Technology

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Can't focus on the teleconference? You're not alone.

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This CNET News.com story says 90% of people who participate in conference calls
find things to keep them busy besides following the discussion,
according to Raindance Communications's survey.

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Video games calm kids before surgery

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This CNN story says video games calm kids before surgery, more effectively than tranquilizers or parental presence. Doctors found that allowing children a few minutes to play the games reduced their anxiety until the anesthesia took effect. Dr. Anu Patel conducted the study after noticing a friend's 7-year-old son was so absorbed with his Game Boy at a restaurant that he ignored the adults and the food at his table.

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Internet hoax hoodwinks Sun Microsystems Chief Executive Scott McNealy

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FiringSquad mentions a CNET News.com article that says Sun Microsystems Chief Executive Scott McNealy showed a photo during a Wednesday speech to illustrate how rapidly technology improves--but instead illustrated another computing phenomenon: how easy it is to fall for an Internet hoax.

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What corporate America can't build: a sentence.

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/. posted a CNET News.com story about functional illiteracy when it comes to professional e-mails. Hundreds of inquiries from managers and executives seeking to improve their own or their workers' writing pop into Hogan's computer in-basket each month, he says, describing a number that has surged as e-mail has replaced the phone for much workplace communication. Millions of employees must write more frequently on the job than previously. And many are making a hash of it.

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Far Cry Tech Demo

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Blue's News mentions a Far Cry Tech Demo/ATI & Crytek Tech Demo. I just watched it on my Athlon 64 3200+ system with 1 GB of RAM and an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro AIW (128 MB) video card. Wow. I had to disable FSAA to keep the FPS up at 1152x864 screen resolution.

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Half of U.S. I.T. Operations Jobs to Vanish

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A MacCentral article says Gartner, Inc. researchers believe that as many as 50 percent of the IT operational jobs in the U.S. could disappear over the next two decades because of improvements in data center technologies.

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TiVo will add advertisements and add Macrovision's copy protection...

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This Wired News' article reports TiVo's plans for pop-up ads and restrictions on copying have sparked worries that the service may be eroding consumer control in favor of Hollywood and advertiser interests.

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Satellilte's death brings down U.S.A. broadband

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This ComputerWeekly's article says there was a failure of a communications satellite over the weekend that knocked out US broadband services supplied by StarBand Communications. The total loss of Intelsat's Americas-7 satelllite forced StarBand to move customers to a different satellite. StarBand did not say how many subscribers were affected, but is attempting to provide them with a temporary dial-up service.

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Air Force turns to Microsoft for network security

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According to CNET News.com and ZDNet stories, the U.S. Air Force is drafting Microsoft to help simplify its networks and software contracts, a move that could improve its computer security and deliver savings of $100 million.

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Worth1000's Celebrity Cyborgs 5

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This is Worth1000's answer to those who cannot get celebrities as their mates. There are 34 images of celebrities as cyborgs/robots.

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Why companies ban cellular phones...

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Here is why companies ban cellular phones. Crazy human resource people. [grin] :)

Thanks Dilbert!

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Security professionals bemoan need for tactical focus...

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Computerworld has an article about more proactive initiatives falling by the wayside, conference attendees say.

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The ultimate cellular payphone!

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Engadget has a photograph of a solar-powered cellular payphone that was spotted on boat sailing around Lake Victoria in Africa. It is probably not real since it could possibly be a staged advertisement for something or other.

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Meet the People Who Made America: Inventors vs. Innovators

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This Wired's article says there are nearly 50 visionary entrepreneurs profiled in a new 495-page book titled They Made America. It is an encyclopedic, entertaining tome by Sir Harold Evans is now the subject of a four-part PBS series (check this informative site out for names, history, images, etc.) of the same name.

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Eco-friendly Disc to Store Data on Corn

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TheShadow shared a Yahoo! News' story about Pioneer Corp. developing a next-generation disc that is made of corn to let the eco-conscious consumer dispose of data in the soil.

The Japanese electronics maker said the Blu-ray optical disc, which can be written once and stores 25 gigabytes of data, is 87 percent natural polymer derived from corn and biodegrades.

"If the starch polymer is incinerated, it will not emit dioxins and any other harmful chemicals," the company said.

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Vintage Products 5 -- Doctored Photographs on Worth1000.com

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Vintage Products 5 is the contest theme on Worth1000.com. It shows current products in a vintage light with 59 entries.

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The 10 Most Puzzling Ancient Artifacts

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This About.com's article lists the ten most puzzling ancient artifacts that have been unearthed. They do not fit the currently excepted theories of geology and the history of man.

This article was found on Firingsquad.

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A robot predisposed to alcohol...

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This article has a video clip (MPEG and QuickTime) of a Bar Bot, driven by self interest, its only aim is to drink beer. In order to achieve this goal in bars, it asks people for coins and spends them as soon as there is enough for a beer. To reach its selfish objectives, it dependends on others: somebody has to give it coins or hand it a beer. This is where it engages in communication, in social interaction with human beings.

The long video is cool and shows the details in actions. Seen on memepool.

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The Grand List of Overused Science Fiction Clichés

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Be sure to read The Grand List of Overused Science Fiction Clichés if you read books and watch TV and movies related to science fiction.

Saw this on User Friendly as its link of the day.

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RIAA More Powerful Than Police

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DMusic mentions Dave Ralis' editorial for PhillyBurbs.com. He explains why the record industry is now more powerful than police:

Under the fourth amendment to Constitution, police must show probable cause that a crime has been committed before they can get a judge's permission to search your home for evidence, or subpoena you to appear in court. But under the federal Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), all the RIAA has to do is file paperwork with a court clerk to get a subpoena if it suspects you of downloading a song from the Internet or sharing music in a peer-to-peer network such as Kazaa, WinMX or Grokster. Anyone found in violation of the act could faces a lawsuit from the RIAA seeking $750 to $150,000 per song, The Associated Press has reported.

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