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Technology

Making the World's Largest Panoramic Photo 18

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-ready-to-crop dept.
Iddo Genuth writes: In order to create the largest panoramic picture ever taken (using commercially available gear), a team of international photographers led by Italian photographer Filippo Blengini had to climb to an altitude of 3500 metres, wait for two weeks in a temperature of minus 10 degrees Celsius, look for a sunny, bright day, and then spend 35 hours shooting. During this time they shot over 70,000 images, which were combined in to the giant 365 Gigapxiel panorama using a special robotic head with a long 400mm telephoto lens (and a 2x Extender).

But the work didn't end up in the snowy Alps — when the team got back they had with them no less than 46TB of images which they needed to process in order to create one giant interactive image, 365 Gigapixels in size. This processing required some very powerful hardware and took over two months to complete, but the result is a look at the Mont Blanc (the tallest mountain in the Alps and the highest peak in Europe outside of the Caucasus range raising 4,810 meters or 15,781 feet above sea level) — like it has never been seen before.

+ - SourceForge (owned by Slashdot Media) installs ads with GIMP-> 1

Submitted by careysb
careysb writes: SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.
Link to Original Source
Power

California Is Giving Away Free Solar Panels To Its Poorest Residents 78

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-get-a-panel-and-you-get-a-panel-and-you-get.... dept.
MikeChino writes: Oakland-based non-profit GRID Alternatives is giving away 1,600 free solar panels to California's poorest residents by the year 2016. The initiative was introduced by Senator Kevin de León and launched with funds gathered under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GCRF), the state's cap-and-trade program. SFGate reports: "Kianté London used the program to put panels on his three-bedroom North Richmond home, which he shares with two sons and a daughter. 'It helps me and my family a great deal to have low-cost energy, because these energy prices are really expensive,' said London, 46, whose solar array was installed this week. 'And I wanted to do my part. It’s clean, green energy.' London had wanted a solar array for years, but couldn’t afford it on his income as a merchant seaman — roughly $70,000 per year. Even leasing programs offered by such companies as SolarCity and Sunrun were too expensive, he said. The new program, in contrast, paid the entire up-front cost of his array."
Microsoft

Microsoft Edge To Support Dolby Audio 59

Posted by samzenpus
from the working-together dept.
jones_supa writes: Microsoft has revealed that its new Edge web browser will come with support for Dolby Audio in order to offer high-class audio when visiting websites. "It allows websites to match the compelling visuals of H.264 video with equally compelling multi-channel audio. It works well with AVC/H.264 video and also with our previously announced HLS and MPEG DASH Type 1 streaming features, which both support integrated playback of an HLS or DASH manifest," Microsoft explains in a blog post. Windows 10 will also ship with a Dolby Digital Plus codec.

Comment: This wasn't delayed by injustice (Score 1, Insightful) 78

by bluefoxlucid (#49785007) Attached to: A Ph.D Thesis Defense Delayed By Injustice 77 Years

Her defense wasn't delayed by injustice; it was delayed by assholes. Injustice is a thing, a concept, one not entirely tied to reality; it is an abstract aligned to our moral beliefs. We don't consider the vicious treatment of pedophiles in America injustice because we hate them, even though empirically we can make some arguments about mental health and the fermentation of social pressures forcing people with an internal sickness into hiding, stress, and then the shape of something they could have avoided with proper social support. We consider victimization of Jews injustice because we've started this moral narrative about how hating on Jews is bad.

The fact of the matter is it's people who made decisions about their regards toward and actions about race that delayed this Ph.D. defense. It's assholes. It's people who decided to bar this from being heard. Injustice is a diffuse thing, like the injustice of a court system which executes more blacks than whites on similar evidence; it lifts blame off the participants and onto the mode of society or of misfortune. We pretend these actors don't exist, or at least that they aren't directly responsible for their actions, even though the victims are directly burdened by them. That nebulous ideal is immaterial to the consequences of society; the fact that people went along with it instead of using their human reason and empathy to decide against these happenings is squarely the fault of those people, not the fault of the speculation about what those people did.

What happened wasn't wrong; *you* were wrong for doing it.

Comment: Re:You know what would REALLY motivate kids? (Score 1) 172

The only way to ensure the possibility of a good paying job is to match labor supply with labor demand; that is, to make sure there aren't 100,000,000 computer programmers and 4,000,000 programming jobs.

"Keeping the US Economy competitive" is ludicrous. It's like eating shitloads of donuts to keep a sumo wrestler competitive: your body gets sick and you die, and all you really need is good sumo skills to wrestle people in your weight class successfully.

The US economy won't be competitive if it's completely and totally ill from a glut of computer science specialists and the constant suppression of salaries by state-subsidized college education. If the US economy runs well, a well-tuned machine with all of the parts correctly built and sized for need, it will outperform any other economy on earth. An arms race to stockpile perishable goods we have no intent nor ability to use before they expire is only going to make us a poor and shaky economy weak in the things we sacrifice for stacking up tons of tomatoes that are going to rot away next month.

+ - Elon Musk Creates Ad Astra, An Exclusive, Private School

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Jessica Hannan writes at I4U that Elon Musk pulled his children out of an established school after discovering they weren't receiving the quality of education that catered to their abilities and built his own school with only 14 students whose parents are primarily SpaceX employees. Musk wants to eliminate grades so there's no distinction between students in 1st grade and 3rd and students focus on the important elements of each subject. By integrating the thinking process to include a progressive step-by-step approach, children will be challenged and able to understand result through a systemic pattern. "Let's say you're trying to teach people about how engines work. A more traditional approach would be saying, 'we're going to teach all about screwdrivers and wrenches.' This is a very difficult way to do it." Instead, Musk says it makes more sense to give students an engine and then work to disassemble it. "How are we going to take it apart? You need a screwdriver." When you show "what the screwdriver is for," Musk explains "a very important thing happens" because students then witness the relevancy of task, tool, and solution in a long term application."

According to Hannah, Musk’s approach to delete grade level numbers and focus on aptitude may take the pressure off non-linear students and creates a more balanced assessment of ingenuity. Admitting books were "comforting" to him as a child and to reading everything from science fiction to the encyclopedia and philosophers from “morning to night," Musk points out that not everyone will be strong in every subject, or be able to retain regurgitated standardized aptitude facts beyond the test. "It makes more sense to cater the education to match their aptitudes and abilities." So far, Ad Astra "seems to be going pretty well," according to Musk. "The kids really love going to school."
Android

Hyundai Now Offers an Android Car, Even For Current Owners 84

Posted by timothy
from the one-way-to-spin-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Looking more like a computer company than a car company, Hyundai ships Android Auto on 2015 Sonatas and unlocks it for owners of the 2015 Sonata with a software update. Says the article: To enable Android Auto, existing 2015 Hyundai Sonata owners outfitted with the Navigation feature can download an update to a USB drive, plug it into the car's USB port, and rewrite the software installed in the factory on the head-unit. When the smartphone is plugged into the head-unit with a USB cable, the user is prompted to download Android Auto along with mobile apps. Android Auto requires Android 5.0 or above. That sounds like a good description of how I'd like my car's head unit to work -- and for that matter, I'd like access to all of the software.
Businesses

Hot Topic To Buy ThinkGeek Parent Company Geeknet 104

Posted by timothy
from the timmy-salute dept.
jones_supa points out the news (also at Ars Technica, and -- paywalled -- at the Wall Street Journal) that clothing and music retailer Hot Topic has announced plans to buy Geeknet, parent company of ThinkGeek and ThinkGeek Solutions, for $117.3 million. ThinkGeek Solutions is a distributor of video-game themed merchandise through licensed web stores. Hot Topic Inc. will pay $17.50 per Geeknet share. Privately held Hot Topic, based in Los Angeles, has more than 650 stores in the U.S. and Canada. Geeknet will become a Hot Topic subsidiary. This news inspires some nostalgia here; ThinkGeek was for a long time one of Slashdot's sister sites under the umbrella of VA Linux, and I had some fun years back helping to set up the ThinkGeek booth at LinuxWorld in New York.

+ - Ways to travel faster than light without violating relativity

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: It’s one of the cardinal laws of physics and the underlying principle of Einstein’s relativity itself: the fact that there’s a universal speed limit to the motion of anything through space and time, the speed of light, or c. Light itself will always move at this speed (as well as certain other phenomena, like the force of gravity), while anything with mass — like all known particles of matter and antimatter — will always move slower than that. But if you want something to travel faster-than-light, you aren’t, as you might think, relegated to the realm of science fiction. There are real, physical phenomena that do exactly this, and yet are perfectly consistent with relativity.

Hackers are just a migratory lifeform with a tropism for computers.

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