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Comment Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (Score 1) 214

Silent PC Review catering to the gamer/overclocker/max performance crowd?? Are we visiting the same website?? There's an entire forum on that site dedicated to green and eco friendly computing. There are also recommendations to use slower but quieter 5400 RPM WD Green drives and notebook drives on desktops. That's hardly max performance. There are also plenty of threads about underclocking and undervolting processors to save power and heat.

Draconian DRM Revealed In Windows 7 1127

TechForensics writes "A few days' testing of Windows 7 has already disclosed some draconian DRM, some of it unrelated to media files. A legitimate copy of Photoshop CS4 stopped functioning after we clobbered a nagging registration screen by replacing a DLL with a hacked version. With regard to media files, the days of capturing an audio program on your PC seem to be over (if the program originated on that PC). The inputs of your sound card are severely degraded in software if the card is also playing an audio program (tested here with Grooveshark). This may be the tip of the iceberg. Being in bed with the RIAA is bad enough, but locking your own files away from you is a tactic so outrageous it may kill the OS for many persons. Many users will not want to experiment with a second sound card or computer just to record from online sources, or boot up under a Linux that supports ntfs-3g just to control their files." Read on for more details of this user's findings.
The Almighty Buck

High Tech Misery In China 876

theodp writes "Think you've got a bad job? Think again. You could be making keyboards for IBM, Microsoft, Dell, Lenovo and HP at Meitai Plastic and Electronics, a Chinese hardware factory. Prompted by the release of High Tech Misery in China by a human-rights group, a self-regulating body set up by tech companies will conduct an audit of working conditions at the factory. In return for take-home pay of 41 cents per hour, workers reportedly sit on hard wooden stools for 12-hour shifts, seven days a week. Overtime is mandatory, with workers being given on average two days off per month. While on the production line, workers are not allowed to raise their hands or heads, are given 1.1 seconds to snap each key into place, and are encouraged to 'actively monitor each other' to see if any company rules are being transgressed. They are also monitored by guards. Workers are fined if they break the rules, locked in the factory for four days per week, and sleep in crowded dormitories. Okay, it's not all bad news — they're hiring."

A Look Back At Kurzweil's Predictions For 2009 307

marciot writes "It's interesting to look back at Ray Kurzweil's predictions for 2009 from a decade ago. He was dead on in predicting the ubiquity of portable computers, wireless, the emergence of digital objects, and the rise of privacy concerns. He was a little optimistic in certain areas, predicting the demise of rotating storage and the ubiquity of digital paper a bit earlier than it appears it will actually happen. On the topic of human-computer speech interfaces, though, he seems to be way off." And of course Kurzweil missed 9/11 and the fallout from that. His predictions might have been nearer the mark absent the war on terror.

Comment Re:Addons (Score 4, Insightful) 444

My experience is the opposite. I discovered adblock and never looked back at Privoxy. The user friendliness differences are just staggering. Adblock is a one click install affair while you have to edit text based configuration files for Privoxy.

Submission + - eBay changes feedback system to hurt sellers (

jas67 writes: * Buyers will only be able to receive positive Feedback.
* Positive repeat customer Feedback will count (up to 1 Feedback from the same buyer per week.)
* Feedback more than 12-months old won't count towards your Feedback percentage.
* When a buyer doesn't respond to the Unpaid Item (UPI) process the negative or neutral Feedback they have left for that transaction will be removed.
* When a member is suspended, all their negative and neutral Feedback will be removed.
* Buyers must wait 3 days before leaving negative or neutral Feedback for sellers with an established track record, to encourage communication.
* All Feedback must be left within 60 days (compared to 90 days today) of listing end to encourage timely Feedback and discourage abuse.
* Buyers will be held more accountable when sellers report an unpaid item or commit other policy violations.
Yes, there are lots of bad sellers on ebay trying to rip people off, but Ebay is totally not considering bad buyers (of which there are many). There are just as many ways for a buyer to rip off, or at least waste the time and money or a seller, as there are was for a seller to rip off buyers. Some of you probably remember the case of the fake cashier's check used to pay for a PowerBook G4 (when the PowerBook G4's where new, and >$2000).

Here is a copy of the email that I sent eBay (which will probably fall on deaf ears):

No negative feedback for buyers? What about deadbeats (non-paying bidders). I have been losing a lot of time and money to deadbeat buyers lately.

Also, you're now rewarding deadbeats by removing their negative and neutral feedback when their account gets suspended? How is this an improvement.

Additionally, regarding not being able to leave bad feedback for buyers, is bad for other reasons. On the FAQ for the changes, it says that buyers take the biggest risk. That is entirely untrue. Sellers have just as big a risk, against fraudulent charge-backs — PayPal's "chargeback protection" is worthless. I recently had a buyer hit me with a chargeback, because the laptop that I sold him supposedly had a bad battery — laptop batteries CAN fail without warning. He did not contact me first. I had a brand new battery here that I could have sent him (which only cost me $35). Instead, he forced me through the time-consuming chargeback procedure, which ultimately ended up costing me about $90. And what is to keep a buyer from damaging an item that they receive and then claiming it got to them that way. What about stolen accounts — the risk is once again taken entirely by the seller. And regarding the comment about "retaliatory bad beedback" — it works both ways. A buyer can freely give a seller undeserved bad feedback for no good reason, and the seller doesn't get a chance to answer that. Why bother with buyer feedback at all then?!?!? I'm a buyer and a seller. So are many other people. If someone is a bad buyer, they are probably a bad seller. I don't want to buy from someone who habitually pays late, returns things because they didn't Look at my feedback (well over 99%). eBay has made a lot of money from me. I have lost quite a bit of money over the years to non-paying bidders, and bids from stolen accounts where I could not recover the eBay fees. Now they make it harder for sellers to screen buyers. I have accepted returns from people, even though their complaint was for a flaw in an item that WAS DISCLOSED in the listing. This cost me time (which is money), and actual money in unrecoverable costs (shipping, my time, ebay fees, etc). eBay needs to treat there sellers better too. eBay makes their money FROM THE SELLERS!!!!! Not, directly from the buyers. Without the sellers, there are no buyer. Yes, they should protect buyers from fraudulent sellers, but they should also protect sellers from fraudulent buyers. These policy changes are driving me away from eBay. I am very seriously considering other ways to sell my merchandise, as the cost of doing business on eBay is becoming prohibitive. Please forward this to someone within eBay who makes these policies, and let them know that this is not accepted well by sellers (who are the ones that provide eBay with the money to stay in business).

The Courts

Submission + - Atheists not allowed to adopt children ( 4

gollum123 writes: "From Time, After six years of childless marriage, John and Cynthia Burke of Newark decided to adopt a baby boy through a state agency (,9171,877155,00.html ) . John Burke, an atheist, and his wife, a pantheist, left the line for religious affiliation blank on the forms. Superior Court Judge William Camarata raised the religious issue. Inestimable Privilege. In an extraordinary decision, Judge Camarata denied the Burkes' right to the child because of their lack of belief in a Supreme Being. Despite the Burkes' "high moral and ethical standards," he said, the New Jersey state constitution declares that "no person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience." Despite Eleanor Katherine's tender years, he continued, "the child should have the freedom to worship as she sees fit, and not be influenced by prospective parents who do not believe in a Supreme Being." Two weeks ago, aided by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Burkes appealed directly to the New Jersey Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case. If they fail in their appeal, Eleanor Katherine may have to leave the only family she has ever known and await adoption by another couple whose religious convictions satisfy the State of New Jersey."

Submission + - iPhone 1.1.3 Update Confirmed, Breaks Apps, Unlock (

An anonymous reader writes: Gizmodo has gathered conclusive evidence which confirms that the iPhone Firmware 1.1.3 update is 100% real. It installs only from iTunes using the obligatory Apple private encryption key, which nobody has. The list of new features, like GPS-like triangulation positioning in Google Maps, has been confirmed too. Apparently it will be coming out next week, but there's bad news as expected: it breaks the unlocks, patches the previous vulnerabilities used by hackers and takes away all your third-party applications.
Linux Business

Submission + - PC Mag slams Everex gPC (

An anonymous reader writes: PC Magazine reviews the $200 Linux desktop wonder sold by Wal-Mart. This desktop sold out quickly and has been cited as proof that consumers are tired of the Windows tax and ready for Linux. Not so according to PC Magazine giving the gPC a 1.5 star rating. "The gPC is not the alternative to Windows or Mac OS X it's cracked up to be; it's very frustrating to use."

Submission + - Microsoft Announces New Zune Lineup, Wireless Sync (

BarlowBrad writes: From PC World: "Microsoft announced a new slate of Wi-Fi-equipped Zune players today, including $150 4GB and $200 8GB flash-based players, and a $250 80GB model that's slimmer than the original Zune. All of the new models feature touch-sensitive controls and wireless syncing with your PC, a much-demanded feature that Microsoft will also make available on the original 30GB Zune when the new models debut in mid November."

Wireless. More space than a Nomad. But draw your own conclusions.


Submission + - Microsoft Unveils Multitouch User Interface

longacre writes: Popular Mechanics takes the Microsoft Surface system for a hands-on video test drive. To be announced at today's D5 conference, the coffee-table-esqe device allows manipulation from multiple touch points, while infrared, WiFi and Bluetooth team up to allow wireless transfers between devices placed on top of it, such as cameras and cell phones. Expected to launch before the end of the year in the $5,000-$10,000 range, the devices might not make their way under many Christmas trees, but will find the insides of Starwood hotels, Harrah's casinos and T-Mobile shops.

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When it is incorrect, it is, at least *authoritatively* incorrect. -- Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy