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Handhelds

When You Really, Really Want to Upgrade a Tiny Notebook 104

Posted by timothy
from the faint-of-heart-attack dept.
Benz145 writes "The famous Sony VAIO UX UMPC may have been cancelled a few years back by Sony, but the community at Micro PC Talk won't let it die. Modder Anh has carefully removed the relatively slow 1.33Ghz Core Solo CPU and installed a much faster Intel Core 2 Duo U7700 (a process which involves reballing the entire CPU). On top of this, he managed to install an incredibly small 4-port USB hub into the unit which allowed for the further instillation of a Huawei E172 modem for 3G data/voice/SMS, a GPS receiver, and a Pinnacle HD TV receiver. All of this was done without modifying the device's tiny external case. Great high-res pictures of the motherboard with the modded hardware can be seen through the link."
Idle

Study Finds Most Would Become Supervillians If Given Powers 419

Posted by samzenpus
from the super-power-corrupts dept.
It probably comes as no surprise, but researchers have found that most of us would gladly put on a mask and fight do-gooders if given super powers. From the article: "But power also acts like strong cologne that affects both the wearer and those within smelling distance, Galinsky noted. The person gains an enhanced sense of their importance, and other people may regard them with greater respect as well as extend leniency toward their actions. That combination makes for an easy slide into corruption."
Government

Secret EU Open Source Migration Study Leaked 311

Posted by kdawson
from the why-they-stick-with-office dept.
Elektroschock writes "For 4 years MEP Marco Cappato tried to get access to the EU Council's 2005 open source migration study because he is a member of a responsible IT oversight committee in the European Parliament. His repeated requests for access were denied. Now they have finally been answered because the Council's study has escaped into the wild (PDF in French and English). Here is a quick look. It is embarrassing! Gartner, when asked if there were any mature public Linux installations in Europe, claimed that there were none. Michael Silver said, 'I have not spoken to any sizable deployments of Linux on the desktop and only one or two StarOffice deployments.' Gartner spread patent and TCO FUD. Also, the European Patent Office participated in the project, although it is not an EU institution."
The Internet

+ - Best Buy acquires Speakeasy

Submitted by
magneticstorm
magneticstorm writes "It looks like the folks from Best Buy have acquired the geek-centric ISP Speakeasy, in order to roll it into their Best Buy for Business subsidiary. Is this the end of Speakeasy, or just the beginning? Will they continue to uphold the reputation Speakeasy set for itself, or will it descend into mediocrity, not unlike Best Buy's Geek Squad?"
Digital

+ - Weak Tuners Undermining HD Radio Effort?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Are cheap tuners in the first generation of HD radios undermining broadcast radio's push to the new technology? While reviewing three HD radios; Radio Shack's Accurian HD Radio, Boston Acoustics Recepter Radio and the Polk I-Sonic Entertainment System, MP3 Newswire found they had trouble tapping into HD signals. This despite the fact that they are in a dense population area with numerous HD stations. Furthermore, they noticed that mediocre analog reception was endemic in these radios. So they compared the tuner sensitivity of the HD radios against a radio in a Honda Accord, a cheap Sony shower radio and...a 1942 Zenith kitchen tube radio! The end result is that not only the Honda, but both the shower radio and the vintage Zenith outperformed the expensive HD models. MP3 Newswire concludes that by putting weak tuners in these radios "Early adopters of HD Radio are only getting a fraction of the stations they should. This is a big problem, because word-of-mouth on HD Radio starts with them. Already there are signs of consumer indifference to HD Radio, suggesting the early adopters are not exactly singing the virtues of the technology. When you spend a few hundred dollars for an HD radio just to get one or two HD2 stations and mediocre analog reception you quickly question the value of your purchase. Outdoor aerials will correct this issue, but at added expense and effort". MP3 Newswire adds that they suspect few people will go through the effort of errecting an outside antenna for a small table radio."
Patents

+ - Small Businessman Feels Pinch of Software Patents

Submitted by Penguinisto
Penguinisto (415985) writes "A few days ago, Phil Cooke, a small-time hobbyist 3D/CG programmer, was sent a Cease and Desist notice from Reyes Infografica over a small 3D/CG clothes-generating program he had sold for years (it generated clothing mesh for a figures in a CG hobbyist program known as Poser). The program has since been pulled from the maker's site, as he cannot afford to retain counsel with which to fight back. Apparently, Phil's program had collided against a software patent that Reyes filed in 2001 (the patent was filed in the US and Spain). The C&D notice, and some of the discussion surrounding it can be found a PhilC's site discussion forums. While we usually see stories about small-time patent trolls raking in huge bucks from large companies, is this an indication of a disturbing trend by larger companies using software patents to intimidate and eliminate their smaller competition? And if so, then how on Earth is this supposed to foster innovation and creativity?"
Space

+ - Scientists Break Speed of Light

Submitted by PreacherTom
PreacherTom (1000306) writes "Scientists at the NEC Research Institute in Princeton, NJ are reporting that they have broken the speed of light. For the experiment, the researchers manipulated a vapor of laser-irradiated atoms, causing a pulse that shoots about 300 times faster than it would take the pulse to go the same distance in a vacuum, to the point where the pulse seemed to exit the chamber before even entering it. Apparently, Uncle Albert is still resting comfortably: relativity only states that an object with mass cannot travel faster than light. Still, the results are sufficient to merit publication in the prestigious journal, Nature."
Businesses

+ - Whatever happened to superconductors?

Submitted by
AltGrendel
AltGrendel writes "Jonathan Fildes of the BBC wrote that 'In 1987, Ronald Reagan declared that the US was about to enter an incredible new era of technology. Levitating high-speed trains, super-efficient power generators and ultra-powerful supercomputers would become commonplace thanks to a new breed of materials known as high temperature superconductors (HTSC). "The breakthroughs in superconductivity bring us to the threshold of a new age," said the president. "It's our task to herald in that new age with a rush."

But 20 years on, the new world does not seem to have arrived. So what happened?'

He shares what he found in this article."
Space

+ - Einstein's twin paradox resolved

Submitted by
slashthedot
slashthedot writes "An Indian American scientist Subhash Kak from Louisiana State University has resolved the 100+ years old Einstein's twin paradox. "The fact that time slows down on moving objects has been documented and verified over the years through repeated experimentation. But, in the previous scenario, the paradox is that the earthbound twin is the one who would be considered to be in motion — in relation to the sibling — and therefore should be the one aging more slowly. Einstein and other scientists have attempted to resolve this problem before, but none of the formulas they presented proved satisfactory. Kak's findings were published online in the International Journal of Theoretical Science, and will appear in the upcoming print version of the publication."
"The implications of this resolution will be widespread, generally enhancing the scientific community's comprehension of relativity. It may eventually even have some impact on quantum communications and computers, potentially making it possible to design more efficient and reliable communication systems for space applications."
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-02/lsu -lpr021407.php"
Patents

+ - USPTO frowns on dynamic web patents

Submitted by PatPending
PatPending (953482) writes "The USPTO has upheld the Public Patent Foundation's (PUBPAT) requests for a formal review of the 'dynamic web' patents owned by EpicRealm, which have been used as the basis for infringement proceedings against tens of companies.

PUBPAT put forward bodies of prior art that the USPTO had not previously been aware of when the patents were initially granted in an attempt to invalidate the patents.

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/103620/uspto-frowns-on -dynamic-web-patents.html"
United States

+ - New U.S. Senate Bill May Censor Blogs

Submitted by
SocialWorm
SocialWorm writes "The economist James D. Miller has speculated in his blog that a bill recently introduced in the U.S. senate will have a terrible chilling effect on political blogs. The bill would make "anyone promoting what the plaintiff sees as [a] 'deceptive' public argument" liable. Miller suggests that since traditional media has the financial and legal resources to fight the lawsuits such a law would bring, bloggers will be the hardest hit."
Programming

+ - Best language for an occasional programmer?

Submitted by
the_womble
the_womble writes "I am never going to be a developer, but I write a little bit of code occasionally. A simple CMS written in TCL a few years ago, a few Wordpress plugins, things like that. I am now thinking of more ambitious projects.

I am most interested in websites and CMSs, but it would be useful to be able to whip up a simple GUI as well. What languages and tools should I learn. Programming only occasionally needs a language with a clear syntax and a small core language — so I do not forget it all between times. Development tools also need to be simple. Libraries need to be well documented. Finally, it should be fun to work with.

So, what should I learn? My own research has not got me further than "Ruby and Scheme look nice". What do you think?"
Microsoft

+ - BBC considers catering for Microsoft users only

Submitted by pthompson
pthompson (639255) writes "In a public consultation at [1] the BBC is asking for views on whether its on-demand services should be made available only to those who use Microsoft software (Question 5). I'm sure the Slashdot community won't be shy in giving their opinion of that idea...

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/consult/open-consult ations/ondemand_services.html"
Handhelds

+ - No more Sharp Zaurus handhelds

Submitted by
pdawerks
pdawerks writes "Although these Linux-based handhelds are not that widespread throughout the world, it is sad to see another "genuine PDA" platform leaving the market. Despite lack of truly new models in the recent years, the Zaurus, thanks to the open OS, large screen and full QWERTY keypad, has always been loved among mobile enthusiasts.

According to the above source, the last model will leave the assembly line somewhere next month. Therefore, you should have enough time to get to Japan for a piece of mobile history of your own.

You can read the full article here http://www.pdalive.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&th readid=13223."

Business is a good game -- lots of competition and minimum of rules. You keep score with money. -- Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari

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