Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

+ - Brain shield brings neural network to the Arduino->

Submitted by Paul Bristow
Paul Bristow (118584) writes "The Arduino has done a fantastic job in making things react, move and blink. Now are making the Arduino think as well. They're running an Indiegogo campaign to produce the Braincard, a neural network shield for Arduino that incorporates a CM1K 1024-node neural network chip. One variant includes a camera so that the Arduino will be able to do real-time image recognition. Oh, and they built in a stacking mechanism to you can expand to 9000+ neurons.

You could use it to teach a robot to read, or count the number of beers in a room, or get a drone to chase frisbees, or make a beer fridge that only opens for you and your buddies. The technology has been around for a while, but the scientists have only just realised that the maker movement could do some really cool things with this. The same board works with Raspberry Pi and PMOD sensors too.

Any ideas what you would make?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Desolenator uses solar power to make clean water for less than the cost of a TV->

Submitted by colindp
colindp (3956465) writes "Solar water stills" are nothing new, but efficiency is the key to the Desolenator, which produces 15 liters per day for 20 years with nearly no maintenance. Add to that the fact that it costs less than a big screen TV and you have a versatile device that can provide clean drinking water to people around the world."
Link to Original Source

+ - Net Neutrality in Argentina!

Submitted by plerner
plerner (2459036) writes "Argentina has a new Net Neutrality law; law no. 27.078. It was passed by congress this week and published yesterday. Original text in Spanish can be foud at

Article 1 reads (translated by google):"Object. Declared of public interest the development of Information Technologies and Communications, Telecommunication, and their associated resources, establishing and ensuring complete network neutrality.
Its purpose is to allow access to all the inhabitants of Argentina to the services of information and communication equitable social and geographical conditions, with the highest quality standards.
This rule is of public order and excludes any type of content regulation, whatever their means of transmission."

Theres a little bit more about it on articles 56 and 57 of the same law."

+ - The BlackBerry Classic is one of the best phones of 2009->

Submitted by Molly McHugh
Molly McHugh (3774987) writes "When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, and I owned a BlackBerry Curve. To me, my BlackBerry was close to being the absolute perfect smartphone. Today, BlackBerry revealed the Classic, a phone that is designed to make me—and everyone who owned a BlackBerry before the touchscreen revolution—remember how much we loved them."
Link to Original Source

+ - Marissa Mayer's reinvention of Yahoo! stumbles

Submitted by schnell
schnell (163007) writes "The New York Times Magazine has an in-depth profile of Marissa Mayer's time at the helm of Yahoo!, detailing her bold plans to reinvent the company and spark a Jobs-ian turnaround through building great new products. But some investors are saying that her product focus (to the point of micromanaging) hasn't generated results, and that the company should give up on trying to create the next iPod, merge with AOL to cut costs and focus on the unglamorous core business that it has. Is it time for Yahoo! to "grow up" and set its sights lower?"

+ - This is why you're always getting lost->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Have you ever stared at a map on your phone, utterly confused, as your GPS cryptically directed you to “head east”? It turns out that the entorhinal region of the brain—an area best known for its role in memory formation—may be at least partly to blame for your poor sense of direction. According to a study published online today in Current Biology, this brain region may help humans decide which direction to go to reach a destination. In the study, participants explored a virtual, square room with four unique objects in each corner and different landscapes on each of the four walls. Once they were familiar with the environment, the volunteers had to navigate a series of paths from one corner to another while the researchers monitored their brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging. The entorhinal region has long been known to help people identify which direction they’re facing already, but to plan a route, navigators must also imagine the direction of their destination. The study showed that this brain region likely also has a role in decisions about which directions to face next to get where we want to go. And as the participants imagined their way through the virtual room, the researchers found that the strength of the signal from this region was directly related to navigational performance."
Link to Original Source

+ - [meta] accidentally flagged 1

Submitted by TheSHAD0W
TheSHAD0W (258774) writes "So I accidentally clicked the "flag" icon on a submission, which immediately disappeared. I don't see any obvious way to undo this... I'm not sure how many accidental flaggings there are, but offering a way to un-flag a comment would reduce the load on moderators. Perhaps instead of making the entry disappear entirely, instead obscure the text and leave it there, so a second click on the icon would perform an undo?"

+ - Woman game developer may have never "fled her home"-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Previously unknown indie game developer Brianna Wu made international news, including on the green, after claiming on October 11 that threats from the Gamergate movement had forced her to flee her home. As one report briefly mentioned, at that time Wu was on a planned trip to New York where she was scheduled to speak at Comic-Con. Later news interviews placed Wu at her home as they reported that she had fled from it, raising the question of whether she had ever been forced to flee her home at all.

As has come to be usual for any news on this subject, Medium administrators deleted an article that had provided additional evidence that Wu's secret media interview location was in fact her own home from which she had never fled."

Link to Original Source

+ - Blockchain messaging may herald 'the unerasable internet'->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Bitcoin developer Krzysztof Okupski has developed a messaging application which uses space in Bitcoin's blockchain data as the basis for storage. The intention of the thesis work was to create a means of communication for dissidents or activists that would be impervious to blocking or retroactive censorship by oppressive regimes. According to Okupski: "Binding a payments network like Bitcoin together with an anti-censorship system forces any repressive government to either accept or abandon both." This article examines the wider implications of a blockchain-based internet where controversial content may either be directly embedded within small BItcoin transactions or hash-linked in their data to broader content in 'side chain' networks, effectively creating content that can never be amended or erased without compromising — or blocking — an increasingly important financial transaction system."
Link to Original Source

+ - what is best way to build a site for course content dissemination? 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dear /.ers, Greetings! I am a physics teacher in a small town U. I would like to know what is the best way to build a simple (click on the menu items on the left panel and contents get displayed on right side type) website for course content (class notes, quizzes, solutions, exams etc.) and various other tidbits of information for dissemination to student community, e.g.generic articles, images, animations etc. from my programming class, URLs etc. I am not familiar with CMS, but would prefer a small lightweight course management system OR if I can learn to develop an interactive website building, that would also be nice. Preferably something that won't have much of a learning curve. Appreciate your thoughts and any insight. Thanks much."

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"