Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Software

Ask Slashdot: Open-Source Forensic Surveillance Analysis Software? 131

Posted by Soulskill
from the my-neighbor's-dog-is-a-jerk-too dept.
McBooCZech writes "I am trying to set up a surveillance system. It is not intended to build a real-time on-line surveillance system to watch a wall of monitors on a 24/7 basis. The main scope is to record video (24/7) from the fixed cameras around our facility and when needed, get back to pre-recorded video and check it for particular event(s). Of course, it is possible to use a human to fast forward through video using a DVR-type FF function for short video sequences. Unfortunately, for long sequences (one week), it is not acceptable solution. I was searching online the whole weekend for the open source software for analysis of pre-recorded video in order to retrieve events and data from recorded video but had no luck. So I ask you, Slashdotters: Can you provide some suggestions for forensic software to analyze/find specific events in pre-recorded video? Some examples of events: 'human entering restricted zone,' 'movement in the restricted zone,' 'light in the restricted zone.'"
Science

Is the Era of Groundbreaking Science Over? 470

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-until-zefram-cochrane dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In decades and centuries past, scientific genius was easy to quantify. Those scientists who were able to throw off the yoke of established knowledge and break new ground on their own are revered and respected. But as humanity, as a species, has gotten better at science, and the basics of most fields have been refined over and over, it's become much harder for any one scientist to make a mark on the field. There's still plenty we don't know, but so much of it is highly specialized that many breakthroughs are understood by only a handful. Even now, the latest generation is more likely to be familiar with the great popularizers of science, like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, and Carl Sagan, than of the researchers at the forefront of any particular field. "...most scientific fields aren't in the type of crisis that would enable paradigm shifts, according to Thomas Kuhn's classic view of scientific revolutions. Simonton argues that instead of finding big new ideas, scientists currently work on the details in increasingly specialized and precise ways." Will we ever again see a scientist get recognition like Einstein did?"
Businesses

How Not To Launch a Gadget 160

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-would-not-like-to-subscribe-to-your-newsletter dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Starfish sells itself with this slogan: 'The next biggest thing is the next smallest thing: The world's first ever interactive iPhone and iPad mirroring device on your wrist.' The reality is that building products is hard. Building products with amazing feature sets is harder still. And, as the old saying goes, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. From the article: 'On Thursday morning when the show floor opened, Starfish’s booth was completely empty—no product, no marketing materials, not even any people. Come Friday, various permutations of representatives appeared at the booth intermittently. ... Saturday arrived, but the watch didn’t, at least not at first. After hourly promises of its imminent arrival, a single prototype of the Starfish watch appeared sometime before 1 p.m. My colleague Dan Moren got to the booth before I did, and the Starfish device wasn't working then. It had apparently worked, briefly, in some sense of the word "worked," when a reporter for TUAW visited the booth. ... The sole representative at the booth when I returned wouldn't give his name. What information he did give me didn’t mesh with what [the CEO] had told TUAW. ... "Why did he send you to man the booth if you can’t answer questions about the watch?" I asked the rep. "I’m done talking to you," he said, as he moved to position himself directly in front of my face. His expression had gone from brusque to combative. "Did you hear me? I’m done talking to you." My accompanying colleagues and I took the unsubtle hint. We left the booth.'"
Businesses

Microsoft May Be Seeking Protection From Linux With Dell Loan 270

Posted by Soulskill
from the nice-protection-racket-if-you-can-get-it dept.
alphadogg writes "Microsoft's $2 billion loan to Dell is a sign that the software maker wants to influence hardware designs in a post-PC world while protecting itself from the growing influence of Linux-based operating systems in mobile devices and servers, according to analysts. As the world's third-largest PC maker, Dell is important to the success of Microsoft's server and PC software. Even though Microsoft's loan does not represent a big part of the total value of the transaction, the software maker does not throw around money lightly and its participation in the deal might be an attempt by the software maker to influence hardware designs in the post-PC world of touch laptops, tablets and smartphones, analysts said. It may also be an attempt to secure the partnership and to stop the PC maker from looking toward alternative operating systems like Linux, analysts said. Dell offers Linux servers and in late November introduced a thin and light XPS 13 laptop with a Linux-based Ubuntu OS, also code-named Project Sputnik. Major PC makers in recent months have also introduced laptops with Chrome OS." HP has released a statement in response to the deal which talks about how Dell "faces an extended period of uncertainty and transition that will not be good for its customers." Perhaps they're right; HP is certainly familiar with such a situation. However, it's likely Dell is simply hoping to avoid the same struggles HP has faced over the past several years.
Google

Google Redesigns Image Search, Raises Copyright and Hosting Concerns 203

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-such-thing-as-the-common-good dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google has recently announced changes to its image search. The search provides larger views of the images with direct links to the full-sized source image. Although this new layout is being praised by users for its intuitiveness, it has raised concerns amongst image copyright holders and webmasters. Large images can now easily be seen and downloaded directly from the Google image search results without sending visitors to the hosting website. Webmasters have expressed concerns about a decrease in traffic and an increase in bandwidth usage since this change was rolled out. Some have set up a petition requesting Google remove the direct links to the images."
Businesses

Making Sure Interviews Don't Turn Into Free Consulting 232

Posted by Soulskill
from the anything-worth-doing-is-worth-doing-for-money dept.
We've talked in the past about what kind of questions should be asked of potential developer hires, and how being honest in exit interviews probably isn't worth the potential damage to your career. We're also familiar with the tricky questions some interviewers like to throw at people to test their thinking skills, and the questionable merits of gauging somebody's skillset through a pointlessly obtuse math problem. But there are also shady employers who conduct interviews to try to mine your knowledge and experience to find free solutions to their current problems. An actual job may or may not be on the table, but if they can get what they need from you before hiring, then at the very least your bargaining position will have gotten worse. Have you dealt with situations like this in the past? Since you can't know for sure the interviewer's intentions, it's tough to provide an answer demonstrating your abilities without solving their problem. "Before asking about the fixes they’ve tried, start by acknowledging the depth of the problem and find out whether the manager has the resources to solve it. Then, just like a consultant, use their answers to highlight your experience and explain the approach you’d take." You could also try explaining how you've solved similar problems, which won't necessarily help them, but will demonstrate your value. Of course, one of the biggest challenges is determining when somebody is getting a little too specific with their interview questions. What red flags should people keep an eye out for?
Government

Tim O'Reilly Steps In To Debate Open Government and Linux 45

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-the-repository-doesn't-go-down dept.
PatrickRIot writes "Aeon Magazine ran a longform critique of Open Source politics last week titled 'Open Sesame: "Openness" is the new magic word in politics – but should governments really be run like Wikipedia?' It referenced Tim O'Reilly and the man himself has stepped in at the bottom of the page for a detailed and lengthy rejoinder. 'I'm a bit surprised to learn that my ideas of "government as a platform" are descended from Eric Raymond's ideas about Linux, since: a) Eric is a noted libertarian with disdain for government b) Eric's focus on Linux was on its software development methodology. From the start, I was the open source activist focused on the power of platforms, arguing the role for the architecture of Unix and the Internet in powering the open source movement. ... One thing that distresses me about this discussion is the notion that somehow, if open government doesn't solve every problem, or creates new problems as it solves others, it is a failed movement. The world doesn't go forward in a straight line! The "open" democracy experiment of 1776 is still ongoing; we're trying to figure out how to use technology to adapt it to the 21st century and a country with a hundredfold greater population.'"
Open Source

A Conversation with the President of the Open Source Initiative (Video) 22

Posted by Roblimo
from the keepers-of-the-free-and-open-source-flame dept.
Simon Phipps is President of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) at least until March 31, 2013. He is one of 11 Directors, with Legal Counsel Mark Radcliffe and OSI President Emeritus Eric Raymond serving as advisers. The main function of the OSI is to safeguard The Open Source Definition and to make sure that all software licenses it approves adhere to it. Over the years, license approvals have become contentious more than once. Lately, however, the OSI has avoided acceptance of new licenses that substantially duplicate existing ones, so a lot of the license approval furor has died down. Several recent improvements in the OSI include opening the organization to individual memberships, and setting up the FLOSS Competence Center Network, both of which will no doubt help the OSI carry out and expand its primary mission: "Open Source community-building, education, and public advocacy to promote awareness and the importance of non-proprietary software."
Android

OUYA Android Game Console Available In June 196

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-in-time-for-national-adopt-a-cat-month dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The WSJ reports that OUYA, the $100 Android-based gaming console, will reach retail availability in June. The makers have partnered with Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, and Target for distributing the devices. The console will come with a controller (which has the traditional thumbsticks, D-pad, buttons, and triggers as well as a built-in touchpad), and additional controllers will be sold for $50. OUYA CEO Julie Uhrman said, 'For the last year or two years all we've been hearing is that the consoles are dead. The reason is there isn't new, innovative intellectual property. It's expensive to develop on it. You're seeing a major shift of games being developed on the television. Our viewpoint has always been that console gaming isn't dead, the way we think about it hasn't changed. We're bringing the best screen and the best device to interact with that by creating a platform that is open.' There was a recent 'Game Jam' to create game prototypes for the console; you can browse the 166 entries."
Microsoft

Life After MS-DOS: FreeDOS Keeps On Kicking 255

Posted by Soulskill
from the the-nineties-never-left dept.
angry tapir writes "FreeDOS — the drop-in, open source replacement for MS-DOS — was started after Microsoft announced that starting from Windows 95, DOS would play a background role at best for users. Almost two decades later, FreeDOS has survived and, as its creator explains in this interview, is still being actively developed, despite achieving its initial aim of an MS-DOS compatible OS, which quite frankly is somewhat amazing."
AMD

AMD Publishes Open-Source Radeon HD 8000 Series Driver 117

Posted by Soulskill
from the getting-out-ahead-of-the-game dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The hardware hasn't been released yet, but AMD has made available early open-source Linux GPU driver patches for supporting the future Radeon HD 8000 series graphics cards. At this time the Radeon HD 8800 'Oland' series is supported with the Mesa, DRM, X.Org, and kernel modifications. From the driver perspective, not many modifications are needed to build upon the Radeon HD 7000 series support."
Media

Software That Flagged HBO.com For Piracy Will Power U.S. 'Six Strikes' System 292

Posted by Soulskill
from the raise-your-hand-if-you're-at-all-surprised dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A copyright monitoring program called MarkMonitor mistakenly flagged HBO.com for pirating its own shows, and sent automatic DMCA takedown notices to the network. It's a funny story, until you realize that MarkMonitor is the same software that will power the U.S. Copyright Alerts System (a.k.a. "Six Strikes"), due to be rolled out by the five largest U.S. ISPs sometime in the next month."
Programming

Ask Slashdot: Programming / IT Jobs For Older, Retrained Workers? 215

Posted by timothy
from the over-22-not-interested-next dept.
12_West writes "I seek opinions from the Slashdot community about entry level job opportunities as programmers (or other I.T. Staff) for seniors who want to switch careers and continue to work full time. I do not want to retire, nor go part time, as long as I can get up and drive myself in to work. I'm currently 58 years old, working as an industrial electrician in a maintenance department setting for a building products manufacturer. I like the work, but it is becoming hard on my aging body, so, I would like to begin gradually retraining and hope to switch careers in about four years. A lower paying, less physical job would be just fine as there will be pension money coming in. I'm not currently a programmer, but have done some hobbyist level coding in Qbasic and MS-DOS batch files 'back in the days.' I also have some exposure to the Rockwell Automation RSLogix programming tools that are now going obsolete. So, I will be retraining whether I switch careers or not."
Science

Ask Dr. Robert Bakker About Dinosaurs and Merging Science and Religion 528

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-old-is-new dept.
With his trademark hat and beard, Dr. Robert Bakker is one of the most recognized paleontologists working today. Bakker was among the advisers for the movie Jurassic Park, and the character Dr. Robert Burke in the film The Lost World: Jurassic Park is based on him. He was one of the first to put forth the idea that some dinosaurs had feathers and were warm-blooded, and is credited with initiating the ongoing "dinosaur renaissance" in paleontology. Bakker is currently the curator of paleontology for the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Director of the Morrison Natural History Museum in Colorado. He is also a Christian minister, who contends that there is no real conflict between religion and science, citing the writings and views of Saint Augustine as a guide on melding the two. Dr. Bakker has agreed to take some time from his writing and digging in order to answer your questions. As usual, ask as many questions as you'd like, but please, one question per post.
Math

New Largest Known Prime Number: 2^57,885,161-1 254

Posted by timothy
from the sorry-won't-fit-on-vanity-plate dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news from Mersenne.org, home of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search: "On January 25th at 23:30:26 UTC, the largest known prime number, 257,885,161-1, was discovered on GIMPS volunteer Curtis Cooper's computer. The new prime number, 2 multiplied by itself 57,885,161 times, less one, has 17,425,170 digits. With 360,000 CPUs peaking at 150 trillion calculations per second, GIMPS — now in its 17th year — is the longest continuously-running global 'grassroots supercomputing' project in Internet history."

As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie

Working...