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Comments

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Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

westlake The stand-alone world processor is long dead. (273 comments)

I wonder how many government offices -- the U.S. Federal government has long been Microsoft's biggest customer -- couldn't get along just fine with an open source word processor, even considering all the proprietary-format documents they're stuck with for now.

Microsoft positions MS Office as part of an integrated solution for clerical work that scales to an enterprise of any size.

Microsoft Office 365 for Health Organizations

Microsoft has entered into a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with Texas, a pact that carries much more weight these days after the HIPAA omnibus rule was released in January.

Implementing Office 365 for such a large network should serve as a sign that the state is comfortable enough with cloud computing that 100,000 employees, including the state Health and Human Services System, will be using the services.

What will Texas Office 365 deal mean for healthcare security? [Feb 2013]

2 days ago
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Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

westlake I never said that. (266 comments)

"If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse"

Too often, a quote is attributed to Ford simply because its touches upon success in business or innovation: He has become a patron saint of the entrepreneur... One of the more popular of these quotations is, ''If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse,'' which has never been satisfactorily traced to Henry Ford. In fact, the quote only begins to appear in the early 21st century, ''quoted'' by modern-day business gurus using it as an object lesson.

Henry Ford's quotations

What people wanted was clean, affordable. mechanical horse power.

The carriage without the horse. The barn. The stable-boy. The veterinarian. The manure pit.

2 days ago
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Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

westlake Re:What are the "procedural mistakes"? (128 comments)

So roughly speaking, if a judge tells you to do something, and you think it is nonsense, and you just say "no, I won't do that", then you are in contempt.

You have to frame your objections as a proper legal argument. You have to get that argument in the record to preserve it on appeal. That simply keeps you in the game. It doesn't give you a winning hand.

2 days ago
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Bill Gates Patents Detecting, Responding To "Glassholes"

westlake Fiction is not prior art. (140 comments)

So, if something has been published 1000 times in works of fiction, can I still get a patent on it...

The writer "invents" devices that serve the purpose of his stories --- and is free to ignore any real-world constraints that might get in his way.

2 days ago
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FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

westlake Smart move, loser. (217 comments)

Always ask for forgiveness rather than permission.

How often has that strategy ended in a geek pleading guilty to a felony charge?

about a week ago
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Can Web-Based Protests Be a Force for Change?

westlake Re:No (76 comments)

They can be ignored as can email campaigns, the things we should be focused ob is term limits recalling "citizens united" and getting rid of lobbyist.

Term limits increase a lobbyist's power.

He will have have experience, staff, and resources and long-term connections to the folks back home. The lobbyist from the central states will know grain and cattle. The lobbyist from Texas. oil and natural gas.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

westlake Re:Themes... (451 comments)

This works for most people.

Until a complex Excel macro doesn't work. Until an incoming document from an outside source cannot be read.

You need to stop thinking like a geek converting dear old Dad to LibreOffice for home use home and start thinking about the skill sets and productivity of fifty to five hundred clerical workers with different skill sets and responsibilities.

about a week ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

westlake Re:I don't think he means that literally/absolutel (578 comments)

That being said, I hope this is a lesson to communities, cities, and states that throw all their economic eggs into one industrial basket.

That one basket represents a complex historical mix of geography, manpower, markets and resources. If you have mineral resources you mine and process metals. If you have coal, oil or natural gas, you process coal. oil or natural gas. There is no easy transition to a mixed economy.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

westlake Re:Nope. (451 comments)

The first sentence answers the question.

If he is the only guy running Linux, how well does he understand the experience and the needs of those running Windows?

What programs are they are using? What programs are their clients, vendors and other outside contacts using?

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

westlake Re:Do the right test (451 comments)

So, offer THEM the choice of one person, to be drawn at random from a hat, being fired to pay for e cost of new PCs vs switching to Linux and everyone keeping their jobs. Then you'll find they like Linux lots.

Your cheap and dirty little power play will make enemies of everyone in the office --- and they will bite back every chance they get.

about a week ago
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Morse code test requirement to be reinstated for Amateur Radio License

westlake April Fool (5 comments)

Can you provide a link to a story in 2014?

You've been had.

about two weeks ago
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How a 'Seismic Cloak' Could Slow Down an Earthquake

westlake Two questions. (101 comments)

I wonder if one could station units similar to these at strategic locations along fault lines, designed to pick up an earthquake's resonant frequency and generate a corresponding one tuned to cancel it out?

What are the power requirements? How many stations do you need to do the job?

about two weeks ago
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Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

westlake Night Vision. (518 comments)

It interests me when the geek rejects tech he doesn't fully understand --- but his grandparents adopted as soon as it became available for their light trucks and RVs.

Infrared Night Vision

This is probably one of the least understood features available, and yet, it is one of the most important features. Although a high quality camera (especially a high quality CCD camera) can provide a picture under a wide variety of lighting conditions (including very low light), it can't provide a clear picture in near or total darkness. That's where the infrared night vision illumination LEDs (light emitting diodes) come in.

On a high quality night vision equipped camera, the infrared LEDs turn on automatically whenever the ambient (background) light drops to a level that's too low for the image sensor to produce a high quality picture. The infrared LEDs operate at a light frequency that is well beyond the human eye's ability to see, but the image sensor in the camera is designed to detect this light just like the visible light that we can see.

One big difference between a high quality rear view camera and a lower quality one, is its ability to illuminate the area seen by the camera. Ideally, the infrared illuminators will illuminate the entire field of view produced by the camera, and will illuminate out to a distance of at least 20 feet from the camera. The higher end cameras will typically illuminate out to a distance of 30 to 50 feet from the camera.

Automatic System Switching

Possibly the most important feature to look for when purchasing a rear view camera system, is that system's ability to switch on automatically whenever the vehicle's transmission is placed in reverse. This is accomplished by connecting a single wire to the vehicle's backup light circuit, sending a signal to the rear view camera system, causing it to switch on without any action by the operator.

Wide Angle Field of View

The field of view provided by any camera is determined by a combination of image sensor size and lens focal length. The larger the image sensor, the wider the possible field of view. However, a larger image sensor does not necessarily guarantee a wider field of view. Many rear view camera systems utilize a 1/4" image sensor and provide only a 60 to 90 degree field of view. While a 90 degree field of view may be sufficient for some smaller vehicles, a 120 degree field of view is strongly preferred. You should absolutely avoid any system that produces lower than a 90 degree field of view. Most high quality rear view cameras that utilize a 1/3" image sensor and produce a 120 degree field of view --- that is ideal for most applications.

On the other hand, there are some rear view systems advertised with fields of view as wide as 210 degrees. These super wide field of view cameras are not intended for use on rear view camera systems, and will generally produce a 'fish-eye' image that will be extremely distorted and very dangerous to use.

Mirror Image Capability

A rear view camera system should have the capability to produce a 'mirror' (or 'reverse') image through the camera and/or monitor.

Why do you want a 'mirror' image? In order to see the same type of image that you would see in a rear view mirror, the camera and/or monitor must be capable of reversing the image produced. This capability will provide the same type of image through a rear view camera system that you would see if you were looking into a rear view mirror, and that's exactly what you want for safe operation.

Audio Monitoring

Audio capability can be helpful when the driver needs the assistance of a helper while backing. While you may or may not require audio, it can also be useful when a camera is being used to monitor the interior of a trailer (carrying people or animals).

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT REAR VIEW CAMERAS

about two weeks ago
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If Ridesharing Is Banned, What About Ride-Trading?

westlake Re:It Won't Work (353 comments)

It wasn't market forces that did this, it was monopolistic forces.

It was the Model T Ford.

"You can afford a Ford."

Portal to portal service for a family of four plus dog and cargo. Cost about a penny a mile to operate including fuel, oil, maintenance and incidental expenses. Affordable, adaptable, customized endlessly.

You don't need a conspiracy drive the trolley line out of business, The electric starter and low pressure, puncture resistant, tires will do the job for you,

Most trolley companies were on the rocks before World War One.

There were 22 million cars on the roads as early as 1922.

about three weeks ago
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If Ridesharing Is Banned, What About Ride-Trading?

westlake No free lunch. (353 comments)

You could even make an argument that a city couldn't pass a law regulating these ride-trades even if they wanted to, because as voluntary arrangements between consenting parties, they're protected under our First Amendment right of freedom of association!

What you have described is a contract.

The ride-trade ticket is worthless unless all parties to the arrangement live up to their commitments.

You seem to have forgotten the possibility of non-governmental intervention. Using your car as a unlicensed taxi service means that your auto insurance premiums may skyrocket or your insurance company may walk away from any claim you make when your "customers" are aboard.

about three weeks ago
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Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In New Mexico Landfill

westlake Re:Without James Sinegal, Costco is not well manag (440 comments)

Ten years ago, Costco was wonderful. It was easy to make decisions about buying anything we saw at Costco, because someone else had been careful to stock only reputable products, products that people would buy if they had done serious research. Now we have to do our own research.

and yet you wonder why Costco wants to distance itself from a suspect supplier and a million jars of peanut butter that may go rancid before they can be distributed?

about three weeks ago
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Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In New Mexico Landfill

westlake Not so cut and dried. (440 comments)

There's a law that avoids liability for food donation:

"Avoids" is much too strong a word.

State and local health regulations are not superseded.

You remain legally responsible for injuries or deaths which result from your gross negligence or intentional misconduct. If it comes out in court that you donated food you knew had gone bad or was very likely to have gone bad, you are in trouble,

about three weeks ago
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Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In New Mexico Landfill

westlake One of these things is not like the other. (440 comments)

What "all parties have agreed to" for the narrow purpose of settling a bankruptcy suit is not the same thing as "accepting legal responsibility for the charitable distribution of perishable foods that have been in storage for a minimum of two years."

If you want to ignite a food riot in a school or prison, serving rancid peanut butter is as good as any place to begin.

about three weeks ago
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Daylight Saving Time Linked To Heart Attacks

westlake Zone Time is Railroad Time (240 comments)

It's the 21st century, we do not need to follow a system created for an 18th century agricultural society. For that matter, I'm rather surprised we haven't all switched to GMT...

Before the railroad, clocks were set to local solar time, which changes significantly every 25 miles.

The earliest locomotives could easily be pushed to 25mph or better over a decent stretch of track. That made scheduling clumsy and dangerous even after the introduction of the telegraph.

GMT was introduced as a navigational aid for mariners, an easy and reliable way to determine longitude. When the sun says its 5 PM in New York and the moon says its 10PM in London, you have a problem. The difference between night and day,

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

westlake Re:yes, better switch to something else (266 comments)

So, my suggestion is: just switch to Windows or OS/X.

Makes perfect sense for the disabled.

When was the last time you heard a complaint about accessibility in Windows?

In addition, if you really care, you can write a user-mode program to give you the same functionality.

How do you do that if you need sticky keys and other aids to use a keyboard?

Not to mention a two or three year investment in programming skills that you have no way to pay for.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Ethanol runs out of gas.

westlake westlake writes  |  about 5 months ago

westlake (615356) writes "By pulling back on an effort to guarantee ethanol an ever-growing share of the nation’s gasoline supply, the Obama administration could be putting the bio-fuels industry into the deep freeze.
Corn-based biofuel has for years been untouchable politically — until now. Reasons for the change are many: The boom in domestic oil drilling. Demand for gasoline has slumped. And criticism of the environmental impacts of corn ethanol has taken hold nationally."

Link to Original Source
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Google Patents Pay-Per-Gaze Add Technology

westlake westlake writes  |  about 8 months ago

westlake (615356) writes "The "focus" to no one's surprise is on Google Glass. For a look at the patent click here: Gaze tracking system

In particular, it outlines a method for billing advertisers based on the number of times users look at an advert – either online or offline, via a billboard, magazine or newspaper. While gaze tracking may sound a little creepy, it is merely an extension of the pay-per-click model commonly used to charge for online advertising, which measures how many users have engaged with a particular advert.

How Pay-Per-Gaze Advertising Could Work With Google Glass

Creepy, I can live with. Maybe. But a revenue stream based on how long you can keep your eyes focused on adds viewed through Google Glass is simply and plainly irresponsible."

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The Big Story In PC Gaming That Slashdot Ignores.

westlake westlake writes  |  about 8 months ago

westlake (615356) writes "The Humble Origin Bundle has raised $6.8 million for charity. It has nine days and nineteen hours to break $10 million in sales.
The story has received broad coverage elsewhere. It's an impressive showing, but not a word, not a whisper of it has reached the front pages of Slashdot.
It is EA and it is Origin and Steam. It is Windows. It is AAA mass market titles like Dead Space, Battlefield 3 and The Sims. Eight games. 200 GB of prime download content. Yours for a $5 gift to the American Red Cross and others.
The Humble Bundle has been — and continues to be — a showcase for Indie gaming and the Linus port. But promotions on this scale could permanently alter the landscape."
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The Humble Origin Bundle: Geek vs Gamer.

westlake westlake writes  |  about 8 months ago

westlake (615356) writes "In its first day and with four hours and thirteen days to go The Humble Origin Bundle has seen 760,000 sales and raised $3.6 million for charities like the American Red Cross, with all proceeds going to your charities of choice.

The games are mainstream AAA list titles:

Dead Island 1&3, Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box, Crysis 2, Mirror's Edge, Medal of Honor, Battlefield 3 and The Sims 3 Starter Pack. Distribution is through Origin and Steam. Steam keys are available for most, but not all games. The Sims 3 is available for the Mac. It's quite possible that one or two games could be added later.

It's been a tortuous day for the geek — gamer. It's EA and it is Origin. The promotion has totally eclipsed this week's hard-core, multi-platform, DRM free, indie Introversion Humble Bundle (Defcon, Uplink, Darwinia) which sold a respectable 55,000 units, with a return of $320 thousand."
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Suspect in Boston Marathon Dead In Shppt-Out With Police

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "The breaking story from Reuters:

HOW THE NIGHT BEGAN

About five hours after the FBI released the pictures of the bombing suspects, a police officer was shot and killed on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Middlesex County District Attorney said in a statement.

A short time later, police received reports of a carjacking by two men who kept their victim inside the car for about half an hour.

Police pursued that car to Watertown, where explosives were thrown from the car at police and gunfire was exchanged.

''During the exchange of the gunfire, we believe that one of the suspects was struck and ultimately taken into custody. A second suspect was able to flee from that car and there is an active search going on at this point in time,'' Colonel Timothy Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, told a news conference. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/19/us-usa-mit-gunshots-idUSBRE93I04520130419" a>One suspect in Boston bombing dead, manhunt underway for second suspect

"
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Contract Dispute Grounds Steve Jobs' iYacht "Venus"

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "The BBC notes that the designer of Steve Jobs' 105 million euro mega-yacht "Venus" has had the boat impounded in Amsterdam over the non-payment of 3 million euros of his 9 million euro fee.
It's the familiar story of story of a handshake deal that was never fully spelled out in a written contract and may reflect as well a willful blindness on all sides to Jobs visibly failing health."

Link to Original Source
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In The World of Big Stuff, the U.S. Still Rules

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "From Peoria and the WSJ a look at the giant trucks manufactured by Komatsu and Caterpillar.

" In certain areas — notably aircraft, industrial engines, excavators and railway and mining equipment — the U.S. exports far more than it imports. These industries produce relatively small numbers of very expensive goods, requiring specialized technology and labor. Their competitive advantage rests partly on expertise built by U.S. companies in making durable, high-tech weaponry and other equipment for the military — frequently applicable to other products."

It may surprise the geek to learn that Komatsu doesn't employee a single industrial robot. The quality of workmanship simply isn't there where it is needed,In World of Big Stuff, the U.S. Still Rules "

Link to Original Source
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The all-TIME List of 100 Best In PC and Console Gaming

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "It's the season for lists and Time's Matt Peckham looks back on forty years PC and console gaming. There are some odd choices and missing pieces, of course. You can't hope to please everyone. Grim Fandango, for example, must stand for all the Lucas Arts games. The geek will find the inclusion of Net Hack cheering and a nod to the Indie gaming community.

For those who are finding the net a little slow this long holiday weekend, here is a dirrect link to the full list and Index page: All-TIME 100 greatest video games. [Index]"

Link to Original Source
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Images from the banned Apple/Foxconn game

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year and a half ago

westlake (615356) writes "Benjamin Poynter "In a Permanent Save State" imagines the afterlife of seven Foxconn workers who committed suicide, based on Buddhist traditions. It was pulled from the Apple App Store after narely an hour this weekend, but beautiful and haunting images and video from the game survive and have been posted to the web. In A Permanent Save State Fills You With Wonder And Sadness, Images from the banned Apple/Foxconn game"
Link to Original Source
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Apple Retreats On EPEAT Environmental Standards

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 years ago

westlake writes "Apple's Senior VP for Hardware Engineering, Bob Mansfield, has posted a brief announcement of Apple's return to the EPEAT "green hardware" program:

We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.

It’s important to know that our commitment to protecting the environment has never changed, and today it is as strong as ever. Apple makes the most environmentally responsible products in our industry. In fact, our engineering teams have worked incredibly hard over the years to make our products even more environmentally friendly, and much of our progress has come in areas not yet measured by EPEAT.

For more information on this breaking story: Apple moves products back on EPEAT environmental standard"
Link to Original Source

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Apple Exits "Green Hardware" Program

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 years ago

westlake writes "From CNETreports that Apple is turning its back on the EPA supported EPEAT hardware certification program.

One of the problems EPEAT sees are barriers to recycling. Batteries and screens glued into place. That sort of thing.

There is a price for Apple in this.

CIO Journal notes that the U.S. government requires that 95 percent of its electronics bear the EPEAT seal of approval; large companies such as Ford and Kaiser Permanente require their CIOs to buy from EPEAT-certified firms; and many of the largest universities in the U.S. prefer to buy EPEAT-friendly gear."

Link to Original Source
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Encyclopedia Britannica Goes "Out of Print" After 244 Years of Production

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "The Guardian is reporting that the 2010 edition of the Brittanica will be the last in print, The DVD edition and on-line subscription service will continue. The Brittanica's great strengh historically was in its signed contributions from men like Freud and Einstein. It was the quality of the writing as much as the content that made browsing these massive and often unweildy sets such a pleasure."
Link to Original Source
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USS Enterprise Takes Its Final Voyage

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "The AP is reporting that world's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise is being retired after fifty years of active service — the longest of any warship in US naval history. The big ship had become notoriously difficult to keep in repair. The only ship in its age and class, breakdowns became frequent and replacement parts often had to be custom made. Despite its place in naval history and popular culture, Enterprise will meet its end at the scrap yard and not be preserved as a museum. Famed USS Enterprise Takes Its Final Voyage"
Link to Original Source
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The elephant in the room

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 3 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Microsoft posts a record first quarter and Slashdot studiously ignores it. No matter that news like this rates some comment on OS News, Ars Technica, and so on. Microsoft thanks Windows 7, Office 2010, Xbox for record first quarter But the bigger story here, I think, is the "death of Linux" as a consumer brand name — to borrow a theme from an earlier post — and perhaps something even more disturbing. Wherever the future of Android and Chrome may lie, they belong to Google and AdSense. The sale of the user, rather than the sale or service of a product. In no country or region of the world and in no market segment do the stats for the traditional "community oriented" Linux distribution look at all healthy. StatCounter Global Stats"
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The Dark Tower Coming To Theaters Near You

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 3 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Nothing quite like this has ever been tried before. But Reuter's, The L.A. Times and many others are reporting that Ron Howard will produce Stephen King's The Dark Tower, for Universal as a theatrical trilogy with the in-between stories told through two seasons of an NBC television series. No news as yet on casting — suggestions anyone?"
Link to Original Source
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Tweet 911

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 3 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "A survey by the American Red Cross reveals that 3 out of 4 social media users expect help to arrive within one hour of their tweet or post to Facebook. More than 1 in 4 expect help to arrive in less than fifteen minutes.
Which is alarmingly naive.
In flat contraction to this, about half are unconvinced that the first responders are listening in at all.74% of Social Media Users Expect Cries for Help to Be Answered Within an Hour"

Link to Original Source
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The Hotness of Windows 7

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 4 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "The success of Windows 7 can be seen in the second-quarter numbers. Profits up 60% from December 08. Operating profitability in the Windows and Windows Live Division 78% in the quarter. Operating profitability for the whole company: 44%. It's been a big story in the trade and financial press, but studiously ignored on Slashdot. The Hotness of Windows 7"
Link to Original Source
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Three Million Windows XO Laptops To India

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 4 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Three million XO laptops, each costing Rupees 11000, will be distributed to rural Indian children entering schools by the end of 2009. "Each XO PC comes with Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office pre-loaded, besides many other features." The project funded by organizations including AMD, Bright star Corporation, eBay, Google, Marvell, News Corporation, Microsoft, SES, Nortel Networks, and Red Hat. Each company has donated two million dollars. Microsoft is contributing through its features that are fitted into the XOs. In one stroke, this triples OLPC's installed base — and the story passes by Linux and Sugar with nary a glance. It's an astonishing vindication of the decision to support Windows and Office on the XO platform.US-based outfit to distribute three million laptops to poor Indian rural kids"

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