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Television

Plasma or LCD? 356

WeeBit asks: "I saw a news article on why you should buy Plasma instead of LCD TV's. It just sparked my interest. Flat panel TV's have the market now, and our analog TV's are on their way out. I am sure many will be thinking of purchasing their new flat panel within the next couple years. Have you given this any thought? Panasonic, has been pushing ads that sell the consumer on the plasma TV's over the LCD's. Is this a good argument, or is it just hype? Which do you prefer Plasma or LCD? Why?"

The Importance of OS Backwards Compatibility 380

gbjbaanb writes "Raymond Chen (of ancient Microsoft heritage) has a blog where he describes some of the things he's worked on, as well as oddments of obscure code and design decisions in Windows. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Windows, it is informative and often thought-provoking. Recently, Raymond posted an entry about backwards compatibility, and why it is such a big deal for large corporations. Something that I have read about on Slashdot regularly (where Windows is criticized for bothering with it at all), I thought readers would be interested in exactly why Microsoft spends so much effort on backwards compatibility, and by inference, why it is an important topic for getting Linux adopted by big business."

Walkman Creator Leaves Sony 89

Gammu writes "Nobutoshi Kihara, the engineer behind the Walkman, has left Sony. In the late seventies, one of the co-chairman of Sony, Morita, requested the audio division create a portable tape player capable of playing his operas while he was on transpacific flights to the US. After less than a year, the Walkman was released to the public and revolutionized the music industry. Read about the development of the first Walkman at Low End Mac."

Microsoft To Announce Linux Partnership 534

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Microsoft is entering into an unusual partnership with Novell that gives a boost to Linux, people familiar with the companies tell WSJ.com. From the article: 'Under the pact, which isn't final, Microsoft will offer sales support of Suse Linux, a version of the operating system sold by Novell. The two companies have also agreed to develop technologies to make it easier for users to run both Suse Linux and Microsoft's Windows on their computers. The two companies are expected to announce details of their plan today at a press conference in San Francisco. In addition, Microsoft won't assert rights over patents over software technology that may be incorporated into Suse Linux, the people said. Businesses that use Linux have long worried that Microsoft would one day file patent infringement suits against sellers of the rival software.'"

The (im)Mobility of Web 2.0 Apps 106

narramissic writes "So many Web 2.0 apps seem like a natural fit for use on mobile phones -- more so, in fact, than the PCs they were written for. Take for example, Google maps or Flickr or any of the myriad social networking sites. Frankly, I wonder why anyone would even want to use them while sitting at a desk. And yet the reality of using those apps on cell phones is solidly disappointing because of the inherent constraints of mobile phones and networks. This article gets deeper into the ups and downs of reworking Web 2.0 apps for use on mobile phones."

Banned Books published by Google 392

Lens Hood Man writes "Marking the 25th anniversary of Banned Books Week, Google is inviting users to celebrate their freedom to read by making Banned Books available to all. From the Google Blog: "...you can use Google Book Search to explore some of the best novels of the 20th century which have been challenged or banned." Those books challenged this year include 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and 'Lolita'."

Hardware Virtualization Slower Than Software? 197

Jim Buzbee writes "Those you keeping up with the latest virtualization techniques being offered by both Intel and AMD will be interested in a new white paper by VMWare that comes to the surprising conclusion that hardware-assisted x86 virtualization oftentimes fails to outperform software-assisted virtualization. My reading of the paper says that this counterintuitive result is often due to the fact that hardware-assisted virtualization relies on expensive traps to catch privileged instructions while software-assisted virtualization uses inexpensive software substitutions. One example given is compilation of a Linux kernel under a virtualized Linux OS. Native wall-clock time: 265 seconds. Software-assisted virtualization: 393 seconds. Hardware-assisted virtualization: 484 seconds. Ouch. It sounds to me like a hybrid approach may be the best answer to the virtualization problem. "

Samsung Develops World's First three-inch VGA LCD 173

Nomad05 writes "Samsung announced this week it has developed the world's first three-inch VGA LCD panel that "directly meets industry interface standards for digital still cameras." What this means is that future LCD screens on digital cameras will allow multimedia to be viewed at a resolution of 640x480. Presently, a majority of camera LCDs only display multimedia at a resolution of 320x240 — significantly lower in quality than Samsung's new LCD. In layman's terms, expect significantly brighter, more detailed LCD displays, which will enable you to review your photography more thoroughly after you take an exposure. This innovation will make it easier to spot blurry images and ensure your photo is framed properly. "

OfficeMax Drops Mail-in Rebates 321

DrEldarion writes "Looks like OfficeMax is dropping mail-in rebates. 'Rebates were the #1 customer complaint we were getting,' said Ryan Vero, OfficeMax's chief merchandising officer. Hopefully other retailers will realize what a good idea this is and follow suit." The best part is that the discount is applied now at the register, so those of us who always thought that the rebates were a scam (or were too lazy to mail in the card) finally get some savings.

Australia Wants to Regulate Internet Streaming 257

Paul writes "After an incident that occurred on a popular television show's internet stream, the Australian government has once again demonstrated that it simply does not understand the internet by indicating that they intend to regulate streaming video. I wonder what these geniuses plan on doing with porn streamed from Europe?"

MacBook Users Fix Trackpad Problem with Origami Paper 291

yonnage writes "Some Apple MacBook owners are plagued with what seems to be a defective trackpad button. The button, when pushed, seems "squishy" and sometimes even unresponsive. While these MacBook owners are getting turned away at the Apple Genius Bars, they have come up with a custom and unique solution to the problem. A piece of paper, placed strategically under the battery pack where the trackpad is located, seems to fix this problem for most users."

Ants Use Pedometers to Find Home 202

Ant writes "New Scientist (a short video clip included) reports that desert ants have an internal pedometer that keeps track of how many steps they take, according to a new study. The insects seem to rely on this system to find their way back to the nest after foraging. Other insects may also possess this pedometer-like system. Some types of ants appear to use visual cues or leave scent trails to find their way home. But desert ants have a remarkable ability to retrace their steps from their nesting site even though they travel on flat terrain that is devoid of landmarks, and any odors quickly fade in the hot temperatures."

Spain Outlaws P2P File-Sharing 432

Section_Ei8ht writes "Spanish Congress has made it a civil offense to download anything via p2p networks, and a criminal offense for ISP's to allow users to file-share, even if the use is fair. There is also to be a tax on all forms of blank media, including flash memory drives. I guess the move towards distributing films legally via BitTorrent is a no go in Spain." Here is our coverage of the tax portion of this law.

BitTorrent Beefs Up Network Capabilities 164

1sockchuck writes "BitTorrent Inc. is boosting its network capacity as it prepares to become a centralized hub for legal video content. In May, BitTorrent announced a deal with Warner Brothers to distribute its TV and movie content via the BT platform. It has now lined up IP transit for streaming videos at one gigabit per second."

Mobile Phones and Lightning a Lethal Mix 374

An anonymous reader writes "In a letter to the British Medical Journal, doctors wrote that people should not use mobile phones outdoors during thunderstorms because of the risk of being struck by lightning. Usually 'when someone is struck by lightning, the high resistance of the skin conducts the flash over the body in what is known as a flashover, but if a metal object, such as a phone, is in contact with the skin it disrupts the flashover and increases the odds of internal injuries and death.'"

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