Pretty is just as cheap to mass produce as ugly. GM should take a lesson.I disagree. Designers that do pretty and functional can get more for their product and therefore charge more for their services. Cheap designers (or really-engineers calling themselves designers) do functional well...sometimes and ugly tends to be the product.
meisteg writes to tell us about Tubes: a beta application that uses a tube metaphor to enable users to share files over the Internet. The Windows-only app is free and the company hopes to make money on an enhanced version targeted at businesses. See this video for some details of how Tubes works. From the article: "[Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens] endured ridicule last year for his assertion that the Internet is 'a series of tubes.' But one Web startup hopes to bring that metaphor to life with a new service that makes it easy for people to share videos, songs, pictures and other big files."
An anonymous reader writes "After being sued by Transmeta for patent infringement last year, the fangs are out at Intel. In a suit filed in Delaware, Intel claims Transmeta has infringed on 7 of its patents. The whole saga revolves around chips designed to be energy efficient."
SwashbucklingCowboy writes "Infoworld has an article up about a survey by the Software & Information Industry Association claiming that offshoring doesn't cost American jobs. The article quotes the executive director of the SIIA as saying, '[Offshoring] was used almost entirely as a form of expansion, not as a replacement.' Well, if a job is created elsewhere that could have been created in the US, isn't that a job lost?"
kpw10 writes "Dr. Jeff Masters from Wunderground has a great summary of this year's rather abnormal weather (his blog is the best source on the net for in-depth weather analysis). The post discusses some of the cyclical climate forces at work this year and compares this year's record temperatures to records from the past. There are some interesting differences, particularly in the extent of the northern hemisphere seeing record highs this year." From the article: "December's weather in the Northeast U.S. may have been a case of the weather dice coming up thirteen — weather not seen on the planet since before the Ice Age began, 118,000 years ago. The weather dice will start rolling an increasing number of thirteens in coming years, and an ice-free Arctic Ocean in summertime by 2040 is a very real possibility..." Here is the The National Climatic Data Center's report announcing the entry of 2006 into the record books.
jckrbbt writes with news that Gigabyte has introduced solid capacitor motherboards in its Intel 945 chipset products. From the article: "[S]olid capacitors have a higher tolerance for higher temperatures and they also perform better with higher frequencies and higher current than electrolytic capacitors. The superior heat resistance and better electric conductivity will allow PC enthusiasts to tweak the highest levels of performance from their system without fear of excessive capacitor wear or exploding capacitors."
Ralph_19 writes "Wired visited Seagate's R&D labs and learned we can expect 3.5-inch 300-terabit hard drives within a matter of years. Currently Seagate is using perpendicular recording but in the next decade we can expect heat-assisted magnetic recording (HARM), which will boost storage densities to as much as 50 terabits per square inch. The technology allows a smaller number of grains to be used for each bit of data, taking advantage of high-stability magnetic compounds such as iron platinum." In the meantime, Hitachi is shipping a 1 TB HDD sometime this year. It is expected to retail for $399.
MicklePickle wonders: "I was talking to a co-worker the other day about the history of our company, (which shall remain nameless), and he started reminiscing about some of the IT hacks that our company did. Like running 10BaseT down a storm water drain to connect two buildings, using a dripping tap to keep the sewerage U-bend full of water in a computer room, (huh?). And some not so strange ones like running SCSI out to 100m, and running a major financial system on a long forgotten computer in a cupboard. I know that there must be a plethora of IT hacks around. What are some you've seen?"
Alchemist253 writes "George Lucas has announced that the script for the long-rumored fourth Indiana Jones film has been finalized and is to begin filming this year, with Harrison Ford once again in front of the camera. From the article: 'In a statement, the 64-year-old Ford said he was ready for another turn as the globe-trotting archaeologist. "I'm delighted to be back in business with my old friends," he said. "I don't know if the pants still fit, but I know the hat will."' All three of the earlier movies were shot in the 80s. How well do you think this character is going to translate into a movie made today?
Science Daily is reporting that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is reporting positive results from a recent study designed to create genetically engineered prion-free cattle. From the article: "ARS studied eight Holstein males that were developed by Hematech Inc., a pharmaceutical research company based in Sioux Falls, S.D. The evaluation of the prion-free cattle was led by veterinary medical officer Juergen Richt of ARS' National Animal Disease Center (NADC) in Ames, Iowa. The evaluation revealed no apparent developmental abnormalities in the prion-free cattle."
Spad writes "Zeropaid is reporting that as part of its ongoing lawsuit, the RIAA will be seeking the maximum of $150,000 per song for each of the 11 million MP3s downloaded from the Russian AllofMP3.com between June and October last year. This amounts to roughly $1.65 trillion, probably a tad more than AllofMP3 has made in its lifetime. A representative of AllofMP3 stated: 'AllofMP3 understands that several U.S. record label companies filed a lawsuit against Media Services in New York. This suit is unjustified as AllofMP3 does not operate in New York. Certainly the labels are free to file any suit they wish, despite knowing full well that AllofMP3 operates legally in Russia. In the mean time, AllofMP3 plans to continue to operate legally and comply with all Russian laws.'"
An anonymous reader writes to tell us that several start up companies include one from MIT are looking at using (both natural and engineered) algae as source of bio-fuel. Since algae grows quickly and absorbs green house gases. From the article "Soybeans can give you 50 to 60 gallons of oil an acre compared to 75 to 125 gallons for canola, but algae is almost limitless because it grows so fast, so potentially you could get 10,000 gallons per acre."
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In UMG v. Lindor, Judge David G. Trager rejected Ms. Lindor's objection to a Magistrate's Report, in which Ms. Lindor complained that the Report could be read to imply that 'the mere presence of a shared files folder on an individual's computer would ... satisfy the requirements of 17 USC 106(3)', saying that the Report of Magistrate Robert M. Levy could not be so read, since '[t]he report and recommendation does not comment on whether or not the mere presence of a shared files folder satisfies 17 USC 106(3). Instead, it makes clear that plaintiffs will have the burden of proving actual sharing. [Report and Recommendation, at 5] ('At trial, plaintiffs will have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant did indeed infringe plaintiff's copyrights by convincing the fact-finder, based on the evidence plaintiffs have gathered, that defendant actually shared sound files belonging to plaintiffs.') (emphasis added)'"
DVega writes "Due to increasing legal costs, murder suspect Hans Reiser is seeking to sell his company. His lawyer William DuBois said he is running out of money to pay for his defense. DuBois added, 'This is a unique opportunity for someone to buy the company for pennies on the dollar. We welcome all vultures.' This is a good opportunity to own a filesystem and rename it after your own."
VE3OGG writes "There has been ample hype over the last several years that Apple's iPhone was just around the corner. (Though a product named iPhone was just recently released by Cisco / Linksys.) Well, while Apple fans continue to salivate at the thought of a phone powered by the company-of-cool, the index-everything-while-doing-no-evil company may be setting itself up to produce their own Google phone in partnership with Orange."