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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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+ - hitchBot's Pilgrimage Continues in Germany->

Submitted by bellwould
bellwould (11363) writes "After traversing Canada with 19 rides in 26 days, the beer-cooler-based, swim-noodle and wellingtons-wearing Canadian robot, hitchBot, landed in Munich on Feb 14 and is being accompanied by (goolge-translated) Galileo.tv as it continues it's adventure in Germany. The social/robotic experiment created by roboticists from Ryerson and McMaster Universities has gained quite a following as it posts on Twitter and Instagram during its travels. Known to politely ask drivers to plug it in to the cigaratte lighter to recharge it's batteries, hitchBot can also carry on semi-intellegent conversations. As one of the creators put it, "We wanted to see whether we can trust technology that’s surrounding us, especially robots and especially as they come into our daily lives, into our houses. And can robots trust human beings?"
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+ - How BlackBerry beats the iPhone ->

Submitted by Molly McHugh
Molly McHugh (3774987) writes "Who's made more progress: BlackBerry or iPhone?
It might sound like an absurd question, given the collective love for the iPhone compared to that of BlackBerry, but ignoring all the success of the former and all the previous missteps of the latter, the Classic and iPhone 6 are remarkably similar. Using 2007 as a starting point, here’s how far each phone has come in the time since."

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+ - Quadcopter Drone Packs First All-Linux Autopilot->

Submitted by DeviceGuru
DeviceGuru (1136715) writes "Erle Robotics has launched what is claimed to be the first drone to run both a Pixhawk APM autopilot and ROS directly on Linux. Over the last year Erle Robotics and 3DRobotics have collaborated on developing an open source, all-Linux BeagleBone Black-based autopilot for drones using the popular 3DR APM architecture, but without using Nuttx RTOS for the real-time bits. In addition to being used on a new 'Erle-copter' quadcopter drone, the new all-Linux 'Erle-brain' APM will ship in both a two-winged UAV and a four-wheeled robotic vehicle, due next spring."
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Comment: He was a great teacher too (Score 1) 170

by bellwould (#48640289) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died
I used Stewart's text at McMaster in '82 as a coil-bound, courier-font tome with hand-drawn diagrams for $10. Steward was my 1st year calculus prof and he was the best math teacher I've ever had. He certainly wasn't rich back then, and if he made shrewd investments with his book income, all the power to him. Remember that the publisher sets the price and profit margin, the author only gets a sliver; fortunately, the book sold well. Publishers are like thieves in the way they force schools to unnecessarily sell a new edition every year.

Comment: Re:We do (Score 1) 119

The 24/7 is a good point - we have East and West coast N.A. teams and South Asia and Middle East teams; so there's dev going on around the clock. But I like the idea of making the slaves work harder than the master (ugh, such terminology). I also like the remote-worker "anywhere" has a consistent, accessible environment.
Education

+ - Ask Slashdot: What software is available to help learn about data transmission?

Submitted by bellwould
bellwould (11363) writes "In teaching information tech to a 13-yr old with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), I've found she's wildly interested in the details of data transmission but not programming. We've had limited success with command-line tools like traceroute and tcpdump, but now I'm seeking tips/advice on software that may help her explore and visualize things like transmission protocols."
Nintendo

+ - Hackers Discover Wii U's Processor Design and Clock Speed->

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "Early, off-the-record comments from game developers indicated that the Nintendo's Wii U console horsepower was on par with, or a bit behind the Xbox 360 and PS3, which raised questions about just how "next-generation" the Wii U would be. Now, Wii and PS3 hacker Hector Martin (aka Marcan) has answered some of these questions and raised a few others. According to his findings, the Wii U's CPU is a triple-core design clocked at 1.24GHz. Marcan identifies the base design as a PowerPC 750, which makes sense. Nintendo used PowerPC 750-derived processors in both the GameCube and the Wii. Retaining that architecture for the Wii U would simplify backwards compatibility and game development. Now factor in the GPU, which is reportedly clocked at 550MHz. Some have favored the Radeon HD 4000 series as a basis for the part; I still think a low-end Radeon 5000, like Redwood Pro, makes more sense. That GPU was built on 40nm, measured 104mm sq, clocked in at 649MHz, and had a 39W TDP. The die size discrepancy between the Wii U and Redwood Pro would account for the 32MB of EDRAM cache we know the Wii U offers. Nintendo may have propped up a relatively weak CPU with considerably more GPU horsepower."
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Censorship

+ - Raided for running a Tor exit node->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A Tor Exit node owner is being prosecuted in Austria. As part of the prosecution all of his electronics including over 20 computers, his cell phone and hard disks have been held by the authorities. This brings up the question: What backup plan if any should the average nerd have for something like this?"
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+ - NASA: Curiosity has found plastic on Mars-> 2

Submitted by dsinc
dsinc (319470) writes "Last week Curiosity was able to use its SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) device to confirm the discovery. A robotic arm with a complex system of Spectral Analysis devices was able to vaporize and identify gasses from the sample, concluding that it is in fact plastic. How plastic formed or ended up on the Martian surface is quite an exciting mystery that sparks many questions. The type of plastic sampled as we know so far can only be formed using petrochemicals, meaning not only that there could possibly be a source of oil on the Red Planet, but that somehow it got turned into plastic. Even more interesting is that oil or petrochemicals used to create this type of plastic are only known to come from ancient fossilized organic materials, such as zooplankton and algae, which geochemical processes convert into oil pointing to the earthshaking evidence that there was once life on mars.

"Right now we have multiple working hypotheses, and each hypothesis makes certain predictions about things like what the spherules are made of and how they are distributed," said Curiosity's principal investigator, Steve Squyres, of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. "Our job as we explore Matijevic Hill in the months ahead will be to make the observations that will let us test all the hypotheses carefully, and find the one that best fits the observations.""

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"Well, if you can't believe what you read in a comic book, what *can* you believe?!" -- Bullwinkle J. Moose

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