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Displays

Acer Launches First 4K Panel With NVIDIA G-Sync Technology On Board 64

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-the-pixels dept.
MojoKid writes: Save for a smattering of relatively small, 3K and 4K laptop displays, we haven't quite gotten to the same type of pixel density on the PC platform, that is available on today's high-end ultra-mobile devices. That said, the desktop display space has really heated up as of late and 4K panels have generated a large part of the buzz. Acer just launched the first 4K display with NVIDIA G-Sync technology on board. To put it simply, G-SYNC keeps a display and the output from an NVIDIA GPU in sync, regardless of frame rates or whether or not V-Sync is enabled. Instead of the monitor controlling the timing and refreshing at say 60Hz, the timing control is transferred to the GPU. The GPU scans a frame out to the monitor and the monitor doesn't update until a frame is done drawing, in lock-step with the GPU. This method completely eliminates tearing or frame stuttering associated with synchronization anomalies of standard panels. There are still some quirks with Windows and many applications that don't always scale properly on high-DPI displays, but the situation is getting better every day. If you're a gamer in the market for a 4K display, that's primed for gaming, the Acer XB280HK is a decent new option with this technology on board, though it does come at a bit of a premium at $799 versus standard 28-inch panels.
Businesses

The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy 602

Posted by Soulskill
from the less-than-bright-ideas dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Markus Krajewski reports that today, with many countries phasing out incandescent lighting in favor of more-efficient and pricier LEDs, it's worth revisiting the history of the Phoebus cartel — not simply as a quirky anecdote from the annals of technology, but as a cautionary tale about the strange and unexpected pitfalls that can arise when a new technology vanquishes an old one. Prior to the Phoebus cartel's formation in 1924, household light bulbs typically burned for a total of 1,500 to 2,500 hours; cartel members agreed to shorten that life span to a standard 1,000 hours.

Each factory regularly sent lightbulb samples to the cartel's central laboratory in Switzerland for verification. If any factory submitted bulbs lasting longer or shorter than the regulated life span for its type, the factory was obliged to pay a fine. Though long gone, the Phoebus cartel still casts a shadow today because it reduced competition in the light bulb industry for almost twenty years, and has been accused of preventing technological advances that would have produced longer-lasting light bulbs. Will history repeat itself as the lighting industry is now going through its most tumultuous period of technological change since the invention of the incandescent bulb?

"Consumers are expected to pay more money for bulbs that are up to 10 times as efficient and that are touted to last a fantastically long time—up to 50,000 hours in the case of LED lights. In normal usage, these lamps will last so long that their owners will probably sell the house they're in before having to change the bulbs," writes Krajewski. "Whether or not these pricier bulbs will actually last that long is still an open question, and not one that the average consumer is likely to investigate." There are already reports of CFLs and LED lamps burning out long before their rated lifetimes are reached. "Such incidents may well have resulted from nothing more sinister than careless manufacturing. But there is no denying that these far more technologically sophisticated products offer tempting opportunities for the inclusion of purposefully engineered life-shortening defects.""
Education

Is a Computer Science Degree Worth Getting Anymore? 630

Posted by Soulskill
from the art-history-is-back-on-top dept.
snydeq writes "Self-taught technologists are almost always better hires than those with a bachelor's degree in computer science and a huge student loan, writes Andrew Oliver. 'A recruiter recently asked me why employers are so picky. I explained that of the people who earned a computer science degree, most don't know any theory and can't code. Instead, they succeed at putting things on their resume that match keywords. Plus, companies don't consider it their responsibility to provide training or mentoring. In fairness, that's because the scarcity of talent has created a mercenary culture: "Now that my employer paid me to learn a new skill, let me check to see if there's an ad for it on Dice or Craigslist with a higher rate of pay." When searching for talent, I've stopped relying on computer science degrees as an indicator of anything except a general interest in the field. Most schools suck at teaching theory and aren't great at Java instruction, either. Granted, they're not much better with any other language, but most of them teach Java.'"
Piracy

Ubisoft Claims PC Piracy Rate of 93-95% 464

Posted by Soulskill
from the pirata-ergo-sum dept.
silentbrad sends this quote from GamesIndustry: "Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has told GamesIndustry International that the percentage of paying players is the same for free to play as it is for PC boxed product: around five to seven per cent. ... 'On PC it's only around five to seven per cent of the players who pay for F2P, but normally on PC it's only about five to seven per cent who pay anyway, the rest is pirated. It's around a 93-95 per cent piracy rate, so it ends up at about the same percentage. The revenue we get from the people who play is more long term, so we can continue to bring content.' ... 'We must be careful because the consoles are coming. People are saying that the traditional market is declining and that F2P is everything — I'm not saying that. We're waiting for the new consoles — I think that the new consoles will give a huge boost to the industry, just like they do every time that they come. This time, they took too long so the market is waiting.'"
The Military

Air Force Claims To Have Solved Fatal F-22 Oxygen Riddle 172

Posted by Soulskill
from the doctor-was-its-mother dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "DefenseTech reports that Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, the director of operations for Air Combat Command, told the Pentagon press corps that a valve that inflates the Combat Edge upper pressure garment is the cause of hypoxia-like symptoms in pilots flying the F-22. The problem forced the service to ground the Air Force's most prized stealth fighter fleet for four months and led two Raptor pilots to tell the nation on CBS's 60 Minutes that they refused to fly the jet because the pilots feared for their lives. The vests help control the breathing of pilots in high G-force environments, inflating before pilots start to experience extreme G-force conditions. However Lyon explained that the valves caused the vests to inflate too early in an F-22 flight, causing pilots to hyperventilate in the cockpits. 'It's like putting a corset around your chest,' said Lyons. Eagle and Viper pilots stopped wearing the upper pressure garments in 2004 'because they were not giving us the contribution we thought they would,' said Lyon. F-22 pilots kept wearing them because they flew at higher altitudes and the vests protected the pilots from 'rapid decompression,' adding that F-22 pilots, many of whom flew the F-15 and F-16, didn't notice the vests had inflated early because of the layers of gear a pilot wears in flight. Such a simple answer to a problem that has eluded Air Force engineers and scientists for four years has left some Air Force pilots skeptical that the USAF has solved the problem. An F-16 pilot said the Air Force is either 'incompetent for missing this until now,' or 'dishonest and trying to sweep something under the rug.'"
Technology

Ask Slashdot: Making a Tablet Run Only One Application? 260

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the write-your-own-exokernel dept.
An anonymous reader asks "I'm working for a medical centre who want to make a tablet with various videos and webpages about smoking cessation available in their waiting room. The tablet can't access the Internet because of security policies. I'm planning to use a local server with copies of the (Creative Commons) videos and pages accessed through local webpages using the tablet's browser. How can I make only the browser be available to the tablet users? Ideas? Suggestions?"
The Internet

Man Claiming He Invented the Internet Sues 326

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-due-credit dept.
wiedzmin writes "A low-profile Chicago biologist, Michael Doyle, and his company Eola Technologies, who has once won a $521m patent lawsuit against Microsoft, claim that it was actually he and two co-inventors who invented, and patented, the "interactive web" before anyone else, back in 1993. Doyle argues that a program he created to allow doctors to view embryos over the early Internet, was the first program that allowed users to interact with images inside of a web browser window. He is therefore seeking royalties for the use of just about every modern interactive Internet technology, like watching videos or suggesting instant search results. Dozens of lawyers, representing the world's biggest internet companies, including Yahoo, Amazon, Google and YouTube are acting as defendants in the case, which has even seen Tim Berners-Lee testify on Tuesday."
Space

The Second Moons of Earth 92

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-no-moon dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Despite a large body of work on satellite capture by the gas giants, mainly Jupiter and Saturn, there has been little published about the Earth's natural satellites other than the moon. Now Scientific American reports that although the moon has been with us for billions of years, Earth has also had countless other satellite companions and probably has one right now. These 'second moons' are boulders from the large population of near-Earth asteroids that get snagged by our gravity, orbit the Earth for a few months, then escape and move on. Known as 'Temporarily-Captured Orbiters' (TCOs), the irregular natural satellites are hard to see but astronomers spotted one such transient satellite in 2006. Dubbed 2006 RH120, the asteroid was a few meters in diameter, was captured by Earth for about a year and made four Earth orbits before being ejected after its June 2007 perigee back to interplanetary space. But TCOs are not just of academic interest. 'Once TCOs can be reliably and frequently identified early enough in a capture event they create an opportunity for a low-cost low-delta-v meteoroid return mission. The scientific potential of being able to first remotely characterize a meteoroid and then visit and bring it back to Earth would be unprecedented (PDF).'"
Medicine

The $443 Million Smallpox Vaccine That Nobody Needs 290

Posted by samzenpus
from the always-be-prepared dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Once feared for its grotesque pustules and 30% death rate, smallpox was eradicated worldwide as of 1978 and is known to exist only in the locked freezers of a Russian scientific institute and the US government. There is no credible evidence that any other country or a terrorist group possesses smallpox, but if there were an attack, the government could draw on $1 billion worth of smallpox vaccine it already owns to inoculate the entire US population and quickly treat people exposed to the virus. The vaccine, which costs the government $3 per dose, can reliably prevent death when given within four days of exposure. David Williams writes that over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work. So why did the government award a "sole-source" procurement to Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, calling for Siga to deliver 1.7 million doses of the drug for the nation's biodefense stockpile at a price of approximately $255 per dose. 'We've got a vaccine that I hope we never have to use — how much more do we need?' says epidemiologist Dr. Donald A. Henderson who led the global eradication of smallpox for the WHO. 'The bottom line is, we've got a limited amount of money.'"
Education

Survey Finds Cheating Among Students At All GPA Levels 333

Posted by Soulskill
from the bad-at-learning-means-bad-at-learning-how-to-cheat dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Over a third of undergraduate students admitted to some form of cheating at one of America's top research universities, according to a survey published November in the journal Science and Engineering Ethics (abstract). The researchers expected to find more cheating among the top-performing group — and at the minimum at least some students with excellent grades cheated. Not so. As it turned out, the overall cheating rate was similar to that found in other studies, but the types of cheating and stated reasons for cheating were all over the map. Researchers uncovered one trend among the cheaters: the perception that teaching assistants either ignored or didn't care about cheating."
Networking

Ask Slashdot: Best Wi-Fi Solution For a Hotel? 300

Posted by Soulskill
from the we'll-keep-a-flickering-led-on-for-you dept.
dynamo52 writes "I have been tasked with replacing a managed Wi-Fi system for a mid-sized hotel. They have already selected Comcast to provide a 100mbps connection, which unfortunately must come in at one corner of the ~5-acre property. The hotel plans to provide this service for free, so there is no need for any type of billing management system, though it should be secured enough that the parking lot does not become a free Wi-Fi hotspot. Additionally, there is no ethernet infrastructure in place. The existing APs (hidden away in proprietary encasements) seem to be connected via telephone lines and the owners have strongly indicated they would prefer that no new wiring be installed. Have any Slashdotters implemented similar systems? Specifically, what hardware did you use and what special considerations should I take in designing this system?"
Australia

Sydney Has 10,000 Unsecured Wi-Fi Points 176

Posted by samzenpus
from the throw-a-dart dept.
daria42 writes "A bunch of researchers have been driving around Sydney, Australia, and scanning for unsecured Wi-Fi networks. You'd think that in this day and age, with all that we've learned about security, that Wi-Fi security would be almost universal ... but the truth is that about 2.6 percent don't even have basic password protection. Extrapolating a little, that adds up to 10,000 unsecured Wi-Fi networks across Sydney alone."
Earth

Cleaning Up Japan's Radioactive Mess With Blue Goo 102

Posted by timothy
from the if-only-it-could-also-bounce dept.
InfiniteZero writes "A clever technology is helping hazmat crews in Japan contain and clean up the contamination caused by the ongoing nuclear disaster there: a blue liquid that hardens into a gel that peels off of surfaces, taking microscopic particles like radiation and other contaminants with it. Known as DeconGel, Japanese authorities are using it inside and outside the exclusion zone on everything from pavement to buildings."
Movies

Why People Should Stop Being Duped By the 3D Scam 394

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-holodeck-or-go-home dept.
Phoghat writes "The entertainment and electronics industries keep trying to push 3D on consumers, even though a lot of smart people have caught on to the fact that it is a scam and not innovation as the industry would like you to believe. From the article: 'This is a bad experiment that the industry is forcing consumers to subsidize. And since they can’t create a better product, they’ve simply latched on to 3D as a marketing ploy that the entertainment and electronics industries can use to trick people into thinking that they are getting a superior experience. It’s only working because just enough people are falling for the scam to keep it alive.'"

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