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Submission + - Can Anyone Catch Khan Academy? (

waderoush writes: "Even as name-brand universities like MIT and Harvard rush to put more courses on the Web, they're vying with an explosion of new online learning resources like Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, Dabble, Skillshare, and, of course, Khan Academy. With 3,200 videos on YouTube and 4 million unique visitors a month, Sal Khan's increasingly entertaining creation is the competitor that traditional universities need to beat if they want to have a role in inspiring the next generation of leaders and thinkers, this Xconomy commentary argues. Lately Khan's organization has been snapping up some of YouTube's most creative educational-video producers, including 'Doodling in Math Class' creator Vi Hart and Smarthistory founders Beth Harris and Steven Zucker. Universities are investing millions in software for 'massive online open courses' or MOOCs, but unless they can figure out how to make their material fun as well as instructive, Khan may have an insurmountable lead."

Comment Linux's Appeal to a Mass Market (Score 1) 274

It appears to me that Linux may have started thinking about focusing all it's efforts on being a more stable, secure OS, but to gain acceptance in a more mass market, they need to do things that, while they reduce security, increase their general user base. Sure, it's Linux, so you can strip it down to near nothing and have a rock-solid, dependable, secure system designed for a specific hardware setup, but if they want to stay alive, they may need to realize that they need less secure measures that allow the typical end-user to use their OS behind the scenes without any extra effort on their part. TLDR:To (Probably most) people, ease of use is more important than security, and some software developers working around Linux may be seeing that. However, being Linux, the hardcore can always build their system to be the fort Knox of data. If anything, this is a good thing IMO. Keep the security-conscious aware of issues, but let the average end-user go about their business as they will.

Comment Would Patient Consent Work? (Score 2) 332

I like the idea of patient consent, but it wouldn't always be possible. I just got into a motorcycle a few months ago and had surgeries, chest tubes, intubations, and couldn't even breathe on my own for a bit. I wouldn't have been able to consent to any of this, but it was necessary to keep me alive.

I work a night shift in a hospital. If you've never worked one before, know that some nights you will be absolutely exhausted. I'm sure most night-shifters have fallen asleep at work before, if not on a regular basis. Doctors are not above this. Our hospitalists have on-call rooms to sleep in every night. If you code in a hospital overnight, chances aren't bad that one of the doctors that shows up was woken up by your code seconds before he showed up in your room.

My point is, hospitals are open 24/7. There is a night shift. Those people are usually tired. Also, emergencies happen 24/7. Sometimes patients can't consent to anything.

Imagine this: A patient shows up at 2am with an injury that would kill the patient before the morning shift came in. All the surgeons are asleep. You'd have to wake up an entire surgical team. All of them will be tired when they come in. The patient, however is unconscious. Bringing this patient back to alertness would risk their life and put them in so much pain they wouldn't be able to sign or agree to anything. What now? (

I think attention should be paid to organizations overworking clinical professionals, but it should be kept in mind that sometimes work that a patient may not even want to save their life has to be performed by people who are incredibly tired and just woke up just to keep the person alive. That's just how it is.


Submission + - Rapist tries to copyright his own name

dstates writes: In the nice try but no such luck department, the Associated Press reports that a convicted rapist sent news organizations a notice to prevent the use of his name without his consent. Apparently former state Rep. Ted Alvin Klaudt is attempting to suppress the news of his own crimes. AP is having none of it. Their legal counsel says that names cannot be copyrighted and trademark applies only in the context of specific commercial goods and services. Mr. Klaudt found his fifteen minutes of fame.

Lack of Manpower May Kill VLC For Mac 398

plasmacutter writes "The Video Lan dev team has recently come forward with a notice that the number of active developers for the project's MacOS X releases has dropped to zero, prompting a halt in the release schedule. There is now a disturbing possibility that support for Mac will be dropped as of 1.1.0. As the most versatile and user-friendly solution for bridging the video compatibility gap between OS X and windows, this will be a terrible loss for the Mac community. There is still hope, however, if the right volunteers come forward."
Data Storage

Submission + - WD Advanced Format Gains 7 - 11% More HD Capacity (

MojoKid writes: WD (Western Digital) is starting to implement a new hard disk drive format structure, known as Advanced Format, that enables 7-11% greater capacity on standard spinning hard disk drives. Traditionally, on standard hard drives each track is composed of a series of sectors. Currently the user data on the media is stored in 512 byte sectors. The storage industry and WD is improving this legacy architecture by changing the size of the sectors on the media to store 4,096 bytes of data rather than 512 bytes of data. Each sector also has a gap currently for Sync/DAM (lead-in) and error correction information. Legacy architectures are very inefficient for ECC (Error Correction Code). It requires lots of overhead to support multiple blocks of ECC. With Advanced Format technology WD (and others eventually) will be removing Sync/DAM blocks, inter-sector gaps and 8 separate blocks of ECC, gaining back approximately 7-11% in usable disk space.

Submission + - Student Banned From Campus Over Facebook Comments ( 1

kungfugleek writes: A University of Minnesota student has been banned from the Twin Cities campus after three of her instructors felt threatened by some of her Facebook postings. Amanda Tatro was patted down and questioned by campus police when she got to class Monday. The 29-year-old mortuary science student had posted comments on her Facebook page after breaking up with her boyfriend. She told her Facebook friends she wanted to stab a "certain someone in the throat" with an embalming instrument. Tatro said she was "looking forward to Monday's embalming therapy." When the instructors learned of the postings, they contacted police. Tatro told investigators she was just venting because she was upset over the breakup. Tatro tells the Star Tribune she has now set her Facebook profile to private.

That's pretty much the whole article (apologies for the plagiarism). I wonder how long it will be before people realize that nothing online, especially on FB, is private.


Australia Could Finally Get R18+ Games 143

angry tapir writes "Australia may finally get an adults only, R18+ classification for computer games, with the federal government releasing a discussion paper summarizing the key arguments for and against an R18+ classification. Submissions are currently being sought from the community on whether the Australian National Classification Scheme should include an R18+ category for computer and video games. In the past the board responsible for classifying games and movies has banned some titles outright because of the lack of an adults only classification — Aliens Vs. Predator is just the most recent in a long line. The Attorney-General's report on the issue is available online."

GNOME Developer Suggests Split From GNU Project 587

blozza2070 writes "In a recent posting from Philip Van Hoof, he suggests that GNOME split off from the GNU Project and has proposed a vote. He was informed he will need 10% of members to agree for a vote to be put forth. At the same time, David Schlesinger (on the GNOME Advisory Board) has agreed on a vote. Stormy Peters said she doesn't agree with this, but then gave everyone instructions on how to proceed with a vote. She mentioned that roughly 20 members are needed to agree." The mailing list server is timing out as of this writing, but iTWire has the Cliff's notes.

Malware Found Hidden In Screensaver On Gnome-Look 611

AndGodSed writes "OMG! UBUNTU! Reports the following: 'Malware has been found hidden inside an innocuous 'waterfall' screensaver .deb file made available on popular artwork sharing site The .deb file installs a script with elevated privileges designed to perform a DDoS attack as well as keep itself updated via downloads. The dodgy screensaver in question has since been removed from gnome-look, and this incident was a very basic, if potentially successful, attempt.'" A similar report at says that similar malware was also found in a theme called Ninja Black. For those affected, both sites also provide instruction on cleansing your system.

The Kindle Killer Arrives 542

GeekZilla sends coverage from Wired's Gadget Lab on the Nook, Barnes & Noble's first e-book reader. "Sleek, stylish and runs the Android OS. What's not to like about Barnes and Noble's new e-book reader? Despite the odd name, the Nook looks like an eBook reader that would actually be a worthwhile investment. Best feature? The ability to loan e-books you have downloaded to other Nook owners. The reader, named the 'Nook,' looks a lot like Amazon's white plastic e-book, only instead of the chiclet-keyboard there is a color multi-touch screen, to be used as both a keyboard or to browse books, cover-flow style. The machine runs Google's Android OS, will have wireless capability from an unspecified carrier, and comes in at the same $260 as the now rather old-fashioned-looking Kindle." Here is the B&N Nook site, which is still not visible on their front page and has a few non-working links. ( isn't set up yet.) Their comparison page takes dead aim at the Kindle. Among the advantages in the Nook's column: Wi-Fi, expandable memory via microSD, MP3 player, and PDF compatibility. (But remember the cautionary note B&N struck six years back when they got out of the e-book business.)

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