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Comment Re:Because they can. (Score 4, Informative) 252

In my neck of the woods, educational institutions are legally allowed to break copyright for educational purposes. So it's fine to take one book and photocopy it a bazillion times. Result is that most books are cheaper than photocopying. It also means found web assets can be incorporated into teaching materials without the hassle of clearing copyright.

Comment Prior art with PHS (Score 1) 81

This approach has been used before in Japan: PHS ("handy phone") cells were placed on vending machines when the system was rolled out. I (mis)remember that the partner was a couple of Coca Cola franchises, which of course have thousands of vending machines dotted around. The benefits are ubiquity, guaranteed good power to the machine, no hassles about getting space on utility poles, etc. and regular visits from someone who can check the blinkenlights are blinken.

Submission + - Khan Academy Receives $5M to Expand, Create Physic (

mayberry42 writes:

Khan Academy announced this morning that it has raised $5 million from the O’Sullivan Foundation (a foundation created by Irish engineer and investor Sean O’Sullivan). The money is earmarked for several initiatives: expanding the Khan Academy faculty, creating a content management system so that others can use the program’s learning analytics system, and building an actual brick-and-mortar school, beginning with a summer camp program.

Comment Detector in Tokyo (Score 5, Informative) 371

If Mr/Ms Anonymous wishes to contact me, I can check the gutter etc for him/her. I've checked out friends' places in Chiba and elsewhere. Immediately after Fukushima, prices on detectors rocketed past $1200; now they're back down around $300 and in plentifu supply. The cheapest sensible devices available in Japan at the moment are probably one of the Soeks range. This is a detector, not dosimeter. It doesn't log data, and there's no PC connectivity, for example.It only runs 10 hours on a battery, though. For dosimeter, the DosRAE2 is readily available and, again, reasonably priced. It runs 400 hours between recharges and is designed to be worn as a badge. Lots of alarms. The PC software for logging data and managine multiple DosRAE2 badges is laughably bad, though. If you really want one of these things, I'd definitely go for the simple geiger counter (i.e. Soeks), because you get a very visual idea of what's going on around you. Many of the people using these things around Japan aren't capable of interpreting the results. Hotspots within Tokyo: not seen anything comparable to yer average granite lobby, and nothing anywhere near, say, Colorado.

Comment Late to the game (Score 1) 129

Japan-manufactured phones have had to support this feature since 2007. The way each carrier supports it differs slightly. Basically, Japan's EEW/EWS triggers a broadcast cell broadcast (SMS-CB) in the affected areas. Most European carriers also support the SMS-CB feature. Consumer-grade EEW is also broadcast over the air and internet: compatible radios and TVs will retune when the alert is received, and turn on if necessary. As far as I'm aware, somewhat oddly the internet service is not free. Similar warning systems are used to cut power to shinkansen, and to trigger equipment shutdowns in various industries such as semiconductor manufacturing. Apple's late to the game here, but on the other hand Softbank only got the Android app out a month or so ago (Apple's a Softbank exclusive).

Ubisoft's Constant Net Connection DRM Confirmed 631

A few weeks ago we discussed news of Ubisoft's DRM plans for future games, which reportedly went so far as to require a constant net connection, terminating your game if you get disconnected for any reason. Well, it's here; upon playing review copies of the PC version of Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers VII, PCGamer found the DRM just as annoying as you might expect. Quoting: "If you get disconnected while playing, you're booted out of the game. All your progress since the last checkpoint or savegame is lost, and your only options are to quit to Windows or wait until you're reconnected. The game first starts the Ubisoft Game Launcher, which checks for updates. If you try to launch the game when you're not online, you hit an error message right away. So I tried a different test: start the game while online, play a little, then unplug my net cable. This is the same as what happens if your net connection drops momentarily, your router is rebooted, or the game loses its connection to Ubisoft's 'Master servers.' The game stopped, and I was dumped back to a menu screen — all my progress since it last autosaved was lost."

Outlook 2010 Bug Creates Monster Email Files 126

Julie188 writes with this snippet from Network World "Office 2010 is still in beta and a patch is already out. Microsoft is trying to fix a bug in the email program Outlook 2010 Beta that creates unusually large e-mail files that take up too much space. The Outlook product team has offered a bug fix for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems that fixes the problem going forward, although previous emails will remain super-sized. This could be a problem for email programs that limit message sizes, such as Gmail or BlackBerry."

Comment Fortran rocks (Score 1) 794

Many years ago I did a real-time military radar simulation using a flavor of Fortran. At the next job, I helped build a stratigraphic wellhole analysis package using Fortran. At the third job the team built a package that predicted thermal, radiation and other propagations through hardware, wetware and urbanware. At no time was there more than 4 people in the development team. Fortran has done serious work over the years, and people forget there's more to life than the GUI.

Comment Re:PR (Score 1) 169

Dunno why the parent is marked as a troll. They're not being paid to humanise the face of Gates, they're being paid to remind the world that Gates Sr exists, because Gates Sr has a book published next week.

Comment Re:The corner of Irrelevant and Nonsensical (Score 1) 327

iPhone is popular in Japan, but the market works against it: It's carried by Softbank, the #3 player in the market after Docomo and au. Softbank's market share means that the #1-selling phone on the Softbank network for any particular month is around #25 among all phones in Japan. For most new phones, the peak sales period is the first 6 weeks after release. After that, the numbers plummet. In contrast, iPhone has been Softbank's best-selling phone month after month. So, among the people who are in a position to buy it, it's popular. SB's got around 18 million subscribers. Because of the way phone contracts are written, people keep their phones for just over 2 years. So each month, iPhone's maximum potential market is only 720,000 people.

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