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Sony Keynote Offers Hope For PlayStation 3 Fans 361

Once again, the stage was set for Sony to try to get some good will directed towards its next-gen console. Recent weeks especially have seen PR frustrations and setbacks for the company. Today was Sony's day to deliver: and in my opinion they did with flying colours. By the end of the keynote attendees were laughing and clapping with glee at the goodies that the company is going to be bringing to the PlayStation 3. Finally, finally, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the console. Read on for my notes on the keynote, as well as links to other coverage of the event. Note the first: There may finally be a great reason to buy a PlayStation.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Best Buy Says Dual-Site System 'Human Error'

An anonymous reader writes: eWeek is reporting that Best Buy is in a bit of hot water with the Conneticut Attorney General. Evidently, the issue stems from having an intra-store Web site that has different prices than the Web prices, but guarantees customers to be the same. Best Buy has gone on the record as blaming employees. From the story:

"Best Buy officials, while admitting 'human error' among its workers, denies any evil intent and says the false statements apparently made by store employees were a result of confusion and inadequate employee training... The intrastore version is showcased in store kiosks using Internet Explorer and is intended to show customers information about products available in the store, along with their official prices. The problem stems from Best Buy's price-matching policy, which promises to match the price of other retailers, and it explicitly includes The problematic scenario happened when customers saw a low Web price and went into a Best Buy physical location to trigger the price match and get that low price. Employees would agree to match the price and would say they are calling up the Web site to verify the claim. Instead of calling up the Web site, though, employees would access the intrastore version of the site, which looked identical (other than its pricing) to the site, and then used that to 'prove' the online pricing didn't exist."
The Courts

Submission + - Crazy non-compete contracts???

JL-b8 writes: "Dear Slashdot, I've just encountered a (from what I know) strange occurrence. A group of friends who work for a small web design firm are being forced to sign a non-compete agreement with a clause that prohibits the employee from working with a competing company for 12 months after the date of their leaving. Is this a common thing? And what has happened to people who have signed these things? The owners claim it's a standardly practiced clause but I don't see how the hell a web developer/designer is supposed to find work in a city for a year without moving to a completely different city. I'd like more input as to how this weighs in to the rest of the companies out there."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Chiditarod 2007: Chicago's mini-Burning Man

bflora writes: "Chicago hosted its second annual Chiditarod this past Saturday, drawing over 200 costumed competitors hoping to win the prized mahogony trophy. 5-man teams were responsible for pulling a shopping cart across 5-miles of the city's streets dogsled-style, collecting canned goods as they raced. First team to cross the finish line with 15 lbs. of canned goods wins. A few other rules:
  • Teams had to stop off at 4 checkpoints/bars along the way to "water the dogs". They had to drink for 20 minutes. This became problematic for some teams as the day wore on.
  • Cheating a.k.a. sabotage was HIGHLY encouraged.
There was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles squad (complete with April O'Neil), an Abe Lincoln and Secret Service team, Team Zissou (in matching red skullcaps) and a team that came all the way from Columbus, OH dressed in full-body bunny suits-"The Buck Funnies." Unsurprisingly, the event was promoted on the Burning Man listserv.

And then there were the "Corporate Dalliances," a ragtag quintet of scruffy IT professionals who came to win and cheated their way to victory by handing out phony maps, duct taping competitors to street signs and finally hiding another team's shopping cart in a backalley snowbank.

This video tells their epic, thrilling story."

Reporters Without Borders Internet Annual Report 130

kratei writes "The BBC is running a report discussing the Reporters Without Borders internet annual report 2006. The RWB study details and decries the rising tide of net censorship and lays the blame squarely on the west as the source for the technology that allows repressive regimes to stifle freedom on the web." From the article: "China's success at censorship means it has effectively produced a "sanitised" version of the internet for its 130 million citizens that regularly go online. The wide-ranging scrutiny also means that it is the biggest jailer of so-called cyber dissidents. RSF estimates that 62 people in China have been jailed for what they said online. "

Microsoft To Construct iPod/DS/PSP Killer 318

Karsten writes "According to The Mercury News Microsoft is developing a PSP/DS/GBA/iPod-killer. J. Allard is leading the project." J. Allard is the man behind the Xbox, and from looking at the article it sounds like it's at least a year before this device, if it hits daylight, would be coming.

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