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Comment: Re:Now it's the grid engineers' problem to solve.. (Score 1) 227

by VanessaE (#46685693) Attached to: Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds

So put a big, obvious indicator on the charging station that shows a color-coded load level. After a while, EV owners will come to understand it at least enough to know that a high reading means their car will charge slower.

If consumers can figure out those little pinch-the-ends-to-read charge indicators in some batteries, and what a regular traffic signal means at an intersection, they can figure out "green means fast, red means slow" at the charge station and charge up or go elsewhere accordingly.

Stations can even display their capacity reading on their main sign under the price, if they're proud of it anyway.

Facebook

Minecraft Creator Halts Plans For Oculus Version Following Facebook Acquisition 300

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the rash-decisions dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Not one hour after the announcement of the the acquisition of Oculus Rift by Facebook yesterday, Markus 'Notch' Persson has announced that he has ceased all discussions about bringing it to Oculus Rift. 'I don't want to work with social, I want to work with games. ... Facebook is not a company of grass-roots tech enthusiasts. Facebook is not a game tech company. Facebook has a history of caring about building user numbers, and nothing but building user numbers. People have made games for Facebook platforms before, and while it worked great for a while, they were stuck in a very unfortunate position when Facebook eventually changed the platform to better fit the social experience they were trying to build.' Persson has stated that he made this decision despite initially investing $10,000 in Oculus' Kickstarter."
Transportation

Mazda Says Its Upcoming Gas-Powered Cars Will Emit Less CO2 Than Electric Cars 330

Posted by Soulskill
from the extraordinary-claims-require-extraordinary-evidence dept.
cartechboy writes: "One of the arguments for electric cars is that we are reducing greenhouse gases and emitting less CO2 than vehicles with an internal combustion engine. But Mazda says its next-generation SkyActiv engines will be so efficient, they'll emit less CO2 than an electric car. In fact, the automaker goes so far as to say these new engines will be cleaner to run than electric cars. Is it possible? Yes, but it's all about the details. It'll depend on the test cycles for each region. Vehicles are tested differently in Europe than in the U.S., and that variation could make all the difference when it comes to these types of claims. At the end of the day whether future Mazdas with gasoline-powered engines are cleaner than electric cars or not, every little bit in the effort to reduce our carbon emissions per mile is a step in the right direction, right?"

Comment: Re:The olden days (Score 1) 66

by VanessaE (#46274039) Attached to: Ask "The Fat Man" George Sanger About Music and Computer Games

But a distinction must be made here: Protracker and friends may have had "tracks" that work more or less like a professional studio, but the thing is, the *other* limits of the format meant that making music with a module tracker was a WHOLE different beast than doing it with a recording studio.

With module files/trackers, you could play exactly one sound sample at a time on each track - which is why many of us preferred to call them channels rather than tracks.

Each sound might be a single key on a piano, a single string on a violin, a crash of a cymbal, or whatever. If you needed a chord and you didn't have enough spare channels to play it (which was often the case), then to did it the hard way: you either composed and edited that chord in your favorite sample player/editor program and and loaded the result into your tracker or you sought out someone else who had already done the work... and that's if you only needed one type of chord for just one specific instrument (say, a major chord on a piano). Wait, you need a minor chord for that instrument also? Oops, better go compose/download one. Oh, need a few chords in one of the other instruments? Crap, gotta go do those also.

A module artist had, at most, only 31 sound slots to work with back in the day, so it was pretty easy to run out - and that's before you even start laying down you actual tracks.

With careful attention to note durations and use of the "set sample offset" effect command, you could combine several shorter samples into one "conglomerate" multipurpose sample that you could pick-and-choose from as needed, giving the appearance of more than just 31 samples. Problem is, this came at a price: You couldn't use this trick on anything that might need an effect command, there was no way to set custom sample loop endpoints (that I remember), and you only had 128 kB of sample data per sound slot, so it was only useful for short percussion-like instruments and sound effects.

When you laid down your tracks and assigned pitches, durations, and various effect commands to the samples (I mean the regular stuff like vibrato or portamento) is where the music was actually made.

Newer module formats eliminated the sample lengths, counts, and limits on the numbers of channels, of course.

Comment: Re:Rule of acquisition 18 (Score 1) 888

by VanessaE (#46250455) Attached to: Star Trek Economics

The problem isn't that people want to drag the more successful down to their level. The problem is that the most successful out there barely do anything genuinely good with their money (if at all, and excepting rare cases), and therefore are not doing enough help to raise the poor UP to a better standard of living.

Somewhere I read that if we spent just half as much on housing as we spend on putting non-violent offenders in prison - counting only those who should not BE in prison to begin with, and counting only those who have no homes - we could put a roof over every last person's head in this country, free of charge to those people, and even pay for a social worker to see to that person's social-economic needs (at least, to within that that person is willing to do for themselves, of course). If they fail to get themselves out of their slump, they STILL keep the house, and we as a society come out ahead both economically and socially.

+ - Owner: Vote, your choice: Get rid of Slashdot:Beta OR everyone goes elsewhere-> 1

Submitted by Ying Hu
Ying Hu (704950) writes "Slashdot Beta is not Slashdot: http://slashdot.org/journal/63...
What was loved about Slashdot does not appear in the new design — those creating the latter, please fire yourself and go work for a commercial consumer site (which we never read, and never will). OUR site should work without JavaScript, and JavaScript that IS used should to do something actually desired by a reader or commenter, not waste our bandwidth and CPU, and electricity, sending CRAP onto our computers. Improvements/ plugins, http://userstyles.org/styles/9..., won't be enough."

Link to Original Source
Government

Lawmakers Threaten Legal Basis of NSA Surveillance 206

Posted by Soulskill
from the please-don't-be-grandstanding dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "The author of the Patriot Act has warned that the legal justification for the NSA's wholesale domestic surveillance program will disappear next summer if the White House doesn't restrict the way the NSA uses its power. Section 215 of the Patriot Act will expire during the summer of 2015 and will not be renewed unless the White House changes the shocking scale of the surveillance programs for which the National Security Administration uses the authorization, according to James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), an original author of the Patriot Act and its two reauthorizations, stated Washington insider-news source The Hill. 'Unless Section 215 gets fixed, you, Mr. Cole, and the intelligence community will get absolutely nothing, because I am confident there are not the votes in this Congress to reauthorize it,' Sensenbrenner warned Deputy Attorney General James Cole during the Feb. 4 hearing. Provisions of Section 215, which allows the NSA to collect metadata about phone calls made within the U.S., give the government a 'very useful tool' to track connections among Americans that might be relevant to counterterrorism investigations, Cole told the House Judiciary Committee. The scale of the surveillance and lengths to which the NSA has pushed its limits was a "shock" according to Sensenbrenner, who also wrote the USA Freedom Act, a bill to restrict the scope of both Section 215 and the NSA programs, which has attracted 130 co-sponsors. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has sponsored a similar bill in the Senate."
Privacy

Why the Latest FISA Release By Google Et Al. Means Squat 131

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the reading-this-violates-0-to-999-laws dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Google, Yahoo, and other tech firms are offering some updated statistics about government requests for data. There's just one problem: under revised guidelines issued by the federal government, those companies can still only report a range, rather than a definitive number, for those requests. If that wasn't fuzzy enough, the range can only be reported after a six-month lag. Between January and June 2013, Google received between 0-999 FISA 'non-content' requests on 0-999 user accounts; it also fielded between 0-999 'content' requests for between 9000 and 9999 user accounts.Yahoo actually received a larger number of FISA queries than Google: for the first six months of 2013, the federal government made between 0-999 requests on between 30,000 and 30,999 user accounts hosted by the company. ... These companies have little choice but to advocate this new information release as a huge step forward for transparency. Unfortunately, restricting government data requests to a broad range isn't very helpful: for example, a range (rather than a single numerical value) makes it difficult to determine trends, such as whether government requests are gradually increasing over the long term."
Power

Should Nuclear and Renewable Energy Supporters Stop Fighting? 551

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the pixie-dust-saves-the-day dept.
Lasrick writes "A debate is happening in the pages of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that started with their publication of 'Nuclear vs. Renewables: Divided They Fall,' an article by Dawn Stover that chides nuclear energy advocates and advocates of renewable energy for bickering over the deck chairs while climate change sinks the ship, and while the fossil fuel industry reaps the rewards of the clean energy camp's refusal to work together. Many of the clean energy folks took umbrage at the description of nuclear power as 'clean energy,' so the Civil Society Institute has responded with a detailed look at exactly why they believe nuclear power will not be needed as the world transitions to clean energy."
Education

Wozniak Gets Personal On Innovation 161

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the computer-better-person-than-most-people dept.
snydeq writes "Companies are doggedly pursuing the next big thing in technology, but nothing seems to be pointing to the right way these days, claims the legendary Steve Wozniak. The reason? 'You tend to deal with the past,' replicating what you know in a new form. Consider the notion of computing eyeware like Google Glass: 'People have been marrying eyewear with TV inputs for 20 years,' Wozniak says. True innovation, Wozniak claims, becomes more human, more personal. People use technology more the less it feels like technology. 'The software gets more accepted when it works in human ways — meaning in noncomputer ways.' Here, Wozniak says, is the key to technology's role in the education system." And no amount of technology can save the American education system: "We put the technology into a system that damages creative thinking — the kids give up, and at a very early age."

Comment: Re: Meet The New Boss (Score 1) 138

by VanessaE (#46119545) Attached to: Obama Nominates Vice Admiral Michael Rogers New NSA Chief

Look, there are four basic ways to get Obama out of office, and you know what they all are:

* He could resign. Certainly all of us could think of reasons for him to do so, but that depends on HIM deciding that he's got a good enough reason to do so (and enough pressure from outside sources).
* The senate could impeach, convict, and remove him from office via their normal Constitutional power to do so, provided they have an actual legal reason to DO so. Care to cite an actual law he's broken? I can't think of one.
* He could die. In which case, you just let the 25th Amendment do its job and Biden takes the presidency. Can't see that going too well for Obama haters, though.
* Or, hey, here's a thought: his second term expires in a few years. Hold a regular election and let the 22nd Amendment do its job.

Care to expand upon one of those?

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