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Microsoft

Submission + - Bada Bing! Microsoft rolling out new search (pcworld.com) 3

An anonymous reader writes: PC World reports that Microsoft's new search engine, code-named Kumo, has tentatively been rebranded as "Bing" and will be rolled out shortly, backed by a US$80-$100 million ad campaign. The new engine will try to out-do Google with photos and links to related categories returned for popular searches. As the article suggests, perhaps Microsoft is hoping users will talk about "binging" this or that, instead of googling for everything.
Cellphones

Submission + - Using WiMAX to replace a phone? (lazyelegance.com)

vigmeister writes: "I've decided to explore the possibility of using a netbook/MID as a phone while eschewing the services of a cellphone provider. Now that Atlanta (where I live) has WiMAX from Clear, I ought to be connected everywhere within the city to the internet (once I sign up). Theoretically, this should mean that I will be able to use my netbook as a cell phone. Of course, there are some very real issues to overcome and I am simply putting this experiment together to see if it is something that is realistically possible. This could possibly extend to uncapped 3G connections (if they exist anymore) as well. Are there any obvious problems you would foresee? Is there anything I have missed or any other questions I should attempt to answer in this 'experiment' of mine? A major issue is, of course, the fact that my pseudo-netbook has to be carried everywhere and left always on. I've asked slashdot for advice regarding the best OS for this machine. However, if the experment is somewhat succesful, it seems as if using your netbook/MID as a phone might require a relatively customized OS which could possibly be a 'remix' of a suitable Linux distro. Something like Maemo, but not as hardware specific. Thoughts, suggestions?"
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft's ad campaign proves unsuccessful

Afforess writes: "For the past several months, Microsoft has geared up it's advertising with the addition of the quirky Seinfeld ad's and the newer "Laptop Hunter" ads. The "Laptop Hunter" ads feature a mother and child comparing cheaper PC branded laptops against their more expensive Mac counterparts. Although these new Microsoft ads offer ammunition against Apple's more aggressive and open attacks of the Windows platform, they seem to be unsuccessful. Net Applications Inc data on operating systems market share shows that Windows overall market share has dropped 2.94% in the past 10 months, while Apple has gained 1.79% in the same time. Also interesting to note that Linux's market share grew the fastest relative to it's size, even though it lacked a marketing campaign; approximately 27.5% larger, equivalent to a .22% gain in market share during the same time period."
Media

Submission + - Nanotech Memory May Hold Data For 1 Billion Years 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "Digital storage devices have become ubiquitous in our lives but the move to digital storage has raised concerns about the lifetime of the storage media. Now Alex Zettl and his group at the University of California, Berkeley report that they have developed an experimental memory device consisting of a crystalline iron nanoparticle enclosed in a multiwalled carbon nanotube that could have a storage capacity as high as 1 terabyte per square inch and temperature-stability in excess of one billion years. The nanoparticle can be moved through the nanotube by applying a low voltage, writing the device to a binary state represented by the position of the nanoparticle. The state of the device can then be subsequently read by a simple resistance measurement while reversing the nanoparticle's motion allows a memory "bit" to be rewritten. This creates a programmable memory system that, like a silicon chip, can record digital information and play it back using conventional computer hardware storing data at a high density with a very long lifetime. Details of the process are available at the American Chemical Society for $30."
Software

Submission + - What free IDE do you use? 2

postermmxvicom writes: "I program only occasionally and mostly for personal interest. I went to update my favorite free IDE yesterday when I noticed that DEVCPP has not been updated since 2005! It was like I lost a friend :( So, I went looking for other free IDE's and came across Code::Blocks and visual studio express. I work from a windows machine and use C++. I make mostly console apps, but have written a few windows apps and D3D or OpenGl apps.

I wanted to know what free IDE's you use and recommend. What do you like about them? What features do they lack? What about them irritate you (and what do you do to work around these annoyances)? For instance, when I used Visual C++ 6.0 in college, there was an error in getline that had to be fixed and devcpp's code indenting needed to be tweaked to suit my liking."
Math

Massive Open Collaboration In Math Declared a Success 60

nanopolitan writes "In late January, Tim Gowers, a Fields Medal winner at Cambridge University, used his blog for an experiment in massive online collaboration for solving a significant problem in math — combinatorial proof of the density Hales-Jewett theorem. Some six weeks (and nearly 1000 comments) later, Gowers has declared the project a success, and some of the ideas have already been written up as a preprint."
PC Games (Games)

The Realities of Selling Independently Developed PC Games 120

Not long ago, we discussed the realities of selling a game on the iPhone App Store. Now, spidweb sends in his experiences with a realistic level of success as an independent PC game developer. He writes "There is a lot of excitement about casual gaming and Indie game development these days, but there's also very little public information about how many games actually get sold, or the sort of income one can reasonably expect in this line of work. We've released full sales figures for a recent product to illustrate what sort of earnings can be generated by a quality niche product that isn't a massive hit. From the post: 'I am not the first Indie developer to reveal this sort of information. However, most public sales figures come from projects that were either blockbusters or disasters. Our games have never landed in either pool. I have been doing this for a living for almost fifteen years.'"
Privacy

Ontario Court Wrong About IP Addresses, Too 258

Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton comments on a breaking news story out of the Canadian courts: "An Ontario Superior Court Justice has ruled that Canadian police can obtain the identities of Internet users without a warrant, writing that there is 'no reasonable expectation of privacy' for a user's online identity, and drawing the analogy that 'One's name and address or the name and address of your spouse are not biographical information one expects would be kept private from the state.' But why in the world is it valid to compare an IP address with a street address in the phone book?" Read on for Bennett's analysis.
The Internet

Researchers Warn of Possible BitTorrent Meltdown 294

secmartin writes "Researchers at Delft University warn that large parts of the BitTorrent network might collapse if The Pirate Bay is forced to shut down. A large part of the available torrents use The Pirate Bay as tracker, and other available trackers will probably be overloaded if all traffic is shifted there. TPB is currently using eight servers for their trackers. According to the researchers, even trackerless torrents using the DHT protocol will face problems: 'One bug in a DHT sorting routine ensures that it can only "stumble upon success", meaning torrent downloads will not start in seconds or minutes if Pirate Bay goes down in flames.'"
Businesses

Inside Factory China 135

blackbearnh writes "While China is attempting to pull its industry up out of mere manufacturing mode, for now the country is the production workhorse of the consumer electronics industry. Almost anything you pick up at a Best Buy first breathed life across the Pacific Ocean. But what is it like to shepherd a product through the design and production process? Andrew 'bunnie' Huang has done just that with the Chumby, a new Internet appliance. In an interview with O'Reilly Radar, he talks about the logistical and moral issues involved with manufacturing in China, as well as his take on the consumer's right to hack the hardware they purchase."
Microsoft

Microsoft To Open Retail Stores 535

chaz373 writes "CNET reports that Microsoft is going retail. In the 'Beyond Binary' blog Ina Fried reports, 'After years of brushing off the notion, Microsoft said on Thursday that it will open up its own line of retail stores. Without detailing the plans, Microsoft said it has hired David Porter, a 25-year Wal-Mart veteran, to lead the effort. Sources say that Porter's mission will be to develop the company's retail plans and that the effort is likely to start small with just a few locations.'"
Games

Balancing Player Input and Developer Vision? 77

Chris_Jefferson writes "I work on a simple iPhone puzzle game called Combination. Probably the most frequent request I get from users is for an in-game hint system, to help them out on the harder problems. However, when I tried beta testing such a system, almost every user would just hammer the hint button as soon as they got stuck for longer than 30 seconds, spoiling (I believe) their enjoyment of the game. Should games programmers decide they know what's best for users, and not give them features they are crying out for? Has anyone ever seen a good middle-ground, where users are helped, but can't just skip their way through the entire game?" This question can be generalized for just about any game that's being continually developed — where should the game's designer draw the line between responding to feedback and maintaining what they feel is is the greater source of entertainment?
Mozilla

Firefox Faster In Wine Than Native 493

An anonymous reader writes "Tuxradar did some benchmarks comparing Firefox's Windows and Linux JavaScript performance. 'We did some simple JavaScript benchmarks of Firefox 3.0 using Windows and Linux to see how it performed across the platforms — and the results are pretty bleak for Linux.' Later on, they tried Wine. 'The end result: Firefox from Mozilla or from Fedora has almost nil speed difference, and Firefox running on Wine is faster than native Firefox.'"
Games

G.I. Joe Game On the Way 37

Electronic Arts has revealed that they are developing a G.I. Joe video game that will be launched alongside the G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra movie later this year. According to the announcement, the game "picks up where the live-action movie leaves off, allowing players to re-create and re-live the greatest moments from the film, cartoon series and action figure toy line." The game is planned for the PS2, PS3, PSP, mobile devices, Xbox 360, Wii, and DS. EA confirmed that there would be a co-op mode, but it's unknown whether there will be an online component.
Biotech

Scientists Map Neanderthal Genome 229

goran72 writes "In a development which could reveal the links between modern humans and their prehistoric cousins, scientists said they have mapped a first draft of the Neanderthal genome. Researchers used DNA fragments extracted from three Croatian fossils to map out more than 60 percent of the entire Neanderthal genome by sequencing three billion bases of DNA."

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