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Bug

New Way to Patch Defective Hardware 238

Posted by Zonk
from the small-size-different-angle dept.
brunascle writes "Researchers have devised a new way to patch hardware. By treating a computer chip more like software than hardware, Josep Torrellas, a computer science professor from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, believes we will be able to fix defective hardware by a applying a patch, similar to the way defective software is handled. His system, dubbed Phoenix, consists of a standard semiconductor device called a field programmable gate array (FPGA). Although generally slower than their application-specific integrated circuit counterparts, FPGAs have the advantage of being able to be modified post-production. Defects found on a Phoenix-enabled chip could be resolved by downloading a patch and applying it to the hardware. Torrellas believes this would give chips a shorter time to market, saying "If they know that they could fix the problems later on, they could beat the competition to market.""
Portables

OLPC Manufacturer to Sell $200 Laptop On Open Market 214

Posted by Zonk
from the now-we're-getting-somewhere dept.
srinravi writes "ArsTechnica reports that Quanta, the company manufacturing the XO laptops, has plans to begin selling low-cost budget mobile computers for $200 later this year. 'According to Quanta president Michael Wang, the company plans to leverage the underlying technologies associated with OLPC's XO laptop to produce laptop computers that are significantly less expensive than conventional laptops.' While OLPC plans to sell the laptops in bulk to governments, which will then distribute the hardware to school children, the XO computer itself is not for sale on the open market. These XO-like commercial devices are still something of an unknown, but it has been announced they'll be using Open Source software."
The Internet

Why the Semantic Web Will Fail 179

Posted by kdawson
from the coopetition dept.
Jack Action writes "A researcher at Canada's National Research Council has a provocative post on his personal blog predicting that the Semantic Web will fail. The researcher notes the rising problems with Web 2.0 — MySpace blocking outside widgets, Yahoo ending Flickr identities, rumors Google will turn off its search API — and predicts these will also cripple Web 3.0." From the post: "The Semantic Web will never work because it depends on businesses working together, on them cooperating. There is no way they: (1) would agree on web standards (hah!) (2) would adopt a common vocabulary (you don't say) (3) would reliably expose their APIs so anyone could use them (as if)."
Biotech

Genetically Modified Maize Is Toxic — Greenpeace 655

Posted by kdawson
from the here's-to-your-liver dept.
gandracu writes "It appears that a variety of genetically modified maize produced by Monsanto is toxic for the liver and kidneys. What's worse, Monsanto knew about it and tried to conceal the facts in its own publications. Greenpeace fought in court to obtain the data and had it analyzed by a team of experts. MON863, the variety of GM maze in question, has been authorized for markets in the US, EU, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, and the Philippines. Here are Greenpeace's brief on the study and their account of how the story was unearthed (both PDFs)."
Microsoft

Australian Students Can Get Office at 95% Off Retail 246

Posted by samzenpus
from the almost-free dept.
tora201 writes "Microsoft Australia is offering university students in that country Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate Edition for just $75 Australian dollars, a 95% discount off the usual retail price. Alternatively students can buy a one year renewable license at just $25, or download a trial version that can be later activated. Eligibility is determined through a valid Australian university e-mail address with payment made via credit card."
Games

Brain/Computer Gaming Interface Coming in 2008 129

Posted by samzenpus
from the look-mom-no-hands dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Emotiv Systems today unveiled a brain/computer interface system with a helmet and software applications at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The Project Epoc system can move objects based on a gamer's thoughts, reflect facial expressions, and respond to the excitement or calm the gamer mentally exerts, the company said....While Emotiv is not yet ready to announce any partnerships, [they] did say the product will be coming to market in 2008."
Supercomputing

Quantum Computer Demoed, Plays Sudoku 309

Posted by kdawson
from the more-qubits dept.
prostoalex writes "Canadian company D-Wave Systems is getting some technology press buzz after successfully demonstrating their quantum computer (discussed here earlier) that the company plans to rent out. Scientific American has a more technical description of how the quantum computer works, as well as possible areas of application: 'The quantum computer was given three problems to solve: searching for molecular structures that match a target molecule, creating a complicated seating plan, and filling in Sudoku puzzles.' Another attendee provides some videos from the demo." Anyone want to guess how long before "qubit" gets compressed to "quit" (as "bigit" became "bit" in the last century)?
Movies

HD-DVD and Blu-Ray Protections Fully Broken 682

Posted by Zonk
from the open-season dept.
gEvil (beta) writes "According to an article at BoingBoing, the processing keys for the AACS encryption scheme used by both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray video discs have been extracted, and a crack has been released. What this means is that there is now a method to extract the copy-protected content of any HD-DVD or Blu-Ray disc out there. This is different from Muslix64's previous crack, which only extracted the volume key for each disc. This new method bypasses this step and allows anyone to extract the data without first requiring the volume key."

Readable Nuclear Spins Advance Quantum Computing 82

Posted by kdawson
from the entangled-phosphorus dept.
eldavojohn writes, "A University of Utah researcher and his team of German colleagues have shown that it is possible, using electronics, to read data stored as nuclear 'spins'. The lead researcher in the experiment was Dr. Christoph Boehme and his team's letter is available via Nature Physics (at a cost of $18 unless you are a subscriber). This is looking to be a large advance in quantum computing because prior to this, measuring the number of spins of a single phosphorus nucleus was very difficult." From the article: "The researchers used a piece of silicon crystal about 300 microns thick — about three times the width of a human hair — less than 3 inches long and about one-tenth of an inch wide. The silicon crystal was doped with phosphorus atoms. Phosphorus atoms were embedded in silicon because too many phosphorus atoms too close together would interact with each other so much that they couldn't store information. The concept is that the nuclear spin from one atom of phosphorus would store one qubit of information. The scientists used lithography to print two gold electrical contacts onto the doped silicon. Then they placed an extremely thin layer of silicon dioxide — about two billionths of a meter thick — onto the silicon between the gold contacts. As a result, the device's surface had tiny spots where the spins of phosphorus atoms could be detected."

Ancient Swords Made of Carbon Nanotubes 293

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the built-to-last dept.
brian0918 writes "Nature reports that researchers at Dresden University believe that sabres from Damascus dating back to 900 AD were formed with help from carbon nanotubes. From the article: 'Sabres from Damascus are made from a type of steel called wootz. But the secret of the swords' manufacture was lost in the eighteenth century.' At high temperatures, impurities in the metal 'could have catalyzed the growth of nanotubes from carbon in the burning wood and leaves used to make the wootz, Paufler suggests. These tubes could then have filled with cementite to produce the wires in the patterned blades, he says.'"

Activision Down, Vivendi Waaay Up 31

Posted by Zonk
from the sad-days-salad-days dept.
Gamespot is reporting that Activision faces delisting from NASDAQ due to non-compliance. They failed to report their quarterly earnings on time, a situation the company says they will correct as soon as 'practicable.' Meanwhile, Vivendi earnings are up 190% No, that's not a typo. Two guesses as to why. From the article: "Unsurprisingly, Vivendi Games attributed the profit spike largely due to what it describes as 'the higher margin of the World of Warcraft business.' It also cited other factors, including the start-up investments for the Sierra Online and Vivendi Games Mobile divisions and strong sales of Scarface: The World Is Yours in October." Translation: "We have a money hat machine! Yay!"

Comment: Re:Oblivion nudity (Score 4, Informative) 282

by Covin (#15258592) Attached to: ESRB Changes Oblivion's Rating to 'Mature'
The parent is correct, the underlying skin of 'female upper body, nude' was only included to allow additional clothing to look correct when it exposed portions of what the bra was covering.

The nude female skin included in the file isn't even female. The proportions are quite distinctly male as evidenced by the placement of the nipples being way too far appart and thus rendering them on the side of the breasts rather than the front when it is placed over the female upper body mesh in the mod. The mesh file of the supposed nude still distincly shows the folds of the bra (rendered normally as a folded up, dirty off-white cloth going around the upper body) giving the topless characters lumpy shadows where the bra was.

In other words, this was not a 'hidden' nudity thing. The males can be rendered without shirts and clothing made with exposure of various parts of the upper body. The female was made the same way, and since the nipples would never be shown, it didn't matter that they used the male skin 'skin' for it as well.

Felson's Law: To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

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