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Monthly Archives: April 2009

once-bankrupt CompUSA is making a comeback

CompUSA Comes Back From the Dead with about thirty new stores that comes with aggressive prices, remodeled stores, and in-store web access for comparison shopping. Once part of the big three electronics retail stores in the country, CompUSA filed for bankruptcy two years ago due to high overheads and the inability to compete with online prices. But after reorganization and a buyout from Systemax, a major electronics retailer, CompUSA is back in business. The in-store web access may be the biggest gamble, since it raises the possibility that you might use a CompUSA floor model to find a better deal on the web. Keyboard’s in front of the products allow you to check out the specs and reviews. There's also custom information for each store, like how many are in stock. It’s an untested concept. They will have to... --

New Web Tablet Created By Michael Arrington

Michael Arrington has been on a quest for the past few months to create an inexpensive web tablet. Now photos of the device, called Crunchpad, are floating around online. This new  machine could potentially compete with netbooks. Arrington had first written about the idea of a tablet in June,  suggesting a touch screen device that would run Firefox and maybe Skype. The machine  would be as thin as possible, run low end hardware and have a single button for powering it on and off, a built in camera for video, headphone jacks, a microphone and speakers. The device would also come with Wi-Fi, 512 MB of memory, 4 GB  hard drive and no keyboard. The latest leaked photos of the Crunchpad show that they may be getting closer to a finished product.  The price tag is looking... --

Orchestras Make Mobile Music with iPhones

Back in the day, orchestras required instruments. Now, orchestras are playing iPhones. One such orchestra is The Stanford University ensemble called MoPhO, which is short for Mobile Phone Orchestra. Its conductor is obsessed with making electronic music as mobile as possible. The iPhone holds plenty of potential for what kind of music can be created and how it can be played. MoPhO plays mostly improvisational pieces using an application that Stanford’s Conductor built and hopes to make public soon. Here is how it works: Each player touches a button onscreen to select a tone, then twists, tilts, or shakes the mobile phone to change the pitch. At January’s Macworld, MoPhO held their first show with 10 iPhone players rocking the intro to "Stairway to Heaven" wearing fingerless gloves with Altec Lansing Orbit speakers sewn in... --

FreePress Asks Congress to Investigate Bandwith Caps

Consumer advocacy group FreePress charged Friday that Time Warner Cable is trying to protect its cable TV business from the threat of online video with its plan to charge its broadband customers by the byte,  and it wants Congress to investigate. After criticism from its customers and a skeptical press, Time Warner Cable edited, but did not withdraw its scheme to impose bandwidth caps and charge overage fees on its eight million customers. Time Warner currently charge by the speed of their service. Critics like the FreePress charge that TWC is unfairly trying to protect its lucrative cable television business from customers switching over to online video. He states that charging consumers fees on top of what they are already paying to download a movie  will cripple online video. He calls for congress to  investigate these anti-competitive... --

IBM Takeover of Sun Hits a Snag

According to several reports, the merger of IBM and Sun Microsystems appears to be coming apart, after a chain of events over the weekend including IBM reducing its seven billion offer, the Sun board reject IBM's takeover proposal and IBM then withdraw the bid completely. Troubles were first reported on Saturday, saying that co-founder Scott McNealy opposed the deal. Whether IBM decision to withdrawal the bid  amounts to a negotiating tactic  is unclear. Though the offer is off the table, the two sides could resume.  It is not clear what Sun's options are without IBM’s interest; Sun’s shares rose on news of the deal but then dropped about 24% on the open Monday. No other company is known to be interested in the Silicon Valley company. As a result, customers may be skittish about its prospects... --

Laws of Physics Discovered by Computer in One Day

In one day, the laws of motion from a pendulum's swings was calculate by a  powerful computer program - a feat that took physicists centuries to complete. The Computer Program, developed by Cornell researchers, deduced the natural laws without a shred of knowledge about physics or geometry. The research is being called a breakthrough for science, where computers can calculate  massive datasets that are too complex for the human mind. Hod Lipson, the Cornell University computational researcher who co-wrote the program, said "One of the biggest problems in science today is moving forward and finding the underlying principles in areas where there is lots and lots of data, but there's a theoretical gap. We don't know how things work. I think this is going to be an important tool." This breakthrough could foreshadow an age where scientists... --

Apple, Stanford Offering Free iPhone Development Courses

Apple and Stanford University will begin offering free videos and course materials on iPhone application development this week. Stanford is posting its first video of iPhone development courses this Friday - this includes Video recordings of Stanford's ten week computer science class, a course syllabus and slides  as well and will be available to  download through Apple's iTunes U educational channel. Previously, Apple imposed a non-disclosure agreement on iPhone developers, which prohibited them from making public any information on coding software for the iPhone. The NDA also blocked publishers from releasing books on iPhone software development. But last October, Apple lifted its non-disclosure agreement.  According to Apple, they lifted the NDA because it had “created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhone’s success, so we are dropping it for... --

How To Recycle Your Old Gadgets

Take it to Best Buy: This Feb. Best Buy has adopted a consumer friendly electronics recycling program. They accept most electronics, including TVs, computers and DVD players. However Best Buy does not take TVs and monitors larger than 32 inches. Also, you must pay $10 to recycle a TV, monitor or laptop but in exchange for the fee,  Best Buy gives you a $10 gift certificate.  Third-party recycling options: The EPA has a list of recommended recyclers that specialize in electronic gear Turn old gadgets into cash: Gazelle is a reseller that will pay money for used electronics. If there's no resale value in your item, it will then get recycled at no cost to you. Simply type the gadget you want to sell into the Gazelle search bar, and answer a few questions about its condition. Manufactures... --

Internet distractions at Work Make Better Employees, Study Shows

If you are ever caught on Facebook or Twittering while  at work,  just tell your boss that doing so  makes you a better employee; this according to a study from the University of Melbourne  that shows employees surfing the Internet for personal reasons at work are about 9 percent more productive that those who do not. Brent Coker, the studies author, said workplace Internet leisure browsing  helped to sharpen workers' concentration "People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration. This enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days' work, and as a result, increased productivity," Coker said. According to the study of over three hundred workers, seventy percent of people who use the Internet at work engage in workplace Internet leisure browsing. Among the... --

Introducing the $12 computer

Folks at Playpower.org have found a way to use primitive PCs to help kids learn by bringing affordable computer learning to the 90 percent of people who can't afford a a $100 computer. The $100 laptop has several components that makes it expensive such as its screen and own power system and a faster processor but Playpower.org is trying to offer something different by not creating a new machine, but instead builds on something that already exists. The idea came from seeing a system on sale as "TV computers" in Mumbai; From this vision they are creating a system that is small enough to be contained within a full-size keyboard and sold for mere dollars. ($12 to be exact) It may not be powerful enough to run YouTube or surf the Internet at high speed, it is... --

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