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Submission + - SETI@Home, just not @School 3

An anonymous reader writes: Apparently the most prolific of users in the SETI@Home community has resigned his job as a school technology supervisor after it was revealed he had the software installed on some 5000 school machines. The school claims to have lost $1 Million in upkeep on the affected machines. Check it out:

Comment Hypothesis testing (Score 5, Insightful) 320

Hypothesis: The manuscript is anagrammatic Italian.
Corollary 1: The manuscript should contain appropriate letter frequencies for said language.
Corollary 2: The manuscript should contain all relevant letters.
Conclusion: Neither Corollary 1 nor 2 are true, thus hypothesis is rejected.
Add to the annals of the internet.

Warner Brothers Pulls Canadian Previews 273

A number of readers let us know that Reuters and others are reporting that Warner Brothers is canceling movie previews in Canadian theaters, starting with Oceans Thirteen. A Warner VP said, "Within the first week of a film's release, you can almost be certain that somewhere out there a Canadian copy will show up." Recently, the International Intellectual Property Association placed Canada on its Priority Watch List, along with the likes of Argentina, China, Russia, Turkey, and Venezuela. This community knows, thanks to Michael Geist, that the claim is mostly ficiton.
The Courts

Student, Denied Degree For MySpace Photo, Sues 823

gwoodrow writes "We've all heard the 'fired because of MySpace' stories, where a simple blog or picture gets someone canned. But now one of the targets is fighting back. (The offending picture in this case was a snap from Halloween 2005 of the student in a pirate outfit drinking from a cup.)" From the article: "Teacher in training Stacy Snyder was denied her education degree on the eve of graduation when Millersville University apparently found pictures on her MySpace page 'promoting underage drinking.' As a result, the 27-year-old mother of two had her teaching certificate withheld and was granted an English degree instead. In response, Snyder has filed a Federal lawsuit against the Pennsylvania university asking for her education diploma and certificate along with $75,000 in damages."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Futures market for gaming can help the industry

An anonymous reader writes: A futures market for gaming has opened to predict the success of console hardware and games software. For gamers, this plays like fantasy football for video games in which you compete with friends or the world in your picks for a portfolio of game stocks.

For the video game industry, the simExchange can be much more. 1UP says: "Futures markets are (natch) eerily prescient when it comes to divining the future, and there isn't a company out there who wouldn't give its eye teeth for the chance to score an accurate assessment of their game or console in the public eye. simExchange isn't a tool for you and me so much as it is a tool for companies who seek to gauge public opinion before making their marketing or production decisions. Because futures markets can fluctuate as quickly as word-of-mouth, a piece of news — such as the release of a new demo, or the admission of a launch date pushback — can drastically effect how a game will perform when it hits the salesroom floor. simExchange offers companies the opportunity to watch their game's 'stock price' rise or fall in 'real-time' in the minds of gamers everywhere (and adjust accordingly) each time they do something right or wrong."
The Media

Submission + - Parents Increasingly Using ESRB Ratings to Restric

LeeCu writes: "NEW YORK, May 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — National research shows that parents are increasingly becoming more restrictive when it comes to limiting the video games their children play according to a study commissioned by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). The study found that 6 in 10 parents (60%) with children under 18 "never" allow their children to play games rated M for Mature, while 34% only do so "sometimes" — one of several findings that is consistent with those reported recently by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)(1). Moreover, parents of children under the age of 13 are twice as likely as those with children 13 and older to "never" allow them to play M-rated games. The ESRB study was conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates in early April, and surveyed over 500 parents who have purchased a computer or video game in the last six months and have children age 3 to 17 that play video games.

Nearly 90% of American parents with children who play video games are aware of the ESRB ratings, and 85% use them regularly when buying games for their families — both of which increased from the same study conducted last year (see historical chart). In fact, 3 in 4 parents (73%) reported checking the ESRB rating "every time" before deciding whether to purchase or rent a game for their child, an increase of 10 percentage points over last year.

"It's extremely encouraging that the vast majority of parents are involved and informed when it comes to choosing which games are appropriate for their families," said ESRB president Patricia Vance. "The ratings continue to be a very important, if not the most important tool to help parents make an informed decision, and it's clear that parents are using and relying on them in growing numbers."

"Awareness and use of the ratings is clearly continuing to rise to considerably high levels, still showing steady growth from where they were just a few years ago," said Jay Campbell of Peter D. Hart Research Associates. "What is quite telling is that the number of parents who say they 'never' allow their children to play M-rated games rose as those who 'sometimes' do declined. This suggests that parents are becoming more assertive in using the ratings to set and enforce restrictions with respect to the games they allow their children to play."

    Among the study's other findings:

    — 87% of parents find it "very important" to be able to monitor and
          regulate what their children watch, read and play

    — 90% of parents surveyed said that the ratings are "very" (55%) to
          "somewhat" (35%) helpful in helping them buy and rent games they deem
          appropriate for their children

    — 91% say the ESRB ratings are the "most important" (17%), a "very
          important" (52%), or a "somewhat important" (22%) consideration when
          selecting games

    — Other than ESRB ratings, parents turn to packaging (31%), other parents
          (29%), or their children (21%) as the top three sources of information
          about games

    — 83% said that they would consider parental control settings to be
          "very" (53%) to "somewhat" (30%) helpful in allowing them to control
          the games their kids play

Source: Entertainment Software Rating Board
CONTACT: Eliot Mizrachi of Entertainment Software Rating Board,
Web site:

(Re-Printed with permission from PR Newswire)"

Submission + - Cold fusion by US Navy breakthrough

Tjeerd writes: "Gordon's plastic wafer is the product of the latest in a long line of "cold fusion" experiments conducted at the US navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego, California. What makes this one stand out is that it has been published in the respected peer-reviewed journal Naturwissenschaften, which counts Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg and Konrad Lorenz among its eminent past authors (DOI: 10.1007/s00114-007-0221-7). More can be read at New Scientist."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Six-legged hermaphrodite calf born in Nebraska

Skidge writes: "A calf born several days ago on a central Nebraska farm is just as frisky as the rest of the newborns there, only the farmer say, "He's a real freak." That's because it was born with six legs and two sets of sex organs. Likely a product of the fusion of twin embryos, cows born like this are rare and generally suffering from many internal problems. This one seems to be fine so far, however. "I'm curious to see what happens," the farmer said."

Submission + - AT&T Dumps VOIP Customers

Proudrooster writes: In the past two-weeks AT&T sent out disconnect letters to VOIP customers in big rude red letters, stating that VOIP service would be suspended in 30-days and permanently disconnected in 60-days. AT&T cited E911 service as the reason. Many AT&T VOIP customers have found that they are unable to transfer their AT&T VOIP phone numbers to a new provider. Further, AT&T is unwilling to provide a forwarding message directing callers to a new phone number for those that are unable to transfer their old AT&T VOIP phone numbers. In effect, AT&T has told many long-term VOIP subscribers, we are turning off your phone in 30-days, goodbye, and good luck. AT&T does not appear a corporation that values customer loyalty, especially of those who hung on during the experimental days of the AT&T VOIP service

Many longterm subscribers are extremely upset at the AT&T cold shoulder and short notice. It is also interesting AT&T is unable overcome this E911 technical hurdle, since AT&T is also the local landline company (SBC/AT&T) in many areas where VOIP cancellation notices are being received.

Submission + - How Emoticons and Capitalisation Affect Perception

Jeremy Dean writes: "Compared with face-to-face communication, nonverbal cues in email are lacking. But humans are fabulous at generating meaning even when cues are sparse. Psychologists have theorised our motivation for generating meaning is reducing levels of uncertainty and helping predict other people's behaviour. This might explain how, in emails, even two simple things like capitalisation and emoticons can have important effects on reader's perceptions. People want to predict our behaviour, and we theirs."

Submission + - Man Lands on the Moon, Wins Space Race vs. Soviets

An anonymous reader writes: Recently, Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon. The Apollo 11 spacecraft was the first manned spacecraft to reach the moon's surface. The first words said on the moon were "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed". This is thought to be one of the greatest achievements of modern man and is one of the biggest blows to the Soviets.

Hopefully, the /. editors will approve this groundbreaking news release.

Submission + - Berkeley Ph.D. Proves "Jesus Tomb" Improba

Daniel Foster writes: "Looks like the 'Jesus Tomb' people got their math wrong. Dr. Randy Ingermanson (Ph.D. in physics from U.C. Berkeley) recalculates the statistical probability used by the Jesus Tomb book and documentary and finds that 'Jesus of Nazareth is EXTREMELY UNLIKELY to be the Jesus found in the family tomb.' He says, 'My estimate is that the odds are at least 10,000 to 1 AGAINST Jesus of Nazareth being the man found in the tomb.' Check out his data and decide for yourself whether he's onto something."

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