About a week. Apple is calling it 'Spaces' in Leopard.
How long is it going to take for Windows or OSX to get multiple desktops?
JamJam writes: Nneuroscientists in Britian have figured out a way to reliably induce out of body experiences. "This is essentially a means of projecting yourself, a form of teleportation. If we can project people into a virtual version of themselves, just imagine the implications. The experience of playing video games could reach a whole new level."
yddod writes: "With everything that can be done online these days, what is still missing? You can share photos, watch videos, connect with friends, shop for almost anything and manage your finances among many thousands of other things. What are the top 3 things that you wish you could do online that you cannot do now? They could be just for entertainment purposes or just a way to make your life easier."
Reader Hanji alerts us to a hack pulled off when Randall Munroe, author of the popular webcomic XKCD, spoke at MIT by invitation of the Lab for Computer Science. MIT hackers dropped hundreds of labelled playpen balls onto the audience from hatches in the ceiling. The labels bore XKCD's logo as well as the recently discovered 16-byte AACS processing key. At another point in Munroe's talk he was stalked by remote-controlled mechanical velociraptors; but fortunately he had been supplied with a squirt gun full of grape juice.
Tomorrow is Mother's Day in the US, and Newsweek's N'Gai Croal rightly estimates that many gamers owe a lot to their mothers. Because they indulged what they likely initially saw as a strange choice of hobby, we have a thriving gaming industry to enjoy today. The Level Up site offers an interview with a woman on the Newsweek staff who learned to tolerate those 'console things', and another piece where N'Gai interviews his own mom about his games-related past. "N'Gai: Growing up, you allowed us kids to have a computer, but we weren't allowed to have a videogame machine. What was your thinking behind that? Yvonne Croal: Well, in my estimation at that time, videogames were just another silly game. We certainly didn't want you to be spending 24/7 playing these games that we considered not productive in any way." If you're still looking for a gift for your own mom, Pop Cap is giving away a free copy of Bejeweled to anyone that signs up for their newsletter. Worked on my mom. Happy Mother's Day.
At least twenty-two readers took the trouble to make sure we knew that Kurt Vonnegut has died at 84. From the Times obituary: "Kurt Vonnegut, whose dark comic talent and urgent moral vision in novels like 'Slaughterhouse-Five,' 'Cat's Cradle' and 'God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater' caught the temper of his times and the imagination of a generation, died last night in Manhattan... Mr. Vonnegut suffered irreversible brain injuries as a result of a fall several weeks ago, according to his wife, Jill Krementz." Reader SPK adds: "He will be remembered not only as a great writer, but also as a staunch civil libertarian (long-term member of the ACLU) and as a 'mainstream/literary' author who integrated science fiction concepts into his writing. So it goes."
reactosfanboy writes "DRM Hacker Alex Ionescu explained the internals of ReactOS in a recent talk. Ionescu indicates that ReactOS is nearly 100% binary and API compatible with the Windows 2003 kernel, and that they are aiming for full Vista compatibility. Ionescu attempted to demonstrate ReactOS but only succeeded in installing it after two BSoDs. This alone should make it clear that ReactOS is still not ready for prime time." In what may be a red flag for Microsoft's lawyers, ReactOS is described as "an environment identical to Windows, both visually and internally." Here are slides from Ionescu's talk (PDF), which might prove more useful than the video offered in various forms at over 450 MB.
An anonymous reader wrote in with a Network World story that opens, "Ethernet is right up there with magnetic resonance imaging, the LP record, air bags, and soft contact lenses. So says the National Inventors Hall of Fame, which included Bob Metcalfe, inventor of the ubiquitous LAN technology, in its latest round of inductees."
Beckham's_Ponytail writes to mention an Ars Technica article, with some disturbing news out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Vint Cerf, one of the 'fathers of the internet', has stated that the number of botnets online is larger than believed. So large, in fact, that he estimates that at this point one in four computers is infected with botnet software. We've discussed the rise of botnets numerous times here on Slashot, but the image of 150 million infected computers is more than a little bit sobering. With the extremely lucrative activities that can be done with botnets (such as password ripping, spamming, DDoSing), as well as reports of organized crime adopting 'cyber-terrorism' as a new line of income, is it likely that law enforcement will ever be able to curb this particular bane?
secretsather writes to mention that scientists have come up with a definitive test that could prove or disprove string theory. The project is described as "Similar to the well known U.S. particle collider at Fermi Lab, the Large Hadron Collider, scheduled for November 2007, is expected to be the largest, and highest energy particle accelerator in existence; it will use liquid helium cooled superconducting magnets to produce electric fields that will propel particles to near light speeds in a 16.7 mile circular tunnel. They then introduce a new particle into the accelerator, which collides with the existing ones, scattering many other mysterious subatomic particles about."
daria42 writes "ZDNet Australia has put up a video interview of Linux creator Linus Torvalds talking about the kernel development process, explaining why the unexpected resilience of kernel version 2.6 has delayed the move to 2.7." From the interview: "One of the original worries was that we would not be able to make big changes within the confines of the development model... I always said that if there is something so fundamental that everything will break then we will start at 2.7 at that point... We have been able to do fairly invasive things even while not actually destabilizing the kernel... Having stable and unstable in parallel: I think it used to be a great model, and I think we may see that the kernel has actually become more mature and stable and it just doesn't seem to be that great a model, for the kernel."
eldavojohn writes "Toyfare has a short but exclusive interview with co-creator of Futurama David X. Cohen. There's a lot of information about how they plan to continue the series. He also reveals they're halfway through writing the new season and just starting animation. When asked about his favorite minor character of the show, Cohen responded 'Hypnotoad. By the way, we are looking into producing a full 22-minute episode of Everybody Loves Hypnotoad for the DVD release. I am serious.'"
beebo famulus writes "Twenty years from now, experts doubt that America will remain a dominant force in science as it was during the last century. The hand wringing has generated a couple of new ideas to deal with the dilemma. Specifically, one expert says that the federal government should create contests and prize awards for successful science ideas, while another advises that the National Science Foundation fund more graduate students and increase the amount of the fellowships."
robotsrule writes "The battle lines between skeptic and evangelist are already drawn. Either way, Web 3.0 will either be the new face of the Web that launched a thousand empty business plans, or the tipping point into a vastly more exciting phase of the Web. This Web 3.0 article asserts that the marraige of artificial intelligence to the infrastructure of Web 3.0 will dramatically accelerate our capacity for distributed problem solving. However, it also issues dire warnings on the potential hyper-euphoria that will accompany it."
guanxi writes "Gannett, one of the largest newspaper publishers in the U.S., plans to change its newsrooms to utilize Crowdsourcing, a new term for something Slashdot readers have been familiar with for years: \From the article, they will 'use crowdsourcing methods to put readers to work as watchdogs, whistle-blowers and researchers in large, investigative features.' Last summer, the The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida asked readers to help investigate a local scandal. The response was overwhelming: 'Readers spontaneously organized their own investigations: Retired engineers analyzed blueprints, accountants pored over balance sheets, and an inside whistle-blower leaked documents showing evidence of bid-rigging.' Public service isn't their only concern, of course: 'We've learned that no one wants to read a 400-column-inch investigative feature online. But when you make them a part of the process they get incredibly engaged.' Is this the beginning of a revolution at major media organizations? Can they successfully duplicate what online communities have been doing for years?"