Kensai7 writes "Confirming reports from earlier in the week, Sony has announced plans to sell off its VAIO computer division to a Japanese investment fund. Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) will take control of the operation for an undisclosed fee, and Sony will "cease planning, design and development of PC products." For a variety of reasons "including the drastic changes in the global PC industry," Sony says "the optimal solution is to concentrate its mobile product lineup on smartphones and tablets and to transfer its PC business to a new company."" Link to Original Source top
Internet regulator shuts down Greek EU Presidency domain registered by a blocker
Kensai7 writes "Eight years ago, Kostis Lympouridis purchased the eu2014.gr domain so that he could use it to criticise the government during its presidency of the European Union in 2014, as is his democratic right. But the authorities have now seized his site.
"I could foresee it would have a lot of traffic in 2014, due to the presidency. I wanted to use it as a blog to criticise the government. None of this is illegal," says Kostis Lympouridis, who last week learned that the foreign ministry had initiated legal procedures to seize the site and that a court hearing was scheduled for January 7. Lympouridis also stopped updating the site, obeying the terms of an interim injunction secured by the ministry." Link to Original Source top
Kensai7 writes "Waldek Wegrzyn has a prototype that teases us into thinking about future interconnection opportunities that lie between the book and the computer. We might be about to turn a corner where there is no either-or choice to be made between a print book and an e-book, a print newspaper or an online site, but rather both print and digital working with each other. The book becomes part of the computer reading experience.
Kensai7 writes "Almost every other day I have the same problem here in Europe (CET). At about 9 o'clock Foursquare servers won't accept my check-ins, at least for some minutes. I get a message that they have trouble with their servers.
I understand that this is a NY-based company which probably has its best interest in disrupting the American users less than anyone else. I was wondering, when a company has huge global operations (like Foursquare, Facebook, etc), has anyone actually calculated the best time (in UTC) to do server maintenance or updates? Is there a time of the day where it's mathematically proven (according to geographic and population criteria) you will disrupt the less customers in the world possible?" top
Kensai7 writes "North and South Korea exchange dozens of artillery shells across their tense western sea border, in one of the most serious incidents since the Korean War ended without a ceasefire in 1953. My God, let's hope this is not as serious as it looks..." Link to Original Source top
Kensai7 writes "E Ink, the firm behind the monochrome displays on the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader, launched its first colour ebook-reader display this week. Unlike LCDs that constantly draw power, electronic ink uses power to change the image – but not to display it – increasing battery life from hours to weeks. Electronic ink works by attracting black or white powders to the front of a clear pixel capsule." Link to Original Source top
Kensai7 writes ""Several people have been making assertions that most Flash sites will not work properly on touch-based devices because these sites use rollovers or hovers for things like effects and navigation. Well I put together this little video together showing that Flash sites do indeed work the way you would expect since the Flash Player dispatches rollover events even on a touch screen.", says Lee from The Flash Blog.
The video is instrumental in deconstructing one of Jobs' silly reasons of not supporting a mature technology on the iPhone OS." Link to Original Source top
Kensai7 writes "I'm trying to follow Slashdot on my mobile Safari but it's kind of difficult with all these threaded comments and scrolling around. Slashdot has been clearly thought for desktop browsing, something that makes its mobile equivalent a pain. Some other of my favorite IT sites (Engadget, ReadWriteWeb, etc) have recently launched native iPhone apps to enhance the mobile experience and make navigating easier for a mobile device.
Is there going to be an official Slashdot app anytime soon?" top
Kensai7 writes "Recently, Facebook provided us some information on their server park. They use about 30000 servers, and not surprisingly, most of them are running the PHP code to generate pages full of social info for their users. As they only say that "the bulk" is running PHP, let’s assume this to be 25 000 of the 30 000. If C++ would have been used instead of PHP, then 22 500 servers could be powered down (assuming a conservative ratio of 10 for the efficiency of C++ versus PHP code), or a reduction of 49 000 ton. Of course, it is a bit unfair to isolate Facebook here. Their servers are only a tiny fraction of computers deployed world-wide that are interpreting PHP code.
Kensai7 writes "Stephen Shankland from CNET news reports that:
In a surprise announcement, Adobe said Monday that Flash programmers now can bring their applications to Apple's iPhone, a domain of high interest that's been off limits for the programming technology. Because of Apple restrictions, though, Flash isn't coming in the form in which most people experience it, a Web browser plug-in. Instead, programmers will be able to change Flash applications into native iPhone applications using Adobe's Flash Professional CS5 developer tool, currently in beta testing, then offer their programs as an Apple App Store download." Link to Original Source top
Kensai7 writes "Check out the new Widget contest site Nokia has set up to promote its Symbian/S60 widget technology. The trick behind web widgets is WRT (widget runtime) and different tools have already been rolled out.
It's funny cause you can even create Slashdot-powerered Widgets! Try the examples and you'll see. Oh, and here's the kicker: the best proposal will be promoted free on Ovi Store and installed on a Nokia N97 to be awarded to the winner!" top
The DNS server that the hotel network gave me is on the same network as my home VPN (because my home DHCP server is the ADSL router by my Internet provider). So all my DNS queries were timing out, because they were being transmitted over the VPN to an address that isn't active. (I think it's assigned to my N95 when I'm at home, but I'd have to be home to check)
This problem I had is probably quite common, I imagine. I mean, the hotel I'm in isn't exactly in a touristic spot. It's probably sought more by business travelers, who, like me, come with a laptop and VPN access to their offices. How many of them reroute 10.0.0.0/24 when the VPN is active? I would bet quite a few.
So we're 6 months into the year of the Great Crash because IPv4 runs out. And we're still not using IPv6.
Kensai7 writes "The much-awaited Nokia Ovi Store is opening for business today. By following a business model similar to that of the successful rival Apple for iPhone, Nokia is trying to provide developers and end customers a vast portfolio of Symbian OS applications, games, widgets, etc. More details in Nokia's Press Release." Link to Original Source top
Kensai7 writes "A quick comparison between same versions of mainstream software sold in the USA and the EU markets show a big difference in the respective price tags. If you want to buy online [store.adobe.com] let's say Adobe's "Dreamweaver CS3" you'll have to pay $399 if you live in the States, but a whopping E570 (almost $900 in current exchange rates!!) if you happen to buy it in Germany. Same story for Microsoft's newest products [msstore.digitalriver.com]: "Expression Web 2" in America costs only $299 new, but try that in Italy and they will probably ask you no less than E366 ($576!).
How can such an abyssal difference be explained? I understand there are some added costs for the localized translated versions, but I also thought the Euro was supposed to be outbuying the Dollar. Where's the catch?!" top
Kensai7 writes "If you want to feel good "pay your taxes", say researchers at the University of Oregon in Eugene!
The surprising discovery is based on functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI — a type of dynamic neuroimaging) on 19 female university students who were given a small sum of money ($100) and told that some of it had to go to taxes. The brain scan, according to the scientists, can also predict which people are most likely to donate cash to charity.
Civil societies function because people pay taxes and make charitable contributions to provide public goods. One possible motive for charitable contributions, called "pure altruism," is satisfied by increases in the public good no matter the source or intent. Another possible motive, "warm glow," is only fulfilled by an individual's own voluntary donations. Consistent with pure altruism, we find that even mandatory, tax-like transfers to a charity elicit neural activity in areas linked to reward processing. Moreover, neural responses to the charity's financial gains predict voluntary giving. However, consistent with warm glow, neural activity further increases when people make transfers voluntarily. Both pure altruism and warm-glow motives appear to determine the hedonic consequences of financial transfers to the public good.
Kensai7 writes "A prototype MR-PET brain imaging system has been developed by Siemens and is being prepared to be fully tested in vivo in the firm's facilities in USA. The new technology is expected to provide powerful new insights into brain disorders (such as dementia, stroke, cancer) and neurological stem cell therapy by combining the exceptional soft tissue contrast and high specificty of MRI with PET's excellent sensitivity in assessing physiological and metabolic state.
MR-PET presents a tremendous leap forward in imaging capabilities. Siemens is the first company to have realized an MR-PET prototype, which brings the exceptional soft tissue contrast and high specificity of MR together with PET's excellent sensitivity in assessing physiological and metabolic state." top
Kensai7 writes "The ethanol craze is putting the squeeze on corn supplies and causing food prices to rise. Mexicans took to the streets last year to protest increased tortilla prices. The cost of chicken and beef in the United States ticked up because feed is more expensive.
That's where biotechnology comes in. Scientists are engineering microscopic bugs to extract fuel from a variety of non-corn sources, including the human urinary tract, a Russian fungus and the plant responsible for tequila. More in this article on BusinessWeek." top
Kensai7 writes "PC World reports how "poor" Google top executives and founders are getting (again in 2006) one of the lowest salaries in the industry but at the same time continue growing their billionaire fortunes by being stockholders of their own successful company.
In fact, this is probably the best way to climb quickly the Forbes list: have a revolutionary product/service and invest on thyself early on!"