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Comment Sorry Bradley (Score 2) 2

"I went out tonight and picked mine up at the regular $400 price to beat the rush. Situations like this are why they invented price matching. I can just go back with my receipt once the fire sale starts and get the price adjusted and the difference refunded."

Actually, the best buy terms state:

Does the HP TouchPad tablet qualify for the Price Match policy?
No. The HP TouchPad is on clearance and we will no longer be selling the units so we will not offer any price matches. We do offer a 60-day return/exchange policy for this product.
Updated: August 19, 2011

NASA

Submission + - Newt Gingrich Rips NASA (ibtimes.com)

gabbo529 writes: "In a debate of possible Republican candidates for presidency, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrinch tore into NASA.

The debate was the first for the 2012 Presidential Election and featured seven Republican candidates, some unofficial and some official. Gingrinch, who has formerly made a bid for Presidency, was asked a question about the role government should play in future space exploration. Gingrich made it clear he wasn't a fan of the space agency.

"Well, sadly — and I say this sadly, because I'm a big fan of going into space and I actually worked to get the shuttle program to survive at one point — NASA has become an absolute case study in why bureaucracy can't innovate," Gingrich said."

Submission + - Why don’t journalists link to primary source (guardian.co.uk) 1

jcombel writes: Too often lately I look at the Slashdot blurb, then read then article, then groan. The article submitted was a copy/pasta of another article, which was itself a copy/pasta of a press release. It often takes two or three clicks to get to the original information, or maybe even a web search on the topic because none of the articles actually linked the study. With enough digging, you find why the source was omitted: it is inconvenient for one reason or another, maybe a policy agenda, or maybe just the truth didn't make as sensational a headline.

Ben Goldacre (if there was a thing called a slashdot favorite, he'd be it) writes about how this is getting out of hand, and proposes a mindset for discerning facts on the internet: "I've detected myself using a new rule of thumb: if you don't link to primary sources, I just don't trust you."

Communications

Submission + - Riled Reciept Retaliates with Robocall Revenge 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Washington Post reports that Virginia resident Aaron Titus jumped out of bed in a panic at 433 am awakened by a ringing phone thinking maybe something terrible had happened. In a blurry rush, Titus answered the phone halfway into the second ring, listening in disbelief to an automated caller tell him what he already knew: It was a snow day. School would open two hours late. In other words, he and his family could sleep. Sometime later in the day, the 31-year-old father, a lawyer who knows a thing or two about technology, made a decision that might well bring amused satisfaction to like-minded parents everywhere. He found a robocall company online, taped a message and listed every phone number he could find for nine school board members so at 430 the next morning phones began ringing with 29 seconds of automated, mocking objection: "This is a Prince George's County School District parent, calling to thank you for the robocall yesterday at 4:30 in the morning. I decided to return the favor. While I know the school district wanted to ensure I drop my child off two hours late on a snow day, I already knew that before I went to bed. I hope this call demonstrates why a 4:30 a.m. call does more to annoy than to inform.'' School board member Edward Burroughs III said he had not personally gotten one of Titus's robocall rebukes, but considered it "very clever." The robocall, he concluded, made a point. "It's certainly something that I welcome all parents to do — communicate with us, by any means necessary.""

Submission + - My GPL code has been... patented! 4

ttsiod writes: Back in 2001, I coded HeapCheck, a GPL library for Windows (inspired by ElectricFence) that detected invalid read/write accesses on any heap allocations at runtime — thus greatly helping my debugging sessions. I published it on my site, and got a few users who were kind enough to thank me — a Serbian programmer even sent me 250$ as a thank you (I still have his mails). After a few years, Microsoft included very similar technology in the operating system itself, calling it PageHeap. I had more or less forgotten these stuff, since for the last 7 years I've been coding for UNIX/Linux, where valgrind superseeded Efence/dmalloc/etc. Imagine my surprise, when yesterday, Googling for references to my site, I found out that the technology I implemented, of runtime detection of invalid heap accesses, has been patented in the States, and to add insult to injury, even mentions my site (via a non-working link to an old version of my page) in the patent references! After the necessary "WTFs" and "bloody hells" I thought this merrits (a) a Slashdotting, and (b) a set of honest questions: what should I do about this? I am not an American citizen, but the "inventors" of this technology (see their names in the top of the patent) have apparently succeeded in passing this ludicrous patent in the States. If my code doesn't count as prior art, Bruce Perens's Efence (which I clearly state my code was inspired from) is at least 12 years prior! Suggestions/cursing patent trolls most welcome.
Government

Submission + - Man Records TSA Ejection After Refusing Body Scan (signonsandiego.com) 3

bonch writes: A man refusing a full-body scan and 'groin check' was ejected from the San Diego International Airport by the TSA as he recorded the incident with a cell phone sitting on his luggage. John Tyner, who posted his account of events along with the video on his blog, refused to pass through a full-body scanner, citing privacy and health concerns. Tyner was escorted to a security area for a patdown but, after hearing a description of the procedure, told the agent, 'You touch my junk and I'm going to have you arrested.' This led to a series of encounters with supervisors as well as a visit from a local police officer. Tyner was told that he was not being detained against his will, but that if he left the area, he would be hit with a civil suit and a $10,000 fine. He walked out the airport anyway, posting his account two hours later. The new TSA procedures have generated criticism from both passengers and airline crew, and one activist has proposed a National Opt-Out Day.
Censorship

Submission + - Internet Blacklist Bill Up for Vote on Thursday

Adrian Lopez writes: The Internet blacklist bill known as COICA is up for vote on Thursday, with the first vote to be conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senators for California, Vermont, Wisconsin, New York, Minnesota, and Illinois will be the key votes in deciding whether COICA passes. Residents of those states are encouraged to contact their senators and let them know they oppose the bill.

COICA would let the US Attorney General create a blacklist of domains that every American ISP would be required to block. Wikileaks, YouTube, and others are all at risk. Human rights advocates, constitutional law experts, and the people who invented the Internet have all spoken out against this bill — but some of the most powerful industries in the country are demanding that Congress rush it through. The music industry is even having all of their employees call Congress to pose as citizens in support of the bill.

This bill is as bad for Americans and bad for the Internet. The decision to take down US and foreign websites shouldn't rest with the US Attorney General, and it should never be as easy as adding a website to a central list.

Demand Progress has a petition online which residents of the above and other US states are encouraged to sign.
Programming

Submission + - What RPC Library Do You Like?

Reality Master 101 writes: "I'm about to embark on developing a new web service application from scratch, and part of the strategy is to have many distributed software components. These days there are a ton of RPC mechanisms. I'd like to hear from Slashdotters about what RPC libraries you've used recently, pro and con. These are going to be for internal communication, so my preference is for binary encoding of parameters (rather than inefficient XML). Of course, cross-language independence is a big plus. I will be using Apache running on Linux. Apache Thrift seems very interesting, but I'm open to suggestions."
Java

Submission + - Apple Deprecates Java on Mac OS X (apple.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Well, here's a surprise. In the release notes for the Java update that Apple released today, they are announcing that Java on Mac OS X is now deprecated, and that it may not be supported in future versions of Mac OS X. Guess all the users of my in-house Java app on Mac will just have to plan on foregoing Lion. Maybe they can switch to Windows or Linux.

Submission + - Generic PCs for corporate use 1

porkThreeWays writes: I work for a government agency supporting about 1000 PCs. The economy has hit us just like everyone else and we are looking at ways to save money. We currently buy Dell computers and even with our government discounts end up spending about $1,000 for a pretty mediocre computer. I had the idea of building our own PCs for considerably less. We'd spec out a standard configuration that we'd use for 18 months. CPU speeds and RAM sizes may change during that time, but socket types, memory standards, hard drive interfaces standards, etc, etc would be required to stay the same. We have Dell warrantys right now, but I could see just keeping spare parts on the shelf and building that into the cost of the PC. We'd also be able to transfer Windows licenses because the Dell installs are non-transferable. However, I couldn't find anyone on the large scale doing this. Is anyone on Slashdot using PCs they built themselves on the large scale?

Submission + - Google puts forth new image format: WebP (blogspot.com)

Art3x writes: Google has come up with another image format: WebP. Based on the intraframe compression of VP8, it shrinks JPEG files another 39%, on average, in their test of a million pictures across the Web. 'Images and photos make up about 65% of the bytes transmitted per web page today.' said Google. 'They can significantly slow down a user's web experience.' While some images shrank a mere 10%, some were 75% smaller than a JPEG at the same quality. Still, do you think a new web image format will take?
Censorship

Submission + - Web Censorship Sneaking into US (demandprogress.org)

DavidRawling writes: "According to Demand Progress, while we've all been concentrating on censorship moves in Australia, Iran and China (just to name a few), the US Senate has proposed censorship for the Internet within the USA.

Just the other day, President Obama urged other countries to stop censoring the Internet. But now the United States Congress is trying to censor the Internet here at home. A new bill being debated this week would have the Attorney General create an Internet blacklist of sites that US Internet providers would be required to block.

This is the kind of heavy-handed censorship you'd expect from a dictatorship, where one man can decide what web sites you're not allowed to visit. But the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to pass the bill this week — and Senators say they haven't heard much in the way of objections! That's why we need you to sign our urgent petition to Congress demanding they oppose the Internet blacklist.

The stench of the hypocrisy is astonishing."

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