Daily News Brief: Mind Reading Computers on Horizon!


Santa Cancels and Delays High Def Players

And by Santa, we mean Samsung, who recently axed their plans to release the high end BDP-2400 Blu-ray player. WesleyTech surmises Samsung may have had trouble meeting the October 31st deadline for the BD 1.0 specifications, but whatever the reason, it's not coming to market. And not coming to market as early as expected is Samsung's HD-DVD/Blu-ray hybrid player. Initially scheduled for an October or November release, the BD-UP5000 Duo HD player won't make a debut until December.

Adobe to Challenge Microsoft and Google

In a good old fashioned fisticuffs! Not really, but Adobe is gobbling up Virtual Ubiquity's Buzzword , a web based word processing program designed by former Lotus developers. The rich internet application (RIA) will put Adobe in a position to compete with Google's Google Docs , and steal some of Microsoft's thunder should they decide to offer a version of their Works suite online . For you eager online beavers, Buzzword's accepting a limited amount of requests on a first come, first served basis to preview the online app.

Japanese Create Toned Down Version of Second Life

Kunimasa Hamaoa, the man in charge of an online interactive virtual Tokyo called Meet-Me , believes that the well-behaved and conformist Japanese gamers crave a predictable and secure virtual online landscape instead of the willy-nilly shenanigans that take place in Linden Lab's popular Second Life . The overseas virtual world comes with a fair bit more policing and profanity filtering than Second Life, and the avatars are rounder and softer, resulting in a less lifelike look. Japanese gamers currently comprise 8 percent of Second Life's 561,000 active users, ranking third in nationality.

Intel to Prevent Video Game Cheating

Intel plans to succeed where the laughable VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) has not; stopping in game cheating. And just in time too, as real life currency continues to play an increasing role in online gaming. To combat cheating, Intel would like to embed a module into PCs that would analyze keyboard and mouse data, and compare it against what's being processed in the game. So if you click once and the game registers 100 shots, it sets off a red flag. Far from finished, Intel claims the module will not degrade PC performance.

Skype CEO Jumps Ship

A high ranking company official steps down, and this time we're not talking about AMD. Niclas Zennstrom, co-founder and CEO of Skype , called it quits earlier today, leaving behind the company he started back in 2003 now owned by eBay. But he's not going tfar, occupying a seat as a non-executive chairman of the Skype board of directors. Zennstrom's departure comes as a result of wanting 'to spend more time on new projects ,' according to eBay spokesman Hani Durzy. But there may be more to the story ...

Mind Reading Computers

Impossible? Tuft University doesn't think so , as they're hard at work trying to develop techniques to enable computers to respond to user thoughts, like frustration and boredom. And with a $445,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, they'll get a good head start. Wearing a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) device , researchers can see through the forehead at a shallow depth, and they hope to be able to identify different emotional states. Researchers feel confident they can predict different levels of mental workloads, and if they're successful in developing a mind reading headband, expect the device to be a huge hit among married men.

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