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Should California Have Banned Checking Smartphone Maps While Driving? 433

Nerval's Lobster writes "According to an appellate court in California, checking your smartphone while driving your Volkswagen (or any other vehicle) is officially verboten. In January 2012, one Steven R. Spriggs was pulled over and cited for checking a map on his smartphone while driving. In a trial held four months later, Spriggs disputed that his action violated California's Section 23123 subdivision (a), which states that a person can't use a phone while driving unless 'that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free driving and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.' In short, he argued that the statute was limited to those functions of listening and talking—things he insisted could have been followed to the letter of the law. But the judge ruled that operating a phone for GPS, calling, texting, or whatever else was still a distraction and allowed the conviction to stand. That leads to a big question: with everything from Google Glass to cars' own dashboard screens offering visual 'distractions' like dynamic maps, can (and should) courts take a more active role in defining what people are allowed to do with technology behind the wheel? Or are statutes like California's hopelessly outdated?"

Comment Re:Students Don't Always Know The Difference (Score 3, Interesting) 101

A university Computer Science degree should be an addendum to basic IT skills, not a replacement for them.

Nope. A computer science education should be a computer science education. If you don't want fresh college grads, don't hire them. You don't hire physicists and complain they can't do "IP networking" -- you shouldn't hire computer scientists to do non-science. You especially shouldn't then turn around and tell everyone who is a computer scientist how they should teach their classes.

Comment Re:Why not openoffice? (Score 1) 219

OpenOffice is good, but it's not a full replacement for modern versions of Office. If all you're doing is authoring memos and papers (by yourself) it will suffice, though. What's with the random dig at Nebraska, though? The state has plenty of social conservatives and plenty of liberals (see: Omaha) -- there's no reason to slam a pretty respectable university over your stereotype.

IT Security Salaries Expected To Rise In 2011 60

wiredmikey writes "IT security professionals in the United States can expect starting salaries to increase in 2011, according to a new salary report released today. The guide suggests larger increases in base compensation expected in high-demand segments including information security related positions. According to the report, companies are hiring security professionals to help foil fraud, prevent network breaches and comply with new regulations, to keep confidential information safe and secure."

Comment Re:You obviously know nothing (Score 4, Insightful) 296

The difference between a computer and a ps3 is that the ps3 sells for less than it costs to make. Sony makes this money back through selling games -- claiming that there is no difference between a game console and a computer since they have equivalent parts is disingenuous. You can't have it both ways -- you either get great hardware for cheap with restrictions on it, or great hardware for a more reasonable cost and the freedom to do whatever you want with it.

Blizzard Authenticators May Become Mandatory 248

An anonymous reader writes "WoW.com is reporting that a trusted source has informed them that Blizzard is giving serious consideration to making authenticators mandatory on all World of Warcraft accounts. The authenticators function the same as ones provided by most banks — in order to log in, you must generate a number on the external device. Blizzard already provides a free iPhone app that functions as an authenticator. The source stated, 'it is a virtually forgone conclusion that it will happen.' This comes after large spates of compromised accounts left Bizzard game masters severely backlogged by restoration requests."

Comment Re:4 tens is awfully nice (Score 1) 287

This is why I like second shift even better than the normal day shift. I am typically up until midnight anyhow, and the ability to have a couple of daylight hours to get things done is very nice, especially in the wintertime, when it's just starting to get light at 8am, and already dark by 5pm.

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