Internet tax supporters, with backing from Walmart, Macy's, and Best Buy, are hoping a Senate vote will give them enough political leverage to require Americans to pay sales tax whenever buying goods online. This could usher in the first national Internet sales tax ever.
According to Reuters, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a motion on Thursday supporting the proposal. Since Reid … Read more
Not long ago, The New York Times published an article exploring the likelihood of a solar storm hitting Earth. I didn't get around to reading it, but I probably don't need to now that I've discovered Times Haiku.
The site recasts Times stories in the traditional short poetry form of three phrases containing 5, 7, and 5 syllables. It offers this poetic summary of the solar-storm article: Only rarely does/a giant solar blast fly/directly at Earth. Well, phew.
Jacob Harris, a Times senior software architect, created the site between his more serious endeavors -- building news-driven sites for events like the November election. His original algorithm checks the paper's home page every few minutes for new articles, then scans each sentence looking for complete sentences that fit the haiku pattern. The software does this using a list of words and their syllable counts; if it spots a word it doesn't know, it skips to the next sentence and logs the unknown words to a database. … Read more
Geeks sure know how to propose to each other. They've done so by planting a field full of tulips, creating an elaborate Lego video, and writing a physics paper. So, how does a "Harry Potter" fan go about proposing to her girlfriend? With a custom-made Quidditch set.
Rachel Allison first met Jaquie Richards in college. Their friendship blossomed into love. As their affection for each other grew, so did a mutual passion for the "Harry Potter" series. When Allison decided it was time to propose, she knew a magic touch was called for.… Read more
The headline on stories regarding a new Harris Poll survey would seem to say it all: "58 percent of adults blame games for violent behavior."
But that doesn't address what those adults are doing about it. Dig into the Harris survey and you'll see the answer is not very clear. About one third of the 2,278 U.S. adults interviewed said they allow their children to play any sort of video game, violent or not. About two in five say they know little or nothing about game ratings, though 66 percent say they do, in … Read more
A new Harris Poll survey has found that 58 percent of adult Americans believe video games are a contributing factor to violent behavior in teenagers.
In addition, 38 percent of survey respondents said they were unaware of the ratings service provided by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB). On top of this, 33 percent of adults queried said they allow their children to play whatever they want.
Harris culled the data from interviews of 2,278 U.S. adults. Venturebeat obtained the results of the independent survey, which Harris ran without funding from outside corporations or interests. … Read more
Amazon is the most reputable company in the U.S, at least according to the results of a new Harris poll.
Released today, the 2013 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient measured the reputations of the most prominent companies in the United States based on the opinions of more than 14,000 people. The poll analyzed companies based on six criteria: social responsibility; emotional appeal; financial performance; products and services; vision and leadership; and workplace environment.
Amazon came out first in emotional appeal and products and services, and was among the top five companies in the other four categories. The retail giant … Read more
When you're a British royal, thumbs are not for sucking. They're for beating your buddies at FIFA 2012. They're for being a monster at PlayStation and Xbox.
Oh, and they come in handy for killing some Afghan insurgents.
How can I possibly know this? Because the most fun-loving of the British Royal Family, Prince Harry, has given an interview in which he suggested that his gaming expertise has helped him be a very fine killer of enemy forces.
In an extensive interview published by the Daily Mail, the prince -- known to his army comrades as Captain Wales -- said he wasn't very good at school, but you don't mess with his gaming skills.
"You can ask the guys: I thrash them at FIFA the whole time," he said.… Read more
California's attorney general issued long-promised guidelines on mobile privacy today. The "Privacy on the Go (PDF)" report address the varied interests in smartphone and mobile app development, including app developers, carriers, ad networks, and operating system makers.
"We are now offering this set of privacy practice recommendations to assist app developers, and others, in considering privacy early in the development process," Attorney General Kamala Harris wrote in an introduction to the guidelines.
Sarah Downey, online privacy analyst at online privacy firm Abine, agreed that it's important to get the various mobile interests focused on … Read more
Sen. Joseph Lieberman spent years fighting unsuccessfully for a so-called Internet kill switch that would grant the president vast power over private networks during a "national cyberemergency."
Now Lieberman (I-Conn.), who did not seek re-election, is hoping a more modest version of his proposal will be approved before he leaves office in January. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has inserted the cybersecurity bill into the Senate's post-election calendar, and a vote could happen as early as this week after debate on a proposal to open more public land for hunting and fishing.
That move has reignited … Read more