Green on black terminal windows are the way they are for the same reason old oscilloscopes and radar displays were green on black - it's more cost effective to make a cathode ray tube that glows green. For a long damn time, all terminals came green-on-black, simply because that was the cheapest way to pair a CRT with a keyboard, and hardware terminals were what they used back before PC's were popular. Or invented.
The result of this was horrific eyestrain. Yes, some people can handle bright colored text on a black background. Most get eyestrain or worse, migraines. This is especially so if you switch from green-on-black to black-on-white (like a printed page).
Typists and transcriptionists and grad students and pretty much anyone who needed to refer to a printed reference hated it. In the early '80s, color monitors were pretty much crap for text (too fuzzy, not enough resolution) so there was a boom in the production of "amber" monitors. These used monochrome CRTs that phosphoresced a muted yellow-orange. This wasn't quite as jarring to the eyes.
Then someone came up with paper-white monochrome CRT's, and that was pretty much all she wrote for greenscreens.
Geeks keep it alive, because of nostalgia and tradition. It's looks high-tech and cool, because there was a time when it was high-tech and cool - and because there is an association with Unix, and by extension, Linux. What's more Unix than a DEC vt100 terminal hooked up to a PDP-11? Nothing. That's about as close to the metal as you can get without a soldering iron.
But, please, for the sake of your eyes and the eyes of others, don't pretend there is any inherent advantage to green-on-black for the vast majority of users.
Jim Mielke's wireless blood-fueled display is a true merging of technology and body art. At the recent Greener Gadgets Design Competition, the engineer demonstrated a subcutaneously implanted touch-screen that operates as a cell phone display, with the potential for 3G video calls that are visible just underneath the skin.
In a recent post, I talked a bit about the Wii, X Box 360, and the PS3. I dug up a lot of articles to get a few facts for that post, and I kept reading after the post. Since then I have done some thinking and I have some theories:
1080 supportWhile the resolution is currently 480, the full power of the ATI "Hollywood" chip is unknown (Little information has been released, most information about the chip has has been obtained by hacking apart a Wii). Since the chip can read all the good stuff that the Game Cube's "Flipper" video chip, everyone assumes it is an upgrade. But upgrade implies some kind of improvement, and a 720 or 1080 resolution is an improvement. Unconfirmed reports from "drunken employees" claim that the Wii can support 1080.
The current Pinout of the Wii AV interface supports YPbPr, 16:9 switchable interface, but thankfully not enough pins for HDMI. One of the pins on the AV connector also supports an adjustable number of lines. So, the current connector with a YPbPr connector can support HD.
So, 1080 support can be as simple as a firmware "switch", or a small single chip hardware upgrade in a "new and improved" version of the Wii.
DVD support (or a HD disk support) The original prototype of the Wii (Called "Nintendo Revolution") was a black version of the Wii, and had full DVD support. The current Wii does not have DVD support out of the box, though a small hardware mod and boot disk make a Wii able to play a DVD. However this mod does require "griding away pins on the MB" and a new chip thrown on, along with the bot disk swap out.
After the initial release of the Wii, some PR people went on record claiming DVD capabilities would be added in late 2007. The post-release delay was claimed to be due to "fee negotiations" about the cost of DVD standards. Since then, the exact date statement has been recanted, and has been unofficially changed to "someday". This kinda hints that DVD capabilities can be added with a firmware upgrade and a "DVD Channel" thing.
Several polls have indicated that the majority of users want DVD cap... [ Read More (0.4k in body) ]
World's First Nanoradio Could Lead to Subcellular Remote-Control Interfaces
5:49 pm EST, Nov 5, 2007
Less than two weeks after a team of scientists created a nanoscale radio component, scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have gone one better -- announcing the creation of the world's first complete nanoradio.
The breakthrough nanoradio consists of a single carbon-nanotube molecule that serves simultaneously as all the essential components of a radio -- antenna, tunable band-pass filter, amplifier and demodulator. Physicist Alex Zettl led the development team, and graduate student Kenneth Jensen built the radio.
"I'm totally amazed that it works so well," says Zettl. "Making individual components are good breakthroughs, but the holy grail was putting it all together. So we're ecstatic that we were able to achieve that full integration."
The radio opens the possibility of creating radio-controlled interfaces on the subcellular scale, which may have applications in the areas of medical and sensor technology.
Nanoelectronic systems are considered crucial to the continued miniaturization of electronic devices, and it's becoming a hot research and investment arena. Two weeks ago, a team at the University of California at Irvine announced the development of a nanoscale demodulator, an essential component of a radio.
The number of consumer products using nanotechnology -- from the iPhone to home pregnancy testing kits -- has soared from 212 to well over 500, according to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies' online inventory of manufacturer-identified nanotech goods in March 2006.
The nanoradio is less than one micron long and only 10 nanometers wide -- or one ten-thousandth the width of a human hair -- making it the smallest radio ever created.
The researchers' paper was published at the American Chemical Society's Nano Letters website.
The first transmission received by the nanoradio was an FM broadcast of Eric Clapton's "Layla." (The lab has posted video of that moment.) The Clapton classic was quickly followed by the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" and Handel's Largo from the opera Xerxes -- the first piece of music broadcast by radio, on Dec. 24, 1906.
The nanoradio's amplifier operates on the same principles as vacuum-tube radios from the 1940s and early '50s, says Zettl.
"We've come full circle. We're using the old vacuum-tube principle of having electrons jump off the tip of the nanotube onto another electrode, rather than the conventional solid-state transistor principle," says Zettl.
The electronic properties of this electron-emitting nanotube function as the radio's demodulator -- making a complete radio possible within a single molecule.
The audio quality "can be very good," says Zettl, but if you listen closely, some unique effects of the radio's tiny size can be heard: an old-fashioned "scratchiness" that occurs because the device is working in the quantum regime.
"The amazing thing is that since we have such a sensitive nanosc... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]
Hackers can now turn your home computer into a bomb and blow your family to smithereens, and do so remotely from thousands of miles away, the Weekly World News reports.
"It is already possible for an assassin to send someone an e-mail with an innocent-looking attachment. When the receiver downloads the attachment, the electrical current and molecular structure of the central processing unit is altered, causing it to blast apart like a large hand grenade," the paper quotes Yabenson as saying.
School: Did you really name your son Robert'); Drop Table Students;--? Mom: Oh. Yes. Little Bobby Tables we call him School: Well, we've lost this year's student records. I hope your happy. Mom: and I hope you've learned to sanitize your database inputs.
To be fair, you shouldn't sanitize user input, you should validate it.
A hands-on look at Microsoft’s new Surface computing platform
3:43 pm EDT, Oct 1, 2007
I learned a few new things about the Surface computer.
It utilizes Microsoft's XNA Development framework. Which is an extension of the .NET framework to allow easy development of Xbox and Windows games. I've used XNA to make a clone of Oasis and I can personally vouch that is makes developing cool graphics very easy.