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Tuesday, May 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Study shows teens optimistic about innovation

From wire reports

Teenagers have some seemingly high expectations about what technology might bring over the next decade, according to a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology study.

For example, 33 percent of teens predicted that gasoline-powered cars will go the way of the horse and buggy by 2015. Just 16 percent of adults agreed.

Meanwhile, 22 percent of teenagers predicted desktop computers will become obsolete a decade from now, while only 10 percent of adults agreed.

Adults, on the other hand, were far more certain about the demise of the landline telephone by 2015 (45 percent made that prediction) than teenagers (17 percent).

The teens queried also said new inventions — over any time frame, not necessarily by 2015 — can solve such global problems as unclean water (91 percent), hunger (89 percent), disease (88 percent) and pollution (84 percent). Adults were less optimistic about hunger, with 77 percent saying technology will play an important role.

Fripp records new Windows sounds

King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp visited Microsoft Corp.’s campus recently to record sounds that could be used in the forthcoming version of the company’s flagship Windows operating system.

A Microsoft Web site posting shows a dark, 25-minute video clip of Fripp recording ethereal sounds that, the posting says, could be used for the audio cues found in Windows.

“So, what was he (Fripp) doing on campus? Recording the various sounds we’ll all hear in Windows Vista,” Robert Scoble, a Microsoft technical evangelist and prominent employee blogger, wrote in text accompanying the posting.

Vista, the first new version of Windows in five years, is due out sometime this year. The site says the recording took place a few weeks ago on Microsoft’s Redmond campus.

But King Crimson fans may not want to get their hopes up just yet.

A spokeswoman for Microsoft’s outside public relations firm, Waggener Edstrom, said in an e-mailed statement that it was too early to say what sounds will be included in Vista.

“We haven’t made any decisions and it’s very early stages,” the statement said.

The video was posted Jan. 5 on Microsoft’s Channel 9 Web site, which aims to be a forum for employees and customers to discuss Microsoft products.

Fripp was a co-founder of the progressive rock group King Crimson and also has worked with such musicians as Brian Eno.

IBM, Sony, Toshiba extend pact

The partnership between IBM Corp., Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. that produced the vaunted Cell microprocessor is being extended for another five years to focus on advancing chip designs at extremely small scales.

The companies planned to announce Thursday that their next joint research project will aim toward chips with features smaller than 32 nanometers — 32 billionths of a meter.

Today’s chips generally are built with components as small as 90 nanometers, though 65-nanometer-based chips are emerging. It’s part of the microprocessing industry’s constant fight to wring performance improvements and cost efficiencies out of ever smaller chips.

Other efforts in the 30-nanometer range are already occurring, including a partnership between IBM and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Research into molecular computing is aiming even smaller, toward chips with features that might operate in the space of 2 to 3 nanometers.)

Lisa Su, a vice president in IBM’s semiconductor research and development center, said this partnership is different because of Sony’s and Toshiba’s expertise with the specific needs of chips for consumer devices.

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