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Displays

Sonar Software Detects Laptop User Presence 167 167

Steve Tarzia writes "A research group at Northwestern University and University of Michigan has released open-source display power-management software that uses a new user presence detection technique. The goal is to shut off the display immediately when the user leaves the computer rather than using slow and error-prone mouse/keyboard activity timeouts. Surprisingly, the mic and speakers of many laptop computers are sensitive to ultrasonic frequencies. Those frequencies can be used to silently probe the laptop's physical environment. This software is based on research published at the UbiComp2009 conference. A Windows binary and source code for Windows and Linux are available for download."
Role Playing (Games)

Free-To-Play Switch Going Well For D&D Online 201 201

babboo65 writes "Dungeons and Dragons Online is enjoying a second life in terms of player count and buzz, all thanks to its new business strategy: giving the game away. Turbine is making their MMO as accessible as possible, and that includes making players who don't pay anything as happy as possible. Subscriptions are up 40 percent. Ars explores how free can be very profitable."
The Internet

1Mb Broadband Access Becomes Legal Right In Finland 875 875

An anonymous reader writes "Starting next July, every person in Finland will have the right to a one-megabit broadband connection, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Finland is the world's first country to create laws guaranteeing broadband access. The Finnish people are also legally guaranteed a 100Mb broadband connection by the end of 2015."
Power

+ - Win 7 Vs. Vista: Snappy Performance/More Power Use->

crazipper writes: Back when Intel launched its Core i5/i7 'Lynnfield' CPUs, Tom's Hardware ran some tests in Windows 7 versus Vista to gauge the benefits of the core parking and ideal core optimizations, said to cut power consumption in the new OS. It turned out that Win7 shifted the Nehalem-based CPUs in and out of Turbo Boost mode faster, resulting in higher power draw under load, while idle power was a slight bit lower.

The mobile version of the architecture was claimed (at the time) to show a greater improvement in moving to Win7. Today there's a follow-up with the flagship Clarksfield processor that shows the same aggressive P-state promotion policies giving Win7 a significant performance advantage with Core i7 Mobile. However, power consumption is higher as well.

Link to Original Source
The Almighty Buck

Device Protects Day Traders From Emotional Trading 260 260

Philips Electronics, a Netherlands-based company, has come up with a device designed to protect day traders from emotionally based trading decisions. The Rationalizer measures your galvanic skin response and lets you know when you are under stress. An online trader can then take a "time-out, wind down and re-consider their actions," according to the company. This may have come too late for us, but at least future generations won't have to live through the horror of angry day trading.
Displays

First Look At Acer's 3D Laptop 151 151

Barence writes "Acer today revealed the world’s first 3D laptop, the Acer Aspire 5738PG, which will launch alongside Windows 7 on October 22. It uses a combination of software and specially coated glass on the 15.4in screen, along with a standard set of polarised glasses. Initial impressions were a bit iffy, and whether anyone actually needs a 3D laptop is another question entirely, but we'll find out this month."
Linux Business

How Nokia Learned To Love Openness 180 180

ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes "Once Sebastian Nyström laid out the logic of moving to open source, there was very little resistance within Nokia to doing so. I think that's significant; it means that, just as the GNU GPL has been tested in various courts and found valid, so has the logic behind open source — the openness that allows software to spread further, and improve quicker, for the mutual benefit of all. That idea is also increasingly accepted by hard-headed business people: it's become self-evident that it's a better way."
Businesses

Explaining Corporate Culture Through "The Office" 224 224

Writing in the ribbonfarm.com blog, Venkatesh Rao uses The Office to explain and illustrate a theory of management he calls the Gervais Principle (after the TV series's creator). Taking off from Hugh MacLeod's cartoon laying out a corporate hierarchy in layers of Sociopaths, the Clueless, and Losers, Rao riffs on and updates the Peter Principle, in these terms: "Sociopaths, in their own best interests, knowingly promote over-performing losers into [clueless] middle-management, groom under-performing losers into sociopaths, and leave the average bare-minimum-effort losers to fend for themselves." Don't know about you, but this analysis suddenly makes sense of much that mystified me in my sojourn in corporate America.

+ - Modern man a wimp says anthropologist-> 3 3

GenThrift writes: An interesting article that boldly states and proves why "If you're reading this then you — or the male you have bought it for — are the worst man in history.

"No ifs, no buts — the worst man, period...As a class we are in fact the sorriest cohort of masculine Homo sapiens to ever walk the planet."

LONDON (Reuters) — Many prehistoric Australian aboriginals could have outrun world 100 and 200 meters record holder Usain Bolt in modern conditions.

Some Tutsi men in Rwanda exceeded the current world high jump record of 2.45 meters during initiation ceremonies in which they had to jump at least their own height to progress to manhood.

Any Neanderthal woman could have beaten former bodybuilder and current California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in an arm wrestle.

Link to Original Source
Google

+ - Google Patents Santa Lists 1 1

theodp writes: Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. But if you let him know what you want for Xmas this year, the two of you could be slapped with a patent infringement lawsuit. After a five-year review and four rejections, the USPTO On Tuesday granted Google a patent for its Methods and Systems for Providing a Gift Registry, which the search giant notes covers 'any gift-giving occasion.' They couldn't mean toys, right? Wrong. 'For example,' explains Google, 'the gift interest data may comprise an indication that one gift the user is interested in adding to his or her gift registry comprises a Fisher Price red toy boat.' Don't say you weren't warned, Virginia. And BTW, even if Google doesn't get you, Virginia, Microsoft could. Or Amazon. Merry Xmas!

Why did the Roman Empire collapse? What is the Latin for office automation?

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