from the what-are-you-doing-dave dept.
Steve Tarzia writes "A research group at Northwestern University and University of Michigan has released open-source display power-management software that uses a new user presence detection technique. The goal is to shut off the display immediately when the user leaves the computer rather than using slow and error-prone mouse/keyboard activity timeouts. Surprisingly, the mic and speakers of many laptop computers are sensitive to ultrasonic frequencies. Those frequencies can be used to silently probe the laptop's physical environment. This software is based on research published at the UbiComp2009 conference. A Windows binary and source code for Windows and Linux are available for download."
babboo65 writes "Dungeons and Dragons Online is enjoying a second life in terms of player count and buzz, all thanks to its new business strategy: giving the game away. Turbine is making their MMO as accessible as possible, and that includes making players who don't pay anything as happy as possible. Subscriptions are up 40 percent. Ars explores how free can be very profitable."
from the give-me-broadband-or-give-me-death dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Starting next July, every person in Finland will have the right to a one-megabit broadband connection, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Finland is the world's first country to create laws guaranteeing broadband access. The Finnish people are also legally guaranteed a 100Mb broadband connection by the end of 2015."
crazipper writes: Back when Intel launched its Core i5/i7 'Lynnfield' CPUs, Tom's Hardware ran some tests in Windows 7 versus Vista to gauge the benefits of the core parking and ideal core optimizations, said to cut power consumption in the new OS. It turned out that Win7 shifted the Nehalem-based CPUs in and out of Turbo Boost mode faster, resulting in higher power draw under load, while idle power was a slight bit lower.
The mobile version of the architecture was claimed (at the time) to show a greater improvement in moving to Win7. Today there's a follow-up with the flagship Clarksfield processor that shows the same aggressive P-state promotion policies giving Win7 a significant performance advantage with Core i7 Mobile. However, power consumption is higher as well.
Philips Electronics, a Netherlands-based company, has come up with a device designed to protect day traders from emotionally based trading decisions. The Rationalizer measures your galvanic skin response and lets you know when you are under stress. An online trader can then take a "time-out, wind down and re-consider their actions," according to the company. This may have come too late for us, but at least future generations won't have to live through the horror of angry day trading.
from the but-what-about-time dept.
Barence writes "Acer today revealed the world’s first 3D laptop, the Acer Aspire 5738PG, which will launch alongside Windows 7 on October 22. It uses a combination of software and specially coated glass on the 15.4in screen, along with a standard set of polarised glasses. Initial impressions were a bit iffy, and whether anyone actually needs a 3D laptop is another question entirely, but we'll find out this month."
from the deviant-corporate-practices dept.
ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes "Once Sebastian Nyström laid out the logic of moving to open source, there was very little resistance within Nokia to doing so. I think that's significant; it means that, just as the GNU GPL has been tested in various courts and found valid, so has the logic behind open source — the openness that allows software to spread further, and improve quicker, for the mutual benefit of all. That idea is also increasingly accepted by hard-headed business people: it's become self-evident that it's a better way."
Why bother to find a perfect solution that will protect the masses for ever and always?
Surely if we're safe then that's good enough -- this Linux thing can just be our little secret (right guys and gals??)
from the rising-to-the-level-of-their-convenience dept.
Writing in the ribbonfarm.com blog, Venkatesh Rao uses The Office to explain and illustrate a theory of management he calls the Gervais Principle (after the TV series's creator). Taking off from Hugh MacLeod's cartoon laying out a corporate hierarchy in layers of Sociopaths, the Clueless, and Losers, Rao riffs on and updates the Peter Principle, in these terms: "Sociopaths, in their own best interests, knowingly promote over-performing losers into [clueless] middle-management, groom under-performing losers into sociopaths, and leave the average bare-minimum-effort losers to fend for themselves." Don't know about you, but this analysis suddenly makes sense of much that mystified me in my sojourn in corporate America.
theodp writes: Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. But if you let him know what you want for Xmas this year, the two of you could be slapped with a patent infringement lawsuit. After a five-year review and four rejections, the USPTO On Tuesday granted Google a patent for its Methods and Systems for Providing a Gift Registry, which the search giant notes covers 'any gift-giving occasion.' They couldn't mean toys, right? Wrong. 'For example,' explains Google, 'the gift interest data may comprise an indication that one gift the user is interested in adding to his or her gift registry comprises a Fisher Price red toy boat.' Don't say you weren't warned, Virginia. And BTW, even if Google doesn't get you, Virginia, Microsoft could. Or Amazon. Merry Xmas!