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Microsoft

Windows Phone 7 Sales Continue To Struggle 351

Posted by Soulskill
from the clippy-to-the-rescue dept.
rtfa-troll writes "Even with the pre-Christmas buying rush, Microsoft is already desperately offering a new buy one get one free offer similar to the ones they gave for the KIN. According to the article, 'Windows Phone 7 devices can't even manage two per cent of the fortnight's sales.' These aren't official Microsoft figures; they come from online shopping sites. But since Microsoft official sales figures seem subject to manipulation, this is perhaps one of the better guesses we will get at the success of Windows Phone 7 until well into next year. This also strongly backs up other reports of deeply disappointing phone sales. Even Microsoft supporters have been wondering for a while whether it's time for Ballmer to go. If the sales reports are true, then he may be pushed before he jumps."
Transportation

Digital Dashboard Device Detects Driver Drowsiness 117

Posted by timothy
from the string-between-ceiling-and-nostril dept.
Pickens writes "Science Daily Headlines reports that researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology have developed a self-contained, dashboard-mounted assistant system that tracks a driver's eye movements and issues a warning before the driver has an opportunity to nod off to sleep. 'What we have developed is a small modular system with its own hardware and programs on board, so that the line of vision is computed directly within the camera itself,' says Professor Husar. 'Since the Eyetracker is fitted with at least two cameras that record images stereoscopically — meaning in three dimensions — the system can easily identify the spatial position of the pupil and the line of vision.' The cameras, which can be installed in any model of car, evaluate up to 200 images per second to identify the line of vision. If the camera modules detect that the eye is closed for longer than a user-defined interval, it sounds an alarm. The Eyetracker also has applications in computer games where players could look around themselves without requiring a joystick to change their viewing direction, and in marketing and advertising, where researchers could determine which parts of a poster or advertising spot receive longer attention from their viewers."
Programming

Microsoft Silverlight 4 vs. Adobe Flash 10.1 379

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the there-could-be-only-one dept.
superapecommando writes "The richest RIA platforms today (and for the foreseeable future) come from clashing titans Adobe and Microsoft, whose Flash and Silverlight platforms both combine excellent tools for developers and designers, broad client support, strong support for server-side technologies, digital rights management capabilities, and the ability to satisfy use cases as varied as enterprise dashboards, live video streaming, and online games. And each has spawned new updates, to Flash 10.1/AIR 2 and Silverlight 4 respectively, which put them on a near-level playing field. Which one should you choose?"
Science

Tool Use By Humans Pushed Back By 800,000 Years 189

Posted by samzenpus
from the oldest-spoon dept.
gpronger writes "The journal Nature reports that newly discovered tool marks on bones indicates that we were using tools at minimum 800,000 years earlier than previously thought. This places the start of tool use at 3.4 million years ago or earlier. The most likely ancestor in this time frame would be Australopithecus afarensis. The researchers, led by palaeoanthropologist Zeresenay Alemseged of the California Academy of Science, San Francisco,and Shannon McPherron, (an archaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany) state that cut marks on the bones of an impala-sized creature and another closer in size to a buffalo, indicate butchering of the animals by our distant ancestors. However, they do not believe that they were in fact hunters, more likely scavenging the remains left behind by large predators."

Comment: Not so sure (Score 2, Insightful) 130

by macroexp (#32985248) Attached to: Google's China Rival To Create Android-Like OS

While China-bashing is really popular these days, I wouldn't be so quick to say "they'll just copy Android". There are a LOT of phones in China that run Linux. Most of the Linux distributions used are homegrown by the manufacturer and have little consistency between them. I wouldn't be surprised if Baidu just bought one of the dev teams from a phone manufacturer and had them slap "Baidu" all over everything.

It would be a Good Thing if they could get it used phones from multiple manufacturers - there might be some hope of writing an app that would run on more than one brand of phone!

Idle

Family Shoots 'I Will Survive' Video While Visiting Auschwitz 26 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the was-that-wrong? dept.
Jane Korman is taking some heat for posting a video of her family dancing to the disco hit, I Will Survive while on a trip to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. The Kormans are Jewish; Jane defends the recording, saying the video, which includes her 89-year-old father who survived the holocaust, was "a celebration of life and survival."

Comment: Well, not quite... (Score 5, Informative) 81

by macroexp (#32842142) Attached to: Groovy For Domain-Specific Languages

"Writing DSLs has been done for many years, but was largely an undocumented process until just recently."

Not to discount the review, but that's a bit misleading. There are plenty of books dealing with lex/flex and yacc/bison, which have been used for years to do the same things in a precompiled manner. .Net and Java "just recently" discovered this and have popularized the term DSL for it.

America Online

VLC 1.1 Forced To Drop Shoutcast Due To AOL Anti-OSS Provision 315

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-shouting-imminent dept.
The folks over at VideoLAN are in the process of releasing version 1.1.0 of VLC, and one of the major changes is the removal of SHOUTcast, a media-streaming module from AOL-owned Nullsoft. "During the last year, the VLC developers have received several injunctions by e-mail from employees at AOL, asking us to either comply to a license not compatible with free software or remove the SHOUTcast capability in VLC." Within the license is a clause prohibiting the distribution of SHOUTcast with any product whose own license requires that it be "disclosed or distributed in source code form," "licensed for the purpose of making derivative works," or "redistributable at no charge." The license would also force VideoLAN to bundle Nullsoft adware with VLC. Update: 06/22 00:52 GMT by H : The 1.1 release is ready from their site; you can also read up on the release information.

Comment: Re:Still no volume control (Score 2, Interesting) 308

by macroexp (#32498734) Attached to: Safari 5 Released

Yeah, you can use JackOSX - but that doesn't give you per-app volume out of the box. You'd have to have another tool also communicating with jack to do the amplification/attenuation. (I use Ardour but that's a little heady for a typical user - and no, I don't just use it as a fancy volume control)

The real deal-killer is that audio in Flash videos doesn't work properly through Jack. (On Snow Leopard at least) It's a known problem with no fix in sight. Oddly enough, HTML5 videos work flawlessly...

Comment: Re:SEC absolutely forbidden to use Open Source (Score 1) 296

by macroexp (#32066860) Attached to: What Happened To Obama's Open Source Adviser?

It's not just the SEC - a lot of very large companies and governmental agencies have policies against the use of any Open Source Software without an exhaustive legal review. After that review, the single piece of software reviewed, at the exact version reviewed, may be allowed for use. Personally, it seems like an organization's legal department could review a license and allow use of software governed by that license, but IANAL.

Part of the problem is that the legal review costs money. Likely, more money than the cost of purchasing a comparable product from the proprietary software world.

Comment: Re:A TRS-80 model 100 and a MicroVAX 3100 (Score 2, Insightful) 543

by macroexp (#32065914) Attached to: How Old Is the Oldest Computer You Regularly Use?
I used to do something similar, but ah, the power... A WRT54GS running OpenWRT is not nearly as charming (or quite as useful - though it comes surprisingly close) as the Sparc10MP+QFE with a Wyse terminal hanging off it I used to use -- but the power savings really make up for it. I really wish I could use more of my collection 24/7, but it gets harder every day to justify the wattage.
IBM

IBM Breaks Open Source Patent Pledge 359

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the who-saw-that-coming dept.
Jay Maynard writes "IBM has broken the pledge it made in 2005 not to assert 500 patents against open source software. In a letter sent to Roger Bowler, president of TurboHercules SA, IBM's Mark Anzani, head of their mainframe business, claimed that the Hercules open-source emulator (disclaimer: I manage the open source project) infringes on at least 106 issued patents and 67 more applied for. Included in that list are two that it pledged not to assert in 2005. In a blog entry, the NoSoftwarePatents campaign's Florian Mueller said that 'IBM is using patent warfare in order to protect its highly lucrative mainframe monopoly against Free and Open Source Software.' I have to agree: from where I sit, IBM likes Open Source only as long as they don't have to compete with it."
The Almighty Buck

Rapidshare Trying To Convert Pirates Into Customers 227

Posted by Soulskill
from the arrr-me-hearties dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from TorrentFreak: "The file-hosting service Rapidshare is seeking major entertainment industry partners for an online store [to which links containing infringing material will redirect]. The plan is an attempt to bridge the gap between copyright holders and users of the site who distribute infringing material. Similar to many other companies that operate in the file-sharing business, Rapidshare often finds itself caught between two fires. On the one hand it wants to optimize the user experience, but by doing so they have to respect the rights holders to avoid being continuously dragged to court. To ease the minds of some major executives in the entertainment industry, Rapidshare's General Manager Bobby Chang has revealed an ambitious plan through which copyright holders could benefit from the file-hosting service. At the same time, Chang says that his company will target uploaders of copyrighted material — whom he refers to as criminals — more aggressively."

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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