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Displays Technology

GE Announces OLED Manufacturing Breakthrough 192

Posted by kdawson
from the cheap-and-bright dept.
bughunter writes "Today GE announced the successful demonstration of the world's first roll-to-roll manufactured organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting devices (press release). This demonstration is a key step toward making OLEDs and other high-performance organic electronics products at dramatically lower costs than what is possible today. The green crowd is thrilled as well. Personally, as the parent of a 3-year-old technophile, I'm dreading the animated cereal boxes." Now can I get my Optimus Keyboard for less than $1,299?
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GE Announces OLED Manufacturing Breakthrough

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  • What Was the Cost? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) *

    Now can I get my Optimus Keyboard for less than $1,299?

    Well, I didn't see a price. I saw that it was 'green' as it was making organic LEDs but how was it any greener than the old procedure for making OLEDs? Nor did they state it was faster or cheaper. They said it took four years to do this, how long did it take to make the strip pictured? What raw materials went into that (or what were the costs for that strip)?

    I would be excited ... if there were more details convincing me this is a 'breakthrough.' That word gets thrown around a lot these days.

    • by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:12PM (#22721456)
      From the release:

      The demonstration of a low-cost, roll-to-roll process for OLED lighting represents the successful completion of a four-year, $13 million research collaboration among GE Global Research, Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENER) and the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The goal of the collaboration was to demonstrate a cost-effective system for the mass production of organic electronics products such as flexible electronic paper displays, portable TV screens the size of posters, solar powered cells and high-efficiency lighting devices. ECD Senior Vice President Nancy Bacon said, "This program was a major step in developing high volume roll-to-roll manufacturing for OLEDs and other organic semiconductor devices. The success of this program is testimony to the effectiveness of NIST's advanced technology program model, and our 20-year history of pioneering research in roll-to-roll technology. We currently are utilizing this technology to mass produce our flexible, durable and lightweight UNI-SOLAR brand solar laminates. ECD looks forward to continuing collaboration with GE to further develop this technology for future commercialization."
      The success is in the creation of a manufacturing process, the strip was the demonstration of its success.
      • by EaglemanBSA (950534) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @04:45PM (#22722460)
        Exactly. In mechanical engineering terms, this is what we call the beta prototype - the prototype created with the real-world manufacturing process described in the manufacturing plan. The expensive one-of-a kind stuff is an alpha (like concept cars, etc.), which are usually hand-made. I would expect they'll have these mass produced quite soon, and at an affordable price for many applications.

        Remember, if their plan didn't show expectations of profit (i.e.: a sellable product), they wouldn't be researching it. They're a company, they're out to make money. Luckily, in this case, they're trying to do it by developing a responsible technology.
    • by StreetStealth (980200) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:20PM (#22721566) Journal

      I would be excited ... if there were more details convincing me this is a 'breakthrough.'
      The one thing that I think sets this apart from most "breakthroughs" is that they're demonstrating a prototype of an actual fabrication process rather than a prototype of a product that would then require plenty more research to figure out how to fabricate it.

      In other words, it's one thing to demonstrate a prototype product, but an entirely other thing to demonstrate how you actually plan to mass produce that product, which this is!

      Of course, it's yet another thing to actually produce your production equipment and drive adoption among manufacturers, but this announement is still one major step beyond most next-gen display announcements (SED, I'm looking at you...).
    • by lixee (863589)
      It's not a breakthrough per se, but it's something that makes me very excited. Roll-to-roll fabrication is something that will assuredly make production both cheaper and faster. I can already picture my new wallpapers...
    • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:22PM (#22721596) Homepage

      I would be excited ... if there were more details convincing me this is a 'breakthrough.' That word gets thrown around a lot these days.

      If the announcement came out of some startup, it would be questionable, but it came from General Electric Research in Schenectady, NY. That's an organization over a century old, and a big chunk of the electrical industry was invented there. If they say they have a production process for making something in quantity, they probably do.

      • by Linux_ho (205887) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @04:51PM (#22722520) Homepage
        If they say they have a production process for making something in quantity, they probably do.

        The OP wasn't arguing that GE doesn't have the production process. He/she just wasn't convinced that the process was "a breakthrough." The photo I saw looked like the LEDs were about 1 inch square each, and the attached article suggested that they were about twice as efficient per lumen as incandescent lighting. The efficiency of incandescent lighting isn't exactly hard to beat.

        Would you consider a new process for manufacturing buggy whips to be a "breakthrough?" I'm not saying it's NOT a breakthrough, (obviously this could lead to amazing display technology) but I agree with the point the OP was trying to make: it would be nice to have more details.
      • by bob_jordan (39836)
        "That's an organization over a century old, and a big chunk of the electrical industry was invented there."

        A big chunk of the electrical industry is AC.

        Tesla

        Bob.
    • Organic != 'Green' (Score:5, Informative)

      by RingDev (879105) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:25PM (#22721642) Homepage Journal
      Organic, before the marketing hype took over it, means 'carbon based'. That is not to say that any pesticides or insecticides were not used in the production of this OLED. But the Organic in OLED means that the base of the LED is a polymer with a carbon based composite deposited on it. The purpose 4-year project appears to have been to find a significantly more efficient (roll to roll) way of printing the organic compound to the polymer. So while the creation of the tool took four years, it could mean the ability to greatly increase production and reduce costs significantly.

      What makes OLED's 'green' is that they don't require back lighting like LCD displays. Which means you can generate images for a fraction of the electrical draw.

      -Rick
      • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:31PM (#22721706) Homepage Journal
        Yep my favorite was when I saw Organic Sea Salt....
        Right up there when the Video store had Apollo 13 in the SciFi section.
        • by Bearpaw (13080) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:49PM (#22721890)
          While I'm probably more of a tree-hugger than most Slashdotters, I'm occasionally tempted to start marketing Organic Hemlock Tea ... "The first tea that's guaranteed to reduce your impact on the environment!"
          • I'd be tempted to buy several cases and distribute it to certain people...
          • by LWATCDR (28044)
            Yes the nastiest stuff on the planet is organic. Cobra venom, nerve gas, and your average Slashdot poster.
          • by Compuser (14899)
            Hemlock tea exists and is OK for you so long is it is made from the tree and from the ground plant (that's the version that killed Socrates).
            • by Compuser (14899) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @06:27PM (#22723344)
              Uh, hate replying to myself but that was supposed to be:
              Hemlock tea exists and is OK for you so long it is made from the tree and NOT from the ground plant (that's the version that killed Socrates).

              A quick google search turns up a company named TerraVita which sells its hemlock tea for $14 per 25 bags box. So the GP already has competitors.
        • To be fair, Apollo 13 was not a documentary, it was a drama based on actual events... in other words, fiction. Since it was fiction, and based on science, the film actually is science fiction.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MightyYar (622222)
        I think greenies are excited because OLEDs could replace some forms of more traditional, less efficient lighting if their cost could be brought down, which is what this process promises. I don't think the "organic" part has much to do with it, though along with being more efficient it also contains no mercury.
        • by Chris Burke (6130)
          Yeah, the first line of the article linked as "The green crowd is thrilled [groovygreen.com]" is:

          Energy for lighting is one of the main resource hogs around the world.


          So yeah, you were right, and a lot of others just hopped on the "silly greenies" bandwagon.
        • by polar red (215081)
          And what most people don't know is the following : economical = ecological, if we define economical as using the least possible resources (as opposed to the other kind - in which costs are offloaded onto society)
          • by MightyYar (622222)

            economical = ecological

            The problem with that equation is in calculating the true cost of something. If you just use straight dollars, the equation doesn't work. For instance, if I were to choose a fuel for my car, I'd almost certainly choose gasoline because it is cheap - but it is hard to argue that pumping non-renewable toxic goo out of the ground, spending a ton of energy refining it, and then burning it is "ecological" :) It's also much cheaper in dollars to just burn coal without any kind of pollution scrubbing... especiall

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by polar red (215081)

              The problem with that equation is in calculating the true cost of something. If you just use straight dollars, the equation doesn't work. For instance, if I were to choose a fuel for my car, I'd almost certainly choose gasoline because it is cheap - but it is hard to argue that pumping non-renewable toxic goo out of the ground, spending a ton of energy refining it, and then burning it is "ecological" :) It's also much cheaper in dollars to just burn coal without any kind of pollution scrubbing...

              Well, that's why I included a statement about offloading onto society ... putting toxins into the air certainly has a health cost ...

      • OLED = 'Green' (Score:4, Informative)

        by overshoot (39700) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:57PM (#22721976)

        What makes OLED's 'green' is that they don't require back lighting like LCD displays. Which means you can generate images for a fraction of the electrical draw.
        Well, that and they're pretty danged efficient light emitters. As in, finally, efficient and long-lasting solid-state room lighting.

        THAT is going to save more than a few barrels of oil. After all, even /. posters burn more power on lighting than on backlighting, monitor tans notwithstanding.

        • Not only is solid state lighting more efficient, it's also more versatile. [laserfocusworld.com] With one fixture you could change the feel of a room from bright and alert to cozy and romantic by using variable color temperature. RGB mixing fixtures could conceivably be hooked up to your entertainment and alter the room color to match the movie [philips.com] or video game. [ttp]
      • by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @06:57PM (#22723550) Journal

        What makes OLED's 'green' is that they don't require back lighting like LCD displays. Which means you can generate images for a fraction of the electrical draw.

        Except that it isn't a fraction of the electrical draw---not if they're only 2-3x the efficiency of an incandescent bulb, anyway. Traditional LEDs are close to ten times the efficiency of incandescents, so if you do an LED backlight behind an LCD panel, you'd have to lose 60-80% of the brightness passing through the LCD panel to get down to such a low efficiency. Okay, so the panel itself probably doubles the power use, so that probably puts the LCD panel with LED backlight at somewhere in the neighborhood of the same amount of power. This is, of course, just a ballpark guess, since there aren't production OLED panels available for real-world comparison, but I'm not expecting a huge power win from emissive displays. An advantage, yes, but certainly not enough to call it "a fraction of the electrical draw" unless the numbers I've heard so far are way, way off.

        OLEDs have advantages, though. They can be used in places where backlighting is impractical---keyboards, for example. They don't wash out as much in bright light, so they are more practical for outdoor displays. They don't restrict the light to a narrow polarity range, so wearing polarized sunglasses doesn't make the screen go black, and you can read your watch by the emitted light, unlike the light from your LCD panel. They have a dramatically faster refresh rate than LCDs, so motion isn't smeared as much.

        On the flip side, they also, IIRC, have a shorter life expectancy, though this has probably improved somewhat over the years---good for manufacturers, not so good for consumers. LCD panels have orders of magnitude better life expectancy (on the order of 300,000 hours), sun damage notwithstanding, though the backlights generally need to be replaced much more frequently. Replacing a backlight tube (or even an LED backlight) is a lot cheaper than replacing the whole panel, though.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          What makes OLED's 'green' is that they don't require back lighting like LCD displays. Which means you can generate images for a fraction of the electrical draw.
          Except that it isn't a fraction of the electrical draw---not if they're only 2-3x the efficiency of an incandescent bulb, anyway.

          Er, when I studied maths, 1/2 and 1/3 were very much considered to be fractions. Maybe they have since been reclassified as fruit?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ppanon (16583)
        No, the main thing that makes organics LEDs "green" is that they aren't made from semiconductors like silicon or gallium arsenide. So they don't need some of the more toxic dopants and cleaning solutions that semiconductor manufacturing uses, and OLEDs should be easier to break down and recycle than the latter. Of course, since OLEDs tend to wear out faster than semiconductor LEDs, that's even more important. There's probably still some contaminants used in the manufacturing of OLEDs, but the overall (toxic
      • by cnettel (836611)

        What makes OLED's 'green' is that they don't require back lighting like LCD displays. Which means you can generate images for a fraction of the electrical draw.

        In addition to no mercury in the backlight (which is of course also true of LED-backlighted LCDs and a few other techniques).
      • by Mikkeles (698461)
        'Organic, before the marketing hype took over it, means 'carbon based'.'

        Organic, before the chemists took it over, meant "of (or coming out of) living things".

  • GE is up nearly 5% (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bryansix (761547) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:13PM (#22721470) Homepage
    I wish I was a stock holder again. Those dividends were nice too. I hope they blow Sony out of the water with OLED stuff.
    • The market is having a nice rally all around today, but I don't know that OLEDs have anything to do with GE specifically. Stock traders are notorious for following the crowd. I'm still down ~10% for the year.

      Not that it matters right now - I can't touch my retirement for 32 1/2 years anyways.
      • by Knara (9377)

        True, but as far as stocks go, GE is (over time) a pretty solid stock. And as the GPP said, the dividends are nice.

        Plus they were smart enough to get rid of their financing arm a few years back.

  • by keineobachtubersie (1244154) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:13PM (#22721472)
    "Personally, as the parent of a 3-year-old technophile, I'm dreading the animated cereal boxes

    Ok, then don't buy them.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) *
      Speaks the guy with no kids.

      It's not buying them that's the problem, its having to navigate through a grocery store where all the things you don't want your kid to eat are marketing themselves aggressively right from the shelves...The kid will want them, the marketers will make sure of that, and you'll either have to buy 'em or deal with the crazed screaming/whining/sulking that will ensue.

      Sure, you can fight that fight, but you have to fight it often enough already for crap that actually matters more than
      • by AvitarX (172628) <me@@@brandywinehundred...org> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:40PM (#22721776) Journal
        <i>you'll either have to buy 'em or deal with the crazed screaming/whining/sulking that will ensue.</i>

        That's why my wife won't let me in the cereal isle, and I'm an adult.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by itof500 (239202)
        I found that not having a television in the house remarkably reduced this sort of activity. And then, once they are old enough, I used to give them 'missions'. The missions were - go and get me a box of x, and they got a point for each completion. When they accumulated 5 pts, I'd buy them a treat they wanted at the checkout counter. When they got into grade school I'd give them the calculator and have them find the least expensive of X. It made grocery shopping something of a fun game for us.

        duke out
        • by s_p_oneil (795792)
          I'm a parent myself, so please take this as my opinion and not criticism, but to me those missions sound like giving in but disguising it as a game so it doesn't seem as bad. I consistently say no to my kids when they ask for things at the grocery store that aren't on the shopping list, and as long as I remain consistent, they don't complain about it. They still love to fetch things and put them in the cart, but they do it for fun and not for a reward. I do buy them treats from time to time, but I make it a
      • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @04:00PM (#22722002) Homepage Journal
        "..have to buy 'em or deal with the crazed screaming/whining/sulking that will ensue."
        consistency is key.
        My kids don't whine and scream when we ahve said no to something consistently. They few things where we broke consistently still haunt us... sigh. Live and learn.
        Even then they learn, it's just a longer process.

        • by nametaken (610866)
          Wow... yeah I was picturing what would have happened if my old man took me to the grocery store and I so much as pouted about not getting a particular box of cereal. Not something I'd have even considered.

          This is the same guy that, having noticed my bicycle left on the front porch (in a nice suburb), loaded it into a truck and took it to his warehouse. I mean, people don't lock their car doors in a store parking lot where I grew up. Then he let me think it'd been stolen for about a week, and made sure I
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        "and you'll either have to buy 'em or deal with the crazed screaming/whining/sulking that will ensue."

        I see, you prefer to pay them off instead of parenting them. And we wonder where all the consumerism comes from...
        • by jbengt (874751)
          "see, you prefer to pay them off instead of parenting them."

          How did this get rated insightful?
          The parent of that never said that he paid his kids off, just complained about the marketing.
      • The kid will want them, the marketers will make sure of that, and you'll either have to buy 'em or deal with the crazed screaming/whining/sulking that will ensue.

        That's the part where you take the kid home and dinner sucks because it's whatever you have in the house.

      • by hoggoth (414195) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @04:40PM (#22722398) Journal
        > Speaks the guy with no kids.
        > ... you'll either have to buy 'em or deal with the crazed screaming/whining/sulking that will ensue...
        > you can fight that fight, but you have to fight it often enough already for crap that actually matters more than a box of cereal. Lot of people will give in just to avoid the inevitable scene.

        No, you just have to fight it a couple of times, be consistent, and don't give in occasionally. My three kids, all under 6 years old, never whine and scream for stuff because they know it is not a strategy that will ever work. We say no to junk. If they whine and scream we say no to everything. We never make exceptions. People cannot believe how "well behaved" our kids are. We cannot believe how badly behaved most other kids are.

        Remember, partial reinforcement is more powerful than continuous reinforcement, so giving in once in a while will guarantee maximum screaming and whining.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RevDigger (4288)
        Personally, as the parent of a 4-year-old...

        Reward the behavior you like, and punish the behavior you don't like. Never deviate from this, ever. Behavior that is rewarded will be repeated, and behavior that is punished will (eventually!) cease. I mean, I know exactly where you are coming from. I know how much tantrums at the store suck. You may have to sit through a few of them before it works. If it's bad enough, just exit the store and deposit the kid with someone else, while you shop solo. Trade s
      • If we have cereal boxes with OLEDs on the outside, I imagine we won't even need children to experience this...the products themselves will scream "WHYYYYYY!!!! PLEASE BUY ME!!!" as you walk past them.
    • by Spokehedz (599285) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @04:02PM (#22722032)
      You obviously haven't gotten out of your parents basement, so we know you haven't gotten laid. Therefore, we know you don't have any kids. As such, you have no idea what its like to be at your wits end in the grocery store with your children.

      Let me put it in terms that you would understand.

      Imagine that you've stayed up for 4 months straight coding some program--but every time it starts to work, it changes and you have to change your code all over again. Then imagine that every time you tried to sleep, your compile failed and you have to sit up all night making sure that it compiles okay. All the while you are running all over the basement to make sure that none of your other compilers are failing either, and lifting them up and down to change out their power supplies.

      Got that? Okay. Good. Now imagine that you just want to go to Microcenter to pick up some more Bawls but your laptop is SCREAMING at the top of it's 2" speakers that it wants Serial-ATA. You know that it doesn't use Serial-ATA, but it is just making all kinds of noise, and shaking. Then other people start to look at you and your laptop making such a cacophony, and your bloodshot eyes just roam over them like they are zombies and you are three seconds away from killing everybody within a 50' radius of you.

      Oh, and this happens every single time you go to the store. Like clockwork.

      You will cave in. You don't know you will, but trust me--and every other parent out there--you will cave, and buy it whatever it wants to just shut it up.

      So Yeah. There is no 'Just don't buy it' crap with kids. Someday, if you ever get out of your parents basement, you will know that.
      • You obviously haven't gotten out of your parents basement, so we know you haven't gotten laid. Therefore, we know you don't have any kids. As such, you have no idea what its like to be at your wits end in the grocery store with your children.

        Well, if you say so. Although I'm pretty sure that the two grad students and the junior engineer are all mine. That includes twins.

        And, in the face of assurances similar to yours, I managed to avoid buying the crap when we went shopping. Despite ADHD. Twins.

      • "So Yeah. There is no 'Just don't buy it' crap with kids."

        Exactly. That's why I went with the 'Don't Ever Have Kids' thing. Lots of extra money, big shortage of headaches.
      • by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @04:25PM (#22722254)

        Oh, and this happens every single time you go to the store. Like clockwork.

        Simple solution - don't take your kids out if he's being a shit.

        You will cave in. You don't know you will, but trust me--and every other parent out there--you will cave, and buy it whatever it wants to just shut it up.

        No, I will punish the behavior.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mapsjanhere (1130359)
          Simple solution - don't take your kids out if he's being a shit.
          So, you leave your kids at home just like your computer. Have you got any idea what a 2 year old can do to your home while you're away? Add the legal aspect of child endangerment, and leaving your kids at home while shopping is usually NOT an option. Unless you still haven't moved out of the basement and can pawn off the little sunshines on your mom upstairs.
          No, I will punish the behavior
          Oh, and I don't suggest punishing your kid in a
          • So, you leave your kids at home just like your computer.

            Yeah, if you're single, get a friend to sit while you buy groceries.

            Oh, and I don't suggest punishing your kid in a store nowadays, nine times out of ten some do-gooder will call CPS on you. And punishing later doesn't work until they are past the age of screaming fits anyway.

            Carry them out of the store in an undignified manner - even at 2, they should get embarrasment. Alternately, watch them throw the tantrum, and when they get winded/tired,

      • Amazing. I never did that when I was a kid. And if you show them that you won't tolerate it in the first place, it'll stop happening. Promise. Kids aren't stupid, they know what works. They know they'll get what they want if they just keep at it, and there is NO DOWNSIDE to them. No punishment that I hear you implementing, no going without, nothing. Try it... hold them accountable, and they'll act accountably.
        • by nanoakron (234907)
          But he wouldn't dare give a short, sharp smack to his little snowflakes! ...as has been done through human history and even before we existed.

          Young animals are designed to learn through punishment of negative behaviour. Often physical.

          Children simply don't have the psychological makeup to understand and process 'modern' idiot parenting techniques such as time-outs. Hence they grow up to be horrors as they age.

          Smack your kids. Or at least threaten to do it. They will thank you.
          • by Phroggy (441)

            Children simply don't have the psychological makeup to understand and process 'modern' idiot parenting techniques such as time-outs. Hence they grow up to be horrors as they age.
            There is an age at which time-outs are effective. It's a pretty brief window, but until it stops working, it's not a bad deterrent.
      • And they tell me that I slowly learned that I couldn't have everything right now and learned the valuable lesson of patience as well as an early understanding of moderation.

        I'm glad they did. At such time as I may reproduce I intend to teach my offspring the same way.
      • by EMB Numbers (934125) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @05:23PM (#22722798)
        There are obviously a wide range of natural temperaments among young children. However, as the father of three, I assure you that not all children behave as described, and I suspect that almost all children can be trained not to behave as described. (Some mental illness or developmental disability might preclude such training).

        The reason that bystanders stare in horror at seriously misbehaving children and parents is that such behavior is NOT normal and is therefore unexpected/shocking. People also stare when adults are abusive or disruptive or antisocial. Any behavior outside normal conventions will prompt staring.

        My advise is that young children like to have rules and behavioral boundaries. Clear rules make them feel socially confident and reduce anxiety. Children test the boundaries when they feel insecure, and the best response is to reinforce the previously established boundaries. That makes them feel like the world is stable and sensible. When a parent moves the boundaries or the child can't find the boundaries, nobody will be happy - least of all the child. Interestingly, the exact same guidance applies to puppies.

      • Somehow I don't remember my parents ever caving in.

        With me, they managed to reason with me.

        With my sister, they told her no often enough that she stopped trying. Eventually.
      • by Trogre (513942)
        You do realise that if your kid is throwing a tantrum in a store through want of some appealing item, the ABSOLUTE WORST thing you can do is give in and buy the item.

        I know this from experience.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by madmaxx (32372)
        You're insane. You don't have to cave in: it's always your fucking choice.
      • by adisakp (705706)
        You will cave in.

        So you have a pile of Serial-ATA HD's you can't use with your laptop? I'm confused?!?
      • by Fred_A (10934)

        Got that? Okay. Good. Now imagine that you just want to go to Microcenter to pick up some more Bawls but your laptop is SCREAMING at the top of it's 2" speakers that it wants Serial-ATA. You know that it doesn't use Serial-ATA, but it is just making all kinds of noise, and shaking.
        Bah...
        sudo amixer -c1 set Master mute

        Silly laptops.
  • Our ugly future (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sm62704 (957197) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:14PM (#22721478) Journal
    Personally, as the parent of a 3-year-old technophile, I'm dreading the animated cereal boxes.

    In another twenty years there will likely not be a surface anywhere that isn't animated. The animated billboards and signs are already here.

    As if having blinking shiney flashey crap on the internet isn't bad enough now we're subjected to it in meatspace.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Telvin_3d (855514)

      As if having blinking shiney flashey crap on the internet isn't bad enough now we're subjected to it in meatspace.

      Except that meatspace has it's own rules. Same way that most of those anonymous internet jerks would never act the same way face to face*. Annoying flashing stuff on a website? Limited stuff you can do about it. Annoying flashing sign in meatspace? 30 seconds with a hammer or wire cutters or even a battery depending on the electrical tolerance and you are good to go. Problem solved.

      *Please

      • by blair1q (305137)
        " meatspace has it's own rules "

        Never forget that cyberspace is just an electronic subdivision of meatspace.

        Money rules all of the meat, and the meat runs your network as well as your freeways and zoning commissions.

        Where there is cash, opportunity, and a lack of diligence, the cash will override the commonweal every time.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        If cereal boxes started to have flashing ads on them, I'd have no problem with going down the aisle and turning every box around so that none of the ads could be seen. I guess they could put ads on both sides, but that would be a little cost prohibitive. I don't think the cost of any display technology could be brought down low enough such that it could be posted on the side of a cereal box. Even if it could, I think the outrage due to environmental concerns, along with the annoyances, would quickly squa
        • Don't forget that the cereal box (and all other in store packaging) IS an ad for the product inside. They don't use bright colors and cartoon characters simply because they feel like it. Anything to get the attention of the eyes going down the aisle. It's also why the most obnoxiously packaged stuff is about a foot or two lower than adult eye level, because the kids in most families pick out their own cereal, whether or not the parents mean for them to. I just hope they don't work sound into the packagi
      • by jo42 (227475)

        Except that meatspace has it's own rules.
        You've never been to a gas station with gas pumps that have LCD displays and speakers that start blasting advertising/marketing crap at you as soon as you lift the nozzle. Time to start thinking about getting that cabin in back woods Montana me thinks...
    • by bhima (46039) *
      great, I can't wait for adverts on my chopsticks.
    • by johannesg (664142)
      There is a bright side, though: in meat space you can take an axe to it. I recommend it, it helps relieve stress quite a bit. Just make sure that, once the rage subsides, you carefully hide any body parts that you may find in your general vicinity.
  • I was just thinking about this the other day. You can already get membrane keypads fairly cheaply (after a few grand in setup fees, anyway) but until now, displays have always required more mechanical complexity. How long before they start printing screens along with keypads?

    Yeah, I think most of the keypads suck (the metal dome type aren't as bad), but it still means a richer user interface and lower cost devices. And probably animated cereal boxes.
  • by badboy_tw2002 (524611) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:18PM (#22721516)
    Most of the linked articles talk about "new technology for lighting" as in panel lights for rooms and such. Are these panels being manufactured for display tech too? Or is the refresh rate not fast enough yet?
    • by MLCT (1148749) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:38PM (#22721768)
      For OLEDs refresh rates aren't a problem, patterning is. I presume this roll to roll technique is for lighting, as lighting panels don't require high precision deposition, just fire on the layers in a big mixture and go. When you move towards displays then you want very precise RGB pixels, patterned in a specific way, and a resolution of HD. For evaporation deposition that requires a shadow mask and 3 separate events for each colour. Shadow masks are a pain.

      The reason Sony have only managed an 11" OLED display (and at $1500 they are still making a loss) is due to the difficulties of pattering it all (and getting good consistency). For GE and white light it is much much more straight forward. Whack on the layers, connect it up and go - they don't need to worry about any patterns. In the longer term solution processable OLEDs would substantially improve things. Solution processable means inkjet deposition (just like home printers), which means fine control of deposition and the ability to run with a roll to roll techniques. Solution processability is a few years away, however.
      • So GE can clean up by marketing this as super-efficient lighting, and then plow the profits from that into highly-efficient displays in the future? W00t.
    • by tgatliff (311583) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:43PM (#22721812)
      The key advantage of OLED is that it does not require a backlight. Meaning, since they are technically stamped emitting diodes, their backlight is "built-in" so to speak. The main issue with OLED's is that their life has never been real good, at about 10K hours in most applications which is real low... They also suffer from problems just like their cousin LED's where their luminance decreases pretty dramatically over time depending on usage and heat buildup. Think of this like bleaching of colors in the areas of the screen that get used the most. Refresh rates really have never been an issue with OLED's from my understanding. In short, a number of additional technology issues will still need to be worked out for OLED's to get widespread application usage...
      • by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @04:30PM (#22722302)

        a number of additional technology issues will still need to be worked out for OLED's to get widespread application usage...
        "Cheap" is a cure-all for a lot of applications. If I can swap in a new screen for $25 and 5 minutes (like a toner cartridge), then 10K hours isn't so low.
        • by Achoi77 (669484)

          YOU FOOL! The last thing we needed was for HP to read this post and come up with a new business plan for the next twenty five years. :-(

          Cheap, disposable television units with easily swappable screens, given fixed prices on them.. arrgh! I want a television that lasts more than 3 months goddammit!

      • I think the lifetime has improved, such that blue is speced out to be 30k hours, the other colors higher, but given that blue fades quickest, the blue is the limiting factor here. I could be wrong on the typical life, but it's been a year since I looked at it.
      • by bcrowell (177657)
        Regular (not organic) LED lighting is reasonable for some applications already. The efficiency is very high. The light output is fairly low, but it's highly directional, so that's why you're starting to see it a lot in applications like flashlights. You can get LED bulbs that screw into a regular 110 V receptacle. I have an LED reading light next to my bed, and it works great; in the evening when I'm reading in bed, I use a low-wattage CF bulb to light up the room just enough so I don't feel like I'm in a c
      • by Scoth (879800)
        My cell phone has an OLED outer screen (LG VX8300) and I can see ghosting where commonly lit up elements are (signal strength, battery meter, cock, etc). Supposedly the blue OLEDs have particularly short lives. I like the phone decently (aside from the junky locked down Verizon interface) so it doesn't bother me that much.

        Still, I look forward to when I can stick some "paper" in my OLED printer, print out a 5x5 sheet, and stick it in my closet for some extra light.
        • by Muad'Dave (255648)
          signal strength, battery meter, cock, etc


          That's an interesting thing to have on your phone!

  • I can't reach TFA. Is the server Slashdotted already?
  • Animated meatspace (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bornwaysouth (1138751) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @04:01PM (#22722022) Homepage
    > Personally, as the parent of a 3-year-old technophile, I'm dreading the animated cereal boxes.

    I can see the counter-adverts on the ordinary boxes now "GE Free". And on the animated boxes "Cereal may contain nuts and batteries"

    What I have been wanting for some time is something to brighten the sheer boredom of riding in a corporate lift. (I accept that stores and the like will batter a captive audience with ads so they are tortured into compliance by the time they arrive. Shut eyes, turn up iPod.)

    The idea is to have something other than, say, a big 13 drifting past to tell you you have passed floor 13. I'd like a small 13, but some nice elevation dependent pictures. Earth and grass for the ground floor. Apples or tweety-birds for the next floor and so on. Eagles well up. And of course, space junk for senior managerial levels. Top floor a galaxy, with a warning that they are only 4% ordinary matter.

    But I am bothered about the basement images. I'd rather avoid drippy caves, and anything with religious overtones. Suggestions anyone?
  • green? (Score:2, Insightful)

    It seems pretty silly to me that people think we are helping the environment by saving a few watts on our computer monitors. Meanwhile, billions of people are coming onto the grid and using coal power. It isn't even a drop in the ocean.

    I see people putting up a few solar panels here and there, maybe generating enough energy to take a fraction out of their air conditioning bill, and I wonder if they are stupid. Even if everyone in the united states did the same thing, or even the entire world did the same th
    • if a million americans reduce their power usage in half, this means maybe 2 or 3 million people in sub-devoleped nations will be able to turn their light and refigerators on without adding any environmental impact.

      here i brasil i know places where people have only one or two 60 watts light bulbs and a small refrigerator in their homes (and not by choice. it's imposed by poverty). compare such households with the enourmous waste of power that's las vegas, and you see that those people is the US installing LE
    • by xenocide2 (231786)
      We can do both, you know. We can push for the removal of screensavers (in favor of screen blanking) AND put wind farms in Kansas. And a billion other things. We can push energy star requirements forward marginally and get a large impact universally. What I find craziest is who the opponents of Kansan wind farms are. They're rural enthusiasts who'd hate to see signs of civilization in their ranch, and environmentalists worried about prairie chickens.

      Also, power draw does not stay high 24/7. It has considerab
  • OLED displays needed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheSync (5291) * on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @06:19PM (#22723272) Journal
    One of the things we've found out is that no HD LCD, plasma, or rear-projection DLP displays are as good as a broadcast reference CRT monitor in terms of luminance dynamic range, viewing angle, or color gamut. Only front-projection DLPs seem to be able to match good quality CRTs, but then you need all that space for the projection.

    OLEDs have a real chance of matching or even beating CRTs in a true "flat panel" form factor.

    And I also like the idea of using OLED rolls as wallpaper so we can have 7,680 × 4,320 pixel video on the wall (which will, of course, need 22.2 surround sound (UHDTV [wikipedia.org]).
    • by blair1q (305137)
      I don't quite get the need for all three at once.

      If you want viewing angle, you're distorting the picture significantly in space, so losing a little luminance or color fidelity shouldn't be too big a deal.

      And if you prioritize fidelity and dynamic range beyond what a TI DLP (the guts of many rear-projecting DLP HDTVs) can do, you'll be sitting on the sofa most of the time, so the usable viewing angle might as well be 45 degrees.

      And CRTs hit their economics vs. performance limits a long time ago (the 200 lbs
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheSync (5291) *
        If you want viewing angle, you're distorting the picture significantly in space, so losing a little luminance or color fidelity shouldn't be too big a deal

        In the broadcast engineering world, we like to have two people looking at a monitor at the same time to be able to see the same color & luminance on a pixel. Plus in a broadcast control room, you aren't sitting on a sofa, you may be moving around the room but needing to occasionally look back and need to be able to see what is going over the air to m

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