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Comment: Google Docs (Score 2) 193

by JoeCommodore (#48506603) Attached to: Chromebooks Overtake iPads In US Education Market

I talked to a primary teacher this Thanksgiving (IIRC, 6th grade) about chromebooks in her class.. She loves it, kids do thier stuff in Google Docs can turn it in electronically, etc. Reports are done as presentations, so in part it is reducing a lot of paper...

Though I wonder what the long term cost for society will be. Possible dependency on on-line services?

Transportation

California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal 288

Posted by Soulskill
from the welcome-to-the-world-of-red-tape dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Ride-share companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar got letters from the California Public Utilities Commission this week telling them that carpool features for their services are illegal. "Basically, the CPUC says that under California law it's illegal for these ride-sharing services to charge passengers an individual fare when carrying multiple people in one vehicle. If the companies would like to add a carpool feature, they first have to request an adjustment to their existing permits with the CPUC or petition the state legislature to modify the law. Uber, Lyft and Sidecar all unveiled carpool features last month. The three companies say the feature lets strangers in multiple locations, but heading the same direction, share rides and split fares — saving passengers up to 50 percent per ride." This news arrives just as Uber gave in to the demands of striking drivers who claim the company is undermining their ability to earn a livable wage.
Space

The Video Game That Maps the Galaxy 28

Posted by Soulskill
from the hint:-not-pacman dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Video game designers and astronomers have been working different ends of the same problem: how to chart a galaxy full of stars. Astronomers start with observation, finding new and better ways to look into the sky and record what they can see. Game devs take the limited data we have as a starting point, and assume that everything else in the galaxy obeys roughly the same rules. They generate the rest of the galaxy procedurally from this data. But the information flow isn't simply one-way. As developers like David Braben improve their galaxy-creation models, astronomers can look at the models and see where they match (or not) with further observations, allowing them to improve their own scientific models in the process. "'The conflicts that show up are generally due to simplifications made in the models, for which new observations can provide improved guidelines. There's a continuously evolving and developing understanding of space, in which both models and observations play important roles.' ... Elite's model has expanded Braben's understanding of planet formation and distribution. Braben boasts that his games predicted extra-solar planets ('These were pretty close to those that have been since discovered, demonstrating that there is some validity in our algorithms'), and that the game's use of current planet-formation theories has shown the sheer number of different systems that can exist according to the rules, everything from nebulous gas giants to theoretically habitable worlds.""

Comment: On Ubuntu... (Score 1) 531

by JoeCommodore (#46381335) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

(Beyond rthe base install which includes GIMP, Firefox and LibreOffice)
- A desktop environment that actuially is usable
- Inkscape
- Scribus
- Apache, PHP, MySQL, Aptana, PHPMyAdmin
- Picasa
- K3b
- Xine and whatever I need to play DVDs
- Ghex
- Adobe Reader
- Printer Drivers
- Synaptic Package Manager
- Gparted

Transportation

A New Use For Drones: Traffic Scouting 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the drone-find-me-a-gas-station-and-some-donuts dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Renault's new concept car gives drivers an unusual companion: a small flying drone, controllable via tablet or preset GPS waypoints, which scans the area ahead for obstacles and traffic. The so-called 'flying companion' can exit the vehicle via a retractable hatch in the roof, and buzz around the immediate vicinity shooting video and photos; as this is a concept, actual hardware and software specs aren't available, although Renault's engineers envision something closer to the size of a small bird than some of the larger drones currently available. But how practical is a 'driving drone'? Considering all the accidents caused by people texting or Web-surfing while driving, it seems questionable to introduce a piece of hardware that could prove even more distracting—imagine trying to successfully guide a drone with touch-screen controls while navigating a fast-paced roadway, and you can see why the idea of a "flying companion" would raise the collective blood pressure of traffic-safety officials. Yes, it would be safer for a passenger to handle drone-flying duties while the driver concentrates on the road; but it's also a near-certainty, if such a concept ever went into production, that more than one driver would attempt to multi-task the navigation of two vehicles at once. Do you think this idea is feasible?"

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