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Google

Google Wave Creator Quits, Joins Facebook 191

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-there-aren't-that-many-choices dept.
srimadman found an interview with Wave creator Lars Rasmussen where he talks about his recent decision to join Facebook, leaving Google behind. Apparently getting personally pitched by Zuckerberg helped. He says, "I've got a job description of 'come hang out with us for a while and we'll see what happens,' which is a pretty exciting thing." The article talks about Big vs Small companies, and notes that about 20% of Facebook's staff are former Googlers.
Education

Tablets Are Game-Changers For Special Needs Kids 174

Posted by Soulskill
from the pushing-the-right-buttons dept.
theodp writes "The rise of mainstream tablets is proving to have unforeseen benefits for children with speech and communication problems and may disrupt a business where specialized devices can cost thousands of dollars. iPad apps like Proloquo2Go ($189) aim to help individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), cerebral palsy, down syndrome, developmental disabilities, ALS, traumatic brain injury, aphasia, apraxia, and more. Even Steve Jobs didn't see this one coming: 'We take no credit for this, and that's not our intention,' said Jobs, who's been touched by email he gets from parents of special needs kids for whom the iPad is proving to be a life-changer. 'Our intention is to say something is going on here,' Jobs added, suggesting that researchers should 'take a look at this.' Even though they might cost significantly less than dedicated devices, SUNY speech pathologist Andrea Abramovich explained Medicare doesn't cover consumer tablets because they could be used for non-medical purposes."
Wireless Networking

Tracking Down Wi-Fi Interference? 499

Posted by kdawson
from the hello-fcc-i'd-like-to-report-hello?-hello? dept.
Nicros writes "Almost every evening, between 8:30 and 10:00, my Wi-Fi just dies. This, in itself, could be explained by a crappy Wi-Fi source or some hardware failure, except that I know both of my neighbors are experiencing the same loss of signal at the same time. While the Wi-Fi is down, the LAN is OK, and anything plugged into Cat5 can access the Internet just fine. One possibility comes to mind — perhaps some other neighbor arrives home and turns on their router from 8:30 to 10:00? And something in their signal is hosing our Wi-Fi? I have tried looking around for software to help identify the source of interference, but either the programs are ridiculously expensive for a home user, or else my card (Intel Link 1000 BGN) isn't supported. (Netstumbler is an example of the latter.) Any suggestions on how I can track this down?"
Science

Why Being Wrong Makes Humans So Smart 311

Posted by kdawson
from the something-so-right dept.
Hugh Pickens sends in an excerpt in last week's Boston Globe from Kathryn Schulz's book Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. "The more scientists understand about cognitive functioning, the more it becomes clear that our capacity to make mistakes is utterly inextricable from what makes the human brain so swift, adaptable, and intelligent. Rather than treating errors like the bedbugs of the intellect — an appalling and embarrassing nuisance we try to pretend out of existence — we need to recognize that human fallibility is part and parcel of human brilliance. Neuroscientists increasingly think that inductive reasoning undergirds virtually all of human cognition. Humans use inductive reasoning to learn language, organize the world into meaningful categories, and grasp the relationship between cause and effect. Thanks to inductive reasoning, we are able to form nearly instantaneous beliefs and take action accordingly. However, Schulz writes, 'The distinctive thing about inductive reasoning is that it generates conclusions that aren't necessarily true. They are, instead, probabilistically true — which means they are possibly false.' Schulz recommends that we respond to the mistakes (or putative mistakes) of those around us with empathy and generosity and demand that our business and political leaders acknowledge and redress their errors rather than ignoring or denying them. 'Once we recognize that we do not err out of laziness, stupidity, or evil intent, we can liberate ourselves from the impossible burden of trying to be permanently right. We can take seriously the proposition that we could be in error, without deeming ourselves idiotic or unworthy.'"
Image

How Sperm Whales Offset Their Carbon Footprint 150 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-natural-solution dept.
Boy Wunda writes "Scientists at Flinders University in South Australia found that in an awesome example of design by Mother Nature, Southern Ocean sperm whales offset their carbon footprint by simply defecating – an action that releases tons of iron a year and stimulates the growth of phytoplankton which absorb and trap carbon dioxide. If only we humans could say the same for our poop, which really doesn't do much more than just sit there." I'm going to do my part by buying some iron supplements and a can of chili, and heading off toward the ocean.
Image

Ozzy Osbourne To Be Genetically Decoded 256 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the genes-of-darkness dept.
Dashiva Dan writes "DNA research lab Knome has announced that it is going to sequence Ozzy's entire genome. Ozzy, the former lead singer of Black Sabbath, reality television star, and spokesman for World of Warcraft among many other things, has been selected so they can discover, among other things, how drugs are absorbed in the body. The amount of abuse Ozzy has put himself through and survived is a large part of why he was chosen."
The Almighty Buck

Getting Paid Fairly When Job Responsibilities Spiral? 495

Posted by timothy
from the for-an-honest-day's-work dept.
greymond writes "I was originally hired as an Online Content Producer to write articles for a company website as well as start up the company's social media outlets on Facebook and Twitter. With budget cuts and layoffs I ended up also taking over the website facilitation for three of the company's websites (they let go of the current webmaster). During this time the company has been developing a new website and I was handed the role of pseudo project manager to make sure the developer stayed on course with the project's due date. Now that we're closer to launch the company has informed me that they don't have the budget or staff in place to set up the web server and have tasked me with setting up the LAMP and Zend App on an Amazon EC2 setup. While it's been years since I worked this much with Linux I'm picking it up and moving things along. Needless to say I want to ask for more money, as well as more resources (as well as a better title that fits my roles), but what is the best way to go about this? Of course my other thought is that I'd much rather go back to writing and working with marketing than getting back into IT."
Music

The Secret of Monkey Island Shows Evolution of PC Audio 348 Screenshot-sm

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wow-this-is-a-rough-thursday dept.
Normally I don't have much interest in stuff like this, but this history of PC audio is dripping with nostalgia. From the bleeps and bloops of the PC Jr to the Gravis Ultrasound I lusted after while stuck with an Adlib ... it warms the cockles of my old-man heart. Not sure that Monkey Island was the right demo choice, but hey.
Biotech

Foldit Player May Have Created a Useful Protein 144

Posted by kdawson
from the know-when-to-hold-'em dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The organizers of the game Foldit, where you fold proteins for scientific research, announced that a user has found a protein that may be able to bind influenza viruses. Researchers plan to test the protein in a lab over the next few weeks to see if it might be medically useful."
Data Storage

Europeans Bury "Digital DNA" Inside a Mountain 161

Posted by kdawson
from the you-must-remember-this dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "In a secret bunker deep in the Swiss Alps, European researchers deposited a 'digital genome' that will provide the blueprint for future generations to read data stored using defunct technology. The sealed box containing the key to unpick defunct digital formats will be locked away for the next quarter of a century behind a 3-1/2 ton door strong enough to resist nuclear attack at the data storage facility, known as the Swiss Fort Knox. The capsule is the culmination of the four-year 'Planets' project, which draws on the expertise of 16 European libraries, archives, and research institutions, to preserve the world's digital assets as hardware and software is superseded at a blistering pace. The project hopes to preserve 'data DNA,' the information and tools required to access and read historical digital material and prevent digital memory loss into the next century."
Math

The Futurama of Physics 150

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-news-everyone dept.
MasaMuneCyrus writes "I was surprised to notice an article about Futurama in my latest American Physical Society news. Titled, 'Profiles in Versatility: The Futurama of Physics with David X. Cohen,' Cohen talks a little bit about his life and his love for physics, and he goes on to describe how he regularly injects graduate-level physics jokes into the script of Futurama. He also talks a little bit about the upcoming season of Futurama: 'In the 10th episode of the upcoming season, tentatively entitled "The Prisoner of Benda," a theorem based on group theory was specifically written (and proven!) by staffer/PhD mathematician Ken Keeler to explain a plot twist.'"
Data Storage

"Digital Universe" Enters the Zettabyte Era 137

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the less-than-half-porn dept.
miller60 writes "In 2010 the volume of digital information created and duplicated in a year will reach 1.2 zettabytes, according to new data from IDC and EMC. The annual Digital Universe report is an effort to visualize the enormous amount of data being generated by our increasingly digital lives. The report's big numbers — a zettabyte is roughly a million petabytes — pose interesting questions about how the IT community will store and manage this firehose of data. Perhaps the biggest challenge isn't how much data we're creating — it's all the copies of it. Seventy-five percent of all the data in the Digital Universe is a copy, according to IDC. See additional analysis from TG Daily, The Guardian, and Search Storage."
Movies

Will Smith In For Independence Day 2 & 3 464

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the exploding-national-monuments dept.
bowman9991 writes "If one isn't enough, there are reports that two sequels to Roland Emmerich's 1996 alien invasion blockbuster Independence Day are in the works. Will Smith is back too. Apparently he delayed a sequel earlier by asking for too much money." Other rumors include using an iPad to destroy the alien space ships this time, and letting Obama fly a biplane. Data will have a 5-minute monologue about what it means to be human.
Games

Why Are There No Popular Ultima Online-Like MMOs? 480

Posted by Soulskill
from the risk-is-not-our-business dept.
eldavojohn writes "I have a slightly older friend who played through the glory days of Ultima Online. Yes, their servers are still up and running, but he often waxes nostalgic about certain gameplay functions of UO that he misses. I must say that these aspects make me smile and wonder what it would be like to play in such a world — things like housing, thieving and looting that you don't see in the most popular massively multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft. So, I've followed him through a few games, including Darkfall and now Mortal Online. And these (seemingly European developed) games are constantly fading into obscurity and never catching hold. We constantly move from one to the next. Does anyone know of a popular three-dimensional game that has UO-like rules and gameplay? Perhaps one that UO players gravitated to after leaving UO? If you think that the very things that have been removed (housing and thieving would be two good topics) caused WoW to become the most popular MMO, why is that? Do UO rules not translate well to a true 3D environment? Are people incapable of planning for corpse looting? Are players really that inept that developers don't want to leave us in control of risk analysis? I'm familiar with the Bartle Test but if anyone could point me to more resources as to why Killer-oriented games have faded out of popularity, I'd be interested."
Microsoft

Bill Gates Knows What You Did Last Summer 303

Posted by samzenpus
from the tell-us-everything dept.
theodp writes "Give Bill Gates your 'pictures, videos, documents, e-mail, instant messages, addresses, calendar dates/scheduling information (e.g., birthdays, anniversaries, appointments), voice mail, phone logs, RSS feeds, subscriptions, bookmarks, mail lists, project management features, computing device data, tasks and location data,' and he'll improve your 'quality of life.' That's the promise behind a patent issued Thursday to Bill Gates and his 20 co-inventors for 'Personal Data Mining', which Microsoft notes 'can include a monetization component' that 'could initiate an auction to sell information to the highest bidder.'"

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