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Comment Re:Yes! (Score 3, Insightful) 948

I agree that there are too many choices, but I believe that's part of the point of open source solutions.

It's partially the responsibility of the application developers to choose the toolkits and platforms that work best for them, not complain about having too many to choose from.

If companies like Google and Adobe got together in a side meeting and came up with a "standard" they found acceptable, it would create a demand for those platforms and make those toolkits/apps the dominant. Too bad this will never happen...

Comment Re:If I were teaching [...] college students (Score 1) 236

In the past, I never really paid much attention to comics and manga. I saw them as childish. It wasn't until after after I read Scott McCloud's book "Understanding Comics," that I began to take the medium seriously.

Today, I am wondering why all educational books are NOT presenting their material in this manner. That being said, this "manga" guide to databases is an example of a good idea implemented poorly. Instead of creating a fluffed up story line to camouflage the fact that readers are learning, they should instead have a narrator presenting the material to the reader, much in the same way McCloud presented the history of sequential pictures as a means of communication.

The goal of all textbooks should be the communication of information in the most efficient way possible, but the idea that including as many graphics and visual elements as possible will continued to be frowned upon as long as it is regarded as "childish" or "dumbing down the material."

Comment Us nerds have it backwards (Score 2, Insightful) 160

After using Linux for a couple of years, it has become very clear to me that most Linux distributions run under the philosophy that they should distribute the bare minimum to allow the users to build up their custom drivers and software collection. Instead, shouldn't they distribute as MUCH as possible to increase compatibility? Knowledge is a burden. The people who don't know every little detail about their hardware shouldn't have to go through the extra work to get it working. It's the nerds, like us, who should know what we DON'T need, so we can remove it and optimize efficiency.

Submission + - HIV Denial is not a Defence

Zouden writes: A HIV-positive man in Australia convicted for having unprotected sex with three women has lost an appeal, after a judge rejected defence claims the virus does not exist. The man was was convicted on three counts of endangering life last January after one of the women, a mother of two, became infected with HIV. Defence lawyers called two Perth medical researchers who testified in court that the virus did not exist and could not be sexually transmitted. The judge dismissed the witnesses' testimony, saying the pair lacked credibility and were advocates for a cause rather than independent experts. Under earlier cross-examination, [one of the expert witnesses] was asked by the prosecution if she would have unprotected vaginal sex with a HIV-positive man. "Any time," she replied.

Feed Blow Light: the wind generated LED toy (engadget.com)

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets

While the message of living a greener life seems to be pounded into our ears on a regular basis, it's never too early to get your offspring in on the energy-conserving fun. The Blow Light toy from Nigel's Eco Store features a simplistic, kid-friendly design that's sure to require a lot of attention, as the miniature pinwheel doesn't light up and excite without a little effort on your youngster's behalf. The internal blue and green LED lights remain dormant until a gust of wind (or hot air) starts the spinning, subsequently lighting up the device and eliciting smiles all around. Of course, with no batteries required, the price on this uber-green toy tends to be a bit higher than the mass market alternatives, but at least your £9.99 ($20) won't be fueling the proverbial fire.

[Via Inhabitat]

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

Feed French guy reviews 105 power supplies, teeters on insanity (engadget.com)

Filed under: Desktops, Peripherals

Product reviews are typically a welcome nugget of knowledge when trying to make a critical purchasing decision, but we'd probably succumb to just picking a power supply at random before actually wading through 105 reviews to find out which one was king. While this could all very well be a completely impractical prank, Stéphane Charpentier of France's MatBe has apparently put just over one hundred PSUs on the testing bench in order to find out which is worth your cash, and he went through a variety of flavors and wattages to make sure the very one you were eying was thoughtfully included. Without getting into specifics, Akasa's Power80+ took home the gold in the nonmodular category, Antec's Neo HE notched first place in the modular realm, the Fortron Zen won in the fanless arena, Cooler Master's Real Power Pro ruled the "powerful" division, and Antec's Earthwatts proved the most "valuable." Of course, there's a good bit of detail surrounding the 100 other losers in the crowd, so if you're down with skimming through 140 pages of PSU reviews, the read link awaits your attention.

[Via Inquirer]

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

Feed MPAA says it's committed to fair use, interoperability, and, uh, DRM (engadget.com)

Filed under: Home Entertainment, Portable Video

Uh-oh. Looks like MPAA boss Dan Glickman skipped over his pal Steve's open letter. Speaking at a LexisNexis conference on DRM, Glickman announced that the major studios comprising the MPAA have made a "philosophical commitment" to interoperability and fair use and announced a plan to let people rip DVDs to home servers and iPods. The goal, he said, is to "make things simpler for the consumer." However, Glickman also stressed that the studios were going to move forward "legally and in a protected way," meaning, of course, DRM. Hammering the irony home, the solution he proposed -- a "technology summit" of academics, tech companies, and content producers to develop a workable DRM system -- is exactly the sort of wasted effort Steve-O lambasted in his open letter. And while it's encouraging that Glickman recognized the "impatience" of consumers, he didn't give a timeline, instead saying that pricing and business models were "way beyond" him. Now, to be fair, Steve himself doesn't think TV shows and movies need to be DRM-free, but on the whole, Glickman's plan to solve DRM's problems with more DRM isn't exactly our favorite idea ever. Still, it's nice to see the MPAA finally recognize the importance of interoperability. Let's just hope they're actually serious about it -- we're not holding our breath.

[Thanks, Todd]

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Multiple Desktop Users on a Single Machine? 106

_Sharp'r_ asks: "I'm trying to design the least expensive way to make OpenOffice, email, and a web browser available to students in a new charter elementary school. In my past experience working with charitable computer donations, I can usually get three to four working computers out of five donated 'broken' computer systems, usually with plenty of monitors, keyboards and mice left over. I'd like to use one computer for multiple students by attaching multiple monitors, USB keyboards and mice. What drivers/OS versions support multiple local input devices and monitors that can be attached to a specific login session? Will this require virtualization? Is there a config I haven't found that you can use to assign these devices to specific ttys? Have you done this before?"

Submission + - MIT dean resigns over misrepresented credentials -

thejynxed writes: http://www.cnn.com/2007/EDUCATION/04/26/mit.dean.a p/index.html?eref=rss_latest

To stressed-out parents and students, MIT admissions dean Marilee Jones was a rare voice of reason in the high-pressure world of college admissions. With colleges demanding kids who play sports, run student government and take the heaviest course load they can, Jones shouted back the opposite: daydream, stay healthy, and don't worry so much about building a resume just to impress an elite college. Yet it turns out that Jones was susceptible to pressure herself. She falsely bolstered her credentials to get a job with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and over the course of her career claimed to have earned degrees from three schools. MIT officials say now they have no evidence she ever graduated from college at all. The school announced Thursday that Jones had resigned after acknowledging she had misrepresented her education when she started working at the university 28 years ago, and declined to correct multiple incorrect claims since then. A senior MIT official said that by claiming degrees she had never earned, Jones could no longer lead an admissions office that occasionally rescinds the acceptance letters sent to applicants who are untruthful about their own accomplishments. "We have to uphold the integrity of the institution, because that's what we've been trying to sell and she's our chief spokesperson on that," MIT Chancellor Phil Clay said. It's "regrettable, ironic, sad, but that's where we are."
A poseur is still a poseur. She lied on her resume, and continued to lie, and didn't bother fixing her lie. Now she got caught out, and is gone. Kudos to MIT for finally fixing their error, but I have to ask: "What took them so long to confirm the credentials of a Dean?" Is it normal for corporations and schools to screw up this badly, especially in a day and age when confirming you are who you say you are is rather important? (28 years??? Yeesh)
The Internet

A Reprieve For Net Radio? 115

Porsupah writes "The Register reports that "Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL) have headed the 'Internet Radio Equality Act,' which aims to stop the controversial March 2 decision which puts royalty of a .08 cent per song per listener, retroactively from 2006 to 2010 on internet radio," as imposed by a recent decision from the Copyright Royalty Board. "If passed, today's bill would set new rates at 7.5 percent of the webcaster's revenue — the same rate paid by satellite radio.""

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