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billy

All the Savings You’ll Ever Need

By | Yummy Links | No Comments


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Passwird Logo

Boy, it has just come to my attention that, while every other student worker like me probably plays Flash-based games online, I’m usually scrounging the Internet for the next gadget steal I can make. Whether it be NewEgg‘s horrible pun “Shell Shocker“, something random at Woot!, or even what’s shaking over at Buy.com, the Internet has allowed some really great money-savers to pop up. Most of the savings to be had aren’t even dependent on seasonal pricing (read: Black Friday), so for “frugal” college students like myself, early Christmas shoppers, or bargain hunters, these websites I’m highlighting today are a godsend.

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Washer-Dryers, Fridges to Communicate with your Power Company

By | Green Tech, Industry News, Power | One Comment

GE Logo

In spite of falling gas prices, energy is still a hot button topic in this election season, and General Electric has some new ideas about how to approach the issue. In a press release on Wednesday, GE announced a growing partnership with energy utilities and new line of appliances which will work in tandem to lower peak energy demand and save you, the consumer, money on your energy bills. These “Energy Management Enabled” appliances will receive control messages sent from the utility companies, which let them know when peak energy periods (and prices) have passed, allowing the hardware to schedule key tasks around cheaper kilowatt-hours. Read More



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Codeweavers Giving Away Software Today!

By | Mac, OS, Software | No Comments

 

CodeWeavers

Apple or Linux fans, rejoice! CodeWeavers, as part of a semi-promotional stunt, semi-political gaffe, is making their catalog of CrossOver software available to everyone with a valid email address for October 28th, only! If you don’t know what CodeWeavers, with the CrossOver software, is out to do: Their mission is to make the Linux and Mac operating systems fully Windows compatible. CrossOver is an (from what I can tell, their main site has been down all day. Thanks Digg!) API-GUI that runs off the Wine source tree and allows you to run Windows-based applications. Hurry over to their website and grab your version before midnight CST (10:00 PST, 1:00 EST, 6:00 GMT) , then come back here and read up on what’s going on!

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Paper With A Backlight

By | Biotechnology, Displays | One Comment

OLED SheetsPoor ole’ Organic Light-Emitting-Diodes (OLEDs) have led a troubled life: they’re fighting with their cousins, the LED, for the efficiency crown; it’s fighting with LCD technology for use in electronic devices, like an OLED-based television; and the manufacturing processes behind OLEDs have, up until recently, been expensive and difficult to expand upon. Of course, if you had something as simple as an OLED printer, you could crank out as many as you wanted.

Oh, General Electric has recently unveiled an OLED printer, you say? With a machine that can print sheets of OLEDs at a time, companies like Phillips and Sony are starting to put their weight behind OLED-based products. When Sony unveiled a OLED-based flexible display at the 2008 CES, new realms of possibility were opened up. Cell phones with flexible screens, “unrollable” backlit displays, and sheet lighting all suddenly became possible.

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Nintendo Announces New, Improved Hardware

By | Gaming Accessories, Video Game System | 3 Comments

Nintendo DSi WB

When it comes to technology, its hard to beat our Japanese brethren in things like the video game, cell phone, and handheld device markets, and it’s the fault of companies like Samsung, Sony, and Nintendo. Nintendo had a massive developer expo and showcase earlier today, and a few of the guys from “Wired” were on hand to blog about it, but if you don’t care to read timestamps, Nintendo’s big thing was announcing a new and improved Nintendo DS, dubbed the “DSi“.Completely original, right?

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Spore DRM Leads To Firestorm, Class Action Lawsuit

By | Software, Video Game System | No Comments

Spore Title

Reminiscent of the old Sony BMG ‘rootkit’ problems which plagued users back in 2005, Electronic Arts is facing a serious firestorm over their recently published PC game “Spore“. In particular, the issues lie with the Digital Rights Management (DRM) software that EA included with Spore. This particular iteration of DRM software, made by SecuROM, limits the number of active installations at one time to 3; this method of tracking active installations also requires a computer to be connected to the Internet to authenticate against EA’s servers, another point of contention. Now, with a number of users up-in-digital-arms and a class action lawsuit being filed in the Northern District of California against EA, they’re really starting to feel the heat. Read More

A Better Way to Find Faces

By | Camcorder, Software, Video | No Comments

 

If you’ve ever watched the “Jason Bourne” series of movies, he constantly has the CIA, INTERPOL, and other organizations following his every move. One of the ways they did this was through face-recognition software which took video feed, processed it, and compared faces which appeared in the video feed against an archived database. While, in the movie, the software never failed to recognize a face, this is rarely the case in real life. Even in ideal conditions, the best face recognition software only works well when you can control factors such as resolution or face angle. However, Pablo Hennings-Yeomans’ work over at Carnegie Mellon University may just change all that. Read More

You Used That Tesla Coil To Do What?!

By | Carnivals, Whacky | One Comment

Tesla Coil Charging

Nikola Tesla was a genius and a cool dude; being responsible for important things like AC power, RADAR, and the Tesla Coil while scaring the pants off 19th century citizens with your electrical finesse have a tendency of doing that to you. However, some smart people have figured out how to build on his genius, switch things up, and make Tesla Coils amplify guitars, put on the obligatory light show, and synchronize with keyboards.

A Tesla Coil, in short, is a method of creating high voltage environments with (generally) low amounts of current. While they found use in wireless telegraph transmission, early power transmission experiments, and generally freaking the populace out, a majority of modern Tesla Coils are now built by enthusiasts and researchers.

So, being an electrical engineer and all, here’s a little carnival showcasing some awesome things done with Tesla Coils over the years…

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Web 2.0 Meets Software Engineering

By | Software, Tutorials | No Comments

Stack Overflow LogoThis one goes out to all you programmers out there. Whether it be Ruby, C#, ASP.NET, Perl, Python, or any of a number of programming languages, the varying syntaxes, compilers, and platforms can be a headache sometimes. Unless you’re an expert, there’s always a question to be answered; and often, you have to trust a programming book or Google search to find what you’re looking for. This is where “Stack Overflow” comes in.

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Google Chrome LAUNCHED!

By | Browsers, Emerging Technology | 2 Comments

Google ChromeThis past weekend, Google stunned many tech observers with a surprise unveiling of Google’s latest product: Chrome. A beta version of Google Chrome, a new internet browser, was launched earlier today to the public, boasting some pretty significant changes to the way Firefox and IE does things. Touting a browser-based “task manager”, and “Incognito” mode (go figure…), and a new Java handling system called V8, there are some spectacular things being done here.

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