Nom du Keyboard writes "Sharp Aquos brand televisions are making a big deal about their Quattron technology of adding a 4th yellow pixel to their RGB sets. While you can read a glowing review of it here, the engineer in me is skeptical because of how all the source material for this set is produced in 3-color RGB. I also know how just making a picture brighter and saturating the colors a bit can make it more appealing to many viewers over a more accurate rendition – so much for side-by-side comparisons. And I laugh at how you are supposed to see the advantages of 4-color technology in ads on your 3-color sets at home as you watch their commercials. It sounds more like hype to extract a higher profit margin than the next great advance in home television. So is it real?"
santosh maharshi passes along an article on Edge by David Gelernter, the man who (according to the introduction) predicted the Web and first described cloud computing; he's also a Unabomber survivor. Gelernter makes 35 predictions and assertions, some brilliant, some dubious. "6. We know that the Internet creates 'information overload,' a problem with two parts: increasing number of information sources and increasing information flow per source. The first part is harder: it's more difficult to understand five people speaking simultaneously than one person talking fast — especially if you can tell the one person to stop temporarily, or go back and repeat. Integrating multiple information sources is crucial to solving information overload. Blogs and other anthology-sites integrate information from many sources. But we won't be able to solve the overload problem until each Internet user can choose for himself what sources to integrate, and can add to this mix the most important source of all: his own personal information — his email and other messages, reminders and documents of all sorts. To accomplish this, we merely need to turn the whole Cybersphere on its side, so that time instead of space is the main axis. ... 14. The structure called a cyberstream or lifestream is better suited to the Internet than a conventional website because it shows information-in-motion, a rushing flow of fresh information instead of a stagnant pool."
eldavojohn writes "MIT researchers have built and demonstrated the first room-temperature germanium laser that can produce light at wavelengths suited for communication. This achievement has two parts: '[U]nlike the materials typically used in lasers, germanium is easy to incorporate into existing processes for manufacturing silicon chips. So the result could prove an important step toward computers that move data — and maybe even perform calculations — using light instead of electricity. But more fundamentally, the researchers have shown that, contrary to prior belief, a class of materials called indirect-band-gap semiconductors can yield practical lasers.' While these are only the initial steps in what may become optical computing devices, the article paints it as very promising. The painful details will be published in the journal Optics Letters."
An anonymous reader writes "I'm in a bit of a bind with an open source web software project of mine. It's a very small project that I've been developing for over three years. By now it's got a promising feature set, but very few users and virtually no community around it. The problem is that people I have asked to try it refuse to do so because it doesn't have a thriving community. It's an infinite loop: without users, we won't have a community, and without a community, users aren't coming. So, Slashdot, my question is: how can I build a community and help get the word out about a project led by 2 people and with only 5-6 regulars on our forum and IRC?"
Self Bias Resistor writes "According to a post on the Arcade-Museum forums, ASCAP is demanding an annual $800 licensing fee from at least one operator of a Guitar Hero Arcade machine, citing ASCAP licensing regulations regarding jukeboxes. An ASCAP representative allegedly told the operator that she viewed the Guitar Hero machine as a jukebox of sorts. The operator told ASCAP to contact Raw Thrills, the company that sells the arcade units. The case is ongoing and GamePolitics is currently seeking clarification of the story from ASCAP."
This week the Codeplex Foundation announced its first project, the ASP.NET Ajax Library Project, as part of its first sponsored gallery, the ASP.NET Gallery. The CodePlex Foundation is now two months old, and Foundation President Sam Ramji has agreed to answer questions about the Foundation, its first project, and overall progress to date. Usual Slashdot interview rules apply.
An anonymous reader passes along news that an Australian senator, Nick Xenophon, has denounced the Church of Scientology as "a criminal organization" from the floor of Parliament. "Senator Xenophon used a speech in Parliament last night to raise allegations of widespread criminal conduct within the church, saying he had received letters from former followers detailing claims of abuse, false imprisonment, and forced abortion. He says he has passed on the letters to the police and is calling for a Senate inquiry into the religion and its tax-exempt status." It wasn't that long ago that the CoS was calling for Net censorship in Australia; a month later the organization was convicted of fraud in France.
jtownatpunk.net writes "As time goes by, I find myself supporting a greater number of users moving through their 40s and into their 50s (and beyond!). I notice more and more of them are lowering the resolution of their displays in order to 'make it bigger.' That was fine in the CRT days, but, quite frankly, LCDs look like crap when they're not displaying their native resolution. My solution at home is to hook my computer up to a big, honkin' 1080p HDTV, but that's a bit of a political risk in an office environment. 'Why does Bill get a freakin' big screen TV?!' Plus, it's a waste to be paying for the extra inputs (component, s-video, composite), remote, tuner, etc. that will never be used. And a 37-47" display is a bit large for a desk. So here's my question: Is there a source for 24-27" monitors running at 1366x768 that are affordable and don't have all of the 'TV' stuff? Or is my only choice to just buy 27" HDTVs and admonish the users not to watch TV? (And, no, just giving them big CRTs is not an option. Most people would rather stare at a fuzzy LCD than 'go back' to a CRT.)"
Glyn Moody writes "Last year, we discussed here a Russian plan to install free software in all its schools. Seems things aren't going so well. Funds for the project have been cut back, some of the free software discs already sent out were faulty, and — inevitably — Microsoft has agreed to a 'special price' for Windows XP used in Russian schools."
StonyCreekBare writes "Lately I've been rethinking my personal security practices. Should my laptop be stolen, having Firefox 'fill in' passwords automatically for me when I go to my bank's site seems sub-optimal. Keeping passwords for all the varied sites on the computer in a plain-text file seems unwise as well. Keeping them in my brain is a prescription for disaster, as my brain is increasingly leaky. A paper notepad likewise has its disadvantages. I have looked at a number of password managers, password 'vaults' and so on. The number of tools out there is a bit overwhelming. Magic Password Generator add-in for Firefox seems competent, but it's tied to Firefox, and I have other places and applications where I want passwords. And I might be accessing my sites from other computers that don't have it installed. The ideal tool in my mind should be something that is independent of any application, browser, or computer; something that is easily carried, but which if lost poses no risk of compromise. What does the Slashdot crowd like in password tools?"
chopsuei3 writes "As a System Administrator, I am charged with providing more insight into the functioning of the system. What types of reports and information do other System Administrators submit to executives and on what frequency? Measurements such as uptime and average page latency are useful, but our site is relatively stable and we see minimal downtime, so I'm looking for other important and useful information I can report up to better illustrate my efforts. Our system is also unique in that about 70% of the traffic we see is from devices and not human browsers. I am a lone System Administrator in a 20-person company which specializes in web-based irrigation management. I also simultaneously perform all IT-related tasks in the office, which may also be important to report up to executives on regular basis."
Philip K Dickhead writes "Is Douglas Adams scripting the saga of sorrows facing the LHC? These time-traveling Higgs-Boson particles certainly exhibit the sign of his absurd sense of humor! Perhaps it is the Universe itself, conspiring against the revelations intimated by the operation of CERN's Large Hadron Collider? This time, it is not falling cranes, cracked magnets, liquid helium leaks or even links to Al Qaeda, that have halted man's efforts to understand the meaning of life, the universe and everything. It now appears that the collider is hindered from an initial firing by a baguette, dropped by a passing bird: 'The bird dropped some bread on a section of outdoor machinery, eventually leading to significant overheating in parts of the accelerator. The LHC was not operational at the time of the incident, but the spike produced so much heat that had the beam been on, automatic failsafes would have shut down the machine.'"
daria42 writes "In a move guaranteed to annoy long-term science fiction fans, the estate of legendary science fiction author Isaac Asimov, who passed away in 1992, has authorized a trilogy of sequels to his beloved I, Robot short story series, to be written by relatively unknown fantasy author Mickey Zucker Reichert. The move is already garnering opposition online. 'Isaac Asimov died forty years after they were first written. If he had wanted to follow them up, he would have. The author's intentions need to be respected here,' writes sci-fi/fantasy book site Keeping the Door."
Several readers including alphadogg tipped the news that ICANN has approved non-Latin ccTLDs at its meeting in Seoul. "Starting in mid-November, countries and territories will be able to apply to show domain names in their native language, a major technical tweak to the Internet designed to increase language accessibility. On Friday, the Internet's addressing authority approved a Fast-Track Process for applying for an IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) and will begin accepting applications on Nov. 16. The move comes after years of technical testing and policy development... Currently, domain names can only be displayed using the Latin alphabet letters A-Z, the digits 0-9 and the hyphen, but in future countries will be able to display country-code Top Level Domains (cc TLDs) in their native language. ... 'The usability of IDNs may be limited, as not all application software is capable of working with IDNs,' ICANN said in a 59-page proposal (PDF) dated Sept. 30 that describes the [application] process." Reader dhermann adds, "Great, now even less chance I can identify NSFW links before they are blocked by my work's big brother app and my boss is notified... again."