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Businesses

Steve Jobs' Macworld Keynotes, 1998-2008 108

Ian Lamont writes "The Industry Standard has put together a collection of video highlights from Steve Jobs' Macworld keynotes since his return to Apple in the late 1990s. It's interesting to watch. Jobs was basically able to turn tech product demonstrations into convincing consumer spectacles that made even the simplest product feature — such as the handle on the clamshell iBook — seem innovative and utterly desirable. And while his appearance changed greatly over the years (compare his 1998 iMac demonstration with his "iPod Mini" keynote in 2004, when he was reportedly trying to treat cancer with a special diet), his enthusiasm never waned. Of course, he may make appearances at Apple's WWDC or other events, but a Macworld expo with Phil Schiller headlining just won't be the same."
Google

Google Tells Users To Drop IE6 426

Kelly writes "Google is now urging Gmail users to drop Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) in favor of Firefox or Chrome. Google recently removed Firefox from the Google Pack bundle, replaced it with Chrome, then added a direct download link for Chrome on Google and YouTube. Google's decision to list IE6 as an unsupported Gmail browser does not affect just consumers: Tens of thousands of small- and mid-sized businesses that run Google Apps hosted services may dump IE6 as well. What's especially interesting is the fact that Mozilla is picking up two out of three browser users that Microsoft surrenders."
Games

Is the Gaming PC Dead? 417

An anonymous reader writes "Rahul Sood, HP's CTO of gaming, argues that the days of a market that wants PCs running three $500 GPUs is history; he argues that it's really a tough or impossible sell. '... let's face it, high-end hardware has delivered diminishing returns in terms of value. This is why you don't see ridiculous offerings like Quad SLI and 2-kilowatt power supplies coming from our company.' But don't the ideas of customization and market pricing for components tend to undercut that? Is the gaming PC dead?"
Programming

Rails and Merb Ruby Web Frameworks Merge 80

An anonymous reader writes "The Merb and Rails Core Teams today announced a major merger; the two projects will become one, and be released some time in Q2 of 2009 as Rails 3. This is great news for lots of folks who worried about the potential community fracture, as well as great news for all the developers who will now have an all-around better option for programming Ruby. Read more about the details in Yehuda's blog post, or at the Ruby on Rails blog."
Portables

Lenovo's New ThinkPad Has 2 LCD Screens, Weighs 11 Pounds 194

ericatcw writes "With many users now used to having multiple monitors at home or work, you had to figure someone would try to offer a 'desktop replacement' laptop that offered the same. Lenovo is the first. Its new W700ds laptop will offer a 10.6 inch LCD screen in addition to the 17-inch primary display. The W700ds also sports a quad-core Intel Core 2 CPU, up to almost 1 TB of storage, and an Nvidia Quadro mobile chip with up to 128 cores. A Lenovo exec called this souped-up version of the normally buttoned-down-for-business ThinkPads the 'nitro-burning drag racer of ThinkPads.' There is even a Wacom digitizer pad and pen for graphic artists, who are expected to be the target market, along with photographers and other creative types who are willing to trade shoulder-aching bulk (11 pounds) and price (minimum of $3,600) for productivity enhancements." At the other end of the laptop size spectrum, Dell recently announced plans to launch a rival to the MacBook Air. Called "Adamo," it is supposedly "thinner than the MacBook Air," though further details will have to wait for the Computer Electronics Show in early January.
Privacy

Yahoo Promises To Anonymize and Limit User Data 76

quarterbuck writes "While Google is saying that personalization is the key to search, Yahoo is taking a different view of the topic. Yahoo announced plans to retain user data for no longer than 90 days and to anonymize data. Even if Yahoo is not your favorite search engine, it is a good move in the direction of online privacy if it will force others to follow suit." Reader Mike adds "Yahoo did say, however, that it will keep some data for up to six months for security and fraud reasons, as part of some 'specific and limited exceptions.'"
Image

Christmas Tree Made From 70 SCSI Hard Drives Screenshot-sm 248

Trigger writes "At our work we were decomissioning six old HP/Compaq servers to clear up space for new servers and, naturally, each server had a fairly large raid array. Instead of formatting every hard drive (would have taken weeks performing a DoD level wipe) and disposing them all together with the servers, I decided to disassemble the hard drives and recycle them into something neat. With a lot (a lot) of patience, I made this shiny Xmas tree. In total there are around 70 old SCSI hard drives, between 9gb and 18gb in size each. They were nice and chunky, oldschool style. There were quite a few different hard drive models, which is good because they each had different bits which I could use. The Xmas tree is made with parts from hard drives only except for one nut which I had to purchase for $0.39." It's good to see that this guy has plenty to do at work.
Programming

Scaling Facebook To 140 Million Users 178

1sockchuck writes "Facebook now has 140 million users, and in recent weeks has been adding 600,000 new users a day. To keep pace with that growth, the Facebook engineering team has been tweaking its use of memcached, and says it can now handle 200,000 UDP requests per second. Facebook has detailed its refinements to memcached, which it hopes will be included in the official memcached repository. For now, their changes have been released to github."

Is JavaScript Ready For Creating Quality Games? 165

kumpetan writes "After seeing so many games built with JavaScript, and considering the applications it powers and the use of Ajax, it seems like web developers are now in the game development pot. It is getting easier and more popular with libraries like jQuery, MooTools, Prototype, etc. There are even libraries like Game JS, GameQuery or JavaScript GameLib, specifically for this purpose. So, will we start to see more ambitious game projects arise using these tools?"
Biotech

Convergent Evolution Upends Honeyeaters' Taxonomy 186

grrlscientist writes in with a beautiful piece of science, beautifully explicated. The poignant bit is that the birds in question are all extinct. "Every once in awhile, I will read a scientific paper that astonishes and delights me so much that I can hardly wait to tell you all about it. Such is the situation with a newly published paper about the Hawai'ian Honeyeaters. In short, due to the remarkable power of convergent evolution, Hawai'ian Honeyeaters have thoroughly deceived taxonomists and ornithologists as to their true origin and identity for more than 200 years."
Image

Sleep Mailing Screenshot-sm 195

Doctors have reported the first case of someone using the internet while asleep, when a sleeping woman sent emails to people asking them over for drinks and caviar. The 44-year-old woman found out what she had done after a would be guest phoned her about it the next day. While asleep the woman turned on her computer, logged on by typing her username and password then composed and sent three emails. Each mail was in a random mix of upper and lower cases, unformatted and written in strange language. One read: "Come tomorrow and sort this hell hole out. Dinner and drinks, 4.pm,. Bring wine and caviar only." Another said simply, "What the......." If I had known that researchers were interested in unformatted, rambling email I would have let them read my inbox. They could start a whole new school of medicine.
Windows

Vista To XP Upgrade Triples In Price, Now $150 907

ozmanjusri writes "Dell has tripled the charge to upgrade Vista PCs to XP. Under current licensing 'downgrade' agreements, system builders can install XP Pro instead of Vista Business or Vista Ultimate; however, Dell has opted for a surcharge of $150 over the price of Vista for the older but more popular XP Professional operating system. Rob Enderle says the downgrade fees could potentially be disastrous for Microsoft: 'The fix for this should be to focus like lasers on demand generation for Vista but instead Microsoft is focusing aggressively on financial penalties," says Enderle. 'Forcing customers to go someplace they don't want to go by raising prices is a Christmas present for Apple and those that are positioning Linux on the desktop.'"
Games

Ubisoft Testing PC Prince of Persia Without DRM 254

Ars Technica reports that the upcoming PC version of Ubisoft's Prince of Persia will not feature any sort of copy protection. (Not including Steam downloads, of course.) After the backlash in recent months over the DRM in games like Spore and GTA IV, Ubisoft is giving gamers the chance to demonstrate that DRM actually increases piracy. One of Ubisoft's community reps had this to say about their decision: "You`re right when you say that when people want to pirate the game they will but DRM is there to make it as difficult as possible for pirates to make copies of our games. A lot of people complain that DRM is what forces people to pirate games but as PoP PC has no DRM we`ll see how truthful people actually are. Not very, I imagine. Console piracy is something else entirely and I`m sure we`ll see more steps in future to try to combat that."
Image

World of Warcraft, the Restaurant Screenshot-sm 73

An Anonymous Coward writes "China's online gaming themed service industry appears to be booming, riding China's fascination with online gaming all the way to the top is a Chinese restaurateur with his World of Warcraft inspired eatery." I would recommend the Critter Bites and the Haunted Herring, but would warn against the Carrion Surprise.

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