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Submission + - DRM applied to furniture manufacture: Chair self-destructs after 8 uses (hexus.net)

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."

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

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?"

Submission + - MythTV 0.25 released, new HW acceleration and audio standards support (mythtv.org)

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."

Submission + - MythTV moves to Github

unts writes: The popular-amongst-tweakers media centre software MythTV has almost completed its transition from SVN to Github. I've noticed a growing number of high profile projects have moved to Git, and I myself now use it for versioning of personal projects. The mailing list announcement gives no indication as to the motivation behind the move, but does state that more information will be posted to mythtv.org tomorrow.

Submission + - MIPS throws down the gauntlet to Intel and ARM (hexus.net)

unts writes: MIPS Technologies wants in on the action that ARM has seen of late. This week it has announced its latest CPU design, the elegantly named MIPS32 1074K. The company claims the multi-core design is 2.5 times faster than Intel's Atom within a smaller silicon footprint. Android on MIPS looks to be where the company wants to carve out a bigger market share, so it will be interesting to see which companies pick up the new design.

Submission + - ARM unveils next gen processor, claims 5x speedup (hexus.net)

unts writes: UK chip designer ARM today released the first details of its latest project, codenamed "Eagle". It has branded the new design Coretex-A15, which ARM reckons demonstrates the jump in performance from its predecessors, the A8 and A9. ARM's new chip design can scale to 16 cores, clock up to 2.5GHz, and, the company claims, deliver a 5x performance increase over the A8.

"It's like taking a desktop and putting it in your pocket," said [VP of processor marketing — Eric Schorn], and it was clear that he considers this new design to be a pretty major shot across the bows of Intel and AMD. In case we were in any doubt, he turned the knife further: "The exciting place for for software developer graduates to go and hunt for work is no longer the desktop."

Submission + - Should German lawyers be able to tell UK media wha (hexus.net)

unts writes: Recently a German mini-notebook manufacturer took exception to Qualcomm's use of the term "smartbook" to refer to ARM powered mini-notebooks. Smartbook AG set about a legal campaign against Qualcomm and has obtained a temporary restraining order in Germany. But the firm hasn't stopped there, seeking to litigate against any media outlet that dare use the word "smartbook" when referring to ARM based notebooks. HEXUS recently fell foul of such a lawyer's letter, but isn't keeping quiet about it:

[...]why has Smartbook AG sent us this letter? Surely they can see that the genie is already out of the bottle. Furthermore, it hasn't even registered the trademark in the US, China, or countless other countries so what does it expect to achieve by threatening a few European journalists? Also, we can't find any evidence of Smartbook AG selling its products outside of Germany. How can it register a trademark in countries where it has no presence? Our feeling is that it's an indirect way of pressuring Qualcomm into settling the matter out of court and buying the trademark for as high a price as possible.

Qualcomm is disputing the restraining order in Germany, and Smartbook AG has stated its desire to sell the trademark.


Submission + - ARM Linux Shipped With Dell's New Latitude Z (hexus.net)

unts writes: "Dell's new Latitude Z series of laptops feature a separate ARM-based CPU subsystem containing a MobileLinux installation. Dell says the system boots in 2 seconds and comes with Firefox installed. They significant news here is that Dell has opted to include a distinct set of hardware to run its instant-on solution — one using ARM's IP. If this optional extra proves popular, then it could assist ARM and its licensees in competition with Intel, and indeed Linux in its battle with Microsoft. HEXUS.channel reports that Dell isn't likely to make this a one-off, either:

We asked the big question: is Dell thinking of offering ARM-only products in future? "It's not in our short-term plans — we will probably have a mix," [Bohar] said. "You can use it for single tasks, but it's not really powerful enough to multitask."



Submission + - ARM takes the fight to Intel, risks hurting its pa (hexus.net)

unts writes: UK CPU designer ARM is moving to make it easier for companies to produce systems containing ARM processors. The company is offering up "hard macro" implementations of its newest Cortex-A9 CPU, ready for integration into System-on-Chip designs, reducing the cost and time involved in designing and testing them. In doing so, it claims it is upping the ante in its battle to beat Intel in the mobile and netbook spaces, and indeed beyond. This is a departure from the existing so-called "ARM ecosystem" whereby its partners must come up with the hard implementation of the cores themselves. However, HEXUS.channel mulls over the possibility of such a move creating issues with existing partners who've already invested heavily in their own ARM-based designs:

The likes of Qualcomm and NVIDIA didn't spend zillions of dollars developing Snapdragon and Tegra respectively, only to find themselves having to compete with numerous other entrants to the market, all facilitated by their supposed partner ARM. This could be an additional reason for ARM to continually make such a big point about how its targeting Intel.

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce