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Submission + - Sony PS3 Unit Sales Flat Lining and Trending Down (

An anonymous reader writes: The latest numbers from Sony show not only that the company's game division is losing money, but that the trend for PS3 unit sales is flattening and actually turning down through the rest of this year. Sony still loses money on every unit, and software sales aren't enough to push the division into profitability, as Sony projects another loss in games through the coming fiscal year that ends in March 2010. That raises the question of how long Sony can afford to stay in the game console business.

Submission + - Shuttle and Hubble passing in front of the Sun

GvG writes: "An incredible photo clearly showing the silhouette of Atlantis and the Hubble Space Telescope as they passed in front of the Sun was taken Wednesday, May 13, 2009, from west of Vero Beach, Florida. The two spaceships were at an altitude of 600 km and they zipped across the sun in only 0.8 seconds."

Submission + - Successful Launch of ESA's Herschel and Planck

rgarbacz writes: "Today at 13:12 GMT ESA launched successfully new and long awaiting spacecrafts: Herschel — the 3.5m mirror infrared telescope, and Planck — the CMB mapper. The spacecrafts were carried by Arian 5, which lifted off from Kourou in French Guiana. They will stay in L2 to perform the research. Herschel and Planck are one of the most expensive and important missions of the European Space Agency. They were built to perform measurements with an outstanding quality. Planck will measure CMB with accuracy below 1%, over 10 times better than the previous such mission (WMAP). Because of this high sensitivity both spacecrafts are cooled to temperatures close to the absolute zero by on board liquid helium, and staying in L2 is very helpful to maintain this state. Both spacecrafts are designed to observe the Universe at its infancy, Herschel — the first stars (those real ones), and galaxies (whichever came first), Planck — the first photons which were set free, the so called cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB).

This is a correction to my previous submission — please remove this line."

Submission + - AMD Breaks 1GHz GPU Barrier With Radeon HD 4890 (

MojoKid writes: "AMD announced today that they can lay claim to the world's first 1GHz graphics processor with their ATI Radeon HD 4890 GPU. There's been no formal announcement made about what partners will be selling the 1GHz variant, but AMD does note that Asus, Club 3D, Diamond Multimedia, Force3D, GECUBE, Gigabyte, HIS, MSI, Palit Multimedia, PowerColor, SAPPHIRE, XFX and others are all aligning to release higher performance cards. The new ATI Radeo HD 4890 utilizes advanced GDDR5 memory and a 1GHz core clock speed to deliver 1.6 TeraFLOPs of compute power."

Submission + - Gates Foundation Funds "Altruistic Vaccine" (

QuantumG writes: "The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to the University of Queensland, Australia to develop a vaccine against dengue fever, a disease spread by mosquitoes. Unlike other vaccines, the "altruistic vaccine" doesn't specifically protect the individual being bitten but instead protects the community by stopping the transmission of the pathogen from one susceptible individual to another. The hope is to do this by effectively making their blood poisonous to mosquitoes, either killing them or at least preventing them from feeding on other individuals. Professor Paul Young explained how his work fell outside current scientific traditions and might lead to significant advances in global health — he said he could envision the vaccine being used around the world within 10 years, and would be designed to be cheap and easy to implement."

Feed Techdirt: iPod Designer Jonathan Ive Too Private To Deserve (

The domain name dispute process has always been a bit of a crapshoot, as it often depends on who hears the case, but it's still a bit strange to find out that famed Apple designer Jonathan Ive was told he does not have a right to a variety of domain names based on his name, including,, and because (1) he had not trademarked his name and (2) because he's a rather "private" individual:

"[Ive and Apple] do not promote [his] name as a brand or trade mark, and therefore do not use it in trade or commerce. [Ive's] work for which he is most famous is publicly recognised and primarily attributable to Apple Inc. rather than [him]," said the ruling. "Despite having the opportunity to pursue individual endeavours outside his employment, which under certain circumstances might be branded under his personal name, [Ive] has made a conscious decision not to do so. In fact, [he] has actively sought to keep his personal name out of trade and commerce."
While I'm not necessarily a fan of simply handing over domain names to folks when others beat them to the registration, it does seem odd that the main criteria that is being used is how well known the name is in commercial settings.

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Submission + - Learning the basics of Computational Theory

SelArom writes: "As a computer science graduate, I've always been fascinated by complex theoretical problems such as the Travelling Salesman Problem, or the Halting Problem, leading into deep theoretical stuff like Number Theory, Graph Theory, and Quantum computer theory which are so far over my head I feel like I should go back to programming little text games using BASIC in the 80s.

My college life did very little to prepare me for this high-level stuff, so I've never been able to keep up with even the simplest explanations laid out in Wikipedia or the advanced chapters of textbooks (which we always skipped!). But I've always wanted to expand my understanding of these theories, if for nothing else just to fulfill my curiousity (not to mention the advantage I would gain as a developer).

So I'm wondering, where is a good place to start? And I mean to START, at the beginning. Are there any specific reference materials that can start at a very basic level, like say set theory (which even that I only kind of formally understand) or even lower, expanding up towards some of the really high level stuff without completely overwhelming you with strange, foreign notation?"
The Internet

Submission + - JavaScript can kill Web site performance (

ericatcw writes: JavaScript, so ubiquitous on today's AJAX-heavy Web sites, can slows down most popular sites today, says a Google performance guru. Steve Souders, the creator of the popular, free Yslow diagnostic tool, says that too many sites load too many JavaScript files at the beginning, creating a bottleneck, since browsers can't render or download anything else at the same time. New browsers such as Internet Explorer 8 can do "parallel downloads" of JavaScript, but it only partly solves the problem, says Souders, who calls for JavaScript and CSS files to be rewritten.

Feed Engadget: Amazon Kindling wooden e-book is a luddite's dream of the future (

E-readers aren't for everyone, apparently. Clever hands fashioned this Kindle out of wood -- cutely called the Amazon Kindling -- using a laser cutter. You might only be able to read the same page of The Count of Monte Cristo so many times, but at least the battery will never punk out on you! One more shot of this wooden beauty after the break. Hit the read link for the whole set.

[Via Boing Boing]

Continue reading Amazon Kindling wooden e-book is a luddite's dream of the future

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets, Handhelds

Amazon Kindling wooden e-book is a luddite's dream of the future originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 13 May 2009 17:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Operating Systems

Submission + - Phoenix BIOSOS? ( 3

jhfry writes: An interesting development by an unexpected source, Phoenix Technologies is releasing a Linux based, virtualization enabled, BIOS based OS for computers (Technology Review). They implemented a full Linux distro right on the BIOS chips, and using integrated virtualization technology it "allows PCs and laptops to hot-switch between the main operating system, such as Windows, and the HyperSpace environment." So essentially they are "trying to create a new market using the ideas of a fast-booting, safe platform that people can work in, but remain outside of Windows."

Submission + - Archaeologists unearth earliest pornography (

sciencehabit writes: "An ivory statuette of a well-endowed woman discovered in Germany suggests that humanity's earliest art might have been of the erotic variety." Says one expert of the 35,000-year-old artifact: ""It's sexually exaggerated to the point of being pornographic... There's all this sexual symbolism bubbling up in that period. They were sex-mad."

Submission + - The Hidden Secrets of Online Quizzes

LegionKK writes: "Ultimately, deciding whether you should take an online quiz comes down to a question of trust: Are you comfortable putting your information — personal or financial — into the owner's hands? Remember, even if you don't directly input data, it can be passed along. Such is the case with Facebook, where just opening an application automatically grants its developer access to your entire profile. And don't assume that the developer isn't going to use the information within. [...] The ads can follow you long after you click away, too. Just look at RealAge, a detailed quiz that assigns you a "biological age" based on your family history and health habits. The site, a recent investigation revealed, takes your most sensitive answers — those about sexual difficulties, say, or signs of depression — and sells them to drug companies looking to market medications."
Input Devices

Submission + - Measuring the User for CPU Frequency Scaling

An anonymous reader writes: The Empathic Systems Project a Northwestern University demonstrate up to 50% power savings by controlling CPU frequency scaling based upon the end user. They measure the user with eye trackers, galvanic skin response, and force sensors to find a CPU frequency that the user is satisfied with. They are currently studying user activity and system performance on mobile architectures, specifically the Android G1 phone.

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