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Comment Re:It's all about the names (Score 1) 685

It wouldn't surprise me if a substantial number of those saying they have an "HD DVD player" actually own Blu-Ray devices.

Yes, I was thinking that too. Especially as (if the order in the results table is the same as the order in the questionnaire) the question for HD-DVD is a couple of questions before the one for Blu-Ray, so some of the respondents might not immediately realize the distinction.

Comment Re:I always maintained blue ray was moot (Score 4, Insightful) 685

If you look at the chart, they've separated out the PS3 owners from the Blu-Ray player owners. Combine the 7% Blu-Ray owners with the 9% PS3 owners, and that's 16%. I'm sure that most PS3 owners didn't feel the need to buy a separate Blu-Ray player.

On the other hand, some of the people who owned a PS3 and no other separate BD player, might have ticked Yes to both questions. In other words, you can't necessarily add together the numbers for BD players and PS3s together, as you may be counting some devices twice.


Why Our "Amazing" Science Fiction Future Fizzled 499

An anonymous reader sends in a story at CNN about how our predictions for the future tend to be somewhat accurate (whether or not we can do a thing) yet often too optimistic (whether or not it's practical). Obvious example: jetpacks. Quoting: "Joseph Corn, co-author of 'Yesterday's Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future,' found an inflated optimism about technology's impact on the future as far back as the 19th century, when writers like Jules Verne were creating wondrous versions of the future. Even then, people had a misplaced faith in the power of inventions to make life easier, Corn says. For example, the typical 19th-century American city was crowded and smelly. The problem was horses. They created traffic jams, filled the streets with their droppings and, when they died, their carcasses. But around the turn of the 20th century, Americans were predicting that another miraculous invention would deliver them from the burden of the horse and hurried urban life — the automobile, Corn says. 'There were a lot of predictions associated with early automobiles,' Corn says. 'They would help eliminate congestion in the city and the messy, unsanitary streets of the city.' Corn says Americans' faith in the power of technology to reshape the future is due in part to their history. Americans have never accepted a radical political transformation that would change their future. They prefer technology, not radical politics, to propel social change."

Conficker Worm Asks For Instructions, Gets Update 285

KingofGnG writes "Conficker/Downup/Downadup/Kido malware, that according to Symantec 'is, to date, one of the most complex worms in the history of malicious code,' has been updated and this time for real. The new variant, dubbed W32.Downadup.C, adds new features to malware code and makes the threat even more dangerous and worrisome than before."

Why Japan Hates the iPhone 884

Ponca City, We love you writes "With a high level of technical sophistication, critical customers, and high innovation rate, Japan is the toughest cell phone market in the world. So it's not surprising that although Apple is the third-largest mobile supplier in the world, selling 10 million units in 2008, in Japan the iPhone is selling so poorly it's being offered for free. The country is famous for being ahead of its time when it comes to technology, and the iPhone just doesn't cut it. For example, Japanese handset users are into video and photos — and the iPhone has neither a video camera, multimedia text messaging, nor a TV tuner. Pricing plans in Japan are also very competitive, and the iPhone's $60-and-up monthly plan is too high compared to competitors; a survey lat year showed that among Japanese consumers, 91% didn't want to buy an iPhone. The cellular weapon of choice in Japan would be the Panasonic P905i, a fancy cellphone that doubles as a 3-inch TV and features 3-G, GPS, a 5.1-megapixel camera, and motion sensors for Wii-style games. 'When I show this to visitors from the US, they're amazed,' according to journalist Nobi Hayashi, who adds, 'Carrying around an iPhone in Japan would make you look pretty lame.'"

Comment Off by default (in Ubuntu at least) (Score 2, Interesting) 501

> Possibly, too, those who participate in the Popularity Contests are not typical users of either Ubuntu or Debian.

I don't know about Debian, but the Popularity Contest (listed in the Software Sources window as 'Submit statistical information') is turned off by default in Ubuntu, and I don't expect many people turn it on given people's wish for privacy. So indeed, I don't think the results will be from typical users.


Give Up the Fight For Personal Privacy? 751

KlaymenDK writes "Over the last decade or so, I have strived to maintain my privacy. I have uninstalled Windows, told my friends 'sorry' when they wanted me to join Facebook, had a fight with my brother when he wanted to move the family email hosting to Gmail, and generally held back on my personal information online. But since, amongst all of my friends, I am the only one doing this, it may well be that my battle is lost already. Worse, I'm really putting myself out of the loop, and it is starting to look like self-flagellation. Indeed, it is a common occurrence that my wife or friends will strike up a conversation based on something from their Facebook 'wall' (whatever that is). Becoming ever more unconnected with my friends, live or online, is ultimately harming my social relations. I am seriously considering throwing in the towel and signing up for Gmail, Facebook, the lot. If 'they' have my soul already, I might as well reap the benefits of this newfangled, privacy-less, AJAX-2.0 world. It doesn't really matter if it was me or my friends selling me out. Or does it? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter. How many Windows-eschewing users are not also eschewing the social networking services and all the other 2.0 supersites with their dubious end-user license agreements?"

Comment Re:My bigest boneheaded move (Score 1) 259

I was going to say that naming a program after your initials wasn't a great idea, except that someone told me that the real 'df' command was written by David Ford. (Sorry, no reference, but David currently works in Oxford University if you want to track him down and ask him).

Submission + - Microsoft battles Vista perception issue (apcmag.com)

LambAndMint writes: "In what can only be described as an act of utter desperation to overcome Vista's mostly negative public perception issues, Microsoft has put together an online "Fact or Fiction" quiz about Windows Vista. Every person who submits themselves to Microsoft indoctrination gets a free shirt and the chance to win a $15,000 prize. Some of the supposed "fact" will make you feel dirty and ready to get a job as a computer salesman for a mass-market retailer as you go through the quiz."

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