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Comment Re:Unnecessarily complex? (Score 1) 453

You are a good case in point. The complexity you believe is added, is simplicity to others while the simplicity "for the rest of us that do understand" is complexity to the elderly. Why not design user interfaces that can accommodate both and be set through settings/preferences. A "full explanation" setting could be added either at the app level or at the device level which would include labels and step-by-step info for the elderly and once learned could be easily turned off! For those that already understand the full explanation setting could be left "off". Even though I'd leave it off for most apps, there are still some apps being developed that are poorly designed and very confusing in their simplicity -- would be good to have a "full explanation" setting for these.

Slashdot's Disagree Mail 167

I get a lot of mail from obviously unbalanced people. Enough in fact, that I've often wondered if there was a institution that allowed their patients to only read Slashdot. We've even had a few visits from some questionable individuals. A man who tried to bribe me with a car if I let him "reverse engineer" Rob Malda's Life comes to mind. He insisted on Rob being present for the process and couldn't explain to me what it entailed, so I suggested he leave. The personal visits are rare, however, compared to the amount of mail I get. Here are a few of my favorites; let's hope these people have started to take their medication. Read below and don't be worried if you don't understand all of it.

MySpace Digital Music Service Is DRM-Free 93

Anti-Globalism sends word that MySpace flipped the switch on its online, ad-supported, DRM-free music service that will "... give its roughly 120 million users free access to hundreds of thousands of songs from the world's largest recording labels. Unlike much of the material at Apple's iTunes store, the music sold through MySpace's new service won't contain the protections that limit how many times a track can be copied. MySpace is hoping to set itself apart from iTunes even further by allowing its users to create an unlimited number of playlists containing up to 100 songs apiece, a sharing concept similar to music services already offered by Imeem and"

Congress Endorses Open Source For Military 145

A draft defense authorizing act in Congress includes wording plugging open source software. It seems both cost and software security were considerations. This is an important victory for open source. "It's rare to see a concept as technical as open-source software in a federal funding bill. But the House's proposed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (H.R. 5658) includes language that calls for military services to consider open-source software when procuring manned or unmanned aerial vehicles."
United States

How Close Were US Presidential Elections? 971

Mike Sheppard writes "I'm a graduate student in Statistics at Michigan State University and spent some time analyzing past US presidential elections to determine how close they truly were. The mathematical procedures of Linear Programming and 0-1 Integer Programming were used to find the optimal solution to the question: 'What is the smallest number of total votes that need to be switched from one candidate to another, and from which states, to affect the outcome of the election?' Because of the way the popular and electoral votes interact, the outcome of the analysis had some surprising and intriguing results. For example, in 2004, 57,787 votes would have given us President Kerry; and in 2000, 269 votes would have given us President Gore. In all there have been 12 US Presidential elections that were decided by less than a 1% margin; meaning if less than 1% of the voters in certain states had changed their mind to the other candidate the outcome of the election would have been different."

The New Moon Race 212

An anonymous reader writes " has a pictoral and editorial look at the quickly-heating second race to the moon. A Japanese orbital probe is expected to reach orbit of the satellite sometime today, just one of the dozens of projects now aiming to exploit Earth's orbital partner for scientific and business gains. 'The next lunar visitor may come from China. The Chang'e-1 spacecraft is scheduled to lift off near the end of October. It is slated to study the moon's topography in 3D and also investigate its elements. Chang'e-3 is a soft lunar lander that is scheduled to fly in 2010 ... If all goes as planned, the United States and India will have astronauts on the moon by 2020, China by 2022, and Japan and Russia by 2025.'"

Submission + - Are Two Strains of HIV Needed to Cause AIDS? (

Iddo Genuth writes: "Using a computer model, American scientists hypothesize that two strains of HIV are needed in order to cause AIDS. One strain is the fit strain, which is able to spread many copies of itself, and the other is the unfit strain (incapable of spreading its copies) that is fast killing. The scientists assume that our immune system can defeat the strains separately, and only co-infection of the two strains leads to AIDS."

Submission + - RIAA trial verdict is in: jury finds Thomas liable ( 1

jdogs60 writes: "Duluth, Minnesota — After just four hours of deliberation and two days of testimony, a jury found that Jammie Thomas was liable for infringing the record labels' copyrights on all 24 the 24 recordings at issue in the case of Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas. The jury awarded $9,250 in statutory damages per song, after finding that the infringement was "willful," out of a possible total of $150,000 per song. The grand total? $222,000 in damages."

Submission + - Jury Awards RIAA $220k

MrFrank writes: According to the Startribune , the jury has awarded the RIAA $220,000 in the Captiol v Thomas file-sharing trial. The jury found the Jammie Thomas had willfully committed copyright infringement. No comment about an appeal was provided.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - BT creates free 'peer 2 peer' wifi network

gbjbaanb writes: "British Telecom and FON have come together to create a national, free, wi-fi network. Instead of building a corporate-style network where an ISP puts its routers all over the place, this group is inviting users to share their wifi connection (through a secure portion of their bandwidth) to create a world-wide wifi network.

You share a little of your network bandwidth, you get to share other user's bandwidth using the same concept as P2P filesharing apps do.

Users do get to use BT's openzone hotspots for free too. All the usual questions are answered on the BTFon's FAQ"

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