Microsoft's iPod killer is finally out. How's brown working for you?
"It's been an eventful week for audio players--first, Apple upgrades every iPod, and now Microsoft has released more details about Zune, its new family of devices and services which will include an iPod-like player. We now know that the first Zune player will have a 3-inch screen, a 30GB drive, built-in Wi-Fi, and an FM tuner, and will come in black, white, and...er, brown. (Brown?) And it'll be here for Christmas."
Technology | Bionic arm provides hope for amputees
The arm is controlled by the brain directly!
"DAYTON, Tennessee (AP) -- Jesse Sullivan has two prosthetic arms, but he can climb a ladder at his house and roll on a fresh coat of paint. He's also good with a weed-whacker, bending his elbow and rotating his forearm to guide the machine.
He's even mastered a more sensitive maneuver -- hugging his grandchildren. (Watch Sullivan's bionic arm in action -- :41)
The motions are coordinated and smooth because his left arm is a bionic device controlled by his brain. He thinks, "Close hand," and electrical signals sent through surgically re-routed nerves make it happen.
Doctors describe Sullivan as the first amputee with a thought-controlled artificial arm."
"After years of shunning AMD, Dell has finally launched some desktop machines powered by AMD processors today. The new systems, dubbed Dimension E521 and Dimension C521, will become available tomorrow with a choice of AMD's Sempron, Athlon 64, and Athlon 64 X2 processors. They will come with Windows XP Media Center Edition as well as optional TV tuners, and AMD tells us the machines will be certified under the AMD Live! brand. The Live! certification mandates a Socket AM2 Athlon 64 X2 processor, 1GB of RAM, Windows XP Media Center Edition, away mode BIOS support, and a compact form factor."
Apples announces movie downloads at their "It's Showtime" conference.
" Chief Executive Steve Jobs said newly released movies would initially cost $12.99 if pre-ordered or bought during the first week available. Library titles would cost $9.99, Jobs said at an event in San Francisco where the company also introduced new versions of its iPod digital music devices.
He said there are about 75 films now available for purchase on iTunes and that they would take about 30 minutes to download for those using a high-speed Internet connection."
Facebook will soon be open to anyone with an internet connection.
"The mega-popular social-networking site is opening up to allow anyone in certain geographic areas to sign up. Will this expand or dilute its appeal?
If Mark Zuckerberg had stayed in school, he'd be a recent grad, maybe settling into a new job or place to live, or continuing to search for that first big break. But as daunting and uncertain as those first few months may have been, they'd be a breeze compared to what Zuckerberg faces now."
"Tom Chan, enterprise and client services manager for Messagelabs Asia Pacific, told me that because of more educated users and improved anti-spam engines, the success rate for traditional phishing scams is likely to fall soon. By hijacking trusted Web sites, phishers could lure many more victims.
"They are trying to compromise poorly protected Web sites -- they basically go in and enter their own code into that Web server," said Chan, who explained that victims of this new phishing era would not have to do anything 'wrong' in order to get hooked."
It looks like the new release candidate is not performing up to par. From memory and driver issues, there seems to be quite a bit more to do from MS before this will go prime time.
"Throughout the testing of the past releases, it was strikingly evident how incomplete Vista's code was. Various incomplete features, missing graphics, place-holder text messages, and a plethora of bugs, left many feeling very underwhelmed, and increasingly worried by the next operating system from Microsoft.
A release candidate should consist of all features that will appear in the finished product, in an almost final state, with simple bug fixing and last-minute problem finding being the main concerns of the testers and developers. A beta 2 'pre-RC1' build, numbered 5536, of Vista was only recently made available for download just before RC1, and was considered surprisingly stable and bug-free compared to previous betas. RC1, then, should easily cope under scrutiny from the INQUIRER."Read more here.
"One of the biggest factors cited is a codec change in the Warner Blu-ray discs from MPEG-2 to VC-1. We'll see if Warner continues to roll out Blu-ray discs using this codec, and how it affects the ongoing battle.
Toshiba is making news with the announcement of a hybrid DVD and HD DVD disc, featuring three layers and a combination of dual layer and single layer sides. Combinations include a single layer DVD (4.7GB) and a dual layer HD DVD (30GB) as well as a dual layer DVD (8.5GB) and single layer HD DVD (15 GB)."
I have a few friends who are so wrapped up in World of Warcraft that it'd be hard to pry them away for real life events. It's quite mind boggling.
"In the physical world we vainly scrounge for glory. Bin Laden still taunts us, the bus doors close before we reach them and leave us standing in the rain. But in the fantasy realm of Azeroth, the virtual geography of World of Warcraft, the physical pain comes only from hitting a keyboard too hard, camaraderie is the norm and heroism is never far away. In simple terms, Warcraft is the most advanced and popular entry in a genre called Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, or MMO. "I call it the Technicolor, Americanized version of 'Lord of the Rings'," says Chris Metzen, VP of creative development for the game's maker, Blizzard Software. But for millions it is more than a game—it's an escape, an obsession and a home."