Progress Bars use Optical Illusions to Appear Faster | Techerator

I’d rather not think about how many hours I’ve spent staring at progress bars in my life. They’re a lot faster than the used to be because of better processors and internet connections, but we still have to wait patiently while transferring large files, downloading video games on Steam, or streaming videos online.

Have you ever wondered why modern progress bars have become so much more animated than they were in the “old days”? Part of it might be that user interfaces are more aesthetically pleasing than they used to be, but the biggest reason is because they want to deceive you.

via Progress Bars use Optical Illusions to Appear Faster | Techerator.

Backblaze Blog » The 1.35 petabyte Backblaze Salt Pod

Researchers have discovered that a pinch of table salt can get more data onto spinning hard drive platters. A lot more: 6 TB in a single platter!Considering the latest drives have up to 5 platters, that would be 30 TB in a single hard drive. Put 45 of those drives into a Backblaze Storage Pod and you would store 1.35 petabytes ! in a single storage pod; more than 10 petabytes in a single rack.Hello, Big Data. Meet your best friend, Salt.

via Backblaze Blog » The 1.35 petabyte Backblaze Salt Pod.

Hacked and Hijacked! How to Save Data if Your Portable Device Is Stolen


You reach into your pocket or bag, and, well, it’s empty!


Beyond the understandable distress of losing a pricey smartphone, laptop or tablet PC, the real trauma is the sudden and unfettered access afforded to the slippery-fingered jerk who took it. The cost of a new laptop is meager compared to the personal and even financial havoc that a motivated thief can wreak with the data stored on a typical portable device.

While a laptop is obviously the holy grail of data, consider all the apps you’ve installed on a smartphone or tablet that auto-login at the poke of a finger: e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, texts, address book, photos, videos, et cetera. And don’t forget the passwords and account numbers for bank accounts and credit cards — not to mention any business-related data you may lose if it’s a company device.

via Hacked and Hijacked! How to Save Data if Your Portable Device Is Stolen.

Windows 8 preview build now available for OEMs – Tech Products & Geek News |

When Microsoft released Windows 7 it was a worrying time for Microsoft. Windows Vista was terrible, and Windows 7 was an operating system Microsoft had to get right to rebuild confidence with consumers and business users alike. It did that by releasing a preview build anyone could experiment with months before the final release, and by responding to feedback.That was 2009, and now Microsoft is gearing up to launch Windows 8. A roadmap leaked early last year showed the timetable to get Windows 8 on PCs was set at July 2011, but we’ve also heard it could be 2012. Whatever the case, Microsoft is now offering a preview build of the new OS to key manufacturing partners OEMs.The version made available is called Windows 8 and Server vNext Pre-Release Program build 7971.0.110324-1900. It is only available through the Microsoft Connect system and only with an invite code. So while this isn’t a release that’s going to be publicly available, it does suggest Microsoft is nearing completion of the operating system. It is also believed a beta of Windows 8 could appear by September.While Windows 7 was all about repairing confidence, Windows 8 is about expanding the platforms the OS can run on while embracing 3D. Windows 8 will run on the ARM architecture, a first for Microsoft’s main desktop OS. It is also expected to have the option of a fully-3D interface if you have the hardware to support it.Microsoft introduced support for ARM with a demonstration of Windows 8 already running on the new architecture at CES. There was a Qualcomm Snapdragon, Texas Instruments OMAP, and Nvidia Tegra 2 laptop all on display running the new OS, but with the Windows 7 interface:

Read more at Winrumors

via Windows 8 preview build now available for OEMs – Tech Products & Geek News |

BBC News – Real-life Jedi: Pushing the limits of mind control

Combine this with a Kinect and you could see some really awesome game mechanics in the future;

The inner workings of the brain can now be read using low cost hardwareYou don’t have to be a Jedi to make things move with your mind.Granted, we may not be able to lift a spaceship out of a swamp like Yoda does in The Empire Strikes Back, but it is possible to steer a model car, drive a wheelchair and control a robotic exoskeleton with just your thoughts.

via BBC News – Real-life Jedi: Pushing the limits of mind control.

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