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Power

Submission + - Solar Tree Bears Fruit 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "A solar tree recently passed a key test and went on display on a busy street — the Ringstrasse — in Vienna, Austria providing light during the night-time even when the sun had been covered by clouds for four days in a row. The branches of the solar tree were decorated with 10 solar lamps, each one powered by 36 solar cells.and the tree included rechargeable batteries and electronic systems to measure the amount of light in the atmosphere and trigger the solar lamps to go on. "Not just trees but other objects could be decorated with solar cells and so keep streets well lit at night time," said Christina Werner from Cultural Project Management. Google uses a similar concept to light their parking lots with 3,000 solar panels that provide 10 percent of the Googleplex's power demand."
Graphics

Submission + - New Milestone Demoscene Releases. (pouet.net) 4

An anonymous reader writes: With over 3000 visitors one of the biggest computer festivals, the Assembly 2007, just closed doors. The event saw the release of some of the best demoscene productions of this year. Among them the first good demos for the XBOX 360, but also for platforms as obscure as the Atari VCS2600 from 1976. The main demo competition was won by Lifeforce, one of the most acclaimed demoscene demos ever. Other releases can be found here.
User Journal

Journal SPAM: Does the iPhone have a built-in spyware module? 2

The underground hacker team "web-Hack" from Russia released a whitepaper with results of iPhone firmware research where they reverse-engineered embedded functions. They claim discovery of a built-in function which sends all data from an iPhone to a specified web-server. Contacts from a phonebook, SMS, recent calls, history of Safari browser - all your personal information - can be stolen. Researchers as

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Perpetual Energy Machine Can't Take the Heat. (slashdot.org)

Kris_J writes: "As anyone with half a brain could have predicted, the Perpetual Energy Machine previously discussed on /. (sigh) has run into technical difficulties. The official website currently says

"We are experiencing some technical difficulties with the demo unit in London. Our initial assessment indicates that this is probably due to the intense heat from the camera lighting."
Bad news for the tropics, I guess."

Graphics

Submission + - GeForce 8800 SLI raises graphics performance bar

theraindog writes: "With Nvidia's GeForce 8800 series doubling the performance of the previous generation's fastest graphics cards, one has to wonder whether there's any point to teaming a pair of 8800s in SLI. Somewhat surprisingly, there is. When combined with a 30" display, the latest games, and high levels of image quality enhancing antialiasing and anisotropic filtering, GeForce 8800 SLI makes an interesting case for $1200 graphics subsystems. Unfortunately, high-end multi-GPU configurations like GeForce 8800 SLI are still at the mercy of immature drivers and dodgy application support, proving there's plenty of baggage to go along with breathtaking performance."
Power

Submission + - Could a white-on-black Google save power?

Kris_J writes: "Rising Phoenix Design's BlackBack theory says that since white costs more power to display than black on a CRT, web pages should be light text on a dark background. One idea then is that since Google is the most popular website on the planet, would there be a significant global power usage reduction if they changed their design to white text on a black background? At the very least, I reckon they should try it for three days and find out."
Businesses

Submission + - eBay effectively forces new sellers to have PayPal

Ezza writes: eBay Australia is forcing new sellers "to offer at least one preferred safe payment method of either PayPal or merchant credit card facilities". Given that it is almost impossible (not to mention expensive) for a private individual to have merchant facilities, this means that most new sellers will be forced to have a PayPal account to sell on ebay. See the announcement here — http://www2.ebay.com/aw/au/200701.shtml#2007-01-23 102815
Not only that, but the changes are retrospective — the announcement made on the 23rd Jan will affect sellers who registered after the 17th.
A previous announcement (on the 18th) — while failing to mention the 'safe payment method' change — also banned cross-border trading for sellers who aren't PayPal verified. ie you can't sell on ebay.com if you are registered on ebay.com.au — again mandating the seller have paypal.
I didn't see the word "monopoly" anywhere in the announcements, I guess they forgot.
(Paypal is of course owned by ebay).
Education

Submission + - Julie Amero Convicted by Malware

krasicki writes: "Julie Amero, a substitute teacher in Norwich, CT has been convicted of a morals charge when the computer in her classroom began a cascade of porn pop-ups. This woman needs your help. Make your voices heard.

My blog is http://region19.blogspot.com./ Sunbelt Software's Alex Eckelberry is speaking out here http://www.boingboing.net/2007/01/13/teacher_faces _40_yea.html

Alternet has the most lucid piece; http://www.alternet.org/rights/46925/

This is a truly unbelievable story."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - John Carmack: Gamers Don't Need Vista or DX 10

Freshly Exhumed writes: In an interview with Marcus Yam at Daily Tech legendary PC/Console game creator John Carmack holds forth on DirectX 10: "Personally, I wouldn't jump at something like DX10 right now. I would let things settle out a little bit and wait until there's a really strong need for it." and then zings Microsoft's marketers over DX10's mandatory use of the Vista OS: "Carmack then said that he's quite satisfied with Windows XP, going as far to say that Microsoft is 'artificially' forcing gamers to move to Windows Vista for DX10." There are a few good tidbits on Xbox 360 vs. PS3 development, and a fairly clear disinterest in Wii as a platform for his company's products is shown.
Announcements

Submission + - Put the Amiga Demoscene in your DVD Player

Jason Scott writes: "Four years ago, the crew at Hornet put out a collection of PC demos spanning 10 years on a DVD, and called it "Mindcandy". Everyone asked when they'd come out with a DVD of demos for other platforms, and just four short years later, they've announced MindCandy 2: Amiga Demos. It's got 30 Amiga demos rendered on the original hardware, a documentary about how a demoparty is run, and even 5.1 surround remixes of all the music. Additionally, they're sponsoring a rare US demoparty this April called Blockparty. It's a great year for demos!"
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - What to do with 1-lane PCI Express?

Very Long Time Anonymous Coward writes: I've recently put together my new PC from scratch, filling up the PCI slots with audio and firewire cards, and a graphics card in the 16-lane PCI Express slot. But my micro ATX motherboard also came with a PCI Express slot with a single lane. I've looked around on the net and the only cards I can find are Gigabit ethernet, which just about every new motherboard you can buy supports anyway. What do you do with your empty single lane PCI Express slot?
Sony

Submission + - Sony all too happy to void your warranty?

Hej writes: According to this post on the AVS Forum, a customer who bought a Playstation 3 had the warranty voided because he used 3rd party cables to hook it up to his television. From the thread, "Just got off the phone with Sony Support. Because I have a generic brand of component cables, instead of officially licensed Sony components, Sony has voided the warranty on my PS3 and will only replace it for $150 dollars! ... So now my system boots up and sits there with a blank screen. Thank god I kept the receipt." Original AVSForum.com thread here. I'm curious if this is just a case of a customer service rep taking things a bit too literally, or if Sony is actually that eager to screw over their customers. Any Slashdotters with similiar stories of warranty woe?

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