Archive for July 31st, 2006
Straight from Slashdot: “For the first time, you can smack your computer and get a meaningful response! An article at IBM Devworks show you how to rap on the laptop case with your knuckles and have commands run on those knocks. Enterprising hackers have developed modules for the Linux kernel to take advantage of laptop integrated accelerometer sensors; with them the possibilities are endless.”
Straight from CNN.com: “LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on Sunday stood by his statement that Friday morning’s arrest of actor Mel Gibson on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol occurred “without incident.”"Every time somebody is arrested, something out of the ordinary happens, but guns don’t always have to be drawn,” said spokesman Steve Whitmore. “Without incident means without force.”
Whitmore’s statements came as the entertainment news Web site TMZ.com reported that Gibson launched into a tirade when he was arrested, swearing and hurling anti-Semitic and sexist remarks.
According to the site, the report said Gibson’s comments included, “F—— Jews… The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,” and that he asked a deputy, “Are you a Jew?”
Straight from Slashdot: “Windows Vista will have a new ‘previous versions’ feature when it ships next year. According to Ars Technica, the feature is built off of the volume shadow copy technology from Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Now turned on by default, the service stores the modified versions of a user’s documents, even after they are deleted. They also report that you can browse folders from within Explorer to see snapshots of what they contained over time. It can be disabled, but this seems like a privacy concern.” From the article:
“Some users will find the feature objectionable because it could give the bossman a new way to check up on employees, or perhaps it could be exploited in some nefarious way by some nefarious person. Previous versions of Windows were still susceptible to undelete utilities, of course, but this new functionality makes browsing quite, quite simple. On the other hand, it should be noted that ‘Previous Versions’ does not store its data in the files themselves. That is, unlike Microsoft Office’s ‘track changes,’ files protected with ‘Previous Versions’ will not carry their documentary history with them.”
Straight from Slashdot: “Over at Newsweek Steven Levy has a column commemorating IBM’s introduction of the first hard drive 50 years ago. The drive was the size of two refrigerators, weighed a ton, and had a vast 5MB capacity. They also discuss the future of data storage.” From the article:
“Experts agree that the amazing gains in storage density at low cost will continue for at least the next couple of decades, allowing cheap peta-bytes (millions of gigabytes) of storage to corporations and terabytes (thousands of gigs) to the home. Meanwhile, drives with mere hundreds of gigabytes will be small enough to wear as jewelry.”
Straight from Slashdot: “Open-source software companies, such as Ubunutu (an open-source Linux distribution), are better able to respond to user request and bugs than traditional software companies, such as Microsoft. Simon Law, head of the Quality Assurance department at Ubuntu in a talk given to the UW Computer Science Club, explains why this is, and how Ubuntu is leveraging the open-source model. Simon explains how the QA department at Ubuntu differs from traditional QA departments, through its use of the open-source community at large. Most interesting is Simon’s views on what motivates open-source developers to develop software, and how open-source oriented businesses (specifically Ubunutu) are making money.”
Straight from Gizmodo: “We first heard a tiny bit of information about the Archos 404 portable media player six weeks ago, and now a few more facts have emerged, showing the diminutive unit (5.11″ x 3″ x .6″ thick) with a 3.5″ LCD display that’s in a 4×3 format with 320×240 pixels, supporting a variety of video and audio formats as long as your arm (spec list after the jump). We’re also hearing the Archos 604 is forthcoming, with comparable specs except with a 16×9 (480×272) widescreen display instead of a 4×3.
Perhaps most intriguing is an optional docking station, compatible with all the players in the x04 series, that will turn these babies into personal video recorders, laying down video in DivX 5.0, or even H.264 with the appropriate plug-ins. Availability wasn’t announced, but the company earlier mentioned these players will be available in July or August, so we’re thinking we’ll be seeing them fairly soon. Pricing for the Archos 404 will be $435, and the Archos 604 will be $508.”