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Hardware

Submission + - World's first programmable quantum photonic chip (extremetech.com) 1

MrSeb writes: "A team of engineering geniuses from the University of Bristol, England has developed the world's first re-programmable, multi-purpose quantum photonic computer chip that relies on quantum entanglement to perform calculations. With multiple waveguide channels (made from standard silicon dioxide), and eight electrodes (see image above), the silicon chip is capable of repeatedly entangling photons. Depending on how the electrodes are programmed, different quantum states can be produced. The end result is two qubits that can be used to perform quantum computing. Most importantly, though, unlike existing quantum photonic setups which require apparatus the size of a "large dining table," this new chip is tiny: just 70mm (2.7 inches) by 3mm. Quantum chips are here, folks!"

Submission + - Royalty-Free MPEG Video Proposals Announced (robglidden.com)

theweatherelectric writes: Rob Glidden notes on his blog that MPEG has recently 'announced it has received proposals for a royalty-free MPEG standard and has settled on a deliberation process to consider them.' There two tracks towards royalty-free video currently under consideration by MPEG. The first track is IVC, a new 'standard based on MPEG-1 technology which is believed a safe royalty-free baseline that can be enhanced by additional unencumbered technology described in MPEG-2, JPEG, research publications and innovative technologies which are promised to be subject to royalty-free licenses.' The second proposed track is WebVC, an attempt to get the constrained baseline profile of H.264 licensed under royalty-free terms. Rob Glidden offers an analysis of both proposals. Also of interest is Rob's short history of why royalty-free H.264 failed last time.
Medicine

Submission + - Super-Villians Lair (macleans.ca)

An anonymous reader writes: The lab at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute is now officially open and Macleans Magazine has an article about it. From the article

"Visitors to the basement of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute’s new 13-floor building on “Hospital Row” could be forgiven for thinking they had unwittingly stumbled upon a super-villain’s subterranean lair. Several floors below the ground, technicians monitor computer consoles perched above a deep chamber that houses three giant fibreglass pods—each with an interior about the size of a spare bedroom. A claw-like system dangles from the ceiling, waiting to hoist one of the pods off the ground and carry it along a track into a neighbouring chamber, where it is placed atop a set of giant hydraulic legs bolted to the cement floor."

Privacy

Submission + - Walmart Labs Tries New Tech (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "Walmart's Labs division is setting up a 'big and fast data group' to explore ways to take advantage of the huge amounts of information it has about shopping behavior and combine it with social-networking data, said Venky Harinarayan, Walmart's senior vice president of global e-commerce and head of Walmart Labs. For example, finding out when people in Wisconsin start mentioning college football in status updates could help the company decide when to start putting team merchandise on shelves in that state, he said. 'This actually has been playing really, really well over the last few weeks as we've started engaging some of this,' he said. Mining social-networking data 'can impact billions of dollars of merchandise if we get it right,' he added."
Android

Submission + - Ice Cream Sandwich recognizes pictures for face un (examiner.com)

An anonymous reader writes: From the article:
"One of the common questions about Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich was a question related to the face unlock feature of it. The issue is whether or not the face unlock will work with just simply a picture of you. We recieved an answer today; It does unlock to pictures of the person. While this makes the face unlock very insecure, a Google represenative told Cnet that the feature was ment to be a low security and experimental feature.
"

Submission + - U.S. Supreme Court Votes Can Be Predicted: Study (ibtimes.com)

Pierre Bezukhov writes: Researchers Roger Guimera and Marta Sales-Pardo of Spain, set out to ask whether one of the nine Supreme Court justices could be plucked from the bench and replaced with an algorithm that does not take into account the law or the case at issue, but does take into account the other justices' votes and the court's record.

These researchers say their computational models, using methods developed to analyze complex social networks, are just as accurate in predicting a justice's decision as forecasts from legal experts.

"We find that Supreme Court justices are significantly more predictable than one would expect from 'ideally independent' justices in 'ideal courts,'" that is, free agents independently evaluating cases on their merits, free of ideology, the study said.

Android

Submission + - Rebirth of an icon: Motorola reinvents the RAZR (bgr.com)

zacharye writes: Among companies that have played truly significant roles in building and shaping the wireless industry as we know it today, few if any can stand shoulder to shoulder with Motorola. It has been more than 38 years since Dr. Martin Cooper, a Motorola executive, made the first analog cell phone call from a prototype handset, and Motorola has continued to innovate ever since. The company’s rich history of innovation has yielded an extensive IP portfolio — a big part of the draw for Google, which is currently trying to spend $12.5 billion to acquire Motorola Mobility — and it has built a number of iconic devices. None, however, are quite as recognizable as the Motorola RAZR...
Businesses

Submission + - Universal Buys EMI's Recorded Music Unit For $1.9 (latimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The 'Big Four' music labels are about to become the 'Big Three.' Universal Music Group is buying the recorded music unit of EMI for $1.9 billion. It's expected that a consortium led by Sony will soon purchase EMI's publishing unit for upwards of $2 billion. 'Although the enlarged Universal will now account a third of all music sales worldwide, company executives believe they can persuade regulators to allow it to swallow the business whole because the music industry is in such decline. Nevertheless, Universal will respond by selling record labels or catalogues if the European Commission were to demand disposals.'
GUI

Submission + - How Steve Jobs acquired the mouse and GUI (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "If you're an inveterate geek, you almost certainly know the provenance of the window-based, graphical user interface: PARC labs, the research wing of Xerox, a company that tried dearly to break out of its photocopying and printing roots, but never quite succeeded. Xerox lacked the gumption to do anything with the GUI, and in the late '70s, sitting on an ever-growing treasure trove of new tech (Ethernet, bitmap graphics, GUI, WYSIWYG), it finally caved and decided to link up with Apple, a young up-start that was enjoying huge success with the Apple II. The hope was that Apple would be able to succeed with PARC's inventions where Xerox had not. Cue Steve Jobs taking a tour around PARC, who at the time was designing the Apple Lisa. He saw PARC's GUI and mouse, and the rest is history (though the Lisa nor the Macintosh were never a huge success). ExtremeTech has dug out a video of Larry Tesler, then a PARC scientist, talking about Jobs' fateful visit to Xerox's R&D wing."
Network

Submission + - A Network Appliance Built for the Battlefield (securityweek.com)

Submission + - RepRap Linkup (indiegogo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: RepRap inventor Adrian Bowyer has joined forces with eMaker — distributor of hundreds of RepRap Huxleys — in order to distribute hundreds more.
Linux

Submission + - Linux Kernel Power Bug Is Fixed (phoronix.com) 3

An anonymous reader writes: The Linux kernel power bug that caused high power usage for many Intel Linux systems has finally been addressed. Matthew Garrett of Red Hat has devised a solution for the ASPM Linux power problem by mimicking Microsoft Window's power behaviour in the Linux kernel. A patch is on LKML for this solution to finally restore the battery life under Linux.
Businesses

Submission + - 60 Years of Business Computering Starts With Tea

theshowmecanuck writes: The Telegraph has an article talking about the 60th aniversary of The Lyons Electronic Office I (LEO I), complete with an old video from the mid 50s about LEO II. The LEO I was the first major computer business system and was installed at a large catering company in the U.K. named J. Lyons and Co. that operated a chain of tea shops among other business interests. So blame them or praise them, November 17, 2011 will mark 60 years since the day in 1951 that the Brits started the age of business computing. All hail our tea and biscuit powered computer overlords.

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