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Comment: Re:Wait... (Score 1) 434

by chrisb33 (#32737492) Attached to: Subscription-Based 'Hulu Plus' Is Now Official

Completely agree. As soon as I heard the news, I knew that people would immediately start complaining, even though this is a great deal. For 30 cents a day, you can stream on-demand from a (presumably) huge library of shows to any of your devices. The ads are around 5-10% of your total viewing time, as opposed to somewhere around 25% for a typical TV broadcast. This is NOT some conspiracy to ripoff customers - honestly I'll be surprised they can even make much of a profit from this.

Has anyone online ever done any of the following?
-paid for cable TV: $40/month, with ~25% commercial time
-gone to the movies: $5/hour, with ~20 minutes of commercials at the beginning
-rented a movie (brick&mortar): $5/movie
These are all orders of magnitude more expensive and inconvenient than what Hulu is proposing. (This also highlights how great a deal the current free Hulu service is.)

My only caveat to this is the "presumably" above - if the catalog being offered for $10/month is only marginally larger than the free catalog, then it might not be worth it. Still, to dismiss this as a money grab seems unbelievably narrowminded. This is exactly how I want the future of media to be: low cost, large number of choices, control over when I watch, minimal advertising, access from all my devices, etc.

Comment: Re:pencil/paper (Score 1) 823

by chrisb33 (#29917871) Attached to: How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class?
I think Livescribe's model is much better than IOGear's for taking notes - you don't have to deal with moving the receiver around during class, just turn the pen on to get started (takes ~4 seconds to boot up) and then forget about it. The audio recording is also much more helpful than I expected, especially since you can archive your notebooks for posterity. Last week I wanted to review something I learned last year, so I just typed in the search and got to hear a five-minute lecture about it :)

Comment: Re:pencil/paper (Score 4, Interesting) 823

by chrisb33 (#29916661) Attached to: How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class?
If you're just interested in organization and searching, I'd highly recommend the LiveScribe Pulse smartpen - all the smarts are in the pen, which isn't too expensive compared to a tablet, and you can buy the compatible notebooks cheaply. All your notes get backed up to your computer when you dock your pen, it does a great job searching for a specific piece of text. My handwriting is a disaster, and I have never seen a search fail so far - I believe that it actually uses the sequence of pen motions (not just OCR on the final result) and it can tolerate some of the letters being unreadable. It has other features as well, such as recording audio (the mic has a decent gain) and syncing it with your notes. They also have an SDK and are launching an app store, so in the future you should be able to make good use of the ARM processor in the pen.

Comment: Re:Sudden outbreak... (Score 5, Interesting) 249

by chrisb33 (#23358776) Attached to: EA Loosens Spore, Mass Effect DRM
I was thinking the same thing - could they really have been serious about the 10-day DRM? It wasn't as if people's reactions were unpredictable, so I find it hard to believe that they honestly thought people wouldn't complain. As you pointed out, this seems more like a conscious "Door-in-the-face" technique than a legitimate retraction.
Education

+ - Not So Global Warming

Submitted by OverlordQ
OverlordQ (264228) writes "A new report on climate over the world's southernmost continent shows that temperatures during the late 20th century did not climb as had been predicted by many global climate models. This comes soon after the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that strongly supports the conclusion that the Earth's climate as a whole is warming, largely due to human activity. David Bromwich, professor of professor of atmospheric sciences in the Department of Geography, and researcher with the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University, reported on this work at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at San Francisco."
Announcements

+ - Nanotech battery claims to solve electric car woes

Submitted by rbgrn
rbgrn (443653) writes "A123 Systems claims to have invented a Lithium Ion battery that not only can discharge at very high rates of current but can be recharged very quickly without damage to the cells or overheating. From their website: "A unique feature of A123Systems' M1 cells is their ability to charge to high capacity in 5 minutes or less. That's a significant improvement over traditional Li Ion, which typically requires more than 90 minutes to reach a similar level of charge." Using this technology, General Motors has announced a plug-in hybrid SUV and Venture Vehicles is developing a fully electric 3 wheel vehicle. Politics aside, the main technological hurdle to mass adoption of electric cars has been a fuel station replacement when driving distances beyond a single charge worth of range. Will we finally be seeing high current recharge stations in the next decade?"
Robotics

+ - Robot snowblower lets Pennsylvania man relax

Submitted by davidwr
davidwr (791652) writes "A Pennsylvania man can take it easy while his robot snowblower does all the heavy lifting, er, blowing. It's basically a converted golf cart with a snowblower attachment, gear mods, and a remote-control hack. Is this the "must-have geek do-it-yourself-kit" for geeks in snow country next Christmas? Now if only the guys near Buffalo had a beowulf cluster of these babies last week....
Editor: Change icon to Monty Python Stomping Foot"
Biotech

+ - Bionic eye could restore vision

Submitted by
MattSparkes
MattSparkes writes "A new bionic eye could restore vision to the profoundly blind. A prototype was tested on six patients and "within a few weeks all could detect light, identify objects and even perceive motion again. For one patient, this was the first time he had seen anything in half a century." The user wears a pair of glasses that contain a miniature camera and that wirelessly transmits video to a cellphone-sized computer in the wearer's pocket. This computer processes the image information and wirelessly transmits it to a tiny electronic receiver implanted in the wearer's head."
Education

+ - Hacks no longer joking matter at MIT

Submitted by ecklesweb
ecklesweb (713901) writes "The Boston Globe reprots that Hacks are no longer a joke at MIT. Three students tripped an alarm while "exploring" the Faculty Club under the cover of dark. Instead of fines or community service, the three students face up to 20 years in prison on charges of felony breaking and entering and trespassing. Of course, maybe it's just *botched* hacks that are no joke at MIT..."
Printer

+ - Inkless printers to be built into digital cameras

Submitted by
MattSparkes
MattSparkes writes "A revolutionary way to print pictures without ink has been invented by a US company called Zink Imaging. The company, a spin-off of Polaroid, says it will use the technology to make hand-held printers that can be integrated into mobile phones and digital cameras. "The key to creating the devices is doing away with ink, using a new type of digital printing that changes colour of paper when heat is applied.""
Space

+ - Interstellar Ark

Submitted by
xantox
xantox writes "There are three strategies to travel 10.5 light-years from Earth to Epsilon Eridani and bring humanity into a new stellar system : 1) Wait for future discovery of Star Trek physics and go there almost instantaneously, 2) Build a relativistic rocket powered by antimatter and go there in 22 years by accelerating constantly at 1g, provided that you master stellar amounts of energy (so, nothing realistic until now), but what about 3): go there by classical means, by building a gigantic Ark of several miles in radius, propulsed by nuclear fusion and featuring artificial gravity, oceans and cities, for a travel of seven centuries — where many generations of men and women would live ? This new speculation uses some actual physics and math to figure out how far are our fantasies of space travel from their actual implementation."
Toys

+ - Geek Toys for Kids

Submitted by Edis Krad
Edis Krad (1003934) writes "An CNN Money article reviews the Hot Toys for 2007. From the article:

"Industry leaders have accepted that kids are becoming more technology savvy at a younger age, and therefore are more inclined to discard their Barbie dolls and Power Ranger action figures for the cool MP3 player or camera cell phone."

Among those, I was particularly impressed with the Video Journal (blogging for kids?), the virtual bicycle (apparently, riding a real bicycle isn't cool enough anymore), and last but not least, the robotic parrot , that oddly reminds me of the replicant owl in Blade Runner

As technology becomes cheaper and more available, is it true that kids prefer cool gadgets rather and soccer balls and baseball gloves?"

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