By Soulskill from Slashdot's send-in-the-clones deptartment
CWmike writes "You can now pre-order an Apple iPad; but do you really want to, asks Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. 'I mean, I get why you'd want an iPad. I'd like one too,' he writes. 'But,' he says, 'when I consider that there are soon going to be literally dozens of cheaper, Linux-powered iPad devices on the market, I find it a lot easier to resist putting $499 on my credit card. On top of that, Apple will be including DRM on some eBooks and other iPad content. I really, really hate DRM. All that said, I agree the iPad is really cool. I predict with absolute faith that the iPad and its clones are going to kill off single purpose devices like dedicated eReaders such as Amazon's Kindle and GPS devices within the next three years. How can it not work out this way? For the same price as a high-end dedicated device you can get a tablet that will do everything they can do and far more. But, and this is the important bit, you don't have to buy an Apple iPad to get all of the iPad's goodies. ARM, a mobile microprocessor power, is predicting that we'll see no less than 50 ARM-processor-powered iPad clones by year's end. And, what will they be running? These ARM-powered entertainment tablets will all be running Linux.'"Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's who-wears-the-pants-in-this-family deptartment
suraj.sun writes with this snippet from an Associated Press report:
"China's top Internet regulator insisted Friday that Google must obey its laws or 'pay the consequences,' giving no sign of a possible compromise in their dispute over censorship and hacking. 'If you want to do something that disobeys Chinese law and regulations, you are unfriendly, you are irresponsible and you will have to pay the consequences,' Li Yizhong, the minister of Industry and Information Technology, said on the sidelines of China's annual legislature. ... 'Whether they leave or not is up to them,' Li said. 'But if they leave, China's Internet market is still going to develop.' ... Li insisted the government needs to censor Internet content to protect the rights of the country and its people. 'If there is information that harms stability or the people, of course we will have to block it,' he said."Read Replies (0)
By kdawson from Slashdot's decontextualizing-fun deptartment
krou writes "The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting story about how the University of Wyoming's English Department is helping fund a collective called the Learning Games Initiative to study video games. Jason Thompson, an assistant professor at UW who is part of the group, explains that 'it's a group of people [who] do research on games, do development on games, and keep an archive of games printed matter such as manuals, ... systems, all of it. We really look at games as cultural artifacts; things that reveal theology, things that reveal power. Things that should be studied in the academy.' The English Department has been very open-minded with the project, because they understand that gaming can educate people, and that 'we can expand our notion of what text and study is; the idea that it might be fun doesn't necessarily preclude its study.' Thompson believes that it's important for academia to study gaming, because games could be used in the future as a type of textbook: 'if games can teach, then as teachers shouldn't we understand what kind of teaching's going on?'"Read Replies (0)
By kdawson from Slashdot's but-everybody's-doing-it deptartment
theodp writes "ComputerWorld reports that IBM has stopped providing breakouts on US employees, closing a door to data that provided insights into the bellwether company's employment shift. In its latest Annual Report, Big Blue only provides its global headcount, and an IBM spokesman confirmed that disclosure of US headcount is a thing of the past. The Rochester Institute of Technology's Ron Hira called the US workforce data critical for policymakers trying to understand the dynamics of offshoring. 'By hiding its offshoring, IBM is doing a disservice to America — through omission the company is providing misleading labor market signals and information to policy makers,' Hira said. Ironically, CEO Sam Palmisano's Letter to Shareholders, which accompanied the Annual Report, touts how IBM's Analytics and 'Smarter Planet' efforts are empowering US government decision-makers. Nondisclosure domestically and abroad seems to be the new rule of thumb for Big Tech, sparking calls for government intervention."
IBM laid off about 10,000 US workers last year, and 2,900 so far this year, according to the Alliance@IBM, a labor union.Read Replies (0)
By kdawson from Slashdot's your-mileage-will-vary deptartment
AnotherUsername writes "The Federal Communications Commission is asking the nation's broadband and smartphone users to use its broadband testing tools to help the feds and consumers know what speeds are actually available, not just promised by the nation's telecoms. At http://www.broadband.gov/, users enter their address and test their broadband download speed, upload speed, latency, and jitter using one of two tests (users can choose to test with the other after one test is complete). The FCC is requiring the street address, as it 'may use this data to analyze broadband quality and availability on a geographic basis' (they promise not to release location data except in the aggregate). The agency is also asking those who live in a broadband 'dead zone' to fill out a report online, call, fax, email, or even send a letter. The announcement comes just six days before the FCC presents the first ever national broadband plan to Congress. Java is necessary to run the test."
Lauren Weinstein points out some of the limitations
in the FCC's testing methodology.Read Replies (0)