Preview".
  • think "trolls"
  • > Thank heavens Hasbro still owns monopoly.com. Nothing like a little truth in advertising. ;-)

    Personally, I expect Microsoft to try to put forward some claim for that one in the near future...
  • Thank heavens Hasbro still owns monopoly.com [monopoly.com]. Nothing like a little truth in advertising. ;-)
  • > I believe you say.. "A hoax" not "AN hoax".. correct me if I'm wrong. You're wrong. At least, you're wrong if you live in a country where the official language is English, rather than American ;) I don't know what it should be in the US.
  • Yet they failed to turn "Free Parking" into "Free
    Surfing", or something equally net-oriented.

  • I think that's only when the "h" would be silent. "an hoax" parses as "an 'oax" to me. Besides that, the rep's sentence structures were absolutely horrible.
  • "An hoax"?

    Please post a reference from the normative grammer of the English language to back up your claim.

    I can wait...

  • A friend of mine is beta testing Starband. He was able to network a system off the main box. There is no reason why someone couldn't use the Windows PC as a giant, expensive satellite modem for their Linux box.
  • 50$ A MONTH ?? WHAT ?? RIP-OFF !

    100euro/year - 256kbps d/l, linux suport.

    Sorry, but no U.S. coverage :) ...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Read the page carefully: 1) If Radioshack Then MSN and a PC. 2) If not Radio Shack, Then Dishnet, USB modem, no PC. I called Dishnet. Not until January.
  • Monopoly the .com edition. http://www.monopoly.com/dotcom/dotcom .ht ml [monopoly.com] It has Tux in it and doesn't have Microsoft! Check it out and see what other companies made it into the game.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"