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Power

Submission + - IBM to recycle silicon for solar (computerworld.com.au)

inkslinger77 writes: "IBM has created a process allowing its manufacturing facilities to re-purpose otherwise scrap semiconductor wafers. Since the silicon wafers need to be nearly flawless in order to be used, the imperfect ones are normally erased with acidic chemicals and discarded but IBM had been sandblasting theirs to remove proprietary material, and then either re-using them for test purposes or selling them to the solar industry. Annually, IBM estimates that the semiconductor industry discards as many as 3 million wafers worldwide."

Feed Dell Bringing Back Windows XP For An Encore (techdirt.com)

Last year, when Microsoft announced that Vista would be delayed for the umpteenth time, there was some fear that by releasing it after Christmas, it would result in a significant lull in computer sales. But this thinking assumed that people were actually enthusiastic about Vista and wouldn't want to buy an older version of Windows with a new one coming out soon. In retrospect, that assumption seems to have been quite misplaced. Not only is Vista not leading to higher computer sales, but there's a significant subset of consumers that actually would prefer to buy an older version of Windows. This demand has prompted Dell to start selling a few PC models preloaded with Windows XP, which the company had discontinued earlier this year. This can't please Microsoft, which would like to concentrate, as much as possible, on supporting its new operating system. But with so many complaints about the resource demands of the operating system, and the amount of crapware that it comes bundled with, it's no surprise that many people are happy to go with the old system.
Communications

Submission + - The iPhone Competitors

Josh writes: "We all know that when the iPhone launches this summer it's not going to be the only phone available on the market; but when it does launch, what other phones will be the serious contenders?

Until now we have lived with several cell phone companies who have dominated the market; BlackBerry, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Let us take a look at what these companies will be offering when the iPhone launches.

Firstly we have BlackBerry, the brand that is always associated with your stereotypical business man. Blackberry's latest product is the BlackBerry Pearl which offers the user great functionality for web browsing with a QWERTY keypad and fully functional web browsing software. The BlackBerry Pearl is the only cell phone that we are looking at today that offers you a QWERTY keyboard, which could be a decisive factor when choosing which cell phone to purchase. All of this said, the BlackBerry Pearl has little more to offer that is up to the same standard of the iPhone. The built in camera is only 1.3 mega-pixels as opposed the 2.0 mega-pixels whilst the phone is also without Wi-Fi capabilities. Although the BlackBerry Pearl does support video and audio file formats, the built in storage space of just 64mb is not going to prove much use to any users who are looking to substitute their MP3 player for a cell phone. If you would like to find out more about the BlackBerry Pearl you can visit the BlackBerry web site for more details:

http://www.discoverblackberry.com/devices/device-d etail.jsp?navId=H0,C101,P203

Secondly Motorola, if you are not familiar with their Razr brand then you have most likely never known anyone who has owned a cell phone. Motorola's best selling product line has been available to us since 2003 and Motorola are still bringing us updated revisions of the phone today. The MotoRazr V3xx is the latest edition of the phone but specification wise, cannot be considered a competitor of the Apple iPhone. Lacking connectivity such as Wi-Fi it is immediately visible that the iPhone is in a different league to the MotoRazr V3xx. Additional to this, the built in camera is only 1.3 mega-pixels and the display is only 320*240mm. As with everything in life, you get what you pay for and for those of you out there with a budget not as large as what Apple are asking, the MotoRazr V3xx will be a great option as it is widely available to buy at prices as low as $100.

If you are a Motorola fan, then have no fear as Motorola have announced another phone to be launched soon; the Motorola MotoRizr Z8. Although the specifications and launch date are not yet available it is apparent from the details currently accessible that Motorola are looking to release a Multimedia focused cell phone with a "better than standard TV viewing experience". This is a product we will need to keep a close eye on, and if you are interested you can sign up for e-mail updates on the MotoRizr Z8 here:

http://europe.motorola.com/uk/motorizrz8/

Next we have Nokia who are arguably the most innovative company in the cell phone market. Nokia have what I feel will be the closest contender to the iPhone with their latest product the N95. The Nokia N95 boasts quite an almighty specification with Wi-Fi capabilities, a 5 mega-pixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens (which should be noted is the first and only cell phone offering a camera with this high a quality of lens), built in GPS and great multimedia functions including a set of buttons dedicated to music and video playback. The Nokia N95 is not going to be a cheap option with an expected price of $650 — $750 (USD), a significant amount more than the iPhone. If you are interested in the Nokia N95 you can view more about it here:

http://nseries.com/nseries/index.html?l=products,n 95#l=shop

Next up is Samsung, the company who are dedicated to releasing aesthetically pleasing cell phones. The latest E Series phone from Samsung the E900 is what can most likely be considered the nearest competitor to the iPhone that Samsung are offering. The E900 offers a 2.0 mega-pixel camera (the same as the iPhone) as well as a large range of multimedia file format support such as MP3. The E900 can only be considered an outside contender as it lacks features such as Wi-Fi, the screen size is not even comparable to that of the iPhone and the built in memory (much like the BlackBerry Pearl) of just 80MB is of no use to anyone with multimedia requirements. More information about the Samsung E900 can be found here:

http://uk.samsungmobile.com/wcms/products/phones/p honedata/specification/UK-SGH-E900.jsp

Finally we have Sony Ericsson who have been somewhat dominating the market with their latest Cybershot(TM) and Walkman(TM) phones. Sony Ericsson are currently offering two cell phones that you may want to consider over the iPhone; one phone from each of their leading categories. Firstly we have the Sony Ericsson Cybershot(TM) K810i (not available in the US) the latest edition of the highly successful K800 (K790a for US readers). The Sony Ericsson Cybershot(TM) K810i offers a great built in 3.2 mega-pixel camera using Sony's own Cybershot technology and is one of the few camera phones that is comparable to the quality found in a standard digital camera. It also offers a good web browsing solution; with the ability to view web pages in a full screen mode (landscape or portrait) it makes browsing on a screen of this size possible. You can also update your entire library of RSS feeds with the Sony Ericsson Cybershot(TM) K810i. Like many of the other phones looked at today; when compared to the iPhone the Sony Ericsson Cybershot(TM) K810i lacks Wi-Fi capabilities as well as a screen size comparable to that of the iPhone. It is also apparent that built in memory is lacking; so if you want to take advantage of the K810i's multimedia capabilities and take a fair amount of photos, you will need to invest in a Memory Stick Micro M2. More information on the Sony Ericsson Cybershot(TM) K810i can be found here:

http://www.sonyericsson.com/spg.jsp?cc=gb&lc=en&ve r=4000&template=pip3&zone=pp&pid=10804

Sony Ericsson's alternative to the K810i is the Sony Ericsson Walkman(TM) W850i. If you are looking for a phone that offers great multimedia options, this is the only phone in real competition with the iPhone if you are looking to combine an MP3 player and cell phone into one package. With bespoke MP3 software and buttons dedicated to audio and video playback the W850i is no half effort attempt at being a multimedia device, it's a fully fledged one. The built in camera is also of the same quality as the iPhone at 2.0 mega-pixels; but with other phones such as the K810i, Sony Ericsson has proved themselves when it comes to producing high quality camera phones. The Sony Ericsson Walkman(TM) W850i also offers the same web browsing solution as the K810i but again much like the K810i, the Sony Ericsson Walkman(TM) W850i lacks a large display and built in storage space (just 16mb this time!). To make use of the multimedia functions of the Sony Ericsson Walkman(TM) W850i you will need to purchase a Memory Stick Micro M2 in addition to the phone, but a worthy investment if you are to make full use of the W850i. You can find out even more information about the Sony Ericsson Walkman(TM) W850i from the official web page here:

http://www.sonyericsson.com/spg.jsp?cc=gb&lc=en&ve r=4000&template=pip3&zone=pp&pid=10447

In conclusion we can see that the iPhone is only going to have one competitor to seriously threaten it as being the best phone on the market, the Nokia N95. Although the Nokia N95 is looking like a serious contender you cannot forget that huge price tag that comes with it, so the decision is going to be based on your bank statement more than anything else. To round it up, two features of the iPhone that can't be found anywhere else on the market are the storage space and the screen size of the iPhone. Offering both a 4GB and 8GB version no other cell phone on the market is currently offering anywhere near that amount of space, even with expandable memory slots. The question that you have got to answer for yourself is this. Am I looking for a phone that offers me enough space to seriously consider ditching my MP3 player all together? If yes then I feel that the iPhone will be the only option for your upgrade this summer.

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To view the article with pictures go here: http://www.iphoneforums.org/iphone-comparisons/the -iphone-competitors.html"

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