15 Dec 2019

feedSlashdot

'Maximum PC' Magazine Accurately Predicted Apple TV-Like Devices In 2001

Slashdot reader alaskana98 writes: In the February 2001 issue of Maximum PC, technical editor Will Smith described in his column what he would like to see in the "perfect set-top box". At a time when arguably the best 'PVR' experience was being provided by the first iterations of the Tivo (with no HDTV or LAN connectivity), Will's description of what a set-top box could and should be comes eerily close to what we now know as the Apple TV and other 'set-top' boxes such as Roku and Amazon Firestick... To be fair, not every feature on his list would come to pass. For example, he envisioned this device as essentially serving as the main "broadband router of a household, sharing your Internet connection with any networkable device in your house". Also, he envisions the media box as providing a "robust web experience" for the whole family, something that today's set-top boxes aren't especially good at (anyone remember WebTV?). Still, in wanting an "elusive magical box" that "will set on top of our HDTV's and do everything our computers, game consoles, and VCRs do, only better", he was prescient in his descriptions of what would eventually materialize as the Apple TV and other like-minded set-top boxes, impressive for a denizen of the year 2001. Are you impressed with Smith's predictive ability? Here's what he wrote... On networking: "My set-top box will have to have a high-speed broadband connection...sharing your Internet connection with any networkable device in your house via standard Ethernet, Wi-Fi compatible wireless Ethernet, Bluetooth". On gaming: "[W]ill include state-of-the-art 3D acceleration and gaming support" and "will include Bluetooth-style wireless connections for all your controllers". On media playback: "[W]ill also serve as a media store, handing the duties of both my high-def personal video recorder (HD-PVR) and digital audio jukebox". On device collaboration: "integrating the ability to automatically synchronize with Bluetooth-enabled" devices. [Though the original article says "PDAs"]

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15 Dec 2019 5:34pm GMT

America's FCC Votes Unanimously To Divide 'Safety Spectrum' Into Wifi and Auto Applications

"The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously Thursday to push a plan forward that would take away several channels of airwaves from automakers and local governments that have been planning to build out a communication network for cars and surrounding smart infrastructure," writes Consumer Reports, in an article shared by McGruber. "The 5-0 commission vote indicated how much ground the auto industry has lost in protecting the airwaves that have been reserved since 1999 as a so-called safety spectrum." The industry and some state and local governments have been counting on it to deliver vehicle-to-everything communications, or V2X, that could improve safety and also help in the development of self-driving-car technology... The FCC plan would all but kill an approach to V2X that relies on short-range radio, called DSRC, that has been deployed by local governments at some 100 test sites around the country, safety advocates say. That could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded local investments into smart traffic lights and other smart road technology would be wasted, according to state officials. The FCC plan would divide 75 MHz of the safety spectrum between WiFi and auto safety applications. The FCC proposal allocates 20 MHz for a newer V2X technology, known as C-V2X, and leaves 10 MHz for either C-V2X or DSRC. All five FCC commissioners spoke about the vast economic potential of more airwaves dedicated to WiFi, and said not enough had happened with the V2X technology to continue to set aside so much spectrum for its exclusive use. Republican Commissioner Michael O'Rielly said some opponents of the FCC plan might say the move puts vehicle safety in jeopardy or will lead to increased fatalities. "That is pure gibberish," O'Rielly said at the hearing. "Everyone on this dais wants our families, friends, neighbors, countrymen, and countrywomen to be safe when traveling in motor vehicles. DSRC hasn't come anywhere close to fruition." Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said other countries were dedicating less than 75 MHz to V2X applications, and the 10 MHz that could be available for DSRC in the FCC plan matches what Japan is doing. The article concludes that the commission "will collect and analyze public comments over the next several months before any plan becomes final. "But the comments of the commissioners and FCC staff left little doubt about the direction the agency is moving in.

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15 Dec 2019 4:34pm GMT

Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay To Subscribe To YouTube?

Long-time Slashdot reader shanen writes: If you don't watch YouTube, then more power to you, but if you do watch it, then I bet you have noticed more and more intrusive and noisy and much longer ads along with frequent reminders that you can pay up and make the noise go away. Feels like extortion to me and I'm not going to pay a blackmailer. But someone must be paying up. Is it you? Or do you even know anyone who is paying? The original submission also shares shanen's argument that Google is exploiting copyright loopholes to monetize other people's copyrighted content. "It wouldn't even matter how much pirate video is uploaded to YouTube if the Google didn't make it easy to find... If the Google actually wanted to stop the piracy, the algorithm is obvious... The famous content has famous keywords and the searches for those keywords can be whitelisted. Pirate results can be disappeared and replaced with results that belong to the actual creator with legitimate exceptions for fair use." (But instead, the argument goes, they're just asking you for money to remove their ads on that content...) That's shanen's opinion -- but what's yours? And would you pay to subscribe to YouTube?

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15 Dec 2019 3:34pm GMT

feedArs Technica

A 43,900-year-old cave painting is the oldest story ever recorded

Archaeologists say it might also contain the oldest known religious images.

15 Dec 2019 3:00pm GMT

HP Elite Dragonfly review: Luxurious, professional, expensive

This is a whole new look for the Elitebook line, and it starts at $1,549.

15 Dec 2019 2:00pm GMT

This alleged Bitcoin scam looked a lot like a pyramid scheme

Five men face federal charges of bilking investors of $722 million.

15 Dec 2019 12:15pm GMT

01 Jan 2009

feedLinux.com :: Features

A new year, a new Linux.com

Many of you have commented that our NewsVac section hasn't been refreshed since the middle of last month. Others have noticed that our story volume has dropped off. Changes are coming to Linux.com, and until they arrive, you won't see any new stories on the site.

01 Jan 2009 2:00pm GMT

31 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

Android-powered G1 phone is an enticing platform for app developers

The free and open source software community has been waiting for the G1 cell phone since it was first announced in July. Source code for Google's Android mobile platform has been available, but the G1 marks its commercial debut. It's clearly a good device, but is it what Linux boosters and FOSS advocates have long been anticipating?

31 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT

30 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

Municipalities open their GIS systems to citizens

Many public administrations already use open source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to let citizens look at public geographic data trough dedicated Web sites. Others use the same software to partially open the data gathering process: they let citizens directly add geographic information to the official, high-quality GIS databases by drawing or clicking on digital maps.

30 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT