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Intel

Submission + - Intel and Micron Unveil 128Gb 20nm NAND Flash (arstechnica.com)

ScuttleMonkey writes: "A joint venture between Intel and Micron has given rise to a new 128Gb die. While production wont start until next year and distribution mostly likely not until 2013, this little beauty sets new bars for capacity, speed, and endurance. "Die shrinks also tend to reduce endurance, with old 65 m MLC flash being rated at 5,000-10,000 erase cycles, but that number dropping to 3,000-5,000 for 25nm MLC flash. However, IMFT is claiming that the shrink to 20nm has not caused any corresponding reduction in endurance. Its 20nm flash uses a Hi-K/metal gate design which allows it to make transistors that are smaller but no less robust. IMFT is claiming that this use of Hi-K/metal gate is a first for NAND flash production.""
Technology

Submission + - Stack Exchange Website Profiler Now Open Source (samsaffron.com)

ScuttleMonkey writes: "Joel Spolsky sent out smoke signals this morning about the recent release of the Stack Exchange Website Profiler as open source. Sam Saffron expounds on why this profiler is perhaps "best and most comprehensive production web page profiler out there for any web platform." The project is available via Google Code or NuGet."

Submission + - Mainstream Media Looks at Anonymous (guardian.co.uk)

ScuttleMonkey writes: "In an uncharacteristically accurate writeup of Anonymous, the Guardian has published a look at the assembled mob behind the mask. A great place to send those unfamiliar with who or what Anonymous really is. 'This collective identity belongs to no one in particular, but is at the disposal of anyone who knows its rules and knows how to apply them. Anonymous, the collective identity, is older than Anonymous, the hacktvist group – more to the point, I propose that the hacktivist group can be understood as an application of Anonymous, the collective identity.'"
Businesses

Submission + - Startups a Safer Bet Than Behemoths (techcrunch.com)

ScuttleMonkey writes: "TechCrunch's Vivek Wadhwa has a great article that takes a look at difference between startups and "established" tech companies and what they each mean to the economy and innovation in general. Wadhwa examines statistics surrounding job creation and innovation and while big companies may acquire startups and prove out the business model, the risk and true innovations seems to be living at the startup level almost exclusively. 'Now let’s talk about innovation. Apple is the poster child for tech innovation; it releases one groundbreaking product after another. But let’s get beyond Apple. I challenge you to name another tech company that innovates like Apple—with game-changing technologies like the iPod, iTunes, iPhone, and iPad. Google certainly doesn’t fit the bill—after its original search engine and ad platform, it hasn’t invented anything earth shattering. Yes, Google did develop a nice email system and some mapping software, but these were incremental innovations. For that matter, what earth-shattering products have IBM, HP, Microsoft, Oracle, or Cisco produced in recent times? These companies constantly acquire startups and take advantage of their own size and distribution channels to scale up the innovations they have purchased.'"
Communications

Bluetooth 4.0 Devices To Make the Scene Later This Year 48

Engadget is reporting that new Bluetooth 4.0 devices could be hitting the scene later this year, and it looks like Bluetooth low energy has been added to the spec. "But don't expect any dramatic changes in battery life for most of your gadgets: while the low energy spec introduces connectivity to a host of lower-power devices that have in the past relied on proprietary technology (such as watches, pedometers, and cats), your traditional Bluetooth devices, such as phones and laptops, will consume roughly the same amount of power. Indeed, the low energy spec is merely throwing smaller devices (with smaller amounts of data to transfer) in to the mix: if you want Trans-Siberian Orchestra to sound as glorious as ever on your wireless headphones, you'll need to push as much data (and hence draw as much power) with version 4 as you would with version 3."
Microsoft

Microsoft "Courier" Pictures 230

tekgoblin writes to let us know that Gizmodo has some early shots of the new prototype "Courier" booklet (foldable tablet) on the way from Microsoft. "Courier is a real device, and we've heard that it's in the 'late prototype' stage of development. It's not a tablet, it's a booklet. The dual 7-inch (or so) screens are multitouch, and designed for writing, flicking and drawing with a stylus, in addition to fingers. They're connected by a hinge that holds a single iPhone-esque home button. Statuses, like wireless signal and battery life, are displayed along the rim of one of the screens. On the back cover is a camera, and it might charge through an inductive pad, like the Palm Touchstone charging dock for Pre."
Patents

Dr. NakaMats Is the World's Most Prolific Inventor 194

MMBK writes to share an interesting look at Dr. "NakaMats" Nakamatsu, mastermind behind a world-record 3,000 patents. The 81-year-old scientist has inventions like the "PyonPyon" spring shoes, the karaoke machine, and others. He's also at least partly to blame for things like the digital watch, the floppy disk, and CDs. "Dr. Nakamatsu harbors other ambitions too: in 2007, he took his penchant for political campaigning to a new level, becoming a candidate in the gubernatorial election in Tokyo, and the election for the Upper House. Although he failed to get a seat, Dr. NakaMats has other tricks up his sleeve. In 2005 he was awarded the Ig Nobel prize for Nutrition, for photographing and retrospectively analyzing every meal he has consumed during a period of 34 years (and counting). By the time he dies at the age of 144 (a goal he maintains with an elaborate daily ritual that rejuvenates his body and triggers his creative process), he intends to patent 6,000 inventions."
Hardware

New Heat-Reduced Magnetic Solder Could Revolutionize Chip Design 103

A new heat-reduced soldering technique using magnets may lead to some revolutionary changes in the way chips are manufactured. Details are scant since the inventor seems to be playing it close to the vest for now in hopes of attracting chipmaker interest. "The result is a tin-silver alloy that contains a dispersion of iron particles tens of micrometers in diameter. When a magnetic field is applied to the solders, two things happen. First, the iron particles heat up, locally melting the solder. This localized heating, which works on the same principle as inductive stoves, remains completely contained, keeping the surrounding area cool. And second, the iron particles line up with the direction of the magnetic field, squeezing and pushing the liquid in that direction. This alignment is retained when the solder solidifies, and the well-ordered particles provide mechanical reinforcement that's greater than that afforded by a regular dispersion of particles."
Portables

Asus Takes Another Stab at Revolutionizing Netbook Market 162

Perhaps most well known for their netbook innovations with the Eee PC, Asus is at it again with their latest rollout at CeBIT Germany. The "Waveface Light," a new concept laptop, can be used as a conventional laptop or converted to a tablet by removing the keyboard and opening it to a completely flat position. Sounds like either a stroke of genius or a "small widget broke and now it's worthless" design issue.
Microsoft

Microsoft Spends $9 Billion On Research, Focuses On Cloud 133

superapecommando writes to share that Microsoft appears to be going all-out on research in the coming year, with a great focus on the cloud. They're supposedly planning to spend $9.5 billion in R&D; that's $3 billion more than the next-closest tech company. "'Especially in light of the tough difficult macroeconomic times that we're coming out of, we chose to really lean in and double down on our innovation,' [Microsoft COO Kevin] Turner said. Turner contended that Microsoft has more cloud services than any other company, ranging from its consumer email service to hosted enterprise products such as its Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management) system to its Azure cloud operating system. 'We're going to change and reinvent our company around leading in the cloud.'"
Firefox

Web Browser Grand Prix 273

An anonymous reader writes "After seeing Opera's claim to 'Fastest Browser on Earth' after their most recent release, Tom's Hardware put Apple Safari 4.04, Google Chrome 4.0, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, Mozilla Firefox 3.6, and Opera 10.50 through a gauntlet of speed tests and time trials to find out which Web browser is truly the fastest. How does your favorite land in the rankings?"
Patents

"Patent Markings" Lawsuits Could Run Into the Trillions 193

bizwriter writes "The latest legal bugaboo facing manufacturers is the false patent marking suit. Using what has been until recently an obscure type of legal action, individuals and enterprising law firms have targeted large manufacturers with lawsuits that can easily run million of dollars — in a case involving a drink cup manufacturer, over $10 trillion — for incorrectly including patent numbers on products. Some companies named in such suits are 3M, Cisco, Pfizer, Monster Cable, and Merck. Even expired patent numbers can be actionable." Sounds like a perfect opportunity for some enlightened appeals court to inject some sense into the debate. What do you think the chances are? Note: if ever there were a page that cries out for the Readability bookmarklet, this is it.
Cloud

Google Acquires Online Image Editing Tool Picnik 84

Many different sources are writing to tell us about Google's acquisition of online image editing tool Picnik. "And all this leads us to today’s exciting news: we’ve just been acquired by Google! What does this mean for Picnik? It means we can think BIG. Google processes petabytes of data every day, and with their worldwide infrastructure and world-class team, it is truly the best home we could have found. Under the Google roof we’ll reach more people than ever before, impacting more lives and making more photos more awesome. What does this mean for you Picnikers? Nothing is changing right away, but Picnik now has more potential than ever before. The team that built Picnik from the grass up will continue making advanced and powerful photo-editing easier, more intuitive and more fun, so stay tuned to hear about all the cool new stuff we’re working on."
Social Networks

US Military Surrenders To Social Media, Changes Access Restrictions 96

Thanks to a new policy by the Department of Defense, members of the US Military will now have limited access to social media sites. "According to the memorandum, members of military departments and all authorized users of the Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNET) can now use the publicly accessible capabilities of various social networking and user-generated content sites, instant messaging, forums, and e-mail. This includes YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and others. Access to porn, gambling, or hate crime sites will remain restricted, however, and commanders can cut down on social media use if they feel the need to 'preserve operations security.'"

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