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Businesses

Avatars To Have Business Dress Codes By 2013 221

nk497 writes "With businesses increasingly using digital tech like virtual worlds and Twitter, their staff will have to be given guidelines on how they 'dress' their avatars, according to analysts. 'As the use of virtual environments for business purposes grows, enterprises need to understand how employees are using avatars in ways that might affect the enterprise or the enterprise's reputation,' said James Lundy, managing vice president at Gartner, in a statement. 'We advise establishing codes of behavior that apply in any circumstance when an employee is acting as a company representative, whether in a real or virtual environment.'"
Role Playing (Games)

First Age of Conan Expansion On the Way 47

Funcom announced today that they are working on the first expansion to Age of Conan, titled Rise of the Godslayer. In addition to high-level content, it contains new objectives for lower levels as well, in an effort to fill out the leveling process. It also introduces new factions that are at war with each other: "Faction gameplay plays a large role in Rise of the Godslayer, presenting the player with choices that earn them both allies and enemies in Khitai. Through questing and adventure players can advance through faction ranks, rewarding them with treasures such as epic new armor and weapons. Players can choose to continue their adventures with existing characters, acquiring new combat abilities and spells through a robust alternate advancement system, or start over again as a Khitan — an all-new culture." A brief trailer has been posted, and Eurogamer has a more detailed preview of the new content.
Television

Time Warner ToS Changes Could Mean Tiered Pricing, Throttling 162

Mirell writes "Time Warner Cable has recently changed their Terms of Service, so that they are allowed to charge you at their discretion via consumption-based billing. They were shot down a few months ago after raising the wrath of many subscribers and several politicians. Now they're trying again, but since they make exclusions for their own voice and video not to count against the cap, this could draw the attention of the FCC."
Games

The Psychology of Collection and Hoarding In Games 183

This article at Gamasutra takes a look at how the compulsion to hoard and accumulate objects, as well as the desire to accomplish entirely abstract goals, has become part of the modern gaming mindset. "The Obsessive Compulsive Foundation explains that in compulsive hoarders: 'Acquiring is often associated with positive emotions, such as pleasure and excitement, motivating individuals who experience these emotions while acquiring to keep acquiring, despite negative consequences.' Sound familiar? The 'negative consequences' of chasing after the 120th star in Mario 64 or all 100 hidden packages in Grand Theft Auto III may be more subdued than those of filling your entire house with orange peels and old cans of refried beans. But game designers know that it's pretty damn easy to tap into this deep-rooted need to collect and accumulate. And like happy suckers we buy into it all the time, some to a greater degree than others."
Biotech

Scientists Can Grow Stem Cells In a Petri Dish 83

rift321 writes "Scientists safely created induced pluripotent stem cells from human stem cells, and grew them in a petri dish. The previous methods for creating iPSC's involved the use of retroviruses, which rendered the stem cells unacceptable for human implantation due to an increased risk of cancer and mutations. The researchers used a safer, albeit slower process to modify the skin cells, using a cell-penetrating peptide to deliver the needed genes into the cell (PDF). I'd like to hear if anyone has some insight into exactly how close that brings us to everyday-use of stem cells for regenerative therapy, and exactly what obstacles remain before such therapies can be put to use."
The Courts

Obama DoJ Goes Against Film Companies 321

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "If one attempted to distill a single prevailing emotion or attitude about government on Slashdot, I think it is fairly arguable that the winner would be cynicism or skepticism. Well here's a story that could make us skeptical and/or cynical about our skepticism and/or cynicism. Chalk one up for those who like to point out that, occasionally, the system does work. You may recall that the US Supreme Court has been mulling over whether to grant the film industry's petition for certiorari seeking to overturn the important Cartoon Networks v. CSC Holdings decision from the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. This was the case which held that Cablevision's allowing its customers to make copies of shows and store them on Cablevision's servers for later viewing did not constitute a direct copyright infringement by Cablevision, there being no 'copy' made since the files were in RAM and buffered for only a 'transitory' duration. The Supreme Court asked the Obama DoJ to submit an amicus curiae brief, giving its opinion on whether or not the film companies' petition for review should be granted. The government did indeed file such a brief, but the content of the brief (PDF) is probably not what the film companies were expecting. They probably thought they had this one in the bag, since some of the very lawyers who have been representing them have been appointed to the highest echelons of the Obama DoJ. Instead, however, the brief eloquently argued against the film companies' position, dismembering with surgical accuracy each and every argument the film companies had advanced."
PC Games (Games)

Using 1 Gaming Computer For 2 People? 424

True Vox writes "My fiance and I have recently taken interest in City of Heroes (she's currently got a character on my account). She's got a cute little netbook, but nothing nearly powerful enough for a 5-year-old MMORPG, let alone if we take interest in Champions Online! I am reticent to buy a new gaming computer simply for what amounts to a passing phase. Has anyone had any experience using one computer to control two monitors with two sets of input devices (e.g. two keyboards and two mice, or one keyboard, one mouse, and a 360 gamepad, perhaps)? I have seen one solution that might work, but not much information from users that I can find. In short, does anyone have any experience with setups like this?"
United States

Submission + - China reports U.S. Human Rights violations

RealMarkP writes: "We all know about the United States' zealous campaign on Human Rights, especially when it comes to China. But what is seldom reported is how badly the US violates Human Rights itself. The Xinhua, a Chinese News website, has published an article titled "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2006." It contains references to published studies by International News Agencies and various U.S. federal departments and universities. The article is very factual and provides a detailed overview of the United States' interpretation of Human Rights. Nonetheless, It makes for a very good read."

Comment Re:Legal use of big bandwidth paying the price... (Score 1) 350

Comcast's cable network was never designed to handle Video on Demand services, much less BitTorrent. Couple that with the fact that they over subscribed their network, and you get what you are seeing now. Until fiber starts to replace more of the existing copper, you're going to see this type of QoS activity from most providers (that or more sinister types of throttling). This is the kind of crap that happens when marketing is divorced from the IT.
Microsoft

Submission + - Ballmer's patent claims, untrue, apparently!

muchtooold writes: "The Register reports that "The author of a report used by Microsoft as evidence of open source patent infringement has said his report means the opposite of what Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said it means." From the article (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/05/16/ravicher_ microsoft_oss_patent/), Ballmer's recent statement that Linux violates patents cited a report that, the report's author Dan Ravicher says, is not what the report said and it does not claim that open source software faces legal problems."
Microsoft

Submission + - Motherboard Replacements and Vista OEM EULAs

Knackster writes: If you decide to replace the motherboard in your computer, should you have to pay Microsoft again for the OS that came with the system? Well, in Redmond they think so, and that probably doesn't come as much of a surprise. What I do find a bit surprising is that Microsoft has chosen not to inform end users, not even in the darkest depths of the Windows EULAs, of this policy. Instead, computer manufacturers have just quietly been told that, hey, that's the way it's going to be. Read More
Education

Submission + - wiping hard drive, notebook

bfullback34 writes: "i am trying to create a gw scan disk on my desktop, so that i can erase the hard drive on my laptop, however my desktop has no floppy drive. can a gw scan be created on a cd-r, are thier any ways aroudn this?"
Software

Submission + - Critical Flaws With MS Exchange Alternatives

techie writes: MadPenguin.org reviews a number of MS Exchange alternatives and comes away unimpressed. Why? Because the open source alternatives are incompetent from a corporate standpoint. "What's interesting is that I remain interested in Scalix as an Exchange alternative, but not from Scalix Collaboration. It's a shame, too, as the website appears to have had a ton of time put into it, but it is reflective of why corporations need to have competent marketing firms working with them. It's like someone let the engineers out of the cubes to write their marketing plan. There are tons of reasons why this platform rocks with no seriously usable method of using it.
Enlightenment

Submission + - Interest rates, and why they will rise.

steveaitken writes: Interest rates are used to control inflation, but an interesting question would be — is it the interest rates that control inflation, or the predictions of what the interest rates will do. If I were the bank of England, then I would be predicting the very opposite of what was going to happen. By predicting this, a balance would be achieved — if people thought that the interest rates were going to rise, then they would not take out as many loans, and as such — inflation would drop, stopping the interest rates from needing to rise. Of course, the question is — knowing this, does that mean that they should double-bluff.. In the meantime though — since they are predicting it will fall back, I bet it will rise.

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