Technology archive for 2011-01-30
Humans, keep your eyes tuned to this post -- because at 6:00PM ET, we'll be starting The Engadget Show live with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, joining us for a evening of frank, eye-opening and all-around awesome conversation. There'll be mind-blowing devices, crazy giveaways, and much, much more! We've even got music from Zen Albatross. You seriously don't want to miss it.Continue reading The Engadget Show Live! with Steve WozniakThe Engadget Show Live! with Steve Wozniak originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Jan 2011 17:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
destinyland writes "Stephen Wolfram, the physicist behind the Wolfram Alpha 'answer engine,' believes that Google would beat Bing in any contest based on questions from Jeopardy. 'Wolfram took a sample of Jeopardy clues and fed them into search engines,' explains one technology blog. 'When it came to the first page, Google got 69 percent correct, just beating Ask with 68 percent and Bing on 63 percent. ... To put that into context, the average human contestant gets 60 percent of answers correct, while champion Ken Jennings has a record of 79 percent.' Interestingly, Wikipedia came in last, scoring 23%, though they may have more to do with how Wikipedia handles searches. In two weeks, IBM's Watson computer will compete on Jeopardy against two of the show's all-time human champions." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Microsoft, one of the companies located in Cairo's Smart Villages hi-tech office park, has begun shifting work to other locations in the wake of the on-going unrest in Egypt.
MSI is calling this GT680R the world's fastest gaming laptop. Spoiler alert -- it's not -- but if you drop $1,650 to nab one starting this week, you'll certainly be getting some bang for those bucks. Trusted Reviews and Hot Hardware recently got their hands on the first Sandy Bridge-equipped portable monster of a gaming rig, and found the experience quite satisfying on the whole. Though Hot Hardware discovered that the 2.0GHz Core i7-2630QM chip and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M graphics weren't quite capable of playable framerates in the most demanding DX11 titles at native 1080p, lowering the resolution to 720 lines usually did the trick, and when it came to raw CPU benchmarks the notebook held its own against last-gen desktop processors with little trouble to speak of. What's more, equipped with a nine-cell battery Trusted Reviews managed to eke out three hours of life in a basic productivity test, practically unheard of for a laptop of this class, though we suppose you're not likely to be carrying around this 7.7 pound beast for the sake of portable spreadsheets, eh? Hit up our source links for more details.MSI's GT680 gaming laptop reviewed: potent at 720p, some battery life too originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Jan 2011 17:05:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Trusted Reviews, Hot Hardware | Email this | Comments
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his "The Social Network" doppelganger Jesse Eisenberg made friends on "Saturday Night Live."
The astronaut husband of a U.S. congresswoman seriously wounded when she was shot in head will decide by mid-February whether to join the last NASA shuttle launch as scheduled, the space agency said Sunday.
In a small laboratory on an upper floor of the basic science building at the Medical University of South Carolina, Vladimir Mironov, M.D., Ph.D., has been working for a decade to grow meat.
An unmanned Russian cargo ship docked with the International Space Station to deliver three tons of supplies to the outpost's crew, including a tiny satellite and birthday gifts for the orbiting lab's commander.
Jessica Guynn / Los Angeles Times:Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is determined to get the last laugh — The onetime improvisational comedian wants to prove that the social network can make money. — Reporting from San Francisco — Before embarking on a career as a technology entrepreneur, Dick Costolo took part …
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Economic Times reports on the first working prototypes of a new technology that would measure blood alcohol content in a driver's fingertips, using sophisticated touch-based sensors situated in steering wheels and door locks and engineers say that unlike court-ordered breath-analyzer ignition locks, which require a driver to blow into a tube and wait a few seconds for the result, their systems will analyze a driver's blood-alcohol content in less than one second. Anti-drunken driving crusaders believe that almost 9,000 road traffic deaths could be prevented every year if alcohol detection devices were used in all vehicles to prevent alcohol-impaired drivers from driving their vehicles. 'We believe this might turn the car into the cure for the elimination of drunk driving,' says Laura Dean-Mooney, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. But not everyone is enamored of the device which could be available to automakers in eight to 10 years. 'For ordinary, law-abiding citizens, it's an invasion of their privacy,' says Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Amazon's allegedly got an security flaw where hackers can find your password much easier than they would otherwise, andt here's already a fix in place. But get this -- you'll probably need to change your password for the fix to take affect, if you haven't already done so in the last couple of years. According to Reddit users, the Amazon.com login system will actually accept any phrase so long as it begins with your password, such as "password123" when the magic word is simply "password" by itself. That apparently makes it that much easier for a computer to guess your password via brute force methods, no matter how counter-intuitive that seems, so if you simply change it immediately -- and to something other than "password," please -- you'll have much sounder dreams.PSA: Change your old Amazon.com password for better security originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Jan 2011 15:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink The Consumerist, Wired | Reddit | Email this | Comments
Jeffrey Zeldman / Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report:HTML5 vs. HTML — THANKS TO THE WORK of the WHAT WG, the orations of Steve, the acclaim of developers, and a dash of tasteful pamphleteering, the W3C finally has a hit technology on its hands. Indeed, it has a cluster of hot technologies, the latest incarnation of what we've been calling …
Okian Warrior writes "The people at FreeKeene report: 'Four Republican state representatives have sponsored a bill that would replace first-past-the-post voting with approval voting for all state offices and presidential primaries. Under this system, voters would select every candidate they approve of (regardless of party), and the candidate with the highest overall vote total wins. This reduces strategic voting, and would often make elections easier for moderate and libertarian candidates. The bill, HB240, will have a public hearing Tuesday, February 1st, with the House Election Law committee.'" Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Mark Zuckerberg, the ubiquitous CEO of Facebook, made a cameo appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend alongside two actors who portray him.
Augmented reality is swell, don't get us wrong, but it's no substitute for the real thing -- especially when that thing is a badass tricopter equipped with a jury-rigged firework cannon to rain down miniature hell. Swedish R/C enthusiasts built this first-person flying contraption to carry out a single mission -- destroy a series of hydrogen-filled balloons -- which will hopefully be hard-coded into future automatons too. After all, balloons could serve as an excellent distraction when they inevitably come for you. Still, there's no need to worry quite yet, so kick back and enjoy the video above while you contemplate humanity's end.Homebuilt UAV hunts down hydrogen balloons, fires firework flames (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Jan 2011 14:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink Geek.com | RCExplorer | Email this | Comments
Cancel your dinner plans, because tonight at 6:00PM ET, the inimitable co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak will be joining us for the first Engadget Show of 2011! It will be a night to remember as Woz joins us for an evening of frank, eye-opening, and all-around awesome conversation. We'll be streaming live at 6:00PM from Cooper Union's Rose Auditorium and we've got about 200 seats available on a first-come, first-served basis if you want to join us in person. We'll also have music from the talented Zen Albatross and the usual crazy giveaways. Trust us when we say that this episode is going to be epic.REMINDER: The Show will be taking place in a lovely new venue, the Rose Auditorium in Cooper Union's New Academic Building (i.e. not the TimesCenter), located in Manhattan at 41 Cooper Square. Seating is extremely limited, so get there early! Tickets are -- as always -- free to anyone who would like to attend, but seating is limited, and tickets will be first come, first served... so get there early! Here's the updated info on our new ticketing policy that you need to know: There is no admission fee -- tickets are completely free The event is all ages Ticketing will begin at the Cooper Union New Academic Building at 2:00PM tonight, Sunday, January 30th, doors will open for seating at 5:15PM, and the show begins at 6:00PM We now have assigned seating, so the first people to get their tickets will get priority seating. This also means that once you get a ticket, your[..]
An anonymous reader writes "The familiar example.com domain, reserved for private testing, has been updated. Visiting the domain in a web browser no longer displays any content; instead, visitors are redirected to an explanatory page on IANA's website at iana.org/domains/example/. Other example domains such as example.net are also affected.Is this a bad change? Will the redirect cause problems for anybody?" Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Mike Elgan / Computerworld:How Apple and Google will kill the password — Prediction: Your phone is about to become a universal biometric ID and debit card — Computerworld - Imagine sitting down at a public PC, surfing the Web, visiting Facebook, checking your online bank account and buying something on Amazon.com …
An anonymous reader writes "In a feat of modern-day alchemy, atom tinkerers have fooled hydrogen atoms into accepting a helium atom as one of their own, reports New Scientist. Donald Fleming of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues managed to disguise a helium atom as a hydrogen atom by replacing one of its orbiting electrons with a muon, which is far heavier than an electron. The camouflaged atom behaves chemically like hydrogen, but has four times the mass of normal hydrogen, allowing predictions for how atomic mass affects reaction rates to be put to the test." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Enspert blindsided us at CES 2011 with a pair of quality Android tablets, and here's another surprise -- next month, the company's Identity Tab E201 will apparently ship 100% Google-certified. Importer Dynamism is taking preorders on February 1st for the 7-inch Android 2.2 tablet, which comes with both Gmail and Android Market on board, though admittedly for a somewhat larger outlay than we originally heard. $350 is what you'll pay for the 800 x 480 slate, which sports a 1GHz Hummingbird processor and PowerVR SGX540 graphics, 8GB storage and 512MB RAM, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, a full compliment of sensors and an SD card slot. Just a month ago we'd have called this quite the deal, but come February 1st you may want to wait -- after all, Google's busy bees may show off the fruits of their labors the very next day.Enspert Identity Tab E201 rings up at $350 with Froyo, Gmail and Android Market originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Jan 2011 12:26:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink jkkmobile | Dynamism | Email this | Comments
Mark Gurman / 9 to 5 Mac:Google ‘Instant Previews’ come to iOS Safari — Google has finally brought their helpful ‘Instant Previews’ feature from the desktop browser, down to the mobile experience. ‘Instant Previews’ lets you tap the accompanying magnifying for a pop-up preview of the website.
There’s a lot of buzz about the new iPhone and iPad. You could offset the cost of a new device by selling your old one to SellYourMac.com. The company was at Macworld Expo to showcase their services.
Want to stand out on the show floor at Macworld Expo. Try sporting lederhosen. It certainly worked for the representatives of Apps-and-More.com who brought a taste of Oktoberfest to San Francisco in January to promote the app maker’s iOS efforts.
Exactly a year ago, Omni Group CEO Ken Case boldly announced that his company would bring all five of its apps to the iPad. Three of those apps made it to the platform in 2010, and now the next one is on the way: OmniOutliner. The organizational tool has seemed like a natural fit for the iPad since day one, and now there’s tangible evidence that it’s on the way.
Sales of Office 2010 -- especially to consumers -- fueled Microsoft's record quarter, the company and analysts said last week.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg met Jesse Eisenberg -- the actor whose less than flattering portrayal of him in "The Social Network" won an Oscar nomination -- for the first time on this weekend's Saturday Night Live.
Barnes & Noble markets the Nook Color as an e-reader with tablet functionality handily built in, but that designation undersells it a bit — it's just as easy to see it as an Android tablet with a 7" multitouch display and a Cortex A8 processor that happens to have strong book-reading features. Compared to the current big name in 7" Android tablets, Samsung's Galaxy Tab, it's quite underspec'd (no camera or GPS receiver, Wi-Fi but no 3G), but it also costs only $250.A few days ago, Android hackers managed to put Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) onto the Color, though in a mostly crippled state. Now Liliputing points out that they've enabled hardware acceleration, too. Pretty neat that one of the cheapest capacitive-screen tablets you can get handles an operating system that a few weeks back was expected to require heavier iron. As comments at Engadget point out, it's not the very smoothest performance, but this is an early build by enthusiasts, and doesn't look too shabby. The developer's announcement of the port points out that this is a work in progress: "What is not working... pretty much everything else, no accelerometer, no wlan, no sound. Haven't started working on those things yet." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Pete Barlas / Investor's Business Daily:Tech Companies Line Up Their Super Bowl Ads — The Super Bowl for Internet and other tech advertisers has become a story of a few stalwart players who return year after year and some transients who suit up for a year or two, then drop out. — For the Feb. 6 National Football League title game …
New York Times:Google Finds It Hard to Reinvent Philanthropy — JUST before Google first sold its shares to the public in 2004, Larry Page, one of its founders, excited the nonprofit world with a bold commitment to philanthropy. — He vowed to dedicate about 1 percent of Google's profits …
theodp writes "Verifying Google's data snare is crucial to assessing a penalty and assuring no repeat,' said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal last December in response to Google's 'accidental' collection of payload data from WiFi networks. 'We will fight to compel Google to come clean-granting my office access to improperly collected materials and protecting confidentiality, as the company has done in Canada and elsewhere.' That was then. Luckily for Google, there's a new AG in town, and Blumenthal successor George Jepsen said Friday that his office will enter into settlement negotiations with the company without reviewing the pilfered data, which Google has steadfastly refused to share with it. 'This is a good result for the people of Connecticut,' Jepsen said in a statement. A separate Jepsen press release suggested some of the blame for the privacy offenses laid with Google's victims, who were advised to 'turn off your wireless network when you know you won't use it' to thwart those who 'may be watching your Internet activity without your knowledge." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
There's already a few hybrid trucks on the market (most notably from GM), but true plug-in hybrid electric trucks are another matter altogether. Chrysler now looks set to change that, however -- at least in a small way -- with its new Ram plug-in hybrid that's set to roll out to fleet operators this summer. It was just unveiled at the Washington D.C. Auto Show, and it pairs a 12 kWh battery pack from Canadian battery-maker Electrovaya with Chrysler's own 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, which Electrovaya says will allow for up to 20 miles of driving on electricity only. Unfortunately, there's no word on any plans to actually make the truck available to individual consumers, but Chrysler does seem to at least be optimistic about hybrid trucks in general, with a company spokesman noting that half-ton pickups are naturally much better at carrying a battery pack than a car, and that trucks work better as hybrid vehicle platforms.Continue reading Chrysler shows off Ram plug-in hybrid electric truck, won't sell it to youChrysler shows off Ram plug-in hybrid electric truck, won't sell it to you originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Jan 2011 10:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Edmunds | Email this | Comments
Robert Scoble / Scobleizer:Why I was wrong about Quora as a blogging service ... I must apologize to Dave Winer. He warned me about supporting services that aren't the open web and I wasn't willing to listen to him a month ago, because I was infatuated with a cool new service that lots of insiders were supporting.
Steve Lohr / New York Times:The Power of the Platform at Apple — SIZE is the enemy of growth. It is one of the unwritten laws of business, a matter of simple percentages. After all, when a company has $1 billion in yearly sales, an extra $1 billion doubles its size. Add $1 billion in new business to a $10 billion-a-year company …
An anonymous reader writes "Despite the floods, linux.conf.au 2011 went ahead in Brisbane. Videos of the talks given at the conference are available via blip.tv. Highly recommended are Vint Cerf's keynote and Keith Packard's talk on X and the future of Linux graphics." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
As New York considers banning e-cigarettes, debate surrounds the devices.
adeelarshad82 writes "The FCC moved to dismiss the net neutrality challenges filed by MetroPCS and Verizon, claiming they were 'filed prematurely.' Verizon and MetroPCS have both sued the FCC, arguing that the commission did not have the authority to hand down its December net neutrality rules. The FCC maintains that it does indeed have the right to regulate broadband, thanks to provisions in the Communications Act." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Can't wait until February 2nd to see more of Android 3.0 in action? That's not a problem, as today we've got a whole 129 seconds of video showing Google's latest mobile software doing its thing on the Nook Color. The OS was ported to B&N's tablet on Friday, when we were promised further work would be taking place over the weekend to enable hardware acceleration of the GUI, and what do you know, that goal has been achieved with plenty of Sunday to spare! Most core functionality is still not available, but the delicious Honeycomb interface is very much in effect. Jump past the break for the eye candy feast. [Thanks, Jules]Continue reading Android Honeycomb port for Nook Color gets graphics acceleration, first demo videoAndroid Honeycomb port for Nook Color gets graphics acceleration, first demo video originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Jan 2011 07:53:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | xda-developers | Email this | Comments
Roger Ehrenberg / Information Arbitrage:Start Fund: No big deal. Business as usual. — Though scarcely 24 hours old, the Yuri Milner/Y Combinator/SV Angel announcement has already been dissected, sliced, diced and beaten beyond comprehension. But there are a few salient common sense points missing from the analysis …
Surely you remember Sanho's HyperDrive lineup -- ya know, the only portable HDD that plays nicely with the iPad? Well, if you don't dig the $249 entry level price, you're in luck. The company just announced a bunch of new HDDs for you to take with you and your iPad on that road trip you've had planned for years. The new drives no longer sport the QVGA color display or the CF and SD card slots -- instead, the black case has two mini USB ports and a power socket. The HyperDrive doesn't come with the traditional AC adapter but instead a USB-to-DC cable and the user-replaceable battery will allow up to 40GB of transfers on a single charge. And if you're wondering why there's two USB ports, we really couldn't tell you. Perhaps if you choose the right port while connected to your PC and enter the Konami code, unicorns and fairy dust will pop out of your screen -- wishful thinking, we know. The HyperDrives ship in March (pre-ordering is available now) with prices starting at $99 for a bring-your-own-drive housing, 1TB for $349 and various sizes in-between. So, if your photo/video library is worth accessing at all times, well, props to you. Press release is after the break.Continue reading Sanho announces new HyperDrive line-up, still enough storage for your Frank Zappa discographySanho announces new HyperDrive line-up, still enough storage for your Frank Zappa discography originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Jan 2011 06:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of[..]
Mark.JUK writes "The UK governments Minister for Science, David Willetts, has awarded £7.2 million to help support the University of Southampton's newly rebuilt Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) and the development ('Photonics HyperHighway') of new technologies that would be capable of making broadband internet access over fibre optic cables 100 times faster than today."What would you like to do with 100 times your own current network speed? Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Mark Zuckerberg, the man who invented poking and the subject of a major motion picture in 2010 just met his nemeses on the set of Saturday Night Live. No, not the Winklevoss twins, we're talking Jesse Eisenberg, the man nominated for an Academy Award after playing Zuckerberg in The Social Network. Toss in Adam Samberg and we've got a comically uncomfortable situation from the web 2.0's very personification of awkward. All hail the Zuck!Continue reading Mark Zuckerberg meets the fake Mark Zuckerbergs on Saturday Night Live (video)Mark Zuckerberg meets the fake Mark Zuckerbergs on Saturday Night Live (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Jan 2011 03:38:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
jbrodkin writes "An open-source, cloud-based e-mail alternative to Microsoft Exchange called Open-Xchange has signed up two new service providers and predicts it will have 40 million users by the end of 2011. Based in Germany, Open-Xchange has tripled its user base from 8 million to 24 million paid seats since 2008, with the help of three dozen service providers including 1&1 Internet, among the world's largest Web hosting companies. Microsoft is still the 800-pound gorilla, with a worldwide install base of 301 million mailboxes in 2010, expected to reach 470 million by 2014. But Open-Xchange is luring numerous service providers who are wary of Microsoft's attempts to compete against its own partners by selling hosted e-mail services directly to its customers." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
What happened to curricular standards? And why the heck are Creationists biology teachers?
We had a feeling the Olympus XZ-1 would be a winner, and Digital Photography Review seems to think so, too -- it called the 10 megapixel, full-manual point and shoot "the best photographers' compact currently available" at the end of a thorough review. Most of the praise was heaped on that F1.8-2.5 Zuiko lens, providing an "unbeaten combination of range and brightness" whose potent, detailed low-light performance was enough to all but cancel out the publication's worries about the lack of a adjustable noise reduction setting. Though the publication admitted that the camera lacked the customization of certain Micro Four Thirds cousins, it didn't miss most of the advanced controls, preferring the streamlined menus and manual dials for easy access to most common adjustments. Battery charging over USB and a dedicated movie button were also called out as nice touches. The only major ding was the complete omission of auto exposure and autofocus locks for focus-and-recompose shooting, but if you're willing to snap shots using Olympus's existing 11 AF points and aren't looking to tote a set of expensive interchangeable lenses, this might be the one. Take a deep dive into our source link to find out for sure.Olympus XZ-1 reviewed: $499 for sweet simplicity originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Jan 2011 02:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | DPReview | Email this | Comments
Seagate is known for top-notch external storage, and in Booth No. 308 at Macworld 2011, the company is showcasing a new line of GoFlex hard drives geared specifically toward Mac users.
Sarah Devlin / Mediaite:The Real Mark Zuckerberg Confronts A Surprised Jesse Eisenberg On SNL — Jesse Eisenberg's opening monologue for “Saturday Night Live” got off to a pretty standard start — he name-dropped “The Social Network,” poked fun at his über-nerd persona, and was interrupted by Andy Samberg-as-Mark-Zuckerberg.
Smartphone security has been a major focus at ShmooCon in the last couple years, with talks about flaws in BlackBerry and iPhone devices. This year, two researchers targeted all their firepower on the Android. Here's what they found.
Mac music makers who hit the show floor at this year’s Macworld conference haven’t come away disappointed. Companies large and small dotted the Macworld 2011 show floor this week, ready to help you rock.
There's no such thing as perfect security, so IT shops should focus instead on faster detection and fixes, security practitioner Richard Rushing said during ShmooCon 2011 Saturday.