I have been reading a large amount of information on slipstreaming and unattended installations of Windows XP/2003 lately, so here’s my linkdump of all of the juiciest nuggets:
There are several hard technical problems surrounding power efficiency of computers, but we’ve found one that is actually not particularly challenging and could have a huge impact on the energy used by home computers and low-end servers: increasing power supply efficiency. All computers, including personal computers and servers, have power supplies to convert the alternating current (AC) from the outlet to the direct current (DC) needed by the machine. Typical power supplies waste 30-45% of their input power, and relatively simple modifications can bring this waste down to 10%. […] We believe that the development of a new open standard is necessary to achieve very high efficiencies at low costs, so we have begun discussions with Intel and other vendors that we hope might lead to significantly more efficient power supplies.
With all of the new cellular standards and acronyms, I have been in the dark about a couple of things. Specifically, HSDPA and UMTS. If you don’t know what these are and don’t care to learn about them, you will probably want to stop reading now. :) I know that these are both high(er) speed wireless communications protocols. That was the easy part. I also know that they are both faster than EDGE, a protocol that I have frequently used with cellphones in times of broadband outage.
Now this question isn’t something that I have been really racking my brain on. It’s just been a curiousity lingering in the back of my mind that surfaces whenever I read about the fancy new phones that are becoming available. It seemed to me that the two acronyms were often loosely interchanged. And without digging around to find the differences, I was beginning to think that they were the same thing.
Finally, I posed a question to a couple of fellow Engadget Mobile readers tonight. And as I typically do, I hammered it out and clicked submit before even thinking about doing a tiny bit of research.
So, within five minutes, I found myself on Wikipedia reading about all of the gory details of HSDPA, or High-Speed Downlink Packet Access. I found that I already knew some of this information, such as the fact that the protocol supports downlink speeds of up to 14.4 Mbit/s. (Wow!)
The real benefit for me from the Wikipedia article on HSDPA was mostly in the first paragraph:
HSDPA provides a smooth evolutionary path for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) networks allowing for higher data capacity. It is an evolution of the W-CDMA standard, designed to increase the available data rate by a factor of 5 or more. HSDPA defines a new W-CDMA channel, the high-speed downlink shared channel (HS-DSCH) that operates in a different way from existing W-CDMA channels, but is only used for downlink communication to the mobile.Whew! In addition to the above, the UMTS page on Wikipedia says that UMTS “uses W-CDMA as the underlying standard.” Ok, so I’m seeing this as a progression: WCDMA→UMTS→HSDPA. The newer standards are evolutions of the older standards, using and expanding upon previous protocols. Elsewhere, I confirmed the following:
HSDPA is compatible with EDGE and is fully backwards compatible with WCDMA, and enterprise and rich multimedia applications developed for WCDMA will work with HSDPA. Most UMTS vendors support HSDPA.So here are my conclusions:
A recent New York Times article mentioned the new inaudible ring tones being used by students during class. The catch: the tones are very high frequencies. The adult ear gradually loses the ability to hear these frequencies with age, and the kids are using this to their advantage. I heard the sample provided by the Times just fine, but many others my age heard nothing. Ochen K took the argument a step further with frequency analysis and more sample audio. Can you hear these tones?
For quite some time, O’Reilly has been the trusted source for technical books in my household. I have a rainbow of O’Reilly books on my bookshelf. And while it is not as large as this library, the O’Reilly books still make up for over 50% of the books that I own. I have recently been shopping for books to add to my Amazon wishlist, and, feeling already overwhelmed with O’Reilly books and tech books in general, I’m needing some new ideas.
Has anyone read any good books lately? Amazon’s Best-Seller List has been dominated by Mr. Potter lately, so that’s not much help. And the New York Times Best-Seller Lists are full of authors I have never heard of.
I suppose I must call upon the powers of the great LazyWeb. Oh LazyWeb, help me! I need an authoritative site that lists good, modern books along with coherent reviews. Any takers?