Updates from September, 2008 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Hober Short 1:20 pm on 30 September 2008 Permalink  

    For what it’s worth, Roku is going “open source.” Not sure the implications of this, but it seems that, ideally, Roku will just be a hardware vendor, similar to Linksys and the WRT54G routers: you buy the box, and it comes with pretty snazzy software, but you can load up an alternate operating system of your choice.

    Or, perhaps, even better: maybe it’ll just mean that the community can write open-source interfaces based on the existing one with NetFlix to be able to access, well, anything.

     
  • Hober Short 12:09 pm on 25 September 2008 Permalink  

    Something of a surprise on the front page of today’s Technician:

    A Campaigns and Elections class polled students on political opinions and the ideological factors of voter registration, and Michael Cobb, the associate professor of political science who teaches the class, said the presidential results were neck-and-neck.

    “Obama and McCain are in a dead heat on campus,” Cobb said. “McCain has 51 percent and Obama has 49 percent.”

    Based on the sample group, Cobb said he believes the survey is an accurate representation of what students on campus believe. “We surveyed 377 students on campus, and, based on the demographics, I’m fairly confident that this is what all N.C. State students think, not just a particular group,” Cobb said. “At a sample size of 377, there’s still a margin of error close to plus or minus five percent. In an ideal world, we would have had 600 to 1,000 responses, but it just didn’t happen.”

    I wonder how many college campuses this is true for.

     
  • Hober Short 4:26 pm on 24 September 2008 Permalink  

    Via Insty:

    Regarding McCain’s call to join him in Washington to help participate in the debate over the economic recovery plan, Obama said: “I will be anywhere at any time,” he said. “If you need us I’ll be there.”

    I hope his registration under the Keene Act is up to date.

     
  • Hober Short 9:23 am on 24 September 2008 Permalink  

    Price control thinking applied to public schools:

    Pittsburgh Public Schools officials say they want to give struggling children a chance, but the district is raising eyebrows with a policy that sets 50 percent as the minimum score a student can receive for assignments, tests and other work.

    … While some districts use “F” as a failing grade, the city uses an “E.”

    “The ‘E’ is to be recorded no lower than a 50 percent, regardless of the actual percent earned. For example, if the student earns a 20 percent on a class assignment, the grade is recorded as a 50 percent.”

     
  • Hober Short 10:59 pm on 23 September 2008 Permalink  

    People raise hell and make its Amazon rating one star, so EA eases the DRM on Spore. Again.

    What about Mass Effect, EA’s most recent game behind Spore, that has exactly the same DRM, but no kerfluffle? It’s

     
  • Hober Short 10:48 pm on 23 September 2008 Permalink  

    Ever wished your Rock Band session had a light show and a fog machine? Me too!

     
  • Hober Short 2:06 pm on 22 September 2008 Permalink  

    While I’m on a hot streak:

    This is what the end of the world looks like.

    Lots of PopCap employees are also hardcore WoW players, who alt-tab during long flights or queues to kill time with Bejeweled.

    So when we learned we could actually implement Bejeweled inside WoW through an Add-On, we were intrigued. Soon the PopCap ‘guild’ was figuring out ways to make the mod even cooler and more comprehensive… and now it’s almost ready to be unleashed.

    This via Penny Arcade, whose Tycho had the following to say on the topic:

    We’ve known about this “Bejeweled in WoW” thing for awhile, long enough to have considered it for the strip we would draw at PAX, but after simmering the concept for nearly an hour we gave up. We determined that there was no satirical entry point for a comic about one of the world’s most addictive games being embedded inside one of the world’s most most addictive games. It’s Chicken Cordon Meth, and there is no escaping the folds of its eternal midnight. We stood outside its high walls awhile, he [Gabe] with the pitchfork and I with the torch, until eventually the torch went out.

     
  • Hober Short 1:58 pm on 22 September 2008 Permalink  

    FAIL.

    More here.

    Edit: The irony here is palpable.

    fail owned pwned pictures

     
  • Hober Short 1:53 pm on 22 September 2008 Permalink  

    Okay, this is just silly. This AP article titled “Gas still in short supply” has a picture of a gas station sign advertising regular unleaded for $4.79.

    That seems fundamentally dishonest. The picture is old. It’s essentially false news.

    Are they trying to cause a run on the pumps?

     
  • Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. 9:43 am on 22 September 2008 Permalink  

    Ars Technica’s generally positive review of the Zune 3.0 update includes this rather puzzling aside about McDonald’s:

    Microsoft has also inked a deal with McDonald’s to provide Zune owners with WiFi access in the “restaurants.” (As you know if you have ever worked there, McDonald’s is quite serious about referring to its outlets as “restaurants.”)

    A business where customers can purchase and eat freshly prepared food, and they call it a restaurant? I’m sure there’s a better term for such an establishment … give me a minute, and I’ll think of it …

     
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