Getting used to Win 7 is a little tough at first, but after you make the transition, it is amazing how much nicer it is to work with than XP. The single most obvious user facing thing is drivers. You plug something in, it works. No user interaction required at all.
Was this an obvious invention/solution? No
That is part of where the question comes in. All the tech used was already invented and known about. Of the three key pieces, OFDM was in papers from the 50s, interleaving in the 60s, and forward error correction in the late 60s. There was even a modem made on these principles sold to the US military 20 years earlier.
There's a line after Richard gets free of the old world where I finally had to put the book down. It's something like "It isn't charity to fix something you might use only once, even if other people use it. That's just enlightened self-interest!"
Hugh Pickens writes writes: "CNN reports that as public outrage reaches critical mass over Casey Anthony's release from jail, trial observers who agree with the jury's verdict say holes in the state's forensic case in a trial based largely on circumstantial evidence help explain why she was acquitted in daughter Caylee's death. "A courtroom isn't a scientific lab and evidence shouldn't come in before it has been accepted in a relevant scientific community," says professor Adina Schwartz. Arguably, the most disputed testimony came from Dr. Arpad Vass, the inventor of a new method of testing air for chemicals indicative of decomposition who told the jury that testing of air samples, carpet, scrapings from the wheel well and a spare tire cover from the car found a handful of compounds associated with human decomposition. "He comes in and says, I have invented this new air analysis system and I can tell this is a decomposing body. He didn't say it was consistent, he said it had to be a decomposing body. That's the kind of grandiose claim that you can pretty much never make in forensic science because we don't yet have the research and facts to back it up," says Schwartz. A rare method of analyzing a strand of hair for signs of decomposition was also presented to the jury, much to the surprise of forensic scientists and lawyers watching the case. "I wouldn't call it all junk science, but it wasn't ready for court, and just by letting it in doesn't mean the jury's going to buy it," says defense lawyer and forensic consultant Keith Murray. "I'm sure we'll see more of this stuff down the road; hopefully it'll be more refined by then. It just wasn't ready for prime time.""
Chas writes: Approximately two years ago, a story popped up on Slashdot about a researcher, David Meyers (aka Twixt) who had supposedly spent time "studying" players in the City of Heroes MMO. At the time, there was a lot of media attention about the subject. After a short time, it dropped and nothing more was heard on it until now.
Apparently one of the players who was upset did more than simply rant on a board. The player, who had some of their own training in sociology contacted both NCSoft and Loyola University to notify them about the ethical violations of experimenting on people (especially minors) without their permission.
Since then the Mr. Meyers has scrubbed almost all reference to his paper from his CV, and a book deal was quietly killed.
GillBates0 writes: "CNN has a nice story about how online collaboration swiftly helped form a centrally organized online disaster effort during Wednesday's Mumbai attacks. India accounts for almost one fifth of the world's cell phone subscribers. At a time when chaos reigned, and voice calls were jammed, a loose collaboration of techies, laymen, and good samaritans quickly collaborated online via social media, Wikipedia, Google docs and other online resoureces to coordinate blood donors, assistance, rides, and other services to help the victims of the attack."
Ailfred writes: "Buffalo Beast has gone — The online news site Buffalo Beast has gone offline after publishing a prank phone call between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and a Buffalo Beast editor who posed as The online news site Buffalo Beast has gone offline after publishing a prank phone call between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and a Buffalo Beast editor who posed as David Koch."
kkleiner writes: Small lightweight microphones are saving the lives of US soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Shoulder Worn Acoustic Targeting Systems (SWATS), developed by defense company QinetiQ, use shockwave and muzzle blast noise to locate enemy gunfire . A single shot is all it takes to give the soldier the bearing and distance to the sniper trying to take his life. A tactical display or audio alert from the device tells the soldier where to look so they can return fire or take cover. With SWATS, you go from sitting duck to well-informed angry defender in less than a second. QinetiQ recently announced that the US Army had ordered 13,500 SWATS units, with the option to pick up 30,000 more.
gabbo529 writes: "After 38 trips, 352 days in orbit and more than 5,600 trips around the Earth, the space shuttle Discovery is preparing for its final launch this week. Since its creation, it has flown to orbit more than any other craft. It has set a number of precedents including first craft to feature a female shuttle pilot and female shuttle commander (Eileen Collins), the first African American spacewalker (Bernard Harris) and the first sitting member of congress to fly in space (Jake Garn).
In its final foray into space, the Discovery will set another precedent when it flies the first humanoid robot to fly in space, Robonaut2."