The Department of Optics at the University of Granada has recently revealed a new technique that provides the means to identify the difference between a bootlegged CD and one made industrially (other than checking if the top has “Workout Mix” written in Sharpie).
At a base level, they’re simply checking out the light diffraction from the surface of the CD. Ideally, it’ll be noticeably different between a CD made at home and made at the factory. In fact they’re so confident with the process, they’ve filed for a patent.
Sadly, they’re a bit late. For many of us, the CD boat has sailed and this technology is generations behind. But, there might be some of you out there that still prefer your music in disc form, and to that I say kudos.
In the coming days and years the uses for multitouch will only grow, some will act as innovative new pieces of technology that the world will benefit from, and then there will be others that lack practical use. This is the latter.
While the PQ-DVD made app (the same folks responsible for the iPod video conversion software) looks like a Microsoft Surface made just for synching media to and from an iPod (because it is), it just doesn’t look useful. The tasks, while pretty, would be far easier to complete with the traditional mouse and keyboard.
Admittedly, the software is easy on the eyes – nobody’s questioning that. But ultimately, this is a party trick. Sure it’s cool to show off when people are around, and you might use it once or twice when you’re home alone, but you and I both know that there are far easier ways of opening that bottle of beer than with your molars.
OCZ's making a pitch for its new Slate Series ExpressCard, a storage expansion drive the company claims is better suited than USB flash devices and external hard drives.
Compatible with USB 2.0
18 MB/sec read
12.5 MB/sec write
Voltage: 2.7V - 3.6V
The new ExpressCard storage drives aren't going to win any speed crowns, so OCZ is touting convenience and low power consumption over alternative backup solutions. Users who don't like to lug around external hard drives or who are prone to bumping into USB keys sticking out of a notebook may find appeal in an ExpressCard that stays put and out of the way.
Specific pricing and availability has not yet been announced, though OCZ did say its new Slate Series will come in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities.
Intel’s most recent processor roadmap, released earlier this week, reveals their plans for technology extending all the way into the 32-nanometer realm.
The roadmap reveals some new codenames for the world to gawk at, including Medfield, which is slated for 2010, and it’s predecessor, Pineview, which should be on its way for a 2009 release. The two processors are still based on 45-nanometer technology, much like today’s Atom processor.
Pineview might be housing Intel’s own graphics processing technology, right on the chip.
The Medfield chip would be part of a new generation that includes the processor, memory controller, multimedia functions and I/O into a single chip. It’s also reported that battery life of netbooks that include the chips will have their battery lives drastically increased.
We're not sure what else AMD can do at this point to turn its fortunes around, save for releasing a Core i7 killer. Since sitting at the top of the performance hill with its Athlon 64 architecture, AMD has been on a steady downward fall and has tried everything to get back on track. Job cuts, a new CEO, internal reorganization, and even branching off into separate design and manufacturing companies. The end result? AMD is still struggling to make a buck.
This time its the sluggish global economy to blame, but the reason hardly seems to matter. No matter what the culprit, investors have to be feeling the pinch from AMD's recent fourth-quarter revenue estimates, which is down a whopping 25 percent. The company's third-quarter revenue sat at $1.59 billion, and Q4 is on target to drop to $1.19 billion. Ouch.
AMD isn't the only one going through tough times, but according to Endpoint Technologies Associates analyst Roger Kay, "AMD is proportionately more relieant on consumers than Intel. It's not good for Intel. How could it be good for AMD?"
One has to wonder just how long AMD can keep posting disappointing numbers, regardless of the reason.
Adobe's come up with a new tool that could ultimately change the way you look at web browsing. As it stands now, glimpsing back in time means honing your Google-fu, with no real efficient way of looking at a particular page or subject by date. Adobe's Zoetrope tool changes all that.
Of course, you can already go back in time using projects like the Internet Archive, but Zoetrope makes such methods seem rudimentary by comparison. With Zoetrope, a user can look back hours, days, or months by pulling on a scrollbar at the bottom of any given webpage. And that's just the beginning. By drawing a selection box over any part of a particular page - like stock prices, for example - Zoetrope makes it possible to scroll back in time just on the selected portion while the rest of the page remains the same. From there, you can make multiple selections, link them together, and turn them into graphs. Let's say Nvidia just announced a price drop on one of its videocards. Using Zoetrope, you could head over to Newegg and highlight one or more cards, then scroll back in time and quickly determine if price drops are few and far between or fairly consistent.
A description really doesn't do the technology justice, and thankfully Technology Review has posted a video of the nifty tool in action. Check it out, then hit the jump and tell us what you think.
Newsflash - consumers hate DRM! Could it be that Apple finally got the message? Apparently so, according to a rumor at AppleInsider. Apple has yet to make an announcement, but AppleInsider claims iTunes may be dropping DRM completely starting tomorrow.
"A report from last week brought to AppleInsider's attention by French technology site ElectronLibre asserts that it's now 'clear' Apple will spark new interest in its music store by removing DRM from tracks published by Sony, Universal and Warner on December 9th,"AppleInsider writes.
Apple's iTunes Store, which claims 70 percent of the online digital music market, already offers DRM-free tracks from EMI and indie content. If all tracks moved to the same format, it could deal a blow to the competition, such as Amazon and Walmart, both of which offer DRM-free tracks from all major studios.
Throwing a wet blanket on the rumor is Cnet, who says that come tomorrow, don't expect any big changes. Cnet acknowledges that Apple is in negotiations with Universal, Sony, and Warner, but warned that none of the deals are final, with at least one source saying "it's unlikely Apple will have anything to announce regarding DRM-free music from the top labels before the end of the year."
In other words, cross your fingers but remain skeptical.
If you haven't yet made the plunge to Firefox 3.0, you might want to put it near the top of your to-do list (don' forget to call your mother as well). Should it still slip your mind, Mozilla will actively be encouraging users to upgrade.
"With the holidays fast approaching, later today Mozilla will start offering a gift to Firefox 22.214.171.124 users - a free upgrade to Firefox 3.0.4," Mozilla wrote in a blog post, "the very latest and best browser from Mozilla offering more speed, requiring less memory, and providing the safest and easiest web browsing experience available."
Yes, Firefox is still free, despite what we assume is a tongue-in-cheek blog. But it's not all a laughing matter. According to TGDaily, Mozilla might be making plans to kill off support for Firefox 2.0. Should that happen, those using the older browser could find themselves at increased risk of attack, particularly as hackers have now started targeting Firefox with malware written solely for the open-source browser.
It's hard to imagine, but the computer mouse celebrates its 40th birthday today, making the rodent susceptible to premature over the hill jokes. The one-button wooden mouse, which was built by Bill English, was first used by Douglas Engelbart on this day 40 years ago in a demonstration at the Fall Joint Computer Conference (FJCC). Dr. Engelbart showed how the new input device could be used to clip text files, copy and paste, and how it could come in handy on computer networks.
Many of the researchers behind the first demo are reuniting to celebrate the mouse's 40th anniversary. Among them will be Dr. Rulifson, who joined the group that Dr. Englebart assembled at the Stanford Reseearch Institute in California.
"I met Doug and got throroughly enchanted," Dr. Rulifson told the BBC. "I really understood what he was after. I was blown away by the ideas."
Forty years later and the computer market is overrun with rodents, although the mouse has evolved quite a bit from its one-button debut. Logitech alone has shipped over a billion mice found in over 100 countries, and should probably send English a 'thank-you' card.
It looks like GameStop is actively building their laundry list of problems, having just added piracy to the mix. According to Joe Haygood, they’ve been leaving plenty of game instruction books inside the open boxes on shelves, leaving CD Keys up for grabs.
According to Mr. Haygood, “I went back to the shelf and found three other games where the CD codes were smack dab in the package. Games like Left 4 Dead, Mercenaries 2 and Spider Man Web of Shadows. When I talked to the manager about this, it was said that it was a mistake and it would not happen again.”
This problem didn’t plague just one GameStop, either. He made his way to a second location to find “at least six games that had CD codes on the inside of the packaging, on the shelves.”
What do you think? Is this a problem that you’ve seen at your own local GameStops, or is this an isolated incident? Let us know in the comments.