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Comment Re:Tonight On Bizzaro World News ... (Score 1, Insightful) 87

Microsoft actually lost a golden opportunity when hey treatead open source the way they did. There will always be demand for proprietary and open source, IBM got that right.

Microsoft on the other hand, decided to try to destroy open source and bury it like it did with other companies before (failing to see that this was a grassroot, difuse movement), basically alienating one generation of developers. Not simple developers mind you, but the superstars, the trend-setters, the guys who write tech-blogs, found innovative start-up and become managers and CIOs in big companies later on.

All of them are dead set against Microsoft and no amount of certification is going to change that now.

Comment Re:What's the adage? (Score 4, Insightful) 332

China has few natural resources?

Yes, China is the one of world's biggest importers of iron ore, copper and crude oil, not to mention rubber and other commodities. So, althought the sentence "few natural resources" is too general (china is one of the biggest exporters of rare minerals, for instance), it certainly is applicable to a lot of core commodities for manufacturing


Study Finds the Perfect Ratio of Attractiveness 176

Gksksla writes "Scientists in Australia and Hong Kong have conducted a comprehensive study to discover how different body measurements correspond with ratings of female attractiveness. The study, published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, found that across cultural divides young, tall and long armed women were considered the most attractive."

Comment Re:Self-destructive behavior of corporations (Score 1) 317

For some reason, corporations seem to feel the need to compete in areas where they're clearly outmatched no matter what

Just because you can't see it, it doesn't mean that there is no strong rationale for that.

The reason why google keeps investing in projects different than search is simply to increase usage and accessibility of the internet. By increasing the value of the internet (gmail, orkut, latitude), the ways you can access it (android) and by improving the overall user experience (gwt, chrome), they are basically increasing their market and the appeal of the advertisement in their core search product.

Microsoft, on its turn, knows the value of a good monopoly and the leverage it gives in all your other products. They played this game very successfully in the desktop market, and they know that if they let google run free in the search market, it may eventually be powerful enough to crush any future source of revenue for microsoft in the web.

Don't fool yourself into thinking that any of these guys are doing anything simply out of stupidity, hubris or whatever other reason. They are doing it because there is money involved.


Researchers Make a Case For Learning Through Video Game Creation 68

ub3r n3u7r4l1st sends along this snippet from Science Daily: "Computer games have a broad appeal that transcends gender, culture, age and socio-economic status. Now, computer scientists in the US think that creating computer games, rather than just playing them, could boost students' critical and creative thinking skills as well as broaden their participation in computing. ... 'Worldwide, there is increasing recognition of a digital divide, a troubling gap between groups that use information and communication technologies widely and those that do not,' the team explains. 'The digital divide refers not only to unequal access to computing resources between groups of people but also to inequalities in their ability to use information technology fully.' There are many causes and proposed solutions to bridging this divide, but applying them at the educational and computer literacy level in an entertaining and productive way might be one of the more successful. The team adds that teaching people how to use off-the-shelf tools to quickly build a computer game might allow anyone to learn new thinking and computing skills."

Game Endings Going Out of Style? 190

An article in the Guardian asks whether the focus of modern games has shifted away from having a clear-cut ending and toward indefinite entertainment instead. With the rise of achievements, frequent content updates and open-ended worlds, it seems like publishers and developers are doing everything they can to help this trend. Quoting: "Particularly before the advent of 'saving,' the completion of even a simple game could take huge amounts of patience, effort and time. The ending, like those last pages of a book, was a key reason why we started playing in the first place. Sure, multiplayer and arcade style games still had their place, but fond 8, 16 and 32-bit memories consist more of completion and satisfaction than particular levels or tricky moments. Over the past few years, however, the idea of a game as simply something to 'finish' has shifted somewhat. For starters, the availability of downloadable content means no story need ever end, as long as the makers think there's a paying audience. Also, the ubiquity of broadband means multiplayer gaming is now the standard, not the exception it once was. There is no real 'finish' to most MMORPGs."

Comment Re:Should this be surprising? (Score 1) 211

This is not a problem specific to data centers, but rather to IT in general.

In the company I work for, the development team was first reduced by half (all contractors were let go), and then further sliced by 20%. Nobody from the business/management side was dismissed, and keep in mind that those people's job is just to tell the engineers what to do. Things got to the point that now we have more people giving orders than people to actually follow them through.

Meanwhile, the deadlines got more aggressive, the plans more grandiose, and micromanagement ever larger. Funny thing is, when the projects are late or incomplete, the IT guys are somehow to blame for it.

Social Networks

The Sims 3 To Mesh With Social Networks 25

Electronic Arts has released a good bit of information about the online aspects of The Sims 3, which is due for release in early June. The game will have downloadable content available on launch day that includes a second, separate town called Riverview. They'll also be revamping the game's website to allow the sharing of content and integration with social media. In addition, EA mentioned that the game will make use of micro-transactions, which players can use to buy things like furniture, clothing, and other items.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 5, Interesting) 194

You could say that not now.

Generally, the beta version is a prototype of the product that comes even before the release candidates. People don't usually pay for beta releases, and it's very uncommon for a product to remain so long in beta, especially when it is already stable, widely deployed and used daily by millions of users.

This curious fact generate especulations about the reasons for that, since so far, no good one was given. What if they decided for instance, that when Gmail is out of beta, the service will be no longer be free and a subscription model will be put in place? Or that the current storage will be available only for premium users? Or that the service will be simply discontinued? The beta versioning could easily provide an excuse for any of those or other changes that could directly impact you, especially after you come to rely strongly on the service.


Submission + - Brazil breaks patent on AIDS drug

gusmao writes: It is the first time Brazil has bypassed a patent to acquire cheaper drugs for its AIDS prevention program, although it has threatened to do so before to force drug makers to lower prices. Talks over the price of Merck's drug, Efavirenz, broke off on Thursday when the health ministry rejected the New Jersey-based company's offer to cut its price, $1.59 per pill, by 30 percent. Brazil wanted to pay what Merck charges Thailand, or $0.65 per pill.

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