“A research project at the MIT Media Lab has a plan for getting $100 laptops in the hands of millions of people around the world. One notable feature is a hand crank for providing power in places where electricity is undependable or unavailable… The battery doubles as a handle and the shoulder strap is the power supply and plug.”
“Windows is broken and Microsoft has admitted it. In an unprecedented attempt to explain its Longhorn problems and how it abandoned its traditional way of working, the normally secretive software giant has given unparalleled access to The Wall Street Journal, even revealing how Vice President Jim Allchin, personally broke the bad news to Bill Gates.
“Allchin is co-head of the Platform Products and Services Division. ‘It’s not going to work,’ he told Gates in the chairman’s office, the paper reports. ‘[Longhorn] is so complex its writers will never be able to make it run properly.’ The reason: Microsoft engineers were building it just as they had always built software. Thousands of programmers each produced their own piece of computer code, to be stitched together into one sprawling program. But Longhorn/Vista was too complex: Microsoft needed to begin again, Allchin told Gates. Allchin’s warning recognised a growing threat from Google, Apple Computer, makers of Linux and corporate buyers – the latter horrified about security problems. Allchin and a small team demanded a revolution in how Microsoft works.”
“How much confidence does SciFi Channel have in two of its three top shows? Enough to pretty much give them a go-ahead for a third season. Sources at SciFi Channel are reporting that SciFi has unofficially decided to award both “Battlestar Galactica” and “Stargate: Atlantis” third-season pickups…
“‘Battlestar Galactica’ aired for the first time on SciFi in January for an extended half-season run, quickly earning a second season after strong ratings that beat out even new episodes of “Star Trek: Enterprise” on UPN. The show is in the middle of its second season, still enjoying strong ratings despite some audience erosion seen across the board. It stars Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, and has been critically-acclaimed in the mainstream media.”
Charles Hirschhorn, founder and CEO of G4TV, has been replaced. Hirschhorn is best known for leading the acquisition and transformation of the geek-Mecca “TechTV” television channel. Under his leadership, TechTV was dismantled and rebuilt as part of the video game-centric “G4TV”. Since then, G4TV’s ratings have declined steadily, and the channel’s tech-savvy viewers have disappeared.
The G4/TechTV merger also resulted in the unceremonious termination or resignation of popular tech-geek personalities from “TechTV” including Yoshi DeHerra, Dan Huard, Leo Laporte, and Patrick Norton. TechTV’s flagship show, “The Screen Savers”, was retooled toward a much younger audience with the majority of hardcore tech content removed. Eventually popular tech guru, Kevin Rose, also resigned to pursue more tech-centric ventures like founding the Revision3 IPTV network and “digg.com” technology news site.
While the American version of the channel has changed radically, “G4TechTV Canada” strived to maintain its specialty audience. By directly enlisting Leo Laporte, one of TechTV’s most seasoned broadcasters, it revived the very popular “Call for Help” tech-help show. Since then, “Call for Help 2.0” has been picked up by the “How-To” network in Australia. In a surprising reversal, Laporte recently announced a return of “Call for Help” to G4TV at the end of August, but outside of the prime-time slots.
Rose is hopeful that Hirschhorn’s departure signals a return to technology broadcasting for G4TV. “Will the new CEO add more tech programming? Time will tell,” he says in his blog. Meanwhile, disgruntled “TechTV” fans are cheering the move by the channel’s owner, Comcast.
“Microsoft also screened a video at PDC of Gates playing the role of a programmer in a spoof based on the 2004 cult movie ‘Napoleon Dynamite’. The video showed the film’s celebrated anti-hero reporting to work as a programmer for the world’s largest software maker, according to Reuters.
“In a face-off between the two nerd icons, Jon Heder, the actor who plays Napoleon Dynamite, beats Gates in a slapping match to become the head of the software giant.
“Gates is shown recruiting Heder’s fictional character, after which they are seen together in ill-fitting brown suits on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Wash., Reuters said.”
“Japanese robotics and machineries manufacturer Sakakibara-Kikai has developed the worldâ€™s first bi-pedal exoskeleton, bringing the battlemechs and cyborg technology found in sci-fi movies and novels into reality. This mechanatron is similar to those found in movies such as the Imperial Scout Walker (AT-ST) found in Star Wars. Previously, there was a similar mechanatron also created in Japan by Tmsuk called Enryu. Although Enryu is much faster than Land Walker, it uses caterpillar-like tracks rather than legs to move.”