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Tuesday Afternoon (17 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 13-March-2012  13:54:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Well, I'm going to sound like a n00b here, but a few days ago I upgraded Firefox from 3.6.x to the latest version and disabled all plugins.. and it's like having a new PC again. So if you're still on the (not very old chronologically, but old in terms of their crazy version numbering) old version, consider making the jump to the new one. Everything seems to still work fine.

CSimpson warns of a Lenovo PC recall due to a fire risk. 160,000 computers worldwide are potentially at risk according to Lenovo, with both ThinkCentre M70z and M90z all-in-one PCs affected by the recall. Only the ThinkCentre M90z was sold in Australia between May 2010 and January 2012, and was available through retail stores, distributors and directly from Lenovo. The PC is aimed primarily at enterprise and small business users.

Parts of Melbourne's Herald Sun are behind a paywall as of yesterday. Yes, it is part of an overall News Corp strategy, absolutely, but we've been tasked with the job of making it work here. We are the biggest daily newspaper in the country. We have a proud tradition in Victoria with our readers. Our website has made enormous gains in UB growth over the last three, four years - so it is logical that we begin in a place like Melbourne. Discussion continues here.

Microsoft have a video demonstrating the usability improvements associated with lower-latency touch displays. High-Performance Touch: A touch-display system with two orders of magnitude less latency than current systems.

They're also working on a universal translator, with video here. In a demo of the prototype software (starts around the 12 minute mark), Rick Rashid, Microsoft’s chief research officer, says a long sentence in English, and then has it translated into Spanish, Italian, and Mandarin. You can definitely hear an edge of digitized “Microsoft Sam,” but overall it’s remarkable how the three translations still sound just like Rashid.

A few people sent in this amusing idea of sending money to the MPAA & RIAA. But of course, given their concern is about digital copies of content, the idea is to send them digital copies of money as compensation. Take a picture or scan an image of your money. Send copies to the MPAA & RIAA in whatever quantity you feel you can afford. Don't go overboard. If you can only afford 20 copies then that's good enough. If enough people contribute we should be able to fully satisify even their most outrageous demands.

Here's a tour of a facility where 4M phones a year are resurrected. Chuck and his brother Allan founded Recellular in 1991, the same year that cell phones switched from analog 1G signals to the digital 2G network. The Newman brothers recognized a trend—people were beginning to upgrade to new cell phones not because their old phones were broken, but because advances in technology had made them obsolete. In this high tech trash, Chuck and Allan saw an opportunity to start a business and to protect the environment—by refurbishing, reusing, and recycling the millions of phones that would have otherwise sat in drawers for years.

I've seen a few articles about this, but Wired seem to explain it best - there's a new kind of LED that puts out more power than it takes in.. kinda. MIT physicists have managed to build a light-emitting diode that has an electrical efficiency of more than 100 percent. You may ask, "Wouldn't that mean it breaks the first law of thermodynamics?" The answer, happily, is no.

Mortal Kombat has been banned in Australia, again. Mortal Kombat 9 Game of the Year is the brand new, revamped version of the game from NetherRealm, designed for PlayStation Vita and published locally by Warner Bros. Despite the obvious modifications since the game's earlier release, this new handheld version is still Refused Classification, meaning it cannot be advertised, displayed or sold within Australia.

The Attorney-General's department is accepting comments about preserving Australia's digital heritage. Currently the Copyright Act requires publishers to deposit printed works at the National Library in order to preserve Australia’s documented heritage. The Government is seeking views on proposed changes that would modernise the current system to extend to electronic documents by empowering the Director-General of the National Library to request certain electronic material to be deposited.

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.