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Books

The Kindle is Getting Support For HTML5 123

Nate the greatest writes "It looks like Amazon won't be adopting Epub after all. [Thursday] Amazon released some technical details on the new Kindle ebook format, which they are calling Kindle 8. There are a lot of interesting changes to the file, including new formatting and SVG images. The new tags are going to open up a whole lot of new possibilities for making Kindle ebooks."
Microsoft

Microsoft Killed the Start Menu Because No One Uses It 862

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft recently killed the Start Menu, and their explanation for it seems fairly straightforward: no one used it. This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but Microsoft explains that use of the Start menu dipped by 11 percent between Windows Vista and Windows 7, with many specialized Start functions — such as exploring pictures — declining as much as 61 percent."

Comment Re:I recommend ... (Score 1) 687

It's the usual clauses... "Socially Responsible Behavior includes, but is not limited to:" also known as, we can decide you broke a policy whether or not it's actually written. A great many school behavior policies include similar language, allowing school authorities to add things not previously written.

He didn't break any laws, but most policies are much less specific than law. He's just lucky they didn't include "these policies may change at any time, with or without notice".

Comment Defeatism (Score 1) 751

"1. Terrorists will find another way around it anyway."

This is a silly argument that one often sees nowadays. Of course no measure we take will be perfect, and the terrorists will exploit whatever gaps we leave in the protection, but the point is not to create a perfect system, but to make it more difficult for the terrorists so that there will be fewer attacks.

One might as well argue against equipping cars with door locks, since thieves can and do find ways around them. The point is to make it more difficult for them, so a large number of potential evil-doers will give up before they start.

Comment 20 years too late (Score 1) 596

Bill Atkinson outlined a plan for a "magic slate" in his "HyperCard Handbook" over 20 years ago.

The Newton was a step in that direction, as was Sony's MagicLink; after that (about 1995) nothing happened.

I agree with those who say that the smartphones have made such devices seem to be too little, too late.

At this point, what would a "magic slate" do that a smartphone with a larger screen, larger hd, and wifi capability couldn't/wouldn't do?

Comment Re:What wired equivalent means (Score 1) 274

In our company, our network security means that even if you did get into the building and plug directly into the wired network, you still cannot see any of the networked PCs or network drives. You only get internet access. This makes it very convenient for visitors who come into the building for the day and need outside access.

Wireless works the same way. It's secure, but even if someone did break into it (we broadcast outside the building so you can go sit outside and work with a laptop if you wanted) they still can't access any data.

Comment An alternative to completely open. (Score 5, Interesting) 274

I moved to France last year and was pleasantly surprised at the ISPs attitudes towards sharing wifi.

My provider, Free.fr, by default enables guest access on my router. However, it's not completely open.
In order to access the connect, you must enter your account details (login and password), and then you are given access to a limited connection.
Should you not want to share your connection with other people, you can easily disable this feature; but doing so also disables your account from being able to access roaming wifi.

I really love that the community sharing feature is enabled by default.
As long as I'm willing to share my connection with other subscribers, then I get access to their bandwidth when I'm away from home. And, as one of the larger providers in the area, this means I have access from just about anywhere I go.

Music

EMI Only Selling CDs To Mega-Chains From Now On 334

farrellj writes "According to Zeropaid, record company EMI has been notifying small music stores that they will no longer be able to buy EMI CDs from EMI, and will have to buy product from mega-chains like Walmart. Independent record store customers are some of the most loyal music buyers around. You are not going to find the back catalog, what used to be the staple of the music business, at your local Walmart. One wonders when the music business is going to run out of feet to shoot?"
Real Time Strategy (Games)

Blizzard Confirms No LAN Support For Starcraft 2 737

Kemeno writes "Blizzard has announced that they will be dropping LAN support for Starcraft II, citing piracy and quality concerns. Instead, all multiplayer games will be hosted through their new Battle.net service. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this move, but wasn't LAN play how the original Starcraft became popular? Blizzard said, 'More people on Battle.net means ... even more resources devoted to evolving this online platform to cater to further community building and new ways to enjoy the game online. World of Warcraft is a great example of a game that has evolved beyond anyone's imagination since their Day 1 and will continue to do so to better the player experience for as long as players support the title. ... We would not take out LAN if we did not feel we could offer players something better.'"
GUI

Clutter Reaches 1.0 Release Candidate Status 78

nerdyH writes "Intel's interesting 3D UI technology has arrived at a significant milestone. Emmanuele Bassi on Monday released Clutter 1.0rc1, commenting 'This is a development release of Clutter 0.9 leading towards the 1.0 stable cycle. It is the first release candidate for the 1.0.0 release.' Clutter is a centerpiece of Intel's Moblin stack for netbooks, MIDs, and IVIs. It aims beyond the traditional 2D 'desktop' UI metaphor, stepping up to a 'theatrical' metaphor in which 2D interface objects are likened to 'actors' moving around on a 3D 'stage,' with developers in the role of 'director.' Also updated Tuesday: the Clutter-GTK+ library, aimed at helping GTK+ developers Clutter up their existing apps."
Games

Ubisoft CEO Says Next Gen Consoles Closer Than We Think 326

An anonymous reader writes "Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot tells CNBC that he believes the next generation of video game systems isn't as far away as the public has been led to believe. Guillemot noted that public demand for the best machine possible, as well as coming competition from companies such as OnLive could spur Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo to roll out new systems sooner than they want. That's not good news for publishers, though, as he says games in the next generation will likely cost $60 million to create."
Transportation

Right-to-Repair Law To Get DRM Out of Your Car 403

eldavojohn writes "Ralph Nader's back to hounding the automotive industry ... but it's not about safety this time, it's about the pesky DRM in your car. Most cars have a UART in them that allows you to read off diagnostic codes and information about what may be wrong with the vehicle so you can repair it. Late model cars have been getting increasingly complex and dependent on computers which has caused them, as with most things digital, to move towards a proprietary DRM for these tools, diagnostic codes and updated repair information. This has kept independent auto-shops out of the market for fixing your car and relegating you to depend on pricier dealers to get your automotive ailments cured. The bill still has a provision to protect trade secrets but is a step forward to open up the codes and tools necessary to keep your car running."
Transportation

Australia, UK To Test Vehicle Speed-Limiting Devices 859

nemesisrocks writes "The New South Wales government is set to begin testing a device that will limit the speed of drivers because 'excessive speed is one of the primary ways that people are killed while driving.' Located on the dashboard, it senses a driver's speed with the use of GPS. If the speed of a car goes over the posted legal limit, a warning sounds. If the driver ignores the warning, the device eventually cuts all power to the car because a cut-off switch has been installed between the accelerator and the engine." The Times Online reports that the same system will be tested in the UK this summer for use in taxis and buses.
The Courts

Jammie Thomas May Face RIAA Trial Alone 143

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "With her trial coming up on June 15th, Jammie Thomas has received a motion by her lawyer to withdraw from the highly publicized case, Capitol Records v. Thomas. Ms. Thomas said in a written declaration (PDF) obtained from her by her lawyer that she was not opposed to the lawyer's withdrawal, and waived any hearing on the matter. The court papers submitted by the lawyer (PDF) also indicated that the RIAA was not opposed to the withdrawal — i.e. it graciously consented to Ms. Thomas having no legal representation — but was opposed to any continuance (i.e. the RIAA wants to make sure that Ms. Thomas does not have sufficient time to find other legal representation, or to prepare to handle the trial herself, or to enable new counsel to prepare to handle the trial). Nice of them."

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