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Submission + - Microsoft tests HALF-INCH second screen to spur workplace play (

Hal_Porter writes:

Microsoft tested Picco in two group of interns and a family. All groups found the device amusing, but also reported that Picco and Picclets were useless for any functional or meaningful communication. Subjects, did, however, feel that the appearance of Picclets made the workplace feel a little more intimate.

“Two studies of the device at work demonstrated how crafting was an expression of intimacy when the device was used to connect the workplace to the home, and a way of demonstrating skill and humor to a broad audience when messages were sent amongst co-workers,” the paper reports. It also says Picco helped to personalise workspaces, but some testers felt left out because they were either lousy artists or couldn't make clever messages. As the paper puts it, “the level of skill needed to produce these messages became a barrier to entry for some co-workers.”

I'm making a note here — Great Success


Biological Computer Created at Stanford 89

sciencehabit writes "For the first time, synthetic biologists have created a genetic device that mimics one of the widgets on which all of modern electronics is based, the three-terminal transistor. Like standard electronic transistors, the new biological transistor is expected to work in many different biological circuit designs. This should make it easier for scientists to program cells to do everything from monitor pollutants and the progression of disease to turning on the output of medicines and biofuels."

Submission + - Why is Postini's System 7 Down?

Danzigism writes: By any chance do you use Postini SPAM filtering services? If so you may be noticing some outrageous delays in email deliveries today. System 7 to be exact has experienced a "Software Problem" according to a post from a list of confused Postini customers. As you might be aware, Postini is a SPAM filtering solution created by Google in which filters through your mail by changing your domain's MX records. Once the mail is scanned, it is then delivered to your actual mail server by specifying an IP address in your Postini Organization's configuration. Although we have no real answers as to why this has happened, it does make you think back at the Google Apps DDoS attacks of the past. I personally have over 300 clients that I resell Postini services to. Unfortunately I'm still answering phone calls from angry customers who receive emails 4 hours after they've been sent.

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The trouble with computers is that they do what you tell them, not what you want. -- D. Cohen