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Microsoft

+ - Microsoft Unveils it's own Surface tablets-> 1

Submitted by Necroloth
Necroloth (1512791) writes "Microsoft has unveiled Surface — its own-brand family of tablets.

It aims to challenge the iPad with a device that can run standard applications such as its own Office programs and Photoshop.

However other hardware makers are likely to feel aggrieved by the news as Microsoft can offer a competitive price as it doesn't need to pay itself a licence for the Windows 8 software which other manufacturers will have to do.

The devices have 10.6 inch (26.9cm) displays, built-in kickstands and are housed in magnesium cases — which the company described as the first of their kind.

The ARM-based tablets are 9.3mm (0.4 inches) thick — slightly less than the iPad — and run the Windows RT version of the new system. The Verge reported that the chipset will be built by Nvidia.

The versions using Intel's x86 technology run Windows 8 Pro and are 13.5mm (0.5 inches) thick.

A variety of accompanying covers can be attached using built-in magnets. They double as keyboards with trackpads. One version is flat while the other offers keys that can be depressed.

The devices are also designed to work with a pen accessory using what the firm dubbed "digital ink". When the stylus is held close to the screen of the tablet it ignores touch-input from the users' hands."

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Programming

+ - Lazy clause algorithm makes decisions faster-> 1

Submitted by schliz
schliz (994115) writes "Australian researchers have developed a 'combinatorial optimisation' algorithm called the lazy clause generator, which combines low- and high- level programming techniques to solve problems like rostering, resource allocation and Sudoku. The algorithm is part of Government-funded NICTA's G12 constraint programming project, and could speed industrial decision making processes by "orders of magnitude" — however, its developer does not expect it to replace human managers "because in the end, people want to feel like they're in control of the process"."
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Games

+ - Confirmed: Steam Not Coming To Linux-> 5

Submitted by dkd903
dkd903 (1156359) writes "A rumor has been going around for about four months that Valve was working on a Linux version of Steam and this had a lot of people in the Linux community very excited. But, Valve has now officially killed the rumor. And it is not what people wants to hear – there is no Linux version of Steam in development. Doug Lombardi, the Marketing VP of Valve Corporation, in an interview, has put an end to all the rumors by saying that they are not working on Steam for Linux right now."
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Iphone

+ - App Store Director Sells His Own Fart Apps->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""Isn't it ironic? The director of Apple's app store (and the enforcer of such draconian policies as the "no-porn policy") has a side job: he sells fart apps on the app store.

Wired's Gadget Blog revealed on Wednesday that Phillip Shoemaker, director of Apple's app store, also works for an app company called Gray Noodle. Gray Noodle produces such highbrow apps as "iWiz," a urination simulator, and "Animal Farts," a, um, farting app.""

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+ - Zombie Ants and Killer Fungus->

Submitted by nibbles2004
nibbles2004 (761552) writes "An article in the guardian newspaper shows how parasitic fungi evolved the ability to control the creatures they infect ultimately leading the ant to it's death. The fungus control's the ant's movement's to a suitable leaf and cause's the ant to grip onto the leaf's central stem, allowing the fungus to spore which will allow more ant's to become infected."
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+ - Restaurant uses social media to exclude patrons->

Submitted by RevWaldo
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "From Gothamist: Five former employees of Bowlmor Lanes in New York have filed a lawsuit against Strike Holdings CEO Tom Shannon, claiming he used social media outlets to keep minorities from making reservations at "one of the city’s hottest and most compelling nightlife venues." The suit claims Shannon met with top executives after "incidents" at Bowlmor's restaurant, Carnival, "to discuss possible ways to exclude certain people...such as African-Americans, Asians and Latinos."...The suit claims the workers were asked to look up prospective patrons on Facebook and MySpace to see how they looked and dressed and where they lived. If they didn't fit the Bowlmor customer ideal, they didn't get a reservation."
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+ - Facebook Now Supports Jabber/XMPP->

Submitted by supersloshy
supersloshy (1273442) writes "Facebook Chat has so far only been meant to be used in a web browser, and instant messaging applications have had a hard time implementing it's undocumented protocol. Today, Facebook is making this job much easier by enabling support for XMPP to access it's chat service. Serkan Piantino from Facebook says, "Every day people send more than two billion chat messages to each other on Facebook. Today we're making it easier for people to extend those conversations with their Facebook friends to instant messaging clients beyond Facebook.com." Instructions on how to set it up in your favorite instant messenger, such as Pidgin or Adium, can be found here. AOL's AIM and the Empathy Instant Messenger are also including pre-set Facebook options, due to already supporting XMPP."
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Apple

+ - Apple buying Quattro Wireless for $275M->

Submitted by Arvisp
Arvisp (1626837) writes "Quattro is a competitor to AdMob, which Google Inc (GOOG.O) agreed to acquire in November for $750 million. All Things Digital and other media outlets have reported Apple had also been trying to buy AdMob.According to its Web site, Quattro's advertising network includes thousands of mobile Web sites, along with applications on Apple's iPhone and Google's Android platform, and other smartphones"
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Comment: Re:The times are changing (Score 1) 266

by Miros (#29918145) Attached to: Los Angeles Goes Google Apps With Microsoft Cash

Lock-in [wikipedia.org] is when the user is dependent on one vendor and can not change to another one, at least not easily.

Have you ever seen what happens when you take an average, non tech-savvy expert microsoft office user and then tell them that they have to use open office instead? they can't find anything! File formats can be an effective method of lock-in, but having a large base of users who are completely accustomed to using your product as the standard can be as well.

If OpenOffice were a perfect substitute for Office, and switching costs were zero, that would be it; the story would be over. Microsoft would only be able to give office away as everyone would be completely indifferent and simply switch to the cheaper product (in this case, OO, which is free). [proof by contradiction] Either they are not perfect substitutes or switching costs are non-trivial, or a mixture of both.

Comment: Was a math major undergrad, took notes on lappy (Score 1) 823

by SeePage87 (#29917139) Attached to: How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class?

At the time I used straight LaTeX, but I made it work. The trick was to get a good editor and set up keyboard shortcuts for common things to blaze through the process quicker. Add on top of that a bunch of renaming functions in the preamble to save keystrokes for other common actions and keeping up isn't much of a problem.

That being said, I'm going to cast my vote for Lyx because you can still do all I suggested above, but it greatly aids in building tables, matrices, and other things that'll slow you down a bit. And don't be afraid to use shorthand that won't format properly when necessary, as long as you know what it says you can always fix it after class or during a lull in the lecture; I find this typically takes less than 5 min. And use lots of white space. And reconsider what the best way to keep notes is; when you have a medium with the flexibility of files, folders, etc, I find it's usually better to take notes by topic instead of chronology of when it is said.

Funny story, took notes all semester for my stat class that way and we got to use 1 page of notes for the final. About 20-30 minutes of copy/paste-ing gave me every equation we used, qualitative descriptions of what they do and when to use them, and a whole host of other useful stuff. Never studied beyond doing my homework (which I only did most of the time) but I got a 297 out of 300, highest grade in a class of ~150 and about half a standard deviation above the next highest score...

Image

Elderly To Get Satellite Navigation To Find Their Way Around Supermarkets 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the too-many-aisles dept.
Three government centers in the UK have been working on a way to use digital technology to help the elderly and the disabled. One of their ideas is a supermarket satellite navigation system to help elderly people who get confused by changing layouts in the aisles. Professor Paul Watson, of Newcastle University, said: "Many older people lack the confidence to maintain 'normal' walking habits. This is often due to worries about getting lost in unfamiliar, new or changing environments." A kitchen for Alzheimer's patients packed with hidden sensors and projectors is also in the works.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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