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Comment Texas wants to be more like China?? (Score 1) 734

So, correct me if I am wrong, but independence as an individual requires thinking as an individual, and learning how to do that. It's not something you just grow into by rejecting all of that education provided to you that came before it. The teenage rebellious period of life is completely different then critical thinking. Is Texas trying to emulate China? Maybe the color of China's flag is confusing them? Anyway I guess food preperation specialists, household organizational contractors, and discarded material removal technician's don't actually need critical thinking skills so... WIN?!

Comment In the telecom's it seems to help at least (Score 3, Informative) 368

I work in disconnects for businesses for a major telco, and we have a lot of auditing requirements due to SOx. I'd hate to think of what records would look like without these requirements. Sure people can still cheat, but it's also a CYA for the company that is doing the reporting.

There is still slamming now and then, but there are far fewer disconnects in error, where the telco is at fault. Usually it is the business customer not knowing which location they actually wanted to disconnect on their side, or not reading what they wanted to disconnect.

It would be nice to not have the reports. But you know if a business is not required to do it then there will be no tracking of any type done, which is where major abuses take place.

I don't mind doing the reports in addition my normal workload because I'd been able to go over others work that I am auditing and get it back on track if there is a mistake in it.

Comment Re:Why the book world needs good editors (Score 1) 571

I'm going to go with option three. Raving fans demanding a book asap. With most writers (Jaqueline Carey, Terry Goodkind, David Drake to name a few) on a year to year and a half cycle, Jordans 2+ year cycle on some of the books had fans wanting the books sooner and faster. For books 7,8,9,10 Tor, and Jordan opted for a half editing cycle to get the books out faster to appease the fans. Book 11 which was one of the better ones in the series had a full editing cycle. I think if Tor and Jordan had opted to give it a full editing cycle for those 4 books we'd have series that read differently and flowed better. A lot of fans wanted it as soon as Jordan said my part is done undermining just how important those editors were to keeping his story somewhat focused.
The Internet

YouTube AntiPiracy Policy Likened to 'Mafia Shakedown' 103

A C|Net article discusses reactions to YouTube's newly proposed antipiracy software policy. The company is now offering assistance for IP holders, allowing them to keep track of their content on the YouTube service ... if they sign up with the company for licensing agreements. A spokesman for Viacom (already in a fight with YouTube to take down numerous video clips) called this policy 'unacceptable', and another industry analyst likened it to a 'mafia shakedown.' YouTubes cites the challenges of determining ownership of a given video clip as the reason for this policy, and hopes that IP owners will cooperate in resolving these issues. Some onlookers also feel that these protestations are simply saber-rattling before an eventual deal: "'The debates are about negotiations more than anything else--who's going to pay whom and how much,' said Saul Berman, IBM's global media and entertainment strategy leader."

Submission + - Rebuilding George Washington

Roland Piquepaille writes: "According to The Arizona Republic, American researchers have created realistic faces of George Washington by using 3-D scanning, forensics technology and software. They started by scanning a bust of the first U.S. President when he was 53 and developed a special software with the help of an anthropologist to build realistic models of his face at different ages. Once the digital images were created and validated, a New York studio built statues of George Washington as a 19-year-old surveyor, a commander in chief at age 45 and taking the oath of office at Federal Hall at the age of 57. These statues can now be seen at the George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate. And the technology behind this re-creation can be used on other famous characters. Read more for additional details and pictures of George Washington's rebuilt faces and statues at various ages."

Submission + - Average Joe to Pay for Trip in Space with Website

Ben Riecken writes: "Ben Riecken, a flight instructor from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, aims to pay his way into space by selling 200,000 pixel ads for $1 a piece on Daytona Beach, Florida, February 19, 2007 — Ben Riecken, a flight instructor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, hopes to finance his trip into space onboard SpaceShipTwo with Virgin Galactic using the power of the internet. Ben Riecken designed after being invited by SpaceShipOne astronaut, Brian Binnie, to the Mojave Desert to see the spacecraft and a take a ride in the simulator. "This spacecraft is a beast. What a thrill! And I was just in the simulator! I have to be part of this venture", says Ben. Virgin Galactic is set to become the world's first spaceline taking private individuals to space and back onboard SpaceShipTwo, a new generation of commercial spacecraft, based on the X Prize winning prototype SpaceShipOne. Tickets are now on sale for $200,000 for one trip to space. With money being the main obstacle to not being able to go into space, Ben is not about to give up. "Space has been a playground for the government and the extremely rich. It's time for a change. I want to show that a regular guy who has a passion for aviation and space can achieve this goal despite a $30,000 a year salary", explains Ben. Companies and individuals can advertise on Ben's homepage by buying a 10x10 pixels block for $100. The $100 allows you to display a logo along with a message and a weblink. "When it comes to advertising on the internet, buying pixels is very cost effective", says Ben. Alex Tew, an entrepreneur from England brought this concept to the forefront with his million dollar homepage ( "I am not trying to be a millionaire like Alex Tew. I just want to have a ticket in space and share my experience with everyone who dream to go in space and believe it is impossible for them to achieve this goal", says Ben. Ben Riecken is no stranger to challenges. He already holds an aviation record by flying into all 105 airports in the state of Florida in less then 48 hours. In July of 2006, he also took one of his students on the ultimate flying lesson by crossing the North Atlantic onboard a twin engine aircraft ( Find out more about Ben Riecken's homepage at"
The Courts

Cisco Extends Negotiations on iPhone 74

An anonymous reader writes "Apple and Cisco have just a short while longer to discuss the use of the iPhone name for Apple's new product. Cisco has extended the deadline for a resolution out to February 21st. The two companies are seeking a peaceful resolution to their problems, and the deadline was extended to 'reach an agreement on trademark rights and interoperability.' Early this month, Cisco put their lawsuit on hold to start these negotiations - it's easy to understand why they wouldn't want to scrap a whole month's worth of discussion over a few final details."

Submission + - Quake Ported to Nintendo DS

Croakyvoice writes: Simon Hall has ported the classic First Person Shooter Quake over to the Nintendo DS

the program, working state and game data have been squeezed into the four megabytes of main memory it requires either shareware or commercial pak files, Amiga and PC paks have been successfully used total conversions and mods should work, assuming they respect the tiny memory size networking currently has been removed, but will return at a later date.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Translation of Macrovision Response to Jobs on DRM 284

BoboB-69 writes "Daring Fireball has posted a humorous, and accurate PR-speak to Plain English translation of Macrovision's CEO's response to Steve Jobs' Open Letter on DRM. Highly recommended reading for slashdotters everywhere."
User Journal

Journal Journal: E-Ink and rollable displays

The latest article on rollable E-Ink displays sounds an awful lot like the PDA video phones used in one of the Gene Roddenberry series. They just happen to be black and white prototypes, and still need some improvement on things like voice and touch-screen input. Tag in the biometric thumb scan security, and you'd have one interesting little overpriced device. :)


Rollable E Ink Displays Get Real 116

An anonymous reader writes "Two years ago Philips unveiled a prototype of a functional electronic-document reader, called the Readius, which could unroll its display to a scale larger than the device itself. Unfortunately, that was only a prototype. According to Cnet, however, Polymer Vision, which spun out from Philips in 2006, has redesigned the Readius and turned it into a real product that it is going to be available by the end of this year. There are some notable differences between this Readius and the prototype version, in particular, the ability to display 16 shades of grey instead of just 4 and the connectivity options. What doesn't make sense though, is given the energy efficiency and easy-to-read high contrast functionality of E Ink, why other than Motorola with its Motofone, has no other cell phone manufacturer incorporated E Ink technology into its handsets?"

Submission + - Take out asteroid soon, UN urged

stevedmc writes:,23599,21247126-2,00 .html

THE United Nations has been urged to launch a space mission designed to take out an asteroid threatening to smash into the Earth in 2036.

In scenes straight out of Hollywood action movie Armageddon, a group of astronauts, engineers and scientists say they are monitoring an asteroid named Apophis, which has a one in 45,000 chance of striking Earth on April 13, 2036.

A recent congressional mandate for NASA to upgrade its tracking of near-Earth asteroids is expected to uncover a host of threatening space rocks in the near future, former astronaut Rusty Schweickart said.

"It's not just Apophis we're looking at. Every country is at risk. We need a set of general principles to deal with this issue," Mr Schweickart, a member of the Apollo 9 crew that orbited the moon in March 1969, told an American Association for the Advancement of Science conference.

Mr Schweickart plans to present an update this week to the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on plans to develop a blueprint for a global response to an asteroid threat.

The Association of Space Explorers, a group of former astronauts and cosmonauts, intends to host a series of high-level workshops this year to flesh out the plan and will make a formal proposal to the UN in 2009, he said.

Interstellar Ark 703

xantox writes "There are three strategies to travel 10.5 light-years from Earth to Epsilon Eridani and bring humanity into a new stellar system : 1) Wait for future discovery of Star Trek physics and go there almost instantaneously, 2) Build a relativistic rocket powered by antimatter and go there in 22 years by accelerating constantly at 1g, provided that you master stellar amounts of energy (so, nothing realistic until now), but what about 3): go there by classical means, by building a gigantic Ark of several miles in radius, propulsed by nuclear fusion and featuring artificial gravity, oceans and cities, for a travel of seven centuries — where many generations of men and women would live ? This new speculation uses some actual physics and math to figure out how far are our fantasies of space travel from their actual implementation."

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