Preparing For Life After the PC 636

New submitter Doctor_Jest links to a recent I, Cringely column, in which Cringely "is speculating how the world will look when the 'Post-PC' era is in full swing." He makes the case that in just a few upgrade cycles, extensible phones and other devices, coupled with remotely stored data, could replace most of today's conventional PCs — but also admits he thought this transition would have already happened.

Controlling Linux Using an Android Phone As Mouse, Keyboard, and Gamepad 93

beefsack writes "Miniand have demonstrated how to control Linux using a Samsung Galaxy S2. Using an MK802 with the ARM build of Droidmote server bundled into an MK802 Lubuntu image with uinput enabled, Miniand demonstrates (video) using an Android phone as a keyboard, mouse, and gamepad over Wi-Fi to the device." Update: 07/10 00:07 GMT by U L : reader ancienthart pointed toward Premotedroid, an (possibly, I could find no license in the code but the code is there) open source alternative.
Input Devices

fMRI Lets Israeli Student Control Robot In France With His Mind 92

MrSeb writes "An Israeli student has become the first person to meld his mind and movements with a robot surrogate, or avatar. Situated inside an fMRI scanner in Israel, Tirosh Shapira has controlled a humanoid robot some 2000 kilometers (1250 miles) away, at the Béziers Technology Institute in France, using just his mind. The system must be trained so that a particular "thought" (fMRI blood flow pattern) equates to a certain command. In this case, when Shapira thinks about moving forward or backward, the robot moves forward or backward; when Shapira thinks about moving one of his hands, the robot surrogate turns in that direction. To complete the loop, the robot has a camera on its head, with the image being displayed in front of Shapira. Speaking to New Scientist, it sounds like Shapira really became one with the robot: 'It was mind-blowing. I really felt like I was there, moving around,' he says. 'At one point the connection failed. One of the researchers picked the robot up to see what the problem was and I was like, "Oi, put me down!"'"

Apple Exits "Green Hardware" Certification Program 405

westlake writes "CNET reports that Apple is turning its back on the EPA supported EPEAT hardware certification program. One of the problems EPEAT sees are barriers to recycling. Batteries and screens glued into place — that sort of thing. There is a price for Apple in this: CIO Journal notes that the U.S. government requires that 95 percent of its electronics bear the EPEAT seal of approval; large companies such as Ford and Kaiser Permanente require their CIOs to buy from EPEAT-certified firms; and many of the largest universities in the U.S. prefer to buy EPEAT-friendly gear."
America Online

AOL: Outdoor Server Huts Are the Future 146

1sockchuck writes "While Facebook and Apple are investing in huge data cathedrals, AOL has decided to go in a different direction: a distributed network of rack-sized server huts that live outdoors. AOL is taking the concept for its unmanned data center and shrinking it into a 'micro data center.' AOL envisions a distributed network of these units, allowing it to quickly roll out new IT capacity for hyperlocal news sites and create its own content distribution network."

Raspberry Pi Model A Makes First Appearance 101

An anonymous reader writes "It's easy to forget that the Raspberry Pi currently shipping is the more expensive model of the board. It is actually called the Model B as it sports more features than the $25 Model A. The main differences [compared to the B model] include a lack of an Ethernet port and the associated networking chip, as well as the presence of only one USB port instead of two. There was originally going to be less memory on the Model A (128MB instead of 256MB), but the Raspberry Pi Foundation managed to make enough cost savings during a redesign to increase the amount to 256MB on the cheaper version. With all the focus being on the Model B, we haven't actually seen the (near) final Model A board yet. But that changes today, as Eben Upton has just shown off the $25 board."

Software-Defined Radio: the Apple I of Broadcast? 153

benfrog writes "A company called Per Vices has introduced software-defined radio gear that Ars Technica is comparing to the Apple I. Why? Because software radio can broadcast and receive nearly any radio signal on nearly any frequency at the same time, and thus could 'revolutionize wireless.' The Per Vices Phi is one of the first devices aimed at the mass hobbyist market to take advantage of this technology."
Data Storage

Linux Played a Vital Role In Discovery of Higgs Boson 299

An anonymous reader writes "Scientific Linux and Ubuntu had a vital role in the discovery of the new boson at CERN. Linux systems are used every day in their analysis, together with hosts of open software, such as ROOT. Linux plays a major role in the running of their networks of computers (in the grid etc.) and it is used for the intensive work in their calculations."
Data Storage

Seagoing Servers Hit the Rocks 56

1sockchuck writes "A plan to build data centers on ships is now defunct. Startup IDS, whose ambitions to convert cargo ships into server farms prompted debate on Slashdot in 2008 and 2010, is in bankruptcy. Google filed a patent for a water-based data center, but it's not clear that the company ever took the concept seriously, and has even spoofed the idea."
Hardware Hacking

SNESDev-RPi: a SNES Adapter For the Raspberry Pi 30

New submitter Blinky0815 writes "I just found what's quite possibly the world's very first SNES-Adapter for the Raspberry Pi. Florian's design helps create what he calls the 'universal console.' His blog explains everything in detail to create your very own 'universal console' at home. His blog has instructions, videos and even a github repository for downloading his software."

Nexus Q Stretches "Made in USA" Label 241

sl4shd0rk writes "Among the much ballyhooed tech at Google I/O last week was the Google Nexus Q. Google made an effort to proudly point out the device was "Made in the USA" and even had it stamped on the back of it. A tear-down at ifixit.com however, reveals the guts of the thing are mostly manufactured overseas at the expected locations (China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, et al). Wired also posted a tear-down in which they reveal a die-casting shop in Wisconsin is the source of the zinc housing, but certainly not the entire device as some news sources reported. It's great that Google decided to utilize the struggling U.S. manufacturing sector for this, but claiming the device is USA made, and being blatantly vague about its origins is quite misleading." How struggling the U.S. manufacturing sector is depends on who you ask and how you measure, remember.

China Begins Stockpiling Rare Earths, Draws WTO Attention 227

eldavojohn writes "A report by China Securities Journal claims that China is now stockpiling rare earths although it has not indicated when this stockpiling started. Many WTO members have complained about China's tightening restrictions on exports of rare earths while China maintains that such restrictions are an attempt to clean up its environmental problems. A WTO special conference scheduled for July 10th will hopefully decide if China's restrictions are unfair trade practices or if the US, the EU and Japan are merely upset that they can't export their pollution and receive rare earths at low prices. Last year, China granted its mining companies the right to export 30,200 tons but in actuality only 18,600 tons were shipped out of country."

Qubits Stored at Room Temp For Two Seconds 88

nmpost writes with news of another step toward practical quantum computers. From the article: "Scientists have successfully overcome one of the obstacles in quantum computation by storing data on quantum bits (qubits) for about two seconds at room temperature. Many of the current systems utilize extremely complex and costly equipments to trap an individual electron or atom in a vacuum at absolute zero temperature. However, a team of researchers from Harvard University have solved the problem of working at normal temperature by using diamonds, which are atomically pure materials on Earth."
Open Source

How Open Source Hardware Is Driving the 3D-Printing Industry 199

TheNextCorner sends this quote from ReadWriteWeb: "Open source software has been a key player in all kinds of disruptive technologies — from the Web to big data. Now the nascent and growing open source hardware movement is helping to power its own disruptive revolution. ... As 3D printing, powered by Arduino and other open source technologies, becomes more prevalent, economies of scale become much less of a problem. A 3D printer can print a few devices — or thousands — without significant retooling, pushing upfront costs to near-zero. This is what The Economist calls the 'Third Industrial Revolution,' where devices and things can be made in smaller, cleaner factories with far less overhead and — significantly — less labor."