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Comment Precedent? (Score 1) 539

Is this a precedent? Does it mean that now anyone who does not want to be on a jury can pay $250, write an essay, and go home early? Many people lose more than $250 in pay while serving, so this may be a cheaper alternative. When I had to serve, I wasn't even picked, but I lost five days of work and had to pay for parking - $250 would have been a cheaper alternative.

Comment Death Of PC Greatly Exaggerated (Score 4, Insightful) 549

A couple of points:

  1. These next-generation devices lack storage, and it is far cheaper to put a drive on your local network than it is to rent space online, in which case you pay monthly fees not only for the storage but for the bandwidth to access it. A desktop in the basement is a good solution for this requirement.
  2. The cost of a terminal which can be used to access virtual OSes over a network usually costs about the same as a desktop. If you can have the desktop for the same price, why not keep it?
  3. When a product becomes a commodity, people don't stop buying it - in fact, quite the opposite. Just because Apple can't charge $2000 for a computer anymore doesn't mean low-margin suppliers won't continue to sell them.

Comment Re:Or you could say... (Score 1) 205

Exactly right - meetings never end, interruptions never stop, and drive-by management becomes an even easier habit to fall into. It may be tiresome, but there are real benefits to getting the right people into a room, and focusing on the problem at hand. Where chat rooms and follow-on technologies really shine is enabling these meetings over great distances.

Comment Re:What a Tragedy and No Charges? (Score 5, Interesting) 1343

But the fact that there are no charges being pressed enrages me.

Are you a parent? There's absolutely NOTHING they could do to the guy that would be worse than losing a child. I wouldn't be surprised if he winds up comitting suicide intentionally, with the same gun. I can't imagine how much this guy's hurting right now.

I'd also betting his marriage is over. Yes, charges of child endangerment could be filed, but no punishment is going to change anything; no punishment that state can inflict will come close to what he's done to himself.

I am a parent, and my eyes tear up thinking about a child dying, mine or one I've never met - they are all tragedies. However, in this case the *stepfather* left a gun around that killed a child that wasn't his. He may or may not be suffering, and it should be investigated.

Comment DRM-Free Digital Downloads? (Score 3, Interesting) 121

Lately, I have become enamoured with legal, DRM-free digital download content providers such as (for games) and (for indie movies). There are many similar sites, but they come burdened with DRM, which I am not interested in supporting or being bogged down by. Given the slashdot community's general dislike for DRM, and hopefully support for indie developers of content, I am hoping you folks can suggest other such sites. So - care to share any favourites?

New Search Engine Cuil Takes Aim At Google 649

theodp writes "CNET reports that Cuil (pronounced 'Cool'), a startup founded by the husband-and-wife team of Xift creator Tom Costello and former Google search architect Anna Patterson, is launching a new search engine today that claims to index three times as many Web pages as Google." Running a few searches left me underwhelmed with the content of the results (hitting the next-page button on a search with a listed 62,200,000 results — for "seattle" — got me the unexpected error message "We didn't find any results for 'seattle.'"), but pleased with the actual layout of the results when it worked, so I hope the kinks are worked out. Update 7/28 18:30 GMT by SM: corrected Tom Costello's accreditation, he wasn't a professor at Stanford as the linked story suggests, just did some research there as a grad student. Thanks to the Stanford CS department for pointing this out.

Submission + - eBay launches desktop application (

jbrodkin writes: "eBay today launched a new desktop application that ties directly into the eBay Web site, making it easier for buyers to keep track of items and make new bids. The appropriately named eBay Desktop lets users receive alerts about new listings of products they are interested in, reminders before specific listings expire, or alerts when they are outbid. Users can receive alerts and submit new bids even if they have closed both their browser window and the desktop application. "Users don't have to proactively go to their browser to find out what's going on, and they don't have to rely on e-mail, which as tons or problems to begin with," says Alan Lewis, the eBay Desktop product manager."

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