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Comment All the finest minds (Score 2, Funny) 29

If I read this correctly, the reason for serving the restraining order via Facebook was due to the fact that the police had been unable to contact the individual by phone or in person. And yet, the message stated that attempts to violate this order would result in the perp being arrested. How does that work? "Ok. He's violated the Facebook Restraining Order. Go arrest him." "How? We couldn't find him. That's why we had to serve him on Facebook." "Uhh. We could put out a hit on him in MafiaWars." "Right!"

Comment Indie Artist Survival (Score 1) 495

For many indie artists, the issue is not just that it takes time and (some) money to record and publish the CD, but there's also the need to market the finished product. Sites like CD Baby ( offer artists a storefront. Through live appearances, mailing lists, blogs, internet radio, etc., they can try to drive traffic to their page. Indie artists typically are not going to be Rock Stars. They'll probably have day jobs, family committments, and bills to pay. They're not doing this to get rich. They're doing it in their spare time because they love doing it. Also, it's easy to tell a musician to give away their songs and just sell tickets and merchandise. It's hard to pay for all of the gear, the marketing, the crew (if any), and the production of the merchandise before you see a single penny of income. In many cases, it's easy to lose money on a show. Consider the fact that these same musicians must compete for audiences against corporate acts backed by major labels with gigantic advertising budgets. A little respect for those who go it alone might be nice for a change.

Steak-Scented Billboard Entices Drivers 282

In addition to car exhaust and road grime, travelers along Highway 150 in North Carolina can now enjoy the smell of a barbecue thanks to a new billboard. The work of ScentAir, which provides custom scents for businesses, the advertisement for a local grocer emits the smell of charcoal and black pepper over the highway. "Marketing director Murray Dameron said the beef scent was emitted by a high-powered fan at the bottom of the billboard that blows air over cartridges loaded with BBQ fragrance oil. 'It smells like grilled meat with a nice pepper rub on it,' he explained."

Comment IT + Prison? (Score 5, Funny) 249

Wait a minute. My cubicle feels like a cell. My wardrobe is defined by Corporate Goons. At the whim of a bureaucrat, I can be sent, against my will, anywhere in the country. Many time's, I've been awakened in the middle of the night by alarms and screaming. (Usually, the voices are saying things like, "The servers are down!" or "My Email is gone!") Have I been in prison all along? That would explain some of the meetings... Well, no more! There's no cage that can hold me! I'm bustin' outta here. Here's the plan. Just after the morning scrum meeting, you throw a paper airplane to distract the guard. I'll slip under the raised floor. I've got a plastic spoon from the break room, so I'll dig a tunnel. If we do this every day for the next 40 - 50 years, we'll make it out!
Classic Games (Games)

The Unsung Heroes of PC Gaming History 325

An anonymous reader writes "The history of PC gaming is littered with many well-known and highly regarded titles, but what about the titles you mightn't have heard of? This list of the top games in the history of the PC includes the usual suspects, such as Half-Life and Doom, but also some often overlooked PC games including such classics as Elite, the space trading RPG developed in 1984 by two college friends from Cambridge for the Acorn and BB Micro systems. The game used a truly elegant programming hack to create over 200 different worlds to explore while using 32kb of memory, all with 3D wireframes. Also in the list is Robot War, which required players to actually code the participants, and one of the first online multiplayer RPGs, Neverwinter Nights, which introduced many of the developer and user behaviors, such as custom guilds, that have made modern RPGs so popular." What's your favorite classic game that always gets overlooked in these kinds of lists? My vote goes for Star Control 2.

Submission + - SPAM: Unique network security algorithm stops worms

coondoggie writes: Researchers at Pennsylvania State University say they can block the spread of self-propagating worms on corporate networks while keeping infected machines online so they can continue performing their legitimate duties. Using an algorithm they devised, the research team can quickly measure how virulent worms are and halt their spread while keeping the false-positive rate less than 5%, says Peng Liu, an associate professor of information sciences and technology at PSU who is on the team.
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Submission + - Bees can be trained to distinguish between faces (

Attila Dimedici writes: A recent study determined that bees can be trained to distinguish between images of different faces. While the study appears to be rather preliminary, it seems to indicate an area that might lead to improved image analysis systems.

Submission + - Microsoft Declining (

Greg Hullender writes: Former MS VP Dick Brass (full disclosure: he was my boss for a while) writes in today's NY Times that Microsoft has lost its edge due to a combination of internal politics and lack of vision. He describes how ClearType took ten years to get into MS products because some groups simply didn't want change at all while at least one group would only accept it if the whole ClearType team was transfered to them. He describes some of the troubles of Tablet PC, in particular the Office team's fierce resistance to it. (To this day, it's hard to use Office on a Tablet PC.)

I note that he omits at least one problem that he himself caused; one of the biggest headaches with Tablet PC was simply logging into it. Trying to use handwriting recognition to input a password was nearly impossible. The most natural solution would have been signature verification, but one of the key members of Dick's staff was determined to use fingerprint recognition instead, and successfully blocked any attempt to even evaluate signature verification. As is often the case at MS these days (meaning, the last ten years), no amount of rational argument had any impact on this person, nor could upper management be bothered to take a position. Ultimately, nothing at all was done, and that pattern repeats all across the company. Dick definitely got that part right


Submission + - First cowboy to draw always gets shot. Here's why. ( 3

cremeglace writes: Have you ever noticed that the first cowboy to draw his gun in a Hollywood Western is invariably the one to get shot? Nobel–winning physicist Niels Bohr did, once arranging mock duels to test the validity of this cinematic curiosity. Researchers have now confirmed that people indeed move faster if they are reacting, rather than acting first.

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"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.