8/25/2006

NEC Electronics launches image chips for cars

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

apanese microchip maker NEC Electronics Corp. began shipping image detection chips for cars on Friday, with the first going into a Toyota Motor Corp. Lexus model to be launched this fall.

The new Lexus LS460 with the image processors will automatically slam on the brakes a split second before hitting a pedestrian or vehicle and prevent a collision or reduce impact.

Microsoft rolls up Office ribbon

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft has modified its new interface for Office 2007 after complaints from beta testers that the “ribbon” system took up too much screen space.

Office 2007 had ditched the traditional drop-down menu approach of most Windows applications in favor of the ribbon, which displays functions in new categories such as Home, Insert and Mailing in a strip across the top of the screen.

Microsoft said the new interface would make it easier for users to access the wide range of features in applications such as Word, Excel and Access.

However, in the next technical refresh of the Office 2007 beta, users can set the ribbon to automatically minimize whenever it is not being used, effectively making the ribbon headings look like traditional menus. (Windows has long offered a similar auto-hide option for the taskbar.)

Source: News.com

MIT $100 laptop gets a new name

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

With a 500-unit field test ready to begin in September, the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program has announced that the much-anticipated, now-$140 laptop will be called Children’s Machine 1 (CM1). Although MIT failed to reach the $100 price point, the Linux-based laptop is a remarkable achievement. Manufactured by Chinese hardware company Quanta, the rugged, portable computer features a 400mhz AMD Geode processor (the original prototypes had a 366mhz processor), 128MB of DRAM, built-in wireless support, and 512MB of flash memory for internal storage.

In addition to a faster processor, the CM1 sports several other new features not found in the original prototypes, including an SD card slot, microphone and speaker jacks (potentially for rumored VoIP support), and a digital camera capable of capturing video and still images

Source: arstechnica

U.S. Supercomputer Upgrades Performance

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The most powerful supercomputer available for general scientific research in the United States has undergone an upgrade that’s doubled its peak performance.

The Cray XT3 supercomputer at Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory can now perform up to 54 trillion calculations per second - up from its previous peak of 25 trillion calculations, or teraflops, lab officials said Friday.

Source: AP

Toshiba’s Zune-branded player made public

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a Toshiba-made digital media player that look exactly like the pics that have surfaced of Microsoft’s Zune gadget. The test filing confirms the device comes pre-loaded with an 802.11b/g wireless network adaptor - and clearly show the Zune logo.

Source: Reg Hardware

Plextor preps ‘world’s smallest’ external DVD writer

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Plextor this week launched what it claims is the world’s smallest DVD writer, a slimline external unit aimed at notebook users. Weighing in at just 250g, the drive is a mere 1.6cm high and barely bigger than a disc.

The PX-608CU supports all the many DVD recordable and rewriteable formats, including dual-layer media. Speeds range from 4x to 8x. The drive will also burn CD-R/RW discs at 24x. There’s 2MB of buffer memory on board.

Source: Reg Hardware

PowerPoint Attacks Use Old Bug, Not New Flaw

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A bug in Microsoft’s PowerPoint presentation maker that security researchers thought was brand new is not, Microsoft now says.

Earlier this week, several security vendors reported that PowerPoint, which was struck by exploits in July that leveraged an unpatched bug, contained another “zero-day” vulnerability which could be used in attacks against PCs. (One of the 12 security bulletins released Aug. 8 fixed the flaw that led to the July attacks.)

Nope, Microsoft said Wednesday in an entry on the company’s security research center (MSRC) blog.

“This is NOT a zero day,” wrote a member of the MSRC operations team identified only as “Scott.” “Malware in the malicious .ppt leverages a previously fixed vulnerability in Microsoft Office to drop the payload,” he added.

Source: InformationWeek

Microsoft reveals more about Live Drive

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft has confirmed more details of its forthcoming Live Drive service, which will offer free online storage.

Speaking at a blogger’s breakfast before the opening of Microsoft’s Tech Ed conference in Sydney on Tuesday, Microsoft Australia technical specialist John Hodgson said that the basic Live Drive was likely to include around 2 gigabytes of storage for free. Additional storage capacity will be available for purchase, he said, though pricing and final release dates haven’t been announced.

Source: News.com

Researchers Develops Revolutionary Video-Display Technology

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Researchers have developed a video-display technology that can produce an unlimited range of colors by flexing tiny artificial “muscles” that generate different shades by expanding and contracting in response to electricity.

The flexible material allows individual pixels - the dots that make up an image on a screen - to display “every single natural color,” said Manuel Aschwanden, a project researcher and nanotechnology specialist at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

By contrast, conventional displays rely on ever smaller pixels that trick the eye into seeing a color that is in fact mixed from the three basic colors red, green and blue.

It also promises to significantly increase the screen resolution of conventional computer monitors.

“At the moment most screens achieve three to four pixels per millimeter (75-100 dots per inch). If you look closely enough at the current screens, you can still see the individual pixels. Our system can achieve 16 pixels per millimeter (400 dpi).”

Source: AP

Cable firm loses court case over file swapping

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A Dutch judge told cable operator and Internet broadband provider UPC, a unit of Liberty Global, on Thursday to give the name and address of one its clients to an anti-piracy agency.

The result is a breakthrough for Dutch copyright holders interest group Brein, which has long tried to gain access to names and addresses of individuals who it suspects of swapping large numbers of songs, films and other copyrighted material.

Internet lawyers said it is the first time a Dutch internet service provider will have to hand over personal details of file swappers who store copyrighted content on their own computers.

Source: Reuters

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