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Comment Define "bargain" (Score 5, Interesting) 403 403

I don't think anyone out there is saying that from a $/GB perspective that SSD's are a bargain.

But here are two key points:

1) Not everyone needs 1TB of storage (about $100, and practically entry level now for hard drives). Especially on laptops, a $350 32GB SSD (also entry level) can get you quite far, especially if it is reserved for the OS and applications. You can pick up a 32GB SSD for a reasonable price, and get the really good performance, and use a big, cheap HD for media files.

2) Many people view the extra performance + lower power consumption + greater reliability as worth the premium price, and that makes them a value. Just because they can't compete on a $/GB basis doesn't make them a bargain to some people.

XBox (Games)

Microsoft Trying To Patent a 'Magic Wand' 157 157

theodp writes "Newly-disclosed USPTO documents show that Microsoft is seeking patent protection for a 'Magic Wand,' a device with various gizmos and sensors that can manipulate and interact with its environment, including video and holographic images, while using biometrics to connect with the user. 'Even the most pragmatic individual,' explains Microsoft, 'would have trouble arguing against the merits or utility of, say, a magic wand that actually worked to control or communicate with objects or components in an associated nearby environment.' No doubt. The inventors include CXO/CTO J Allard, and Sr. Researcher Andy Wilson."

Comment Manufacture or design? (Score 4, Informative) 202 202

There's a big difference between manufacturing a chip and designing one. Unless Apple suddenly acquires the capital and know how to run a fab, manufacturing is best left to foundries like TSMC.

I'd even be surprised if they did the design completely in-house. Most likely it would be a collaborative effort with an already established low-power design house like ARM.


"Miraculous" Stem Cell Progress Reported In China 429 429

destinyland writes "In China's Guangdong Province there's been 'almost miraculous' progress in actually using stem cells to treat diseases such as brain injury, cerebral palsy, ataxia and other optic nerve damage, lower limb ischemia, autism, spinal muscular atrophy, and multiple sclerosis. One Chinese biotech company, Beike, is now building a 21,500 square foot stem cell storage facility and hiring professors from American universities such as Stanford. Two California families even flew their children to China for a cerebral palsy treatment that isn't available in the US. The founder of Beike is so enthusiastic, he says his company is exploring the concept of using stem cells to extend longevity beyond 120 years."

Comment Organ enlargement, etc. (Score 1) 713 713

I'd like to see a follow-up book on all the crazy shit that's out there like the penis enlargers, the motorized belts that vibrate your fat away, oddly shaped ergonomic chairs and desks, ionic air purifiers, the automatic muscle exercisers, yadda yadda yadda.

Flip through a SkyMall catalog on an airplane some time and you'll find tons of examples of devices like this that supposedly improve your body or health. (Also, a magnet stand that magically ages your wine collection 100 years in minutes!!) This industry is even less regulated that alternative medicine but can be just as dangerous, if not more so. At a minimum, they lend credence to the saying, "a fool and his money are soon parted."

Comment Re:So what (Score 4, Insightful) 90 90

Not only that, but it's not like the silicon used in today's chips is low grade crap. The purity standards for electronic grade silicon are pretty insane considered to the standards of most things we think of as "pure", including pharmaceuticals. (Seven to eight 9's purity is not uncommon). And yet its produced in great volumes relatively cheaply.

The Almighty Buck

Economic Crisis Will Eliminate Open Source 753 753

An anonymous reader writes "The economic crisis will ultimately eliminate open source projects and the 'Web 2.0 free economy,' says Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur. Along with the economic downturn and record job loss, he says, we will see the elimination of projects including Wikipedia, CNN's iReport, and much of the blogosphere. Instead of users offering their services 'for free,' he says, we're about to see a 'sharp cultural shift in our attitude toward the economic value of our labor' and a rise of online media businesses that reward their contributors with cash. Companies that will survive, he says, include Hulu, iTunes, and Mahalo. 'The hungry and cold unemployed masses aren't going to continue giving away their intellectual labor on the Internet in the speculative hope that they might get some "back end" revenue,' says Keen."

Hubble Finds Unidentified Object In Space 716 716

Gizmodo is reporting that the Hubble space telescope has found a new unidentified object in the middle of nowhere. Some are even suggesting that this could be a new class of object. Of course, without actually understanding more about it, the speculation seems a bit wild. "The object also appeared out of nowhere. It just wasn't there before. In fact, they don't even know where it is exactly located because it didn't behave like anything they know. Apparently, it can't be closer than 130 light-years but it can be as far as 11 billion light-years away. It's not in any known galaxy either. And they have ruled out a supernova too. It's something that they have never encountered before. In other words: they don't have a single clue about where or what the heck this thing is."

Submission + - 30% of Americans want "balanced" blogging

Cutie Pi writes: In a recent Rasmussen poll looking at the public's attitudes toward a possible revival of the fairness doctrine by the Democrats, a surprisingly large percentage of those polled seek fairness doctrine mandates (originally intended for public airwaves) to cover the Internet as well. It is encouraging that a minority of people feel that way, but Democrats say "hands-off the a far smaller margin than Republicans and unaffiliated voters. Democrats oppose government-mandated balance on the Internet by a 48% to 37% margin. Sixty-one percent (61%) of Republicans reject government involvement in Internet content along with 67% of unaffiliated voters." Will a Democratic majority post-November bring major changes to our media?

Yale Students' Lawsuit Unmasks Anonymous Trolls 668 668 writes "Two female Yale law school students have used the courts to ascertain the identities of otherwise anonymous posters to an Internet forum, with the intent of prosecuting them for hateful remarks left on the boards. At a minimum, the posters' future legal careers are certainly jeopardized by these events. While I'm not certainly not supporting or encouraging hateful speech online, these controversial actions hold potentially far-reaching consequences for Internet privacy policy and free speech." According to the linked Wired Law article, "The women themselves have gone silent, and their lawyers — two of whom are now themselves being sued — are not talking to the press."

Modern LaTeX Replacement? 918 918

javierzinho writes "For many years I have been using LaTeX to compose scientific documents, but truly I am getting tired of its complexity. You have to install new packages for new features, compatibility issues are everywhere, you need to know commands for everything, table composition is torture, image insertion is an odyssey if you don't have the 'right' format, and you need to be a LaTeX Jedi master to create a new document class. I'm looking for a document processor (not a word processor) that is a viable replacement for LaTeX, possessing all of its advantages — consistency between text and math text, automated cross references, direct PDF creation, etc. — but that is not stuck in the 1980s with the compiler metaphor and weird font technology. An application with visual interface and so on. I've tried Scientific Word and Lyx but both are front-ends for LaTeX. Publicon only produces PDF files by exporting to LaTeX and subsequently using pdflatex. Add-ons for MS-Word are a joke, and webEq is intended for web publishing, not for PDF production. Does anybody know of a decent, scientific-structured document processor that is a modern application?"

Google Blogger "Hosts 2% of World's Malware" 134 134

Barence writes "Google's Blogger service is responsible for 2% of the world's malware hosted on the Web, according to a new report from security firm Sophos. The company claims hackers are setting up pages on the free blogging service to host malicious code, or simply posting links to infected websites in other bloggers' comments. 'Blogger accounts for around 2% of malware,' according to Sophos's senior technology consultant, Graham Cluley. 'It's head and shoulders above the rest [of the blogging services].'" Sophos believes that Blogger is favored because, being part of Google, it gets spidered early and often.

"If a computer can't directly address all the RAM you can use, it's just a toy." -- anonymous comp.sys.amiga posting, non-sequitir