Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:How the free market works (Score 1) 649

by NotOddManOut (#39318893) Attached to: <em>Battleheart</em> Developer Drops Android As 'Unsustainable'
$105K is not worth it, if you spend 75% of your time supporting it, when the other 25% goes to supporting the iOS version which probably earns an equal amount. It's just a business decision, and I completely understand where they are coming from. Sometimes it just isn't worth it.

Comment: Re:I would bet developers fairly often (Score 1) 649

by NotOddManOut (#39318843) Attached to: <em>Battleheart</em> Developer Drops Android As 'Unsustainable'

In my experience new developers are very bad at adapting to new ways of doing things and very good at blaming the system for their own problems. They'll do something that is not the right way to do it on this system, hasn't been for a long time, is documented on how to do it, and then blame the system.

Two of my favourite examples of developer laziness:

1) Lack of 64-bit apps for Windows. While I realize most apps don't need to be 64-bit, and 64-bit Windows provides flawless 32-bit support, you should still have 64-bit version available. They do run a tiny bit faster and it is just the right way of doing things. Let's start getting rid of the legacy stuff. What's more, it isn't hard to do, at least according to the developers I hang out with. You set the compile target for 64-bit and go. Maybe a couple things to correct but all in all the compiler takes care of the details. However most don't. The reason is they were doing shit in the code they never should have, like casting pointers in to 4 byte integers and so on. They write bad code, and it makes 32/64-bit porting a problem.

Your assumptions are based on assumptions of assumptions. As a developer of a Windows app that is 20 years old, it’s not as easy as “setting the compile target”. You have to continually port over the years, and that takes time, resources and money, which for almost all companies is limited. Time is often spent on continual improvements and not on moving up to 64-bit. Touting a product as 64-bit is not a selling point for 99% of the customers out there – they either don’t understand, don’t care, or both. So, in summary, I reject the notion that it is laziness. Time is better spent elsewhere, until the Facebook/Apple gobs of money start pouring in.


Sen. Bond Disses Internet 'Kill Switch' Bill 171

Posted by kdawson
from the clean-neat-simple-quick dept.
GovTechGuy writes "Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) has introduced his own cybersecurity legislation with Sen. Orrin Hatch, and he had some harsh words for a competing bill sponsored by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security. Bond said that bill, which has been criticized for allegedly giving the president a 'kill switch' over the Internet, weighs down the private sector with mandates and puts too much on the plate of the already overburdened Department of Homeland Security. Sen. Bond's bill would create a new position in the Pentagon, reporting directly to the president, in charge of coordinating all civilian cybersecurity. Any private-sector involvement would be voluntary and free from legal challenge, rather than mandated."

Experts Explain iPhone 4 Antenna Problem 427

Posted by Soulskill
from the darth-jobs-doesn't-see-what-the-fuss-is-about dept.
CWmike writes "Reports of call and data signal strength problems in the new iPhone 4 have a basis in fact, a hardware expert said Thursday. Later in the day, Apple acknowledged that holding the iPhone 4 may result in a diminished signal that could make it difficult to make and maintain calls or retain a data connection. 'Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone,' Apple said in a statement issued to several media outlets, including PC Magazine, which had run tests earlier Thursday. 'If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.' Scores of new iPhone owners confirmed the reception problem in a string of more than 360 messages posted to a thread on Apple's iPhone 4 support forum." A blog post from an antenna design company explains that the reception problems are probably the direct result of phone design adapting to FCC requirements.

Google Remotely Nukes Apps From Android Phones 509

Posted by timothy
from the probably-not-ones-you'd-want-to-hang-on-to dept.
itwbennett writes "Google disclosed in a blog post on Thursday that it remotely removed two applications from Android phones that ran contrary to the terms of the Android Market. From the post: 'Recently, we became aware of two free applications built by a security researcher for research purposes. These applications intentionally misrepresented their purpose in order to encourage user downloads, but they were not designed to be used maliciously, and did not have permission to access private data — or system resources beyond permission.INTERNET. As the applications were practically useless, most users uninstalled the applications shortly after downloading them. After the researcher voluntarily removed these applications from Android Market, we decided, per the Android Market Terms of Service, to exercise our remote application removal feature on the remaining installed copies to complete the cleanup.' The blog post comes a day after security vendor SMobile Systems published a report saying that 20% of Android apps provide access to sensitive information." Update: 06/25 16:44 GMT by S : Clarified last sentence, which incorrectly suggested that 20% of Android apps were malicious. According to the report (PDF, which we discussed recently), "a majority of these applications were developed with the best of intentions and the user data will likely not be compromised.
PC Games (Games)

Civ 5 Will Let You Import and Convert Civ 4 Maps 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the backward-compatibility dept.
bbretterson writes "From an interview Bitmob conducted with Civilization 5 Lead Designer Jon Shafer: 'You can import Civ 4 maps into the world builder and convert them into Civ 5 maps, including all the units and cities and stuff on it — the conversion process will just do that for you automatically. We're hoping that the first week Civ 5 is out, people will use that function and port all of the Civ 4 stuff over to Civ 5, so everything will be out there already.'"

World's First Solar-Propelled Blimp To Cross English Channel 87

Posted by timothy
from the all-I've-got's-this-sunny-afternoon dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Can a blimp propelled entirely by solar power cross the English Channel? We're about to find out! Nephelios, the world's first solar blimp, was built by Projet Sol'r — a collaboration between students at engineering and technical schools in France. Now, almost a year after its debut (and a year after it was supposed to launch), the helium-filled airship is ready for action, with its inaugural flight set to take place next week. The blimp is covered in semi-flexible solar cells that can generate up to 2.4 kilowatts — enough to keep the blimp moving at 25 mph as it crosses la Manche."

Rats Breathe Air From Lungs Grown In the Lab 112

Posted by timothy
from the decellularization-is-cheating dept.
cremeglace writes "'For the first time, an animal has drawn a breath with lungs cultivated in the lab.' Although preliminary, the results might eventually lead to replacement lungs for patients. Researchers at Yale University have successfully applied a technique called decellularization that involves using detergent to remove all of the cells from an organ, leaving a scaffold consisting of the fibrous material between cells."

Canadian Arrested Over Plans to Test G20 Security 392

Posted by timothy
from the now-that's-forward-thinking dept.
epiphani writes "Byron Sonne, of Toronto, was arrested today by a task force of around 50 police officers associated with the G20 summit taking place this week. An independent contractor, IT security specialist and private investigator, he had notable ties to the Toronto technology and security communities. According to friends and associates, he had been purchasing goods online and speaking with security groups about building devices to collect unencrypted police broadcasts and relay them through Twitter, as well as other activities designed to test the security of the G20 summit. By all accounts, it would appear that Mr. Sonne had no actual malicious intent. In Canada, the summit has been garnering significant press for the cost and invasive nature of the security measures taken." "By all accounts" may not be quite right; the charges against Sonne, exaggerated or not, involve weapons, explosives, and intimidation.
Operating Systems

Intel Porting Android To x86 For Netbooks and Tablets 163

Posted by timothy
from the which-dessert-will-you-have? dept.
According to Liliputing, Intel is bringing the sweet eye candy of Android to x86, which — if all goes well — means it will land on (more) netbooks and tablets soon. I'm more excited about ARM-based tablets, for their current advantage in battery life, but the more the merrier, when it comes to breaking up the tight circle of OSes available for any given arbitrary class of computing devices. Given all the OS swings that the OLPC project has gone through, maybe it should be thinking of Android, too.

One Step Closer to Star Wars Holograms 122

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the help-me-obi-wan dept.
An anonymous reader noted a USC research project that is coming ever closer to bringing the classic Star Wars communication holograms from Tatooine to Earth. There's nifty video and some high resolution pictures of Tie Fighters projected into 3-D. Still no clear way to project it from an astro mech droid, but I'm sure that's coming.

"A child is a person who can't understand why someone would give away a perfectly good kitten." -- Doug Larson