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Comment Re:What is being missed... is the $2 million part. (Score 2) 456

A school district of that size can save that much in a single year on their electric bill with an intelligent HVAC system.

I don't sell HVAC systems but I've seen this happen firsthand in a school district. Proper energy management programs are critical.

85% or so of a school district budget goes directly to personnel. That piece of the budget is considering operating expense. Other operating expenses? Transportation, energy, internet, phone, etc. The other piece of the budget is capital--used for buildings, equipment over a certain threshold or life expectancy. In most states there are very strict rules and amounts of money provided for both operating budgets and capital budgets. You can't co-mingle money between the two buckets--you can't pay teachers out of capital funds for instance.

So a $2M capital purchase that saves $2M in operating expenses directly impacts a district's ability to put teachers in the classroom. Then the HVAC system is a fixed asset, depreciated over the life expectancy of the building or buildings it serves and the financial impact on the budget is lessened.

As a taxpayer you may not care about this mundane detail and only want to scream about the expense. A more proper response is to scream to your state legislature about this arcane set of rules that forces school districts to make decisions like this.


Submission + - Researchers zero in on protein that destroys HIV (

Julie188 writes: Using a $225,000 microscope, researchers have identified the key components of a protein called TRIM5a that destroys HIV in rhesus monkeys. The finding could lead to new TRIM5a-based treatments that would knock out HIV in humans, said senior researcher Edward M. Campbell, PhD, of Loyola University Health System.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - The many faces of 3G (

An anonymous reader writes: Did you ever notice how each new generation of cell-phone tech gets branded "3G", and the previous thing is retroactively downgraded to some lesser number of G's? An MIT engineer explains why in this brilliant essay about "3G" in the last 10 years, showing how the cell carriers have kept offering it and swiping it away to sell more stuff. He cites numerous Cingular/AT&T and Sprint press releases showing how the companies have made "3G" into a brand name ideally suited for amnesiac consumers. Meanwhile, no cell carrier is foolish enough to sell you bottom-line throughput like an ISP in 1996 — you could actually hold them to that.

Submission + - SpaceX completes Dragon parachute test (

mattclar writes: SpaceX just released footage and pictures of last weeks dragon parachute drop test. Using an eriksson sky-crane the dragon capsule was carried to 14,000feet then released. After a few seconds of freefall the drouge chutes appeared followed by the main chutes. The test concluded with a gentle touchdown within the target area to conclude a test described by SpaceX as "100% successful".

Submission + - E-reading: Revolution or Fading Fad? (

esocid writes: Four years ago Cambridge, Mass.-based E Ink Corporation and Taiwan's Prime View International Co. hooked up to create an e-paper display that now supplies 90 percent of the fast growing e-reader market. But questions still hang over the Taiwanese-American venture, including the readiness of the marketplace to dispense with paper-based reading, in favor of relatively unfamiliar e-readers. "It's cockamamie to think a product like that is going to revolutionize the way most people read," analyst Michael Norris of Rockville, Maryland research firm Simba Information Co. said in an e-mail. Americans use e-books at a rate "much, much slower than it looks." Another challenge for the venture is the ability of key customers like Amazon and Sony to withstand the onslaught of multifunctional computing devices which have e-reader capability, particularly Apple's iPad, whose five-month sales history has left their one-dimensional models struggling to keep up. iPad sales are expected to reach 9 million this year, a figure that took e-books two years to reach. "One can hardly finish Harry Potter on the iPad, while comic books don't look so good on e-readers," he said, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the two competing devices. People can read digital paper just like conventional paper, using natural light. LCDs, like the iPad uses, are can cause eye fatigue because of the dependence on backlight sources.

With a new device mixing displays, such as the Notion Adam Ink, which will release a model with an optional "Pixel-Qi" display, which operates as both a full color LCD and a reflective mode similar to e-ink that operates better in direct sunlight, is this the way that this market is going? Will we continue to see dedicated E-readers, or will tablets and E-readers mix to accomplish a larger degree of tasks?


Submission + - Java Developer: Oracle-Google Spat About Ego

An anonymous reader writes: The father of Java programming language James A. Gosling has derided Oracle's lawsuit against Google, citing ego, money and power as underlying motivation. In a blog entry, James Gosling commented on Oracle's lawsuit saying, "Oracle finally filed a lawsuit against Google. Not a big surprise." He revealed that after Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems it grilled Sun employees over the patent issues between Sun and Google during the integration process. Gosling said he could see "the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle".

Submission + - Papermaster leaves after antennagate (

line-bundle writes: "Mark Papermaster, the Apple executive in charge of hardware for the company’s flagship iPhone, has departed the company in the wake of widely reported problems with the antenna of the recently introduced iPhone 4.

It is not clear if Papermaster was kicked out or left on his own."

Previously, at the Apple press conference on the antenna issue, Mr Papermaster was not present. This was very unusual considering that he was in charge of the iPhone. Papermaster was featured before on slashdot here.


Submission + - Google buys spy drones

An anonymous reader writes: The Internet giant Google is testing camera drones according to a published report. "The drones are very suited to deliver up to date image material for Google Maps," said Juerss. The drones are already used by the British police, among many other corporate and private users of the freely available drone, since 3 years. The police is using the "spy drone", fitted with CCTV cameras, mainly for tackling anti-social behavior and public disorder.

Submission + - Creative uses for extra drive bays

sheetsda writes: "For many years now PC cases have included 3 or 4 or even more external 5.25 inch drive bays. These days with the proliferation of USB thumb drives and gigabit Ethernet, even my DVD drive has been gathering dust since OS-install-time. Before that when combination CD-RW and DVD drives were nonexistent or expensive that still leaves and extra drive bay or two. What exceptionally inventive, useful, or clever uses have the community found for this extra space? Bonus geek cred for solutions making use of the power rails inside the case."

Comment Re:CmdrTaco drags big brass ones along the ground (Score 1) 750


Because Taco doesn't think Granny can use it doesn't mean she can't. So why isn't she a target audience? Because she uses Skype? Does everyone else's grandmother need a webcam? My mother (who is a grandmother) would love this in the kitchen or on the couch. She'd love to have one of these guys to read a book while Grandpa drives. Seems like the answer to Granny's needs isn't as clear-cut as it's been made up to this point.

Second, "fancy graphic designers" don't always use Flash. There's a growing movement among graphic and web designers to use something other than Flash anyway. And there are Adobe apps for this device (see Adobe Ideas).

It's not good for business because it weighs 1.5 pounds and doesn't have run multiple IM clients at the same time? Wow...that's a shot in the dark. The lack of Office may be a problem, but the first two points in your argument are insane. In my line of business this would make a perfect impromptu presentation device for a few people as well as a wonderful traveling reference library. It sure sounds like you're completely unaware that someone other than graphic designers can use an Apple product--like maybe writers, teachers, hospital employees, etc. So this is a bunk argument too.

And to claim it's bad for homes because of a lack of multiple user accounts is ludicrous. Not everyone uses multiple user accounts at home. Heck, not every home has multiple people to need multiple accounts in the first place.

Do you have a reasonable argument yet? I just don't see one. I'm not trying to be glib or demeaning, but your arguments are hollow.

Who is the target audience? Apple fans of all ilk are a primary audience but let's be even more genera: Apple wants EVERYBODY to buy one. Apple views this as a content consumption device--buy books, movies and music and watch it on this device. They don't care if you're an 90 year old bus driver or a 15 year old student. They want you to read your next book on the iPad. Play your next game on the iPad. Listen to the next great album on the iPad. This is about media consumption.

Comment Re:Sad propaganda from the Chief of the Nerd Polic (Score 1) 628

Find a better, more well-written opinion in this thread and I'll be impressed.

iPhone users have a choice as do all smartphone users. Many iPhone users selected the iPhone knowing that they'd be locked into the App Store and the rules that apply.

Those who preach the "open is better" mantra at all costs obviously don't speak for the public. For the most part, Apple's customers seem quite happy with the iPod, the iPhone and other "closed system" devices. Sadly, Tim Bray seems to have joined this crowd and has done so without critical evaluation of Android.

As you pointed out, Google needs to make advances in phone technology to win--not copy nor denigrate the choices other manufacturers have made. If they feel they have a superior alternative to RIM, Apple or WinMO then let customers speak. So far, RIM and Apple lead the pack.


Submission + - A Better Open Source Webmail?

CandyMan writes: "Recently I have been forced to go back to a certain open source webmail (name withheld to protect the touchy), and I can't say I would recommend it to anyone. For emergencies maybe, but not for daily use. Lightning-quick full-text indexing and Javascript UI tricks in Gmail and Yahoo! mail have spoilt me forever, and I guess that most webmail users out there would feel the same. Old-style html-only webmail applications just don't cut it anymore. Which is your favourite webmail client? Is it a bare-bones html-only application, or does it have a fancier interface?"

13-Year-Old CEO Steals the Show At TiECON 259

An anonymous reader tells us about a 13-year old Silicon Valley CEO with a plan to change the way kids learn chemistry. Yesterday he stole the show at TiECON 2007, the big entrepreneur conference held in Santa Clara, CA. VentureBeat has the story and a video interview. The company's VP of sales is the CEO's sister. She's 11. They're looking for $100K to ramp up production and distribution.

Submission + - OpenWii 2.2 now supports DVD

crkian writes: "The people responsible for the open-source Wii mod OpenWii have announced the release of OpenWii v2.2, which includes a DVD upgrade. Those who love the Wii and find the DVD format handy for their archival purposes are probably rejoicing right now. Anyhow, before you go on a DVD spree, they do note that you must still use the setup disk to set the region. Triforce, a member of the OpenWii forums notes that he's tested the new release on a D2A/DMS USA Wii. Here are the results: Wii Originals: Yes Wii Backups: Yes Wii Imports: Not Tested Wii Imports Backups: Not Tested Gamecube Originals: Yes Gamecube Backups 8cm: Not Tested Gamecube Imports: Yes Gamecube Backup Imports 8cm: Not Tested Gamecube Imports Backup 12cm: No rts-dvd/"

Submission + - Did a Comet Kill American Cavemen?

Lensman003 writes: Scientists cite evidence from widespread diamond fragments to support a theory that a large comet fragmented and caused widespread firestorms in the northern hemisphere about 12,900 years ago. They theorize that cavemen and mammoths, among others, were wiped out in this fiery cataclysm. Full story at The Raw Story.

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