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Internet Explorer

Microsoft Previews IE9 — HTML5, SVG, Fast JS 473

suraj.sun sends this excerpt from CNET on Microsoft's preview of IE9 in Las Vegas just now. "At its Mix 10 conference Tuesday, Microsoft gave programmers, Web developers, and the world at large a taste of things to come with its Web browser. Specifically, Microsoft released what it's calling the Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview, a prototype designed to show off the company's effort to improve how the browser deals with the Web as it exists today and, as important, to add support for new Web technologies that are coming right now. Coming in the new version is support for new Web standards including plug-in-free video; better performance with graphics, text, and JavaSript by taking advantage of modern computing hardware. One big change in the JavaScript engine Hachamovitch is proud of is its multicore support. As soon as a Web page is loaded, Chakra assigns a processing core to the task of compiling JavaScript in the background into fast code written in the native language of the computer's processor." Microsoft didn't say what codec they were using for the HTML5 video demo, but the Technologizer says it's H.264.

China Emphasizes Laws As Google Defies Censorship 320

Lomegor writes "Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Thursday that all companies are welcome to operate in China but that they must do so under local laws. Although not explicitly, this is in some way a response to Google's threat to leave the country. China also stated that they have strict cyber laws and that they forbid any kind of 'hacking attack'; when asked if those laws apply to the government as well it was quickly avoided. 'It is still hard to say whether Google will quit China or not. Nobody knows,' the official in the State Council Information Office was quoted as saying." I sure would love to be a fly on the wall of these discussions. We certainly live in interesting times.

Lifecycle Energy Costs of LED, CFL Bulbs Calculated 400

necro81 writes "The NY Times is reporting on a new study from Osram, a German lighting manufacturer, which has calculated the total lifecycle energy costs of three lightbulb technologies and found that both LEDs and CFLs use approximately 20% of the energy of incandescents over their lifetimes. While it is well known that the newer lighting technologies use a fraction of the energy of incandescents to produce the same amount of light, it has not been proven whether higher manufacturing energy costs kept the new lighting from offering a net gain. The study found that the manufacturing and distribution energy costs of all lightbulb technologies are only about 2% of their total lifetime energy cost — a tiny fraction of the energy used to produce light." The study uses the assumption that LEDs last 2.5 times longer than CFLs, and 25 times longer than incandescents.

Google's Reach Hits Your Tivo 98

accido writes "As reported by The LA Times, Google has now decided to expand its marketing and data collection to include what you watch on your Tivo. The data collected would help Google, who sells TV ads, show who watches which commercials and who skips right over them. The article outlines how this could be bad for networks that cash in whether you watch the ad or not. Does this mean fewer commercials for viewers? Not likely, but one can hope."

"Breathtakingly Stupid" EU Cookie Law Passes 447

Reader whencanistop writes with some details on an upcoming EU law that slipped under the radar as it was part of the package containing the "three strikes" provision, which attracted all the attention and criticism. "A couple of weeks ago we discussed the EU cookie proposal, which has now been passed into law. While the original story broke on the Out-law blog from a law perspective ('so breathtakingly stupid that the normally law-abiding business may be tempted to bend the rules to breaking point'), there has now been followup from a couple of industry insiders. Aurelie Pols of the Web Analytics Association has blogged on how this will affect websites that want to monitor what people are looking at on their sites, while eConsultancy has blogged on how this will impact the affiliate industry. In all of this the general public is being ignored — the people who, if the law is actually implemented, will have to proceed through ridiculous screens of text every time they access a website. I know most of you guys hate cookies in general, but they are vital for websites to know how people are accessing the sites so they can work out how to improve the experience for the user."
Hardware Hacking

Hardware Hackers Create a Cheaper Bedazzler 282

ptorrone writes "Hardware hacker extraordinaires Ladyada (Adafruit Industries) and Phil Torrone (of MAKE magazine) have just published an open source 'Homeland Security' project, a non-lethal LED-Based Incapacitator: THE BEDAZZLER. After attending a conference where the $1 million 'sea-sick flashlight' (THE DAZZLER) was demoed by Homeland Security, the duo decided to created an under-$250 version, and just released the source code, schematics and PCB files. The team also released a 5 minute video describing the 'official version' as well as how they created the 'open source hardware' version."

Rome, Built In a Day 107

spmallick writes "Researchers at the University of Washington, in collaboration with Microsoft, have recreated the city of Rome in 3D using images obtained from Flickr. The data set consists of 150,000 images from associated with the tags 'Rome' or 'Roma,' and it took 21 hours on 496 compute cores to create a 3D digital model. Unlike Photosynth / Photo Tourism, the goal was to reconstruct an entire city and not just individual landmarks. Previous versions of the Photo Tourism software matched each photo to every other photo in the set. But as the number of photos increases the number of matches explodes, increasing with the square of the number of photos. A set of 250,000 images would take at least a year for 500 computers to process... A million photos would take more than a decade! The newly developed code works more than a hundred times faster than the previous version. It first establishes likely matches and then concentrates on those parts."
The Military

High-Tech Blimps Earning Their Wings 200

coondoggie writes "The US Army this week showed off its latest high-tech blimp laden with powerful radar systems capable of detecting incoming threats 340 miles away. The helium-filled blimps, or aerostats, are designed to hover over war zones or high-security areas and be on guard for incoming missiles or other threats. The Army wants them to reduce some of the need for manned and unmanned reconnaissance flights. The aerostat demonstrated this week is known as the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Sensor System (JLENS), which is designed to fly up to an altitude of 10,000 feet. According to, the $1.4 billion JLENS is a large, unpowered elevated sensor moored to the ground by a long cable. From its position above the battlefield, the elevated sensors will allow incoming cruise missiles to be detected, tracked, and engaged by surface-based air defense systems even before the targets can be seen by the systems."

Twitter, Flickr, Hotmail, Others Blocked In China 151

An anonymous reader writes "Two days ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square 'incident,' several high profile Internet sites have been blocked in mainland China. These include,,, and While Internet blocks are common enough in mainland China, blocking such high-profile sites is unusual. In addition, blog reports suggest even state-owned television broadcasts are suffering multiple instances of muting lasting several seconds (again, not unusual for some foreign stations broadcast over cable, but unusual for local state-owned media) suggesting state security, online or through other technology, has tightened significantly, perhaps in anticipation or discovery of protest plans."

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg