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Businesses

Submission + - Fall of traditional entertainment conglomerates (wordpress.com)

Advocatus Diaboli writes: We no longer live in the era of ‘plantation-type’ movie studios or recording houses. However large private companies still have considerable power over content production, distribution and promotion. Technology has been slowly changing this state of affairs for almost 30-40 years, however certain new technological advances, enabling systems and cost considerations WILL change the entertainment industry as we know it -within 5 years.
America Online

60% of AOL's Profits Come From Misinformed Customers 301

satuon writes "Ken Auletta's big New Yorker piece on AOL (subscription only) this week revealed an interesting detail about the company's inner workings. According to Auletta, 80% of AOL's profits come from subscribers, and 75% of those subscribers are paying for something they don't actually need. According to Auletta: "The company still gets eighty percent of its profits from subscribers, many of whom are older people who have cable or DSL service but don't realize that they need not pay an additional twenty-five dollars a month to get online and check their e-mail. 'The dirty little secret,' a former AOL executive says, 'is that seventy-five percent of the people who subscribe to AOL's dial-up service don't need it.'"
Education

America Losing Its Edge In Innovation 757

jaywhybee writes "Forbes has an interesting article about America losing its edge in innovation because engineers and scientists in the US are not as respected as they are in other countries, and thus fewer youths aspire to become one. Quoting: 'I’ve visited more than 100 countries in the past several years, meeting people from all walks of life, from impoverished children in India to heads of state. Almost every adult I’ve talked with in these countries shares a belief that the path to success is paved with science and engineering. In fact, scientists and engineers are celebrities in most countries. They’re not seen as geeks or misfits, as they too often are in the US, but rather as society’s leaders and innovators. In China, eight of the top nine political posts are held by engineers. In the US, almost no engineers or scientists are engaged in high-level politics, and there is a virtual absence of engineers in our public policy debates.'"

Submission + - Snake eats Bird on Chatroulette (wordpress.com)

Advocatus Diaboli writes: I got over 5,000 views (with 24 hours) for a short video I reuploaded on youtube. It shows a chatroulette session (most likely partially faked) of two girls not flashing their boobs to stop a chick from being eaten by a python.

My guess the prerecorded python clip was stopped before the chick gets eaten if the gals flashed their boobs. If they did not, the clip was run till the end and they saw the bird being eaten.

Maybe.. something similar could be done with newborn bunny rabbits and pythons.

Note that I did not promote it beyond facebook, my blog and a couple of other blogs. Most views came from people searching for that clip and forwarding it to others.

Nobody went broke by appealing to the lowest common denominator.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWvj17Rpqdo&feature=player_embedded

Submission + - Self Shots, GPS Enabled Smartphones & Data Min (wordpress.com)

Advocatus Diaboli writes: I see a future, very soon, where you could use the cell-phone number of a girl to search for self-shot pictures of her at gray information sites. Given the decreasing cost of data storage, access, transmission and computing power combined with the increased use of smartphones, the possibilities are mind boggling.
Graphics

Submission + - Contest - Bruce Schneier seeks new TSA logo (boingboing.net)

An anonymous reader writes: TSA Logo Contest
Over at "Ask the Pilot," Patrick Smith has a great idea:

Calling all artists: One thing TSA needs, I think, is a better logo and a snappy motto. Perhaps there's a graphic designer out there who can help with a new rendition of the agency's circular eagle-and-flag motif. I'm imagining a revised eagle, its talons clutching a box cutter and a toothpaste tube. It says "Transportation Security Administration" around the top. Below are the three simple words of the TSA mission statement: "Tedium, Weakness, Farce."
Let's do it. I'm announcing the TSA Logo Contest. Rules are simple: create a TSA logo. People are welcome to give ideas in the comments, but only actual created logos are eligible to compete. (When my website administrator wakes up, I'll ask him how we can post images in the comments.) Contest ends on February 6. Winner receives copies of my books, copies of Patrick Smith's book, an empty 12-ounce bottle labeled "saline" that you can refill and get through any TSA security checkpoint, and a fake boarding pass on any flight for any date.

EDITED TO ADD (1/6): Please leave links to your submissions in the comments, and I will add them to the post. After the contest is over, I'll choose five finalists and post them. The winner will be chosen by popular acclaim.

Privacy

Submission + - Tynt Insight is watching you cut and paste (mattbusse.com) 1

jerryasher writes: In recent weeks I've noticed that when I copy and paste text from Wired and other websites, the pasted text has had the url of the original website appended to it. Cool, and utterly annoying, and how do I make that stop? Tynt Insight is a piece of Javascript that sends what you copy to Tynt's webservers and adds the backlinks. Tynt calls that a service for the site owner, many people call that a privacy invasion..

Worse, there are some reports that it sends not just what you copy, but everything you select..

And Tynt provides no opt outs. Not cookie based, not IP based, but stop it you creeps angry phone call based.

It ain't a pure useful service, and it ain't a pure privacy invasion. But I sure wish they'd go away and have had the decency to never start up in the first place. I block it on Firefox with Ghostery.

AMD

Submission + - AMD Launches Radoen HD 5670 Mainstream DX11 GPU

Ninjakicks writes: AMD announced their new low cost, low power Radeon HD 5670 card today. As its name suggests, the ATI Radeon HD 5670 shares a number of features with its higher-end counterparts in the Radeon HD 5000 series, like Eyefinity multi-display gaming technology and full DX11 support. It's a single slot, low power card that puts up respectable frame rates at HD resolutions. It's also one of the fastest $99 graphics card available right now, which doesn't hurt if you're a gamer on a budget.

Submission + - Does your PC really need a SysRq button anymore? (pcauthority.com.au) 2

An anonymous reader writes: Ever wondered what the SysRq key on your keyboard does? Lenovo has decided it's so rarely used that it has started removing the key from some new Thinkpad Edge laptops. We already know that Lenovo are something of the fastidious scientists when it comes to keyboard design. Last time they fiddled with the age-old key layout, it was after painstaking research to count exactly how many times users press the Delete and Escape keys. Now it seems another relic of computer keyboards is starting to disappear.

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