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Tax-Free IT Repairs Proposed For the UK 102

judgecorp writes "Removing tax from computer repairs could have a real impact on the IT industry's carbon footprint, according to a petition of the UK government. Old computer equipment often ends up in landfill, or in toxic illegal re-cycling centers in developing countries, because users think it is not cost-effective to repair it. Making repairs tax free could be a simple bit of financial engineering to encourage skilled jobs and keep electronics out of the waste stream, says the author of the campaign."

How the Internet Didn't Fail As Predicted 259

Lord Byron Eee PC writes "Newsweek is carrying a navel-gazing piece on how wrong they were when in 1995 they published a story about how the Internet would fail. The original article states, 'Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.' The article continues to say that online shopping will never happen, that airline tickets won't be purchased over the web, and that newspapers have nothing to fear. It's an interesting look back at a time when the Internet was still a novelty and not yet a necessity."

Seinfeld's Good Samaritan Law Now Reality? 735

e3m4n writes "The fictitious 'good samaritan' law from the final episode of Seinfeld (the one that landed them in jail for a year) appears to be headed toward reality for California residents after the house passed this bill. There are some differences, such as direct action is not required, but the concept of guilt by association for not doing the right thing is still on the face of the bill."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Modern Warfare 2 Surpasses $1 Billion Mark; Dedicated Servers What? 258

The Opposable Thumbs blog is running an interesting article contrasting everything Activision did "wrong" in creating and marketing Modern Warfare 2 with the game's unqualified success. Despite price hikes, somewhat shady review practices, exploit frustrations, and the dedicated server fiasco, the game has raked in over a billion dollars in sales. "There was only one way to review Modern Warfare 2: on the Xbox 360, in Santa Barbara, under the watchful eye of Activision. Accepting the paid trip, along with room and board, was the only way you were going to get a review before launch. Joystiq noted that this broke their ethics policy, but they went anyway. Who can say no to a review destined to bring in traffic? Shacknews refused to call their coverage a 'review' because of the ethical issues inherent in the situation, but that stance was unique. The vast majority of news outlets didn't disclose how the review was conducted, or added a disclaimer after the nature of the review was made public. This proved to Activision that if you're big enough, you can dictate the exact terms of any review, and no ethics policy will make news outlets turn you down."

Best Man Rigs Newlyweds' Bed To Tweet During Sex 272

When an UK man was asked to be the best man at a friend's wedding he agreed that he would not pull any pranks before or during the ceremony. Now the groom wishes he had extended the agreement to after the blessed occasion as well. The best man snuck into the newlyweds' house while they were away on their honeymoon and placed a pressure-sensitive device under their mattress. The device now automatically tweets when the couple have sex. The updates include the length of activity and how vigorous the act was on a scale of 1-10.

Comment Re:Deniers? (Score 3, Interesting) 1011

Wow, you just made me so angry I almost just filled this entire response with expletives. You are either stunningly ignorant of the how the entire world of communication works, or you are a troll, or you are one of the reasons why PR is required in the first place.

Of course the shift in language is a PR exercise. That's because when you are trying to tell the world some important information, use of language is important. It's called nuance. Public Relations is just that - relating information to the public at large. If you discover that the language you are using is not getting the message across, then you have to alter the language to succeed. Otherwise you simply get drowned out by people who are betting at language, but not necessarily better at science.

In case you hadn't noticed, the number of scientists in the world vs the number of 'laypeople' is somewhat disproportionate. scientists don't often get to pick the lessons that taught to the public, especially when a bit of controversy can be stirred up instead. Or the latest news about who's fucking paris hilton.

And this whole continual argument about how bad governments are at regulating stuff really gets up my nose as well. In what way are private businesses good at regulating anything?! The only thing private organisations regulate successfully is skimming as much profit off the rest of the world as they possibly can. Free markets only price short term costs, they have no model for pricing the long term impact of what they produce - certainly not without regulation and laws laid down by a strong government willing to take on special interests. Which are sadly few and far between.

I've run out of steam now, and I know that this will make no difference to anyone's opinion whatsoever. But i feel a smidgen better ...

Comment Re:First post (Score 1) 783

or how about, as adults, we have a responsibility to have learnt the difference between teasing someone in a way that is acceptable to them and fun, versus being offensive whatever guise that might take. The difference between being an adult and being a child is that as a child you are learning what is acceptable in life through experience, it's part of growing up.

Somewhere along the line kids should learn to treat other people with respect, and not tease them unless they have an appropriate relationship with those people.

It's not difficult.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Sitcom for geeks: Out of Office (

mikey_boy writes: "In a blatant act of self-promotion, I thought I'd submit a sitcom I've written and co-produced called Out of Office. Jason is a programmer who has gone into business with his sales friend David. They've set up
a virtual office, maintaining a permanent video conference as they try to build their company. With the line between private and work life more blurred than ever before, Jason's girlfriend Helen (Sarah Coyle) has to find ways to keep Jason's attention where it belongs: on her."


Slumdog Millionaire Takes Home 8 Oscars 317

Ben Burtt was robbed of his overly deserved Oscars for the sound on Wall-E, and Heath Ledger's Joker unsurprisingly got a posthumous statue, but the big winner for the night was Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire with Picture, Director, Song, and five others. Go ahead movie nerds: talk amongst yourself.

"Privacy Baseline" For European EID Cards 24

giles hogben writes "This paper from the European Network and Information Security Agency looks at the roll-out of privacy features in electronic identity card technology (PDF) over Europe. It includes numerous tables for easy comparison but doesn't make too much comment on the relative privacy-merits of different cards. Readers can draw their own conclusions though ..."

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982