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Comment Re:So Amazon wins anyway (Score 1) 370

Ah, big difference. They cannot edit the slashdot comment, so the embarrasment stays with them forever. If it was their blog post, that would be different. If you laugh, wave the sign around and yell for people to notice, that is bad social behavior. Yanking it off discretely, is the socially correct way to behave. Non-deletable public comments are the former, not the latter.

Comment Re:No close substitutes (Score 1) 370

Current copyrighted novels by established authors do not have close substitutes. But there are other portions of the market:

Public domain novels (like most the classics we read in school) do have substitutes. Text-to-speech could make the difference in this portion of the market.

New authors who are just breaking into the market are not necessarily targeted reads. When looking for something new to read and the choice comes down between unknowns, text-to-speech could easily be a tipping factor.

As to your textbook case: Professor's think about supplemental stuff when making textbook choice. (I know, because I've done it.) If there are two introductory texts that would be fine alternatives, choosing one with more features just makes sense.

Comment Re:Three options (Score 1) 1032

This actually works. My parents had a problem in the kitchen even a cat couldn't take care of. My mother covered every potential route with steel wool and duct tape. The rats found all kinds of inventive new approaches, but eventually they were all taken care of. The kitchen has been vermin free for a good year now.

Comment Re:Same as 4th grade (Score 3, Funny) 613

You must learn the tossing method. It'll save you time. You just take the entire stack, and throw it. The better papers have more substance to them, so fly further. The papers that are light on detail just flutter about. You can then grade by distance traveled.

Comment Re:Same as 4th grade (Score 1) 613

Indeed, this works across languages as well. I've watched Japanese and Chinese ESL students carry on very simple conversations by writing them out in characters, even without knowing each other's languages. English and Spanish students would never be able to do that. I've been shopping in Asian markets with Japanese people, and they can tell me what a new product is from the box, but not what it is called. An ideogram system is harder to learn and harder to extend to new words; but once learned, it can be used in amazingly broad contexts.

Comment Re:Big Surprise (Score 1) 647

People keep saying this, but my experiences with the DMV have been about the same as my experience with AT&T, Citibank, and most the major airlines (long lines/on hold forever, mistakes that take forever to fix, completely unhelpful costumer service, etc.). And I'd rather deal with the DMV than Acer or Well's Fargo.

Comment Re:Dear Iranian nation (Score 1) 923

So, your rebuttal is basically, "Yeah, but we had good reasons for it. And we weren't hiding it. Most of the time." Your more accurate account (and I agree it is more accurate) still amounts to the U.S. being guilty of the accusations, just that it was justifiable behavior.
Math

Crackpot Scandal In Mathematics 219

ocean_soul writes "It is well known among scientists that the impact factor of a scientific journal is not always a good indicator of the quality of the papers in the journal. An extreme example of this was recently uncovered in mathematics. The scandal is about one El Naschie, editor in chief of the 'scientific' journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, published by Elsevier. This is one of the highest impact factor journals in mathematics, but the quality of the papers in it is extremely poor. The journal has also published 322 papers with El Naschie as (co-)author, five of them in the latest issue. Like many crackpots, El Nashie has a kind of cult around him, with another journal devoted to praising his greatness. There was also a discussion about the Wikipedia entry for El Naschie, which was supposedly written by one of his followers. When it was deleted by Wikipedia, they even threatened legal actions (which never materialized)."
Music

Digitizing Rare Vinyl 397

eldavojohn writes "While the RIAA is busy changing its image to a snake eating its own tail, one man is busy digitizing out-of-print 78s. 'There's a whole world of music that you don't hear anymore, and it's on 78 RPM records,' he stated to Wired. Right now, you can find about 4,000 MP3s on his site, with no digital noise reduction implemented yet."
The Courts

Collegiate Resistance To RIAA In Michigan 175

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "There are now at least three complaints being investigated in Michigan against the RIAA's unlicensed investigator, SafeNet a/k/a MediaSentry, one of which was filed by Central Michigan University itself. Two other complaints have been filed by students, one from Northern Michigan University and one from University of Michigan. This appears to be part of the growing sense of exasperation colleges and universities are feeling over the RIAA's harassment."
Space

Virgin Galactic Shows the Finished WhiteKnight Two 212

Klaus Schmidt writes "Virgin Galactic today unveiled their WhiteKnight Two mothership, called 'EVE.' It is designed to carry the smaller SpaceShip Two into space. The rollout represents another major milestone in Virgin Galactic's quest to launch the world's first private, environmentally benign, space access system for people, payload and science. Christened 'EVE' in honor of Richard Branson's mother — Sir Richard performed the official naming ceremony — WK2 is both visually remarkable and represents ground-breaking aerospace technology. It is the world's largest all carbon composite aircraft and many of its component parts have been built using composite materials for the very first time. At 140 ft, the wing span is the longest single carbon composite aviation component ever manufactured."
The Internet

Cuba Getting Internet Upstream Via Venezuela 486

An anonymous reader writes "Seems like Cuba is working around the US internet embargo by teaming up with Venezuela: A confidential contract released yesterday on Wikileaks reveals Cuba's plan to receive internet upstream via an undersea cable to Venezuela, thus circumventing the enduring embargo of the US, denying Cuba access to nearby American undersea cables and overcoming the current limits of satellite-only connectivity. The connection, to be delivered by CVG Telecom of Venezuela, is to be completed by 2010 and will provide data, video as well as voice service for both the public and governmental services."

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