itwbennett writes "If you buy into the idea that tablets (and ultrabooks, and smartphones) in the enterprise are nothing more than glorified thin clients, then Microsoft's Surface presentation seemed more flashback than future. And if you're a fan of free software, the announcement might also have struck fear in your heart. While Microsoft has never locked out apps based on license, it's not impossible that they might chose a more locked-down Apple-esque approach for Surface, writes blogger Brian Proffitt. 'And that could put free software for end users very much at risk.'"
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jones_supa writes "NVIDIA's PR department has issued a statement following the harsh comments by Linus Torvalds last week where he referred to the graphics company as the single worst company he's ever dealt with, called them out on not supporting Optimus, and other issues. Basically the company replied they're committed to Linux using their proprietary driver that is largely common across platforms, and this allows for same-day Linux support with full OpenGL implementation. They also say that they're active in ARM Linux for Tegra and support a wide range of hardware under Linux. Despite having not made any commitment to better support Optimus under Linux nor providing technical assistance to the Nouveau community, NVIDIA assures us that 'at the end of the day, providing a consistent GPU experience across multiple platforms for all of our customers continues to be one of our key goals.'"
An anonymous reader writes "My grandfather is a retired electrician whom I've been trying to keep mentally busy. Together we've gotten an Arduino kit and have been working on some simple projects. He does the wiring and I've been writing the code. Recently his arthritis has been getting worse and he's been unable to work with the tiny components that the Arduino projects require. Does anyone have a recommendation for something similar we could work on together that would be easier for someone with his compromised manual dexterity?"
snydeq writes "Microsoft's plan to build its own Windows 8 tablets puts longtime allies in peril — and it may be the right thing to do. 'In announcing the Surface tablets, due to be released this fall, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer cited Apple's advantage (without mentioning Apple) of integrated software and hardware. "Things work better when hardware and software are considered together," he said. "We control it all, we design it all, and we manufacture it all ourselves." ... Like Apple, Microsoft will hire a few PC makers to do the actual production work. But the need for 20 brands of me-too laptops, tablets, and convertibles is low. Manufacturing sophisticated electronics is a skill requiring manufacturing innovation. But all those branded-but-otherwise-undifferentiated PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones just aren't needed in the vision Ballmer sketched out yesterday.'"
MrSeb was one of several submitters to write in about Microsoft's foray into the tablet hardware market. From the article: "At its much-discussed 'big unveil' this evening, Microsoft did indeed launch a tablet — but rumors that the device would showcase a Barnes & Noble partnership were misplaced. Instead, Microsoft showed a ... device that integrates a better keyboard option than typing on the screen without adding size or weight. That's where the new keyboard — which doubles as a screen cover — kicks in. At 3mm thick, it adds virtually nothing to the device's size, but it opens up a world of inputs. There are two covers available — the Touch Cover (very thin) and the Type Cover (with proper, tactile keys). Microsoft is touting the device's magnesium body, vapor-deposited construction, full PC functionality, and additional features like being the first tablet to showcase a 2×2 MIMO wireless antenna. Windows RT (ARM) and x86 versions are both in the works, with the x86 version apparently having a higher quality screen. No word on hardware specs yet; Microsoft is claiming it 'rivals the best ultrabooks' and uses less power than the Core i5." Microsoft has a launch site with a few pictures. There is a vague spec sheet: the x86 version is slightly thicker and has a larger battery (and comes with a pen) than the ARM tablet, but that's about all it reveals. Update: 06/19 16:06 GMT by T : Nick Kolakowski at GeekNet's SlashCloud says this may be Microsoft's best chance to compete in a cloud-centric mobile computing world.
MrSeb writes "With the ISC (International Supercomputer Conference) kicking off this week, there's been a flurry of announcements around new supercomputer buildouts. One of the more interesting systems debuting this week is SuperMUC — IBM's new supercomputer at the Leibniz Supercomputing Center in Germany IBM is billing SuperMUC as the first 'hot-water cooled supercomputer,' an advance it claims cut power consumption by 40%. Dubbed Aquasar, the new system looks like any standard water cooler: water is pumped in one side of the blade, circulates throughout the system, and is pumped out. The difference, according to IBM, are the microchannels etched into the copper heatblock above the CPU cores. Rather than simply being dumped, SuperMUC's waste heat is designed to be converted into building heat during winter. Presumably it is mostly radiated away in summer, rather than being dumped into the offices of angry German scientists."
YokimaSun writes "The search for a cheap laptop has brought us news from India of a $10 laptop (which later turned out to be a hundred dollars). Today PC Gaming News has details of a laptop which is selling for a measly 45 dollars, what do you get for that, you get a netbook running windows embedded compact 7, 128 megs of ram, a via8505 processor and a 7 inch screen capable of 800x480 pixels resolution." I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook.
Zothecula writes "If you've ever worn a knee brace, then you may have noticed what a large change in angle your knee goes through with every step you take, and how quickly it does so. A team of scientists from the U.K.'s Cranfield University, University of Liverpool and University of Salford certainly noticed, and decided that all that movement should be put to use. The result is a wearable piezoelectric device that converts knee movement into electricity, which could in turn be used to power gadgets such as heart rate monitors, pedometers and accelerometers."
rover42 writes "I travel a lot, usually on a tight budget and often on airlines with tight luggage weight restrictions and high fees for going over, so traveling light is very important to me. So is connecting to the net when traveling, which creates a conflict. I do not trust machines in Internet cafes and my laptop adds significant weight & bulk to my luggage. I could buy a small netbook or a MacBook Air, but is there another choice? There are quite a few tiny computers available, Raspberry Pi and the like. Alone, they don't solve my problem because you need a screen and that is at least as heavy as a laptop. However, there are also quite a few tiny projectors. Would a tiny computer plus a tiny projector do the trick? Which ones? All I need for software is some open source Unix (any *BSD or Linux distro should be fine, or even Minix), a browser and an editor. I don't need large storage or a fast CPU. Has anyone done something like this? Does anyone have a recommendation for either the computer or the projector?"
MojoKid writes "For over 10 years, the desktop and mobile graphics space has been dominated by two players: Nvidia and AMD/ATI. After 3dfx collapsed, there was a brief period of time when it looked as though Imagination Technologies might establish itself as a third option. Ultimately, that didn't happen — the company's tile-based rendering solution, Kyro, failed to gain mass-market support and faded after two generations. Now, there's a flurry of evidence to suggest that Imagination Technologies plans to re-enter PC market, but from the opposite direction. Rather than building expensive discrete solutions, IT is focused on deploying GPUs that can challenge Nvidia and AMD solutions in tablets, mobile phones, and possibly netbooks. Over the past two weeks, Imagination Technologies has announced new, higher-end versions of its Power VR Series 6 GPU, claiming that the new Power VR G6230 and G6430 go '"all out," adding incremental extra area for maximum performance whilst minimising power consumption.' There's a new ray-tracing SDK out and a post discussing how PowerVR is utilizing GPU Compute and OpenCL to offload and accelerate CPU-centric tasks." Update: 06/17 17:53 GMT by T : Related: An anonymous reader adds a link to a new project from the FSF to reverse engineer the PowerVR SGX.
An anonymous reader writes "A 56-page leaked document details Microsoft's plans to build a Project Glass competitor. Kinect Glasses is marked as a 2014 project designed to connect to a future Xbox 720 console. The document also includes potential pricing for the next Xbox — $299 with a Kinect 2."
An anonymous reader writes "Phoronix constructed a low-cost, low-power 12-core ARM cluster running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and made out of six PandaBoard ES OMAP4460 dual-core ARMv7 Cortex A9 chips. Their results show the ARM hardware is able to outperform Intel Atom and AMD Fusion processors in performance-per-Watt, except it sharply loses out to the latest-generation Intel Ivy Bridge processors." This cluster offers a commendable re-use of kitchenware. Also, this is a good opportunity to recommend your favorite de-bursting tools for articles spread over too many pages.
Glasswire writes "ComputerWorld reports that Microsoft will announce a Microsoft-branded tablet on Monday running the Win RT (ARM-based) subset version of Win 8. MSFT choose not to offer a x86 Win 8 version, which could have given them a performance advantage over ARM-based Apple iPads. A PCMag opinion piece titled 'A Microsoft Tablet Would Be Dumb' says, 'The only real reason to introduce a Microsoft-branded tablet is because Microsoft couldn't get anyone else to make a Windows RT tablet.' No reaction yet from Microsoft's system OEM customers that it will now be competing with."
An anonymous reader writes "Sometimes, it's the oldest machines that are the most fascinating. PC & Tech Authority has posted this gallery of photos of the first automatic electronic stored-program computer in Australia and one of the first in the world — CSIRAC. The photos show a machine massive in size — the main system comprised nine steel cabinets containing 2000 valves that weighed over 7000kg. Using valve technology and World War II radar systems as a starting point, the machine was used for various purposes including weather forecasting, forestry, loan repayments and building design. It boasted a 1000Hz memory clock and a serial bus that transferred one bit at a time. The system generated so much heat, cool air needed to be blown up through the cabinets from the basement below. In addition to being Australia's first computer, it is also said to have been the first computer to play digital music anywhere in the world. When CSIRAC was turned off for the last time, a witness described it as 'like something alive dying.'" Museum Victoria has some short but informative pages about CSIRAC, too, including this one about programming the thing, and another about the dangers and annoyances of working on it.
ArmageddonLord writes with this news from the IEEE Spectrum, reporting on display industry gathering Display Week: "Liquid crystal displays dominate today's big, bright world of color TVs. But they're inefficient and don't produce the vibrant, richly hued images of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens, which are expensive to make in large sizes. Now, a handful of start-up companies aim to improve the LCD by adding quantum dots, the light-emitting semiconductor nanocrystals that shine pure colors when excited by electric current or light. When integrated into the back of LCD panels, the quantum dots promise to cut power consumption in half while generating 50 percent more colors. Quantum-dot developer Nanosys says an LCD film it developed with 3M is now being tested, and a 17-inch notebook incorporating the technology should be on shelves by year's end."