Knutsi writes: Oculus VR has just announced the second version of the virtual reality devkit that came out of their wildly popular Kickstarter campaign. "The second development kit features many of the key technical breakthroughs and core elements of the consumer Rift including a low-persistence, high-definition display and precise, low-latency positional head tracking". The kit is available for pre-order right now, and ships in July.
Knutsi writes: "With many people from the age group that seems to he hit hardest of the new swine flu being hyper-connected to hundreds of friends a relatives on social networks, it is almost unthinkable not to have a direct feed from someone affected during a major pandemic. How will a pandemic affect social networks, and could social networks potentially affect it? Could local authorities use social networks to help the sick, or prevent further spread?"
Knutsi writes: "Its struck me several times how infrequently people back up the documents, photos, music and videos they store on their computers. Could one possible solution be to simplify and make more accessible the way backups are taken, by providing a backup-tape reader and writer as standard equipment on PCs? Are there any other hardware-based method for ensuring approachable backups for home use that could be widely adopted?"
Knutsi writes: The unlucky few people at my work who have had Vista installed on their workstations at my work were surprised to find a message suddenly popping up today: your windows license will expire in 12 hours. Backup your files and then install any edition of Windows Vista (tm)". Microsoft support claims they are hearing this problem allot, and suggests uninstalling and then re-installing SP1 on every machine. Currently we have 9 hours to go, a sick IT manager and allot of people freaking out.
Knutsi writes: "With the rumors of a tighter Apple/Google collaboration coming up, it may be worth speculating as to why Apple is releasing Safari on the Windows platform. A brief look Safari's preferences dialog reveals that the GUI kit running is actually Aqua, unlike iTunes which uses the native Windows kit. Is it possible that Safari for Windows is a strategic move to extend a.Mac/Google collaboration into the Windows domain, leveraging Aqua and enabling more advanced interfaces than what has traditionally been possible in a browser? With millions of Mac-users already having the technology installed, they could reach critical mass quite fast."
Knutsi writes: "There are some services we all expect from the internet today, such as email and the world wide web. The recent explosive growth of social networking site Facebook here in Norway has made many people I know think of it to be just as basic an internet service as email. Some people do however resist it due to the many other sites offering such services, thinking that it's not really dependable since the information you enter is lost, or has to be duplicated. Given the long timeframe and workload needed for social networking, it ineviably raises the question if the sites should be replaced by a desentralized system, more akind to email."
Los Alamos National Laboratory will no longer permit historians and other researchers to have access to its archival records because Los Alamos National Security (LANS), the private contractor that now operates the Lab, says it has "no policy in place" that would allow such access.
The blog tells how a Harvard researcher failed to get access that would have been grated in the past. Follow ups, here and here."
Knutsi writes: Although I do not work with IT support, I see that the complexities of user interfaces and hardware costs companies allot of resources. Microsoft's new Office 2007 dramatically increased access to many of its features, making them more available, and it makes me wonder if it would not be good investment to have a major panel of academics, hardware makers and developers sit down and jointly design a lean new user interface based on the latest research and a new OS core based on recent standards and technologies. If a better, more user-friendly OS could be developed with wide industry support, would it not reduce support and easier development itself justify such an OS being developed?
Knutsi writes: InformationWeek is reporting that Polonium 210, the radioactive material used to poison former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko is not as hard to get hold of as some have previously stated. American family business United Nuclear is actually selling the stuff, and other equaly exotic materials, on their company website. Could come in handy for the xmas shopping season.