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Cellphones

Second Google Android Phone Revealed 176

KrispyDroid writes "The world's second Google Android phone has been unveiled — by an Australian-based electronics company called Kogan. It will ship worldwide on Jan 29. It looks like a surprisingly nice form factor, not unlike a Blackberry Bold. The phones will be sold without a contract at low prices — $A299 ($US192)."
Movies

New Asimov Movies Coming 396

bowman9991 writes "Two big budget Isaac Asimov novel adaptations are on the way. New Line founders Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne are developing Asimov's 1951 novel Foundation, the first in Asimov's classic space opera saga, which has the potential to be as epic as Lord of the Rings. At the same time, New Regency has recently announced they were adapting Asimov's time travel novel The End of Eternity. Despite having edited or written more than 500 books, it's surprising how little of Isaac Asimov's work has made it to the big screen. '"Isaac Asimov had writer's block once," fellow science fiction writer Harlan Ellison said, referring to Asimov's impressive output. "It was the worst ten minutes of his life."' Previous adaptations include the misguided Will Smith feature I, Robot, the lame Bicentennial Man with Robin Williams, and two B-grade adaptations of Nightfall." This reader also notes that a remake of The Day of the Triffids is coming.
Businesses

Greenpeace Slams Apple For Environmental Record 271

nandemoari writes "According to a recent advertisement airing on American TV, Apple's new Macbooks (well-received by most technology critics) are 'the world's greenest family of notebooks.' It seems an indication that the Cupertino-based company is increasingly aware of a consumer base that demands green electronics. However, Greenpeace is less than enthused with Apple's overall green performance. In their report (PDF), the environmentalists argue that Apple 'needs to commit to phasing out additional substances with timelines, improve its policy on chemicals and its reporting on chemicals management.'" Ars Technica points out that Greenpeace's research isn't quite up-to-snuff, and it's also worth noting that Greenpeace admitted to targeting Apple for the publicity in the past.
PC Games (Games)

PC Grand Theft Auto IV Features SecuROM DRM 531

arcticstoat writes "Game developer Rockstar has revealed that the forthcoming PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV will feature the controversial SecuROM 7 DRM system. Unlike some of EA's recent titles, such as Spore and Mass Effect, GTA IV won't limit the number of times that you can install the game, although SecuROM will be impossible to remove without leaving 'some traces' on your PC. Anyone hoping to avoid SecuROM by downloading the game form Steam will also be disappointed, as Rockstar says that all versions of the game will feature SecuROM, including digital versions online. On the plus side, Rockstar says that it's 'working with SecuROM to post information on our support pages regarding how to remove these inactive traces of the program for users who wish to do so.' Has Rockstar gotten a better balance between draconian DRM and fair copy protection here?"
Power

Ubiquitous Hydrogen Power Not Getting Any Closer 267

NewScientist has a story about the "hydrogen economy" that has been resting on the horizon for a decade or more. Despite a great deal of enthusiasm for and research into hydrogen-based power systems, the technology seems just as far away from everyday use as it's always been. A British startup, ITM Power, has recently claimed a breakthrough in lowering production costs by using a nickel catalyst (rather than platinum) with a membrane small enough for home use. But, even if their method is proven and adopted, it still wouldn't address huge energy efficiency problems in the process. "The point was made forcefully by Gary Kendall of the conservation group WWF in a recent report called Plugged In (PDF, pgs. 135-149). Kendall, a chemist who previously spent almost a decade working for ExxonMobil, highlights how the energy losses in the fuel chain - from electrolysis to compression of the hydrogen for use to inefficiencies in the fuel cell itself — mean that only 24 per cent of the energy used to make the fuel does any useful work on the road."

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