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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - DRM applied to furniture manufacture: Chair self-destructs after 8 uses->

Submitted by
unts writes "Taking DRM further than it's gone before, a group of designers have built a DRM'd chair that will melt its own joints and destroy itself after 8 uses. The chair uses an Arduino and sensors to monitor the number of uses, then triggers the melting of a set of joints that hold it together, making the product unusable without some carpentry skills. The video of device at work is both amusing and a little disconcerting... could a company decide that this is a genuinely good idea? Maybe some more spectacular pryo effects would make sure nobody tries to circumvent the DRM measures."
Link to Original Source

+ - Wire-up your home with no extra wiring: Powerline Ethernet Wallplates

Submitted by
unts writes "HEXUS has a review of a new Power Ethernet Socket made by the appropriately named Power Ethernet. The product is essentially a replacement wallplate for electrical receptacles that includes four powerline ethernet RJ45 connections, providing connectivity throughout a building without the need to run CAT 5e/6 cabling. Performance appears to be good (better than the 802.11n router tested, at least), but what's to stop you simply using regular powerline ethernet adapters where you need them?"

Comment: Algorithms vs. hardware (Score 1) 205

by unts (#39776961) Attached to: Startup Claims C-code To SoC In 8-16 Weeks

Algorithms only work well if they fit well with the hardware they're targeting. You have to make certain assumptions, but depending on what your algorithm is, you should know which things you really need to think about (memory, branching, process communication, disk, ...)

Algorithms that get synthesised into hardware will only work well if they're written in such a way that lends itself to synthesis. There's going to be a huge heap of stuff that doesn't fit well, or doesn't work at all. Writing things like Verilog and even System C is very different to writing a piece of software. And let's not even mention the backend stuff like layout - stuff that can have a big impact on performance of the thing you're spending a lot of money fabricating (oh, I guess I /did/ mention it...)

So, maybe a bit ambitious, but if they've solved even some of the problems and helped bring software development and hardware design closer together, well, that's a good thing.


+ - MythTV 0.25 released, new HW acceleration and audio standards support->

Submitted by
unts writes "The highly configurable Linux PVR, MythTV, has reached the 0.25 release, over 500 days after the previous full release. New features include VAAPI support, E-AC3, TrueHD, and DTS-HD audio, the ability to control other home entertainment devices via HDMI CEC and additions to the API to allow HTTP live streaming. The release notes for 0.25 don't reflect the release status at the time of writing, but should contain most of the relevant changes.

MythTV can be used as a backend (recorder) and frontend (viewer), but can also feed other frontends such as appropriate versions of XBMC. Hopefully the new HTTP streaming API will lead to even more ways to get your video fix from MythTV."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:let me answer that with a question (Score 5, Informative) 100

by unts (#38858745) Attached to: DARPA Targets Computing's Achilles Heel: Power

The problem is not just generating the power... it's delivering it and consuming it without breaking/melting. And that's what they're getting at here - getting more FLOPS per watt... not finding out how to push more watts into a system. A silly amount of the energy going into a supercomputer comes out as heat... and a silly amount of energy is then used to remove that heat. Hopefully, by significantly improving the energy efficiency of chips and systems, we can make them a lot more powerful without them needing a whole lot more power. And I haven't even mentioned the mobile/embedded side of the spectrum where its about battery life and comfortable operating temperatures... the same energy efficiency goals apply.

This is the sort of thing we over the pond are very interested in too. Like for example *cough* the Microelectronics Research Group that I'm a part of.

Comment: Three examples... (Score 1) 319

by unts (#38464388) Attached to: Average Web Page Approaches 1MB
My personal web site's home page is 2KB. It's HTML5, no CSS, no JS. My research group site has a bit of all three plus a handful of images and comes in at 125KB. Big website I sysadmin weighs in at 1.1MB. A nice variety there. I think my personal site claims the crown as the fastest loading and quickest to render.

Make it right before you make it faster.