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Input Devices

Get Zapped While Playing Video Games 65

itwbennett writes "Force feedback in video games (when the game controller shakes and vibrates in response to an experience in the game) has been around for a while now. But a research project on display at the Computer Human Interaction conference in Paris this week takes it a step further, administering small electric shocks."
Google

Google Glass Is the Future — and the Future Has Awful Battery Life 473

zacharye writes "The concept of wearable tech is really buzzing right now as pundits tout smart eyewear, watches and other connected devices as the future of tech. It makes sense, of course — smartphone growth is slowing and people need something to hold on to — but the early 'Explorer' version of Google's highly anticipated Google Glass headset has major problem that could be a big barrier for widespread adoption: Awful battery life." Also, a review of the hardware. The current Glass hardware heads south in less than five hours, which doesn't seem too short relative to similarly powerful devices, but since it is meant to be worn all the time you'd think it would have a large enough battery to make it at least 8 or 10 hours.
Blackberry

BlackBerry CEO: Tablet Market Is Dying 564

Nerval's Lobster writes "BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins believes that tablets will be dead by 2018. 'In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,' he told an interviewer at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles, according to Bloomberg. 'Maybe a big screen in your workplace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.' That may come as a surprise to Apple, Google, Amazon and Samsung, all of which have built significant tablet businesses over the past few years. Research firm Strategy Analytics suggested in a research note earlier this month that the global tablet market hit 40.6 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2013, a significant rise from the 18.7 million shipped in the same quarter last year. So why would Heins offer such a pessimistic prediction when everyone else — from the research firms to the tablet-makers themselves — seems so full-speed-ahead? It's easy to forget sometimes that BlackBerry has its own tablet in the mix: the PlayBook, which was released to quite a bit of fanfare in early 2011 but failed to earn iPad-caliber sales. Despite that usefulness to developers, however, the PlayBook has become a weak contender in the actual tablet market. If Heins is predicting that market's eventual demise, it could be a coded signal that he intends to pull BlackBerry out of the tablet game, focusing instead on smartphones. It wouldn't be the first radical move the company's made in the past year."
Businesses

Two Changes To Quirky Could Change The World 103

"Quirky.com has generated a lot of buzz," writes frequent contributor Bennett Haselton, "but it's hard to see how it could ever be more than a novelty unless they change two key features of their process. Fortunately, they already have all the infrastructure in place for bringing inventions to fruition, so that with these two changes, Quirky really could deliver on their early promise to change the way products get invented." Read on for Bennett's thoughts — which seem more sensible than quirky.
Bitcoin

Bitfloor Indefinitely Suspends Bitcoin Trading 291

PerformanceDude writes "Bitfloor (a New York-based online exchange for Bitcoin) yesterday made the following announcement on their website: I am sorry to announce that due to circumstances outside of our control BitFloor must cease all trading operations indefinitely. Unfortunately, our US bank account is scheduled to be closed and we can no longer provide the same level of USD deposits and withdrawals as we have in the past. As such, I have made the decision to halt operations and return all funds. Over the next days we will be working with all clients to ensure that everyone receives their funds. Please be patient as we process your request. Roman — bitfloor.com" According to the company's Twitter account, money should be returned to users' bank accounts shortly.

Comment Re:If they have to struggle... (Score 1) 712

You still have to implement upgrades to the new major releases, and that can involve software/integration testing, user training, hardware upgrades, etc. There will be monetary and opportunity costs involved with all of this, as well as various risks to mitigate. The licensing costs are only a piece of the whole puzzle. We've got a web server running Cent 5.5 still, simply because we don't have a test environment/scale out farm to upgrade this system to 6, and we can't risk taking down the sites on it for hours or days if the upgrade fails, or compatibility problems arise. Even though CentOS is "free".

Comment Re:Windows 95 (Score 1) 712

I've got Win95 running on my Libretto 50CT. It's certainly not modern hardware, but I've given it an upgrade to 32 MB RAM, and a 4 GB SSD (just a CF card with IDE adapter). I even found wireless drivers for the Orinoco WaveLAN card I yanked from a first-gen Airport base station, and it'll do 128-bit WEP. You'd be genuinely surprised how usable the web generally is with IE 5.5. No Flash or AJAX, obviously, but I've browsed around abandonware sites and downloaded games directly onto it. FilZip still supports Win95, which is convenient. It runs Office 2000 and Photoshop 3, and honestly, if the battery lasted longer than an hour or two (and Win95 didn't suck so badly accessing NT file servers), I could probably do some non-empty subset of "real work" on it.

Installing Win95 without either a floppy drive or CD-ROM drive really isn't too hard. You can copy the whole installation CD to the hard drive you're installing to (and you'll probably have plenty of space for that), and assuming the hard drive is bootable to some form of DOS, you can launch the installation that way. That's what I had to do for the Libretto, since I don't have a CD-ROM drive that will work with it.

Java

Oracle Clings To Java API Copyrights 207

An anonymous reader writes in with a story about some of the ramifications of the Oracle-Google lawsuit. "You could hear a collective sigh of relief from the software developer world when Judge William Alsup issued his ruling in the Oracle-Google lawsuit. Oracle lost on pretty much every point, but the thing that must have stuck most firmly in Oracle’s throat was this: 'So long as the specific code used to implement a method is different, anyone is free under the Copyright Act to write his or her own code to carry out exactly the same function or specification of any methods used in the Java API. It does not matter that the declaration or method header lines are identical. Under the rules of Java, they must be identical to declare a method specifying the same functionality — even when the implementation is different. When there is only one way to express an idea or function, then everyone is free to do so and no one can monopolize that expression. And, while the Android method and class names could have been different from the names of their counterparts in Java and still have worked, copyright protection never extends to names or short phrases as a matter of law.'"

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