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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).


Researchers Identify 'Tipping Point' Between Quantum and Classical Worlds 83

Posted by Soulskill
from the border-between-hostile-nations dept.
wjcofkc sends this report from R&D Magazine: If we are ever to fully harness the power of light for use in optical devices, it is necessary to understand photons — the fundamental unit of light. Achieving such understanding, however, is easier said than done. That's because the physical behavior of photons — similar to electrons and other sub-atomic particles — is characterized not by classical physics, but by quantum mechanics.

Now, in a study published in Physical Review Letters (abstract), scientists from Bar-Ilan University have observed the point at which classical and quantum behavior converge. Using a fiber-based nonlinear process, the researchers were able to observe how, and under what conditions, 'classical' physical behavior emerges from the quantum world.

Comment: He is doing us all a service! (Score 1) 305

by brainbuz (#48076191) Attached to: The Single Vigilante Behind Facebook's 'Real Name' Crackdown

If the self appointed RealNamePolice hadn't made such a stink, ello wouldn't have gone viral. Suddenly facebook, a company I loathe and despise and use only with fake names, has competition. I haven't seen their service, but ello have a good manifesto, and plan to use a business model where their end-users are customers rather than assets. Facebook has achieved a degree of critical mass they've been using to revert the internet to AOL. Unless an open distributed social networking protocol emerges (unforunately, Diaspora wasn't able to make it happen), someone has to run the backbone of social networking, and I'd rather it wasn't Facebook.

So thank you RealNamePolice, not for being a dork harrassing Drag Queens, but for stirring up 30,000 Facebook users an hour to go somewhere else.

Comment: The Industry is Completely Out of Touch (Score 1) 118

by brainbuz (#46257205) Attached to: Music Industry Is Keeping Streaming Services Unprofitable

On the other side I've seen artists complaining that when they do get a lot of play on streaming services they still don't get much in royalties. I would venture (meaning I have better things to do this afternoon than research the real numbers) that in terms of revenue to the independent artist that sells their own music, one customer who purchases a download or buys physical product is equivalent to a much larger number (10? 100?) who play them repeatedly on streaming services. From a label or self marketed artist standpoint the streaming services are successors to the record clubs, what makes them more complex is that they also function as radio stations. From the standpoint of an independent artist getting on the streaming services is important promotion, but then every time someone saves them to their streaming service library instead of going to Itunes or Amazon they are getting a tiny fraction of the income. No surprise that established artists who have control over these things aren't available on these services. Further given that the labels probably also believe they should charge a lot more, I'm surprised that there aren't complaints that the agreements call for forced exposure of their developing artists.

An example that most people miss about the record companies not adjusting to technology is that the record companies aren't shifting to DVD Audio. I still buy most of my music in physical format, in large part because of MP3 quality (unreliable). For customers like me who pay a premium for quality there is no excuse with today's technology to deliver less than 48kbps 20bit. DVD Audio can deliver lossless 96x24 when CD is still limited to 44x16. (As for the alternative SACD format, only about 1% of all CD capable devices can decode SACD as compared to about 50% that are DVD players or ROMs).

Getting back to the main point, the Legacy Recording Conglomerates don't know to deal with anything in the new landscape, historically they've had difficulty with change. In the 1940s a startup called Capital Records changed the rules by sending free copies of records by their big signing (Frank Sinatra) to radio stations, eventually the 2 conglomerates of the time (RCA and Columbia) had to do the same to remain competitive. It is the up and coming independents who will figure out how to navigate the new landscape, all the big labels want is a return to the way it used to be.

Comment: Pick the horse that will keep on running. (Score 1) 227

by brainbuz (#45218153) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Choose Frameworks That Will Survive?

Catalyst is one of the oldest MVC frameworks and very actively developed. Catalyst is also very stable, a few years ago the Catalyst team implemented the new Moose Object system for Perl and older Catalyst code still generally works. When I upgrade a system running Catalyst or redeploy my applications to a new system the major headache is from missed dependencies, but once I sort them out it is unusual to have to change code, and deprecations are infrequent and get long notice periods. When the new MOP object system (it is based on the Moose Object extension Catalyst already uses) ships in an upcoming Perl release your old Catalyst Code is still going to work, and as each release of Ruby and the path from Python 2 to 3 show, those other languages don't maintain the stability that Perl does.

Comment: Re:Vi yay, Emacs nay. (Score 1) 694

The mechanical typewriter manufacturing lobby will back the move to force vi on the population at large, as 98% of the population will be unable to type anything as soon as the mandate was extended to all wordprocessing (which would be inevitable). The American Psychiatric Association would support an Emacs mandate instead as long as their members didn't have to use it. A truly beneficial mandate would be to require all Text Editing and Wordprocessing software to implement a wordstar compatible control set instead. For those of us who can touch-type the WordStar interface remains the only choice, and JOE is the one true editor!

Comment: Making yourself less employable (Score 2) 309

by brainbuz (#41759467) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Going To a Technical College Worth It?

The overall quality of instruction and graduates in many of these tech schools is often pretty low. Technical College not only costs more than Community College, but is an indication that you didn't have the academic chops to get through Community College. I can tell you how I would stack my resume pile if I was hiring and all that hr was providing was a brief summary: Experience+College, Experience (no degree), Self-taught limited experience, College Grad (no experience), Technical Trade School, No apparent Qualifications. Self study, some certifications, and anything you can do to demonstrate competency will put you ahead of the Trade School Graduate and at least equal to the no-experience college grad. Do it on your own or go to a legitimate college that fits your budget.

Comment: Re:Color me surprised. Or not. (Score 1) 577

by brainbuz (#39640309) Attached to: Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign

Gary Johnson is even better than Ron Paul.
Former Governor, many similar views -- low spending, anti-war, consistent over time and a two term Governor to boot. He will be the Libertarian Party Nominee this year. Maybe the Republicans have finally marginalized themselves to the point where people are ready to pay attention to the Libertarian Party.

Comment: I cancelled Netflix BluRay (Score 1) 1162

by brainbuz (#35877050) Attached to: Why Has Blu-ray Failed To Catch Hold?

All of the copy protection nonsense the industry was doing with blu-ray really sours the customer experience. When a movie comes in from netflix I want it to just play. I don't want to perform a firmware or software update, I don't want to have to rip it to break the encryption (which most consumers aren't tech savvy enough to do anyway). Meanwhile I have a cheap multiregion DVD player and on my computer I have about 10 different programs that play DVDs pretty reliably.

A well mastered DVD looks pretty spectacular on my 27" 720P device, and while some BluRays do look even better, you need a larger 1080 device to really see a benefit from the higher resolutions.

I have 6 computers, and a dvd player that can play DVDs, but only 1 computer than can play BluRay, so there is a big convenience factor,

When I first bought my BluRay player I signed up for Netflix BluRay. Over time I realized that most of my titles were DVD only, and I was watching a lot on streaming, so I cancelled the BluRay option.


What's Wrong With the American University System 828

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-enough-belushi dept.
ideonexus writes "The Atlantic has an excellent interview with Andrew Hacker — co-author with Claudia Dreifus of a book titled Higher Education? — covering everything that's wrong with the American university system. The discussion ranges from entrenched tenured professors more concerned with publishing and parking spaces than quality teaching; to 22-year-old students with unrealistic expectations that some company will put them in a management position after graduating with six-figures of debt; to football teams siphoning money away from academic programs so that student tuitions must increase to compensate. It really lays out the farce of university culture and reminds me of everything I absolutely despised about my college life. Dreifus is active in the comments section of the article as well, lending to a fantastic discussion on the subject."

Southwest Adds 'Mechanical Difficulties' To Act Of God List 223 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the blameless-travel dept.
War, earthquakes, and broken washers are all unavoidable events for which a carrier should not be liable if travel is delayed according to Southwest Airlines. Southwest quietly updated their act of God list a few weeks ago to include mechanical problems with the other horrors of an angry travel god. From the article: "Robert Mann, an airline industry analyst based in Port Washington, NY, called it 'surprising' that Southwest, which has a reputation for stellar customer service, would make a change that puts passengers at a legal disadvantage if an aircraft breakdown delays their travel. Keeping a fleet mechanically sound 'is certainly within the control of any airline,' Mann said. 'Putting mechanical issues in the same category as an act of God — I don't think that's what God intended.'"

Comment: USB sticks this is an old vulnerability! (Score 1) 214

by brainbuz (#33024404) Attached to: Malware Targets Shortcut Flaw In Windows, SCADA

Several of the USB sticks I've purchased came with pre-installed malware which Windows dutifully executes when the stick is inserted. A few months ago I made a presentation and stuck one of these in someone else's machine, and their anti-virus actually detected the stick as containing a trojan, about effing time. Given that MS continues to support vendors including viruses (claiming them to be drivers or other necessary software) and executing them, I'm really surprised that a lot more malware hasn't spread this way. I'm also a little surprised that more malware authors have not broken MS Code Signing. As for the target systems it looks like they are living with their heads in the sand, it was just a matter of time for them to be targeted.


Alberta Scientists Discover Largest-Ever Cache of Dinosaur Bones 154

Posted by Soulskill
from the dino-mother-lode dept.
Cryolithic writes "The largest cache of dinosaur bones ever found has been unearthed in Alberta. From the article: '... officials at the Royal Tyrrell Museum say the Hilda site provides the first solid evidence that some horned dinosaur herds were much larger than previously thought, with numbers comfortably in the high hundreds to low thousands. ... Rather than picturing the animals as drowning while crossing a river, a classic scenario that has been used to explain bonebed occurrences at many sites in Alberta, the research team interpreted the vast coastal landscape as being submerged during tropical storms or hurricanes. With no high ground to escape to, most of the members of the herd drowned in the rising coastal waters. Carcasses were deposited in clumps across kilometers of ancient landscape as floodwaters receded.'"
Open Source

Linux Kernel 2.6.32 Released 195

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the download-compile-reboot-repeat dept.
diegocg writes "Linus Torvalds has officially released the version 2.6.32 of the Linux kernel. New features include virtualization memory de-duplication, a rewrite of the writeback code faster and more scalable, many important Btrfs improvements and speedups, ATI R600/R700 3D and KMS support and other graphic improvements, a CFQ low latency mode, tracing improvements including a 'perf timechart' tool that tries to be a better bootchart, soft limits in the memory controller, support for the S+Core architecture, support for Intel Moorestown and its new firmware interface, run-time power management support, and many other improvements and new drivers. See the full changelog for more details."
Input Devices

Brain-Control Gaming Headset Launching Dec. 21 112

Posted by Soulskill
from the oh-hey-it's-real dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Controlling computers with our minds may sound like science fiction, but one Australian company claims to be able to let you do just that. The Emotiv device has been garnering attention at trade shows and conferences for several years, and now the company says it is set to launch the Emotiv EPOC headset on December 21. PC Authority spoke to co-founder Nam Do about the Emotiv technology and its potential as a mainstream gaming interface." One wonders what kind of adoption they expect with a $299 price tag.

Comment: Re:Bide your time (Score 1) 1006

by brainbuz (#30092358) Attached to: Software Piracy At the Workplace?

If you have another job lined up and haven't been at this job long, resign your position and drop a dime to the BSA for the reward. Even if you don't have a job lined up, you can resign a job because you've been asked to perform illegal activities and still be eligible for unemployment, but you'll need to document it, so you'll need to tactfully put your concerns in writing and maintain a file before dropping the dime. Leaving a job on bad terms can have repercussions for your career, so if not having this job on your resume leaves a big hole, you need to figure out how you'll compensate, one tactic is maintaining ties to other employees you can use as a reference -- most HR departments will only confirm employment and as soon as your gone you can have a friend at another company send a reference check to see what HR says. Even if you can leave this job off your resume, be prepared to answer questions about the job if you are subject to a background investigation for a future job.

Live free or die.