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Comment: Ahhh.... Disruption (Score 1) 251

by Slithe (#28527949) Attached to: In Defense of the Classic Controller
Everyone nodding their heads in agreement should read Malstrom's articles. Pre-1985 everyone knew the standard controller was a joystick. Then Nintendo released the button controller, and it became the standard. The joystick is still around for some specialist games like flight simulators, but new games have replaced it. Ironically, buttonpad games may soon be confined to the PC.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Google News Has Russian Army Invading Savannah, GA 413

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-like-an-eddie-izzard-sketch dept.
theodp writes "If you checked out Google-wannabe Cuil, you learned that mapping search results to relevant images isn't a trivial task. But even Big Dog Google isn't immune to embarrassing graphics gaffes. Readers of Google News were shown that Russian troops are thrusting into the outskirts of Savannah, Georgia, thanks to the Google Maps graphic accompanying a story about Russian incursions into Georgia — the nation-state in the Caucasus, not the Caucasian-pride-ridden state in the southern US. Yahoo! Answers also had some fun with the GA-Georgia mix-up — 'I live in georegia but i dont see rusia no where not even sound but they says theres tanks should i be worrie' (Google cache) — before a spoilsport deleted the question."
Space

+ - FOIA Request Reveals ISS Entertainment Collection

Submitted by Slithe
Slithe (894946) writes "The Website GovernmentAttic.org made a Freedom of Information Act request and just received the list of books, movies, music and television shows aboard the International Space Station. SciFi is, of course, heavily represented; however, the website io9 made a good observation that there is absolutely NO Star Trek aboard the ISS (none of the television shows or movies). Anyway, this gives you a good idea of what astronauts use to pass the time."
Programming

+ - What is preventing FLOSS Nvidia 3D Drivers? 1

Submitted by Slithe
Slithe (894946) writes "What information is Nvidia not providing that would allow one to write FLOSS drivers for Nvidia cards? I am not an expert on this topic, so this is why I am asking Slashdot. A modern graphics card is basically a piece of hardware that can do matrix and vector operations very quickly, and modern graphics cards are programmable with shaders. I know that Nvidia graphics cards use the GPU assembly language, whose instructions are available and form the basis of writing shaders. I also know that X.Org has an open-source Nvidia driver for basic (i.e. not 2d or 3d accelerated) operation of the graphics card. Could someone take the Mesa OpenGL library and write a shader or set of shaders for every OpenGL function that the card should accelerate? What am I not seeing that would allow this to work?"
The Internet

Vista a Threat to Internet Freedom? 479

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the leave-it-to-business-to-ruin-a-good-time dept.
BBC columnist Bill Thompson warns readers that new DRM technology, especially that found in Vista, is damaging the freedoms that the internet was based on. "The freedom of expression that was once available to users of the Internet Protocol is being stripped away. Our freedom to play, experiment, share and seek inspiration from the creative works of others is increasingly restricted so that large companies can lock our culture down for their own profit. [...] governments and corporations around the world are making a concerted effort to dismantle the open internet and replace it with a regulated and regulable one that will allow them to impose an 'architecture of control.'"
The Almighty Buck

Scientists Offered Cash to Dispute Climate Study 668

Posted by Zonk
from the you're-wrong-and-i-think-mr.-lincoln-knows-why dept.
w1z4rd writes "According to an article in the Guardian, scientists and economists have been offered large bribes by a lobbying group funded by ExxonMobil. The offers were extended by the American Enterprise Institute group, which apparently has numerous ties to the Bush administration. Couched in terms of an offer to write 'dissenting papers' against the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, several scientists contacted for the article refused the offers on conflict of interest grounds."
Biotech

Biology Could Be Used To Turn Sugar Into Diesel 355

Posted by samzenpus
from the goodbye-mr.-fusion dept.
ABCTech has an interesting article about an Emeryville-based tech startup, Amyris Biotechnologies, that is planning to use microbes to turn sugar into diesel. Ethanol is made by adding sugar to yeast, but Amyris believes that it can reprogram the microbes to make something closer to gasoline. The company was initially given a $43 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to attempt to research the applications of Synthetic Biology for making a cost-effective malaria drug. Jack Newman, the Vice-President of Amyris said, "Why are we making ethanol if we're trying to make a fuel? We should be making something that looks a lot more like gasoline. We should be making something that looks a lot more like diesel. And if you wanted to design, you name it, a jet fuel? We can make that too."
Google

Google Checkout Sees Poor Customer Satisfaction 191

Posted by Zonk
from the do-better dept.
Aryabhata writes "Ars Technica reports on a survey by investment firm J.P. Morgan Securities, stating that Google Checkout has had a relatively quick and modest market penetration of six percent since its launch in June of 2006, but lags behind in customer satisfaction vs PayPal. On the customer satisfaction front, only 18.8 percent reported having a 'good' or 'very good' experience with Google Checkout, while 81.2 percent indicated a fair to poor experience customer experience compared to PayPal's 44.2 percent reporting good experiences. Some users have reported anecdotally that Google Checkout mistakenly canceled sales without warning or that the checkout process took too long."
Space

Extraterrestrials Probably Haven't Found Us - Yet 588

Posted by Zonk
from the hello-up-there dept.
kasparn writes "The Guardian today has a story about the Danish astrophysicist Rasmus Bjoerk, who recently conducted simulations on how long it will take to colonize the Milky Way. The basic idea is to send out probes in different directions (including various heights above the galactic plane). He estimates that it will take some 10 billion years to explore 4 % of the Milky Way. Since the age of the Universe is of the same order, his conclusion is that aliens can't have had time required to find us yet."
Science

Global Warming Exposes New Islands in the Arctic 645

Posted by Zonk
from the go-north-young-man dept.
circletimessquare writes "The New York Times has a sobering article about the rapidly accelerating pace of glacial melting across the arctic, focusing on the discovery of new islands and the fact that this is occurring far faster than climate scientist's models predict. What were called Nunataks or 'lonely mountains' in Inuit, trapped in the ice, only a few years ago, are now in the open ocean by kilometers. Off of Greenland, what was known previously as peninsulas have been revealed to be islands as the ice retreats. Dennis Schmitt, a modern day explorer and discoverer of one of these new islands and fluent in Inuit, has named it Uunartoq Qeqertoq: the warming island."
Science

2006 Was the Warmest Year Ever 782

Posted by kdawson
from the El-Nino-and-humankind-conspiring dept.
kpw10 writes "Dr. Jeff Masters from Wunderground has a great summary of this year's rather abnormal weather (his blog is the best source on the net for in-depth weather analysis). The post discusses some of the cyclical climate forces at work this year and compares this year's record temperatures to records from the past. There are some interesting differences, particularly in the extent of the northern hemisphere seeing record highs this year." From the article: "December's weather in the Northeast U.S. may have been a case of the weather dice coming up thirteen — weather not seen on the planet since before the Ice Age began, 118,000 years ago. The weather dice will start rolling an increasing number of thirteens in coming years, and an ice-free Arctic Ocean in summertime by 2040 is a very real possibility..." Here is the The National Climatic Data Center's report announcing the entry of 2006 into the record books.

NASA Avoids "Happy New Year" On Shuttle 181

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the also-booze-is-heavy dept.
ClickOnThis noted that NASA is actually avoiding a Shuttle in Space over New Years. It says "The worry is that shuttle computers aren't designed to make the change from the 365th day of the old year to the first day of the new year while in flight. NASA has never had a shuttle in space December 31 or January 1. 'We've just never had the computers up and going when we've transitioned from one year to another,' said Discovery astronaut Joan Higginbotham. 'We're not really sure how they're going to operate.'" You may notice some deja vu while reading this story. Sorry. Not much happens on Sundays :)

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