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El Cubano writes "The AP is running an article that discusses new technology to disable cellphones from sending and/or receiving voice calls and text messages while the owner is driving. Unfortunately, the common theme seems to be that these services cost money (up to US$20/month) and that they don't work (because the technology uses GPS, any cell phone moving at "driving" speed with this technology is automatically locked). This seems to be targeted at parents who want to make sure that their children are not talking/texting while driving. What ever happened to parents actually parenting? Why not just take away the keys and/or the phones if the child is not following the rules?" Link to Original Source top
El Cubano writes "Senator Bill Nelson (R-FL) has proposed a bill which would ban the use of touch-screen voting machines in federal elections. From the announcement:
The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007 would require all voting machines to produce a voter-verified paper trail by next year's presidential election and provides up to $1 billion for states to use for new voting equipment.
But most importantly, the bill would phase out the use of touch-screen voting machines in federal elections by 2012, a measure Browning said he supports.
This seems like exactly the sort of thing that the Slashdot crowd has been clamoring for. Time to write your congress people and tell then to throw their support behind this bill." Link to Original Source top
El Cubano writes "FOXNews is running an Associated Press article about Prince giving away copies of his new album, "Planet Earth." The article opens: "Prince has angered the music industry and stirred up trouble among British retailers by giving away his new album with a tabloid newspaper this weekend." Apparently, the music industry feels quite threatened that a popular artist might actually want to give away his music. Here are some choice quotes from the article:
"The Artist formerly known as Prince should know that with behavior like this he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores," said Paul Quirk, co-chairman of the Entertainment Retailers Association,
"We're stunned that HMV has decided to take what appears to be a complete U-turn on their stance," said Simon Douglas, managing director of retail at Virgin Megastores. "It's not only retailers that suffer; the public will suffer in the long term by restricting choice on the high street."
Quirk said the deal was "yet another example of the damaging covermount culture which is destroying any perception of value around recorded music."
El Cubano writes "FOXNews is carrying an AP story about a guy who has a basement with 100 Macs in it. From the article:
His bar is made out of 30 Mac Classics arranged next to and on top of each other. Guests can drink at the bar, "but no one ever does," he noted. (Just imagine how much technology could be destroyed with just one spilled drink.)
For special events, like New Year's Eve, he'll play videos on several monitors or set up strobe effects on multiple machines, creating a rave-like atmosphere.
I'm sure it is quite the party hang out for the neighbors. Cue the jokes about geeks and basements." top
El Cubano writes "I know that many Slashdot readers are also Speakeasy customers (or at least know about Speakeasy) and admire their friendliness towards geeks and Linux users.
This morning I received a mass email from the CEO of Speakeasy (I imagine it went out to all Speakeasy customers) saying that Speakeasy had been acquired by Best Buy.
The message read in part:
Today is an historic and exciting day for Speakeasy.
I am pleased to announce that Speakeasy has been acquired by Best Buy, an
innovative and growing Fortune 100 company and the top consumer electronics
retailer in North America. This is a significant milestone for our company as
our new relationship will help us realize our goals of becoming the No. 1
provider of voice and data solutions to small businesses. It is important to
note that though Speakeasy will now be a wholly owned subsidiary of Best Buy,
we will continue to operate as a standalone, independent operating division
with headquarters in Seattle.
I know that many around here don't have a particularly high opinion of Best Buy or their business practices. What do other Slashdotters think will be the end result of this?" top
"We feel vindicated by this decision," said councillor Vanessa Neeson, who is chairman of the planning and regulatory committee. The council had been mocked for prosecuting itself but it was showing that it was not above the law, she said.
El Cubano writes "ITworld is carrying a story (sorry, no printable version) saying that John Seely Brown (former chief scientist at Xerox and director of PARC, currently teaching at the University of Southern California) is encouraging engineering schools to change the way they educate. From the article:
"Training someone for a career makes no sense. At best, you can train someone for a career trajectory," said John Seely Brown.
What do slashdotters think? Should engineering schools be producing tradesmen (i.e., like an apprenticeship program) or should they be producing "thinkers" (i.e., people who can cope with a wide variety of problem inside and outside their area of expertise)?" top