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Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed 1352

A survey of American voters by World Public Opinion shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. One of the most interesting questions was about President Obama's birthplace. 63 percent of Fox viewers believe Obama was not born in the US (or that it is unclear). In 2003 a similar study about the Iraq war showed that Fox viewers were once again less knowledgeable on the subject than average. Let the flame war begin!

Old Apple 1 Up For Auction, Expected To Go For $160,000+ 156

vanstinator was one of several readers to point out that Christie's is holding an auction for one of the original Apple 1 machines, complete with a manual, the original shipping box, and the letter from Steve Jobs to the owner. The invoice says the computer was purchased on December 7th, 1976, with an Apple cassette interface card, for a total price of $741.66. The auction house expects it to sell for over $160,000.

Comment Site Broken, Moving On (Score 2, Insightful) 450

Since I won't even see the ad in the first place, it will appear to me that the site is broken and I will just move on to a site that isn't broken. These people have already lost me. For the people that do see the ad, I expect that the reaction of many people will be to immediately start seeking a circumvention. So, this escalation is just going to result in higher market share for ad blocking equipped browsers.

When pop-up ads got to be so obnoxious that people were abandoning IE for pop-up blocking browsers, even Microsoft put in a pop-up blocker. This proposal is so obnoxious that if it becomes widespread, you might even see Captcha circumvention built into the next version of Windows.

PlayStation (Games)

Best Buy Unapologetic About Charging For PS3 Firmware Updates 454

donniebaseball23 writes "After discovering that electronics retailer Best Buy was charging ignorant customers $30 for the 'service' of installing updated firmware on PS3s, IndustryGamers got word from the company on its policy. Best Buy sees no problem with charging for this convenience, even though it's something Sony provides to PS3 owners completely free. 'While many gamers can handle firmware upgrades easily on their own, those customers who do want help can get it from Geek Squad, and we continue to evaluate this offering to ensure it meets their needs. The service goes beyond a firmware updates, and includes user account setup, parental control setup and other components,' a representative said."

Comment Re:Different in the USA? (Score 1) 1155

No, actually the fifth amendment does not protect you from being compelled to turn over a diary or other personal files. You can be jailed for failure to turn over papers and files even of a personal nature. You can be jailed for concealing evidence and refusing to permit access. In this respect, a password is no different than the location of a concealed diary, which you can be compelled to disclose.

You can not be compelled to admit guilt, but you can be compelled to provide access to physical or documentary evidence that may prove guilt.


Submission + - Tesla/Toyota "Toyesla" To Debut At LA show (

thecarchik writes: Toyota has just announced on its twitter stream that the Toyota/Tesla lovechild of the reborn Toyota RAV4 EV will be debuted at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, this November. The specifications are still a closely guarded secret, although we know that Tesla have already delivered a fully working RAV4 EV to Toyota for testing. The collaboration, which was announced earlier this year, will result in Toyota badged RAV4s being sold with a Tesla-designed electric drive system.

Comment Re:It does "simply work" (Score 1) 479

What real-world use are you talking about? I'm not even activating my iPhone 4 until I get my bumper in the mail I just ordered.

Mine works fine and I am not returning it. I can only get the bars to drop by wetting my skin and squeezing firmly at the joint in the band. I won't be doing that when I make a call. You shoud activate yours and get some real world use out of it.

Comment Re:Suprising (Score 1) 507

I wouldn't recommend it either.

Do you even have one? My iPhone4 works fine, at least as good as my Blackberry and at least as good as the old KRZR it replaced. I have to work pretty hard to replicate the drop in "bars." But then, I don't have sweaty palms.

Even when I try to hold it with my hand at covering the bottom corners, I see a drop in bars and still I get working service everywhere except in the same dead spots where my old phone dropped calls. I think the haters without iPhones are making more of this than its practical effect warrants.

Comment Re:Titles to "own" (Score 3, Insightful) 153

To "own"? Let's not kid ourselves here... there's no real ownership involved . . ..

"To watch as many times as you like but only on your PS3 and only for as long as you keep your PS3 and don't erase the file or the hard drive fails or something else goes wrong" does not sound as snappy as "to own." But, I don't mind the idea of paying for content with limitations and that won't necessarily last forever, as long as the pricing is in line with the limitations. This pricing scheme provides no reason to buy from PSN.

Comment Re:I have ad block in because of facebook (Score 1) 1051

The key is balance. Advertisers forgot that. They took the short-view and went with increasingly intrusive and annoying adverts. They broke the balance in their favour, so we broke it in ours with filtering tools. It just so happens that it's easier to block every advert on the entire Internet than to be selective about it. And here we are.

So true. I get a dead tree newspaper and a few journals. The ads in these publications support them and don't annoy me at all. Sometimes I even learn something useful from an advertisement. I'm used to it. If ads in online journals didn't really annoy me, I'd never have bothered to figure out how to block them.

If Ars wants us to view ads to support their content, make it look and act like an ad in Science or Nature, seen but not detracting from the content. Show me ads as text boxes or non-animated gif/jpeg/png that stay in one place on the page.

Don't serve ads from any domain that serves blinking, animated, noisy, moving, flash, or most especially deceptive adds. Any advertiser that delivers deceptive ads WILL be blocked at the firewall. Adblock/Noscript takes care of the rest.

Really, Ars, we were fine with adverstiment supported publications for a long time. Poisoning that covenant was your own making. Now, it's just easier to block 'em all. So, if you want our eyeballs on your ads again, find another way to deliver ads so unobtrusively that maybe people won't bother adjusting their filters.

Comment (Score 1) 1354

Society for Creative Anachronism

1) A person with a little geek talent at brewing, armoring, costuming, heraldry, song, dance, storytelling, writing, drawing, cooking, can get a lot of appreciation.
2) Much of it happens outside in the woods.
3) The SCA was also known as the Society of Consenting Adults back in the day.

Many geeks find a hidden talent for live combat and a willing partner in the SCA. I would recommend it to anyone.


Unpaid Contributors Provide Corporate Tech Support 221

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times writes about Justin McMurry of Keller, TX, who spends up to 20 unpaid hours per week helping Verizon customers with high-speed fiber optic Internet, television and telephone service. McMurry is part of an emerging corps of Web-savvy helpers that large corporations, start-up companies, and venture capitalists are betting will transform the field of customer service. Such enthusiasts are known as lead users, or super-users, and their role in contributing innovations to product development and improvement — often selflessly — has been closely researched in recent years. These unpaid contributors, it seems, are motivated mainly by a payoff in enjoyment and respect among their peers. 'You have to make an environment that attracts the Justin McMurrys of the world, because that's where the magic happens,' says Mark Studness, director of e-commerce at Verizon. The mentality of super-users in online customer-service communities is similar to that of devout gamers, according to Lyle Fong, co-founder of Lithium Technologies whose web site advertises that a vibrant community can easily save a company millions of dollars per year in deflected support calls' and whose current roster of 125 clients includes AT&T, BT, iRobot, Linksys, Best Buy, and Nintendo. Lithium's customer service sites for companies offer elaborate rating systems for contributors, with ranks, badges and kudos counts. 'That alone is addictive,' says Fong. 'They are revered by their peers.' Meanwhile McMurry, who is 68 and a retired software engineer, continues supplying answers by the bushel, all at no pay. 'People seem to like most of what I say online, and I like doing it.'"

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