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+ - Browser to Facilitate Text Browsing in Emergencies

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Programmers at Fast Company are developing the Cosmos browser to allow text browsing from Android phones when networks are buckling under the load of local disasters. A common phenomenon when disaster strikes is the overloading of cell and data networks by massively increased traffic. The Cosmos browser is intended to facilitate using SMS text messages, which often still get through in such circumstances. To quote one developer, "We want this to be a way for people to get information when they're in dire need of it." Sort of a Lynx comes to Android affair. The Smithsonian contemplates the possibilities, here."

Comment: Learning starts with engagement (Score 1) 182

by Rambo Tribble (#47897107) Attached to: The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't
The best lecturer, when reduced to an image on a screen, is no better than the worst lecturer in person. Reality is immersive, while an image of a talking head is not. Film makers learned this long ago and implemented jump cuts, zooms, cameo close-ups, and the 15-second rule to maintain audience engagement. Until on-line courses learn from the past, they will not be harbingers of the future.

+ - Trout and Eels Form Reef-hunting "Dream Team"

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Researchers are reporting on investigations into interspecies cooperation to hunt prey in coral reefs. Using behavior observations in the wild and in controlled, aquarium environments, scientists have found a high level of communication and cooperation between coral trout and moray eels in hunting prey fish. The result is a mutually beneficial boost in hunting success. "This shows that a big mammalian brain is not necessarily required to undertake these sophisticated forms of communication," said study leader, Alexander Vail ."

+ - Critters Got Game: Animals Love Touchscreens

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Across a broad range of animals, from reptiles to apes, researchers have found our fellow fauna are attracted to performing tasks on touchscreens. The implications are broad, from studying animal perception and learning, to keeping zoo-bound creatures mentally active. Interestingly, much as with humans, it is the young who seem most attracted and engaged with the devices. Did you just lose at WoW to a bonobo?"

+ - Researchers Harness E. Coli to Produce Propane

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "A team of British and Finnish scientists have used the common bacteria, Escherichia coli, to produce the environmentally-friendly fuel, propane. By introducing enzymes to modify the bacteria's process for producing cell membranes, they were able directly produce fuel-grade propane. While commercial application is some years off, the process is being hailed as a cheap, sustainable alternative to deriving the gas from fossil fuel production. As researcher, Patrik Jones, is quoted as saying, "Fossil fuels are a finite resource and...we are going to have to come up with new ways to meet increasing energy demands.""

Comment: Re:KDEnlive (Score 1) 163

by Rambo Tribble (#47812471) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: the State of Free Video Editing Tools?
I find Kdenlive's stability has improved dramatically over the years. It is quite full featured, though not all features are fully polished, for the most part they are at very least competitive. It certainly supports more input formats than Lightworks, which is the only competitor on Linux I'd put in the same class. Don't get me wrong, Blender is an excellent program, but with Kdenlive I can almost make do without the documentation. Blender, not so much.

+ - Google Serves Old Browsers Old Search Page

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "In an apparent move to push those using older browsers to update, Google is reported to be serving outdated search pages to said browsers. The older pages lack features available on the newer versions, and this policy compounds with the limits announced in 2011 on Gmail support for older web clients. As a Google engineer put it, "We're continually making improvements to Search, so we can only provide limited support for some outdated browsers." The BBC offers a fairly comprehensive analysis, here."

Premature optimization is the root of all evil. -- D.E. Knuth

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