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Spreading "1 in 5" Number Does More Harm Than Good 382

Regular Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton has some opinions on child safety online and the use of fear mongering. Here are his thoughts. "The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has been running online ads for several years saying that "Each year 1 in 5 children is sexually solicited online", a statistic that has been endlessly repeated, including by vendors of blocking software and by politicians who often paraphrase it to say that 1 in 5 children "are approached by online predators". While others have quietly documented the problems with this statistic, lawmakers still bring it out every year in a push for more online regulation (preempted this year only by the topic du jour of cyberbullying), so it's time for anti-censorship organizations to start campaigning more aggressively against the misleading "1 in 5" number. That means two things: framing the debate with more accurate numbers, and holding the parties accountable for disseminating the wrong ones -- and that means naming names, including those of organizations like the NCMEC that are normally beyond reproach." Read below for the rest.

Open US GPS Data? 327

tobiasly writes "I read an article today about a map error on the popular Garmin GPS devices which often leads to truckers in a particular town becoming trapped. From my own experience, every electronic map I've ever seen (Google, Mapquest, my Mio GPS) has the layout of my neighborhood completely and frustratingly wrong. A quick search turned up only one open-source mapping project, but it's for New Zealand only. Why are there no comparable projects in the U.S. or elsewhere? Obviously such a project would need a good peer-review/moderation/trust system but I'd gladly put in the time necessary to drive around town with my GPS in "tracking" mode, then upload, tag, and verify my local data. Has anyone with more technical knowledge in maps and auto-routing looked more into this? Are there technical limitations to such a project? Should the government subsidize a project to create open, free, up-to-date electronic maps? Surely there is a public benefit available from such a project."

Antidepressants Work No Better Than a Placebo 674

Matthew Whalley writes "Researchers got hold of published and unpublished data from drug companies regarding the effectiveness of the most common antidepressant drugs. Previously, when meta-analyses have been conducted on only the published data, the drugs were shown to have a clinically significant effect. However, when the unpublished data is taken into account the difference between the effects of drug and placebo becomes clinically meaningless — just a 1 or 2 point difference on a 30-point depression rating scale — except for the most severely depressed patients. Doctors do not recommend that patients come off antidepressant drugs without support, but this study is likely to lead to a rethink regarding how the drugs are licensed and prescribed."

Comment Re:CCP? (Score 1) 127

Your first paragraph is the only one with any relevance to a discussion of UI - and since the only thing you say in it is "Moving it around doesn't make it great" and then continue with your broad, general strokes, I'll counter with:

No, that's one of the dozen things about the UI that work quite well.

The rest of your rant - and by the way, offline modules and overheating modules both have a rather pronounced effect, if you have any savvy in using them - has little do with a discussion of the UI. If you want to rant about net code, that's a whole different topic.

No, the UI is not "pretty." "Pretty" also doesn't equate to good. I can change the nature of information delivery, the amount of it, the location of it, the style of it, and how I manipulate, react to, and organize that information with a few simple clicks. I can custom-design a dozen information filters and pull them all up in two clicks. I'm not interested in a "pretty" UI - I'm interested in a functional one. If I wanted a pretty UI that didn't do anything useful, I've got plenty of other choices. The EVE UI is designed to give out information, and it does that very well.

Submission + - Speakeasy bought by Best Buy

Brett writes: Speakeasy has been acquired by Best Buy in deal that will take place early next year. Best Buy says that they will keep the DSL provider as a separate subsidiary, although the company plans to promote Speakeasy through its Best Buy For Business unit. It also looks like Best Buy is keeping the option of eventually killing the brand alive though, as they promise only to keep it unchanged for the short term. As a Speakeasy customer, I must say I'm a little wary of my ISP joining ranks with Best Buy.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Linux-based Hardware/Software Dev Kit for $70

An anonymous reader writes: LinuxDevices reports: Atmel is shipping the least expensive hardware/software Linux development kit we've come across in's seven-year history. The $70 Atmel Network Gateway Kit 100, based on Atmel's AVR32 RISC architecture, includes a tiny SBC (single-board computer), a full Linux port/toolchain, and supports "most serial communication protocols. According to Atmel, the Atmel Network Gateway Kit 100 (ATNGW100) is suitable for routers, POS (point-of-sales/service), navigation, multimedia, and printers.

Submission + - Delphi for PHP Released

Lou writes: Delphi for PHP, a complete PHP RAD tool for developing PHP web applications has been released by CodeGear ( the Developer Tools Group subsidiary of Borland). The tool only runs on the Windows XP/2000/2003 platform, but allows developer to target multiple platforms. The tool looks similar to its Delphi and C++ developer studio, only it generates pure PHP code. Bravo Codegear on your first new product. Supports several databases including MySQL and includes the VCL components library for PHP (over 50 useable controls), which will be managed as an Open Source project. Developing web applications has now become easier. Link to Announcement: owAvailable/tabid/251/Default.aspx

Submission + - Air conditioning failure threatens state computers

coondoggie writes: "Here's one you don't hear about every day: A massive air-conditioning failure at a Florida office complex in Tallahassee is threatening to disrupt state government computer traffic statewide today.A least 11 buildings have lost air-conditioning so far because a chiller plant at the Capital Circle Office Complex in Tallahassee began leaking Monday night, according to a Pensacola News journal story. The lack of cool air threatens to overheat the government's servers, and officials are warning that the state's main web page will be out of service periodically throughout the day.The state Emergency Operations Center is also located at the complex, but its functions will not be interrupted, the story said. A recent study from Forrester Research said management of heat in data centers became a major challenge in the previous two years which might have produced immense Internet data centers. Those data centers produce tremendous amounts of heat. 5"
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Apple TV running on a Macbook

TomAnthony writes: "The Apple TV software has already been patched, and can be seen running on a Macbook. It appears the replacement the Apple TV uses has been patched and transplanted to a regular OS X install. The article shows how easily it was done: was able to patch to the Apple TV, and now has an operating Apple TV on a Macbook. Once a patched copy of the Apple TV Finder is made, you just copy over the additional Frameworks from the Apple TV, and you can reboot into Apple TV.
United States

Another Anti-Terror List Impacting Businesses, Customers 237

HangingChad writes "MSNBC is running a story about yet another government database designed to thwart terrorists and drug dealers that is having impact on people with similar names. Like a no-fly list for businesses, the Office of Foreign Asset Control's list of 'specially designated nationals' has been used in the past by banks and other financial institutions to block financial transactions of drug dealers and other criminals. Use of the list was expanded after 9-11 and now includes almost any financial transaction. Moreover, there is no minimum amount of money attached to penalties for selling to someone on the list: selling a sandwich to a 'specially designated national' can have a fine for up to '$10 million and 10 to 30 years in prison.' The article goes on: 'Businesses have used it to screen applicants for home and car loans, apartments and even exercise equipment, according to interviews and a report by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay area to be issued today.'"

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.