Joining their other social networking brethren, Facebook announced this week that they’d be the next to provide “usernames,” which will translate into custom URLs.
“We're planning to offer Facebook usernames to make it easier for people to find and connect with you,” writes Blaise DiPersia on Facebook’s official blog. “When your friends, family members or co-workers visit your profile or Pages on Facebook, they will be able to enter your username as part of the URL in their browser. This way people will have an easy-to-remember way to find you. We expect to offer even more ways to use your Facebook username in the future.”
But, like other sites that provide the same feature, you can’t change your username once you’ve selected it. So, while “Turd Ferguson” may seem like an attractive choice, perhaps you should consider something else?
Could the design philosophy used by Airbus's fly-by-wire electronic flight control systems have been the final death blow to Air France Flight 447? That's the chilling possibility suggested by a recent posting by Information Week blogger Michael Hickins.
Air France Flight 447 used an Airbus A330, which uses a completely electronic fly-by-wire system without manual or hydraulic backups. The leading theory of the cause of the Air France Flight 447 crash is conflicting information from pitot tubes, which are used to transmit flight and wind speed information to onboard computers. While Airbus had begun to replace pitot tubes in May, the pitot tubes had not yet been replaced on the plane that crashed in the Atlantic.
According to a report cited by Hickins, Airbus and Boeing, the biggest rivals in the commercial jet field, have diametrically opposed views on pilot override capabilities. Airbus A320 and newer models include so-called "hard limits" that prevent maneuvers that would overstress the airframe, while Boeing's approach keeps the pilot in charge. While it's impossible to know if a Boeing-style system could have enabled the flight crew of Air France Flight 447 to successfully handle the severe weather existing in the air, some Boeing aircraft have survived stresses well in excess of recommended limits - limits that could not be exceeded if the flight computers are in ultimate charge of the aircraft. Commercial pilots' comments, like the industry itself, are divided over whether the differences in fly-by-wire design make one method ultimately safer than another.
Which approach is better? Join us after the jump for your comments.
Earlier this week Google announced their Google App Sync for Microsoft Outlook, which they hope will give them the edge in the business email world.
“Many business users prefer Gmail's interface and features to products they've used in the past. But sometimes there are people who just love Outlook. For them, we've developed Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook,” writes Eric Orth, a Software Engineer on the Google Apps team. “It enables Outlook users to connect to Google Apps for business email, contacts and calendar. And they can always use Gmail's web interface to access their information when they're not on their work computer.”
Best of all, Google makes this that much easier by providing a tool that takes care of all the heavy lifting. Microsoft Outlook servers, you’re officially on notice.
While for many of us the only idea of computer related risks to our health are back pain, blurred vision and carpal tunnel for the extreme typists out there. But it would appear that computers are now presenting a more critical danger.
According to a recent study from the National Electronics Injury Surveillance System, over 78,000 cases of acute computer-related injuries were treated in the US between 1994 and 2006 (nearly 93 percent of these occurred while the patient was home). The number increased by a whopping 732 percent over the allotted time frame.
The injuries primarily include patients hitting against or catching on computer equipment, tripping or falling over computer equipment, computer equipment falling on top of people and straining of muscles and joints.
So, be more careful while you’re using your beloved computer from here on out. It could lurking in the shadows, waiting to slightly strain your muscles at a moment’s notice.
You've heard the cliché big things come in small packages, but what you've probably never heard of is stuffing 128GB of solid state storage capacity into a form factor so tiny you could swallow it, secret agent style. That's exactly what InnoDisk has done, who was showing off its aptly named nanoSSD at Computex.
Despite its small stature, the nanoSSD offers pretty impressive performance numbers with InnoDisk claiming read and write speeds of 150MB/s and 160MB/s, respectively. It can also withstand an accelerative force of 20g, and to prove it, InnoDisk had its nanoSSD hooked up to a custom, rapidly vibrating motherboard, which you can see here.
Led by physicist Alex Zettl, a team of eggheads from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory and the University of California Berkley have demonstrated a form of nanotube archival memory capable of storing memory bits for a billion years, the researchers say.
The team put together a prototype device based on a nanoscale iron particle moving along a carbon nanotube like a shuttle. It measures about 1/50,000th the width of a human hair and was created in a single step pyrolysis of ferrocene in argon at 1,000C. Technical details aside, the team says the steps it took are compatible with today's semiconductor manufacturing techniques.
The end result is a device that can be written to and read from using conventional voltages, however remains years away from practical application. Nevertheless, the promise of long-lasting data retention could be huge for large-scale archival applications in the future.
Much more info here, along with the abstract (in PDF form) here.
Since before Ashton Kutcher championed the service, Twitter has been a cacophony of meaningless vapid personal updates, narcissistic celebrity feeds (not including Levar Burton, of course), and bored Facebook users looking for a new way to stalk that girl next door. There’s no denying that the microblogging social network has managed to grow at epic proportions - easily becoming one of the most popular Internet fads of the year - but it's not easy filtering the signal from the noise.
Here’s a novel idea: what if we could get more from Twitter than simply monotonous, (intentionally?) typo-plagued status updates? Newly created Twitter-spinoff sites suggest that the tweets of millions can be manipulated for the forces of good, and we're absolutely keen to the idea. Some tech-savvy companies have used the service to improve customer communications, and news organizations have used it as a way to reach audiences not possible with television and print. For those of us who’ve managed to remain optimistic about why we signed up for the service in the first place, we’ve discovered several ways to make the most out of Twitter, even if you don't have an account!
Troubleshooting has always been one of the most frustrating aspects of computer ownership. Due to the practically infinite number of potential problems, it would be utterly impossible to write a how-to guide to fix all of them, but in this article we are going to address some of the most common problems and then present more generalized guidelines that will help you troubleshoot your own problems in an emergency.
Oopsy-daisy! According to complaints on McAfee's message board, a mandatory service pack for the company's antivirus VSE 8.7 software has left some machines unbootable. The update, which was issued on May 27 and later pulled on June 2, was intended to squash minor security bugs, but also inadvertently flagged some Windows system files as malware.
"McAfee removed Patch 1 for McAfee VirusScan Enterprise 8.7i from its download servers out of precaution after a potential issue with the update was discovered," McAfee said in a statement. "A very small number of customers reported trouble with the patch on a limited number of computers."
McAfee went on to say that it's working on identifying the cause of the false positives and, once resolved, will repost the mandatory update.
According to Cisco, global IP traffic will skyrocket to a zettabyte -- or one trillion gigabytes -- by 2013, which is more than five times the amount of traffic today. Consumer IP traffic will account for a whopping 90 percent of the total, the company says.
Cisco also sees video leapfrogging mobile data traffic in the next four years, growing from 33 petabytes a month in 2008 to 2,184 petabytes (or 2 exabytes) a month in 2013. If true, that would mean mobile video would see a 131 percent annual growth rate.
Cisco, who bought the maker of the Flip video camera, certainly has a vested interest in seeing online video playing a bigger role, but potentially standing in the way of such a future is the increasing prominence of consumption based billing among ISPs. The future of broadband billing hasn't yet been decided as several ISPs continue to test market tiered consumption models.