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Droid Touchscreen Less Accurate Than iPhone's
Posted by News Fetcher on January 11 '10 at 06:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's click-on-this deptartment:
gyrogeerloose writes "A test published by MOTO labs comparing the accuracy and sensitivity of smartphone touchscreens among various makers gave the iPhone top marks ahead of HTC's Droid Eris, the Google-branded Nexus One and the Motorola Droid. The test was conducted within a drawing program using a finger to trace straight diagonal lines across the screens and then comparing the results. While it's not likely that a smart phone user is going to draw a lot of lines, the test does give some indication of which phones are most likely to properly respond to clicking on a link in a Web browser."

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Half of All Data Centers Understaffed
Posted by News Fetcher on January 11 '10 at 06:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's they-just-need-one-uriah deptartment:
alphadogg writes "Fifty percent of IT executives say their data centers are understaffed, and companies are still looking for more ways to cut costs, according to Symantec's latest 'State of the Data Center' report. Sixteen percent of survey respondents said their data centers are extremely understaffed, and another 34% called their data centers somewhat understaffed. At the same time, data centers are becoming more complex and harder to manage, with more applications, data and increasingly demanding service-level agreements. 'Data center complexity has led to a lot of staffing challenges,' says Sean Derrington, director of storage management and high availability at Symantec."

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Does a Lame E-Mail Address Really Matter?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 11 '10 at 05:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's america's-oldest-luddites deptartment:
theodp writes "Over at the Chicago Tribune, freelance writer Nancy Anderson makes an embarrassing confession. It's 2010 and she still has an AOL e-mail address. 'You've got to get rid of that AOL address,' her publicist sister told her five years ago. 'It's bad for your image.' Image, shmimage, Anderson thought. 'If I do good work,' she asks, 'does my e-mail address really matter?' Good question. Would an AOL e-mail address — or another 'toxic' e-mail address — influence your decision to hire someone?"

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Startup Tests Drugs Aimed at Autism
Posted by News Fetcher on January 11 '10 at 02:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's whose-x-you-callin'-fragile deptartment:
An anonymous reader sends in this link from Technology Review about a startup company testing drugs that may help those with autism-spectrum disorders — even adults. "Seaside Therapeutics, a startup based in Cambridge, MA, is testing two compounds for the treatment of fragile X syndrome, a rare, inherited form of intellectual disability linked to autism. The treatments have emerged from molecular studies of animal models that mirror the genetic mutations seen in humans. Researchers hope that the drugs, which are designed to correct abnormalities at the connections between neurons, will ultimately prove effective in other forms of autism spectrum disorders. ... The company is funded almost entirely by an undisclosed family investment of $60 million, with $6 million from the National Institutes of Health. [A spokesman] says that Seaside has enough funding to take its compounds through clinical testing and approval."

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Malware Threat Reports Are "Apples and Oranges"
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '10 at 11:00 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's calling-a-spade-a-flippin'-shovel deptartment:
Ant writes "The December malware threat reports are trickling in from vendors — and they all appear to be different. Fortinet, Sunbelt Software, and Kaspersky all published their lists of the most prevalent malware strains for the last month of 2009, but they didn't match up, leading to an admission that users will inevitably be confused by the results. Not only do the various security companies use different names for the threats they identify; they don't even identify the same threats."

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New Color E-Reader Tech To Challenge E-Ink Dominance
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '10 at 07:45 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's daily-prophet-graphics deptartment:
Technology Review reports from the Consumer Elecronics Show in Las Vegas that potential e-reader competitors to E-Ink are everywhere. The current market leader in e-book displays is greyscale-only, and it takes a long time to change the display ("turn the page"), so video applications are not possible. E-Ink says they will have a color display shipping by late next year, but it will be dimmer than the current greyscale and its response time will still be too slow for video. The wannabe competitors — Pixel Qi, Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Liquavista, and Kent Displays — all do color and some of them can do video (Pixel Qi, Qualcomm, Liquavista), and some of them (Pixel Qi, Kent) are shipping now.

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How Earth Avoided a Fiery Premature Death
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '10 at 05:15 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's flood-next-time deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "Space.com has a piece about changing theories of planet migration. The classic picture suggests that planets like Earth should have plummeted into the sun while they were still planetesimals, asteroid-sized building blocks that eventually collide to form full-fledged planets. 'Well, this contradicts basic observational evidence, like We. Are. Here,' says astronomer Moredecai-Mark Mac Low. Researchers investigating this discrepancy came up with a new model that explains how planets can migrate as they're forming and still avoid a fiery premature death. One problem with the classic view of planet formation and migration is that it assumes that the temperature of the protoplanetary disk around a star is constant across its whole span. It turns out that portions of the disk are opaque and so cannot cool quickly by radiating heat out to space. So in the new model, temperature differences in the space around the sun, 4.6 billion years ago, caused Earth to migrate outward as much as gravity was trying to pull it inward, and so the fledgling world found equilibrium in its current, habitable, orbit. 'We are trying to understand how planets interact with the gas disks from which they form as the disk evolves over its lifetime,' adds Mac Low. 'We show that the planetoids from which the Earth formed can survive their immersion in the gas disk without falling into the Sun.'"

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Malicious App In Android Market
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '10 at 02:45 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's can't-take-it-to-the-bank deptartment:
dumbnose writes to let us know that a fraudulent app that attempts to steal bank information has made it to the Android app store. From the alert: "NOTICE: Users of mobile devices with Android software may have noticed several applications available for download in the Android Marketplace. If you see any applications provided by the user Droid09, please do not download these applications. Android applications provided by Droid09 are fraudulent. Please remove any applications by Droid09 from your mobile device and contact your mobile provider to evaluate whether any other applications or information stored on your mobile device have been compromised." Multiple marketplaces are possible in the open Android ecosystem. Might we see the emergence of a marketplace distinguished by an iPhone-like app vetting process?

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Pneumatic Tube Communication In Hospitals
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '10 at 02:00 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's foot-long-packets deptartment:
blee37 sends along a writeup from the School of Medicine at Stanford University on their pneumatic tube delivery system, used for sending atoms not bits. Such systems are in use in hospitals nationwide; the 19th-century technology is enhancd by recent refinements in pneumatic braking. "Every day, 7,000 times a day, Stanford Hospital staff turn to pneumatic tubes, cutting-edge technology in the 19th century, for a transport network that the Internet and all the latest Silicon Valley wizardry can't match: A tubular system to transport a lab sample across the medical center in the blink of an eye."

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The End Of Gravity As a Fundamental Force
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '10 at 12:45 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's mccavity's-not-there deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "At a symposium at the Dutch Spinoza-instituut on 8 December, 2009, string theorist Erik Verlinde introduced a theory that derives Newton's classical mechanics. In his theory, gravity exists because of a difference in concentration of information in the empty space between two masses and its surroundings. He does not consider gravity as fundamental, but as an emergent phenomenon that arises from a deeper microscropic reality. A relativistic extension of his argument leads directly to Einstein's equations." Here is two blog entries discussing Verlinde's theory in somewhat more accessible terms.

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Tech Tools Fostering "Mini Generation Gaps"
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '10 at 11:45 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's you-way-twitter-i-say-facebook deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times has an interesting report on the iGeneration, born in the '90s and this decade, comparing them to the Net Generation, born in the 1980s. The Net Generation spend two hours a day talking on the phone and still use e-mail frequently while the iGeneration — conceivably their younger siblings — spends considerably more time texting than talking on the phone, pays less attention to television than the older group, and tends to communicate more over instant-messenger networks. 'People two, three or four years apart are having completely different experiences with technology,' says Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project. 'College students scratch their heads at what their high school siblings are doing, and they scratch their heads at their younger siblings. It has sped up generational differences.' Dr. Larry Rosen, a professor of psychology at California State University, says that the iGeneration, unlike their older peers, expect an instant response from everyone they communicate with, and don't have the patience for anything less. 'They'll want their teachers and professors to respond to them immediately, and they will expect instantaneous access to everyone, because after all, that is the experience they have growing up,' says Rosen." Read below for another intra-generational wrinkle.

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$199 Freescale Tablet Design Runs Chromium OS
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '10 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's proof-of-concept deptartment:
Charbax writes "This is an extensive video interview with Freescale's manager of software development about their integration of the Chromium OS onto their ARM Cortex A8 i.MX51-based $199 Tablet reference design. It seems to run smoothly and fast with multiple tabs. There's no touch screen support yet, so input is done through a USB keyboard and mouse for now, but the WiFi drivers are fine. Freescale is also demonstrating Android and Ubuntu versions. Those have a 3G SIM card reader built-in, an HDMI output and 720p video playback. The question is: will they be able to support Chrome browsing at full speed on the most JavaScript- and Flash-intensive websites and support a large amount of opened tabs?" The demonstration of the Chromium tablet begins at about 11:20 into the video. The Android and Ubuntu versions are displayed earlier.

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Intel and LG Team Up For x86 Smartphone
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '10 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's my-dumbphone-looks-worse-every-day deptartment:
gbjbaanb writes "I love stories about new smartphones; it shows the IT market is doing something different than the usual same-old desktop apps. Maybe one day we'll all be using super smartphones as our primary computing platforms. And so, here's Intel's offering: the LG GW990. Running a Moorestown CPU, which gives 'considerably' better energy efficiency than the Atom, it runs Intel's Linux distro — Moblin. Quoting: 'In some respects, the GW990 — which has an impressive high-resolution 4.8-inch touchscreen display — seems more like a MID than a smartphone. It's possible that we won't see x86 phones with truly competitive all-day battery life until the emergence of Medfield, the Moorestown successor that is said to be coming in 2011. It is clear, however, that Intel aims to eventually compete squarely with ARM in the high-end smartphone market."

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Mozilla To Ditch Firefox Extensions?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '10 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's greasemonkeying-around-with-a-good-thing deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Although some have raised concerns about how sane switching to Jetpack is, it seems that Mozilla's new gadget is bound to replace the powerful extension mechanism we know. Maybe Mozilla wants to replace all the great add-ons we use daily with gadgets that add an entry to the Tools menu, or maybe they just want to draw thousands of inexperienced developers into putting together a bunch of HTML and CSS that won't integrate in the UI. It seems to me that in light of recent decisions we've discussed before, Mozilla isn't going in the right direction. What do you think ?"

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Best Buy Abandoning "Optimization" Service?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '10 at 07:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's lipstick-on-a-pig deptartment:
ddillman writes "According to The Consumerist, Best Buy is apparently dropping some of its 'optimization' services, and will instead provide the 'Best Buy Software Installer,' a new tool that the company says will 'radically simplify how you set up and customize your new PC or upgrade an existing one.' Translation: instead of you paying Best Buy to delete trialware from your new PC, Best Buy will get paid by software makers to try to get you to install it. A page on the Best Buy web site states that the new installation tool will be available January 17th, and 'gives you choices and options to configure your computer, and saves you time by making it easy to discover new software, then download and install with a single click.' According to an alleged internal Best Buy document obtained by a technology blog, Best Buy stands to make an extra $5 per PC just by including BBSI."

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The FBI Wants To Know About Your IT Skills
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '10 at 06:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's and-how-you-take-your-coffee deptartment:
AHuxley writes "The FBI, via the Office of Management and Budget, would like to find out more about your information technology expertise if you are part of InfraGard. Terms like 'practical utility' have been included in a 60-day emergency notice of information collection via the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Is your boss or cubicle colleague part of InfraGard? It's a private, non-profit organization run as a public-private partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Are they passing info back about you or your company?"

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Live Intel WiDi Demonstration At CES 2010
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '10 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's look-ma-no-wires deptartment:
MojoKid writes "As we saw earlier this week, Intel's new WiDi (Wireless Display Interface) technology will start to be bundled with various Core i5 and Core i3 notebooks later this month, promising to address the Home Theater and Multimedia PC markets with a solution that enables wireless connectivity of your notebook over HDMI to an HDTV using standard 802.11n wireless technologies for transmission of the data. Intel was also demonstrating this technology live at CES 2010 and HotHardware captured video of the technology in action, with Intel Product Manager Joshua Newman. This new technology is obviously fairly mature at this point with retail products waiting in the wings, just a few weeks away."

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Prions Evolve Despite Having No DNA
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '10 at 02:00 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's wipe-that-foam-off-your-mouth deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute have shown for the first time that 'lifeless' organic substances with no genetic material — prions similar to those believed responsible for Mad Cow disease and similar, rare conditions in humans — are capable of evolving just like higher forms of life. The discovery could reshape the definition of life and have revolutionary impacts on how certain diseases are treated."

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A Peek Into Netflix Queues
Posted by News Fetcher on January 09 '10 at 10:30 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's i-know-what-you-watched-last-summer deptartment:
margaret writes "The New York Times has an interactive Web app where you can map the popularity of various Netflix titles by neighborhood, in a dozen different cities. Invasion of privacy or harmless voyeuristic fun? Either way, it's pretty interesting."

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Gallery of Past Tech (and Other) Advertising
Posted by News Fetcher on January 09 '10 at 08:15 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's masters-of-persuasion deptartment:
theodp writes "The Vintage Ad Browser takes you back to the days when Google conjured up images of Barney Google (1948). When the hip music player was a Walkman (1982). When Osborne meant state-of-the-art in computing (1982). When Big Picture TV meant 12" (1948). When compact camera referred to a Pocket Instamatic (1972). And when wireless meant getting phone calls 300 feet from the house (1982)."

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