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Comment Supplier in USA (Score 3, Informative) 240


I think this box would be an ideal computing appliance for the average user. Of course, I would recommend CentOS and a carefully configured set of applications and GUI.

Think, like, your mom and dad checking their email and looking for bargains on Craigslist. At 4 watts.

Submission + - Income lost to piracy a dubious claim ( 1

Technical Writing Geek writes: "If sales were indeed lost to piracy, then why hasn't this become a line item on the books and therefore tax deductible? Seriously, if all this intellectual property theft is theft in any conceivable way, then take the IRS deduction based on the press announcements and see how far you get.,2704,2251579,00.asp"


Submission + - Connecticut enacts opt-out personal info law (

Technical Writing Geek writes: "The State of Connecticut wants to bring the consumer-pleasing goodness of the federal Do Not Call registry to other forms of data. Governor Jodi Rell announced this week that she plans to offer a state-wide opt-out service that Connecticut residents can use to keep personal information from being aggregated and acted upon by online data brokers."


Submission + - Fox and Apple team up for video rentals (

Technical Writing Geek writes: "Apple and News Corp's 20th Century Fox have gon in together on a new video on demand deal allowing users to rent digital copies of Fox DVD new releases with the Apple iTunes platform, according to rumors being reported in the Financial Times. (Hip Apple and the stodgy put-Christ-back-in-Christmas people, paired up? Whisky Tango Foxtrot)"


Submission + - Ars challenges Amazon drag-n-drop patent (

Technical Writing Geek writes: "Another example of potential prior art for Yahoo's patent application would be the drag-and-pop interaction mechanism that was described in a 2003 report by by interaction design researchers. The report describes a user interface paradigm that involves displaying drop points near the selected object when the user begins to drag. The researchers created several implementations of the functionality described in the report, including one in Flash that can be tested on the Internet.

Since none of the other participants had submitted the drag-and-pop study as prior art, I decided to do so myself. I registered a user account at the peer-to-patent web site and filed the submission using the provided web form."


Submission + - Generation gap in view of intellectual property ( 1

Technical Writing Geek writes: "Finally, with mock exasperation, I said, "O.K., let's try one that's a little less complicated: You want a movie or an album. You don't want to pay for it. So you download it."

There it was: the bald-faced, worst-case example, without any nuance or mitigating factors whatsoever.

"Who thinks that might be wrong?"

Two hands out of 500."


Submission + - Pro-blogging drives 27% jump in Net advertising (

Technical Writing Geek writes: "It's no longer unusual for blogs with just a couple thousand daily readers to earn nearly as many dollars a month. Helping fill the pockets of such bloggers are programs like Google's AdSense and many others that let individuals — not just major publications — tap into the rapidly growing pot of advertising dollars with a click of the mouse.

In 2006, advertisers spent $16.9 billion online, up steadily each year from $6 billion in 2002, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau. In the first half of 2007, online advertising reached nearly $10 billion, a nearly 27 percent increase over the first half of 2006."


Submission + - Blogs are to papers what PCs are to mainframes (

Technical Writing Geek writes: "As usual, established interests start relying on one method of doing things so much they forget about other possibilities. I think Dave probably wanted to bring in the greatest parallel ever, which is the personal computer. Back in the 1970s, it was assumed that computers would always need machine rooms and staffs to monitor them, including highly-trained programmers. As operating systems and programming languages both grew up, and got oversimplified, the computer migrated into the home.

Enter the hobbyist programmer. The personal computer software, like the blog versus a system like Vignette, was a shallow competitor because it was simpler and less reliable, lacking the thorough architecture of mainframe software. But it did the job well enough, and people could by having a computer in the office, have a greater amount of control over their data. So they took their dollars and bought IBM PCs, Apple ][s, Tandy TRS-80s, and Commodore 64s.

Blogs are the same way, and I sense the situation is evening out. The medium has changed; the skill of journalism has not."


Submission + - Microsoft and Viacom join forces (

Technical Writing Geek writes: "Viacom Incorporated and Microsoft Corporation have negotiated an agreement under which major divisions of both companies will collaborate on advertising, content distribution, event promotions and games over the next several years. Detailed financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal has a projected base value of approximately $500 million in financial considerations and business services between the two companies over the initial five-year length of the agreement. The deal includes a combination of revenue sharing provisions, guarantees and content licensing agreements. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this will be (assuming everything goes well) a huge benefit to both business giants. — microsoft-join-forces"


Submission + - Interaction design: both bloat and essential (

Technical Writing Geek writes: "Tom Wolfe believes that the moral quest in humanity is brought on by adaptation to civilization, and that our real pursuit is to find a balance between individual and collective needs. Having seen the pendulum swing both ways in my lifetime, I'm sceptical of both extremes, as I can see how totalitarianism can occur through the acts of individuals as much as it can occur through the acts of one very selfish one (Stalin, I'm calling you out, dawg).

I'm also very much enamored of Robert A. Heinlein's in/famous quote that "specialization is for insects," which was quoted in full in an article on this site a few days ago. He's correct in that the more we specialize, the less general knowledge and broad knowledge we have, so while we have depth of knowledge in specific areas, we lack depth of knowledge about life itself. In my view, this additional dimension is what makes us human.

For that reason, I'm leery of cheering about the introduction of Interaction Design (formerly "Interface Design") as a profession, because while I'm certain it's a skill I'm not certain that skill warrants being a job category, in part because there's not enough work for it which encourages the production of non-necessary "work" that is de facto bureaucracy."

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