CowboyRobot writes "For decades, rapid increases in storage, processor speed, and bandwidth have kept up with the enormous increases in computer usage. That could change however, as consumption finally outpaces the supply of these resources. It is instructive to review the 19th-century Economics theory known as Jevons Paradox. Common sense suggests that as efficiencies rise in the use of a resource, the consumption goes down. Jevons Paradox posits that efficiencies actually drive up usage, and we're already seeing examples of this: our computers are faster than ever and we have more bandwidth than ever, yet our machines are often slow and have trouble connecting. The more we have, the even more we use."
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
New submitter cb_is_cool writes "From the Beeb: 'The Pentagon has put in an order for prototype contact lenses that give users a much wider field of vision. The lenses are designed to be paired with compact heads up display units — glasses that allow images to be projected onto their lenses.' Hopefully, any mugger within 50 yards will have a red status bar above his head. 'The central part of each lens sends light from the HUD towards the middle of the pupil, while the outer part sends light from the surrounding environment to the pupil's rim. The retina receives each image in focus, at the same time."
jjp9999 writes "Bethesda announced they're bringing Kinect support to Skyrim. It doesn't sound like this will include motion detection. Rather, it will be around voice commands — tons of voice commands. It supports dragon shouts, trading, navigation, switching weapons, and a whole lot of other features that usually require you to assign hotkeys or to sort through menus. They also gave a brief hint at new content, stating they've 'been hard at work on creating the first set of game add-ons that will be exclusive to the Xbox 360. This additional content will add new quests, locations, features, and much more to the world of Skyrim.'"
New submitter Canazza writes "According to Develop, 'PC games giant Valve wants to "invent whole new gaming experiences" and is looking for people to help create new hardware, the Washington studio has confirmed. Off the back of a wave of speculation that the studio is building its own games console – a rumour which Valve has not specifically denied – the company now appears to be increasing capacity of its hardware development division.' Is Valve designing a new console? Or is this an expansion of its biometric controls research? Either way, something big is going down at Valve."
Sun Studio in Memphis, TN. It's still there (after a spotty history, including resale and re-opening in the late '80s) -- and it's still analog. Mostly analog, at least; a Pro Tools system is there for people who don't want to pay for an all-analog production. Thousands of tourists (I met a family from Norway who'd come to visit Graceland and Sun) descend on the old building each year just to see the place, and others come to record in the legendary space and what has become a boutique recording studio. I got to chat for a while with Sun recording engineer Matt Ross-Spang about working with the studio's lovingly gathered and restored recording gear, some of it nearly three times as old as he is. (An unexpected bonus: hanging out for a few hours in the Sun control room is a good way to bump into Fluke Holland, former drummer for Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, who stopped in just after we stopped shooting.) Be warned: there are some bursts of rock-and-roll to listen through.
An anonymous reader writes "As a proposal to avoid becoming the 'next Greece', a Portuguese opposition party has proposed a tax on storage. The party claims that the tax will not effect the average citizen and is mostly levied at business users, but internal storage on mobile phones means a 64GB iPhone could be €32 more expensive. From the article: 'The proposal would have consumers paying an extra €0.2 per gigabyte in tax, almost €21 extra per terabyte of data on hard drives. Devices with storage capacities in excess of 1TB would pay an aggravated tax of 2.5 cents per GB. That means a 2TB device will in fact pile on €51.2 in taxes alone (2.5 cents times 2048GB). External drives or “multimedia drives” as the proposed bill calls them, in capacities greater than 1TB, can be taxed to the tune of 5 cents per gigabyte, so in theory, a 2TB drive would cost an additional €103.2 per unit (5 cents times 2048GB)."
mpol writes "Statcounter released new statistics today and 1366x768 is now the most used screen resolution on the internet. These screens are available in most cheap laptops, and therefore probably sold and used very much. With 19.2%, it is beating the old 4:3 resolution, which still has 18.6% usage share. (But as you know, you have lies, damn lies, and statistics.)" The numbers are still close, but it sounds like the tide has turned.
An anonymous reader writes "Thunderbolt ports have been spotted on a PC motherboard, but the reality is that the technology is far from mainstream outside of Apple products. Which is why it is interesting to hear Intel predict that 'a hundred' Thunderbolt devices are expected to be on the market by the end of the year. The comment was made this week at Intel's presentation at IDF in Beijing. Ultrabooks with Thunderbolt are expected to appear this year."
techfun89 writes "Ever wished that you could defeat Bowser literally right from your coffee table with giant built in buttons? Well, your dreams have come true with the fully-functional Nintendo Controller Coffee Table. This is the creation of Charles Lushear that has combined old school entertainment with maple wood and craftsmanship. Simply plug into an existing classic NES system and go to town. The table also features a removable glass top with retractable cord to use the furniture as just a table when you are done playing Mario."
You recently got the chance to ask a group of MIT researchers questions about fusion power, and they've now finished writing some incredibly detailed answers. They discuss the things we've learned about fusion in the past decade, how long it's likely to take for fusion to power your home, the biggest problems fusion researchers are working to solve, and why it's important to continue funding fusion projects. They also delve into the specifics of tokamak operation, like dealing with disruption events and the limitations on reactor size, and provide some insight into fusion as a career. Hit the link below for a wealth of information about fusion.
An anonymous reader writes "Today, a typical chip might have six or eight cores, all communicating with each other over a single bundle of wires, called a bus. With a bus, only one pair of cores can talk at a time, which would be a serious limitation in chips with hundreds or even thousands of cores. Researchers at MIT say cores should instead communicate the same way computers hooked to the Internet do: by bundling the information they transmit into 'packets.' Each core would have its own router, which could send a packet down any of several paths, depending on the condition of the network as a whole."
samazon writes "North Carolina State University researcher Jag Kasichainula has developed a 'heat spreader' to cool electronics more efficiently using a copper-graphene composite, which is attached using an indium-graphene interface film. According to Kasichainula, the technique will cool 25% faster than pure copper and will cost less to produce than the copper plate heat spreaders currently used by most electronics (abstract). Better performance at a lower cost? Let's hope so."
An anonymous reader writes "The DARPA Robotics Challenge is offering tens of million of dollars in funding to teams from anywhere in the world to build robots capable of performing complex mobility and manipulation tasks such as walking over rubble and operating power tools. It all will culminate in an audacious competition with robots driving trucks, breaking through walls, and attempting to perform repairs in a simulated industrial-disaster setting. The winner takes all: a $2 million cash prize."
An anonymous reader writes "New York City is planning an upgrade to its aging pay-phone infrastructure. A pilot program will next month install 32-inch touchscreens in 250 phone booths throughout the city. The screens will display "local neighborhood information, including lists of nearby restaurants, store sales in the area, traffic updates, landmark information and safety alerts — in multiple languages.' They will facilitate the 311 service, and also allow people to file complaints or request city information. The good news is that these screens won't cost the taxpayers anything. The bad news is that they will be supported by advertising. The plan is to eventually support Skype calls and email, and to integrate Wi-Fi hotspots."
tsu doh nimh writes "A series of hacks perpetrated against so-called 'smart meter' installations over the past several years may have cost a single U.S. electric utility hundreds of millions of dollars annually, the FBI said in cyber intelligence bulletin first revealed today. The law enforcement agency said this is the first known report of criminals compromising the hi-tech meters, and that it expects this type of fraud to spread across the country as more utilities deploy smart grid technology."