Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Editorial

Isaac Asimov: How Do People Get New Ideas? 150

HughPickens.com writes: Arthur Obermayer, a friend of the Isaac Asimov, writes that he recently rediscovered an unpublished essay by Asimov written in 1959 while cleaning out some old files. Obermayer says it is "as broadly relevant today as when he wrote it. It describes not only the creative process and the nature of creative people but also the kind of environment that promotes creativity." Here's an excerpt from Asimov's essay, which is well worth reading in its entirety:

"A person willing to fly in the face of reason, authority, and common sense must be a person of considerable self-assurance. Since he occurs only rarely, he must seem eccentric (in at least that respect) to the rest of us. A person eccentric in one respect is often eccentric in others. Probably more inhibiting than anything else is a feeling of responsibility. The great ideas of the ages have come from people who weren't paid to have great ideas, but were paid to be teachers or patent clerks or petty officials, or were not paid at all. The great ideas came as side issues."
Space

At Long Last: IceCube Spots 28 High-Energy Neutrinos 109

Wired reports that IceCube, the detection facility built just to detect such things, has seen just what it was looking for, even though the researchers involved didn't know it at the time. High-energy neutrinos, the target that IceCube was seeking, weren't showing up as had been hoped, but it turns out that there were quite a few (nearly 30 already, with 2013's data still being recorded) in the three years that the detector has been operating — they just weren't obvious until the data was combed for it. "Most of the 28 high-energy neutrinos so far detected originate from parts of the night sky that don’t include the Milky Way, making it quite likely that they are arriving from a distant source. There are still too few neutrinos to make any specific conclusions about AGNs or gamma-ray bursts, but the IceCube team will continue gathering new data."
Transportation

NHTSA Tells Tesla To Stop Exaggerating Model S Safety Rating 284

cartechboy writes "There's always that kid in the class that ruins it for everyone when being graded on a curve. At the moment, that kid is Tesla and Elon Musk. Tesla's been proudly claiming the Model S is one of the safest cars in the word despite the recent fire controversy. And while it may be just that, claiming it earned 5.4 stars from NHTSA isn't pleasing the safety agency as there is no such thing as a rating higher than five. While NHTSA already released a statement indirectly to Tesla saying it doesn't release ratings higher than 5, Tesla continued to promote this fictitious rating. Now NHTSA has updated its guidelines explicitly stating safety ratings are whole numbers only and that 5 stars is the maximum advertisers can claim. If advertisers and automakers decide to disregard these rules NHTSA is threatening removal from the program or referral to state authorities for appropriate action. Basically, hey Tesla, stop making false claims."
Education

Microsoft Certifications For High School Credits In Australia 126

kanad writes "High school students in Queensland, Australia would be able to do Microsoft certifications online and get credits. The exam fees will be free for students and courses include Microsoft's products like Sharepoint and SQL Server. Ostensibly this is for making kids ready for the workforce. but Australian IT entrepreneur Matt Barrie CEO of freelancer.com has criticised it for vendor lock-in and Microsoft's influence in the educational system."
Programming

Who Will Teach U.S. Kids To Code? Rupert Murdoch 138

theodp writes "For all of their handwaving at Code.org about U.S. kids not being taught Computer Science, tech execs from Microsoft, Google, and Facebook seem more focused lately on Plan B of their 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy. So, who's going to teach your children CompSci? Enter friend-of-the-Gates-Foundation Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch's Amplify Education is launching an AP Computer Science MOOC this fall (Java will be covered), taught by an experienced AP CS high school teacher (video). An added option, called MOOC Local, will provide additional resources to schools with students in the CS MOOC. MOOC Local will eventually cost $200 per student, but is free for the first year."
Programming

Who Will Teach U.S. Kids To Code? Rupert Murdoch 138

theodp writes "For all of their handwaving at Code.org about U.S. kids not being taught Computer Science, tech execs from Microsoft, Google, and Facebook seem more focused lately on Plan B of their 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy. So, who's going to teach your children CompSci? Enter friend-of-the-Gates-Foundation Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch's Amplify Education is launching an AP Computer Science MOOC this fall (Java will be covered), taught by an experienced AP CS high school teacher (video). An added option, called MOOC Local, will provide additional resources to schools with students in the CS MOOC. MOOC Local will eventually cost $200 per student, but is free for the first year."
Programming

Harlan: a Language That Simplifies GPU Programming 195

hypnosec writes "Harlan – a declarative programming language that simplifies development of applications running on GPU has been released by a researcher at Indiana University. Erik Holk released his work publicly after working on it for two years. Harlan's syntax is based on Scheme – a dialect of LISP programming language. The language aims to help developers make productive and efficient use of GPUs by enabling them to carry out their actual work while it takes care of the routine GPU programming tasks. The language has been designed to support GPU programming and it works much closer to the hardware." Also worth a mention is Haskell's GPipe interface to programmable GPUs.
Science

Tiny Tentacled Microorganisms Named After Cthulu 54

First time accepted submitter mebates writes "Two newly discovered protists, found in the guts of termites, were named after monstrous cosmic entities featured in Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos as an ode to the sometimes strange and fascinating world of the microbe. From the article: 'The single-cell protists, Cthulhu macrofasciculumque and Cthylla microfasciculumque, help termites digest wood. The researchers decided to name them after monstrous cosmic entities featured in Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos as an ode to the sometimes strange and fascinating world of the microbe. 'When we first saw them under the microscope they had this unique motion, it looked almost like an octopus swimming,' says UBC researcher Erick James, lead author of the paper describing the new protists, published in the online journal PLoS ONE.'"
Programming

Tetris In 140 Bytes 215

mikejuk writes "Is it possible to write a JavaScript program in no more than a tweet's length? A website called 140byt.es says it is and has an implementation of Tetris to prove it. Ok, it only has two types of block — hence its title "Binary Tetris" — and there's no rotate, but it works. The blocks fall down the screen and you steer them into place. You can try it out by playing the demo. Of course the real fun is in figuring out how it works and there is lots of help on the site — so if you're bored how about the 140 character challenge?"
The Internet

Meet NELL, the Computer That Learns From the Net 272

bossanovalithium writes "Carnegie Mellon University has taught a computer how to read and learn from the internet. According to Dennis Baron at the Oxford University press blog, the computer is called NELL and it is reading the internet and learning from it in much the same way that humans learn language and acquire knowledge. Basically by soaking it all up and figuring it out. NELL is short for Never Ending Language Learner and apparently it is getting brainier every day."

Slashdot Top Deals

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people and that most of them seemed to come from Texas." - Ian Fleming, "Casino Royale"

Working...