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The X300 Could Usher in a New Generation of ThinkPads 132

An anonymous reader writes "The ThinkPad has long been a favorite of IT departments everywhere and is the preferred notebook for legions of no-nonsense users. As times have progressed the ThinkPad has improved but the X300 marks the most significant change in its design since the butterfly keyboard. While we've already discussed a few leaked specs, official news of big changes like LED-backlighting (the first on a ThinkPad) and a widescreen display accompany a number of important but smaller design tweaks. Current thinking is that these changes indicate that the X300 is the first step in a series of larger changes to the ThinkPad. The notebook has already received a number of favorable reviews, but the other changes - the ones that will ultimately trickle down to the rest of the ThinkPad line - are perhaps more interesting than this specific $2500+ notebook."
Communications

Why Is Less Than 99.9% Uptime Acceptable? 528

Ian Lamont writes "Telcos, ISPs, mobile phone companies and other communication service providers are known for their complex pricing plans and creative attempts to give less for more. But Larry Borsato asks why we as customers are willing to put up with anything less than 99.999% uptime? That's the gold standard, and one that we are used to thanks to regulated telephone service. When it comes to mobile phone service, cable TV, Internet access, service interruptions are the norm — and everyone seems willing to grin and bear it: 'We're so used cable and satellite television reception problems that we don't even notice them anymore. We know that many of our emails never reach their destination. Mobile phone companies compare who has the fewest dropped calls (after decades of mobile phones, why do we even still have dropped calls?) And the ubiquitous BlackBerry, which is a mission-critical device for millions, has experienced mass outages several times this month. All of these services are unregulated, which means there are no demands on reliability, other than what the marketplace demands.' So here's the question for you: Why does the marketplace demand so little when it comes to these services?"
Power

MSI Develops a Heat-Driven Cooler 173

V!NCENT tips us to a write-up about an addition to MSI's Ecolution motherboard which harvests heat from the chipset to power a fan. The device is based on a Stirling engine. The heat from the chipset expands a trapped gas, which pushes against a piston to generate power. The article contains a YouTube video of how the device works. According to MSI, the device has 70% efficiency.
Technology

MIT Offers City Car for the Masses 290

MIT's stackable electric car, a project to improve urban transportation will make its debut this week in Milan. "The City Car, a design project under way at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is envisioned as a two-seater electric vehicle powered by lithium-ion batteries. It would weigh between 1,000 and 1,200 pounds and could collapse, then stack like a shopping cart with six to eight fitting into a typical parking space. It isn't just a car, but is designed as a system of shared cars with kiosks at locations around a city or small community."
Privacy

Submission + - Decentral privacy-rallies in 40 german cities (netzpolitik.org)

netzpolitik writes: "The german parliament will decide on the data-retention at the end of the week. The german "working group on data-retention" (AK-Vorratsdatenspeicherung), a huge network of more than 50 organizations and thousands of privacy-activists is organizing decentral rallies all over germany. There will be events tomorrow between 5pm and 7pm in more than 40 cities. Check out the link for more informations about rallies and actions in a city close to you."
Biotech

Former Intel CEO Rips Medical Research 484

Himuanam writes "Former Intel CEO Grove rips on the medical research community, contrasting their lack of progress with the tech industry's juggernaut of breakthroughs over the past half-century or so. 'On Sunday afternoon, Grove is unleashing a scathing critique of the nation's biomedical establishment. In a speech at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, he challenges big pharma companies, many of which haven't had an important new compound approved in ages, and academic researchers who are content with getting NIH grants and publishing research papers with little regard to whether their work leads to something that can alleviate disease, to change their ways.'"
Wii

Nintendo's Iwata Says Old Console Cycle Dead 245

1up is reporting on comments from Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, who has offered up the opinion that the four-year console cycle is a thing of the past. Instead, he says, companies should look to iterate on their hardware when an opportunity presents itself. "Launches should depend on when it can signify a major shift in entertainment, or when they have done everything possible with the current hardware. He also says that scheduling the successor to current hardware on a 4-year life cycle without paying attention to changes in the market 'appears to be too inflexible an approach to us.' This isn't to say that the company doesn't have eyes on the future. 'We need to forecast what the future will be like with the expected evolution of new technologies which are available at any given time, and try to identify the so-called 'sweet spot' of technology over the next few years,' he said."
Software

Submission + - Linux Kernel Developers Sabotage Reiser4 (150m.com)

Teran McKinney writes: "Hans Reiser's trial is coming up, so this really makes things really interesting. This article covers some Linux kernel developers "sabotaging" and breaking Namesys's Reiser4 code. This article shows two examples of where it strongly appears that the Reiser4 code was modified to introduce problems. A good explanation is definately needed for this."
Google

Submission + - Google Launches Mobile Platform (bbc.co.uk)

Placid writes: "The BBC website has an article detailing Google's release of their mobile/cell phone 'software stack'. The platform is designed to "speed up the process of making mobile services.". From the article:

The firm is working with four mobile manufacturers — Samsung, HTC, Motorola and LG — but a Google branded phone was not announced.
[...]
Google's system will be based on computer code that can be openly distributed among programmers, allowing them to build new applications.
A development tool kit for working on the new platform will be released next week
"

Editorial

Submission + - GOP Main Contenders: "We're Not Racist. Honest (functionalisminaction.com)

IConrad01 writes: "From Functionalism In Action: Joke of the Day — GOP Top Contenders: "We're Not Racist. Honest!":

Sometimes, it becomes painfully true that stereotypes are created for a reason. Despite a strong and republican sentiment, Thursday, September 27th's Republican Presidential debate was missing four people: Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, and John McCain. What was different about this particular debate? It was held by a race/minority interest group.
[...]
In case you missed it, you can find video and audio of the debate here.
"

Editorial

Submission + - Death 'Raises Questions' About Gene Therapy (functionalisminaction.com)

IConrad01 writes: "Not too long ago, a woman died tragically and unexpectedly. Her name was Jolee Mohr. A detailed report can also be found here. In short, she died of a fungal infection that became developed, acutely, the day after she received her second injection of a gene-therapy trial viral vector for rheumatoid arthritis. This death is tragic. But given that it was a trial, and that the company involved is doing everything in its power to act responsibly, do we really need to "question" Gene Therapy, or is this just luddist activism encompassing one family's tragic loss? Watch this video, and form your own opinions."
The Internet

Submission + - Does the Slashdot moderation system still work? 1

An anonymous reader writes: Recently I have noticed a trend among my posts on Slashdot: Very few of them are ever moderated in any way. I can insightful, informative, funny or trolly, but only a lucky few posts ever stray from the default score. In my current post history, two posts out of 24 have gotten any moderation. Browsing through threads shows a similar trend: There's hardly anything but "Score: 1" out there.

So, is there any use for a moderation system where most posts are never affected at all? And as a question for the admins, what is the current ration of moderations to posts? It would seem to be far below 1 at the moment, and this does not seem a very good state of affairs.
Displays

Submission + - The display I want on my desk (fsix.com)

kingtut7 writes: A company called fs[ix] (pronounced physics) recently released a new 45" monitor. It is actually three monitors in one (20" center and two 17" sides) making one super-wide screen. It plugs in with one DVI or VGA connection. (Note: It splits the resolution up into three blocks, so make sure you have a really good graphics card). This would be nice for the day to day work — and awesome for games because of the surround effect. It is going for $1,795 direct from fs[ix]. Now I just need to convince my boss that it needs to be on my desk.

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