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Television

Venezuela: Cheap Television Sets For All! 702

Posted by Soulskill
from the you're-next-radio-shack dept.
solareagle writes "Venezuelan President Maduro has declared war on 'bourgeois parasites' by taking over Daka, an electronics retailer similar to Best Buy. USA Today reports, 'National guardsmen, some of whom had assault rifles, were positioned around outlets of [Daka] ... Maduro has ordered to lower prices or face prosecution. Thousands of people lined up at the Daka stores hoping for a bargain after the government forced the companies to charge "fair" prices. "I want a Sony plasma television for the house," said Amanda Lisboa, 34, a business administrator who waited seven hours outside a Caracas store ... "It's going to be so cheap!" "This is for the good of the nation," Maduro said, referring to the military's occupation of Daka. "Leave nothing on the shelves, nothing in the warehouses Let nothing remain in stock!" Maduro said his seizures are the 'tip of the iceberg' and that other stores would be next if they did not comply with his orders.'"
EU

EU Working On Most Powerful Laser Ever Built 83

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-no-moon dept.
kkleiner writes "On the coattails of CERN's success with the Large Hadron Collider, Europeans and the world at large have another grand science project to be excited about: the Extreme Light Infrastructure project to build the most powerful laser ever constructed. These lasers will be intense enough to perform electron dynamics experiments at very short time scales or venture into relativistic optics, opening up an entirely new field of physics for study. Additionally, the lasers could be combined to generate a super laser that would shoot into space, similar to the combined laser effect of the Death Star in the Star Wars trilogy, though the goal is to study particles in space, not annihilate planets."

Comment: Re:Remember the old addage (Score 2) 488

by DrSpock11 (#41521725) Attached to: TypeScript: Microsoft's Replacement For JavaScript

C# .NET is historical? Really? Last time I checked MS *just* released .NET 4.5 and C# 5.0. Not to mention C# has been on the *cutting edge* of language design for years while Java is stuck in development hell.

That "yield" keyword that Python 3.3 just added? Guess what mainstream language they got the idea from? The lambda syntax ECMAScript 6, C++11, and CoffeeScript use? Guess where that came from? Hint: NOT Java, Python, Ruby, PHP, Perl, or other open-source language of your choice.

Just wait a few years and watch at how many languages add an "async/await" feature.

Comment: Re:I call for web byte-code (Score 1) 488

by DrSpock11 (#41521697) Attached to: TypeScript: Microsoft's Replacement For JavaScript

This is what Google's Dart is intended to do. Dart has its own byte-code. Google has been forthright that the Dart-to-JavaScript compiler is a "temporary" measure until all browsers support Dart in some hypothetical future (that has about a 0% chance of occurring).

The problem with adding any new language is that it requires support from all browsers to be at all useful. TypeScript is *not* a new language, it's just pre-processed JavaScript (like CoffeeScript). So without making a single phone call to another company, Microsoft has created a language that is 100% compatible with all existing browsers.

The Internet

FAA To Reevaluate Inflight Electronic Device Use 336

Posted by samzenpus
from the turn-on-your-handheld-devices dept.
coondoggie writes "If you have been on a commercial airline, the phrase 'The use of any portable electronic equipment while the aircraft is taxiing, during takeoff and climb, or during approach and landing,' is as ubiquitous but not quite as tedious as 'make sure your tray tables are in the secure locked upright position.' But the electronic equipment restrictions may change. The Federal Aviation Administration today said it was forming a government-industry group to study the current portable electronic device use policies commercial aviation use to determine when these devices can be used safely during flight."
Intel

Intel To Launch TV Service With Facial Recognition By End of the Year 175

Posted by timothy
from the nielsen-with-a-ray-gun dept.
MojoKid writes "Despite television being a rather tough nut to crack, Intel is apparently hoping that its upcoming set-top box and subscription service will be its golden ticket to delivering more Intel processors to the living room. The service would be a sort of specialized virtual cable subscription that would combine a bundle of channels with on demand content. So what's Intel's killer feature that distinguishes it from the vast and powerful competition? Granular ratings that result in targeted ads. Intel is promising technology in a set-top box that can distinguish who is watching, potentially allowing Intel to target advertising. The technology could potentially identify if the viewer is an adult or a child, male or female, and so on, through interactive features and face recognition technology."
Handhelds

Why Young Males Are No Longer the Most Important Tech Demographic 240

Posted by Soulskill
from the too-easily-distracted dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Atlantic has an article discussing how 18- to 35-year-old males are losing their place as the most important demographic for tech adoption. 'Let me break out the categories where women are leading tech adoption: internet usage, mobile phone voice usage, mobile phone location-based services, text messaging, Skype, every social networking site aside from LinkedIn, all Internet-enabled devices, e-readers, health-care devices, and GPS. Also, because women still are the primary caretakers of children in many places, guess who controls which gadgets the young male and female members of the family get to purchase or even use?' The article points out that most of the tech industry hasn't figured this out yet — perhaps in part to a dearth of women running these companies."
Shark

Congress Wants To Resurrect Laser-Wielding 747 302

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the it-works-on-tee-vee dept.
Harperdog writes "Noah Schactman has a great piece on the Airborne Laser, the ray gun-equipped 747 that became a symbol of wasteful Pentagon weaponeering. Despite sixteen years and billions of dollars in development, the jet could never reliably blast a missile in trials. Now the House Armed Services Committee's Strategic Forces wants the Airborne Laser to be used to defend us against the threat of North Korea's failed missiles."
Technology

How Lasers Could Help Fingerprint Conflict Minerals 31

Posted by Soulskill
from the lasers-for-the-ethical-treatment-of-people dept.
New submitter carmendrahl writes "Diamonds might get most of the media's attention, but they're not the only minerals being sold to underwrite militias. Two chemistry teams are developing portable instruments that can detect an elemental fingerprint in mineral ores, to verify that the samples don't come from militia-controlled mines. One technique uses laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (PDF), which vaporizes a small amount of an ore sample with a high-energy laser pulse, and detects elements in the sample by their characteristic light emission. The other technique couples the laser ablation to a mass measurement and a scanning electron microscope."
Microsoft

Microsoft Shows Off Adaptive, Multilingual Text to Speech System 171

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the still-no-sign-of-warp-drives dept.
MrSeb writes about a really cool project from Microsoft's speech research group. From the article: "Microsoft Research has shown off software that translates your spoken words into another language while preserving the accent, timbre, and intonation of your actual voice. In a demo of the prototype software, Rick Rashid, Microsoft's chief research officer, said a long sentence in English, and then had it translated into Spanish, Italian, and Mandarin. You can definitely hear an edge of digitized 'Microsoft Sam,' but overall it's remarkable how the three translations still sound just like Rashid. The translation requires an hour of training, but after that there's no reason why it couldn't be run in real time on a smartphone, or near-real-time with a cloud backend. Imagine this tech in a two-way setup. You speak into your smartphone, and it comes out in their language. Then, the person you're talking to speaks into your smartphone and their voice comes out in your language." The Techfest 2012 keynote has a demo of the technology around minute 13:00.
Government

How To Crash the US Justice System: Demand a Trial 897

Posted by Soulskill
from the pleading-the-sixth dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The U.S. Bill of Rights guarantees the accused basic safeguards, including a fair and speedy jury trial, but in this era of mass incarceration — when our nation's prison population has quintupled in a few decades — these rights are, for the overwhelming majority of people hauled into courtrooms across America, theoretical. More than 90 percent of criminal cases are never tried before a jury, in part because the Supreme Court ruled in 1978 that threatening someone with life imprisonment for a minor crime in an effort to induce him to forfeit a jury trial did not violate his Sixth Amendment right to trial. 'The truth is that government officials have deliberately engineered the system to assure that the jury trial system established by the Constitution is seldom used,' says Timothy Lynch, director of the criminal justice project at the libertarian Cato Institute. Now Susan Burton, head of 'A New Way of Life' (PDF), is helping to start a movement to demand restoration of Americans' basic civil and human rights by asking people who have been charged with crimes to reject plea bargains, and press for trial. 'Can we crash the system just by exercising our rights?' Burton says if everyone charged with crimes suddenly exercised his constitutional rights, there would not be enough judges, lawyers or prison cells to deal with the ensuing tsunami of litigation."
Businesses

Ask Slashdot: Open Vs. Closed-Source For a Start-Up 325

Posted by samzenpus
from the better-like-this-or-better-like-this dept.
atamagabakkaomae writes "Together with a friend, I am starting up a company in Japan that develops sensors used in motion capture. For these sensors we develop hardware and software. Part of the software development is an open-source toolkit called openMAT. We have some special purpose algorithms that we developed ourselves and that are better than our competitor's technology. I first wanted to publish everything open-source to spark interest in our company and to do development in collaboration with the community. My company partner disagreed and said that we will lose our technological advantage if we open-source it. So I eventually published only a part of the toolkit open-source and closed the most interesting code. How do you guys think that open-sourcing your code-base affects a company's business? Is it wrong for a small company to give away precious intellectual property like that or will it on the contrary help the development of the company?"
Earth

Is the Earth Special? 745

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-think-captain-kirk-disproved-this dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Planetary scientists say there are aspects to our planet and its evolution that are remarkably strange. In the first place there is Earth's strong magnetic field. No one is exactly sure how it works, but it has something to do with the turbulent motion that occurs in the Earth's liquid outer core and without it, we would be bombarded by harmful radiation from the Sun. Next there's plate tectonics. We live on a planet that is constantly recycling its crust, limiting the amount of carbon dioxide escaping into the atmosphere — a natural way of controlling the greenhouse effect. Then there's Jupiter-sized outer planets protecting the Earth from frequent large impacts. But the strangest thing of all is our big Moon. 'As the Earth rotates, it wobbles on its axis like a child's spinning top,' says Professor Monica Grady. 'What the Moon does is dampen down that wobble and that helps to prevent extreme climate fluctuations' — which would be detrimental to life. The moon's tides have also made long swaths of earth's coastline into areas of that are regularly shifted between dry and wet, providing a proving ground for early sea life to test the land for its suitability as a habitat. The 'Rare Earth Hypothesis' is one solution to the Fermi Paradox (PDF) because, if Earth is uniquely special as an abode of life, ETI will necessarily be rare or even non-existent. And in the absence of verifiable alien contact, scientific opinion will forever remain split as to whether the Universe teems with life or we are alone in the inky blackness."
Android

Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Print From an Android Tablet? 203

Posted by timothy
from the print-an-emailed-scan-of-a-polaroid dept.
KowboyKrash writes "Does any Slashdotter know how to print from an Android tablet? I have read about Google Cloud Print, but will it work from all (or at least most) apps? Is there a better solution? A little background: With my laptop being four years old, and the battery failing, I want to replace it with a device with 10 hours of battery. I am purchasing an Asus Transformer Prime after Christmas as a gift to myself; my plan is to replace my laptop completely for portable computing. I've already selected several apps that should meet my needs, including Polaris Office, and TeamViewer to remotely access my desktop. So are there any printing solutions for Android? Printing to my network printer at home is good enough."
Government

Gov't Funded Electric Car Company Goes Out of Business 195

Posted by Soulskill
from the money-well-flushed dept.
thecarchik writes "Consider yesterday's collapse of electric car company Green Vehicles an object lesson in why it's a bad idea for cities to invest in the risky business of start-up car companies — perhaps especially start-up electric car companies. Even such companies with a viable product have seen their fair share of financial troubles, but Green Vehicles did not even have a product to sell off at a fire sale. The city of Salinas, California learned that lesson as Green Vehicles shut its doors, costing the city more than $500,000."

In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.

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