Download PDF version of this article PDF


Ever notice how many people walk around carrying something on their backs? From bows and arrows and bales of hay to tripods and water bags, it’s the best way to go about your business while making a quiet statement about who you are. As it’s the computing age, after all, why not sling a roll-up monitor or TV over your shoulder when you leave home for the day? After all, it makes quite a different statement than lugging a no-skid yoga mat everywhere, and it’s a lot more useful to the technorati.

Well, FOLED (flexible organic light-emitting device) technology, which replaces glass, the traditional substrate, with materials ranging from plastic to foil, is making steady progress in this area. The obvious advantage to using a flexible material is that all kinds of displays are possible. FOLED products would also be lighter (i.e., you can hang a mural-sized flat screen TV on your plasterboard walls), more durable—and less expensive to manufacture. At this very moment, Universal Display and PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) are collaborating to perfect a 4-millimeter metallic substrate.

Just don’t hold your breath waiting for the opportunity to roll your own, however. It will be a while before you’ll be seeing the really cool stuff, like FOLED-enabled t-shirts, on the streets.

WANT MORE?,39020354,2124748,00.htm

Sorry, I Just Assumed That You Were the Faux Mannequin

Are you the type who feels faint and clammy when a medical resident comes by to check on you—maybe to draw a little blood on the sly? Well, tremble no more; chances are that brain surgeon of tomorrow has already learned the point-and-jab basics on a lifelike simulator mannequin (“human patient simulator” to those in the know). So just suck on those ice chips and continue enjoying the daily soaps.

Medical mannequins are not unfamiliar to the education scene, they’re just evolving into something more sophisticated. Some actually breathe, have dilating pupils and a pulse—and can be programmed to simulate all kinds of illnesses and emergency scenarios. The fancy-schmancy virtual reality simulators, like those developed at Immersion Medical, utilize visual, auditory, and haptic (tactile) displays.

Before we trash our whole body donor cards, let’s note that a recent study indicated that, although the use of an intravenous therapy training arm resulted in increased medical student performance, the gains were not substantial.


A Source Is a Source of Sorts of Course

When it comes down to it, there’s nothing like new facts to keep a lively argument moving. Microsoft has made headlines in recent years by creating a new class of software in the battle between open source and proprietary: shared source. Debating about the spectrum of open source, shared source, and closed source stoked the flames for a while, but now the boundaries between the camps are beginning to blur.

For example, take the newest release of Windows CE, Microsoft’s alternative to proprietary embedded operating systems as well as Linux embedded. The 5.0 release allows CE licensees for the first time to ship commercial products based on modified source code—and they won’t be obliged to “share back” with Microsoft, or with the public in general.

So is CE now more like software distributed under the FreeBSD license? Take that GPL (GNU General Public License)!

WANT MORE?,1759,1617796,00.asp


[email protected] or


Originally published in Queue vol. 2, no. 7
see this item in the ACM Digital Library


© ACM, Inc. All Rights Reserved.