Velcroman1 writes "When Apple founder Steve Jobs died after a long fight with cancer last year, software engineer Tony Tseung sent an email to a Buddhist group in Thailand to find out what happened to his old boss now that he's no longer of this world. This month, Tseung received his answer. Jobs has been reincarnated as a celestial warrior-philosopher, the Dhammakaya group said in a special television broadcast, and he's living in a mystical glass palace hovering above his old office at Apple's Cupertino, Calif. headquarters."
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An anonymous reader writes "I live in the Middle East. Summer temperatures occasionally reach 60C/140F, well over the operating specs for most consumer tech. Quite a number of work and residential compounds are secured, prohibiting everything from computers to cameras to phones to USB sticks to car remote controls. When I know that I'm visiting one of those compounds, I end up leaving all the tech I can at home or in the office, and only bringing a cell phone, and leaving it in my car. However, "only a cell phone" has quickly morphed into "only two cell phones, a car MP3 player and remote, and .... ooh, shiny... a new tablet... and an electric razor just in case I have to touch up before a party in a compound." I'm wondering what kind of technologies we have for keeping all this tech cool for four hours in the car. Overnight events might last longer, but won't be as hot."
MrSeb writes with news on work toward flexible batteries good enough for Real World use (you have to power those flexible electrionics somehow). From the article: "LG Chem ... has devised a cable-type lithium-ion battery that's just a few millimeters in diameter, and is flexible enough to be tied in knots, worn as a bracelet, or woven into textiles. The underlying chemistry of the cable-type battery is the same as the lithium-ion battery in your smartphone or laptop — there's an anode, a lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) cathode, an electrolyte — but instead of being laminated together in layers, they're twisted into a hollow, flexible, spring-like helix. flexible batteries have been created before — but they've all just standard, flat, laminated batteries made from sub-optimum materials, such as polymers. As such, as they have very low energy density, and they're only bendy in the same way that a thin sheet of plastic is bendy. LG Chem's cable-type batteries have the same voltage and energy density as your smartphone battery — but they're thin and highly flexible to boot. LG Chem has already powered an iPod Shuffle for 10 hours using a knotted 25cm length of cable-type battery." Original paper (Extreme Tech claims it is paywalled, but it looks like it's not). The hollow core seems to be the key: "Moreover, a nonhollow anode proved to have serious problems with penetration of the electrolyte into the essential cell components such as the separator and active materials ... However, we were able to overcome these drawbacks by devising a unique architecture comprising a skeleton frame surrounding an empty space, that is, a hollow-spiral anode with a multi-helix structure This design enables easy wetting of the battery components with the electrolyte and the hollow space allows the device to compensate for any external mechanical distortion while maintaining its structural integrity. In addition, this helical architecture possibly enables the battery to be more flexible, owing to its similarity to a spring-like structure."
Nerval's Lobster writes "Did images of Nokia's upcoming Windows Phone 8 smartphones leak a few days early? That's the question after a Twitter feed, @evleaks, posted a set of images early on Aug. 31. The first, it claimed, was of the '4.3-inch Nokia Lumia 820,' while the second purported to show the '4.5-inch Nokia Lumia 920 with PureView.' Corporate-sanctioned leaks are a fairly regular thing in the tech world, but they tend to follow well-defined patterns: a public-relations executive — wait, sorry, 'unnamed source' — will email a journalist with an image of an upcoming device, for example, or a disgruntled former engineer will data-dump information onto their blog. Glossy publicity images originating from a new, relatively unknown Twitter feed is less common, although the Twitter feed in question has leaked other images in the past."
AmiMoJo writes "A court in Tokyo has ruled that Samsung Electronics did not infringe on a patent relating to transferring media content between devices. Tokyo District Judge Tamotsu Shoji dismissed the case filed by Apple in August, finding that Samsung was not in violation of Apple patents related to synchronizing music and video data between devices and servers." This particular battle is just one front in a patent war that spans ten countries and dozens of cases. Samsung also confirmed it was ready and willing to sue Apple if an LTE iPhone ever hits the market. Meanwhile, Apple was granted a number of new patents on Tuesday, including one for changing settings on a wireless device depending on its location (#8,254,902). For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.
CharlyFoxtrot writes "Steve Wildstrom at Tech.Pinions takes on some of the what he calls folklore surrounding Apple v Samsung, investigating what was and wasn't part of the case and how the media got it wrong: 'There's one serious problem with the first sentence, which was repeated dozens of times in stories in print and on the Web. Apple only has a limited patent on the pinch to shrink, stretch to zoom gesture that is a core element of touch interfaces. And the 826 patent wasn't in dispute in the Samsung case because Apple never asserted it. In fact, this particular patent does not seem to be in dispute in any litigation.'"
dcblogs writes "Most of what is called innovation today is mere distraction, according to a paper by economist Robert Gordon, written for the National Bureau of Economic Research. Real innovations involve things like the combustion engine or air conditioning, not the smartphone. The paper includes thought experiments to help you gain more respect for genuine innovations such as indoor plumbing. The Financial Times has posted the complete 25-page paper.(pdf)"
derekmead writes "Hot on the heels of the U.S. Air Force's most recent failed test of an unmanned hypersonic vehicle, Russia now says it wants to jump into the hypersonic game with a long-range bomber. Will Russia's newest Bear fly at 4,500 miles an hour? The Russian military sure hopes so. 'I think we need to go down the route of hypersonic technology and we are moving in that direction and are not falling behind the Americans,' Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Russian television. 'The question is will we copy the Americans' 40-year experience and create a [Northrop] B-2 analog or will we go down a new, ultramodern technology route, looking to the horizon, and create a machine able to penetrate air defenses and carry out a strike on any aggressor.' The Russians want their plane operational by 2020, which doesn't seem particularly realistic — we are talking about five times the speed of sound here, and Russia is just starting engine development. The U.S., meanwhile, has been investing in its Waverider program since 2004, and the last test of the X-51A scramjet-powered missile failed after just 15 seconds."
theodp writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that pair programming is all the rage at tech darlings Facebook and Square. Its advocates speak in glowing terms of the power of pair programming, saying paired coders can catch costly software errors and are less likely to waste time surfing the Web. 'The communication becomes so deep that you don't even use words anymore,' says Facebook programmer Kent Beck. 'You just grunt and point.' Such reverent tones prompted Atlassian to poke a little fun at the practice with Spooning, an instructional video in which a burly engineer sits on a colleague's lap, wraps his arms around his partner's waist and types along with him hand over hand."
Barence writes "Lexmark has announced it will stop making inkjet printers and cut 1,700 jobs as part of a cost-cutting restructuring move. Lexmark will stop all inkjet development worldwide by 2013, and close its Philippines-based inkjet supplies manufacturing plant by 2015. This will provide annual savings of $85 million, rising to $95 million by 2015. The total restructuring cost before tax is expected to be $160 million. The company is also looking into the possible sale of its inkjet-related technology." I know there are some purposes for which inkjets are good (modern home photo printing can be insanely good, and we've featured a lot of cool projects which use inkjets to print sensors, solar cells, antennae, and more), but I get just a little queasy whenever I see an inkjet printer purchased by an innocent friend or family member who doesn't realize quite how much it will end up costing them in the long run.
Nerval's Lobster writes "On August 24, a California court ruled in favor of Apple in its patent-infringement case against Samsung, hitting the latter with a $1.05 billion fine. Tech pundits spent the weekend chattering about the possible repercussions of the decision, which Samsung will surely appeal. One of the biggest issues under discussion: how Apple's victory will affect Google Android, the operating system that powers the majority of Samsung's mobile devices, and itself a player in the patent-infringement actions shaking the tech world. For its part, Google made every effort to create some distance between Android and the smoking ruins of Samsung's case. 'The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims' the company wrote in a widely circulated statement. 'Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office.' Google didn't end there. 'The mobile industry is moving fast and all players—including newcomers—are building upon ideas that have been around for decades,' the statement continued. 'We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that."
The Oatmeal's call to raise funds for a museum celebrating Nikola Tesla seems to have electrified enough people. From Digital Trends: "The Oatmeal has raised over $1 million on IndieGoGo in an effort to secure Wardenclyffe, the site of Tesla's final laboratory, to build a museum dedicated to Tesla. ... [Oatmeal founder and artist Matthew] Inman’s original goal of $850,000 would buy just half of the cost of the property, but the state of New York has agreed to match contributions, bringing total funds up to $1.7 million. Raising the capital to build a museum from the property will be another cost, but from the looks of it, with 36 days left and having already surpassed the $1 million mark, there should be funds to spare."
After a few years of rumors and hints, All Things Digital says that a smaller iPad will debut in October. And Amazon may be trying to steal their thunder with a revamped Kindle tablet: Nerval's Lobster writes with a report at SlashCloud that "Amazon could be readying a new set of Kindle tablets for unveiling in early September. That's the widespread speculation following the online retailer's invitations to media for a Sept. 6 event in Santa Monica, Calif. Even by the coy standards of most tech companies' event invitations, Amazon's is notably bereft of detail. It will take place at 10:30 AM PST at Barker Hangar, a noted (and quite large) event space. But the timing of the event is auspicious: with Apple rumored to be unveiling a smaller iPad in the near future, and the holiday shopping season a few months away, early September could prove the ideal time for Amazon to whip back the curtain from a new tablet and dominate the media conversation, at least for a few days."
CIStud writes "A new poll conducted of IT industry executives and integrators shows a divided and unsure industry regarding which presidential candidate is better for Information Technology to prosper. The poll, conducted by JZ Analytics on behalf of CompTIA, shows 'Not Sure' winning in four out of five areas. President Obama holds and edge over Mitt Romney in every category, including which person is best for the IT industry in terms of tax policy (remarkably), access to capital, tech exports, education and privacy."
New submitter wermske writes "Ars Technica and ZDNet report the Location Privacy Act of 2012 (SB-1434) was passed by the California legislature on Wednesday. The California Location Privacy Act, co-sponsored by the ACLU of California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, updates California privacy law to reflect the modern mobile world by providing needed protection against warrantless government access to a person's location information. Recent reports indicate that cell phone tracking is routine and few agencies obtain warrants for such surveillance. The need for this protection resurfaced last week when warrantless GPS tracking appeared again in the national news — a federal appeals court ruled that law enforcement is allowed to track the GPS signal coming from a suspect's prepaid phone without a warrant. The scope of the Location Privacy Act would include gathering GPS or other location-tracking data from cell phones, tablets, computers, automobiles, etc. The next stop is the governor's desk; however, there is concern that Governor Jerry Brown may not sign this act into law. In 2011, Gov. Brown vetoed an attempt at enforcing stricter privacy rules."