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Networking

Cisco's New Router — Trouble For Hollywood 335

Posted by Soulskill
from the giving-pirates-a-bigger-pipe dept.
Shakrai writes "Time Magazine has published an article about the impact of Cisco's new CRS-3 router on the business practices of the MAFIAA. This new router was previously mentioned here on Slashdot and is expected to alleviate internet bottlenecks that currently impede steaming video-on-demand services. Some of the highlights from the article: 'The ability to download albums and films in a matter of seconds is a harbinger of deep trouble for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which would prefer to turn the clock back, way back. ... The hard fact is that the latest developments at Cisco, Google and elsewhere may do more than kill the DVD and CD and further upset entertainment-business models that have changed little since the Mesozoic Era. With superfast streaming and downloading, indie filmmakers will soon be able to effectively distribute feature films online and promote them using social media such as Facebook and Twitter. ... Meanwhile, both the MPAA and the RIAA continue to fight emerging technologies like peer-to-peer file sharing with costly court battles rather than figuring out how to appeal to the next generation of movie enthusiasts and still make a buck."
Iphone

Free Skype Client Lands On the iPhone 150

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the not-just-build-it-and-they-will-come dept.
CNet is reporting that a free Skype client will finally be landing on the iPhone this week. Unfortunately some are saying that it seems many of the "critical" pieces of functionality are still missing. While the Skype engineers claim their native client will offer better audio quality (because there is no need to route through another server and transcode audio) they are still missing text messaging, file transfers, and integrated voice mail. Since the iPhone does not allow for multiple programs running concurrently, many are expecting existing multi-function apps like Fring and NimBuzz to continue their reign at the top.
Mozilla

Command Lines and the Future of Firefox 360

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wouldn't-that-be-nice dept.
Barence writes "Mozilla has revealed how it plans to integrate plain text commands directly into future versions of Firefox. Dubbed Taskfox, the move sees Mozilla's Ubiquity project become part of the browser itself, allowing users to type commands directly into the address bar. You can, for example, type 'map cleveland street london' to bring up a Google Map of that location, or 'amazon-search the great gatsby' to find that book on Amazon, without visiting the website directly. 'The basic idea behind Taskfox is simple: take the time-saving ideas behind Ubiquity, and put them into Firefox,' the Taskfox wiki claims. 'That means allowing users to quickly access information and perform tasks that would normally take several steps to complete.'"
Slashdot.org

Slashdot Keybindings, Dynamic Stories 220

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we're-still-here dept.
We've been working hard on the new dynamic Slashdot project (logged in users can enable this by enabling the beta index in their user preferences). I just wanted to quickly mention that there are keybindings on the index. The WASD and VI movement keys do stuff that we like, and the faq has the complete list. Also, if you are using Firefox or have Index2 beta enabled, you can click 'More' in the footer at the end of the page to load the next block of stories in-line without a page refresh. We're experimenting now with page sizes to balance load times against the likelihood that you'll click. More features will be coming soon, but the main thing on our agenda now is optimization. The beta index2 is sloooow and that's gotta change. We're aiming for 2 major optimizations this week (CSS Sprites, and removing an old YUI library) that I'm hoping will put the beta page render time into the "Sane" time frame (which, in case you are wondering, is several seconds faster than that "Insane" time frame we're currently seeing).
Media

+ - What is the best Media Center software out there?

Submitted by
brm1974
brm1974 writes "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_center

For the product by J. River.
A media center is a computer adapted for playing music, watching movies and pictures stored on a local harddrive or on a (in some cases wireless) network, watching DVD movies and often for watching and recording television broadcasts.

Have You guys tried any of those?
What do you think?

        * SageTV
        * Front Row (Apple)
        * GeeXboX (Linux)
        * GBPVR (Windows)
        * SesamTV (http://www.sesamtv.com)
        * MythTV (Linux)
        * Freevo (Linux)
        * Elisa (Linux) (http://www.fluendo.com/elisa/index.php)
        * My Media System (Linux)
        * MediaPortal
        * TVedia
        * Windows XP Media Center Edition
        * Xbox Media Center (not to be confused with Windows XP Media Center eXtender)
        * Domotix (http://www.mydomotix.com)
        * XLobby (windows) http://www.xlobby.com/"
Power

+ - City tries to cut energy bills with LEDs

Submitted by
AkumaKuruma
AkumaKuruma writes "Raleigh, N.C., wants to become LED City.

The city, which is in the center of the state's tech hub, is conducting experiments to see if it can cut energy consumption and maintenance costs by replacing conventional public light fixtures with ones based around light-emitting diodes.

In December, Raleigh — in conjunction with LED manufacturer Cree — replaced high-pressure sodium lights in a downtown parking garage with LED lights. Although the LED lamps cost substantially more than regular sodium lamps, they require less electricity and need to be replaced far less often.

Early projections indicate that the expense of retrofitting the garage's lighting system will get recovered in cost savings in two to three years, said Mayor Charles Meeker.

"We are saving over 40 percent of the energy we would otherwise use," said Meeker, who's currently on his third two-year term. "And the quality is better. With sodium lights, you get bugs in the cover, and the light is kind of yellowish."

Next, Raleigh will kick off a pilot program with LED streetlights and will also seek funds to convert the city's other parking garages. If all seven municipal parking lots in the city were retrofitted, it could save the city $100,000 a year in energy consumption and decreased maintenance, he said. The lights in stadiums, gyms, schools, parks and other public venues could be next.

If successful, the experiment could ultimately serve as a showcase for something several LED manufacturers are angling to accomplish: maneuvering LEDs into the commercial and residential lighting market. LEDs are used in flashlights and car headlights and taillights, but commercial and residential lighting represents a much larger opportunity. Approximately 22 percent of the electricity consumed in the United States goes toward lighting, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

LEDs can last 75,000 hours or longer and consume far less power than standard incandescent bulbs. Only about 5 percent of the energy that goes into conventional bulbs actually turns into light; the rest gets dissipated as heat. If 25 percent of the lightbulbs in the United States were converted to LEDs putting out 150 lumens (a measure of light output) per watt — higher than the most current models — the country as a whole could save $115 billion in utility costs cumulatively by 2025, according to University of California Santa Barbara professor Stephen DenBaars.

LEDs also have begun to outperform fluorescent bulbs in energy efficiency, said Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda. The company last year unveiled an LED that can put out about 70 lumens per watt. That's a bit better than many compact fluorescent bulbs — those cone-shaped things that fit into regular light fixtures — on the market, which often get 60 lumens per watt.

The problem up until now has been cost. Consumers and businesses can buy lighting fixtures based around LEDs now, but the price is high compared with other types of lights. While fluorescent manufacturers dispute many of the energy efficiency claims by the LED industry, they also note that their products cost far less.

The rising cost of electricity, combined with the declining prices of LEDs, however, is making diodes more attractive to manufacturers of lighting fixtures, Swoboda said. Over the next year, LED-based light fixtures for commercial buildings and signs will begin to increase in number, he said. The commercial market in many ways is inherently more attractive because they don't need to be replaced as often, which cuts down the number of times the maintenance crew has to put up a ladder.

Nonetheless, he added that LED lights would likely begin to appear in new homes in six months to a year. Contractors can absorb the cost in the overall price of the home.

Making an LED light fixture stronger or less bright is largely a matter of how the fixture is designed and the number of LEDs inside. A lawn light based around LEDs might have two of the diodes inside, said Swoboda; a light for a garage might have 84.

LEDs emit red, blue or green light on their own. To make white light, the light from blue LEDs passes through a yellowish phosphor."
Media

+ - 3D Hologram Movie Posters

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "The movie poster weblog Posterwire.com reports that the company XYG Imaging has created technology to place eight seconds of video into a hologram movie poster: "The film industry is the first target for what XYZ RGB bills as the next-generation movie poster. The company can place a short clip right in the poster, giving people a chance to view a scene without going into the theatre.""
Space

+ - cosmic rays not CO2 warming up the planet

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "What has been argued for years by various scientists and "Global Warming Deniers" is that there was a strong correlation between sunspot activity and global temperature in spite of the irradiance from the sun not increasing.

We now have a potential explanation

Researchers have managed to replicate the effect of cosmic rays on the aerosols in the atmosphere that help to create clouds. Henrik Svensmark, a weather scientist in Denmark, said the experiments suggested that man's influence on global warming might be rather less than was supposed by the bulk of scientific opinion.

Cosmic rays — radiation, or particles of energy, from stars, which bombard the Earth — can create electrically charged ions in the atmosphere that act as a magnet for water vapour, causing clouds to form.

Dr Svensmark suggests that the Sun, at a historically high level of activity, is deflecting many of the cosmic rays away from Earth and thus reducing the cloud cover.

Some how this will be the oil companies fault I'm sure"

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold

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