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Comment John Scalzi on why it won't work (Score 1) 370

John Scalzi wrote a hilarious exchange on his blog the sums up perfectly why this idea is made of fail:

Sony BMG spokesperson: We're pleased to announce we are the final major music corporation to release electronic tracks without that pesky DRM! All you have to do is leave your house, go to a selected retail outlet, buy a special card there, go back to your house, scratch off the back of the card to find a code, go to our special MusicPass Web site, enter said code, and download one the 37 titles we have available, from Celine Dion to the Backstreet Boys!

Kid #1: Or, in the time it takes me to jump through all those hoops, I could just download all 37 of those albums off of Pirate Bay.

Kid #2: Or, I could just scratch off the back at the store, record the pin number, go home and download the album through a Tor connection, so you can't trace my IP number.

Kid #1: Also, what's with this first slate of artists? Celine Dion? Backstreet Boys? Kenny Chesney? Barry Manilow? Are you high?
There's much more, but I didn't want to jack his entire post.
Google

Submission + - The Google Phone is a Reality.

MrCrassic writes: "It appears that Google is initiating talks with well-known PDA/smartphone manufacturer HTC to make the Google phone a reality. With impressive tech specs and an already impressive concept underway , could Google be the next company to make a mark in the wireless device industry? From the main article:

However, a recent report by CrunchGear states that its own sources at mobile handset provider HTC have tipped the site off to multiple gPhone handsets being prepped for launch in the first quarter of 2008 and that the handsets will be coming out of Taiwan. There will supposedly be over 20 different handsets to choose from — some with GPS — and they will carry special versions of Google Maps, Google Calendar, Gmail, and VoIP-enabled Google Talk. Speaking of software, Google is rumored to be developing its own operating system for the gPhone. According to reports by Engadget, the OS has been in development since 2005 after Google's acquisition of a mobile software company called Android. The Android team has since developed a Linux-based mobile OS while at Google — a detail that is corroborated by the CrunchGear report — which of course comes with tight Google integration. Both sites appear to agree that their sources indicate Google isn't currently looking to develop the hardware... for now.
"
Sci-Fi

Simon Pegg to Play Scotty 233

In response to yesterday's casting news about Chris Pine possibly taking the captain's chair for the new Star Trek movie, apparently Simon Pegg will be playing the role of Scotty. Simon Pegg is known for his role as Shaun in Shaun of the Dead and more recently for his leading role in Hot Fuzz. "Pegg joins Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, John Cho as Sulu and Zachary Quinto as Spock in the film which reportedly, and logically, 'chronicles the early days of the Enterprise crew.' Leonard Nimoy will also put in an appearance, while Eric Bana signed up this week as the movie's villain, Nero."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Confronting pseudoscience in advertising

The Scientist reports that UK group Sense About Science is confronting advertisers about pseudoscientific claims in health products such as "Aerobic Oxygen," "Salt Lamps," and "Activ8." They called the advertisers' customer service numbers and grilled the unfortunates on the other end of the phone about their misuse of scientific language to sell products. The project,

Security

Submission + - Serious XSS vulnerability discovered in Facebook (virginia.edu)

An anonymous reader writes: A new XSS vulnerability was found in Facebook, allowing executable code to be injected in a user's profile; this compromises the security of both the profile owner and all profile viewers. The article includes a sketch of the attack, a white paper that gives a detailed explanation of how such an attack can be used, and a video demo. Facebook is set up so that once a single hidden value has been obtained, any form can be submitted with that user's credentials. One would think that XSS vulnerabilities are common and serious enough that Facebook would have set up their site so that the entire site is not laid open by a single attack. (The article does not disclose the location of the XSS hole since it has not yet been patched.)

Comment Other factors... (Score 5, Informative) 428

I troubleshoot home theater electronics all day, every day. I have to wonder if something else is at work here. At least one person asked, what do these eleven units all have in common? The same working environment. There are plenty of Xbox 360s out there, and they certainly all aren't failures, and the chance that this one person has received every part from the 1-2% of doomed 360s out there that are failures would be nearly statistically impossible.

More likely is that some other factor is causing this, perhaps the powerstrip he's plugged it into has a badly grounded outlet, or perhaps the main outlet itself - or possibly any of another hundred or so electrical issues there could be - such issues tend to plague complex electronics in very odd ways, and not the same way every time.

If I were at Microsoft, I'd replace his unit, but advise this guy he needs to get some help looking for what other factors could be causing these malfunctions.
Google

Jon Stewart, Lorne Michaels Come Out In Favour of YouTube 114

techdirt writes "Viacom employee Jon Stewart recently announced that he believes his bosses are making a mistake in taking Viacom content off of YouTube. Today, NBC employee and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels has stated he can't understand NBC's position on YouTube. The interview with Michaels is especially interesting, because it was a Saturday Night Live clip of the infamous 'Lazy Sunday' music video that is often credited with putting YouTube on the map. At the same time, however, almost everyone admitted that it did wonders in revitalizing SNL's reputation (as well as boosting Andy Samberg's reputation to new heights). Yet, NBC's lawyers shot it down, limiting the benefit to SNL. It appears that Michaels understands that, and says he wishes they could put more of the show on YouTube."
Education

Submission + - Questioning the Value of an IT Degree

jerbenn writes: "The following article appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education: "With interdisciplinary training all the rage in the IT industry, computer-science degrees just don't seem to carry the weight they once did. According to a new survey, three out of five British employers don't care whether applicants for high-tech jobs have IT-specific degrees. The survey — completed by E-Skills UK, a government agency — also found that only two of every five IT workers in Britain possess tech-related degrees. Karen Price, chief executive of E-Skills UK, told CNET News that applicants without IT degrees are often perceived as better entrepreneurs and communicators than their tech-trained counterparts."

What's this world coming to??? It's starting to sound like companies would rather hire someone who can't differentiate between a semaphore and a hole-in-their-ass as long as they have so called 'soft-skills'. Yes, those soft skills are important, but they can be developed much easier than learning the theory and skills needed for innovation and development, not to mention maintaining existing technology!"
Debian

Journal Journal: So, About Dapper . . . 24

For the last year or so, I've been happily using Debian, with a mixture of sources so I was stable, but current, just like nearly everyone who uses Debian.

Then I tried to upgrade or something insane like that, using aptitude, and the whole thing went tits up on me. No amount of cussing, kicking things, or actual tinkering with the software could save my machine.

Comment Here's a hint... (Score 1) 447

> When kids see flashing pictures on cereal boxes we don't expect them to just ask for the product, but to say, "I want it"

It doesn't need to have flashing pictures to make kids say, "I want it". Kids will say "I want it" if it so much as combines three bright colors or has an anthropomorphic animal. Heck, lots of kids will say "I want it" just because it exists.
Announcements

Journal Journal: play poker for a good cause on sunday july 17th 6

(Cross-posted to WWdN)

The final table of the 2005 World Series of Poker started at 4pm yesterday afternoon, and wasn't finished until just after 7am today. I'm not sure, but I think that's a record. I'd call Pauly to be sure, but something tells me he's crashed out until at least Sunday.

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