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It's funny.  Laugh.

XKCD Improving the Internet ... Yet Again 204

netbuzz writes "Comic creator Randall Monroe suggested in a recent xkcd strip that YouTube comments would be better — or, more precisely, less idiotic — if only those posting them were forced to hear their words read aloud first. Well, YouTube has gone and made this "audio preview" a reality, albeit an optional one. And, it's not the first time that xkcd has contributed to the betterment of the Internet, as those who are familiar with last year's "Internet census" and its use of a Hilbert curve may remember."
Patents

Blackboard Wins Patent Suit Against Desire2Learn 186

edremy writes "Blackboard, the dominant learning management system (LMS) maker, has won its initial suit against Desire2Learn. Blackboard gets $3.1 million and can demand that Desire2Learn stop US sales. (We discussed Blackboard when the patent was issued in 2006) This blog provides background on the suit. Blackboard has been granted a patent that covers a single person having multiple roles in an LMS: for example, a TA might be a student in one class and an instructor in another. You wouldn't think something this obvious could even be patented, but so far it's been a very effective weapon for Blackboard, badly hurting Desire2Learn and generating a huge amount of worry for the few remaining commercial LMSs that Blackboard has not already bought, and open source solutions such as Moodle (Blackboard's pledge not to attack such providers notwithstanding)."
Businesses

Submission + - SPAM: Starbucks Drops T-Mobile for AT&T 1

stoolpigeon writes: "Ars reports that Starbucks is replacing T-Mobile with AT&T as their wi-fi provider. AT&T broadband customers will be able to access the service for free. Starbucks card users will get 2 hours a day free. 2 hour, daily and monthly rates will be lower than they were with T-Mobile. Starbucks says that their previously announced deal to tie in with iTunes will continue under AT&T."
Link to Original Source
Idle

Store Stops Selling Lolita Bed

If the people who run Woolworth's website had ever read the famous Nabokov novel, seen one of the 2 movies based on it or listened to the police in the 80's they might have known that calling a line of beds for little girls, the Lolita line, wasn't the best Idea. "Now this has been brought to our attention, the product has been removed from sale with immediate effect. We will be talking to the supplier with regard to how the branding came about." says the company. Other controversial products like the Cobain trigger lock and Ahmadinejad's big book of fictional atrocities are still on the shelves.
Security

Phishing Group Caught Stealing From Other Phishers 129

An anonymous reader writes "Netcraft has written about a website offering free phishing kits with one ironic twist — they all contain backdoors to steal stolen credentials from the fraudsters that deploy them. Deliberately deceptive code inside the kits means that script kiddies are unlikely to realize that any captured credit card numbers also end up getting sent to the people who made the phishing kits. The same group was also responsible for another backdoored phishing kit used against Bank of America earlier this month."
Debian

Submission + - Red Hat cluster suite in Debian 4.0 Etch (techforce.com.br)

Andre Felipe Machado writes: "The Red Hat cluster suite packages in Debian 4.0 Etch are partially broken.

See how to patch them to get your cluster up and running.

I presume you are an experienced system administrator if you are going to get a high availability cluster running.

Red Hat cluster suite is intended for High Availability clustering, and load balancing of virtual servers.

Read about some obscure and silent quirks, freezes and data corruptions when you push your hardware and network to their limits under heavy loads.

Learn about their work arounds to avoid them, resulting from real hands on experience.

http://www.techforce.com.br/index.php/news/linux_b log/red_hat_cluster_suite_debian_etch"

The Internet

Submission + - Driving on fumes? ... How far?

netbuzz writes: "How far can you drive after the the fuel-tank warning light has come on? The question has dogged car owners since the first Model T rolled off Henry Ford's assembly line. Now a new crowdsourcing Web site hopes to harness the input — as well as the courage — of the masses to get a good answer for every make and model.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1663 2"
The Media

Submission + - James Lileks on Videogame Addiction (instapundit.com)

YIAAL writes: We're hearing more talk about videogame addiction again, but Star-Tribune columnist James Lileks isn't having any of it: "If everyone who was addicted to games spent six hours in front of the TV every night, what would we call them? Right: normal. . . . Every kid has a misfit stage, unless they're a pearly-toothed Class President type. Every kid spends some time in a fantasy world. In the 50s they worried terribly about comic books, and the effect they had on tender minds; kids were getting hooked on the gore and horror. It's always something. The difference today: we develop names and syndromes and diagnoses, which somehow makes basic human behavior seem like a mechanism we can fine-tune back to perfection." How about less social-engineering and more leaving people alone?
Biotech

Submission + - Sex in the MRI (scienceblogs.com) 1

ferespo writes: The paper is all about visualizing the arrangement of organs during coitus. People have tried to figure out how the pieces all fit together internally using cadavers and their imagination, by using a speculum and poking around with their fingers, and by clever tools, like hollow glass tubes shaped like a penis. This paper tries something different: the investigators had people have sex in an MRI tube, and snapped a few pictures while they were at it.
Portables

Submission + - OLPC's trickle-down effect (pcpro.co.uk)

Diomidis Spinellis writes: "PCPRO runs a story regarding the $189 laptop that Asus revealed at the Computex 2007 trade show. The laptop, in common with the hardware of the one laptop per child initiative, uses solid state memory for storage and runs Linux. It weights 900g (2 lb) and measures 120 * 100 * 30mm (4.7 * 4 * 1.2"). I'm currently using an actual OLPC for localization work and experiments with educational applications, and I was dreaming being able to buy similar machines to use as cheap and cheerful terminals around the house. With Quanta having made a similar product announcement it seems that the Star Trek nirvana of a computer in every room can become an affordable reality."
Privacy

Submission + - Google Street View sparks privacy concerns (lawbean.com)

Spamicles writes: "Google launched its new Street View feature this week for Google Maps. This new map feature offers panoramic views at street level. Street View was launched in Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area, and Google touts the benefits of easily finding places and understanding neighborhoods. Blogs and Internet sites such as Wired and Streetviewr are full of images from Street View revealing people in potentially embarrassing positions: Stanford University coeds sunbathing in bikinis, men leaving strip clubs, a woman bent over exposing her thong, a man picking his nose. These candid photos highlight a growing concern over privacy issues surrounding this new service."

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