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Experience the New Slashdot Mobile Site 384

After many months of effort, today we've brought the new mobile site out of beta. Featuring an interface optimized for touch devices, we think it's a huge improvement over the old mobile interface. You'll find comments easier to navigate, the most popular stories highlighted at the top of the page, and a surprisingly pleasant interface for navigating old polls. We've also spiffed up user profiles, resurrecting and improving the friend/foe system in the process. And that's not all: we're pleased to announce that you can login to Slashdot in general using various social media accounts, so if you use Facebook or Google+ there's no excuse not to enjoy the benefits of being a registered user, without the hassle of creating yet another account. Our weblog has a few more details. As always, if you encounter any issues let us know by mailing

Steve Jobs Was Wrong About Touchscreen Laptops 526

theodp writes "Don't believe everything Steve Jobs and Tim Cook tell you, advises The Verge's Sean Hollister. Gunshy of touchscreen laptops after hearing the two Apple CEOs dismiss the technology (Jobs: 'Touch surfaces don't want to be vertical.' Cook: 'You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not gonna be pleasing to the user.'), Hollister was surprised to discover that Windows 8 touchscreen laptops actually don't suck and that the dreaded 'Gorilla Arm Syndrome' did not materialize. 'The more I've used Windows 8, despite its faults, the more I've become convinced that touchscreens are the future — even vertical ones,' writes Hollister. 'We've been looking at this all wrong. A touchscreen isn't a replacement for a keyboard or mouse, it's a complement.' Echoing a prediction from Coding Horror's Jeff Atwood that 'it is only a matter of time before all laptops must be touch laptops,' Hollister wouldn't be surprised at all if Apple eventually embraces-and-extends the tech: 'Microsoft might have validated the idea, but now Apple has another chance to swoop in, perfecting and popularizing the very interface that it strategically ridiculed just two years ago. It wouldn't be the first time. After all, how many iPad minis come with sandpaper for filing fingers down?'"

The Next Phase of Intelligent TVs Will Observe You 294

An anonymous reader writes "Japan based NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories (STRL) is testing an interface which observes TV viewers, determines their interest and provides information related to the TV program in accordance with the way they are watching it. UTAN (user technology assisted navigation) TV viewing interface, as it is called, has a camera mounted on the TV which photographs the viewer and estimates the viewer's degrees of interest, concentration, etc. The information is processed by a tablet PC and recommended information is shown to the viewer. It is possible to show individual interests as well, in case there are multiple viewers."

DirectX 11 Coming To Browser Games 200

arcticstoat writes "Forget Farmville, Flash puzzlers and 8-bit home computer emulators. The next generation of browser games will be able to take advantage of DirectX 11 effects, not to mention multi-core processing and both Havok and PhysX physics effects. A new browser plug-in called WebVision will be available for Trinergy's new game engine, Vision Engine 8. This will enable game developers to port all the advanced effects from the game engine over to all the common browsers. Of course, any budding 3D-browser-game dev will face the problem that not every PC has a decent graphics card that can handle advanced graphics effects. Not only that, but limited bandwidth will also limit what effects a developer can realistically implement into a browser game. Nevertheless, this is an interesting development that could result in some tight 3D programming, as well as some much more interesting browser games."

FCC Mulling More Control For Electronic Media 176

A recent Notice of Inquiry from the FCC is looking for opinions on how the "evolving electronic media landscape" affects kids, and whether the FCC itself should have more regulatory control over such media. The full NOI (PDF) is available online. "FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski included a statement with the NOI in which he noted that 'twenty years ago, parents worried about one or two TV sets in the house,' while today, media choices are far more widespread for children, including videogames, which 'have become a prevalent entertainment source in millions of homes and a daily reality for millions of kids.'"

Firefox To Replace Menus With Office Ribbon 1124

Barence writes "Mozilla has announced that its plans to bring Office 2007's Ribbon interface to Firefox, as it looks to tidy up its 'dated' browser. 'Starting with Vista, and continuing with Windows 7, the menu bar is going away,' notes Mozilla in its plans for revamping the Firefox user interface. '[It will] be replaced with things like the Windows Explorer contextual strip, or the Office Ribbon, [which is] now in Paint and WordPad, too.' The change will also bring Windows' Aero Glass effects to the browser." Update: 09/24 05:01 GMT by T : It's not quite so simple, says Alexander Limi, who works on the Firefox user experience. "We are not putting the Ribbon UI on Firefox. The article PCpro quotes talks about Windows applications in general, not Firefox." So while the currently proposed direction for Firefox 3.7 involves some substantial visual updates for Windows users (including a menu bar hidden by default, and integration of Aero-styled visual elements), it's not actually a ribbon interface. Limi notes, too, that Linux and Mac versions are unaffected by the change.

Sony To Launch 3D TVs By Late 2010 249

eldavojohn writes "The Financial Times is reporting that Sony is announcing 3D TVs for late 2010 at the IFA technology trade show in Berlin. It's another glasses-based technology with "active shutter" being employed (the same stuff teased at CES as well as employed on NVIDIA's glasses). Expect to see 3D Bravia television sets, Vaio laptops, PS3s and Blu-ray disc players compatible with this technology."

Microsoft Pushes For Single Global Patent System 495

Xerolooper writes "What would the world be like if everyone could enjoy the same patent system we use in the USA? From the article: 'A senior lawyer at Microsoft is calling for the creation of a global patent system to make it easier and faster for corporations to enforce their intellectual property rights around the world.' They have already attracted opposition from the open-source community and the Pirate Party. According to the article, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will be meeting in Geneva on the 17th and 18th of September."

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer