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Microsoft

Microsoft's Office Web Will Do iPhone, Linux, Mac 202

CWmike writes "Gregg Keizer reports Microsoft has clarified that its upcoming Office Web service will be available to users running Mac OS X and Linux, as well as from Apple's iPhone. The key to this cross platform-friendliness: Office Web will run in Firefox and Safari browsers, in addition to IE. Introduced last month, Office Web is a lightweight version of its Office suite that runs as an online service. I think it's time for Google to embrace OpenOffice.org to take on Microsoft head-on, as CW blogger Preston Gralla has argued for and described how to go about it."

World's First "Unclonable" RFID Chip 320

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that a new RFID chip from Verayo claims to be unclonable through the use of the new Physical Unclonable Functions (PUF), sort of an electronic DNA for silicon chips. "Basic passive RFID chips can be easily cloned by copying the data residing on one chip to another. Verayo's PUF-based RFID chips cannot be cloned, and provide a very strong and robust authentication mechanism. No other chip or device can be disguised as the original chip, even if the data is copied from one Verayo RFID chip to another."
Programming

Why COBOL Could Come Back 405

snydeq writes "Sure 'legacy systems archaeologist' ranks as one of the 7 dirtiest jobs in IT, but COBOL skills might see a scant revival in the wake of California's high-profile pay-cut debacle. After all, as Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister points out, new code may in fact be more expensive than old code. According to an IDC survey, code complexity is on the rise. And it's not the applications that are growing more complex, but the technologies themselves. 'Multicore processing, SOA, and Web 2.0 all contribute to rising software development costs,' which include $5 million to $22 million spent on fixing defects per company per year. Do the math, and California's proposed $177 million nine-year modernization project cost will double, McAllister writes. Perhaps numbers like those won't deter modernization efforts, but the estimated 90,000 coders still versed in COBOL may find themselves in high demand teaching new dogs old tricks."
Robotics

Artificial Intelligence at Human Level by 2029? 678

Gerard Boyers writes "Some members of the US National Academy of Engineering have predicted that Artificial Intelligence will reach the level of humans in around 20 years. Ray Kurzweil leads the charge: 'We will have both the hardware and the software to achieve human level artificial intelligence with the broad suppleness of human intelligence including our emotional intelligence by 2029. We're already a human machine civilization, we use our technology to expand our physical and mental horizons and this will be a further extension of that. We'll have intelligent nanobots go into our brains through the capillaries and interact directly with our biological neurons.' Mr Kurzweil is one of 18 influential thinkers, and a gentleman we've discussed previously. He was chosen to identify the great technological challenges facing humanity in the 21st century by the US National Academy of Engineering. The experts include Google founder Larry Page and genome pioneer Dr Craig Venter."

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