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RevWaldo (1186281) writes "I'm hardly the first armchair inventor that's thought "like a Roomba, but for snow!" If you search around many folks have built themselves remote control snowplows / snowthrowers, but we're hardly talking The Jetsons here. You'd think self-guided bots that continuously remove snow as it's falling (thus reducing the needed mass and horsepower, making it less likely to, say, scoop up the neighbor's dog) would be all over Kickstarter and the like, but not so much. What's the hold up?" top
Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For An Answer
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "Mashable notes that they received an invite to a joint Facebook / MySpace press conference set for 12 Noon US Pacific time today. "Our best clue as to what the two companies will announce is that MySpace will be using the Facebook Platform or Facebook Connect, something that has been rumored for nearly a year." Gothamist predicts that "MySpace will also read a prepared statement apologizing to the world for being a worthless turd of a website that isn't fit to lick the bottom of Mark Zuckerberg's flip-flops. Facebook executives are expected to silently sit there looking smug."" Link to Original Source top
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that "Apple Inc. plans to begin mass producing a new iPhone by the end of 2010 that would allow Verizon Wireless to sell the smartphone early next year, said people briefed by Apple." (Not in time for the holidays? Bummer!) All companies involved have declined to comment." Link to Original Source top
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "From Gothamist: Five former employees of Bowlmor Lanes in New York have filed a lawsuit against Strike Holdings CEO Tom Shannon, claiming he used social media outlets to keep minorities from making reservations at "one of the city’s hottest and most compelling nightlife venues." The suit claims Shannon met with top executives after "incidents" at Bowlmor's restaurant, Carnival, "to discuss possible ways to exclude certain people...such as African-Americans, Asians and Latinos."...The suit claims the workers were asked to look up prospective patrons on Facebook and MySpace to see how they looked and dressed and where they lived. If they didn't fit the Bowlmor customer ideal, they didn't get a reservation." Link to Original Source top
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "From Gothamist: Five former employees of Bowlmor Lanes in New York have filed a lawsuit against Strike Holdings CEO Tom Shannon, claiming he used social media outlets to keep minorities from making reservations at "one of the city’s hottest and most compelling nightlife venues." The suit claims Shannon met with top executives after "incidents" at Bowlmor's restaurant, Carnival, "to discuss possible ways to exclude certain people...such as African-Americans, Asians and Latinos."...The suit claims the workers were asked to look up prospective patrons on Facebook and MySpace to see how they looked and dressed and where they lived. If they didn't fit the Bowlmor customer ideal, they didn't get a reservation." but it don't stay put as long as truth."" Link to Original Source top
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "A man in a Darth Vader costume (plus camo pants?) robbed a Chase in Setauket, Long Island at gunpoint. Obviously someone with an ARM that decided to alter the deal. Pray he doesn't alter it any further!" Link to Original Source top
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "The suicide note left by software engineer Joseph Stack before flying a small plane into a building with IRS offices in Texas on Thursday cited a 1986 tax law as a major motivation for his action. An article in the New York Times states the law, known as Section 1706 of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, "made it extremely difficult for information technology professionals to work as self-employed individuals, forcing most to become company employees." Harvey J. Shulman, a tax lawyer, states "This law has ruined many people's lives, hurt the technology industry, and discouraged the creation of small, independent businesses critical to a thriving domestic economy. That the law still exists — even after its original sponsors called for its repeal and unbiased studies proved it unfairly targeted a tax-compliant industry — shows just how dysfunctional and unresponsive Democratic and Republican Congresses and our political system have been, even on relatively simple issues."" Link to Original Source top
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "From Gothamist: AT&T has realized that the first step towards recovery is admitting it has a problem. The phone giant has confessed that its New York City iPhone service is not up to par, according to a presentation slide published on Tom's Guide noting that the company's 3G Voice Composite Quality in the New York metro area—particularly in Manhattan—is below its performance objective.
This shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Last month, the phone giant explained that 3G service has suffered in New York due to "better than average iPhone penetration," meaning "AT&T has been too successful in selling the iPhone, to the point where the network has been severely strained." The company even briefly stopped selling iPhones online in New York City because the area didn't "have enough towers to handle the phone."
The slide does contain some good news for AT&T subscribers. Apparently, AT&T has had "[t]hree consecutive months of improvement" and it is doing "change-outs" of Radio Network Controllers among other upgrades, according to Mobile Crunch. Anyone notice service improving over the past few months? If we don't hear back we'll assume you're still waiting for this page to load." Link to Original Source top
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "According to the Wall Street Journal, the estate of Philip K. Dick says the name of Google's new smartphone infringes on the famous character name from "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" aka "Blade Runner". Isa Dick Hackett, a daughter of Mr. Dick, states Google has its "Android system, and now they are naming a phone 'Nexus One'. It's not lost on the people who are somewhat familiar with this novel... Our legal team is dealing head-on with this." No word on any similar actions being taken on Rob Zombie." Link to Original Source top
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "Coming full circle, former Velvet Underground lead singer/guitarist, Warhol Factory denizen, and rock-n-roll elder statesman Lou Reed has collaborated with developer Ben Syverson to create LouZoom, a new iPhone app for his fellow baby boomers who have trouble reading the small type in iPhone's address book. And everyone thought Ms. Reed (NASA artist-in-residence Laurie Anderson) was the one with all the mad technical skills." Link to Original Source top
RevWaldo writes "From Gothamist: A Brooklyn man can't sleep at night knowing that the bizarre inter-gadget relationship between his Sony Erickson PDA and his Maytag Magic Chef stove might leave him burned. Last Monday Andrei Melnikov discovered that his cellphone was turning on his stove when he got a call in the kitchen. The phone had been on the kitchen counter when it rang, and as he answered it and walked away, he recalls hearing a faint beep. Minutes later, he smelled smoke, and discovered that some plastic cookware left in the oven was on fire. The incoming call had somehow turned the broiler on high, a phenomenon which Melnikov demonstrated for his landlord and 1010WINS. They believe this is the first time this has happened in the three years since Melnikov has owned the stove and the phone, but since neither device is talking, nobody really knows how long this hot affair's been going on. Melnikov and his girlfriend have put a stop to it by unplugging the oven, and they're afraid to plug it back in because of their pet chinchillas. Maytag is sending someone to "fix" the problem, but will the lonely old Maytag man really have the heart to stand in the way of such fiery passion?" Link to Original Source top
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "Installing bike lanes in urban areas is both expensive and often contentious. The proposed system, dubbed LightLane, would use lasers to project a virtual bike lane onto the ground from the bicycle itself. 'Instead of adapting cycling to established bike lanes', the designers state, 'the bike lane should adapt to the cyclists...Our system projects a crisply defined virtual bike lane onto pavement, using a laser, providing the driver with a familiar boundary to avoid. With a wider margin of safety, bikers will regain their confidence to ride at night, making the bike a more viable commuting alternative.' (via Gothamist via BoingBoing via GOOD )" Link to Original Source top
RevWaldo writes "Via Gothamist — The International Olympic Committee filed a copyright infringement claim yesterday against YouTube for hosting video of a Free Tibet protest at the Chinese Consulate in Manhattan Thursday night. The video depicts demonstrators conducting a candlelight vigil and projecting a protest video onto the consulate building; the projection features recent footage of Tibetan monks being arrested and riffs on the Olympic logo of the five interlocking rings, turning them into handcuffs. YouTube dutifully yanked the video, but it can still be seen on Vimeo. (Be advised; there is some brief footage of bloody, injured monks.)" Link to Original Source top
Pittsburgh cancer center warns of cell phone risks
RevWaldo writes "The AP reports: 'The head of a prominent cancer research institute issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff Wednesday: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer. The warning from Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, is contrary to numerous studies that don't find a link between cancer and cell phone use, and a public lack of worry by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.'
One possible solution offered? 'Use a wireless headset.' No risk of EM exposure from one of them, no sirree!" Link to Original Source top
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "Patton Oswalt's take on YouTube is mildly amusing (part of Comedy Central's Root of All Evil.) But spot the closed-captioning error..or is it?
'But finally and most insidiously, YouTube has destroyed our ability to know when we're entertained. It has turned us into a nation of deranged Roman emperors. We're a continent of Caligulas sitting around in our bathrobes saying, hm, I'm bored. I'd like to see something poop or sneeze. Hm, yes, what would I like to see poop or sneeze? Perhaps a reptile or a gay homeless person or perhaps Della Resse. And isn't it odd how YouTube actually sounds like the name of the UNIX slave that will be working for that deranged emperor? YouTube! Bring me a farting panda! Ah, good job, YouTube. Avert your gaze!'" Link to Original Source