Monday, December 13, 2010

Toshiba's new glasses-free 3D display tilts images and viewing angles your way

Autostereoscopic (read: glasses-free) 3D screens sound like all the rage, but the narrow zones from which you can comfortably view their images have made them a dubious proposition. That's not stopping Toshiba Mobile Display, however, which recently came up with a novel idea for a self-adjusting display. By sticking a six-axis accelerometer in this 12.1-inch slate, the company can tilt the tablet's viewing angle as the tablet itself is tilted, letting viewers effectively look around 3D objects on screen, using software algorithms rather than the fancy lens-and-camera assembly that Microsoft's been prototyping. Toshiba figures it'll make a splash with e-tailers -- because who doesn't want to play with a prospective purchase in 3D space? -- but is mostly talking up the tech as a way to extend the limited 3D viewing angles of these sorts of displays. But enough jabber: see it for yourself after the break.

GM's Dan Akerson says he 'wouldn't be caught dead in a Prius'

Think GM's CEO sees the Toyota Prius as a worthy competitor that, in many ways, paved the way for theChevy Volt? Think again. Speaking to the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. this week, GM CEO Dan Akerson described Toyota's hybrid as a "geek-mobile," and flatly declared that he "wouldn't be caught dead in a Prius." Not surprisingly, it didn't long for Toyota to respond to that slam, with a company spokesman telling The New York Times that "Toyota has sold more than two million Prius hybrids worldwide, and counting. Those buyers can't all be geeks." What's most troubling to us about all of this, however, is the implication that a "geek-mobile" is somehow a bad thing -- it sounds pretty awesome to

Apple mysteriously kills jailbreak detection API while hacker boosts iOS security, irony restored

It's no secret that Apple's been keen to monitor the lot of naughty jailbreakers, but it turns out the company has recently shelved iOS 4.0's jailbreak detection API with no explanation given. While this has little effect on the average user, Network World explains that this is bad news for enterprise IT and MDM (mobile device management) vendors, who will now have one fewer channel for checking whether a user's iOS device has been jailbroken and thus become vulnerable to attacks. That said, apparently this isn't a huge loss for the MDM vendors, anyway; but the real question is why drop the API now? Could its presence alone be a threat? We'll probably never know.

Fear not, though, as some folks have put jailbreaking to good use. The Register reports that come Tuesday, Stefan Esser of Sektion Eins will demonstrate a tool called antid0te, which reportedly adds ASLR (address space layout randomization) onto jailbroken iOS devices. In a nutshell, ASLR randomizes key memory locations to make it more difficult for certain attacks to locate their target data. According to the famed white hat hacker Charlie Miller, this technique is already present on Windows Phone 7 and desktop Windows since Vista, but Apple's only dabbled with it on OS X and not on iOS. Now, this doesn't mean that jailbroken devices will be fully safeguarded, but some protection is better than no protection, right?

World's first Nissan Leaf delivered -- it's black,

Somebody at Nissan knows how to keep to a calendar, it seems, as the promised December US deliveriesof the Leaf began over this weekend. A big deal was made out of the first one's arrival, a shiny black number purchased by Olivier Chalouhi from the San Francisco Bay Area, which will be accompanied by Leafs landing across the other launch markets of Arizona, Southern California, Oregon, Seattle, and Tennessee. A second batch of Nissan's all-electric hatchbacks is coming on December 20th, with the company promising a nationwide US launch for 2012. In the meantime, Hawaii and Texas will be the next locales to join the fun early in 2011 and reservations will be reopened soon thereafter. Sadly, some "additional markets" are expected to be pushed into the latter half of the year -- guess Nissan knows how to use a calendar to mark off its delays too.
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