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Comment: Even darth vader uses kinetic these days... (Score 1) 87

by JR0cket (#36653600) Attached to: Kinect-Based AI System Watches What You're Up To
Everyone is getting in on the kinetic game these days. There was a cool demo of using kinetic to control your agile wallboard at the Atlassian Summit last month, with special guest star of Darth Vader... There is a neat open source project around using the kinetic and you dont need an xbox to play... you can control it via Ubuntu and Mac OSX. https://labs.atlassian.com/wiki/display/KINECT/Interactive+Wallboards+-+Quickstart+Guide Thank you.
Android

+ - Why BBM Needs iPhone and Android->

Submitted by
edwardreport
edwardreport writes "It use to be my belief that BlackBerry should not release BlackBerry Messenger for any other platform because I have heard so many people say, I only buy BlackBerry because of BBM. My view has since changed, primarily because of LiveProfile. BlackBerry Messenger needs to be released on iPhone and Android because if they don't, a service (such a LifeProfile) will come along and make BBM irrelevant because people want all their contacts in one place irregardless of platform."
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Android

+ - Android Overtakes Blackberry->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "A staggering shift in the US between October of 2010 and January of 2011 (Android up 7.7%, Blackberry down 5.4%) indicates that Android has surpassed Blackberry in smart-phone platform market share. Other research puts it at 35% of worldwide total smart-phone market share. This presents reinforcing evidence for Android's new dominance in the smart-phone world. Is Android's lead over the business savvy Blackberry temporary or has it become a competitor for that market?"
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+ - 'Miraculous' Aeros airship set to fly by 2013->

Submitted by
hasanabbas1987
hasanabbas1987 writes "Ever felt nostalgic by the word “Zepplin” or do you simply remember an airship burning up in flames and someone shouting of the news “Oh the humanity..”. Well apparently Airships are going to get a second try in 2013. A Ukrainian entrepreneur Igor Pasternak claims to have solved the buoyancy problem which has long prevented the usefulness of airships. What happens is that when the airship uses up its fuel or when its cargo is dropped, it lightens the airship and then you have to vent in very costly helium in order to return it to earth. Without a way to control buoyancy, the take-offs and landings become complicated. Pasternak claims to have settled this issue by compressing the pricey gas so you can conserve it for later use. The Defense Department has given him the contract to provide them with a working demonstration by 2013. Called the Pelican, the airship will fly without any payload at first but if this thing works, we might be looking at a new Era of Airships."
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Science

+ - Caught in the act: Herschel detects gigantic storm->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "With observations from the PACS instrument on board the ESA Herschel space observatory, an international team of scientists led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have found gigantic storms of molecular gas gusting in the centres of many galaxies. Some of these massive outflows reach velocities of more than 1000 kilometres per second, i.e. thousands of times faster than in terrestrial hurricanes. The observations show that the more active galaxies contain stronger winds, which can blow away the entire gas reservoir in a galaxy, thereby inhibiting both further star formation and the growth of the central black hole. This finding is the first conclusive evidence for the importance of galactic winds in the evolution of galaxies.

In the distant and therefore younger Universe, many galaxies show much more activity than our Milky Way today. In commonly accepted evolutionary scenarios gas-rich galaxies merge, which triggers increased star formation (“starburst” galaxies) as well as the growth of supermassive black holes at their centres. This increased activity, however, seems to cease fairly suddenly, effectively stalling star formation and further growth of the black hole in as little as a few million years’ time. What processes could be responsible for removing all the raw material powering this activity – around a billion solar masses – in such a (cosmologically) short timespan?
The solution to this riddle could be powerful winds that blow gas outwards from the centre of the galaxy. Powered by newly formed stars, shocks from stellar explosions or by the Black Hole in the galaxy’s centre, these storms would remove all the gas supply from the galaxy thereby halting the same mechanisms that produced them in the first place.
“Outflows are key features in models of galactic formation and evolution, but prior to our work no decisive evidence of their active role in such processes had been gathered,” explains Eckhard Sturm from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE). Sturm led a study of ultra-luminous infrared galaxies with the PACS instrument on board the Herschel space observatory, which revealed massive outflows of molecular gas. Almost all previous observations dealt mainly with neutral and ionised gas, which does not contribute to the formation of stars.
“By detecting outflows in cold molecular gas from which stars are born, we can finally witness their direct impact on star formation,” Sturm adds. “Star formation stalls as the gas supply is blown out of the centres of the galaxies with a rate of up to a thousand solar masses per year.”
However, the observations not only reveal an intermediate stage of galaxy evolution, from disc galaxies with many young stars and a large gas fraction to elliptical galaxies with old stellar populations and little gas. In addition, they can explain another empirical property: The mass of the Black Hole in the centre and the mass of stars in the inner regions of a galaxy seem to correlate. Such a correlation is a natural consequence of the newly found galactic outflows as they remove the common gas reservoir thus inhibiting both star formation and the growth of the Black Hole.
“Herschel's sensitivity enabled us to detect these gigantic galactic storms, and to demonstrate, for the first time, that they may be strong enough to shut down stellar production entirely,” says co-author Albrecht Poglitsch, also from MPE and the Principal Investigator of PACS.
The sample of galaxies observed is still too small to pin down the driving force behind these outflows. The first results seem to indicate that the galaxies fall in two categories: starburst-dominated objects loose material of up to a few hundred solar masses per year which is similar to their star formation rate; with velocities of a few hundred kilometres per second these outflows are probably driven by radiation pressure from starbursts or supernovae explosions. Galaxies dominated by the activity of the black hole in their centre loose material at much higher rates, up to a thousand solar masses per year or more; with velocities around 1000 kilometres per second these outflows are probably powered mostly by radiation pressure from the active galactic nucleus. To confirm these first conclusions and study potential trends in the outflow characteristics, the Herschel-PACS observations will continue to cover a much larger sample of galaxies.

Notes to editors:
PACS has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by MPE (Germany) and including UVIE (Austria); KU Leuven, CSL, IMEC (Belgium); CEA, LAM (France); MPIA (Germany); INAF-IFSI/OAA/OAP/OAT, LENS, SISSA (Italy); IAC (Spain). This development has been supported by the funding agencies BMVIT (Austria), ESA-PRODEX (Belgium), CEA/CNES (France), DLR (Germany), ASI/INAF (Italy), and CICYT/MCYT (Spain).

Image captions:
This illustration shows an Ultra-Luminous InfraRed Galaxy (ULIRG) that exhibits massive outflows of molecular gas. Image: ESA/AOES Medialab

Schematic diagram indicating how outflows of molecular gas can be detected in the spectra of galaxies using ESA's Herschel Space Observatory. The astronomers use a particular spectral line of the hydroxyl molecule (OH), which exhibits a very characteristic shape resulting from a combination of emission by the central black hole and by the gas cloud itself: the emission from the accretion disk around the galactic centre has to pass through the gas clouds along the line of sight, in which OH molecules absorb the light – and since these gas clouds are moving towards us, the absorption lines are blue-shifted. At the same time, all gas clouds emit the OH line, especially those who are not on a direct line of sight to the black hole – and as they are moving away from us, this light is red-shifted. Image: ESA/AOES Medialab"

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The Military

+ - Madness? This is DARPA!->

Submitted by
StormDriver
StormDriver writes "Behind every mad scientist there's an even more insane project leader. After all, someone has to pay for all those laser equipped sharks, mind control weapons and doomsday devices. In today’s world, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency seems to be the institution most experienced in pushing forward mad ideas, and employing Dr. Evil types. Only recently, they have commissioned flesh-eating machines, deadly nanobot swarms, death rays and behemoth space cruisers."
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Data Storage

+ - SPAM: Samsung Releases "Phase Change Memory" Handset

Submitted by siliconbits
siliconbits (943161) writes "Samsung has dropped a bombshell by releasing a smartphone with Phase-Change memory ahead of everyone else, one that's a mere entry level model and called the Samsung Monte GT-E2550 which can be had for £40 from Amazon.
Chipworks, a company that specialises in reverse engineering and patent infringement analysis of semiconductors and electronic systems, published a detailed analysis of the phone, courtesy of Rajesh Krishnamurthy.
Phase Change Memory has long been presented as the unifying storage technology that will combine the advantages of RAM (bit alterability, fast read and write speeds of RAM) with the non volatile aspect of flash memory like NOR and NAND."

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Privacy

+ - Browser settings not enough for EU cookies law->

Submitted by
nk497
nk497 writes "Mozilla and Microsoft's do-not-track systems aren't strong enough for the new EU anti-cookie laws, according to the UK data regulator. The Information Commissioner has said websites can't depend on browser settings to help them comply with new EU rules requiring consent before non-essential cookies are used — not least because users may not have the latest versions of browsers. Instead, web firms should consider using pop-ups or asking before cookies are used, which the ICO admitted could frustrate users."
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The Internet

+ - Can my browser speak to your browser? ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "This could be a revolution about to happen.
The W3C have a working group defining an API for real time and P2P communiction between browsers — without a server gettting in the way. This would allow one browser to talk to another directly and share photos, music, audio. In fact it lets your browser become a phone.
This is the return to how personal computing used to be before big servers farms returned us tot he days of the mainframe. A realtime P2P API for browsers could transform the landscape and re-establish a non-centralized architecture."

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Ubuntu

+ - Canonical CTO Matt Zimmerman gets seven-year itch->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Matt Zimmerman is stepping down from his role as Canonical CTO after seven years. Zimmerman will formally leave the company on 1 June, but promises to remain involved with open source and Ubuntu.

“I intend to remain involved in the Ubuntu community, retaining my elected position on the governing Technical Board, and perhaps to make the occasional technical contribution as a volunteer,” Zimmerman stated on a blog post announcing his decision to move on."

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Businesses

+ - Inside Apple: The World's Biggest Startup

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Apple doesn't often fail, and when it does, it isn't a pretty sight at 1 Infinite Loop writes Adam Lashinsky in a profile of Apple in Fortune Magazine. In the summer of 2008, when Apple launched the first version of its iPhone that worked on third-generation mobile networks, it also debuted MobileMe, an e-mail system that was supposed to provide the seamless synchronization features that corporate users love about their BlackBerry smartphones. But MobileMe was a dud — there were syncing issues, emails were being lost, and the Wall Street Journal's legendary tech guru, Walt Mossberg, said he couldn't recommend the service because it had "too many flaws." In response, Steve Jobs assembled the team that worked on the service in the auditorium Apple uses on its campus to do demos of small products for the press and asked the team what MobileMe was supposed to do. Someone answered and Jobs said to that person and everyone else, "So why the fuck doesn't it do that?" Jobs continued, "You've tarnished Apple's reputation ... You should hate each other for having let each other down ... Mossberg, our friend, is no longer writing good things about us." And Jobs named a new executive on the spot to run the MobileMe and disbanded most of the team that built the original service. "To Apple's legion of admirers, the company is like a tech version of Wonka's factory, an enigmatic but enchanted place that produces wonderful items they can't get enough of," writes Lashinsky. "That characterization is true, but Apple also is a brutal and unforgiving place, where accountability is strictly enforced, decisions are swift, and communication is articulated clearly from the top.""
Book Reviews

+ - BookReview: Scribus Beginners Guide

Submitted by
JR0cket
JR0cket writes "Scribus is an open source desktop publishing tool that helps you create professionally laid out documents, from simple documents to full blown magazines, corporate brochures or even books. Desktop publishing tools are not a replacement for word processors, instead they give you the freedom to create uniquely designed documents and help you manage large sets of text and graphic content. Scribus is similar to Adobe InDesign or Quarq Xpress and gives you a wide range of tools to layout content in either print or digital media form. Scribus is pretty easy to get to grips with and has good documentaton on the project website. The Scribus 1.3.5 beginners guide is a really handy guide through the workflow of desktop publishing and helps you clearly understand how to create professional looking results.

The book includes a simple comparison between Scribus and other desktop publsihing tools such as InDesign, Quark Express and Microsoft publisher, setting expectations clearly as to what you can get from Scribus and the kind of interoperability between desktop publishing tools (its a little limited, but the Scribus project is trying and is the most open).

The book begins by covering some theory behind desktop publishing, using the metaphor — What you see is what you mean — to get you thinking about the overal design that would appeal to your audience, whilst also considering the resource and media constraints you have. As with developing software, knowing the needs of your audience is an important factor in the layout of your documents. Knowing the limitations of what you can print out effectively or deliver as other media is an important set of constraints to consider.

An important concept to understand is the "graphic workflow" for desktop publishing. The first chapter therefore covers the use of Inkscape, Gimp and LibreOffice (open office) to create and manage your content (text and images) and then using Scribus to pull that content together in an appealing and productive layout. Also covered is the idea of using Inkscape as a tool for mock-up designs. I see Scribus as kind of the the big brother to Inkscape (review) in that Inkscape works with a single page document, whereas Scribus can manage content across a multiple page document. You can assemble some very intricate documents using Scribus that would take a lot of time and effort to do using Inkscape and word processors such as Libre office and Microsoft office.

Next is the overview of the Scribus workspace, including details of the menus and tool bars for which there are many. This overview is very easy to understand, especially for someone who has little or no experience. The coverage of the text, graphics and page layout options are very detailed and nicey sprinkled with mini-tutorials to help you get to grips with Scribus quickly. The first tutorial guides you through the creation of a simple business card, so you get a nice gentle start whilst still being practical.

Due to the good layout and extensive use of screenshots its easy for an advanced user to skip through to the parts of the workspace you want to learn about.

Once the Scribus workstation is covered, the book goes on to detail how to create your own layouts for desktop publishing using all the features of Scribus. Again you are guided step-by-step through the various options for choosing a document layout and managing the structure of your documents, using frames for importing and managing text and graphics, changing colours and styles, stacking and layers to manage the presentation, distorting shapes using resizing, rotating / scaling frames, alignment and distribution of objects. There are a lot of layout options in Scribus and the book does a good job of introducing each aspect. Again this is done using a step by step tutorial style and the odd pop-quiz that helps you quickly gain confidence with the tool.

There is good coverage of the how Scribus handles advanced colour features. Using shading, gradient fills, pattern fills and transparency of images and the use of layers, its shown how to create eye-catching effects to enhance your documents. Support for CMYK and colour profiles is covered when talking about profiling with the Argyll plugin for Scribus.

As printing documents is full of pitfalls, in part due to the wide range of printing hardware out there, there is a whole chapter on this topic. Scribus has a pre-flight verifier to check the quality of your document output and can give you a lot of information and highlight any errors in PDF generation. Using the print preview you can see examples of colour separation and ink coverage, all very important for print media. There is also some very useful information for book production, marks and bleeds, security for pdf's and all the various standards for pdf documents.

Overall the book gives a complete coverage of all the typical layout techniques you will need for your desktop publishing efforts the book. By the time you reach the end of the book you will know how to produce an Adobe portable document file (pdf) that is suitable for your print or online distribution.

Please note: Scribus has recently moved to a new file format its documents and the book referes to the Scribus version which uses this new file format. Documents created with older versions of Scribus are supported in all newer versions, but document created in 1.3.5 onwards are not backwards compatible. On Debian based system, both the older version of Scribus and newer version Scribus-NG can be run side by side.

The Scribus beginers guide book has a well presented layout with content nicely spaced through the books 348 pages, making it comfortable to read both in book and ebook form. Althought there is plenty of information online, the book is a great way to get started and give you confidence in your approach and use of Scribus, so you can make use of the reference materials online.

There are several books available for Scribus, however the Scribus 1.3.5 beginners guide is the most up to date, covering all the latest features of this evolving tool. This book makes a nice addition to the online reference documentation and the community resources available for Scribus.

About the reviewer

John coaches Lean Agile practices, organises London technical communities and is an OSS advocate. @JR0cket"

+ - SPAM: Ever Higher Conversion Rates - How To Get There

Submitted by westondalton410
westondalton410 (2112352) writes "I am sure that if you are visiting this web page, you will be interested in overselling. Generating traffic is basically a mechanical process, but turning that into a good conversion rate very often proves to be a real challenge. If you're not quite satisfied with your conversions, then we can help you with some timely suggestions and approaches.

If you are hunting for finest deals and testimonials on this topic, than please go to overselling. There is one particular concern that enters the mind of anyone who is seriously thinking about getting something. You wonder whether or not other customers are happy with the performance of the product. The concept of social proof has existed for many decades and long before the internet came along. Merely adding powerful testimonials can have a dramatically positive effect on your conversion rates. This provides new interested prospects a window into your product's history and gives a clear picture of how it can be helpful to them in the long run. The very best kind of testimonials offer very specific information including supporting data and examples about how your product was helpful. In the United States, it is illegal to display fake or forged testimonials, so do keep that in mind. Actually it's not hard to spot a fake testimonial, and people are very tired of all the deceit and will very likely report your site. You will always need to obtain permission; but try to be able to display first and last names and city/state/country where they live. If you're honest and sincere, then a majority of people will be able to sense that. If you ever receive a video testimonial, then you're lucky because video is extremely hot right now plus people will pay more attention. If it's possible, it's not always, then ask around for people to check out your site and tell you what they think about it. Just ask them how they feel about it in as many ways as possible, and tell them to not worry about hurting your feelings. Some sites have feedback forms directly on their site and welcome anyone to send in comments. Even if this delays your launch for a while, don't worry because ultimately you want your site to have the most conversions. It's all about making adjustments and testing, and it's a never ending process.

Testing is one of the smartest and most valuable endeavors you can ever do in any kind of business and especially online business. There is so much you can test it's ridiculous; things like copy headlines, other aspects of copy, background colors, etc. Once you have achieved what you think is your terminal conversion rate, then give it a little time and then start over. Usually the only reason most people stop testing is because they're getting a little lazy or complacent. You should now very well that the web business environment is highly dynamic, so that's another reason to never let your feet fall asleep.

Make every effort to continue learning about ways to improve your conversion rates because a lot of information exists about it. For far more facts and greatest opinions, please go to overselling.

More Articles:

Grow Your Site's Conversion Rate and Get More Profits
Conversion Rates — Are You Killing Yours Without Knowing It?
3 Effective Tips to Increase Your Website's Conversion Rate
3 Effective Tips to Increase Your Website's Conversion Rate"

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