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Comment SMS (Score 1) 45

How about releasing the SMS sending feature onto their android version as well.

I mean I can use it from the Skype PC application, why isn't it on the mobile as well?
Or is this because phone companies don't want Skype to touch their SMS profits?


New Fish Species Discovered 4.5 Miles Under the Ocean 96

eldavojohn writes "The University of Aberdeen's Oceanlab (a partner in the recent census of marine life) has discovered a new snailfish. That might not sound very exciting, unless you consider that its habitat is an impressive four and a half miles below the ocean's surface (video). If my calculations are correct, that's over ten and a half thousand PSI, or about seventy-three million Pascals. The videos and pictures are a couple years old, as the team has traveled around Japan, South America and New Zealand to ascertain the biodiversity of these depths. The group hopes to eventually bring specimens to the surface. It seems the deepest parts of the ocean, once thought to be devoid of life, are actually home to some organisms. As researchers build better technology for underwater exploration, tales of yore containing unimaginable monsters seem a little more realistic than before."

How MySpace Generates Enough Load To Test Itself 65

An anonymous reader points out this article about "...how a big site like MySpace uses thousands of cloud computing cores to do performance testing on its live site. There are some really great numbers in there from the performance tests, like generating 16GB/second of bandwidth and 77,000 hits/second during testing (not including the live traffic on the site at the time)."

Futuristic Sex Robots Now Just "Sex Robots" 602

High-C writes "With apologies to Futuristic Sex Robotz, the future is here, and her name is Roxxxy. Truecompanion.com has revealed their answer to the Real Doll, and it looks nice. The site is short on details, pictures, pricing info, but wow." NOTE: some of the above links are not work-safe, for many values of work. I stopped by this exhibit today at the AVN Expo (not officially a part of CES, but by curious coincidence scheduled to coincide; the old saw that porn drives tech isn't without merit). Roxxxy, though, was rather unsexily posed on a couch, not moving a bit — downright creepy, in fact.

Comment Requiem for UMA (Score 4, Interesting) 243

You know, T-Mobile, a few years back, introduced UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) with some of their phones (which T-Mo has subsequently marketted under 3 different names, you know, to confuse their customers, I guess), but none of the other carriers picked up on it, and T-Mo pretty quickly abandoned it - I believe their network still supports it, and some/all of their Blackberries support it, but they pretty quickly stopped advertising it, none of the Android phones support it, and T-Mo has quietly gotten rid of every non-Blackberry phone that used to have the UMA feature.

It's really kind of a shame - UMA is a great idea: basically, any WiFi hotspot that you can connect to become a "cell tower" (well, it routes cell phone traffic over a tunnel on the Internet, to T-Mo's network, so it basically becomes VoIP). This Femtocell idea is something that some of the other carriers are sort of testing (I have some relatives on Sprint who got one because there is very poor reception at their house). But, I think UMA is a superior solution to these femtocells, because a) with UMA, you need a phone with UMA support, but you had to get a phone anyway, so adding UMA to phones would have been almost 'free' from the customer perspective, with the only other equipment needed being something you *probably* already have, and if you don't, you can get dirt cheap at Microcenter, Best Buy, Fry's, etc., and B) the femtocell will *only* work at your own location where you put it, whereas UMA would work with any Internet connection and most Wifi hotspots, which means that I could take advantage of it at other locations if they have WiFi (relatives or friends houses, school, work, shopping, etc) too.

Now, I think with the Android phones, you can now do some VoIP calling, but the advantage with UMA was that calls would seamlessly transfer between wifi and the cell network (if you left Wifi range, or entered Wifi range). It's really a damn shame that the cell phone industry didn't adopt UMA as a feature, because to me, it seems like a vastly superior approach than femtocells.

I suppose it's theoretically possible that UMA could rise from the ashes, but at this point, it seems kinda dead. More's the pity.

Comment Re: I don't think so (Score 1) 274

MAC spoofing is more like leaving the key underneath your doormat. The problem isn't the 99% who don't know how to do it. The problem is if you are unlucky enough to have the one-hundredth of 1% of people who are both knowledgeable and malicious, or haven't been socialized and don't understand how wrong it is like the geeky son of your neighbor.

If he can sneak onto your network, he can steal data you may be inadvertently sharing on your computers, or install viruses for fun or profit, or use it to order illegal items like satellite decoding equipment with stolen credit cards. You need to make it as hard as practical for these people to get in. The only way to do that is with WPA2 and AES (or at least the highest encryption your hardware supports). Anything else is false security.

Comment Requires PC (Score 4, Informative) 243

The current MagicJack is a device about the size of a matchbox with a USB connection and a phone jack. The USB connector plugs into the user's computer, loads software onto it, and uses the computer's power, processor and broadband connection. The femtocell will also use the PC, but it will let users make calls with their cell phones instead of wired phones.

Why can't they make a standalone device!?

Comment Re:Mathematicians and Engineers, for starters. (Score 1) 596

Technical notation tends to be quite dense -- subscripts, superscripts, integral and summation symbols, etc. Writing legibly pretty much requires the kind of feedback provided by a pencil and paper -- the drawing instrument and the results are there together, not separated as in the case of a screen and separate graphics tablet (or even worse, a mouse). When my daughter was in college, I was occasionally called upon to provide some calculus tutoring. A simple shared whiteboard application let us both look at the same "piece of paper" while we talked. But writing out even simple expressions involving derivatives and integrals was very difficult and slow without a touchscreen.

My own opinion on the technology requirements are (1) better than 100 pixels/inch display and (2) half-pixel resolution and pressure sensitivity for stylus position. Plus durable and cheap, of course.

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