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GUI

Canonical Designer Demos Ubuntu Context-Aware UI 237

Blacklaw writes "Canonical's Christian Giordano has posted details of what he believes could be the future of user interface design in Ubuntu — a system that detects physical context. Designed to be paired with a webcam or other sensor system, the concept is that the computer is able to detect where a user is in proximity to the display along with an idea of roughly what he or she might be doing. Using this information, the operating system — in this case, Ubuntu Linux — can automatically make changes to the screen layout. For example, when the system detects that the user has leaned back in his or her chair, the system automatically makes the currently playing video full-screen. Lean forward again, and the video returns to its previous windowed mode."
Science

New Material Sets Stage For All-Optical Computing 53

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from the International Business Times: "Researchers have made a new material that can be used to guide waves of light, a breakthrough that could lead to ultra-fast computing. Georgia Tech scientists are using specially designed organic dyes that can process and redirect light without the need to be converted to electricity first. ... 'For this class of molecules, we can with a high degree of reliability predict where the molecules will have both large optical nonlinearities and low two-photon absorption,' said [Georgia Tech School of Chemistry professor Seth] Marder." According to the article, using an optical router could lead to transmission speeds as high as 2,000 gigabits per second, five times faster than current technology.
The Internet

Submission + - U.S. Internet traffic peaks at 11 p.m. every day (networkworld.com) 1

carusoj writes: Arbor Networks recently studied Internet traffic patterns and found that U.S. Internet traffic usually reaches its highest point of the day at about 11 p.m. Eastern time and stays pretty high until about 3 a.m. Driving the bulk of the traffic is online gaming and streaming video, which both hit their highest levels around that time.
Movies

Jacket Lets You Feel the Movies 111

sp3cialk79 writes "Researchers from Philips Electronics plan to describe a jacket they have lined with vibration motors to study the effects of touch on a movie viewer's emotional response to what the characters are experiencing. 'People don't realize how sensitive we are to touch, although it is the first sense that fetuses develop in the womb,' says Paul Lemmens, a Philips senior scientist who will be presenting research done using the jacket at the IEEE-sponsored 2009 World Haptics Conference in Salt Lake City. The jacket contains 64 independently controlled actuators distributed across the arms and torso. The actuators are arrayed in 16 groups of four and linked along a serial bus; each group shares a microprocessor. The actuators draw so little current that the jacket could operate for an hour on its two AA batteries even if the system was continuously driving 20 of the motors simultaneously."
Image

Artist Wants to Replace Lost Eyeball With Webcam Screenshot-sm 156

A one-eyed San Francisco artist, Tanya Vlach, wants to replace her missing eye with a Web cam. There has even been talk of her shooting a reality TV show using the video eye. "There have been all sorts of cyborgs in science fiction for a long time, and I'm sort of a sci-fi geek, with the advancement of technology, I thought, 'Why not?'" said Vlach. I'm a bit perplexed that the obvious things you'd want in a cyborg eye: range finder, infrared/lowlight vision, and a hypno-ray are not discussed in the article.

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