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Comment Re:wtf is sexting? (Score 1) 711

It's the new "Media Buzzword" for Sexually Explicit Text Messages / Picture Messaging.

I've been hearing it a lot on HARO lately (a media trough for reporters looking for sources for articles and books -- it's also a nice predictor of media trends anywhere from a week to two months or so in the future), so apparently somebody thinks it's newsworthy that kids are swapping around dirty pictures of each other.

Games

Violence in Games, Once Again, Not That Compelling 191

One of the great arguments of the digital age has been over the effects of video games on aggression — especially if you have ever heard the name Jack Thompson. A recent study suggest the counterpoint once again, that violent video games really don't have that much impact. "The authors performed six studies in total, but they were in broad agreement, so we'll only discuss the more compelling ones here. For the experimental portion, these involved playing an essentially identical game with different degrees of violent content. One group of participants was randomly assigned to play the game House of the Dead 3 on the different extremes of its gore settings, while a second was split between those who played the normal version of Half-Life 2, and a those who played a modified version that turned the adventure into an elaborate game of tag. In both cases, the primary influences on enjoyment were the sense of competence and satisfaction, along with the immersive nature of the game. Generally, females rated immersion as more important, while males went for competence (and consistently rated their own expertise very highly). Violence didn't register when it came to enjoyment, even for those with pre-existing violent tendencies."

Comment Yes, but how much is that vs. alternative actions? (Score 1) 516

And without the internet, we'd be spending a LOT more than that.

Imagine the gas wasted on trips to the bookstore, vs. aggregation of purchases through Amazon, the reduced waste thanks to Print-On-Demand... you get the idea.

Google is, for all intents and purposes, the cost of business. I'm all for reducing Google's energy consumption, but it's a lot better than the non-internet alternatives.

Comment Re:Get it in both forms (Score 4, Insightful) 715

You don't.

In the solution posted above, you're paying for a legal copy, but still downloading and using the pirated form as the e-book you desired to begin with.

Alternatively, you make it into an E-book yourself. Tedious, yes, but I remember one Hungarian girl copying a Harry Potter book by hand so she could have a print copy. Be thankful typing isn't nearly so tedious.

Government

US's First Internet Votes To Be Cast This Friday 143

longacre writes "If you thought online voting in America was a distant pipe dream (nightmare?), think again: the nation's first Internet-based voting system goes online this Friday, just days after the release of the Damning Report On Sequoia E-Voting Machine Security we discussed yesterday. In the first real world run of the Okaloosa Distance Ballot Piloting (ODBP) test program, election officials from Okaloosa County, Florida have set up kiosks in Germany, the UK and Japan where 600-700 absentee voters — mostly military personnel — are expected to cast ballots. Security experts still have many questions, of course, particularly on the potential for interception of voting data while it travels across oceans (via 'secure VPN'), the security of the kiosks ('hardened laptops' with no hard drives and other sensitive components disabled) and the security of the three data centers (one of which is itself housed overseas, in Barcelona, Spain), not to mention the fact that Florida doesn't exactly have a stellar record when it comes to vote counting. Florida's Dept. of State also has a fairly detailed outline of ODBP's components and processes [PDF]."
Censorship

Afghan Student Gets 20 Years For Blasphemy 618

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes "Despite nationwide public support for his initial death sentence, a three-judge appeals court has reduced the sentence of Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh to 20 years in prison. Kambakhsh was charged with circulating an article on women's rights that he found online. From the article: 'Family members have said Kambakhsh was beaten and threatened with death until he signed a confession and that local journalists who expressed support for him were warned they would be arrested if they persisted.'"
The Almighty Buck

Economic Crisis Will Eliminate Open Source 753

An anonymous reader writes "The economic crisis will ultimately eliminate open source projects and the 'Web 2.0 free economy,' says Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur. Along with the economic downturn and record job loss, he says, we will see the elimination of projects including Wikipedia, CNN's iReport, and much of the blogosphere. Instead of users offering their services 'for free,' he says, we're about to see a 'sharp cultural shift in our attitude toward the economic value of our labor' and a rise of online media businesses that reward their contributors with cash. Companies that will survive, he says, include Hulu, iTunes, and Mahalo. 'The hungry and cold unemployed masses aren't going to continue giving away their intellectual labor on the Internet in the speculative hope that they might get some "back end" revenue,' says Keen."
The Internet

Wikipedia's New Definition of Truth 428

Hugh Pickens writes "Simson Garfinkel has an interesting essay on MIT Technology Review in which he examines the way that Wikipedia has redefined the commonly accepted use of the word 'truth.' While many academic experts have argued that Wikipedia's articles can't be trusted because they are written and edited by volunteers who have never been vetted, studies have found that the articles are remarkably accurate. 'But wikitruth isn't based on principles such as consistency or observability. It's not even based on common sense or firsthand experience,' says Garfinkel. What makes a fact or statement fit for inclusion is verifiability — that it appeared in some other publication, but there is a problem with appealing to the authority of other people's written words: many publications don't do any fact checking at all, and many of those that do simply call up the subject of the article and ask if the writer got the facts wrong or right. Wikipedia's policy of 'No Original Research' also leads to situations like Jaron Lanier's frustrated attempts to correct his own Wikipedia entry based on firsthand knowledge of his own career. So what is Wikipedia's truth? 'Since Wikipedia is the most widely read online reference on the planet, it's the standard of truth that most people are implicitly using when they type a search term into Google or Yahoo. On Wikipedia, truth is received truth: the consensus view of a subject.'"
Microsoft

Microsoft Calls Today Global Anti-Piracy Day 500

arcticstoat points out an article at Custom PC, according to which: "Microsoft has announced that today is Global Anti-Piracy Day. Launching several global initiatives, the aim is to raise awareness of the damage to software innovation that Microsoft says is caused by piracy. ... As well as educating people about piracy, Microsoft has also initiated a huge list of legal proceedings that it's taking out against pirates. Microsoft isn't messing about when it says 'global' either. The list of 49 countries that Microsoft is targeting spans six continents, and ranges from the UK and the US all the way through to Chile, Egypt, Kuwait, Indonesia and China." Interestingly enough, unauthorized copies of Vista might not be harming the company all that much: reader twitter was among several to contribute links to a related story at Computer World which highlights Microsoft attorney Bonnie MacNaughton's acknowledgement that pirates prefer Windows XP over Vista and Office 2003 over 2007.
Education

Journal Journal: Autistic Child Forced Out of Kindergarten By "Popular Vote"

Just when you thought Florida could be trusted to elect ANYTHING again, a Kindergarten Teacher in Port St. Lucie has had a 5-year old child in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome voted out of the class after ordering every other student to tell the boy what they hate about him while he stood up at the front of the class. Since the vote, the child has not returned to the sc
Privacy

FBI Admits More Privacy Violations 179

kwietman writes "The FBI admitted that in 2006, for the fourth straight year, they improperly accessed phone and internet records of U.S. citizens. Director Robert Mueller testified that the abuses occurred prior to sweeping reforms enacted in 2007, and actually blamed the breaches in part on the telecommunications companies, who submitted more information than was requested. In another unsurprising development, the FBI also underreported the number of security letters - used to authorize wiretaps and to subpoena internet and telecom records - by over 4,600. The use of these letters to identify potential terrorists has, according to the government audit, increased dramatically since the implementation of the Patriot Act. Over 1,000 of these security letters were found to be improper in 2005, and similar numbers were expected for 2006 and 2007."
Data Storage

Seagate Offers Refunds on 6.2 Million Hard Drives 780

An anonymous reader writes "Seagate has agreed to settle a lawsuit that alleges that the company mislead customers by selling them hard disk drives with less capacity than the company advertised. The suit states that Seagate's use of the decimal definition of the storage capacity term "gigabyte" was misleading and inaccurate: whereby 1GB = 1 billion bytes. In actuality, 1GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes — a difference of approximately 7% from Seagate's figures. Seagate is saying it will offer a cash refund or free backup and recovery software."

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