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Comment: Re: No story here, move along (Score 1) 208

by Xemu (#46938323) Attached to: Brain Injury Turns Man Into Math Genius

I don't know about fried but that was my thought. the injury cross linked his normal "cpu" and vision "GPU" basically using his normal vision processing as a massive floating point processor. Not unlike using your GPU to mine bit coins or do other massively parallel processing.

Mining bitcoins in your head just by looking, now THAT would be a savant skill worth having.

Music

New Headphones Generate Sound With Carbon Nanotubes 102

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the is-my-poster-talking-to-me dept.
MTorrice writes "A new type of headphone heats up carbon nanotubes to crank out tunes. The tiny speaker doesn't rely on moving parts and instead produces sound through the thermoacoustic effect. When an alternating current passes through the nanotubes, the material heats and cools the air around it; as the air warms, it expands, and as it cools, it contracts. This expansion and contraction creates sound waves. The new nanotube speaker could be manufactured at low cost in the same facilities used to make computer chips, the researchers say." And it exists in the real world: "The Tsinghua researchers integrated these thermoacoustic chips into a pair of earbud headphones and connected them to a computer to play music from videos and sound files. They’ve used the headphones to play music for about a year without significant signs of wear, Yang says. According to him, this is the first thermoacoustic device to be integrated with commercial electronics and used to play music."

Comment: Re:Unlikely (Score 1) 105

by Xemu (#44871421) Attached to: UK Cryptographers Call For UK and US To Out Weakened Products

Does anyone really expect these criminal organizations, headed by the kind of people who set up a Star Trek style command bridge, are going to do the right thing?

Sure. The Star Trek bridge seems to indicate that it's an organisation headed by a trekkie, so I think there is a pretty good chance they are geeks and will do the "right thing". I would be more worried if they had built a replica of the White House and was an organisation headed by politicans or lawyers.

The only way to deal with these scum is to shut them down and start from scratch.

Repeating the same experiment is likely to yield the same results.

Technology

USB "Condom" Allows You To Practice Safe Charging 208

Posted by samzenpus
from the plugging-it-in dept.
MojoKid writes "Yep, a USB condom. That term is mostly a dose of marketing brilliance, which is to say that grabs your attention while also serving as an apt description of the product. A little company called int3.cc has developed a product—a USB condom—that blocks the data pins in your USB device while leaving the power pins free. Thus, any time you need to plug a device such as a smartphones into a USB port to charge it—let's say at a public charging kiosk or a coworker's computer--you don't have to worry about compromising any data or contracting some nasty malware. It's one of those simple solutions that seems so obvious once someone came up with it."

Comment: Re:Diminishing returns (Score 0) 478

by Xemu (#44755037) Attached to: Schneier: We Need To Relearn How To Accept Risk

Eventually, people will understand that to avoid risks originating from the poorest countries, the final solution is to just eradicate those countries.

Terrifying prospect. Before this 'final solution' is implemented, I think it's equally possible that the rest of the world will understand that the biggest and most harmful risk is the United States, and arrive at a different solution.

Handhelds

Ask Slashdot: Is There a Good Device Holster? 296

Posted by Soulskill
from the infinite-cargo-shorts dept.
gurps_npc writes "I have seen several technology holsters. There are a lot of good ones for cell phones, but I am looking for something larger — for a tablet (Nook/Kindle/Nexus/iPad). There is, however, a direct trade-off between being discreet and having decent carrying capacity. Has anyone found an ideal balance? I would love to hear from people with direct experience. Do you look like the worst kind of geek hipster while wearing it? Any feature I should look for? I found one from a company called techslinger, but it looks a bit too geeky for me (double-sided makes it really stand out)."

Comment: Re:Quite so! (Score 1) 401

by Xemu (#44282573) Attached to: Electrical Engineering Labor Pool Shrinking

this is a bay area company and I KNOW that they, as a general trend, have stopped investing in people and now only look for exact matches

Why should they "invest" in someone when the investment can just walk out the door whenever he/she pleases? Invest in yourself then get a higher paying job.

CFO asks his CEO, “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave the company?” CEO answers, ‘What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”

+ - LAN games now requires $5000 permit from Swedish Gaming Board->

Submitted by Xemu
Xemu (50595) writes "In Sweden, a recent judgement from the Supreme Administrative Court, has declared that anyone arranging a LAN game must seek permission from the Swedish Gaming Board. Such a permission carries a 35 kSEK (5000 USD) administrative fee. Failure to register your LAN game with the authorities may result in penalties, and a criminal record, preventing a young gamer from getting a driver's license, US work visa and potentially causing problems with employers with strict hire policies."
Link to Original Source
Software

Ask Slashdot: When Is the User Experience Too Good? 397

Posted by Soulskill
from the thought-process-behind-drm dept.
gadzook33 writes "I had an interesting experience at work recently. A colleague suggested during a meeting that we were building something that would make it far too easy for the customer to perform a certain task; a task that my colleague felt was deleterious. Without going into specifics, I believe an apt analogy would be giving everyone in the country a flying car. While this would no doubt be enjoyable, without proper training and regulation it would also be tremendously dangerous (also assume training and regulating is not practical in this case). I retorted that ours is not to reason why, and that we had the responsibility to develop the best possible solution, end of story. However, in the following days I have begun to doubt my position and wonder if we don't have some responsibility to artificially 'cripple' the solution and in doing so protect the user from themselves (build a car that stays on the ground). I do not for a second imagine that I am playing the part of Oppenheimer; this is a much more practical issue and less of an ethical one. But is there something to this?"

Comment: Re:Hate labor laws? (Score 1) 293

Instead we make them show up every day, for their 7-8 hours and sit in chairs and do nothing

If this is the best use of available resources your company's management can come up with, I suggest replacing management with smarter people.

Even asking these people to clean toilets would have made the company more money.

Businesses

Is Buying an Extended Warranty Ever a Good Idea? 329

Posted by Soulskill
from the planning-to-break-things dept.
waderoush writes "Consumer Reports calls extended warranties 'money down the drain,' and as a tech journalist and owner of myriad gadgets — none of which have ever conked out or cracked up during the original warranty period — that was always my attitude too. But when I met recently with Steve Abernethy, CEO of San Francisco-based warranty provider SquareTrade, I tried to keep an open mind, and I came away thinking that the industry might be changing. In a nutshell, Abernethy says he's aware of the extended-warranty industry's dreadful reputation, but he says SquareTrade is working to salvage it through a combination of lower prices, broader coverage, and better service. On top of that, he made some persuasive points – which don't seem to figure into Consumer Reports' argument – about the way the 'risk vs. severity' math has changed since the beginning of the smartphone and tablet era. One-third of smartphone owners will lose their devices to drops or spills within the first three years of purchase, the company's data shows. If you belong to certain categories — like people in big households, or motorcycle owners, or homeowners with hardwood floors — your risk is even higher. So, in the end, the decision about buying an extended warranty boils down to whether you think you can defy the odds, and whether you can afford to buy a new device at full price if you're one of the unlucky ones."

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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