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Comment: What's to stop blinding reflections? (Score 1) 482

by markh1967 (#32970608) Attached to: Warships May Get Lasers For Close-In Defense
Isn't this laser going to produce lots of instant retina frying reflections from the target that are going to play randomly over anything nearby? If a 250mw laser is a serious blinding hazard a 32kw laser must be a much more serious problem even after the reflections have bounced off several reflective surfaces.

Comment: Tech names used to be meaningful....mostly (Score 1) 247

by markh1967 (#25731613) Attached to: How 10 Iconic Tech Products Got Their Names
It seems that these days tech names don't have to mean anything and, in fact, the more meaningless the better; if you make up a new word you can be sure that searches for it will only return sites relevent to your product. I miss the old days where tech names were generally meaningful, if a bit obscure, but there were some noteable exceptions that sounded meaningful but weren't. A couple that spring to mind are KERMIT (an old BBS file transfer protocol) which had several theories about what it was an acronym for before its creator finally admitted he just named it after the muppet and TWAIN (scanner data protocol) which stands for 'Technology Without An Interesting Name'.
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Vista is Watching You 458

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the also-up-is-higher-than-down dept.
greengrass writes "Are you using Windows Vista? Then you might as well know that the licensed operating system installed on your machine is harvesting a healthy volume of information for Microsoft. In this context, a program such as the Windows Genuine Advantage is the last of your concerns. In fact, in excess of 20 Windows Vista features and services are hard at work collecting and transmitting your personal data to the Redmond company."

Firefox Accepting Feature Suggestions for Version 3 422

Posted by Zonk
from the i-would-like-a-pony dept.
Krishna Dagli writes to mention an article over at Ars Technica discussing the Firefox team's call for feature suggestions. Version 3 of the software is already in the works, and the team members are looking to the community for ideas on where to go next. From the article: "The wish list is long indeed, and it provides an insight into the desires of the browser community, and a look at the open source development process. While closed-source projects often ask their user community for feedback on requested features, the process is not usually open to the public. For Firefox 3, anyone can both suggest new features and comment on other people's suggestions. The feature requests are divided into categories, such as browser customization, privacy features, security, history, download manager, and other areas. There are suggestions for features found in other competing browsers, such Safari, IE 7 beta, and Opera. IE7 seemed to be featured most prominently, with requests for "low-rights mode," as well as more cosmetic features like skins that mimic Microsoft's browser."

UnBox Calls Home, A Lot 252

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-lonely dept.
SachiCALaw writes "It turns out that to use UnBox, the user has to download software from Amazon that contains a Windows service (ADVWindowsClientService.exe). Tom Merritt over at C|Net reports that the service tries to connect to the internet quite frequently. Even tweaking msconfig could not prevent it." From the article: "So, in summary, to be allowed the privilege of purchasing a video that I can't burn to DVD and can't watch on my iPod, I have to allow a program to hijack my start-up and force me to login to uninstall it? No way. Sorry, Amazon. I love a lot of what you do, but I will absolutely not recommend this service. Try again."

Microsoft Changes Office 2007 Interface Again 300

Posted by Zonk
from the tweaking dept.
daria42 writes "Microsoft has modified its interface for Office 2007 yet again, after complaints from beta testers that the 'ribbon' system took up too much space on screen. The article discusses the resistance the new interface is likely to prompt in old users of the software, both at a personal and corporate level. From a format perspective, there are other changes to expect as well." From the article: "Hodgson also confirmed that Microsoft is working on tools to help enterprises automatically translate existing documents into new file formats being introduced in Office 2007. 'We've been asked by a lot of customers to provide tools to do mass migrations,' he said. 'There will be tools that will take a million documents and migrate those to the new formats.' One likely incentive for that migration will be reduced storage costs. Microsoft claims that file sizes for the new Office 2007 XML-based formats are up to 75 percent less than existing Office formats."

Microsoft's 'Naughty or Nice' Patent Application 125

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the diff'rent-strokes dept.
theodp writes "Those of you worried about Microsoft's stance on network neutrality won't find much comfort in the software giant's just-published patent application for systems and methods to facilitate self regulation of social networks through trading and gift exchange, which classify users as good or bad and call for network bandwidth to be reduced for those deemed 'less desirable.'"

Sending Mail to Hotmail Users? 126

Posted by Cliff
from the ham-not-spam dept.
Cafesolo wonders: "I'm developing a web application using PHP. It has a user registration system that sends a link via email to activate new accounts. I've found that sending mails to Hotmail accounts is very difficult, because the spam filter is very strong and it filters lots of non-junk messages. I think the spam filter blocks any email whose domain isn't in an internal whitelist (which might contain popular domains, like hotmail.com itself, gmail.com, yahoo.com, msn.com, etc). Most of my users have Hotmail emails. I can't simply tell my users to read the junk folder because most of them are not computer-savvy and that seems to be a bit confusing to them. Has anyone managed to solve this problem? Did somebody try to contact Microsoft? Is there any way to get whitelisted? Can an independent programmer get his domain whitelisted?"

Firefox VoIP Client 177

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the communication-dashboard dept.
libocannici writes "Abbeynet Labs has released the first version of a Firefox VoIP extension which is a full featured SIP user agent plugin for Firefox." The Firefox extension is completely stand-alone, with all VoIP functionality built directly into it. From one-click calling to SMS sending, this promises to be quite handy. All Internet calls are currently free, just requiring an abbyphone account, while PSTN calls have a small charge.

Firefox to Drop Pre-Windows 2000 Support 491

Posted by timothy
from the they-dropped-mac-os-9-long-ago dept.
cyclomedia writes "While more and more platforms are getting (or aiming for) Firefox ports, the trunk itself seems to be going the other way. In an effort to clean up the API calls used and reduce the codesize a patch was posted at Bugzilla removing support from pre-W2k versions of Windows. There's a fiery discussion going on over at the Mozillazine forums about this after a counter bug was filed. The official position appears to be that Firefox 3.0 will maintain this un-compatibility, but developers are, obviously, free to work on a separate Win 98 compatible 'port.'"

Official GP2X SDK Released 41

Posted by timothy
from the aa-power-rules-the-world dept.
gizmateer writes "According to Gizmos for Geeks, GamePark Holdings, Inc. has officially released the GP2X SDK. The GP2X source is available for Windows and Linux developers on the GP2X site. If you need more library source, GPH provides the contact dev@gp2x.com and GPH will provide it on the developers' forum. GPH mentions that you can get most of the library from the Internet, as Dev-C++ for GP2X was coded with the source code which is already opened on the Internet. The GP2X makers have gone a long way since being accused of not understanding the GPL."

Virtual Reality Gets Comfy 27

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the i'll-take-a-test-unit-or-two dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "If you ever participated to some virtual reality (VR) experiments, you know that the environment is quite expensive and not always user-friendly. In fact, in some immersive environments, it's even possible to feel bad because of motion sickness. This is why researchers from Germany and Sweden have developed a new VR environment where the participants believe they're moving while being seated. This approach, which relies on visual and auditory illusions, could lead to commercial low-cost VR simulators in the near future."

Lessons from the Browser Wars 212

Posted by Zonk
from the dodge-the-incoming-bugs dept.
An anonymous reader writes to mention a piece on the Harvard Business School site talking about Lessons from the Browser Wars; specifically, what can be learned about first-mover advantages and the upsurge in Firefox use? From the article: "As a tool for exploring how standards are set when new technologies hit the market, the browser wars exhibit many features we like to study: competition between two viable alternatives, rapidly improving technologies, the ability of firms to use strategic levers such as market power and channels of distribution, growth in demand leading to diffusion of the new technology through the population, and uncertainty. Thus, this is one example from which we can generalize lessons regarding the outcome of diffusion of innovation into a market."

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