Category Archives: technology

Intel CEO @ CERN

Προχτές, καθώς πήγαινε στο Παγκόσμιο Οικονομικό Forum, ο Craig Barrett έκανε μια στάση εδώ στο CERN (για να κλείσει και τον πελάτη όπως παρατήρησε φίλος 😉 ) και μίλησε για πολλά και ενδιαφέροντα… Την intel, τους μελλοντικούς επεξεργαστές, το νόμο του Moore, το περιβάλλον, το μέλλον της τεχνολογίας…

Το video είναι διαθέσιμο από τους servers του CERN

Sandisk Sansa e260: Quick review

I had bought this for my girlfriend sometime before Christmas. It was a real bargain then: $125 when in Greece it cost double! I used it for about a week and promised myself that once my really old RCA Lyra died I’d get one of these. And so I did…

Sandisk Sansa

I found it for $199 at Amazon about 10 days ago, so I ordered it. Let me clarify here that e260 is the 4GB version. It has also a miniSD slot, so you can boost its capacity by 50% so far (I haven’t seen any miniSDs larger that 2GB). The player externally looks really beautiful (although this is really a matter of opinion). I like the black colour and the design in general. The screen is large enough for a unit of this size. The part I really liked was that the back cover is metallic, giving a very sturdy feel and the battery is user replaceable (by removing 4 small screws). The scroll wheel and buttons are not too well placed though and it makes it slightly harder to use (see below).

The interface is pretty straightforward and well-organized. The menu responce is quick. I can’t tell you anything about the bundled software because I didn’t use it (apart from the firmware updater). I haven’t used Windows Media Player to add songs either; I just changed the connect option so that it would be recognized as a USB drive from my PC and I just dragged & dropped my files in the /music directory (I use linux, hence the /).

I had a problem with the first unit I got for myself though: Every once in a while (about 1/15 I opened it) instead of music it’d produce only static, or only the left channel would play. Luckily no such problems appeared with my girlfriend’s Sansa till now, otherwise I’d get suspicious. I talked with Amazon customer support and immediately got a replacement. And what a surprise! I (think I) got a “new gen” Sansa – they had changed the wheel and the buttons. Now it’s much easier to navigate. Anyway, this unit worked just fine.

The only drawback I discovered: Sansa has issues. It doesn’t recognize songs with ID3 tags v.2.4.0. I contacted customer support and they verified it. They also said that they are not sure if they intend to fix this. This means that I’ll have either to somehow change all my 2.4.0 ID3 tags to 2.3.0, or learn to live with some of my songs’ tags not to be recognized.

Overall, I’d give it an 8/10. If there wasn’t that tag issue it’d get a 9.

Final random notes: Oh, and in case you wondered, battery life is really good. They promise ~20 hours and I can verify that that’s about what I got. Of course only music playing, not videos. And videos play okay, although the small screen is not suitable of course for long viewing. They have to be converted using the provided video converter so that they are resized and recompressed to a format that Sansa’s hardware can reproduce. After converting though keep in mind that you may end up with a file much larger that your original one – the compression rate is really low because the less the compression, the less powerful hardware you need to reproduce the video.

That’s all.

Slow news day… Βρέθηκε το κλειδί κρυπτογράφησης για τα HD DVD και Blu-ray

Αλήθεια, δεν το βρίσκω και πολύ συναρπαστικό. Θα συνέβαινε αργά ή γρήγορα. Σε συνδυασμό με τα όσα είπε πρόσφατα ο Steve Jobs σχετικά μεΒ το DRM αυτο που πραγματικα αναρωτιέμαι ειναι πότε η βιομηχανία θα καταλάβει ότι 1) το DRM ΔΕΝ είναι προς όφελός τους και 2) ότι κλειδώνει ξεκλειδώνει (μα, καλά κανένας πια δεν τους το εχει πει αυτό; )

Το γεγονός ότι η εύρεση του processing key έγινε στα φόρουμ του doom9 μου θύμισε παλιές καλές εποχές που ripαραμε σαν παλαβοί… τώρα μεγαλώσαμε(;) που καιρός για τέτοια!

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World’s unluckiest XBox owner strikes back

MIGHTY MICROSOFT has been caught on the back foot after one of its most unlucky customers has managed to take his case to court of public opinion and win.

Despite claims that the XBox 360 is not as reliable as it should be, the Vole has denied that there was any real problem. When you make a lot of hardware statistically you will produce a few lemons, was the official view.

But Chris Szarek seems to have collected more than his statistical share of lemons. He is on his fourth X-Box 360 and they have all had something wrong with them.

Szarek’s notes online started to attract the attention of her majesty’s loyal press who began ringing up the Vole to ask why were so many problems. Spookily, things then started happening a lot quicker for Szarek. He received a number of calls from Volish bigwigs and his fourth XBox arrived within 24 hours after he started to complain of the death of the third one.

From The Inquirer.
More on this…