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Data Storage

Digital Big Bang — 161 Exabytes In 2006 176

Posted by kdawson
from the had-we-but-world-enough-and-room-to-store-it dept.
An anonymous reader tips us to an AP story on a recent study of how much data we are producing. IDC estimates that in 2006 we created, captured, and replicated 161 exabytes of digital information. The last time anyone tried to estimate global information volume, in 2003, researchers at UC Berkeley came up with 5 exabytes. (The current study tries to account for duplicating data — on the same assumptions as the 2003 study it would have come out at 40 exabytes.) By 2010, according to IDC, we will be producing far more data than we will have room to store, closing in on a zettabyte.
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft discounts Office for university students

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Word. Excel. PowerPoint. Access. Publisher. Outlook. All applications that are bundled in Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate, retailing for nearly $AU1200. But if you happen to be a university student in Australia, it can be yours for just $AU75. Is Microsoft running scared? Or is it a sign of the monopoly rent Microsoft has been able to get away with for years? You decide. The Melbourne Age has the details."
The Internet

Changing Climates for Microsoft and Google 393

Posted by Hemos
from the a-path-to-the-future dept.
ReadWriteWeb writes "Weather metaphors abound as this article looks at the evolving software environment — and in particular the competition between Microsoft and Google. Milan says that while Google enjoys relative dominance on the Web platform today, two fissures exist that will force them to move. The first is Microsoft's ability to use the exact same HTML based strategy as Google (like Microsoft's current Live initiative); and secondly Microsoft leapfrogging the current environment by solving rich application installation/un installation and enforcing an acceptable contract regarding what rich apps can do on a user's machine. Unfortunately for Google, Microsoft is a lot closer to solving these two issues than people think. Microsoft has the best virtual machine with .NET, the best development tool with Visual Studio and the best access to developers with their MSDN programs. And they have a notion. Steve Ballmer himself has started touting the exact strategy they need — Click Once and Run."

Laser Turns All Metals Black 333

Posted by Zonk
from the bzoooom-whaaaawwwww dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers at the University of Rochester have found a way to change the properties of almost any metal by using a femtosecond laser pulse. This ultra-intense laser blast creates true 'black metal' from copper, gold or zinc by forming nanostructures at the surface of the metal. As these nanostructures capture radiation, the metals turn black. And as the process needs surprisingly low power, it could soon be used for a variety of applications, such as stealth planes, black jewels or car paintings. But read more for additional references and a picture of this femtosecond laser system."

Life Without Traffic Signs 604

Posted by kdawson
from the sign-language dept.
zuikaku writes, "Der Spiegel has an article titled European Cities Do Away with Traffic Signs reporting that seven cities and regions in Europe are doing away with traffic signs, signals, painted lines, and even sidewalks. With the motto 'Unsafe is Safe,' the idea is that, when faced with an uncertain, unregulated situation, drivers will be naturally cautious and courteous. Then again, they may end up with streets jammed with pedestrians, bicyclists, and cars like some places in India and China." I can't see this idea getting traction in the U.S.
DRM

Second Life Businesses Close Due To Cloning 409

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the el-camino-cloners dept.
Warren Ellis is reporting that many Second Life vendors are closing up shop due to the recent explosion of a program called "Copybot," designed to clone other people's possessions. From the article: "The night before last, I was looking around a no-fire combat sandbox, where people design and test weapons and vehicles, when an argument broke out; a thing going by the name Nimrod Yaffle was cloning things out of other people's inventories, and claiming he could freely do it because he'd been playing with Copybot with employees of SL creator/operators Linden Lab. All hell broke loose, in the sort of drama you can only find on the internet. Linden Lab's first official response? If you feel your IP has been compromised by Copybot, we'll sort of help you lodge a DCMA complaint in the US. Businesses started shutting down moments later." Update 20:43 GMT by SM Several users have mentioned that the Second Life blog has a few thoughts on this issue and quite a few comments from users already.

First Company Logo Visible From Space 436

Posted by kdawson
from the fast-food-for-aliens dept.
Albert Sandberg writes, "KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) has created the first logo that is visible from space. The construction was made by 65,000 1x1-foot tiles and covers about 2 acres. The logo was built and assembled over about a month and is located in the Nevada desert near Area 51. The article also has a short video showing the construction in time-lapse. Now the aliens know where to get their slimy food :-)"

10 Reasons To Buy a DSLR 657

Posted by kdawson
from the through-the-lens dept.
Kurtis writes, "If you're planning on getting a digital camera for yourself this holiday season, here's 10 reasons why you should choose a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera instead of a point-'n'-shoot. DSLR cameras are obviously not perfect for everyone. This article also has a couple of small blurbs about who shouldn't buy a DSLR, and a few things that could be deemed negative aspects of DSLR cameras."

Every Vista Computer Gets Its Own Domain Name 388

Posted by kdawson
from the roadblocks-to-rollout dept.
c_forq writes, "According to APC magazine, every new Windows Vista computer will be given its own domain name to access files remotely. There is a catch though: to use it one must be using IPv6. Is the push for Vista also going to be the push finally to switch everything from IPv4 to IPv6?" Microsoft, meanwhile, is trying to convince businesses to adopt both Vista and Office 2007 at once. An analyst is quoted: 'In all likelihood, enterprises will tie deployment of both Vista and Office 2007 with a hardware upgrade cycle.' His reasoning is that it will be easier for companies to handle one disruption to IT systems than two. Or three.

Google Moving Strongly Into Radio Advertising 54

Posted by kdawson
from the expanding-reach dept.
AvgGatsby writes to let us know about Google's move into radio. The company is hiring "scores" of radio sales people in major markets and is offering them 50% above prevailing salaries. From the article: "Google spokesman Michael Mayzel said this week that the company will begin a public test of Google Audio Ads by the end of the year. Advertisers will be able to go online and sign up for targeted radio ads using the same AdWords system they use to buy Web search ads. It made a clear move into radio in January when it agreed to pay more than $1 billion, depending on performance, for dMarc Broadcasting Inc., which connects advertisers to radio stations through an automated advertising system. It's all part of what Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt has said is an investment in radio advertising that could grow over time to include up to 1,000 Google employees — not just in ad sales, but also in engineering and operations."

Is An Uninformed Vote Better Than No Vote? 1048

Posted by Cliff
from the voter-responsibility dept.
ras_b asks: "I don't pay attention to politics at all, and so I will not be voting in today's elections. My family has been telling me that this is a mistake and I should vote anyway, partly because I have slightly conservative views which agrees with their political outlook. My reasoning is that since I am totally uninformed, I shouldn't vote. I don't want to vote Republican or Democrat, only to find out later I totally disagree with something a candidate stands for. So, here's my dilemma and my question: Is an uninformed vote better than no vote?" This issue is touched upon in a posting by Ezra Klein, of the The American Prospect, who disagrees, arguing against a similar assertion by Greg Mankiw, from a suppressed Fortune article. Greg says: "Sometimes...the most responsible thing a person can do on election day is stay at home ... If you really don't know enough to cast an intelligent vote, you should be eager to let your more informed neighbors make the decision." What do you think?

Space Telescope Catches Monster Flare 158

Posted by kdawson
from the big-boom dept.
gollum123 writes, "NASA's Swift satellite has seen a giant flare explode from a nearby star. Our sun also flares when twisted magnetic field lines in the solar atmosphere suddenly snap — but this was on a far larger scale, perhaps 100 million times as strong. The energy released by the explosion on II Pegasi was equivalent to about 50 quintillion atomic bombs. If the Sun were ever to produce such an outburst, it would almost certainly cause a mass extinction on Earth. II Pegasi is a binary system 135 light-years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. Its two stars are close, only a few stellar radii apart; as a result, tidal forces cause both stars to spin quickly, rotating in lockstep once in seven days compared to the Sun's 28-day rotation period. Fast rotation is thought to be conducive to strong stellar flares."

iPod Killers For the Holidays 344

Posted by kdawson
from the or-not dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "MP3 Newswire has an excellent rundown of 29 new digital portables for the upcoming season. From the article: 'We have run the iPod Killers for Christmas/Summer series since 2004. In that time we [have] reported on 149 portable players and NOT one iPod killer from the bunch. That said, [this time] we may actually have a couple of genuine challengers to Apple. This holiday season will see Microsoft pump tens-of-millions of dollars to hawk their new Zune portable, and SanDisk's 8GB e280 flash unit is compelling high-end users. Both can realistically grab double-digit market share from the iPod... Whether they do or not waits to be seen.' The article also makes a good case as to why the Sony PSP should be included in market figures for digital media portables."

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