Stories by Jason Kennedy

  • Mystery radio bursts may signal that we aren't alone in the universe... maybe

    Alien-invasion sensationalism aside, I know I'm not the only one who feels that an extraterrestrial encounter is more a matter of "when" than "if." All signs point to the possibility of the existence of life outside of our solar system (or even in it), and while not actually proof, CSIRO's (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) discovery of a "single-burst of radio emission of unknown origin" made me sit up and pay attention.

  • Microsoft Kinect for Windows: It's coming

    A few weeks ago, Microsoft delivered the news that Kinect for Windows was a reality, and released the <a href="http://www.kinectforwindows.org/download/">Kinect for Windows SDK</a>. Microsoft Kinect is making waves in the development of tools to help the disabled, assist injured or handicapped with rehabilitation, and lend a hand in the operating room to make doctor's jobs easier (it's the Kinect Effect; you can see it <a href="http://www.xbox.com/en-US/Kinect/Kinect-Effect">on the Xbox site</a>).

  • Tiny PC runs Linux, is the size of a Flash drive

    For a while now I've eyed the netbook/laptop market with a mixture of envy and disgust. I always scoffed at the notion of a netbook, since you couldn't do much on them and I was a my-computer-as-a-swiss-army-knife kind of nerd. I also really wanted a smaller form factor and something more portable, but until recently I couldn't have my cake and eat it too.

  • Google’s CR-48: An adventure in brickdom

    In this multi-part report, nerd extraordinaire Jason Kennedy will look at all sorts of fun and interesting ways to hack his CR-48 laptop. Come along for the ride, and watch his tragedies and triumphs.

  • Windows Phone 7 and tethering: It's on (again)!

    If you keep track of Windows Phone 7 (I try to), you know that it’s been and on and off relationship with tethering. I’m not personally interested in a WP7 phone myself, but if I was a lack of tethering would put a serious damper in my thinking. I carry around enough gear without needing a mifi or something as well, when plenty of phones offer tethering (albiet with draconian carrier leeching) via Wi-Fi or USB. Some feel differently about it and I can see the point, but I want my phone to still be the catch-all for my mobile internet. Thanks to dfvn of XDA-Developers, WP7 users may be able to have their cake and eat it too.

  • Casemod adds a projector

    When Lenovo had its recent Mod Contest, modder Boddaker submitted this gem: A Lenovo A700 IdeaCentre PC with an HD projector built in underneath. The A700 itself is an all-in-one desktop PC with a 23-inch widescreen LCD and slot-loading Blu-ray drive. The projector is attached to the bottom of the unit, so the whole thing can be used as a chalkboard projected onto a wall, among countless other things.

  • Nexus S runs Ubuntu; Linux replaces...Linux

    It seems like hackers who inatall the Android operating system on everything decided to mix it up a bit. The folks over at XDA Developers have successfully ported Ubuntu HD2 version 0.3 to the Samsung Nexus S phone. You read that correctly: They replaced a Linux-based OS (Android) with a Linux-based OS (Ubuntu).

  • Graphene 'spin computers' could bring smaller gadgets

    As reported at physorg.com, University of California, Riverside physicists have made breakthroughs in developing graphene-based “spin computers”. A spin computer would allow for huge storage capacity using a fraction of the power consumption of current electronics. This is accomplished through polarization of electrons -- the spin process actually gives each a directional orientation, up or down. A spin computer would maximize usage of this state of materials to store more data, perform faster, and generate less heat than standard electronics.

  • New Display Tech Draws Almost No Power

    The University of Cincinnati recently announced a new e-Display design, and it's a huge breakthrough for electronic devices called Electrofluidic Display Technology (EFD). Created through a collaboration between U of C, Dupont, Sun Chemical and Gamma Dynamics, it's promising excellent readability in bright sunlight, high contrast color and the ability to show high-speed content, and massively reduced power consumption.