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Showing posts from September, 2006

Mini Linux PC breaks $100 barrier

Mini Linux PC breaks $100 barrier: "aiwanese integrator E-Way Technology Systems is shipping a tiny, 200MHz x86-compatible mini PC for $99, in single quantities. The TU-40 is passively cooled, comes with 128MB of RAM, and can run lightweight versions of Linux, such as Puppy, the company says.I/O includes:15-pin D-type female VGA connector10/100 Ethernet44-pin EIDE interface headerCompactFlash Type I/II slot1 x front and 2 x rear USB ports PS/2 keyboard and 6-pin mini-DIN mouse portAMI BIOSBattery-backed RTC (real-time clock)AC-97 V2.1 compliant CODECMIC-in & line-out phone jacks0 to 108 deg F (0 to 60 deg C) operating range

Intel Pledges 80 Core Processor in 5 Years

Intel has developed an 80 core processor with claims 'that can perform a trillion floating point operations per second.CEO Paul Otellini held up a silicon wafer with the prototype chips before several thousand attendees at the Intel Developer Forum here on Tuesday. The chips are capable of exchanging data at a terabyte a second, Otellini said during a keynote speech. The company hopes to have these chips ready for commercial production within a five-year window.

Google Calls For Power Supply Design Changes

The New York Times reports that Google is calling 'for a shift from multivoltage power supplies to a single 12-volt standard. Although voltage conversion would still take place on the PC motherboard, the simpler design of the new power supply would make it easier to achieve higher overall efficiencies ... The Google white paper argues that the opportunity for power savings is immense — by deploying the new power supplies in 100 million desktop PC's running eight hours a day, it will be possible to save 40 billion kilowatt-hours over three years, or more than $5 billion at California's energy rates.

Experts believe the future will be like Sci-Fi movies

Attack of the AmishExpressing belief that some who reject technology will perpetrate terrorist attacks against technological infrastructure, almost 60 percent of respondents agreed with the following scenario: "By 2020, the people left behind (many by their own choice) by accelerating information and communications technologies will form a new cultural group of technology refuseniks who self-segregate from "modern" society. Some will live mostly "off the grid" simply to seek peace and a cure for information overload while others will commit acts of terror or violence in protest against technology." Strung out on fantasyOver half of the poll respondents believe that immersive fantasy worlds will completely absorb users, leading to virtual reality addiction. Fifty-two experts agreed with the following scenario: "By the year 2020, virtual reality on the internet will come to allow more productivity from most people in technologically-savvy communities …

You can be addicted to internet if you have

# A need for an ever increasing amount of time on the internet to achieve satisfaction or a dissatisfaction with the continued use of the same amount of time on the internet.
# Two or more withdrawal symptoms developing within days, weeks, or up to a month after a reduction or cessation of internet use. These include distress or impairment of social, personal, or occupational functioning such that there is psychological or psychomotor agitation such as anxiety, restlessness, irritability, trembling, tremors, voluntary or involuntary typing movements of the fingers, obsessive thinking, fantasies, or dreams about the internet.
# Internet engagement to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
# Internet often accessed more often or for longer periods of time than was intended.
# A significant amount of time is spent in activities related to internet use (for example, internet surfing).
# Important social, occupational, or recreational activities eliminated or reduced due to internet use.
# Risk o…

Lawless 'Compromises'

George W. Bush's decision to move Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and thirteen other 'high value' Al Qaeda captives from secret CIA prisons to Guant�namo was treated by much of the press as an abrupt change of course. Big news! The President acknowledged CIA prisons that the public has known about for two years! Reality: The President--in the wake of the Supreme Court's Hamdan decision striking down his Administration's post-9/11 military tribunals and faced with the possibility of more lawsuits on behalf of those CIA detainees--is attempting desperate aikido, spinning his eroding legal and political position into yet another assault on the Constitution and civilized values.

Make no mistake: Despite years of rebukes from courts and Congress, Bush remains addicted to a radical vision in which the right to seize and torture abroad and the right to spy on Americans at home are inextricable. In the days surrounding this year's 9/11 anniversary, Bush pulled out all the stops …

Microsoft Planning Web-Based Business Software

In response to Google Apps for Your Domain, Microsoft is also planning to release free web-based business software. The software will be ad-supported, but a paid, ad-free version will also be available. From the article: 'Revenue from software licenses for Office and the Windows operating system accounts for a bulk of Microsoft revenues. The challenge for Microsoft will be to make sure a free or, possibly, a subscription-supported version of Works won't hurt sales of its dominant Office software, which accounted for a quarter of the company's $44 billion in sales last year.' Would you choose an ad-supported online version of Microsoft Office over other free options like OpenOffice or Google Apps for Your Domain?

Hezbollah Cracked the Code

Using technology most likely supplied by Iran, special Hezbollah teams monitored the constantly changing radio frequencies of Israeli troops on the ground. That gave guerrillas a picture of Israeli movements, casualty reports and supply routes. It also allowed Hezbollah anti-tank units to more effectively target advancing Israeli armor.

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A Chip That Can Transfer Data Using Laser Light - New York Times

Researchers plan to announce on Monday that they have created a silicon-based chip that can produce laser beams. The advance will make it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips, removing the most significant bottleneck in computer design.
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As a result, chip makers may be able to put the high-speed data communications industry on the same curve of increased processing speed and diminishing costs — the phenomenon known as Moore’s law — that has driven the computer industry for the last four decades.

The development is a result of research at Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Commercializing the new technology may not happen before the end of the decade, but the prospect of being able to place hundreds or thousands of data-carrying light beams on standard industry chips is certain to shake up both the communications and computer industries.

Hosting Services from the Googleplex

In need of some weekend speculation? Might a transferred domain be a clue to what might be coming from the Googleplex? If it is, look for some type of web hosting to possibly be coming very soon.Surprise? No, not really. Why?Details
The domain name (not live as of today).
was transferred to Google nameservers in the past couple of days. The domain itself was created in April 2006.It’s very possible that this is related to the “additional services” fee-based services mentioned in a NY Times article about the release of “Google Apps for Your Domain.”One question. Will Google also provide hosting services to the general public or would this be a business/enterprise only type of service? A new revenue stream?What’s also interesting about this domain is that it was previously registered to a person in Mountain View, California, Google’s hometown. No big deal, right?However, with a bit of digging we found several blog posts and mentions by and about this person on the…

RealNetworks, SanDisk to take on iPod - Yahoo! News

RealNetworks Inc. is teaming up with SanDisk Corp. to release a portable music player that more closely links with RealNetworks' Rhapsody online music service, in the latest attempt to take on Apple's iPod and iTunes stronghold.

Analysts see the deal, to be announced Monday, as a way for SanDisk and RealNetworks to join forces against a new common foe: Microsoft Corp., which recently announced plans to release its own Zune portable music player and service.

Redmond-based Microsoft has been providing the technology that allowed services such as Rhapsody to transfer songs to portable music players without compromising the digital rights of that content. But many say they think Microsoft's plans to release the Zune service and a player made by Toshiba Corp. could make the software giant a significant competitor.

Microsoft creates executive role for public sector

Microsoft Corp. on Monday appointed company executive Ralph Young to the newly created role of vice president of the software maker's worldwide public sector business.

Young, who has been a vice president at Microsoft's enterprise and partner group, will manage the company's efforts involving the government, education and health care industries.

The position also oversees Microsoft's public sector programs and marketing.

Challenging Microsoft on the Desktop

As Microsoft moves to offer software-as-a-service with Windows Live, online companies are moving to challenge Microsoft on the desktop. In a decision that would have been seen as foolish a few years ago, file sharing and social networking company TransMedia plans to release desktop productivity apps (in conjunction with online ones) as lightweight Microsoft Office alternatives. Google, meanwhile, through its deal with Intuit, is colonizing desktop apps as it has done with browsers and search toolbars. Microsoft used to have a home field advantage on the desktop, thanks to Windows. Lately, operating system ownership is looking a lot less valuable.

There's More Than One Gmail

Although everyone knows Google's mail service as Gmail, Google lost the right to use this name in Germany and UK last year.

Daniel Giersch has a service called G-mail and he owns the trademark in Germany. His mail system works in a very strange way: 'A sender's document is scanned into Giersch's system at its origin, transmitted electronically to a G-mail office in the destination city, printed out at the other end and hand-delivered to its recipient. Giersch also offers users a 'secure' address, which they can obtain only by verifying their identities with a passport or other official ID card,' reports CNet. Giersch plans to sue Google and defend the registrations of the trademark in Switzerland, Norway and Monaco.

In the UK, Gmail is the private mail service for the customers of the Contensis Content Management System. G-mail has also been used by a research firm Independent International Investment Research (IIIR) for its Web-based e-mail product …

Mouseless Browsing & More

Mouseless Browsing (MLB) is a Firefox-Extension which enables you - as the name implies - to browse the Internet almost without using the mouse. The basic principle is to add small boxes with unique ids behind every link and/or form element. You just have to type in the id and press enter (there is also an automatic mode available) to trigger the appropriate action i.e. following a link, pressing a button or selecting a textfield.i.e., will become (click to enlarge the pics)I found from my experience this extension works to our advantage on a desktop rather than on a notebook because on a notebook you would have to move your fingers up at the top to reach out for the number keys. I have the settings as below:If you don’t want the id numbers to show up by default, check Show ids only on demand. To toggle the effect of this extension on and off, you can use press the decimal which is the default. This default can be changed in the Keys tab. You can read more about it and install from

The Gigapxl Project captures image nearing 4 GIGAPIXELS!! Direct link :)

Weighing more than 100 pounds, the camera captures images at 4 gigapixels -- a resolution high enough to photograph four football fields and capture every single blade of grass.
a real-world 90-degree panorama would need to be searched with 12X tripod-mounted binoculars before one could hope to accumulate an equivalent amount of information.

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Samsung Develops New Memory Chip: PRAM Promised to be 30 Times Faster

Samsung on Monday unveiled a new type of memory chip that it said will allow digital devices to work faster by saving new data more quickly. The phase-change random access memory, or PRAM, chip is nonvolatile, meaning it will retain data even when an electronic device is turned off, and is about 30 times faster than conventional flash memory.

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Future Be Warned: Keep Out!

A half-mile below the surface of the New Mexico desert, the federal government is interring thousands of tons of monstrously dangerous leftovers from its nuclear weapons program --plutonium-infested clothing, tools and chemical sludge that will remain potentially lethal for thousands of years to come.

It may be safely secured now, but how to keep our descendants centuries in the future from accidentally unearthing it?

That's the question posed by the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the nation’s only underground repository for military-generated radioactive waste.

To address it, the Department of Energy convened a conclave of scientists, linguists, anthropologists and sci-fi thinkers to develop an elaborate system intended to shout 'Danger!' to any human being for the next 10,000 years -- regardless of what language they speak or technology they use.

BMW begins testing hydrogen combustion 7-Series | Leftlane News

BMW was not kidding when it said it would offer a 7-Series with a hydrogen combustion engine within two years. Back in March, an AFX News report citing BMW sources said a production version of the 745h concept was on schedule for launch in 2008. BMW first provided a timeline when it unveiled the concept in 2004, at the time saying the car was four years away from production. Now, spy photographers in Germany have captured photos of an actual road-going prototype in testing. One photo even shows a prototype with what appears to be a hydrogen cylinder in its trunk.

The German automaker's hydrogen efforts center around hydrogen combustion technology, which promises to offer motorists a driving experience very similar to that of gasoline engines, without having to compromise performance.

The BMW approach is not the same as a hydrogen fuel cell, and does not involve the use of electric motors. The first cars are expected to run on either hydrogen or gasoline.

It's No Game: IBM Uses PlayStation Chip For New Supercomputer

By harnessing a processor originally built for the upcoming Sony PlayStation 3, IBM is building a new supercomputer that is expected to break the petaflop barrier by topping speedz of 1,000 trillion calculations per second.

The new computer, code-named Roadrunner, is a joint project between IBM and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where it will be installed. Henry Brandt, a senior technical staff member with IBM, said the supercomputer will be built in two phases. The first phase, which cost Congress $35 million, is comprised of a base cluster that runs on the
Linux operating system and uses IBM System x 3755 servers based on AMD Opteron technology.

That phase is slated to be shipped to the national lab next month.

But the computer's real speed boost will come in late in 2007 or early in 2008 when the second phase, which doesn't yet have a price tag, rolls out. At that point, the cluster will be upgraded with the addition of Cell processors, which were originally designed for v…

Men Smarter than Women, Scientist Claims

Men are smarter than women, according to a controversial new study that adds another cinder to the fiery debate over whether gender impacts general intelligence.

'For 100 years there's been a consensus among psychologists that there is no sex difference in intelligence,' said J. Philippe Rushton, a psychologist at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

Recent studies, however, have raised questions about the validity of this claim, he said. One such study showed that men have larger brains than women, a 100 gram difference after correcting for body size. Rushton found similar results in a study of gender and brain size.

To determine if there was a link between gender and intelligence, and perhaps between brain size and intelligence, Rushton and a colleague analyzed the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores from 100,000 17- and 18-year-olds.

Google Operating System: Google Recommendations

Google has created a new module for the personalized homepage that shows you recommendations, based on your search history, your location and on the search history of similar users.

The module called 'Interesting things for you' features searches, web pages, and gadgets. The searches were previously available in Search History Trends and included the top gaining queries related to your searches. So the recommended items have two qualities: they are popular and related to your searches.

This reminded me of Amazon recommendations and the power of personalized recommendations. Of course, in this case, Google doesn't want to sell anything. It just wants to use the information from your profile for interesting things, and I'm sure there are more things to come in this area. After 'Suggested Google Groups', 'Recommended Google News', this is another recommendation system that uses implicit data collection (no work from the user).

Techcrunch � Blog Archive � Microsoft YouTube Clone Coming

Microsoft’s new YouTube competitor will be all about user generated videos if its name, Soapbox, is any indication (Hunterstrat calls it “personal whine”).

There aren’t many details yet, but LiveSide is saying this will be a MSN, not product, and will eventually be launched at The feature set includes:

* Upload videos in almost any format—like from your video or digital camera (maximum file size is currently 100MB)
* Tag and categorize your videos to make it easy for other people to find them
* Watch original videos and browse for new ones at the same time
* Set up your own personal RSS feeds for videos you’re interested in
* Use your Windows Live Spaces profile with Soapbox on MSN Video
* Embed a video on your Web site or blog

Microsoft Launches Desktop Feed Reader

Microsoft has added a desktop feed reader to its Max photo viewing and sharing software. To use Max you must be on a Windows machine running the new Windows .NET Framework 3.0 RC1 (it will self install if you are on a previous version). Additional requirements are here.

Cleaning Electronics with Sugar has an article on removing logos from your PDAs or Cell Phones using sugar. Basically, the sugar crystals are strong enough to remove the logo (sticker), but are too soft to scratch the casing leaving it unscathed. The article has many pictures of the process as well as a thorough walkthrough. Let the rebranding of all your electronics begin!

Handicapping the 6th Generation iPod

It's that time of the year again, when Apple rumors bloom with the fall foliage and the press is inundated with hype and wishful thinking. MP3 Newswire has a reasonably sober article addressing 17 of those rumors, even giving odds on the validity of each. From the article: 'It is the peripheral manufacturers that now have a heavy sway on what features the iPod will add to its 6th generation. The peripheral market has done more to cement Apple's proprietary technology as a standard than Apple itself, adding to the iPod's dominance. Mr. Jobs will not upset that balance without good reason and Apple's recent deal with Creative to make iPod peripherals shows he wants to feed it further. But the iPod needs something new to keep it fresh and ahead of the competition.'

Microsoft's High School Opens in PA

After three years of planning, the Microsoft Corp.-designed 'School of the Future' opened its doors Thursday, a gleaming white modern facility looking out of place amid rows of ramshackle homes in a working-class West Philadelphia neighborhood. The school is being touted as unlike any in the world, with not only a high-tech building -- students have digital lockers and teachers use interactive 'smart boards' -- but also a learning process modeled on Microsoft's management techniques.

Cell Phones Found Inside Four Prisoners

This image provided by the Direction of Penal Centers of El Salvador shows an x-ray taken of one of four prisoners at a maximum security Salvadoran prison in Zacatecoluca, 35 miles southeast of the capital of El Salvador. Four cellular telephones were found in the intestines of as many prisoners in El Salvador's maximum-security prison, authorities said Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2006. The discovery happened Tuesday at the prison in Zacatecoluca after suspicious prison officials took x-rays of each of the prisoners, prison spokesman Jaime Villanova said. (AP Photo/Centros Penales)


This image provided by the Direction of Penal Centers of El Salvador shows an x-ray taken of one of four prisoners at a maximum security Salvadoran prison in Zacatecoluca, 35 miles southeast of the capital of El Salvador. Four cellular telephones were found in the intestines of as many prisoners in El Salvador's maximum-security prison, authorities said Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2006. The discovery happened Tuesday at the prison in Zacatecoluca after suspicious prison officials took x-rays of each of the prisoners, prison spokesman Jaime Villanova said. (AP Photo/Centros Penales)

Supercomputer to Hit 1.6 Petaflops With 16,000 Cell Chips

'IBM has announced that they are gearing up to build the world's fastest supercomputer, more than four times faster than the reigning champ, IBM's BlueGene/L. Nicknamed 'Roadrunner,' the new machine will be a hybrid of off-the-shelf CPUs and Cell chips designed for the PS3. Roadrunner is to be installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, occupying 1,100 square metres of floorspace (that's a square about 110 feet on a side). According to the BBC: 'The computer will contain 16,000 standard processors working alongside 16,000 Cell processors... each Cell is capable of 256 billion calculations per second.''

P2P Hard Disk System Warns of Tsunamis

Free software application that detects Tsunamis by listening for vibrations in the hard drives of computers. The peer-to-peer network uses the technology that allows HDDs to keep read-write heads on track, and passes the information to a network for analysis. From the article: "If an earthquake that could lead to a tsunami is detected, the supernodes inform the other nodes. Computers running the client software and connected to the peer-to-peer network can then warn of such events. The software is able to provide such warnings because the seismic waves produced by earthquakes travel at about 5,000 kilometers per hour, while tsunamis move much slower at 500 to 1,000 kilometers per hour"