Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Submission + - Renderman Gets Blender Integration

jones_supa writes: Now that Renderman has been available for free for non-commercial use for a while, there has been many requests for integration with Blender. An initiative spearheaded by Pixar now presents the first Blender to Renderman plugin. With the release of PRMan 20, a small group of developers headed by Brian Savery of Pixar have been working on support for using Renderman and Blender together. The plugin is still in early alpha but has had many great developments in the last few weeks. The source code is available in GitHub.

Comment Reverse the data-direction... (Score 1) 124

Here's a radical idea...

Rather than the consumer wearing the RFID chip, the consumer instead carries the RFID reader to find out what the merchant is offering.

The consumer doesn't radiate anything, and the merchant radiates the information the consumer might be interested in (or not...).

This puts the control back into the consumer's hands. As it should be.

Comment Exceptional teachers. (Score 1) 169

In mid-grade school I had a particularly exceptional and progressive teacher who ran experiments like this (Canada)...

Rather than the regular curriculum delivery, each student had a filing box where the entire year's assignments where defined on cards (with references to what pages in what textbooks should be read). The students were allowed to do them as quickly they wished. Once an assignment was completed the card (and the results) were placed back in the box for the teacher to review, grade, and comment on (if needed).

There were almost no "lectures" (read: the teacher standing in front of the classroom talking to the utter boredom of most of the students). In fact, the classroom was broken up into various different areas with partitions upon which the students could stick things -- drawings, notes, etc. There wasn't even line-of-sight from most of the classroom to the blackboard!

Instead, each morning there was a "class meeting" in a common area (with a blackboard) where everyone got to share where they were in their "program", and ask questions or make comments (if they were comfortable doing so). Once a week each student would have a one-on-one "meeting" with the teacher to review progress.

Any student could request additional meetings with the teacher at any time if they were having difficulty with a subject. Often the teacher would then ask a stronger student in a subject to help a weaker student. I was often asked to help in (simple) Maths and (simple) Science. I was often helped in just about all other subjects, like English, Social Studies, etc...

It is interesting how memory works... I had largely forgotten about this exceptional learning environment and experience until this article jogged my memory.

I must try to thank the teacher. He was clearly ahead of his time....

Submission + - Former Director of the ISS Division at NASA Talks About Science Behind 'Elysium' (

Nerval's Lobster writes: In the new movie “Elysium,” Earth a century and a half from now is an overtaxed slum, low on niceties like clean water and riddled with crime and sickness. The ultra-rich have abandoned terra firma in favor of Elysium, an orbital space station where the champagne flows freely and the medical care is the best possible. Mark Uhran, former director of the International Space Station Division at NASA headquarters, talked with Slashdot about what it would take (and how much it would cost) to actually build a space station like that for civilians. It turns out NASA did a report way back in 1975 describing what it would take to build a Stanford torus space station like the one in the movie: rotation for artificial gravity, a separate shield for radiation and debris, the ability to mine materials from astroids or possibly the moon, and $190.8 billion in 1975 dollars (the equivalent of $828.11 billion today). Looks like the ultra-rich are stuck on Earth for the time being.

Submission + - Chrome's Insane Password Security Strategy

jones_supa writes: One day web developer Elliott Kember decided to switch from Safari to Chrome and in the process, discovered possibly a serious weakness with local password management in Chrome. The settings import tool forced the passwords to be always imported, which lead Kember to further investigate how the data can be accessed. For those who actually bother to look at the 'Saved passwords' page, it turns out that anyone with physical access can peek all the passwords in clear text very easily with a couple of mouse clicks. This spurred a lenghty discussion featuring Justin Schuh, the head of Chrome security, who says Kember is wrong and that this behavior of Chrome has been evaluated for years and is not going to change.

Submission + - Bloggers could face fines for Libel under new UK legislation (

Diamonddavej writes: The Guardian newspaper warns that Bloggers in the UK could face costly fines for libel with exemplary damages imposed if they do not sign up with a new press regulator under legislation (Clause 21A — Awards of exemplary damages) recommended by The Leveson Inquiry into press behaviour and ethics. Kirsty Hughes, the chief executive of Index on Censorship, said this a "sad day" for British democracy, “This will undoubtedly have a chilling effect on everyday people's web use". Exemplary damages, imposed by a court to penalise publishers who remain outside regulation, could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, easily enough to close down smaller publishers such as Private Eye and local newspapers. Harry Cole, who contributes to the Guido Fawkes blog says he does not want to join a regulator, he hopes his blog will remain as irreverent and rude as ever, and continue to hold public officials to account; it's servers are located in the US. Members of Parliament voted on Clause 21A late last night, it passed 530 to 13.

Submission + - Canadian Parliamentary Report Fabricates Support IP Provisions in TPP & CETA (

An anonymous reader writes: The Canadian Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology released its report on the Intellectual Property Regime in Canada yesterday. While most the recommendations are fairly innocuous, the report involves a classic case of policy laundering as the government has fabricated support for the Canada — EU Trade Agreement and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) provisions that were not even raised at committee. The report recommends ratifying four intellectual property treaties, despite the fact the treaties weren't discussed before committee. Why? Leaked versions of CETA and TPP both include requirements to ratify them.

Comment Re:CPUs? why not GPUs? (Score 5, Informative) 254

Yes. And both are used for GIMPS.

See the Mersenne Forum's GPU Computing sub-forum for details.

There are, however, many more CPUs than GPUs out there, so most of the work is still done by CPUs. Two different GPUs using different software (CUDALucas) were used to confirm that 2^57,885,161-1 was prime, in addition to two other CPUs (one using different software than the GIMPS standard Prime95/mprime).

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin