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Technology

Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi 165

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-a-step-back-forward dept.
concertina226 (2447056) writes "A group of Commodore fans are working on a new emulator with the ability to turn the Raspberry Pi £30 computer into a fully functioning Commodore 64 fresh from the 1980s. Scott Hutter, creator of the Commodore Pi project, together with a team of developers on Github, are seeking to build a native Commodore 64 operating system that can run on Raspberry Pi. 'The goal will be to include all of the expected emulation features such as SID sound, sprites, joystick connectivity, REU access, etc. In time, even the emulation speed could be changed, as well as additional modern graphics modes,' he writes on his website."
The Military

Fruit Flies, Fighter Jets Use Similar Evasive Tactics When Attacked 65

Posted by Soulskill
from the talk-to-me-goose dept.
vinces99 writes: "When startled by predators, tiny fruit flies respond like fighter jets – employing screaming-fast banked turns to evade attacks. Researchers at the University of Washington used an array of high-speed video cameras operating at 7,500 frames a second to capture the wing and body motion of flies after they encountered a looming image of an approaching predator (abstract). 'We discovered that fruit flies alter course in less than one one-hundredth of a second, 50 times faster than we blink our eyes, and which is faster than we ever imagined.' In the midst of a banked turn, the flies can roll on their sides 90 degrees or more, almost flying upside down at times, said Florian Muijres, a UW postdoctoral researcher and lead author of the paper. 'These flies normally flap their wings 200 times a second and, in almost a single wing beat, the animal can reorient its body to generate a force away from the threatening stimulus and then continues to accelerate,' he said."

Comment: Re:April Fools stories are gay (Score 1) 1482

by Torodung (#46634517) Attached to: OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

"Unwilling to tolerate differences in opinions or beliefs, especially religious beliefs."

The American Heritage Dictionary

I'll see your dictionary, and raise you a politically motivated reference volume decided by fiat. The original "intolerance" was religious intolerance. Easy to forget, I suppose.

If you believe words have only one definition and you command it in a given discussion, you may be gravely mistaken. You are certainly not a useless human being, because there is no such thing outside of the confines of utter bigotry.

United States

Majority of Young American Adults Think Astrology Is a Science 625

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the where's-carl-sagan-when-you-need-him? dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Americans have always had a strange fascination with astrology. First Lady Nancy Reagan famously employed the services of an astrologer after the assassination attempt on her husband. Now UPI reports that according to a new survey by the National Science Foundation, nearly half of all Americans say astrology is either 'very' or 'sort of' scientific. Younger respondents, in particular, were the least likely to regard astrology as unscientific, with 58% of 18 to 24 years olds saying that astrology is scientific (PDF). What's most alarming is that American attitudes about science are moving in the wrong direction. Skepticism of astrology hit an all-time high in 2004, when 66 percent of Americans said astrology was total nonsense. But each year, fewer and fewer respondents have dismissed the connections between star alignment and personality as bunk. Among respondents in the 25 — 44 age group 49% of respondents in the 2012 survey said astrology is either 'very scientific' or 'sort of scientific,' up from 36% in 2010. So what's behind this data? The lead author of the report chapter in question, public opinion specialist John Besley of Michigan State University, cautions that we should probably wait for further data 'to see if it's a real change' before speculating. But, he admits, the apparent increase in astrology belief 'popped out to me when I saw it.'"
Operating Systems

China's Government Unveils 'China Operating System' To Great Skepticism 223

Posted by Soulskill
from the search-many-of-your-favorite-words dept.
redletterdave writes "The government of China is not too fond of foreign mobile operating systems like iOS and Android, so the country cooked up its own homegrown solution: A Linux-based, open-source operating system called the COS, or China Operating System. But consumers have every right to be skeptical; China is using the recent NSA scandal in the U.S. to push its own product. A government-approved mobile operating system, especially in China of all places, reeks of its own backdoor exploits for governmental spying."

Comment: Re:problem is (Score 4, Insightful) 841

by Torodung (#45636925) Attached to: Employee Morale Is Suffering At the NSA

Even more fundamentally obvious, the number of toys and troops, and their vast overarching deployments, creates an atmosphere that inevitably leads to wars. This is opportunity presenting itself to the military, and wars of opportunity. Let alone how it benefits the military industrial complex to have our military in such positions of opportunity.

If we have troops deployed globally, as we do now, the likelihood of elective war, even global war, goes up exponentially. It's what keeps such military geopolitics sustainable. In short: Weapons have a tendency to go off. It's what defines them as weapons. The idea of a deterrent force is an oxymoron and a myth.

Transportation

Why Letting Your Insurance Company Monitor How You Drive Can Be a Good Thing 567

Posted by Soulskill
from the everybody's-an-above-average-driver dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Kim Gittleson reports at BBC that car insurance firms like Progressive are trying to convince consumers that letting them monitor their driving behavior is actually a good thing. They say that the future of car insurance is not just being able to monitor individual drivers to give them lower prices, but also to make them better drivers. 'Now that we can observe directly how people drive, we think this will change the way insurance works,' says Dave Pratt, who says that Progressive has more than a trillion seconds of driving data from 1.6 million customers. '18-year-old guys pay a lot for insurance, but some 18-year-olds are really safe drivers and they deserve a better deal.' Better big data technologies, like the telematic driving data collected by car companies (PDF) or even information gathered from social media profiles, can help augment that risk profile. 'If I'm a driver that doesn't drive that frequently, and I have a pattern that would indicate that I drive more carefully than an average person with my profile, then I may be able to save 30-40% on my car insurance, and that's pretty significant,' says Joe Reifel. For now, using big data analytics for insurers is still in the early stages. Only 2% of the U.S. car insurance market offers an insurance product based on monitoring driving, but that proportion is projected to grow to around 10-15% of the market by 2017. And other countries, like Italy and the U.K., are already using the data to analyze not just risk profiles but also to determine who is at fault in car accidents. The future, most analysts agree is create a continuous feedback loop between insurers and consumers, so that consumers will react to the big data analyses that insurers perform and change their behavior accordingly. 'Bad drivers will at some point need to improve their driving or accept [having] to pay for the real risk they represent,' says Jacques Amselem."

Comment: Grim times (Score 0) 608

by Torodung (#45029515) Attached to: Shots Fired At US Capitol

So the only question in my mind is "How is this any different or less ethical than what Congress has done to this country?" The only difference is that, for some reason that escapes me, what Congress is doing, putting hundreds of thousands out of work because we don't accept election results any longer, is legal.

Clearly, this act is illegal, but my point is that both acts should be, and both are about the same level of nuts. Congress' behavior should be criminalized.

All those years of Russian history and I never understood why you might have to dissolve the Duma. This is a prime example. Our legislature cannot function, and is randomly lashing out at the people it represents. They have caused more harm to more people than this sick perp could ever hope to.

Blackberry

BlackBerry Officially Open To Sale 139

Posted by samzenpus
from the so-long-farewell dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "BlackBerry is considering whether to sell itself off to the highest bidder. The company's Board of Directors has announced the founding of a Special Committee to explore so-called 'strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale,' which apparently includes 'possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions.' BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins added that, while the committee did its work, the company would continue to its recent overhead-reduction strategy. Prem Watsa, chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial—BlackBerry's largest shareholder—announced that he would resign from the company's board in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest. News that BlackBerry is considering a potential sale should surprise nobody. Faced with fierce competition from Google and Apple, the company's market-share has tumbled over the past several quarters. In a desperate bid to regain its former prominence in the mobile-device industry, BlackBerry developed and released BlackBerry 10, a next-generation operating system meant to compete toe-to-toe against Google Android and Apple iOS—despite a massive ad campaign, however, early sales of BlackBerry 10 devices have proven somewhat underwhelming."

Comment: Why not a dog? Dogs are great in focus groups. (Score 1) 772

by Torodung (#44513271) Attached to: Should the Next 'Doctor Who' Be a Woman?

After Matt Smith's regenerative comment about having "two legs," I wonder if the Doctor shouldn't come back as a dog, or some mythical CGI centaur type thing. Why limit ourselves to humanity? Where is your imagination?

Oh, right. For the same reason Peter Capaldi is chosen as the next Doctor. The novelty of any such change wears off too quickly, and then you're stuck with a world of fan expectations and a never-ending cycle of ridiculous fan service. Better to keep the formula locked away in a vault, even if it isn't such a secret any longer, eh?

I heartily support Moffat's decision to keep it simple.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen

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