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Comment Re:The other side of negative reviews (Score 1) 454

While it's certainly unethical for a vendor to censor reviews -- without at least prominently announcing that they are censoring them -- I have to question the value of reviews by the general public in the first place.

The thing is that the educated buyer sees that even the people not smart enough to understand the technology before trouncing it in an online review get to post their thoughts without it getting wiped, so you know that the knowledgeable who post either good or bad get on there also. On popular items, it is more info to sort through but with more reviews, you can pretty quickly get the picture on what common praises and issues go with that product, breezing by the trolls or flamebait. I also like the feature on Newegg where you can "sort by helpfulness" so that you can see the reviews others have already noted were helpful to them, both positive and negative.

Comment Deception by omission is prohibited... (Score 1) 454

At least in the USA, unfair and deceptive commercial practices are forbidden by the FTC Act, and deception by omission is still deception.

Quoting from the FTC: "Section 5 of the FTC Act prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce. The Commission will find deception if there is a representation, omission, or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances, to the consumer's detriment."

The practice of publishing only the positive reviews, without disclosing that fact, appears to be an ommision likely to mislead a consumer, and would therefore be an illegal practice. You didn't say whether the merchant is based in the US, so this may not apply, if they are ouside of US jurisdiction.

Comment Re:Apple just has to use more robust techniques (Score 1) 656

Doing this would also open Apple up to a massive anti-competitive lawsuit, very similar to what Microsoft was hit with, especially since they are singling out one particular competitor - that's a big no-no for our anti-trust laws (which don't necessarily require a monopoly to apply, though Apple does dominate the music player industry).

What you're suggesting is that Apple quite literally shoot themselves in the foot.

The Internet

Submission + - Mother Finds Her Baby Son Up for Adoption on Craig (

suraj.sun writes: A Massachusetts mother was horrified when she found her 7-month-old child's photo on popular promotions site, Craigslist, advertising his own adoption.

MyFOXBoston reports that a stranger alerted Jenni Brennan of Abington, Mass. to the photo, which involved her 7-month-old son, Jake, in an online adoption scam. The ad read: "A CUTE BABY BOY FOR ADOPTION HE IS VERY HEALTHY AND READY FOR ADOPTION FOR MORE YOU COME BACK TO US."

Brennan responded to the ad, receiving an email describing her son as Canadian but currently living in an African orphanage.

She said the photo was from her family's blog.

FoxNews :,2933,536294,00.html


Submission + - SuperGamer Live Gaming DVD (

Jim Lynch writes: "A while back I took at a Linux distribution geared solely toward playing games called Live Linux Gaming. Well there's another remastered distribution for gamers called SuperGamer. SuperGamer is based on VectorLinux and requires a dual layer DVD. It weighs in at roughly 8GB so it's a bit on the chunky side as a download. But, given the number of games it comes with (more on that below), you can understand why it's such a large download. SuperGamer is based on the kernel and can run on 32 or 64 bit computers."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Gambling on Console Video Games (

eldavojohn writes: Via GamePolitics, news of a new service called is allowing players to put their money where their mouth is for console games. How it works: 'BringIt supports the PlayStation 2, the PS3, the Xbox 360 and the Wii. Players challenge each other on the site, but play on their consoles. BringIt holds players' entry fees until the game is finished. After the game is done, it verifies the results and credits the winner, minus the service fee.' And it's legal in 39 states (sorry Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Tennessee and Vermont). ESPN has more details in an interview with the site's founder, Woody Levin, who reveals that they will record chat and verify special rules. They even have feedback like eBay if you play with someone who cheats. Your maximum bets slowly scale up with the number of games you've played so you don't go losing a lot money right off the bat or hustling people.

Why Amazon's Kindle Should Use Open Standards 315

Tim O'Reilly wrote in Forbes a while back that he thinks the Kindle only has another two or three years of life left, unless Amazon wises up and embraces open standards. He came to this conclusion, in part, because of his experience deciding how to publish documents on the web back in the mid-1990s. "You see, I'd recently been approached by the folks at the Microsoft Network. They'd identified O'Reilly as an interesting specialty publisher, just the kind of target that they hoped would embrace the Microsoft Network (or MSN, as it came to be called). The offer was simple: Pay Microsoft a $50,000 fee plus a share of any revenue, and in return it would provide this great platform for publishing, with proprietary publishing tools and file formats that would restrict our content to users of the Microsoft platform. The only problem was we'd already embraced the alternative: We had downloaded free Web server software and published documents using an open standards format. That meant anyone could read them using a free browser. While MSN had better tools and interfaces than the primitive World Wide Web, it was clear to us that the Web's low barriers to entry would help it to evolve more quickly, would bring in more competition and innovation, and would eventually win the day."
The Internet

Internet Could Act As Ecological Early Warning System 63

Wired is reporting that ecologists think the internet could act as an early ecological warning system based on data mining human interactions. While much of this work has been based on systems like Google Flu Trends, the system will remain largely theoretical for the near future. "The six billion people on Earth are changing the biosphere so quickly that traditional ecological methods can't keep up. Humans, though, are acute observers of their environments and bodies, so scientists are combing through the text and numbers on the Internet in hopes of extracting otherwise unavailable or expensive information. It's more crowd mining than crowd sourcing."

Submission + - Nanotube Muscles Are Strong as Steel, Light As Air (

Al writes: "Scientists at UT Dallas have created nanotube-based artificial muscles that are light as air and work even under extreme temperatures. The 'muscles' expand width-ways by about 200 percent when a voltage is applied, but are stronger than steel length-ways. The nanotubes within the fiber naturally stick together applying a voltage makes them obtain a charge and repel one another. The researchers created them by stretching bundles of entangled carbon nanotubes into long threads. A cool video shows the strange stuff in action. Some experts, including one from NASA, believe that the nanotube muscles' ability to withstand extreme heat and cold could make them suitable shape-shifting materials for future space missions."

Robot Fish To Hunt Down Pollution 55

An anonymous reader writes "According to the Financial Times, scientists are building a shoal of robot fish to be let loose in the port [of Gijon, Spain] to check on the quality of the water. The fish are equipped with tiny chemical sensors capable of detecting pollutants in the water. These let them home in on the sources of hazardous pollutants, such as leaks from vessels or undersea pipelines. Modeled on carp and costing about £20,000 ($29,000) each to make, the fish are to be lifelike in appearance and swimming behavior so they will not alarm their fellow marine inhabitants."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Reasonable hardware for home VM experimentation? 1

cayenne8 writes: I'm wanting to experiment at home with setting up multiple VMs and installing sofware such as Oracle's RAC. While I'm most interested at this time with trying things with Linux and Xen, I'd also like to experiment with things such as VMWare and other applications (yes, even maybe a windows 'box' in a VM).

My main question is, what to try to get for hardware? While I have some money to spend, I don't want to, or need to, be laying out serious bread on server room class hardware. Are there some used boxes, say on eBay to look for? Are there any good solutions for new consumer level hardware that would be strong enough from someone like Dell? I'd be interested in maybe getting some bare bones boxes from NewEgg or TigerDirect even.

What kind of box(es) would I need? Would a quad core type processor in one box be enough? Are there cheap blade servers out there I could get and wire up? Is there a relatively cheap shared disk setup I could buy or put together? I'd like to have something big and strong enough to do at least a 3 node Oracle RAC for an example, running ASM, and OCFS.

US Adults Fail Basic Science Literacy 1038

TaeKwonDood writes "Do you want the bad news first or the good news? The good news is that about 80% of Americans think science knowledge is 'very important' to our future. The bad news is most of those people think it's up to someone else to get knowledgeable. Only 15% actually know how much of the planet is covered in water (47% if you accept a rough approximation of the exact number) and over 40% think dinosaurs and humans cavorted together like in some sort of 'Land Of The Lost' episode. What to do? Pres. Obama thinks merit pay for teachers makes sense. Yes, it will enrage the teachers' union, but it might inspire better people to go into science teaching. It's either that or accept that almost 50% of Americans won't know how long it takes the earth to go around the sun."

Romanians Find Cure For Conficker 145

mask.of.sanity writes "BitDefender has released what it claims is the first vaccination tool to remove the notorious Conficker virus that infected some 9 million Windows machines in about three months. The worm, also known as Downadup, exploits a bug in the Windows Server service used by Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008. It spreads primarily through a buffer overflow vulnerability in Windows Server Service where it disables the operating system update service, security center, including Windows Defender, and error reporting. The Romanian security vendor said its removal tool will delete all versions of Downadup and will not be detected by the virus."

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