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Comment Re:My impression about what is so cool... (Score 1) 92

Need the right hardwareand/or the right coniguration of the software, it sounds like.

I've got a fatality platinum (the input is just too handy, and the price was right) and have no noticeable latency whatsoever; it's good enough to play live with other musicians.

The default settings were completely inadequate and my latency was terrible, but a little googling showed me where i was going wrong and now i'm pretty happy.

only gotcha is ive got vista x64 (4GB ram, still have free slots) and there's STILL not drivers for the Kontrol (I bought the HW version) after more than a year of promises from NI.

It's still fine to use the software side, I just get no floor unit to interact with my presets (bummer).

So there's my only complaint - Native Instruments completely inadequate development cycle/support.


Do Subatomic Particles Have Free Will? 608

An anonymous reader sends in a Science News article that begins: "Human free will might seem like the squishiest of philosophical subjects, way beyond the realm of mathematical demonstration. But two highly regarded Princeton mathematicians, John Conway and Simon Kochen, claim to have proven that if humans have even the tiniest amount of free will, then atoms themselves must also behave unpredictably." Standard interpretations of quantum mechanics, of course, embrace unpredictability. But many physicists aren't comfortable with that, and are working to develop deterministic interpretations of quantum mechanics. Conway and Kochen's proof argues that these efforts will be fruitless — unless one is willing to give up human free will, in a very strong sense. The article quotes Conway: "We can really prove that there's no algorithm, no way that the particle can give an answer that is unique and can be specified ahead of time. I'm still amazed that we can actually manage to prove that."

White House Briefed On "Potential For Life" On Mars 610

Veeoh writes "FTA: It would appear that the US President has been briefed by Phoenix scientists about the discovery of something more 'provocative' than the discovery of water existing on the Martian surface. This news comes just as the Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) confirmed experimental evidence for the existence of water in the Mars regolith on Thursday."

Towards an Exercise Pill 362

aztektum among many other readers sent us news that medical researchers have developed two drugs that can build muscle tone in mice without exercise. While such an advance may inspire dreams of a "couch potato pill," the article mostly talks about other medical uses, should the drugs prove safe and effective in humans. The doctor in charge of the research is working with sports authorities to develop a test to detect the drugs in athletes. "Researchers at the Salk Institute in San Diego reported that they had found two drugs that did wonders for the athletic endurance of couch potato mice. One drug, known as Aicar, increased the mice's endurance on a treadmill by 44 percent after just four weeks of treatment. A second drug, GW1516, supercharged the mice to a 75 percent increase in endurance but had to be combined with exercise to have any effect. 'It's a little bit like a free lunch without the calories,' said Dr. Ronald M. Evans, leader of the Salk group."

Software Backs Up Human Memory 172

CWmike writes "Ever try to remember who you bumped into at the store a few days back? Well, you're not alone. And IBM researchers are working on software that just may help you better recollect all the forgotten pieces of your life. This week, the company unveiled Pensieve, software that stores images, sounds, and text on everyday mobile devices, then allows the user extract them later on, to help them recall names, faces, conversations and events. IBM's project is akin to one that Gordon Bell and other scientists at Microsoft Research have been working on for the past nine years."

Medical Health Disclosure vs. Steve Jobs' Privacy 362

An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times is saying that Steve Jobs doesn't have cancer, but that he needs to disclose all the information about his medical condition so investors can decide. Gizmodo's strong rebuttal says that everyone has the right to keep medical records confidential. They argue that, if prominent US presidents legally kept their grave illnesses secret — even while the security of the country was at stake — a simple CEO should be able to do the same: 'Steve Jobs has the right to keep his medical records private for as long as he wants. Like FDR. Like JFK. Like any single person in this country and the world. It's our right, as humans, to do so.'"

Spam King Escapes From Federal Prison 596

Bobfrankly1 writes "The FBI, IRS, and the Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force are helping the US Marshals search for escaped 'Spam King' Edward 'Eddie' Davidson. He apparently jumped in a car with his wife, changed clothes at home, and hasn't been seen since." Update: 07/24 22:20 GMT by T : It seems that Davidson has been found, victim of a murder-suicide which also left two others dead.

Follow-up On Texas PI Law For PC Techs 233

boyko.at.netqos writes "Network Performance Daily has put out an in-depth series on the Texas law that requires private investigator licenses for computer repair techs, network analysts, and other IT professionals. It includes an interview with the author of the law, Texas Rep. Joe Driver, the captain of the Texas Private Security Bureau, RenEarl Bowie, and Matt Miller at the Institute for Justice, which is suing the state over the law. Finally, there's a series summary and editorial."

Dragon vs. Hydra - Competing Development Styles 90

peterofoz writes "You may recall that we discussed a company which was recruiting talent with a puzzle last December. This turned out to be n-Brain releasing a new product that allows multiple editors to modify the same code in real time to support the collaborative programming paradigm. Now they're back with another challenge: 'Are two heads really better than one? N-BRAIN, Inc. intends to definitively answer this question by sponsoring the Hydra Versus Dragon Coding Competition, a Reality TV-style battle between the world's finest software developers.' Mark June 23rd on your calendars." While n-Brain clearly intends this to promote their software, it will be interesting to see if the competition results support their theory of collaborative development.

First Superheavy Element Found In Nature 296

KentuckyFC writes "The first naturally occurring superheavy element has been found. An international team of scientists found several nuclei of unbibium in a sample of the naturally occurring heavy metal thorium. Unbibium has an atomic number of 122 and an atomic weight of 292. In general, very heavy elements tend to be unstable but scientists have long predicted that even heavier nuclei would be stable. The group that found unbibium in thorium say it has a half life in excess of 100 million years and an abundance of about 10^(-12) relative to thorium, which itself is about as abundant as lead." I'd also like it known that my spell checker did not know 'unbibium' before today, but it is now one word closer to encompassing all human knowledge.

Laser Pointers Classed as Weapons in Australia 491

An anonymous reader was the first to point to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald which says that New South Wales (of which Sydney is the capital) will prohibit the possession of certain types of laser pointers, defining them as weapons, and make it an offense to carry any laser pointer "without a lawful reason." (Similar coverage at news.com.au) Western Australia apparently beat NSW to the punch, and the federal government of Australia announced earlier this month it will treat laser pointers much like firearms, which, in Australia, is really saying something. The restrictions come as a reaction to incidents (not confined to Australia) in which the lasers were trained on planes, distracting pilots.

What Will Life Be Like In 2008? 648

tblake writes "Back in 1968, Modern Mechanix mused what life would be like in 40 years. Some things they came pretty close on: 'Money has all but disappeared. Employers deposit salary checks directly into their employees' accounts. Credit cards are used for paying all bills. Each time you buy something, the card's number is fed into the store's computer station. A master computer then deducts the charge from your bank balance.' Some things are way off: 'The car accelerates to 150 mph in the city's suburbs, then hits 250 mph in less built-up areas, gliding over the smooth plastic road. You whiz past a string of cities, many of them covered by the new domes that keep them evenly climatized year round.' And some things are sorta right: 'TV screens cover an entire wall in most homes and show most subjects other than straight text matter in color and three dimensions. In addition to programmed TV and the multiplicity of commercial fare, you can see top Broadway shows, hit movies and current nightclub acts for a nominal charge.'"

A Congressman Who Can Code Assembly 421

christo writes "In what appears to be a first, the US House of Representatives now has a Congressman with coding skills. Democratic Representative Bill Foster won a special election this past Saturday in the 14th Congressional District of Illinois. Foster is a physicist who worked at Fermilab for 22 years designing data analysis software for the lab's high energy particle collision detector. In an interview with CNET today, Foster's campaign manager confirmed that the Congressman can write assembly, Fortran and Visual Basic. Will having a tech-savvy congressman change the game at all? Can we expect more rational tech-policy? Already on his first day, Foster provided a tie-breaking vote to pass a major ethics reform bill."

Time for a Vista Do-Over? 746

DigitalDame2 writes "'There's nothing wrong with Vista,' PC Mag editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff tells a Microsoft rep at this year's CES. 'But you guys have a big problem on your hands. Perception is reality, and the perception is that Vista is a dud.' He goes on to confess that the operating system is too complex and burdened by things people don't need. Plus, Vista sometimes seems so slow. Ulanoff gives four suggestions for a complete Vista makeover, like starting with new code and creating a universal interface table. But will Microsoft really listen?"

Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky