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Comment That's not how hearing aids work... (Score 5, Informative) 727

Most hearing aids don't amplify (well, not as their primary purpose anyway) anymore. Back in the old days, sure, that's what they did (electronic equivalent of an ear horn).

Modern hearing aids shift frequencies (usually downward, high frequencies have the most energy so you damage the short hairs in your cochlea first) to a frequency range you *can* still hear.

So if you're thinking about making your own, *please* do the proper research first. It will work better, and you will be less likely to damage your hearing further.

Comment Re:What I want to know is (Score 3, Informative) 318

Only LTS releases will get point releases, but they're not really "releases" just refreshes of the ISOs, it's nothing meaningful as far as installed systems are concerned (I guess it's useful for setting milestone goals or something, but that's not technical). They take the updated packages, throw them on the CD so you don't have to download as many updates after you install.
Having an installed system that you updated completely the day the images were released* would leave you with the same system.

And while we're being thorough they're offset by three months, so January an August.

See for more information (including fancy pictures).

* It's likely a day or two before release, whenever the images are created, yadda yadda.


Submission + - Global warming cool! (NOT)

An anonymous reader writes: Thare are many people out there thinking "global warming ain't so bad". The current record setting mild winter in the northern hemisphere has seen the price of oil sharply drop, causing celebrations on Wall St as the DOW Jones index soars to record highs. As we possibly near a tipping point which may lead to runaway global warming, proponents of free market solutions for everything, who are not in denial of the consensus of the scientfic community, must be scratching their heads. The drop in the consumption of heating oil, which accounts for only 0.003 of particulate emissions in the US looks set to reduce the price for gasoline for transportation, which accounts for 27% emissions in the US. Meanwhile a new theory called the Hydrate hypothesis suggests that global warming may trigger a cataclysmic ecological disaster which could kill billions of people by 2012.

Submission + - Yahoo! attempts to convert Google users

multippt writes: "Google, a major competitor of Yahoo!, has made its presence so noticeable, that Yahoo! decided to start its "campaign", of increasing the amount of Yahoo! users, even if it meant forcing users off Google.

Battle of the Toolbars
Yahoo!'s widely acclaimed toolbar, has been used as a medium to promote itself. No doubt, Google has done the same thing. But, what makes the Yahoo! toolbar different? Sometimes, installing the Yahoo! toolbar doesn't mean you are only installing the toolbar itself. It will make itself feel at home (by changing numerous settings, since by installing the toolbar, the toolbar assumes you have given it a right to modify certain settings). Sometimes, before it changes something, it will give a rather ambiguous message prompt that sounds rather urgent, prompting you to click on the most favorable button (usually the "yes" button). The toolbar may attempt to change your homepage (a very common tactic, Yahoo! [does this sneakily], Google [prompts you if you want to change it], and Norton [in an attempt to "protect" you] does this). Did I mention that it is kind of difficult to disable the Yahoo! toolbar?

You are much better off having Google toolbar installed, since it provides whatever Yahoo! toolbar provides, with the exception of the massive configuration done to your browser. A bonus the Google toolbar has is the "page rank" tool. By the way, if you are thinking of installing the Yahoo! and Google toolbars together, please don't, since those two toolbars react strangely to one another.

"Upgrade to Internet Explorer 7" campaign
Yahoo! actively promotes Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 (but they don't do the install for you), which is evident here. Google on the other hand, promotes both Firefox (there is a special toolbar made to support it) and Internet Explorer (they have an "optimized" version of Internet Explorer 7). Yahoo! states that Internet Explorer is "safe". Tell me, if it is "safe", would it allow another plugin to change its homepage actively? Firefox don't do that, but Internet Explorer do. Ever wondered why the Yahoo! toolbar doesn't work well on Firefox?

There are also theoretical reasons as to why Yahoo! feels that Google is becoming a larger threat to its popularity.

Most visited sites
Years ago, Yahoo! remained as one of the top 10 most visited sites in the internet. Now, with Google in the picture, Yahoo!'s status of being the most visited website in the world is going to be the thing of the past. There are several reasons as to why more people are preferring Google to Yahoo!.

Google's easier to load
Users using a slow internet connection speed may want to view pages that load quickly (just like Google's homepage). Thus, Google is at an advantage here.

Google supports open-source projects
Most major companies may not even bother in indulging into open-source projects (this includes homebrew). Google is not one of them. Hence, Google actively supports developers and the like, by giving support to them, providing service APIs to them, etc. That is why you can see Google sometimes promoting Firefox, and Firefox promoting Google (Firefox's default browser homepage is an affiliate of Google). Though, Yahoo! would soon follow suit.

Google's services are just better
A known example is the Google Mail (GMail) versus Yahoo! mail. There are more people using GMail, in preference to Yahoo! mail. Why?

GMail has 2.8GB and counting (and it increases every day) of storage, while Yahoo! mail has 1GB of storage space (2GB if you pay). GMail has about almost every other feature Yahoo! mail has, except more. GMail has an inactivity period of 9 months (the account is labeled as dormant after 6 months, and is deleted after 3 months after the account is labeled as dormant), while Yahoo! has an inactivity period of 4 months.

Another service worth mentioning is the Yahoo! search versus Google search. Google search covers the most updated sites, and those sites not updated in months are pushed down by other sites that are more frequently updated. Yahoo! on the other hand, still show (blank) pages that are even not updated in a year, and still can show it on the top search results. Google also brings in most of a site's traffic, while Yahoo! brings in a much smaller amount.

Well, after all, the internet wars are still not over yet."

Submission + - Senate bill S.256 aims to restrict internet radio

JAFSlashdotter writes: If you enjoy MP3 or OGG streams of internet radio, it's time to pay attention. This week US Senators Lamar Alexander, Joseph Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and Lindsey Graham in their collective wisdom have decided to reintroduce the "Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music (PERFORM) Act". This ARS Technica article explains that PERFORM would restrict our rights to make non-commercial recordings under the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, and require satellite and internet broadcasters to use "technology to prevent music theft". That means goodbye to your favorite streaming audio formats, hello DRM. The EFF said pretty much the same when this bill last reared its ugly head in April of 2006. It's too soon to get the text of this year's version (S.256) online, but it likely to resemble last year's S.2644, which is available through Thomas. Last year's bill died in committee, but if at first you don't succeed...

Submission + - Dell accused of selling defective notebooks-again

crowbarsarefornerdyg writes: Dell's in the courts again, except this time Sony isn't to blame. The lawsuit stems from overheating Inspiron laptops. I own one (I inherited it, ok!) and it has overheated since we got it. Dell's answer? Keep it cleaned out. From TFA:

'A lawsuit filed in Ontario Superior Court alleges that Dell notebooks suffer from design defects that cause premature failure of the motherboard due to overheating.

The suit, which seeks class-action status, was filed on behalf of an Ontario owner of an Inspiron PC, according to articles by the Canadian Press and the Associated Press. It claims that Dell knew or should have known of the defects but sold the notebooks anyway.' efect_lawsuit/

Submission + - Protien in HIV functions as resistor

TwilightXaos writes: "Leor Weinberger and Thomas Shenk, two researchers at Princeton, have discovered a new model for how the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) enters and exits dormancy. They claim it functions as a resistor, this is in contrast to other types of regulation models found in other viruses and animals. From the abstract:

Here we show that a dissipative feedback resistor, composed of enzymatic interconversion of the transactivator, converts transactivation circuits into excitable systems that generate transient pulses of expression, which decay to zero. We use HIV-1 as a model system and analyze single-cell expression kinetics to explore whether the HIV-1 transactivator of transcription (Tat) uses a resistor to shut off transactivation. The Tat feedback circuit was found to lack bi-stability and Tat self-cooperativity but exhibited a pulse of activity upon transactivation, all in agreement with the feedback resistor model.

The research could lead to an effective treatment of the HIV virus, and has the possibility of increasing understanding of other viruses like herpes.
Additionally has a article on the findings."

Submission + - Open-source approach to real-world problem solving

chrisgagne writes: "I'm one of the developers behind a new site called, an "open-source network approach to real-world problem solving." The site is completely non-commercial — we pay for it out of pocket. There are no ads, and we do not accept donations. is an opportunity to transplant "open-source" problem solving from the software industry to the nonprofit sector. It does this by introducing and supporting the idea of an open-source network approach to real-world problem solving. offers several advantages over the traditional nonprofit modus operandi. First, it gives stakeholders access to experts, and allows experts the opportunity to donate a small amount of time in a highly leveraged environment. In turn, this generates a wealth of ideas that are refined and tempered by a community of expert volunteers. The most promising ideas are then offered to nonprofits who can seek funding for their implementation.

I hope you'll check out the site, including our Flash-based demostration at If you're interested, please join the site (use the invitation code slashdot) and participate in the main development project at If you have an idea for a project, let us know!"
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - PS3 piling up in retail stores

An anonymous reader writes: Seems like Playstation are piling up at retail stores around the US. I just called a few Best Buys around the Bay Area and sure enough, they are available, which is shocking given that it is Silicon Valley, plus the Bay Area is richer than most and could probably afford the $600 price tag. Meanwhile Wiis are sold out everywhere. Is Sony's strategy completely failing? Will they have to drop the price soon in order to remain competitive?
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Picodore 64 -- A Tiny Commodore Laptop

Hans Scharler writes: "Growing up in the 80's has made me nostalgic about certain things. If I find another person from that era, we can talk about the Snorks, Rubik's cubes, and of course Commodore computers. I found on HACK A DAY and Petscii a story about a tiny Commodore 64 laptop made from a DTV gaming system, a PSONE screen, a keyboard from a Jornada PDA, and an Atari joystick. The hacks that impressed me were the keyboard integration and the SD slot. The palmtop Commodore looks impressive with a "pico-sized" case made of wood that looks like aluminum, all complete with a "C64 Inside" sticker. If I owned this Commodore, it would be on my coffee table to start up many reminiscent conversations with my friends while we listen to the Cutting Crew and play Pac-Man."

Submission + - Scientists prepare to move Doomsday Clock forward

antikarma writes: The keepers of the "Doomsday Clock" plan to move its hands forward next Wednesday to reflect what they call worsening nuclear and climate threats to the world. The symbolic clock, maintained by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, currently is set at seven minutes to midnight, with midnight marking global catastrophe. The group did not say in which direction the hands would move. But in a news release previewing an event next Wednesday, they said the change was based on "worsening nuclear, climate threats" to the world.

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