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Displays

"Minority Report"-Like Control For PC 138

An anonymous reader writes "A startup named Mgestyk Technologies claims that they have an affordable solution for 'Minority Report'-like PC control. They have released a video in which they use hand gestures to play games like Halo and Guitar Hero, as well as perform 'multi-touch' interactions for applications like Google Earth. Engadget and Gizmodo discuss the potential of the technology but point out that the system has visible lag when used for gaming. Will camera-based interfaces ever meet the low-latency demands of gaming? For how much longer will we still be using keyboards, mice and joysticks?"
Operating Systems

Motorola Moving to Android, Windows Mobile for Smartphones 136

nerdyH writes "Motorola will ditch its MotoMAGX Linux stack and UIQ Symbian stack in favor of Google's Android Linux/Java stack and Windows Mobile 6.5 and 7, it announced today. The news comes after five years selling millions of Linux phones in Asia, and after a year during which many of Motorola's top US phones used the homegrown Linux stack. Motorola's current Linux phones in the US include the RAZR2 v8, E8, EM30, U9, ZN4, and ZN5." This also comes alongside news that Motorola's financial hardships are causing them to cut 3,000 jobs. It also puts into perspective their recent plans to hire hundreds of Android developers.
Cellphones

Security Flaw In Android Web Browser 59

r writes "The New York Times reports on a security flaw discovered in the new Android phones. The article is light on details, but it hints at a security hole in the browser, allowing for trojans to install themselves in the same security partition as the browser: 'The risk in the Google design, according to Mr. Miller, who is a principal security analyst at Independent Security Evaluators in Baltimore, lies in the danger from within the Web browser partition in the phone. It would be possible, for example, for an intruder to install software that would capture keystrokes entered by the user when surfing to other Web sites. That would make it possible to steal identity information or passwords.'"
Hardware Hacking

Where to Find Axles, Gears For Kinetic Sculpture? 267

sneakyimp writes "My brother is an architect and sculptor and wants to create kinetic sculptures powered by wind, steam, and sun. He wants to avoid electrical systems and keep this mechanical. He's prepared to cast metals for custom parts if necessary, but is hoping to find a cheap source of gears, axles, and bearings for the internal mechanical workings of these contraptions. We'll need things like miter/bevel/spur/helical gears, standard and thrust bearings, and axles." Read on below for more on the details of what sneakyimp is looking for — dismembered Capsela units won't do it.
The Courts

RIAA Agrees To Take $200-Per-File In Texas Case 154

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In a San Antonio, Texas case, Maverick v. Harper, in which a young woman was accused of having committed copyright infringement at the age of 16, the Judge denied the RIAA's summary judgment motion this summer, saying there were factual issues as to whether the defendant qualified for the 'innocent infringement' defense. He offered the record companies a way out, however, saying he would grant them a judgment if they agreed to take only $200 — as opposed to the $9,250 they sought from Jammie Thomas or the $750 they usually seek — per infringed recording. We have recently learned that, after the Judge denied the RIAA's reconsideration motion and scheduled a trial date, the RIAA filed papers agreeing to take the $200-per-recording amount. While $200 is still about 600 times the amount of the actual damages, it's better than paying 26,000 times the actual damages, which is what the RIAA tried to squeeze out of Ms. Thomas." This is a reversal of the RIAA's rejection of the $200 award per song last month.
Encryption

New State Laws Could Make Encryption Widespread 155

New laws that took effect in Nevada on Oct. 1 and will kick in on Jan. 1 in Massachusetts may effectively mandate encryption for companies' hard drives, portable devices, and data transmissions. The laws will be binding on any organization that maintains personal information about residents of the two states. (Washington and Michigan are considering similar legislation.) Nevada's law deals mostly with transmitted information and Massachusetts's emphasizes stored information. Between them the two laws should put more of a dent into lax security practices than widespread laws requiring customer notification of data breaches have done. (Such laws are on the books in 40 states and by one estimate have reduced identity theft by 2%.) Here are a couple of legal takes on the impact of the new laws.
Wine

Wine 1.0 — Uncorked After 15 Years 638

pshuke writes "After 15 years of development, Wine version 1.0 has been released. Wine is an Open Source implementation of the Windows API on top of X, OpenGL, and Unix. While perfect windows compatibility has not yet been achieved, full support for Photoshop CS2, Excel Viewer 2003, Word Viewer 2003 and PowerPoint Viewer 2003 have been among the goals prior to the release. For further information about supported applications, head over to the appdb. Get it (source) while it's hot."
Programming

Havok Releases Free Version For PC Developers 86

An anonymous reader writes "Havok has released the free version of its widely-used physics and animation engine (but without source code), including tools that integrate with Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya. Developers may use Havok for free for non-commercial games, middleware, and academic projects. Here are the SDK and tools."
Television

Excavations at Stonehenge May Answer Questions 160

Smivs writes "The BBC are getting set to fund a dig at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. The two-week dig will try to establish, once and for all, some precise dating for the creation of the monument. An article from the BBC news website explains how the dig will investigate the significance of the smaller bluestones that stand inside the giant sarsen pillars. 'Researchers believe these rocks, brought all the way from Wales, hold the secret to the real purpose of Stonehenge as a place of healing. The researchers leading the project are two of the UK's leading Stonehenge experts — Professor Tim Darvill, of the University of Bournemouth, and Professor Geoff Wainwright, of the Society of Antiquaries. They are convinced that the dominating feature on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire was akin to a "Neolithic Lourdes" — a place where people went on a pilgrimage to get cured. Modern techniques have established that many of these people had clearly traveled huge distances to get to south-west England, suggesting they were seeking supernatural help for their ills.'"

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