TigerDirectThis is the TigerDirect News Update for Wednesday, December 13, 2006.

Today’s podcast includes:

  • Nano Sized Memory from IBM Runs Faster with Less Power
  • UCLA hacker gains over 500,000 student and staff records
  • Texas wants to give hunting rights to the blind
  • and Microsoft encourages robot builders with new Operating System


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TigerDirect News Update for December 13, 2006

    IBM Announces Nano-Sized Memory

  • Giddy about that $10 1GB Flash drive you recently bought? Well, according to IBM, a new chip technology unveiled today by Big Blue, Macronix and Qimonda is 500 times faster than flash and uses half the power.

    The technology uses something called “phase-change” technology, which allows for quicker processing and smaller chip sizes.

    Just how small? “The device’s cross-section is a minuscule 3 by 20 nanometers in size, far smaller than flash can be built today and equivalent to the industry’s chip-making capabilities targeted for 2015″.

  • UCLA hacker gets 800,000 records of data

  • An unknown hacker has infiltrated a massive University of California, Los Angeles database with personal information on 800,000 people, the school said on Tuesday, in one of the worst computer breaches ever at a U.S. university.

    The highly sophisticated attack exploited a software flaw to crack the computer system in a bid to obtain Social Security numbers, UCLA said in notices sent to all 800,000 potential victims, most of them current or former students and faculty members.

    The database contained names, social security numbers, dates of birth, home addresses and contact information that could be used by identity thieves. The database apparently stored personal information for many former students going back at least a decade.

  • Texans Shooting Blind – Really!

  • A Texas lawmaker is aiming to allow the blind to hunt. Texas State Representative Edmund Kuempel has introduced a measure that would allow blind people to hunt any game that sighted people can currently pursue. “This opens up the fun of hunting to additional people, and I think that’s great,” Kuempel told Reuters.

    The bill may find little resistance in Texas, where politicians of all stripes endorse hunting, which is wildly popular in the state.

    Under the bill, blind hunters would be required to have a sighted hunter with them and would be allowed to use laser sights and other devices that are currently not allowed.

  • and finally..

    Microsoft Takes wraps off of new Robot Operating System

  • Wednesday Microsoft launches its first commercial operating system for robots, with hopes of paving the way for a broader robotics industry and taking a central role in its development.

    Microsoft Robotics Studio is a Windows-based software platform designed to make it relatively simple to program robots–real or simulated. Compatible with several different pieces of hardware, like iRobot’s Roomba or LEGO Mindstorms NXT “tribot,” the software lets enterprising gadget hounds command a device to communicate, send alerts or perform scheduled tasks.

    The software is free for hobbyists or researchers, but companies aiming to profit from its use must license a commercial version for $399. No information was yet available regarding a robotic “Control Alt Delete,” but I’d also like to know what happens when a ‘Blue Screen of Death’ appears – convulsions? blinking? I guess we will all find out soon…