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Handhelds

Apple iPad Reviewed 443

Posted by samzenpus
from the under-the-hood dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Since the iPad's initial introduction back in January, many of us still wonder why we should drop hundreds of dollars for what is termed as a large iPod. Missing features like support for multitasking, a built-in camera for video chats, and Flash support in Safari only add to the dilemma. However, a recently published review of the iPad starts to clear up these doubts. To begin with, the iPad is packing some real quality gear under the hood. Even though the in-house-designed 1GHz A4 chip got little official comment from Apple, the touch screen's instantaneous responses prove that it is outstandingly fast. Furthermore, the iPad runs iPhone OS 3.2, and is currently the only device that runs this version of the operating system. iPad's graphics capabilities come from a PowerVR SGX GPU, similar to the one found in the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch. It can render about 28 million polygons/second, which is more powerful than the Qualcomm Snapdragon found in devices like the HTC HD2. Also, iPad's extraordinary battery life is not just a myth. According to the lab tests, the battery netted a respectable 9 hours and 25 minutes, very close to Apple's claims of 10 hours."
Microsoft

Office 2007SP2 ODF Interoperability Very Bad 627

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the are-you-really-surprised dept.
David Gerard writes "Microsoft Office 2007 SP2 claims support for ODF 1.1. With hard work and careful thinking, they have successfully achieved technical compliance but zero interoperability! MSO 2007sp2 won't read ODF 1.1 from any other existing application, and its ODF is only readable by the CleverAge plugin. The post goes into detail as to how it manages this so thoroughly."
Education

Best Paradigm For a First Programming Course? 592

Posted by kdawson
from the buddy-can-you-paradigm dept.
Keyper7 writes "The first programming course I had during my computer science schooling, aptly named 'Introduction to Programming,' was given in C because its emphasis was on imperative programming. A little before I graduated, though, it was decided that the focus would change to object-oriented programming with Java. (I must emphasize that the change was not made because of any hype about Java or to dumb down the course; back then and still, it's presented by good Java programmers who try to teach good practices and do not encourage excessive reliance on libraries.) But the practices taught are not paradigm-independent, and this sparked a discussion that continues to this day: which paradigm is most appropriate to introduce programming? Besides imperative and object-oriented, I know teachers who firmly believe that functional programming is the best choice. I'm interested in language-independent opinions that Slashdotters might have on this matter. Which paradigm is good to introduce programming while keeping a freshman's mind free enough for him/her to learn other paradigms afterwards?"
The Courts

Apple Believes Someone Is Behind Psystar 606

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the put-on-your-foil-hats dept.
rgraham writes "From the article on Growler: 'Apple apparently believes that somebody else is behind Psystar, which might help to explain why a major law firm would take on what seems like a fly-by-night's case; also why Psystar has been so bold in continuing to sell its products. I knew this thing felt funny. As Alice in Wonderland might put it, "It gets interestinger and interestinger."'"
The Internet

New .tel TLD Now In Use 175

Posted by timothy
from the pay-at-the-tel-booth dept.
rockwood reports that the .tel top level domain has been deployed, "in a first attempt at pushing the recently approved .tel... The top-level domain .tel was approved by ICANN as a sponsored TLD launching on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 to trademark owners of national effect and on February 3, 2009 to anyone who wishes to apply. Its main purpose is as a single management and publishing point for 'internet communication' services, providing a global contacts directory service by housing all types of contact information directly in the DNS."
Patents

Rewriting a Software Product After Quitting a Job? 604

Posted by kdawson
from the clean-room-white-coats dept.
hi_caramba_2008 writes "We are a bunch of good friends at a large software company. The product we work on is under-budgeted and over-hyped by the sales drones. The code quality sucks, and management keeps pulling in different direction. Discussing this among ourselves, we talked about leaving the company and rebuilding the code from scratch over a few months. We are not taking any code with us. We are not taking customer lists (we probably will aim at different customers anyway). The code architecture will also be different — hosted vs. stand-alone, different modules and APIs. But at the feature level, we will imitate this product. Can we be sued for IP infringement, theft, or whatever? Are workers allowed to imitate the product they were working on? We know we have to deal with the non-compete clause in our employment contracts, but in our state this clause has been very difficult to enforce. We are more concerned with other IP legal aspects."
Portables

Toshiba Launches Laptop With Three GPUs 149

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the battery-killers dept.
arcticstoat writes to mention that Toshiba's latest line of high-powered laptops has three GPUs included. Both the Qosmio X305-Q706 and Q708 come with an integrated GeForce 9400M for day-to-day processing tasks but have a pair of GeForce 9800Ms in SLI that kick in when you need the extra horsepower. "The [Qosmio] X305-Q706 costs $1,999 US (£1,257) in the US, although we haven't seen any UK pricing on the laptops yet. The system comes with a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo P8400 and 4GB of RAM, while the costlier X305-Q708 comes with a quad-core 2.53GHz Core 2 Extreme QX9300 CPU."
Science

Has Superstition Evolved To Help Mankind Survive? 621

Posted by samzenpus
from the step-on-a-crack dept.
Pickens writes "The tendency to falsely link cause to effect — a superstition — is occasionally beneficial, says Kevin Foster, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University. For example, a prehistoric human might associate rustling grass with the approach of a predator and hide. Most of the time, the wind will have caused the sound, but 'if a group of lions is coming there's a huge benefit to not being around.' Foster worked with mathematical language and a simple definition for superstition to determine exactly when such potentially false connections pay off and found as long as the cost of believing a superstition is less than the cost of missing a real association, superstitious beliefs will be favored. In modern times, superstitions turn up as a belief in alternative and homeopathic remedies. 'The chances are that most of them don't do anything, but some of them do,' Foster says. Wolfgang Forstmeier argues that by linking cause and effect — often falsely — science is simply a dogmatic form of superstition. 'You have to find the trade off between being superstitious and being ignorant,' Forstmeier says. By ignoring building evidence that contradicts their long-held ideas, 'quite a lot of scientists tend to be ignorant quite often.'"
Movies

Ghostbusters Is First Film Released On USB Key 448

Posted by timothy
from the free-gozer dept.
arcticstoat writes "Are you the USB keymaster? You could be soon if you pick up PNY's new 2GB USB flashdrive, which comes pre-loaded with Ghostbusters. A spokesperson for PNY explained that it comes with a form of DRM that prevents you from copying the movie. 'They have DRM protection,' explained the spokesperson, 'so customers can download the movie onto their laptop or PC if they wish, but they have to have the USB drive plugged in to watch the movie, as the DRM is locked in the USB drive.' The music industry has been playing around with USB flash drives for a few years now, but it hasn't been a massive success yet; will USB movies fare any better?"
Puzzle Games (Games)

Solving Sudoku With dpkg 190

Posted by timothy
from the after-all-it's-there dept.
Reader Otter points out in his journal a very neat use for the logic contained in Debian's package dependency resolver: solving sudoku puzzles. To me at least, this is much more interesting than the sudoku puzzles themselves. Update: 08/24 02:51 GMT by T : Hackaday just ran a story that might tickle the same parts of your brain on a game played entirely with MySQL database queries.

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