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Comment Re:This seems likely to go badly, or at least unwe (Score 1) 217

You're making a pretty big mistake by looking at this as an iPad competitor. I've seen the device here at Cisco Live, and it's pretty slick. The device docks into a desk phone-type system, so it basically serves as a desktop teleconferencing unit that can be decoupled from the base station and taken with you.

This device is only going to appeal to those organizations that already have an existing Cisco Unified Communications system in-place and already make heavy use of video communications, and want to be able to bring mobile individuals into Telepresense sessions and provide a cleaner solution for those who need to do desktop video teleconferencing. You can bet that Cisco will eventually release iPhone and iPad (once the iPad gets cameras or a camera addon) apps, along with apps for other cell phone OSes, that will provide tie-ins to the Telepresense systems (just like they already have apps for tie-ins to their VoIP products), but this solution fits a very particular niche in the voice and video ecosystem that no existing product on the market quite fills: a tightly integrated, function-specific mobile video telecommunications device designed from the ground up to work with Cisco's product line.


Submission + - Military nanotechnology - how worried should we be

Michael Berger writes: "All major powers are making efforts to research and develop nanotechnology- based materials and systems for military use. Asian and European countries, with the exception of Sweden (Swedish Defence Nanotechnology Programme), do not run dedicated programs for defense nanotechnology research. Rather, they integrate several nanotechnology-related projects within their traditional defense-research structures, e.g., as materials research, electronic devices research, or bio-chemical protection research. Not so the U.S. military. Stressing continued technological superiority as its main strategic advantage, it is determined to exploit nanotechnology for future military use and it certainly wants to be No. 1 in this area. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is a major investor, spending well over 30% of all federal investment dollars in nanotechnology. Of the $352m spent on nanotech by the DoD in 2005, $1m, or roughly 0.25%, went into research dealing with potential health and environmental risks. In 2006, estimated DoD nanotechnology expenditures will be $436m — but the risk-related research stays at $1m. (full story at http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=1015.php)"
The Internet

Survey Indicates ID Theft May Be Diminishing 61

netbuzz passed us a link discussing a survey conducted by major credit firms. Keeping in mind the source (CheckFree, Visa, and WellsFargo), the results indicate identity theft may be on the downswing as consumers wise up to scammers. The number of respondents that reported a fraudulent account created with a stolen identity dropped by a full half percentage point between 2005 and 2006. Overall fraud apparently dropped by some 12% over last year, representing $6.4 billion in fraud reduction. Again, consider the source: identity fraud is still apparently costing some $49.3 billion annually.

Submission + - Global Warming is 'very likely' man-made

An anonymous reader writes: According to Houston Chronicle: "A long-awaited report says global warming is "very likely" man-made, the most powerful language ever used on the issue by the world's leading climate scientists, delegates who have seen the report said Thursday.". On a Reuters article on the same report: "The data now available raise concerns that the climate system, in particular sea level, may be responding more quickly than climate models indicate," Stefan Ramstorf of Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and co-authors wrote. Is it time to move to higher grounds?

Submission + - Wii is 'impulse buy', says Sony

bigdady92 writes: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid= 22506

With millions of Wii's sold, every household clammering to have one, sales are still going steady on ebay while PS3's have dropped and are sitting on the floor of retail merchant stores, Sony claims:

"Karraker went on to compare the PS3 and the Wii, suggesting that Sony's console is much more powerful and should therefore be regarded as being in a different category. "Wii could be considered an impulse by more than anything else," he said."

A $250 impulse buy? Who's got that much floating around to do that?
The Internet

Net Neutrality and BitTorrent - No More Throttling? 243

Umaga's Purse writes "Will ISPs still be able to throttle BitTorrent traffic now that a significant proportion of it is legit? It's a tough question, especially for ISPs like AT&T (which agreed to run a neutral network in order to gain approval for its merger with BellSouth from the FCC). It's not just a problem for AT&T, though: 'ISPs that have made no such agreements may not need to worry about BitTorrent taking over their networks, but they do need to wrestle with the issue of how to handle it now that so many legal uses of the protocol are available. Do they want to irritate their BitTorrent-using contingent, or let BitTorrent flow unhindered at the risk degrading the experience of those who don't download torrents?'"
User Journal

Journal Journal: Construction? 5

Anyone know what effect local (very, very local) construction is likely to have on hardware? It feels like the thrumming of a ferry crossing in my office all the time.

Specifically, is there any reason at all to think turning the hardware off will help? I usually leave my PC on so I can work on it from home.


Human Sense of Smell Underestimated 278

Benjamin Long writes to note a study, by a team of neuroscientists and engineers, that demonstrated that humans can follow a scent trail — an ability that most had assumed only animals possessed. Furthermore, the study demonstrated for the first time that humans make use of differential information from the two nostrils. The researchers blindfolded college students who crawled through grass to sniff out a chocolate-scented trail. Here is the abstract of the paper in Nature Neuroscience. From the article: "The humans, however, still sniffed much more slowly than dogs, which may partially account for canines' greater efficiency at scent tracking. [A commentator] says that despite their relatively sluggish speed, the fact that subjects improved with training is noteworthy. 'I think that shows the effect of our distinctively different behavior in actually using this sense,' he says. 'The dog [has] been doing this its whole life, and humans [were] just asked to plunge in the first time they've ever done it.'"

Sony's Phil Harrison Talks Emotion in Games 64

The increasingly enjoyable games coverage continues on the MTV site, despite the horrible flash interface. Stephen Totitilo sat down for a chat with Sony's Phil Harrison, and comes away with some interesting perspectives on the year. Mr. Harrison discusses Sony's outlook on their launch, the overall role of games in world culture, and the topic of game content as it relates to 'appropriateness'. Specifically, he dealt with the 'controversy' over Rockstar's well-received title Bully. From the article: "Harrison called it a 'storm in a teacup' stirred by politicians and media, embarking on a familiar argument that games aren't really just for kids. In this case, movies and books had delved into similar subject matter and seldom faced such protest. Did that give Harrison, someone with nearly unparalleled power to greenlight video games, any pause about the material he thinks he can offer gamers? 'It has absolutely not changed my approach,' he said. 'I fervently believe that the biggest challenge we face is that our industry is referred to as video games, and games are supposed to be fun,' he said, adding that games shouldn't have to only focus on light topics. 'Games should deal with fear, should deal with comedy and with death. They should deal with peril, with drug offenses.'"

Submission + - Face search engine raises privacy concerns

holy_calamity writes: Startup Polar Rose is in the news today after announcing it will soon launch a service that uses facial recognition software to identify and find people in photos online. But such technology has serious implications for privacy, according to two UK civil liberties groups. Will people be so keen to put their lives on flickr once anyone from ID theives to governments can find out their name, and who they associate with?

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