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Submission + - On DVRs, Youngsters Skip Ads Less Than Seniors (

Dekortage writes: "In analyzing DVR viewing research, Ad Age has noted something unexpected: older DVR users are more likely to skip ads than younger DVR users. The skew is particularly apparent among men: 50% of seniors skipping all the ads, but only 20% of teens do so. Women of any age group tend to be around 35%. Ad Age hypothesizes that younger viewers "just pay attention to other media when the ads are on TV or, worse yet, perhaps the TV is just 'background music'...." I always thought that ad skipping was a major benefit of DVRs. Do you skip all the ads?"

HD DVD Player Sales Grind To a Halt 507

Lucas123 writes "While the news may fall under the 'Duh' category, it's still relatively shocking how quickly the death knell for HD DVD player sales came on after Warner Bros. announced they were dropping dual hi-def DVD format support in order to back only Blu-ray. According to a Computerworld story, the week after Warner's announcement, sales of HD DVD players dropped to 1,758, down from 14,558 players the week before. In contrast, consumers bought 21,770 Blu-ray Disc players, up from 15,257 the previous week."

You Used Perl to Write WHAT?! 307

Esther Schindler writes "Developers spend a lot of time telling managers, 'Let me use the tool that's appropriate for the job' (cue the '...everything looks like a nail' meme here). But rarely do we enumerate when a language is the right one for a particular job, and when it's a very, very wrong choice. James Turner, writing for, identifies five tasks for which perl is ideally suited, and four that... well, really, shouldn't you choose something else? This is the first article in a series that will examine what each language is good at, and for which tasks it's just plain dumb. Another article is coming RSN about JavaScript, and yet another for PHP... with more promised, should these first articles do well."

Submission + - Blackberry DST Patch (

ttapper04 writes: "To my groggy delight this morning my Blackberry Pearl had rolled back time by 1 hour. I changed my alarm clock, with a satisfying feeling of having "stuck it to the man." Did anyone else indulge in this unexpected treat? If so what kind of reaction did you get upon showing up late to work? It turns out that Blackberry phones with old firmware have jumped the gun on daylight savings time. is where you can get the patch. Is anyone else faced with having to upgrade all their companies Blackberries?"

Submission + - Microsoft to allow PC makers to downgrade to XP (

mytrip writes: "While Microsoft is still pushing Vista hard, the company is quietly allowing PC makers to offer a "downgrade" option to buyers that get machines with the new operating system but want to switch to Windows XP.

The program applies only to Windows Vista Business and Ultimate versions, and it is up to PC makers to decide how, if at all, they want to make XP available. Fujitsu has been among the most aggressive, starting last month to include an XP disc in the box with its laptops and tablets.

"That's going to help out small- and medium-size businesses," Fujitsu marketing manager Brandon Farris told CNET"


Submission + - Microsoft threatens Halo 3 gamers with LIVE ban ( 7

JamesO writes: "When contacted by Pro-G a Microsoft rep confirmed rumours that gamers who play Halo 3 early will have their LIVE accounts banned. Simply not connecting to the internet doesn't appear to be a solution either. The rep also confirmed that Microsoft is able to ban accounts based on information collected by the console which shows when the game was played. This news is sure to come as a shock to some gamers who have already started playing the final chapter in the blockbuster Halo trilogy.

This appears to suggest that games who play Halo 3 before the official street date will only avoid a ban if they never access Xbox LIVE. Microsoft is preparing an official statement on the Halo 3 banning scandal. We'll give you more on this breaking news story as we get it."

United States

Submission + - Why don't people work? (

coondoggie writes: "While there is a multibillion dollar industry out there that tracks every move of the working public, what nonworkers are doing remains somewhat of a mystery, according to the US Census Bureau. Today the agency released an interesting study that looks extensively at why people don't work. For example, for nonworkers 25 to 44 years of age, taking care of children or others was the main reason — 44% — for not working at a paid job. Nearly 2 out of 5 or 38% nonworkers 45 to 54 years old did not work because of a chronic illness or disability. Men nonworkers were more likely than women nonworkers to be retired or going to school. Almost 5% of respondents said they had no interest in work."

Submission + - Insight Cable Hijacking 404 Pages

Vulva R. Thompson, P writes: "Here we go again. After checking with a number of fellow Insight subscribers, any mistyped URLs are redirected to Screenshot here. There's no mention of the ISP on the page and querying whois shows the domain name is protected by a proxy.

At first glance, it looks like a DNS hijack because the page is laid out like a typical cheesy squatter site, not something from a reputable ISP. But after viewing the source, the server simply inserts some javascript and sends the page off to perform the lookup. Extending the cheesiness factor, opt-out is via a cookie that can be set in a page linked from the microscopic "About" link (opt-out screenshot here). Again, no mention of Insight anywhere.

It's been argued before that grabbing 404's for profit is wrong ethically and, more importantly, RFC-wise. But another issue, as demonstrated here, is that it's tough enough training our Joe Sixpack friends not to go happy clicking and recognize when their system has been compromised, DNS or otherwise. Stuff like this doesn't help. What would your first reaction have been upon seeing that page?"

Submission + - Giant spider web spurs sticky debate ( 1

Raver32 writes: "Entomologists are debating the origins of a massive spider web, which runs more than 180 metres and covers several trees and shrubs, found in Texas. Officials at Lake Tawakoni State Park, near Willis Point, find the web both amazing and somewhat creepy. "At first, it was so white it looked like fairyland," park superintendent Donna Garde said. "Now it's filled with so many mosquitoes that it's turned a little brown. There are times you can literally hear the screech of millions of mosquitoes caught in those webs." Experts are debating whether the web is the work of social cobweb spiders working together, or a mass dispersal where the arachnids spin webs to move away from one another."
The Internet

Submission + - Man arrested for speeding after posting on YouTube ( 1

bluce writes: A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of having posted a video of himself on YouTube driving at speeds of more than 140 mph, police said Thursday. Sergeant Scott McLachlan, from the Roads Policing Unit at Dumfries and Galloway police, described it as "completely foolish behavior." "Not only did he endanger his own life, but that of other road-users. It is unacceptable, and to post a recording of such driving on the Internet is entirely stupid."

Submission + - Algorithm Rates Trustworthiness of Wikipedia Pages

paleshadows writes: Researchers at UCSC developed a tool that measures the trustworthiness of each wikipedia page. Roughly speaking, the algorithm analyzes the entire 7-year user-editing-history and utilzes the longevity of the content to learn which contributors are the most reliable: If your contribution lasts, you gain "reputation", whereas if it's edited out, your reputation falls. The trustworthiness of a newly inserted text is a function of the reputation of all its authors, a heuristic that turned out to be successful in identifying poor content. The interested reader can take a look at this demo (random page with white/orange background marking trusted/untrusted text, respectively; note "random page" link at the left for more demo pages), this presentation (pdf), and this paper (pdf).

Submission + - Artificial life likely in 3 to 10 years... (

teambpsi writes: "Around the world, a handful of scientists are trying to create life from scratch and they're getting closer.

Experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years from someone in the now little-known field of "wet artificial life."

"When these things are created, they're going to be so weak, it'll be a huge achievement if you can keep them alive for an hour in the lab," Mark Badau said. "But them getting out and taking over, never in our imagination could this happen."

Never in our imagination? Clearly this guy doesn't get enough sci-fi in his diet :)"

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