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Comment: I learned to program (Score 3, Interesting) 228

by presidentbeef (#23642757) Attached to: Inside the TRS-80 Model 100
on one of these that my uncle gave me. Pretty much changed my life.

What this article really failed to mention was the software side. You could program anything on the computer in BASIC and the LCD screen made it easy to create and position graphics (no need to worry about resolution - each pixel is always in exactly the same place and precisely the same number characters will always fit on the screen.) Made for years of writing games and applications on that thing. This is really something the "laptops for kids" people should be thinking about.
Security

Cubicle Security For Laptops, Electronics? 532

Posted by kdawson
from the down-sizing-needn't-mean-down-securing dept.
kamikasee writes "I recently found out that I'm going to be moved from an office to a cubicle. The cubicle area is not very secure, and I'm worried about things wandering off. My boss has offered to buy some equipment to help me secure things, but so far I haven't found anything that fits my requirements. Google and Amazon searches are overwhelmed by lockable key cabinets and larger pieces of furniture. Here are some of the requirements: The main issue with traditional solutions (e.g. locking things in a drawer) is convenience. I use a laptop with a second LCD monitor. There's also an external keyboard and mouse and a USB hard drive. I leave my laptop on at night so I can remote-desktop into it, so I'm not really happy about putting it in a drawer (no ventilation), plus I don't like the idea of having to 'unharness' everything every time I want to put it away. I don't trust cable locks. Besides, cable locks won't help me secure my the USB drive and other electronics that might wander off. The solution I imagine is a lockable, ventilated metal box that would sit under the monitor and house most of the electronics. If it was big enough, I could stick my laptop into it at night (while leaving it running) and feel confident that it would still be there in the morning. I'd be open to other types of solutions. Surely someone else must have dealt with this problem."
Games

DirectX Architect — Consoles as We Know Them Are Gone 434

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the something-about-a-nomad dept.
ThinSkin writes "DirectX architect Alex St. John swims against the current and predicts the demise not of PC gaming, but of game consoles, in an exclusive two-part interview at ExtremeTech. In part one, Alex blasts Intel for pushing its inferior onboard graphics technology to OEMs, insists that fighting piracy is the main reason for the existence of gaming consoles, and explains how the convergence of the GPU and the CPU is the next big thing in gaming. Alex continues in part two with more thoughts on retail and 3D games, and discusses in detail why he feels 'Vista blows' and what's to become of DirectX 10."
Portables

HTC Shift + ThinkPad X300 + MacBook Air = Perfect Notebook? 108

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the pipe-dreams dept.
Tom's Hardware has an interesting look at the HTC Shift, the newest contender in the ultralight portable arena, with a strong compare and contrast to the other two heavyweights, the ThinkPad X300 and the Macbook Air. "As some of you know, I actually like the Macbook Air but found the Lenovo ThinkPad X300 to be a vastly more useful product in the class. I'm one of the few folks that have been using an early version of the HTC Shift , a smaller screened ultra light tablet with a keyboard and a touch screen which is superior to both offerings in some ways and just released on Amazon.com for $1500 (someone screwed up, this wasn't supposed to happen until next week). This got me thinking: The perfect next generation ultra-sexy notebook should be a blend of all three products."
Government

White House Email Follies 205

Posted by kdawson
from the exchanging-notes dept.
Presto Vivace forwards a link detailing a recent House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the White House missing emails mess. David Gewirtz's report, carried in OutlookPower and DominoPower (in 6 parts, keep clicking), makes for scary reading. "If, in fact, the bulk of the White House email records are now stored in bundles of rotting PST files, all at or above their maximum safe load-level, that ain't good in a very big way... I object to using the inaccurate and inflated claim of excessive cost as a reason to avoid compliance with the Presidential Records Act."
The Courts

Geek Wins Copyright Lawsuit Against Corporation 616

Posted by kdawson
from the david-1-goliath-0 dept.
Chris Gregerson writes "I work as a stock photographer/web developer. I saw a photo of mine used in Vilana Financial's full-page phone book ad. They wouldn't pay the licensing fee, and I wrote about it online (mirror). They sued me for defamation, producing a sales agreement signed by one ' Michael Zubitskiy' (who they said took the photo and sold the rights to them). I sued them for copyright infringement, and they added claims against me for trademark infringement, deceptive trade practices, and tortuous interference. There was a trial I'll long remember on the 5th of November, and the judge recently issued her verdict (PDF; mirror). She ruled Vilana Financial forged the sales agreement and willfully infringed my photos, and awarded me $19,462. All claims against me were denied. I represented myself during the litigation."
Republicans

Has Ron Paul Quit? 878

Posted by kdawson
from the internet-in-flames-film-at-11 dept.
Lally Singh sends us to the inside-the-Beltway blog Wonkette for a quick take on a letter Ron Paul sent to his supporters. In this analysis, Dr. Paul has basically called it quits. "Late Friday night, Dr. Congressman Ron Paul posted a letter to his fans basically saying it's over, but he will continue talking about his message, and plus it would be completely embarrassing for him if he also lost his congressional seat."
Patents

Smartphones Patented — Just About Everyone Sued 1 Minute Later 407

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the definition-of-a-patent-troll dept.
This week the US Patent and Trademark Office issued a surprisingly (although I guess it shouldn't be) broad patent for a "mobile entertainment and communication device". Upon closer inspection you may notice that it pretty much outlines the ubiquitous smartphone concept. "It's a patent for a mobile phone with removable storage, an internet connection, a camera and the ability to download audio or video files. The patent holding firm who has the rights to this patent wasted no time at all. At 12:01am Tuesday morning, it filed three separate lawsuits against just about everyone you can think of, including Apple, Nokia, RIM, Sprint, ATT, HP, Motorola, Helio, HTC, Sony Ericsson, UTStarcomm, Samsung and a bunch of others. Amusingly, the company actually first filed the lawsuits on Monday, but realized it was jumping the gun and pulled them, only to refile just past the stroke of midnight. "
Science

Bizarre Self-Destructing Palm Tree Found 190

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the this-message-will-self-destruct-in-100-years dept.
Smivs writes "A giant self-destructing palm tree has been discovered in Madagascar. The palm is 20m (60ft) high with leaves 5m (16ft) long, the tallest tree of its type in the country, but for most of its life — around 100 years — it appears fairly unremarkable apart from its size. However, when it flowers, it puts so much energy into an impressive flower-spike, that it eventually collapses and dies. Dr John Dransfield, who announced the tree in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, is baffled as to how it came to be in the country. It bears a resemblance to a species of palm found in regions of Asia; 6,000km away. It is thought that the palm has gone through a remarkable evolution since Madagascar split with India some 80m years ago."
Space

Upgraded Hubble To Be 90 Times As Powerful 194

Posted by kdawson
from the new-glasses-and-oh-here's-your-binoculars dept.
The feed brings us a New Scientist review of the repairs and new instruments that astronauts will bring to the Hubble Space Telescope next August (unless the launch is delayed). The resulting instrument will be 90 times as powerful as Hubble was designed to be when launched, and 60% more capable than it was after its flawed optics were repaired in 1993. If the astronauts pull it off — and the mission is no slam-dunk — the space telescope should be able to image galaxies back to 400 million years after the Big Bang.
The Internet

+ - Email in the 18th century 2

Submitted by morphovar
morphovar (1205804) writes "More than 200 years ago it was already possible to send messages throughout Europe and America at the speed of an aeroplane — wireless and without need for electricity. The optical telegraph network consisted of a chain of towers, each placed 5 to 20 kilometres apart from each other. Every tower had a telegrapher, looking through a telescope at the previous tower in the chain. If the semaphore on that tower was put into a certain position, the telegrapher copied that symbol on his own tower. A message could be transmitted from Amsterdam to Venice in one hour's time. A few years before, a messenger on a horse would have needed at least a month's time to do the same."
Music

+ - Musicians Now Have Options says David Byrne

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Former Talking Head David Byrne has seen the music business from both sides first as an artist then running his own record label, Luaka Bop, and says the future of music as a career is wide open. In an article in Wired, Byrne identifies six different distribution models now available to musicians. At one end of the scale is the 360, or equity, deal, where every aspect of the artist's career is handled by producers, promoters, marketing people, and managers. At the other end of the scale is the self-distribution model, where the music is self-produced, self-written, self-played, and self-marketed. Between these two extremes are four other models offering different levels of artist control. "No single model will work for everyone," says Bryne. "There's room for all of us. In the recent past, it often seemed like all or nothing, but maybe now we won't be forced to choose.""
Mandriva

Nigerian Government Nixes Microsoft's Mandriva Block 327

Posted by Zonk
from the money-well-spent dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After trying to bribe a local supplier with a $400,000 marketing contract, Microsoft has still apparently lost out in trying to woo Nigeria's government to use Windows over Linux. Microsoft threw the money at the supplier after it chose Mandriva Linux for 17,000 laptops for school children across Nigeria. The supplier took the bait and agreed to wipe Mandriva off the machines, but now Nigeria's government has stepped in to stop the dirty deal."
Intel

Intel in the GHz Game Again - Skulltrail Hits 5 GHz 229

Posted by Zonk
from the spookily-appropriate-code-name dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Intel's Skulltrail dual-socket enthusiast platform has been making the rounds on the web for half a year or so, but we haven't seen many details yet. TG Daily got a close look at an almost complete prototype, which surely sounds almost like a production ready version, judging from the article. Everything that TG Daily describes sounds like Skulltrail PCs will be very limited in availability and insanely expensive. Intel also has said it has developed 'special' Xeon processors with desktop processor attributes just for Skulltrail. These chips are currently running at a stable 5 GHz."
The Internet

Congressman Tells Comcast, Hands Off BitTorrent 304

Posted by kdawson
from the but-we-won't-make-no-laws dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Just a few months back, the Net Neutrality debate was all but dead. Luckily for fans of a free Internet, the telcos are their own worst enemies. Recent stories involving Verizon Wireless blocking pro-choice groups, AT&T censoring Pearl Jam's anti-war comments from a streaming concert, and most recently, Comcast finally admitting to using anti-BitTorrent filters. The Net Neutrality debate would appear to be alive and kicking, with Congressman Rick Boucher (D-VA) being the first politician to make a public statement sharply criticizing Comcast's actions."

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