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Science

Researchers Develop Remote-Controlled Cyber-Roaches 35

Posted by samzenpus
from the bug-and-rescue dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a series of remote-controlled cyber-roaches that could aid in future disaster relief efforts. The cockroaches are strapped to circuit boards and microphones, which they carry around. The circuits control the movements of each roach, and the microphone is capable of detecting environmental sounds and their sources. "In a collapsed building, sound is the best way to find survivors," said Dr. Alper Bozkurt, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at North Carolina State University and senior author of two papers on the work."
Operating Systems

OpenBSD 5.6 Released 125

Posted by timothy
from the making-the-world-a-better-place dept.
An anonymous reader writes Just as per the schedule, OpenBSD 5.6 was released today, November 1, 2014. The theme of the 5.6 release is "Ride of the Valkyries". OpenBSD 5.6 will be the first version with LibreSSL. This version also removed sendmail from the base system, smtpd is the default mail transport agent (MTA). The installer no longer supports FTP, network installs via HTTP only. The BIND name server will be removed from the OpenBSD base system. Its replacement comes in the form of the two daemons nsd(8) for authoritative DNS service and unbound(8) for recursive resolver service. OpenSSH 6.7 is included along with GNOME 3.12.2, KDE 4.13.3, Xfce 4.10, Mozilla Firefox 31.0, Vim 7.4.135, LLVM/Clang 3.5 and more. See a detailed log of changes between the 5.5 and 5.6 releases for more information. If you already have an OpenBSD 5.5 system, and do not want to reinstall, upgrade instructions and advice can be found in the Upgrade Guide (a quick video upgrade demo is here). You can order the 5.6 CD set from the new OpenBSD Store and support the project.
Operating Systems

Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems 774

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-you-want-something-done-right dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The next version of systemd is poised to introduce an experimental "systemd-consoled" that serves as a user-space console daemon. The consoled furthers the Linux developers' goal of eventually deprecating the VT subsystem found within the Linux kernel in favor of a user-space driven terminal that supports better localization, increased security, and greater robustness of the kernel's seldom touched and hairy CONFIG_VT'ed code.
Television

Senators Threaten To Rescind NFL Antitrust Exemption 242

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-rules dept.
An anonymous reader writes In response to the FCC's discontinuation of rules that support the NFL's blackout policies, the NFL issued a statement indicating that it would nevertheless continue to enforce its blackout policies through its private contract negotiations with local networks. On Wednesday, however, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) announced a bill that would rescind the antitrust exemption that enables the NFL to demand blackouts in the first place and formally warned the NFL to abandon blackouts altogether. The antitrust exemption gives sports leagues "legal permission to conduct television-broadcast negotiations in a way that otherwise would have been price collusion" and further allowed the formation of the NFL from two separate leagues. Meanwhile, the NFL enjoys a specialized tax status and direct monetary support from taxpayers to build arenas and stadiums.
Networking

Ask Slashdot: Is It Worth Being Grandfathered On Verizon's Unlimited Data Plan? 209

Posted by timothy
from the grandfather-is-a-verb dept.
An anonymous reader writes I understand a lot of people dislike Verizon in general, but assuming for a moment that they were your only option for a cellular service provider, is staying on their grandfathered unlimited data plan still worth it? Their recent announcement to not throttle traffic is inpiring, but I just don't know the long-term benefits of staying on this plan. I fear there is a tipping point where enough people will swap over to a metered plan and Verizon will ultimately abandon the unlimited altogether and assume the risk of losing a percentage of those remaining folks, at which point all of us who bought unsubsidized phones will have wasted the money doing so. Does anyone have any insight on this? Useful answers to this should take into account the problem with the question of "How long is a piece of string?" Give some context about how much you pay, and how much you use -- and how much that would change if the price were different.
Businesses

Willow Garage Founder Scott Hassan Aims To Build a Startup Village 62

Posted by timothy
from the it-takes-a-startup-village dept.
Tekla Perry (3034735) writes "Scott Hassan, founder of robotic research lab Willow Garage, is behind a large real estate development in Menlo Park, Calif. He reportedly plans to create an incubator village with 18,500 square meters of workspace and another 18,500 square meters of living space on a 30,000 square meter site, combining the advantages of a garage startup environment (what could be more convenient than working where you live) and an incubator (access to other smart entrepreneurs and ideas)." Would you want to live in this kind of environment?
Bug

Steve Ballmer Authored the Windows 3.1 Ctrl-Alt-Del Screen 169

Posted by timothy
from the and-he-approved-this-message dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes According to Microsoft developer Raymond Chen, Steve Ballmer didn't like the original text that accompanied the Ctrl-Alt-Del screen in Windows 3.1, so he wrote up a new version. If you used Windows at any point in the past two decades, you can thank him for that infuriatingly passive 'This Windows application has stopped responding to the system' message, accompanied by the offer to hit Ctrl+Alt+Delete again to restart the PC (and lose all your unsaved data). Update: 09/09 15:30 GMT by S : Changed headline and summary to reflect that Ballmer authored the Ctrl-Alt-Del screen, not the BSoD, as originally stated.
Graphics

Ask Slashdot: the State of Free Video Editing Tools? 163

Posted by timothy
from the what-are-you-happy-with? dept.
New submitter Shadow99_1 writes I used to do a lot of video editing (a few years ago, at an earlier job) and at that time I used Adobe Premiere. Now a few years later I'm looking to start doing some video editing for my own personal use, but I have a limited budget that pretty well excludes even thinking about buying a copy of Adobe Premiere. So I ask slashdot: What is the state of free (as in beer or as in open source) video editing tools? In my case... I support a windows environment at work and so it's primarily what I use at home. I am also using a camcorder that uses flash cards to record onto, so for me I need a platform that supports reading flash cards. So that is my focus but feel free to discuss video editing on all platforms. I've been looking forward to the Kickstarted upgrade to OpenShot; based on the project's latest update, early versions of an installer should start appearing soon. Video editing is a big endeavor, though, and ambitious announcements and slipped schedules both seem to be the norm: an open-source version of Lightworks was announced back in 2010. Some lighter open-source options include Pitivi (raising funds to get to version 1.0) and Kdenlive, also in active development (most recent release was in mid-May). Pitiviti's site links to a sobering illustration about many of the shorter- and longer-lived projects in this area.
Biotech

Anti-Ebola Drug ZMapp Makes Clean Sweep: 18 of 18 Monkeys Survive Infection 91

Posted by timothy
from the not-that-kind-of-monkey-trial dept.
Scientific American reports, based on a study published today in Nature, that ZMapp, the drug that has been used to treat seven patients during the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa, can completely protect monkeys against the virus, research has found. ... The drug — a cocktail of three purified immune proteins, or monoclonal antibodies, that target the Ebola virus — has been given to seven people: two US and three African health-care workers, a British nurse and a Spanish priest. The priest and a Liberian health-care worker who got the drug have since died. There is no way to tell whether ZMapp has been effective in the patients who survived, because they received the drug at different times during the course of their disease and received various levels of medical care. NPR also has an interview with study lead Gary Kobinger, who says that (very cautious) human trials are in the works, and emphasizes the difficulites of producing the drug in quantity.
Crime

Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls 1262

Posted by timothy
from the bad-childhoods-never-end dept.
Sonny Yatsen writes: Anita Sarkeesian, the creator of Tropes vs. Women — a video series exploring negative tropes and misogynistic depictions of women in video games — reports that she has been driven from her home after a series of extremely violent sexual threats made against her. Her videos have previously drawn criticism from many male gamers, often coupled with violent imagery or threats of violence. The Verge story linked has this to say: The threats against Sarkeesian have become a nasty backdrop to her entire project — and her life. If the trolls making them hoped for attention, they've gotten it. They've also inexorably linked criticism of her work, valid or not, with semi-delusional vigilantism, and arguably propelled Tropes vs. Women to its current level of visibility. If a major plank of your platform is that misogyny is a lie propagated by Sarkeesian and other "social justice warriors," it might help to not constantly prove it wrong.
Space

2 Galileo Satellites Launched To Wrong Orbit 140

Posted by timothy
from the conspiracy-theory dept.
As reported by the BBC, two satellites meant to form part of the EU's Galileo global positioning network have been launched into a wrong, lower orbit, and it is unclear whether they can be salvaged. NASASpaceFlight.com has a more detailed account of the launch, which says [D]espite the Arianespace webcast noting no issue with the launch, it was later admitted the satellites were lofted into the wrong orbit. “Following the announcement made by Arianespace on the anomalies of the orbit injection of the Galileo satellites, the teams of industries and agencies involved in the early operations of the satellites are investigating the potential implications on the mission,” noted a short statement, many hours after the event. It is unlikely the satellites can be eased into their correct orbit, even with a large extension to their transit time. However, ESA are not classing the satellites as lost at this time. “Both satellites have been acquired and are safely controlled and operated from ESOC, ESA’s Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany,” the Agency added. Over the course of the next "year or so," an additional 24 satellites are slated to complete the Galileo constellation, to be launched by a mixed slate of Ariane and Soyuz rockets.

Comment: Re:Oh man (Score 2) 126

by Cthefuture (#47663511) Attached to: Android Motorcycle Helmet/HUD Gains Funding

Worth it? Meh, probably not.

I wonder how much it would cost to simply take a regular helmet and some Chinese electronics off eBay to make the same thing. I'm guessing significantly less even including your time to build it.

I mean you're looking at less than $100 in raw parts for GPS + Arduino + HD Camera + display controller/OSD. Not sure about the HUD part but I believe it's just a projection on a small piece of glass, probably also less than $100 in parts by itself not to mention alternative hardware implementations that might be cheaper. Add $300 for a decent helmet, wire it up and you're done.

Personally I think I would find the HUD hardware incredibly distracting. Not the HUD itself mind you, but the stalk that sticks up in front of your eye. I would rather it be projected on the visor even if that means it's not always available (eg. when the visor is up).

Television

Babylon 5 May Finally Get a Big-Screen Debut 252

Posted by timothy
from the have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-back-on? dept.
Ars Technica reports that "J. Michael Straczynski will shortly begin work on a rebooted big-screen version of his 1990s sci-fi TV series [ Babylon 5]." From the article: According to JMS's latest announcement, the new script will be targeted at a 2016 theatrical release and will be a reboot of the series rather than a continuation. This is necessary for both dramatic and practical purposes—the series was in regular production from 1994-1998, and the cast has simply aged too far to credibly play themselves again during the series’ main timeline. Additionally, several of the foundational cast members — Michael O'Hare, Andreas Katsulas, Richard Biggs, and Jeff Conaway — have passed away. ... The movie rights to the Babylon 5 property remain in JMS's hands, but the creator is hopeful that this time around, Warner Bros. will choose to finance the film instead of passing on it. Nonetheless (at least according to TV Wise), JMS is prepared to fund the movie through his own production company if necessary — something that wasn't a possibility ten years ago — suggesting that B5 will in fact come to the big screen at last.
Space

Study Finds That Astronauts Are Severely Sleep Deprived 106

Posted by timothy
from the loud-snoring-small-space dept.
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Researchers tracked the sleep patterns of 85 crew members aboard the International Space Station and space shuttle and found that despite an official flight schedule mandating 8.5 hours of sleep per night, they rarely got more than five. In fact, getting a full night's rest was so difficult that three-quarters of shuttle mission crew members used sleep medication, and sometimes entire teams were sedated on the same night. Given that sleep deprivation contributes to up to 80% of aviation accidents, it's important to better understand why sleep is so difficult in space, the authors say."

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

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