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Math

Optical Solution For an NP-Complete Problem? 232

Posted by kdawson
from the too-bad-about-the-noise dept.
6 writes to let us know that two optical researchers have proposed, as a thought experiment, a novel idea for solving the traveling salesman problem. From the abstract: We introduce an optical method based on white light interferometry in order to solve the well-known NP-complete traveling salesman problem. To our knowledge it is the first time that a method for the reduction of non-polynomial time to quadratic time has been proposed. We will show that this achievement is limited by the number of available photons for solving the problem. It will turn out that this number of photons is proportional to NN for a traveling salesman problem with N cities and that for large numbers of cities the method in practice therefore is limited by the signal-to-noise ratio. The proposed method is meant purely as a gedankenexperiment."

Vista Use Grows as Mac OS X Stays Flat 387

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the gnashing-of-fanboi-teeth dept.
jdelator writes to mention ComputerWorld is reporting that Microsoft's Windows Vista has increased their market share steadily every month while their main opponent, Mac OS X, has remained essentially flat. "According to Net Applications, in June Windows Vista accounted for 4.52% of all systems that browsed the Web, up from January's 0.18%. Vista has grown its usage share each month since its release to consumers Jan. 30, hitting 0.93% in February, 2.04% in March, 3.02% in April and 3.74% in May. Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X, meanwhile, accounted for 6.22% in January and hit its high point of 6.46% in May, but it slipped back to 6% in June. If Vista's uptake trend continues, it should pass Mac OS X in Web usage share by the end of August."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Man attempts pr0n rescue with sword

Submitted by jas_public
jas_public (1049030) writes "A Wisconsin, US, man says he broke into an apartment with a cavalry sword because he thought he heard a woman being raped, but the sound actually was from a pornographic movie his upstairs neighbor was watching.

James Van Iveren said Tuesday that he heard a woman "screaming for help," grabbed the sword, bounded up the stairs, kicked in the apartment door and confronted the man who lived there.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=2892628&CMP= OTC-RSSFeeds0312"
The Almighty Buck

$25M Bounty Offered for Global Warming Fix 766

Posted by Zonk
from the bring-me-the-head-of-global-warming dept.
SaDan writes "Richard Branson is offering $25M as a bounty for a fix to global warming. The person or organization that can devise a method to remove at least a billion tons of carbon dioxide a year from the atmosphere will be able to claim the bounty. There are a few catches, of course. There can't be any negative impact on the environment, and the payment will come in chunks. A 5 million dollar payout will be paid when the system is put into place with the remainder of the bounty to be paid after 10 years of continuous use."
Math

Professor Comes Up With a Way to Divide by Zero 1090

Posted by samzenpus
from the it-seems-so-obvious-now dept.
54mc writes "The BBC reports that Dr. James Anderson, of the University of Reading, has finally conquered the problem of dividing by zero. His new number, which he calls "nullity" solves the 1200 year old problem that niether Newton nor Pythagoras could solve, the problem of zero to the zero power. Story features video (Real Player only) of Dr. Anderson explaining the "simple" concept."

The Wii Disassembled 160

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the inside-on-the-outside dept.
mrmcgeeber writes "There are two ways to take apart the Wii. The first, as demonstrated by Popular Science, involves breaking the Wii open due to a lack of tools. The second method is a more formal Wii disassembly guide, which is provided by InformIT.com. Either way, you can see some detailed pictures of the internals of the Wii and how the parts are laid out. The InformIT.com version also includes an eight minute teardown video."

Vista Licenses Limit OS Transfers, Ban VM Use 968

Posted by timothy
from the oh-that's-handy dept.
NiK0laI writes "TechWeb has posted an article regarding Vista's new license and how it allows you to only move it to another device once. How will this work for people who build their PCs? I have no intention of purchasing a new license every time I swap out motherboards. 'The first user of the software may reassign the license to another device one time. If you reassign the license, that other device becomes the "licensed device," reads the license for Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, and Business. In other words, once a retail copy of Vista is installed on a PC, it can be moved to another system only once. ... Elsewhere in the license, Microsoft forbids users from installing Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium in a virtual machine. "You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system," the legal language reads. Vista Ultimate and Vista Business, however, can be installed within a VM.'" Overly Critical Guy points out more information about changes to Vista's EULA and the new usage restrictions. "For instance, Home Basic users can't copy ISOs to their hard drives, can't run in a virtualized environment, and can only share files and printers to a maximum of 5 network devices."

Why Microsoft's Zune Scares Apple to the Core 574

Posted by Zonk
from the core-apple-get-it-wakka-wakka dept.
BoredStiff writes "Computerworld has an article examining Microsoft's plans to launch a competitor to the Apple iPod, the wireless media player called Zune. The article lists five reasons why Apple may fear the Zune, and why it won't be as easily smacked down as the dozens of mp3 players before it have been. The Zune isn't just a music player, the article argues. Think of it as a portable, wireless, hardware version of MySpace. With the Zune, Microsoft is trying to launch a consumer media 'perfect storm.'" From the article: "Microsoft will make the movement of media between Windows, Soapbox and the Zune natural and seamless. The Zune interface is just like a miniature version of the Windows Media Center user interface and is very similar to some elements of Vista. Apple fans are overconfident in the iPod because Apple once commanded 92% of music player market share, a number that has since fallen to around 70%. About 30 million people own iPods. But Microsoft owns more than 90% of the worldwide operating systems market (compared with Apple's roughly 5%), representing some 300 million people. The company expects to have 200 million Vista users within two years."

Vista to Create 50,000 Jobs in Europe 270

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the working-for-the-man dept.
prostoalex writes "A Microsoft-sponsored study found that Vista will be a boon to European economy, as it 'will create more than 50,000 technology jobs in six large European countries and will lead to a flood of economic benefits for companies there,' News.com reports. Europe will see a total of 1.2 mln paychecks thanks to the new operating system: 'In the six countries studied, more than 150,000 IT companies will produce, sell or distribute products or services running on Windows Vista in 2007 and will employ 400,000 people, IDC said. Another 650,000 will be employed in the IT departments of businesses that rely on Vista.'"

Apple Announces iTunes 7, Movies, Set-Top Box 710

Posted by kdawson
from the ooh-shiny dept.
necro81 writes, "As anticipated, Apple announced several additions and upgrades to its iPod and iTunes lineup. The iPod now comes in an 80 GB model, with a $50 price drop for the 30 GB model. The 2nd generation iPod Nano harkens back to the iPod Mini with metallic, multi-colored shells (though as diminutive as ever) and comes in an 8 GB model. The Shuffle has been completely redesigned and shrunk down to the size of a matchbook. All of this comes with the release of iTunes 7, which includes support for downloading full-length movies from iTMS." All 75 movies initially available are from Disney-related studios. The new iTunes will download cover art for all the songs in your library, no matter where you got them from, as long as you have an iTunes account. (A confirmation dialog says: "Information about songs with missing artwork will be sent to Apple. Apple does not keep any information related to the contents of your music library.") There's a new album-cover browsing view of your library. And Steve Jobs gave a sneak preview of a project code-named iTV: a Mac Mini-like wireless set-top box. Engadget has a blow-by-blow of Steve Jobs's presentation.

Why the iPod is Losing its Cool 563

Posted by Zonk
from the totally-unhip dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian Unlimited has a provocative article on the recent decline in iPod sales: 'Analysts warn that the iPod has passed its peak. From its launch five years ago its sales graph showed a consistent upward curve, culminating in a period around last Christmas that saw a record 14 million sold. But sales fell to 8.5 million in the following quarter, and down to 8.1 million in the most recent three-month period. Wall Street is reportedly starting to worry that the bubble will burst.'"

30 Days of DRM 170

Posted by Zonk
from the i-prefer-30-days-of-thunder dept.
sonofollson writes "Michael Geist, a Canadian law professor, in the middle of a 30 Days of DRM project, which is targeting the planned introduction of the DMCA in Canada. Each day, the project identifies an exception or limitation that is needed to address the danger of anti-circumvention legislation. Issues covered so far include interoperability, privacy, region coding, and reverse engineering. The project is also supporting a wiki version for broader participation."

Work Around for New DVD Format Protections 466

Posted by Zonk
from the oops dept.
An anonymous reader writes "For the new Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats, Hollywood implemented a complete copy protection scheme; almost everything has to be encrypted and authenticated. Despite the crypto-stuff in Advanced Access Content System and High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection, they left the backdoor wide open — they forgot about the PrintScreen button. Using this function you can create exact digital copies of a film picture-by-picture and reassemble them into a stream."

Thus spake the master programmer: "After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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