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Comment Americans for Common Cents (Score 2) 473

Great! Now that Canada is getting rid of the penny, we in the USA will be stuck with them FOREVER out of principle.

I don't understand these people:

Just checkout this unassailable logic from

Over three-quarters of Americans (77%) are concerned merchants would raise prices without the penny. And they're probably right. Raymond Lombra, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at Penn State University, told a Congressional committee in 1990 that rounding cash sales up or down to the nearest nickel would cost consumers over $600 million annually.

So that's what, less than $2 for every man, woman and child in the nation each year? I'll gladly pay $2 a year to never have to waste time with pennies. My time is worth that much to me.


Submission + - ask slashdot: do some new movie DVDs not work on y 4

fade-in writes: "Using RedBox has been really hit-or-miss for me lately, as about half of the movies I rent flat-out don't work on my PC. At first I thought it was a Linux problem, but when I tried the discs on a Windows 7 PC I met the same results.
After doing some research I've found that all of the titles that have failed for me are distributed by Paramount Pictures.
Am I alone in the world, or has anyone else experienced this? Is it a secret plot to drive folks to BitTorrent? Which movie distributors' discs cause the most trouble, and where do I complain to get it fixed?"

Submission + - Don't Call Yourself A Programmer, And Other Career (

Ian Lamont writes: "Patrick McKenzie has written about the do's and don't's of working as a software engineer, and some solid (and often amusing) advice on how to get ahead. One of the first pieces of advice:

Don't call yourself a programmer: "Programmer" sounds like "anomalously high-cost peon who types some mumbo-jumbo into some other mumbo-jumbo." If you call yourself a programmer, someone is already working on a way to get you fired.

Although he runs his own company, he is a cold realist about the possibilities for new college grads in the startup world: "The high-percentage outcome is you work really hard for the next couple of years, fail ingloriously, and then be jobless and looking to get into another startup""


Submission + - NASA's Tour of the Moon (

astronasty writes: "NASA just released a comprehensive tour of our moon. It's stunning. The Apollo 17 landing site and rover are seen, as well as the beautiful topography of our beloved satellite. The grand scope of perspective, zooming in and out, shows you just how massive this heavenly body really is. It's hard to see such detail and not experience heartfelt awe."

Submission + - Twitter Put On Double-Secret FTC Probation (

itwbennett writes: "Under a settlement with the FTC, Twitter has agreed to implement a better security policy following separate, successful hacks into user accounts in 2009. According to the AP, 'The settlement bars Twitter from misleading consumers about its security and privacy practices for 20 years. The startup, which lets people publish short messages called tweets, must also establish a comprehensive information security program that will be audited every other year for 10 years.'"

Submission + - Internet-spreading American gets 15 years in Cuba (

decora writes: "American social worker Alan Phillip Gross, who has spent years connecting developing countries to the internet, has been sentenced by a "Security Court" in Cuba to 15 years in prison. His crime was “Acts against the Independence and Territorial Integrity of the State." The Guban government also claimed he was trying to "destroy the Revolution through the use of communication systems out of the control of authorities.""

Submission + - MS Releases IE 9 - 9PM PDT ( 1

WrongSizeGlass writes: ABC News is reporting that Windows Vista and Windows 7 users can download IE 9 starting at 9 p.m. Pacific, Monday night. IE 9 is not compatible with Windows XP. Microsoft had planned to launch the software in 40 languages, but is postponing the launch in Japan to avoid bogging down networks already affected by the earthquake there.

As of this submission IE 8 is still being featured prominently at the MS Download Center though I did get a notice that I wasn't using IE 8 displaying the IE 9 moniker.


Submission + - Sprint sued for "Premium Data" charges (

wizkid057 writes: "Sprint is once again being targeted by a class action lawsuit for overcharging it's customers.

Since the release of the HTC EVO 4G and, subsequently, the Samsung Epic 4G (Galaxy S) phone, Sprint has been forcing users of these devices to pay an additional $10 per month "Premium Data" fee on top of paying for a plan that already includes unlimited data.

As of January 31st they took this one step further and now require that all new smartphone activations (Android, Blackberry, Palm, etc) include additional $10 fee for unlimited data access on top of their existing unlimited data plan.

Some people, myself included, are obviously taking some offense to this double dipping and have submitted a class action lawsuit against the overcharges.

No one at Sprint can define what "Premium Data" I am getting by paying this fee."

Open Source

Submission + - Richard Stallman: Cell phones are 'Stalin's dream' (

jbrodkin writes: "Cell phones are "Stalin's dream," says free software pioneer Richard Stallman, who refuses to own one. "Cell phones are tools of Big Brother. I'm not going to carry a tracking device that records where I go all the time, and I'm not going to carry a surveillance device that can be turned on to eavesdrop." Even the open source Android is dangerous because devices ship with proprietary executables, Stallman says in a wide-ranging interview on the state of the free software movement. Despite some progress, Stallman is still dismayed by "The existence and use of non-free software [which] is a social problem. It's an evil. And our aim is a world without that problem.""

Comment Re:well (Score 1) 939

I also heartily second that! I just spent the last three days wondering what happened to my registry before Google told me about F-Lock. Really, who does Micro$oft think they are, flouting 20+ years of PC design in favor of their application specific nonsense? Oh, nevermind, I guess I do know who they think they are.

Comment Re:Balmer is a used car salesman (Score 1) 261

This stuff is so humorous... Steve's lucky the writer's strike ended before he gave this interview

InformationWeek: One of the concerns I found that people carry over with them from -- certainly the Vista release and their past experiences with those operating systems, is the concern about application compatibility at the beginning. What kind of things is Microsoft doing today that it hasn't done in the past to assure customers that they can start moving fairly soon to Windows Server 2008?
Ballmer: Well, we've done a lot of work, obviously, even in the Vista context.
Well, that you've done a lot of work "in the Vista context" it isn't so obvious to anyone that has tried to use it. You don't even have a computer at your desk, do you Mr. Ballmer?

Ballmer: Take something like SharePoint alone. It's a big deal. The quality of the databases, that's a big deal. The availability of tools, of Visual Studio and .Net and the ability to build bespoke applications, those are all part of the value and the total cost. And I think we've done a good job.
Monkeyboy, you are no developer. It's questionable that you even own a computer. You've never had to use those tools before. Before you tell anybody that you think you've "done a good job", you should try to use some of your company's software.

InformationWeek: Many of those do so because of perceived "bugginess" of an initial release. Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has said that this version of Windows Server is among the most rigorously tested products that the company's come out with yet. What are some of your proof points there?
Ballmer: It builds off the Vista code base. So all of that testing plus another year.
So that's what, one year of testing?

InformationWeek: The openness pledge you guys made last week, one thing that I didn't really get a better sense of is, do you feel like Microsoft is moving more toward embracing open standards than you have in the past?
Ballmer: We say when we embrace standards, we'll be transparent about how we're embracing standards. We're going to embrace a lot of standards, we're going to be transparent about how we embrace those standards. If we have deviations, we'll be transparent about the deviations.
So, you'll tell us how you're going to screw us before you screw us now? That's considerate of you, if not a bit misguided.

Ballmer: Microsoft has always strived to be at the center of where innovative work is happening.
Yet, despite all of that striving, your company hasn't ever really been there. It must be very frustrating. Though I don't think that I'd ever resort to throwing chairs and cursing at innocent bystanders. But, then again, I use Linux, and therefore do not experience much frustration.

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.