Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Some software CAN'T BE PATENTED

"With the US Patent Office and courts cracking down on software patents, Ars takes a close look at the Supreme Court's software patent decisions. Yes, the highest court in the land really did say that algorithms can't be patented. And in spite of the fact that their rulings have been functionally ignored for almost two decades, the tide may be about to turn."
Full Story

Monday, January 12, 2009

A definite addition to my "I want to be a cyborg" list

Throat mic
Throat mics use the vibrations directly from your voicebox (or rather the skin around it) to pick up your speaking, as a result they get almost zero background noise and can pick up a whisper. $30 is unheard of in the past for these things, i dont know if this is a good one though.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

On that note

SanDisk -- the leader of flash memory's public image for years and years -- is toting new SSDs*
Click here for the full article.
Though I know most of you wont read/understand/care about that article so here are the highlights.
1.) They are using Toshiba developed 43-nanometer Multi-Level Cell (MLC) flash memory. Which is a good thing.
2.) They are priced to compete with normal hard drives (current SSDs in this class cost $700-$1500) "For example, the 32GB modular SSD is priced at parity with 2.5” HDDs in OEM quantities." (from the above article)
3.) VIA likes them, and I think VIA has always has had a good grasp of the mobile market. “SanDisk’s Gen 2 pSSD drives have the best combination of capacity, performance, weight, pricing and power advantages to really excite designers, manufacturers and users of netbooks,” said Richard Brown, VP of Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc"

* SSDs solid state disks are a really exciting technology posed to replace HDDs (Hard disk drives) though technically solid state is a sub-species of hard drive. They are solid because they have no moving parts. They are also generally lighter, smaller (though some are put in casings the size of a hard drive to make them compatible with existing devices) and in many cases more power efficient, they are MUCH MUCH faster (and this is the kind of faster that makes windows boot faster, Firefox open fast, and word not take 12 minutes to save that 2000 page action report with all the cool tables and graphs I know your writing. As apposed to when we say a processor is faster, which for the most part means video, games, rendering and a little of the above load times are faster

Net books

You will probably all see a rash of pro netbook touting from me in the next few weeks. Those of you who have lived with me, and realize I'm more likely to carry my desktop to a friends house than buy a netbook right now are probably thinking "hypocrite".
First, this isn't actually true, I bought one of the worlds first netbooks, the NEC mobile pro 770, which was made in 1999 (Although the price point of $1200 -- read $1480.50 adjusted for inflation -- prevented me from buying one until 2005, when they dropped to just $99).
The real reason I won't be buying a netbook right now is usage. Netbooks are targeted at people who need a computer they can take with them easily everyday from when they leave the house. Primarily they are targeted at light file toting, web browsing, word processing, and limited media playback. They emphasize small size, light weight, and a long lasting battery. The reason I think they are great is that this specification envelope is perfect for 80% of Americans and they are CHEAP compared to a full blown laptop of similar quality, which they will probably outperform in most of the above listed tasks (especially battery life.)I simply wont be buying one because about 300 days of the year I am either on my college campus, within 500 feet of my dorm room, office, or the library, and 20 feet of a power outlet 99% of the time, or home, working 7 minutes from my house. With that kind of mobility, I classify devices into two categories, those that fit in my pocket, and those that don't.
So I'm not being hypocritical if I spend the next month or so trying to convince everybody who doesn't already have a recent laptop that they need a netbook.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


AMD might be getting ready to kick butt in the ultra portable market. check out this if your thinking of getting a netbook and want performance capable of more than just web browsing.