RAMMS+EIN writes: "Dutch video rental shops Videoland and Movie Max will start offering movies for download in December, according to an article in the Dutch newspaper Trouw (automagic translation to English). Movies will be made available in DVD quality and/or HDTV quality. Three different options for downloading will be available: streaming, ahead-of-time with a 2-day limit for watching, and download with the ability to burn a copy to DVD. The last option, equivalent to buying the movie, will be offered at a rate 20% below current rates for buying the movie at the store, whereas the other options will be at the same price as current rentals. This move is expected to make physical video stores obsolete, and the chains have arranged to pay compensation to current franchisees."
RAMMS+EIN writes: "There's an article over at Salon called Why Johnny can't code. The intro sums it up best:
BASIC used to be on every computer a child touched — but today there's no easy way for kids to get hooked on programming. Quietly and without fanfare, or even any comment or notice by software pundits, we have drifted into a situation where almost none of the millions of personal computers in America offers a line-programming language simple enough for kids to pick up fast.
I think it is very right in asserting that it's harder to get started in programming these days: we've come to expect fancy GUI widgets from our programs, and if all our program does is write to and read from the terminal, it doesn't feel like a Real program. While modern programming languages certainly do make GUI programming possible, they don't usually make it easy. Thus, either the rewards are less (CLI programs) or the barrier to entry is higher (GUI programs).
On the other hand, HTML has a low barrier to entry while still offering the rewards of GUIs, and things like Apple Dashboard, gDesklets and Mozilla's XUL make it easy to quickly whip up GUIs in XML and then add functionality to them in some scripting language. I think this will be the new way for people to get started with programming."