Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Open Source

Desktop Linux Is Dead 1348

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the oh-no-he-didn't dept.
digitaldc writes with this quote from PCWorld: "It kills me to say this: The dream of Linux as a major desktop OS is now pretty much dead. Despite phenomenal security and stability — and amazing strides in usability, performance, and compatibility — Linux simply isn't catching on with desktop users. And if there ever was a chance for desktop Linux to succeed, that ship has long since sunk. ... Ultimately, Linux is doomed on the desktop because of a critical lack of content. And that lack of content owes its existence to two key factors: the fragmentation of the Linux platform, and the fierce ideology of the open-source community at large."
Supercomputing

Supercomputing, There's an App For That 66

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-the-palm-over-your-hand dept.
aarondubrow writes "Researchers at MIT have created an experimental system for smart phones that allows engineers to leverage the power of supercomputers for instant computation and analysis. The team performed a series of expensive high-fidelity simulations on the Ranger supercomputer to generate a small "reduced model" which was transferred to a Google Android smart phone. They were then able to solve engineering and fluid flow problems on the phone and visualize the results interactively. The project proved the potential for reduced order methods to perform real-time and reliable simulations for complicated problems on handheld devices."
Image

4G iPhone Misplacer Invited To Germany For Beer 164 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the beer-makes-things-better dept.
eldavojohn writes "You may recall the hapless engineer who left a fairly sensitive iPhone at a bar recently. Well, in a PR stunt, Lufthansa has invited him to visit Germany on their dime after citing his latest Facebook status, 'I underestimated how good German beer is' as well as his obvious passion for German beer and culture. It's not clear if Gray Powell has decided to 'pick up where he last left off' (as the letter puts it). I know what my decision would be."
NASA

Shuttle Reentry Over the Continental US 139

Posted by kdawson
from the boom-boom dept.
TheOtherChimeraTwin notes that the shuttle Discovery will land at Kennedy Space Center on Monday morning at 8:48 EDT. The craft will make a rare "descending node" overflight of the continental US en route to landing in Florida. Here are maps of the shuttle's path if is lands on orbit 222 as planned, or on the next orbit. Spaceweather.com says: "...it takes the shuttle about 35 minutes to traverse the path shown... Observers in the northwestern USA will see the shuttle shortly after 5 am PDT blazing like a meteoric fireball through the dawn sky. As Discovery makes its way east, it will enter daylight and fade into the bright blue background. If you can't see the shuttle, however, you might be able to hear it. The shuttle produces a sonic double-boom that reaches the ground about a minute and a half after passing overhead."
Media

Document Management For Research With Annotation? 122

Posted by timothy
from the just-sort-by-document-size dept.
msimm writes "I'm currently looking for a document management system for personal and research-related use. Having looked at Alfresco and KnowledgeTree along with a slew of similar open source document management systems they seem to have a common set of features including version control, archiving, document permission/ownership and search/indexing. What I'd like, in order to help me manage my own continually growing collection of pdf/doc/odf/rtf/txt files, would be something that allowed me to view and annotate documents (and possibly collaborate/share notes) without requiring me to download, edit and re-upload each document. Obviously there are plenty of capable document management systems out there, so I really suspect I've simply missed something and am hoping someone can point me to a better way to index, search, collaborate and keep and share notes on the ever increasing glut of useful information I seem to use and collect."
Image

Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi 428 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-you-never-wondered-why-I-drink-only-distilled-water-or-rain-water-and-only-pure-grain-alcohol dept.
Scyth3 writes "A man is suing his neighbor for not turning off his cell phone or wireless router. He claims it affects his 'electromagnetic allergies,' and has resorted to being homeless. So, why doesn't he check into a hotel? Because hotels typically have wireless internet for free. I wonder if a tinfoil hat would help his cause?"
Games

How To Judge Legal Risk When Making a Game Clone? 270

Posted by Soulskill
from the ask-a-lawye-oh-wait dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I'm an indie game developer making a clone of a rather obscure old game. Gameplay in my clone is very similar to the old game, and my clone even has a very similar name because I want to attract fans of the original. The original game has no trademark or software patent associated with it, and my clone isn't infringing on the original's copyright in any way (all the programming and artwork is original), but nevertheless I'm still worried about the possibility of running afoul of a look and feel lawsuit or something similar. How do I make sure I'm legally in the clear without hiring an expensive lawyer that my indie developer budget can't afford?"
Programming

ECMAScript Version 5 Approved 158

Posted by timothy
from the javascript-by-any-other-name dept.
systembug writes "After 10 years of waiting and some infighting, ECMAScript version 5 is finally out, approved by 19 of the 21 members of the ECMA Technical Committee 39. JSON is in; Intel and IBM dissented. IBM is obviously in disagreement with the decision against IEEE 754r, a floating point format for correct, but slow representation of decimal numbers, despite pleas by Yahoo's Douglas Crockford." (About 754r, Crockford says "It was rejected by ES4 and by ES3.1 — it was one of the few things that we could agree on. We all agreed that the IBM proposal should not go in.")
The Military

Trojan Kill Switches In Military Technology 392

Posted by Soulskill
from the rockets-falling-out-of-the-sky dept.
Nrbelex writes "The New York Times reports in this week's Science section that hardware and software trojan kill switches in military devices are an increasing concern, and may have already been used. 'A 2007 Israeli Air Force attack on a suspected, partly-constructed Syrian nuclear reactor led to speculation about why the Syrian air defense system did not respond to the Israeli aircraft. Accounts of the event initially indicated that sophisticated jamming technology was used to blind the radars. Last December, however, a report in an American technical publication, IEEE Spectrum, cited a European industry source in raising the possibility that the Israelis might have used a built-in kill switch to shut down the radars. Separately, an American semiconductor industry executive said in an interview that he had direct knowledge of the operation and that the technology for disabling the radars was supplied by Americans to the Israeli electronic intelligence agency, Unit 8200.'"
Wireless Networking

No Hand-Held Devices In Ontario Cars 584

Posted by kdawson
from the hands-where-i-can-see-'em dept.
NIK282000 writes "To cut down on accidents caused by drivers who aren't paying attention, in Ontario it is now a ticketable offense to text, email, or navigate with your GPS while driving. But it seems to me that they have thrown the baby out with the bathwater, because it is now also a $500 fine to change your radio station, change songs on your MP3 player, or even drink your morning coffee. It can also be enforced to the point where changing the climate controls on your dash can get you fined because it requires you to take your hands off the wheel. Though this was a good idea, it seems to have been taken a little too far."
IT

Moving Away From the IT Field? 783

Posted by kdawson
from the life-on-the-other-side dept.
irving47 writes 'With the economy the way it is, it's a little iffy to even think about switching careers completely, but lately, I've gotten more and more fed up with trying to keep up with the technical demands of companies and customers that are financially and even verbally unappreciative. While I might be good at it, and the money is adequate, I'm curious to hear from Slashdotters who have gone cold-turkey from their IT/Networking careers to something once foreign to them. How did you deal with the income difference, if any? Do you find yourself dealing with people more, and if so, how did that work out?'

Comment: Open ended (Score 1) 160

by Edward Coffin (#28962445) Attached to: What's In an Educational Game?

I recommend that you read Brain Rot by Theodore Grey and Jerry Glynn. Among other things, it discusses this very topic. The summary I took away from it is you should make the game open-ended, giving full freedom to the player to go down the wrong paths, rather than being led down the right path.

Interesting snippets:

Software should not be unnecessarily hard to use, but neither should it shy away from or disguise the inherent richness of the subject matter. It should be open-ended, deep, and capable of doing senseless things if asked.

In a continuation of the above point, in a discussion of programs to teach geometry:
If students decide to build a completely useless geometrical construction, the program won't stop them. It lets them discover for themselves that their construction is uninteresting. This is very important: By allowing freedom to go off in the wrong direction, the software is giving students the opportunity to learn.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

Working...