GeekSpeak for 2008-11-22

Adaptive Computing

Computers are generally designed for the sighted user, but there are tools to enable almost anyone to use a computer. Learn about adaptive computing with Calais Ingel who runs the [Assistive Technology Lab|http://tinyurl.com/6p8r2n] at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California.

Einstein Continues to Hold His Own

It’s confirmed by way of New Scientist: "Matter is merely vacuum fluctuations.

“Each proton (or neutron) is made of three quarks – but the individual masses of these quarks only add up to about 1% of the proton’s mass. So what accounts for the rest of it?

“Theory says it is created by the force that binds quarks together, called the strong nuclear force. In quantum terms, the strong force is carried by a field of virtual particles called gluons, randomly popping into existence and disappearing again. The energy of these vacuum fluctuations has to be included in the total mass of the proton and neutron.”

WOW - Obama's FCC Team

“Not only are [Obama’s FCC Transition Team leaders] Kevin Werbach and Susan Crawford great Net Neutrality advocates, they’re also into online games/virtual worlds— " Wagner James.

World of Warcraft players, that is. Check out the [dissection of Kevin Werbach’s WOW character|http://www.boingboing.net/2008/11/20/warcraft-identity-of.html] .

Single-Celled Giant Upends Early Evolution

The trouble is, single-celled critters aren’t supposed to be able to leave trails. The oldest fossils of animal trails, called ‘trace fossils’, date to around 580 million years ago, and paleontologists always figured they must have been made by multicellular animals with complex, symmetrical bodies.

But G. sphaerica’s traces are the spitting image of the old, Precambrian fossils; two small ridges line the outside of the trail, and one thin bump runs down the middle.
At up to three centimeters (1.2 inches) in diameter, they’re also enormous compared to most of their microscopic cousins.

PC Magazine Goes 100% Digital

This is PC Magazine’s Open letter to PC Magazine (Print) Readers:

The January 2009 issue (Volume 28, Issue 1) of PC Magazine will mark a monumental transition for the publication. It is the last printed edition of this venerable publication. Of course, as with any technology-related enterprise, this is not the end, but the beginning of something exciting and new. Starting in February 2009, PC Magazine will become a 100-percent digital publication.

New study shows online use good for teens

A new study carried out by the MacArthur Foundation has shown that online time is actually good for teenagers, countering the stereotypical view of parents that spending any time online is a waste of time. The report’s author, Dr. Mimi Ito, who is also a research scientist at the Department of Informatics at the University of California, told the BBC, “They are learning the technological skills and literacy needed for the contemporary world. They are learning how to communicate online, craft a public identity, create a home page, post links. All these things were regarded as sophisticated 10 years ago but young people today take them for granted.”

Worldwide PC Gaming hardware Market Report Series

This is the JPR reports that provide the hardware TAM for Enthusiast, Performance, and Mainstream Gaming PCs, AIBs, and peripherals for major international regions and specific countries within these regions. This report includes data for 37 countries in seven regions delivered in Excel spreadsheets. The reports are a combination of top down and bottom up analysis. The Top-down portion of the report analyzes hardware based on AIB shipments and subsequent PC shipments from 2008 to 2012. It is also based on various macro financial analysis and growth rates. The Bottom-up portion is based on the strength of PC gaming in individual countries worldwide and also the type of gaming popular in various cultures. The Top-down portion is based on worldwide shipments of GPU’s as well as some economic data. The Appendix offers a detailed step by step methodology and an architecture discussion.

Study: PC Gaming Market Larger Than Console

Market research firm JPR claims that the PC gaming market is vastly larger than that of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii combined. A recent study conducted by the firm reports that sales of “gaming PCs” over the last three years have outdistanced gaming consoles by a huge margin: 196 million PCs sold versus 74.7 PS3s, Xbox 360s and Wiis. Additionally, the report believes that the PC gaming market will top $34 billion by 2012.

Windows HPC hits top 10 among supercomputers

Network World reports that Microsoft on Tuesday hit another high-performance computing milestone by placing its server for the first time in the top 10 on the list of the Top 500 super computers as judged by Top500.org.

Scientists say Copernicus remains, grave found

Researchers said Thursday they have identified the remains of Nicolaus Copernicus by comparing DNA from a skeleton and hair retrieved from one of the 16th-century astronomer’s books.


! More Information

Technology, classes, and other resources from [The Assistive Technology Lab|http://tinyurl.com/6p8r2n] at Cabrillo College.

[Podcasts and videos of assistive technologies and their users|http://www.assistiveware.com/podcasts.php] provided courtesy of AssistiveWare.