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Television

Submission + - Official DTV Converter Box Coupons for Americans (dtv2009.gov)

Ant writes: "The official Digital Television/DTV Converter Box Coupon Program, for United States/U.S., is now online. Congress created it for households wishing to keep using their analog TV sets and use over the air antennae to get TV feeds. After February 17, 2009. The Program allows American households to obtain up to two coupons, each worth $40, that can be applied toward the cost of eligible converter boxes. A TV connected to cable, satellite, or other pay TV service does not require a TV converter box from this program."
Quickies

Submission + - 100 Years of Tech in the Times Square NY's Ball (gizmodo.com)

Ant writes: "Gizmodo says most of us know the Times Square Ball as the symbol of the new year, fresh starts and the last moment of celebration before you puke up cheap champagne. But it's also an interesting gadget, so to speak, changing with the times alongside consumer trends. So for it's 100th birthday, Gizmodo made a mega timeline of it's history. It includes a graphical timeline. Seen on Digg. And happy new year!"
Communications

Submission + - "Perfect storm" of cliches make bad Englis (reuters.com)

Ant writes: "This Reuters says a "surge" of overused words and phrases formed a "perfect storm" of "post-9/11" cliches in 2007, according to a United States/U.S. university's annual list of words and phrases that deserve to be banned. Choosing from among 2,000 submissions, the public relations department at Michigan's Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie targeted 19 affronts to the English language in its well-known jab at the worlds of media, sports, advertising and politics... Seen on Blue's News."
Privacy

Submission + - Privacy International Releases 2007 Report (privacyinternational.org)

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "Privacy International has released their report on privacy for 2007, which includes a color-coded world map that highlights the countries with the best privacy laws, the privacy-hostile countries being in black. While many of the overall rankings may come as no surprise, it does highlight some of the more obscure abuses. For example, Venezuela requires your fingerprints just to get a phone and South Korea requires a government registration number linked to your identity before you can post on message boards. Makes you wonder who is Number One?"
Quickies

Submission + - Merriam-Webster named "w00t" its word of t (merriam-webster.com)

Ant writes: "Digg and Ripten say Merriam-Webster named "w00t", the word of the year (2007) after thousands searched and picked. The article also lists the other nine words. The selected world hasn't found its way into a regular Merriam-Webster dictionary yet — but its inclusion in the online Open Dictionary, along with the top honors it's now been awarded — might just improve its chances. This year's winning word first became popular in competitive online gaming forums as part of what is known as l33t ("leet," or "elite") speak — an esoteric computer hacker language in which numbers and symbols are put together to look like letters. Although the double "o" in the word is usually represented by double zeroes, the exclamation is also known to be an acronym for "we owned the other team" — again stemming from the gaming community. W00t!"
Quickies

Submission + - For Sleepy Drivers, Coffee vs. Napping (nytimes.com)

Ant writes: "A New York Times blog says that sleepy drivers, who don't want to stop their journey, have two choices: pull over and take a short nap or load up with caffeine to stay awake. It asks what's the better option? French researchers decided to find out, testing the driving performance of two dozen sleep-deprived motorists... Seen on Blue's News."
Quickies

Submission + - Study Shows Why the Flu Likes Winter (nytimes.com)

Ant writes: "The New York Times (no log in should be needed) says New York/NY researchers believe they have solved one of the great mysteries of the flu: Why does the infection spread primarily in the winter months? The answer, they say, has to do with the virus itself. It is more stable and stays in the air longer when air is cold and dry, the exact conditions for much of the flu season. Seen on Blue's News."
Quickies

Submission + - 10 Reasons Bad Employees Don't Get Fired (careerbuilder.com)

Ant writes: "MSN Careers says you may have wondered, "Why don't they just fire this person?" for employees doing bad jobs. Firing someone may seem easy in theory, but it is often a last resort for an employer. A bad employee's supervisor may know that the employee isn't performing up to snuff, but that supervisor — or the company — may have what they consider to be a good reason for not firing the employee. Whenever you encounter someone who you think deserves to be fired — either in your own workplace or elsewhere — consider if any of the following might be the reason the bad employee is still on the job..."
United States

Submission + - Ruling protects employee property, even old yogurt (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "All that crap in your cubical? And that Chinese take-out in the company fridge from 1983? It's safe — for now. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today employees must be notified before their belongings are tossed. The ruling stemmed from a University of Texas professor who had all his stuff thrown out by his employer without his consent. More precisely, University of Texas at San Antonio professor Philip Stotter wasn't given adequate notice before his lab was closed and its contents thrown in the trash. In the Houston Chronicle, employment lawyer Michael Muskat, said the thorny case involving a university and a former chemistry professor raises several possible constitutional questions for public employers vigilant about protecting their employees from the hazards of old food."For example, is the receptionist's week-old tuna sandwich considered personal 'property' under the due process clause of the Constitution?" http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/21954"
Television

Submission + - LCD and Plasma TVs Found Highly Reliable (yahoo.com)

Ant writes: "Yahoo! News report that liquid crystal displa (LCD) and plasma televisions (TVs) require few repairs during the first three years of use, and buyers would be wasting their money during the holiday shopping season if they bought extended warranties on the highly reliable devices, Consumer Reports found in a study released Friday. The consumer review firm's Annual Product Reliability Survey, featured in the upcoming December 2007 issue, found that the flat panel sets overall had a 3% repair rate. Rear-projection TVs, on the other hand, were found to be much more repair prone than its two rivals... Seen on Gizmodo and Blue's News."
Television

Submission + - Writers' strike reality is viewers' loss... (tv.com)

Ant writes: "TV.com says a backlash of writers' strike means television/TV season will change — more reality TV! No matter what is at stake, strikes are always ugly. However, strikes in the entertainment industry don't just affect the families of those involved; they also change the day-to-day lives of the industry's audience (albeit to a much lesser degree)..."
Quickies

Submission + - "Warning: No Instructions Included" (shacknews.com)

Ant writes: "Shacknews has Nick Breckon's two pages editorial article on instruction manuals that began to lose their luster during between 2D and 3D and massive multiplayer online (MMO). Once they were as thick as novels, full-color affairs with illustrations and endless pages of backstory. Now, most are relegated to the inside of digital video disc (DVD) covers, thin little leaflets on par with mail-in order forms, both in appearance and in content... Seen on Blue's News."

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