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Displays

4K Computer Monitors Are Coming (But Still Pricey) 286

Posted by timothy
from the if-by-consumer-you-mean-anaestheologist dept.
First time accepted submitter jay age writes "When TV makers started pushing 4K screens on unsuspecting public, that just recently upgraded to 1080p, many had doubted what value will they bring consumers. Fair thought — 1080p is, at screen sizes and viewing distances commonly found in homes, good enough. However, PC users such as me have looked at this development with great hope. TV screens must have something to do with market being littered with monitors having puny 1080p resolution. What if 4K TVs will push PC makers to offer 4K screens too, wouldn't that be great? Well, they are coming. ASUS has just announced one!" You could hook a computer up to one of the available 4K displays, but will generally be paying a lot more for the privilege; this one is "only" about $5,000, according to ExtremeTech.
Transportation

No, the Tesla Model S Doesn't Pollute More Than an SUV 559

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-does-not-consume-live-kittens-or-drive-on-water dept.
thecarchik writes "In an exhaustive 6,500-word article on the financial website Seeking Alpha, analyst Nathan Weiss lays out a case that the latest Tesla Model S actually has higher effective emissions than most large SUVs of both the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and smog-producing pollutants like sulfur dioxide. This is absolutely false. Virtually all electric car advocates agree that when toting up the environmental pros and cons of electric cars, it's only fair to include powerplant emissions. When this has been done previously, the numbers have still favored electric cars. The Union of Concerned Scientists, for example, concluded in a 2012 report (PDF), 'Electric vehicles charged on the power grid have lower global warming emissions than the average gasoline-based vehicle sold today.' Working through every one of Weiss' conclusions may show a higher emissions rate than Tesla's published numbers, but in no way does a Model S pollute the amounts even close to an SUV."
United States

U.S. Authorizes Sales of American Communication Tech To Iran 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the applying-a-sepia-filter-to-your-breakfast-is-a-fundamental-human-right dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A report at SF Gate notes that 'The United States has lifted portions of two-decades-old sanctions against Iran in an effort to bolster communication between the country's citizens — and potentially aid organization against a repressive Iranian government. Thursday afternoon the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control authorized the sale of hardware and software that pertain to the Internet, instant messaging, chat, e-mail, social networking, sharing of media, and blogging — basically, all things digital. The Treasury Department wrote, 'As the Iranian government attempts to silence its people by cutting off their communication with each other and the rest of the world, the United States will continue to take action to help the Iranian people exercise their universal human rights, including the right to freedom of expression.'"
Japan

Monju Nuclear Plant Operator Ordered To Stop Restart Preparation 72

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-so-fast dept.
AmiMoJo writes "Japan's nuclear regulator has ordered the operator of the Monju fast-breeder reactor to suspend preparation for its restart until measures are put in place for its proper maintenance and management. The regulators acted after finding the operator had missed checkups on about 10,000 pieces of equipment. They ordered that sufficient manpower and funds be allocated for maintenance and management. The reactor in Tsuruga City, central Japan, is at the center of the nation's nuclear-fuel recycling policy. But its operator has been hampered by a series of problems."
The Military

UN Debates Rules Surrounding Killer Robots 215

Posted by timothy
from the nothing-c-c-c-can-go-wrong-n-n-nothing-can-go dept.
First time accepted submitter khb writes "It seems that the UN has started a debate on whether to place limits or bans on robots that can kill without manual supervision. It seems that bombs are viewed as 'kinder' than robots which might be programmed to achieve specific ends (e.g. destroy that bridge, kill anyone carrying a gun, etc.)."
Nintendo

Wii Street U Uses Google Maps to Create 'An Immersive Experience' (Video) 84

Posted by Roblimo
from the we-would-love-to-love-you-again-because-you're-a-good-old-friend dept.
Nintendo says, "With Wii Street U powered by Google, you can step into Google Street View with an immersive experience that feels like you’re actually there! View a 360-degree Google Maps Street View of locations all over the world using the Wii U GamePad motion controls. Use the GamePad touch screen to type in an address or location and explore, or instantly travel to over 70 fascinating, hand-picked locations around the globe." It all looks lovely, but can't we do most of this with Android phones? And couldn't a smart developer make the Google Street View Android phone experience even more immersive, so we wouldn't all need to buy a Wii U? Nintendo, we love you, but the Wii U still looks pretty dead unless it gets some major rethinking, and this Street View app doesn't seem to be it.
Robotics

Stanford's Flying Fish Glider 12

Posted by samzenpus
from the sailing-away dept.
Zothecula writes "Researchers at Stanford University have developed a small 'aircraft' that resembles a flying fish which can jump and glide over a greater distance than an equivalent jumping robot. Using a carbon fiber spring to take off, the jumpglider has a pivoting wing that stays out of the way during ascent, but which locks into place to glide farther on the way down."
Data Storage

Moore's Law Fails At NAND Flash Node 147

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the honey-i-couldn't-shrink-the-transistor dept.
An anonymous reader writes "SanDisk sampling its 1Y-based NAND flash memory products and has revealed they are manufactured at same minimum geometry as the 1X generation: 19 nm. The author speculates that this is one of the first instances of a Moore's Law 'fail' since the self-fulfilling prophecy was made in 1965 — but that it won't be the last."
Hardware Hacking

Canon DSLR Hack Allows It To Shoot RAW Video 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the features-added-by-users dept.
When the Canon 50D DSLR camera was released back in 2008, it could take nice pictures, but it had no support for video recording. Now, through an enterprising hack by members of the Magic Lantern forums, the 50D can capture RAW video. From the article: "The tech inside the 50D looks like it borrows a lot more from its higher-end siblings, like the 5D Mark II, and it’s possible we may actually get better RAW video quality out of the 50D than we do out of any of the non-CF Canon cameras. ... The camera doesn’t have playback or audio recording as it was never designed to shoot video, but this isn’t too different from the RAW recording on the other Canon DSLRs at the moment."
Operating Systems

Mozilla Teams Up With Foxconn; Tablet On the Way? 54

Posted by timothy
from the iceweasel-devices-will-be-gnu-licensed-instead dept.
The Register is one of several outlets reporting (based on a Reuters report) that Mozilla is working with Foxconn on a mobile device and "plans to unveil it at an event next week." Firefox OS is already running on other makers' phones; CNET speculates that this new device may be a tablet, which matches the Register's "insider" information.
Earth

Multiple Studies Show Used Electronics Exports To Third World Mostly Good 93

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the one-spoiled-teenager's-trash dept.
retroworks writes "Bloomberg News reporter Adam Minter writes in today's Opinion section that several studies show that there's nothing really remarkable or scandalous about exports of used equipment to developing nations. 'Some is recycled; some is repaired and refurbished for reuse; and some is thrown into landfills or incinerators. Almost none of it, however, is "dumped" overseas.' Minter begins with the most recent study (PDF), released by the U.S. International Trade Commission in March 2013. Several other studies from Peru, Nigeria, Ghana and China show there was never an incentive for overseas buyers to pay money to import junk, and that most of the junk filmed by activists in the dumps in those nations was used for years (Nigeria has had TV since the 1970s). 'A 2011 study by the United Nations Environment Program determined that only 9 percent of the used electronics imported by Nigeria — a country that is regularly depicted as a dumping ground for foreign e-waste — didn't work or were unrepairable, and thus bound for a recycler or a dump. The other 91 percent were reusable and bound for consumers who couldn't afford new products.' The one data source Bloomberg cannot find is a data point for the widely reported 'statistic' that 80-90% of used electronics imported by Africans are burned or dumped. In the comment section, two advocates for legislation banning the exports object to the survey methodology of one of the studies. But the source of the original statistic, reported by Greenpeace and Basel Action Network in their fundraising campaigns, remains a mystery."
Graphics

Vastly Improved Raspberry Pi Performance With Wayland 259

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the fast-and-fancy dept.
New submitter nekohayo writes "While Wayland/Weston 1.1 brought support to the Raspberry Pi merely a month ago, work has recently been done to bring true hardware-accelerated compositing capabilities to the RPi's graphics stack using Weston. The Raspberry Pi foundation has made an announcement about the work that has been done with Collabora to make this happen. X.org/Wayland developer Daniel Stone has written a blog post about this, including a video demonstrating the improved reactivity and performance. Developer Pekka Paalanen also provided additional technical details about the implementation." Rather than using the OpenGL ES hardware, the new compositor implementation uses the SoC's 2D scaler/compositing hardware which offers "a scaling throughput of 500 megapixels per second and blending throughput of 1 gigapixel per second. It runs independently of the OpenGL ES hardware, so we can continue to render 3D graphics at the full, very fast rate, even while compositing."
Power

Electric Car Startup 'Better Place' Liquidating After $850 Million Investment 193

Posted by samzenpus
from the shutting-it-down dept.
awaissoft writes "Better Place hoped to transform the energy industry with electric cars and battery switching stations. Better Place wanted to make the world a better place by replacing gas stations with battery switching stations that would remove the driving mileage limitations from electric cars and eventually rid the world of fossil-fuel burning vehicles. But after six years and burning through $850 million, the company is filing for liquidation in an Israeli court. As reported by the Associated Press, Better Place's Board of Directors issued a written statement Sunday announcing that the company was winding down."
Robotics

CurvACE Gives Robots a Bug's Eye View 16

Posted by samzenpus
from the bug-eyed dept.
Zothecula writes "Robots are getting down to the size of insects, so it seems only natural that they should be getting insect eyes. A consortium of European researchers has developed the artificial Curved Artificial Compound Eye (CurvACE) which reproduces the architecture of the eyes of insects and other arthropods. The aim isn't just to provide machines with an unnerving bug-eyed stare, but to create a new class of sensors that exploit the wide field of vision and motion detecting properties of the compound eye."
Businesses

Duracell's Powermat Ties the Knot With PowerKiss 61

Posted by samzenpus
from the power-up dept.
Lucas123 writes "Powermat Technologies has announced an agreement to merge with its European counterpart, PowerKiss, in a deal that will make what once was two disparate wireless power specifications come together under one. Among airports, coffee shops, malls and arenas, Powermat, owned by Duracell, claims it has more than 1,500 charging spots in the U.S. In Europe, PowerKiss said it has 1,000 charging spots in airports, hotels and cafes; it also recently announced wireless charging at some McDonald's restaurants. Powermat and PowerKiss are attempting to prevail against the competing Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), which supports the widely adopted Qi (pronounced "chee") standard used in Nokia, Samsung, and LG products. Like the Qi standard, the PMA's Power 2.0 specification is based on magnetic induction wireless power technology."
Google

Google Acquires Kite-Power Generator 125

Posted by samzenpus
from the blowing-in-the-wind dept.
garymortimer writes "Google has acquired a US company that generates power using turbines mounted on tethered kites or wings. Makani Power will become part of Google X – the secretive research and development arm of the search giant. The deal comes as Makani carries out the first fully autonomous flights of robot kites bearing its power-generating propellers. Google has not said how much it paid to acquire Makani, but it has invested $15m (£9.9m) in the company previously."
The Almighty Buck

Apple-1 Sells For $671,400, Breaks Previous Auction Record 79

Posted by Soulskill
from the built-to-last dept.
hypnosec writes "What is believed to be one of the six working Apple-1 computers has fetched a whopping $671,400 for its current owner at an auction in Germany. The Apple-1 was built by Steve Wozniak back in 1976 in the garage of Steve Jobs' parents. The model sold at auction is either from the first lot of 50 systems ordered by Paul Terrell, owner of the Byte Shop chain of stores, or part of the next lot of 150 systems the duo built to sell to friends and vendors. The retail price for the Apple-1 at the time was $666.66."
Supercomputing

ARM In Supercomputers — 'Get Ready For the Change' 238

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-and-what-ARMy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Commodity ARM CPUs are poised to to replace x86 CPUs in modern supercomputers just as commodity x86 CPUs replaced vector CPUs in early supercomputers. An analysis by the EU Mountblanc Project (PDF) (using Nvidia Tegra 2/3, Samsung Exynos 5 & Intel Core i7 CPUs) highlights the suitability and energy efficiency of ARM-based solutions. They finish off by saying, 'Current limitations [are] due to target market condition — not real technological challenges. ... A whole set of ARM server chips is coming — solving most of the limitations identified.'"
Businesses

European Commission Launches $12 Billion Chip Support Campaign 111

Posted by timothy
from the there-would-be-this-thing-called-comparative-advantage dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice president responsible for the digital economy, wants to use 5 billion euros of European Union tax payers' money, together with matching funds from the chip industry, to recreate European success in semiconductors similar to that of Airbus. Because of its strategic importance to wealth creation Kroes wants Europe to reverse its decline in chip manufacturing and move back up from 10 percent to 20 percent of global production."
AMD

AMD Launches New Mobile APU Lineup, Kabini Gets Tested 102

Posted by timothy
from the failure-to-overwhelm dept.
An anonymous reader writes "While everyone was glued to the Xbox One announcement, Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 launch, and Intel's pre-Haswell frenzy, it seems that AMD's launch was overlooked. On Wednesday, AMD launched its latest line of mobile APUs, codenamed Temash, Kabini, and Richland. Temash is targeted towards smaller touchscreen-based devices such as tablets and the various Windows 8 hybrid devices, and comes in dual-core A4 and A6 flavors. Kabini chips are intended for the low-end notebook market, and come in quad-core A4 and A6 models along with a dual-core E2. Richland includes quad-core A8 and A10 models, and is meant for higher-end notebooks — MSI is already on-board for the A10-5750M in their GX series of gaming notebooks. All three new APUs feature AMD HD 8000-series graphics. Tom's Hardware got a prototype notebook featuring the new quad-core A4-5000 with Radeon HD 8300 graphics, and benchmarked it versus a Pentium B960-based Acer Aspire V3 and a Core-i3-based HP Pavillion Sleekbook 15. While Kabini proves more efficient, and features more powerful graphics than the Pentium, it comes up short in CPU-heavy tasks. What's more, the Core-i3 matches the A4-5000 in power efficiency while its HD 4000 graphics completely outpace the APU."

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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