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Comment Not business as usual (Score 2, Interesting) 492

When I worked electronics at Staples a few years back, 2 or 3 stores in our district were "reorganized" and all management at those stores fired for similar practices. One store was printing the higher price tags for big ticket items to sell warranties and replacement plans without having to even offer them. Another would lie about inventory levels on everything from printers to laptops.

All of this happened about 2 weeks after they sent 2 people from each store to the highest performing in our district for "training". This store had been performing TOO well, and as soon as the training session started, most of us start exchanging puzzled looks, as their methods were clearly against company policy.

Submission + - Blast at Virgin Galactic desert spaceport kills 2 (

yourdog writes: An explosion killed two people Thursday at the airport HQ of a company building the first private manned rocket for Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson's space tourism venture. Aerial video showed a wrecked flatbed trailer with a large silver tank next to it, and large pieces of debris appeared to be strewn for hundreds of yards.

Submission + - FIOS customer names/addys in public ARIN database (

Tom Haines writes: "Anyone with a verizon fios business account w/ static IPs will love to know that their account name and address are in the ARIN database associated with their IP address(es). maybe it's just me, but as a residential customer who only signed up for the biz service to get static IPs, this sucks. I didn't want my home address linked with my IPs. Not to mention, you can query ARIN using the term "FTTP" and get back a list of fios customers, including addresses. Hooray verizon!"

Condemned 2 Trying to Avoid Manhunt 2's Fate 108

CVG is reporting that Monolith, makers of the upcoming Condemned 2, are working with the ESRB to avoid an AO rating. As we've discussed previously, an AO ban in the states is effectively a ban on retail sales. From the article: "When asked for examples of what we might now never see in a game again, we were told, 'An example of what we cut would be putting someone's head in a vice. That was too much, you know. There are also some decapitations we've lost. But this is more Sin City than it is real world and we want people to know that this is not a real world.'"

Submission + - Change Google Background Color To Save Energy?

i_like_spam writes: Recent commentary at Nature Climate Change describes an on-going debate about the energy savings associated with the background colors used by high-traffic websites such as Google and the NYTimes. A back of the envelope calculation has suggested energy savings of 750 Megawatt hours per year if Google switched their background from white to black. In response, a new version of Google called Blackle was created. However, other calculations by the Wall Street Journal suggest minimal energy savings. Who is right in this debate? Should web designers also consider potential energy savings when choosing colors for their sites?

Submission + - The Best VHS Capture System using Free Software?

mrcgran writes: "I have been trying to find the best solution to transfer VHS tapes to a digital format using Free Software only. I would like to lose as little as possible in the conversion, sampling optimally, minimizing noise and being in control of every step of the process. Storage is not a problem. I'm expecting to use around 5GB+ for each hour of raw captured footage.

The software part seems promising: VLC and mencoder for conversion of raw footage, Cinelerra and many others for video editing.

However, the hardware is being tricky. Most try to bloat the device adding functions like TV/compression/edition instead of focusing on the raw A/D conversion. Chipsets are hidden, and parameters like signal-to-noise, sampling rate etc are unavailable for comparison. Information is scattered and very difficult to find.

Which chipsets/products should I look for, specially for use with Linux and BSD? Which ones allow oversampling of pixel resolution and number of frames (in order to average the values and reduce the noise)? Which setup should I use: S-Video/Composite, sampling rate/oversampling, suggestions on high-quality VHS players/heads/tape cleaning processes, etc? Has anyone tried to use scaling algorithms such as hq/scalenx to upscale video and sound resolution? Pitfalls?"

Comment This is crazy (Score 1) 148

Hypothetically, if this were to happen to me, and I got a message from my bank asking me to call them to verify information, and I called this automated system, what message would I be presented with?

Are the phishers going to look up the phone number stored under 'Bank' and see which bank it actually is and then record the voicemail using my bank's actual name, and then ALSO have an automated system with my bank's actual name in it?

What if you were using a small-town bank? I highly doubt the phisher would be able to accurately determine your address to get the city and state required to lookup said bank, unless you also had that stored in your address book.

As a previous poster said, too many ifs and maybes.

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