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+ - Apple Doesn't Design for Yesterday

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Erik Karjaluoto writes that he recently installed OS X Yosemite and his initial reaction was “This got hit by the ugly stick.” But Karjaluoto says that Apple’s decision to make a wholesale shift from Lucida to Helvetica defies his expectations and wondered why Apple would make a change that impedes legibility, requires more screen space, and makes the GUI appear fuzzy? The Answer: Tomorrow.

Microsoft’s approach with Windows, and backward compatibility in general, is commendable. "Users can install new versions of this OS on old machines, sometimes built on a mishmash of components, and still have it work well. This is a remarkable feat of engineering. It also comes with limitations—as it forces Microsoft to operate in the past." Bu Apple doesn't share this focus on interoperability or legacy. "They restrict hardware options, so they can build around a smaller number of specs. Old hardware is often left behind (turn on a first-generation iPad, and witness the sluggishness). Meanwhile, dying conventions are proactively euthanized," says Karjaluoto. "When Macs no longer shipped with floppy drives, many felt baffled. This same experience occurred when a disk (CD/DVD) reader no longer came standard." In spite of the grumblings of many, Karjaluoto doesn't recall many such changes that we didn’t later look upon as the right choice.

What about the change to Helvetica? It ties to the only significant point in yesterday’s iMac announcement: Retina displays. Just take a look at Helvetica on any high-fidelity screen, and you see a crisp, economical, and adaptable type system. "Sure, Helvetica looks crummy on your standard resolution screen," concludes Karjaluoto. "The people at Apple are OK with this temporary trade-off. You’re living in Apple’s past, and, in time, you’ll move forward. When you do, you’ll find a system that works as intended: because Apple skates to where the puck is going to be.""

+ - Researchers Scrambling to Build Ebola-Fighting Robots->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "U.S. robotics researchers from around the country are collaborating on a project to build autonomous vehicles that could deliver food and medicine, and telepresence robots that could safely decontaminate equipment and help bury the victims of Ebola. Organizers of Safety Robotics for Ebola Workers are planning a workshop on Nov. 7. that will be co-hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Texas A&M, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of California, Berkeley. "We are trying to identify the technologies that can help human workers minimize their contact with Ebola. Whatever technology we deploy, there will be a human in the loop. We are not trying to replace human caregivers. We are trying to minimize contact," said Taskin Padir, an assistant professor of robotics engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute."
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+ - Direct3D 9.0 Support On Track For Linux's Gallium3D Drivers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Twelve years after Microsoft debuted DirectX 9.0, open-source developers are getting ready to possibly land Direct3D 9.0 support within the open-source Linux Mesa/Gallium3D code-base. The "Gallium3D Nine" state tracker allows accelerating D3D9 natively by Gallium3D drivers and there's patches for Wine so that Windows games can utilize this state tracker without having to go through Wine's costly D3D-to-OGL translator. The Gallium3D D3D9 code has been in development since last year and is now reaching a point where it's under review for mainline Mesa. The uses for this Direct3D 9 state tracker will likely be very limited outside of using it for Wine gaming."
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+ - India Successfully Launches navigation satellite 1

Submitted by vasanth
vasanth (908280) writes "India has successfully launched IRNSS-1C, the third satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), early on October 16. This is the 27th consecutively successful mission of the PSLV(Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle). The entire constellation of seven satellites is planned to be completed by 2015.

The satellite is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in the country as well as in the region extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area.

In Kargil war in 1999 the Indian military sought GPS data for the region from the US. The space-based navigation system maintained by the US government would have provided vital information, but the US denied it to India. A need for an indigenous satellite navigation system was felt earlier, but the Kargil experience made India realise its inevitability in building it's own navigation system. "Geopolitical needs teach you that some countries can deny you the service in times of conflict. It's also a way of arm twisting and a country should protect itself against that," said S Ramakrishnan, director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram"

+ - ISPs Violating Net Neutrality, Blocking Encryption And Putting Users At Risk->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "In July, VPN provider Golden Frog (creators of the VyprVPN service) debuted front and center in the debate over net neutrality. One of their customers, Colin Nederkoorn, published a video showing how switching to VyprVPN increased his network performance by a factor of 10 on Verizon while streaming Netflix. Now, Golden Frog has filed a brief with the FCC, discussing both this incident and another, more troubling problem for security advocates — the detection of ISPs performing man-in-the-middle attacks against their own customers. According to information cited in the briefing, one wireless provider was caught blocking the use of STARTTLS encryption. STARTTLS is used to encrypt traffic sent over SMTP — email, in other words. Because an email from Point A to Point Z may travel through a number of unsecured routers to reach its final destination, unencrypted email is intrinsically insecure. STARTTLS was developed to mitigate this problem. What Golden Frog documented was the interception and modification of multiple requests to begin using STARTTLS into an entirely different set of commands, thereby preventing the encrypted link from ever being established. The problem of overwritten encryption is potentially far more serious than an issue of Netflix throttling, even if the latter tapped consumer discontent more readily."
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+ - New music discovered in Donkey Kong for arcade

Submitted by furrykef .
furrykef . (3880941) writes "Over 33 years have passed since Donkey Kong first hit arcades, but it still has new surprises. I was poking through the game in a debugger when I discovered that the game contains unused music and voice clips. One of the tunes would have been played when you rescued Pauline, and two others are suggestive of deleted cutscenes. In addition, Pauline was originally meant to speak. In one clip she says something unintelligible, but it may be "Hey!", "Nice!", or "Thanks!". The other is clearly a cry for help."

+ - Microsoft serves takedown notices to videos not infringing on anything->

Submitted by mrnick
mrnick (108356) writes "Microsoft serves youtube takedown notices on many youtube videos that do not appear to have any DRM issue. They say there was an algorithm problem and that non offending notices will be removed. The premise was that these videos had embedded windows keys in the comments. Is the video creator responsible for the comments on their video?"
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+ - Intel processors fails at math. Again.

Submitted by rastos1
rastos1 (601318) writes "In a recent blog, software developer Bruce Dawson pointed out some issues with the way the FSIN instruction is described in the “Intel® 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer’s Manual.”, noting that the result of FSIN can be very inaccurate in some cases, if compared to the exact mathematical value of the sine function.

Bruce Dawson says: I was shocked when I discovered this. Both the fsin instruction and Intel’s documentation are hugely inaccurate, and the inaccurate documentation has led to poor decisions being made. ... Intel has known for years that these instructions are not as accurate as promised. They are now making updates to their documentation. Updating the instruction is not a realistic option.

Intel processors had a problem with math in past"

+ - Could 3D Printing be the Future of Earthquake-Proof Building?

Submitted by Beverley Mitchell
Beverley Mitchell (3662043) writes "California-based architects Emerging Objects have developed a 3D-printed building component known as the Quake Column. The design draws on the ancient Incan dry-stone building technique known as “ashlar” and merges it with modern technology. Ashlar used blocks of stone cut to fit together tightly without mortar. During earthquakes, the Incas' dry-stone walls would move slightly and resettle without any damage. Similarly, the component-based Quake Column system interlocks perfectly. However, unlike the Incan version, whose stones weighed up to several tons, its 3D-printed blocks are lightweight, hollow and come with convenient handles."

+ - Maps Suggest Marco Polo May Have "Discovered" America 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "For a guy who claimed to spend 17 years in China as a confidant of Kublai Khan, Marco Polo left a surprisingly skimpy paper trail. No Asian sources mention the footloose Italian. The only record of his 13th-century odyssey through the Far East is the hot air of his own Travels, which was actually an “as told to” penned by a writer of romances. But a set of 14 parchments, now collected and exhaustively studied for the first time, give us a raft of new stories about Polo’s journeys and something notably missing from his own account: maps. If genuine, the maps would show that Polo recorded the shape of the Alaskan coast—and the strait separating it from Asia—four centuries before Vitus Bering, the Danish explorer long considered the first European to do so. Perhaps more important, they suggest Polo was aware of the New World two centuries before Columbus."

+ - US Navy Develops Robot Boat Swarm to Overwhelm Enemies

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Jeremy Hsu reports that the US Navy has been testing a large-scale swarm of autonomous boats designed to overwhelm enemies. In the test, large ship that the Navy sometimes calls a high-value unit, HVU, is making its way down the river’s thalweg, escorted by 13 small guard boats. Between them, they carry a variety of payloads, loud speakers and flashing lights, a .50-caliber machine gun and a microwave direct energy weapon or heat ray. Detecting the enemy vessel with radar and infrared sensors, they perform a series of maneuvers to encircle the craft, coming close enough to the boat to engage it and near enough to one another to seal off any potential escape or access to the ship they are guarding. They blast warnings via loudspeaker and flash their lights. The HVU is now free to safely move away. Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, chief of the Office of Naval Research (ONR), points out that a maneuver that required 40 people had just dropped down to just one. “Think about it as replicating the functions that a human boat pilot would do. We’ve taken that capability and extended it to multiple [unmanned surface vehicles] operating together within that, we’ve designed team behaviors,” says Robert Brizzolara. The timing of the briefing happens to coincide with the 14-year anniversary of the bombing of the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen that killed 17 sailors. It’s an anniversary that Klunder observes with a unique sense of responsibility. “If we had this capability there on that day. We could have saved that ship. I never want to see the USS Cole happen again.”"

+ - How Computer Vision Algorithms Cope With Detecting Human Figures In Cubist Art

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "The human visual system has evolved to recognise people in almost any pose under a vast range of lighting conditions. But abstract art pushes this ability to its limits by distorting the human form. In particular, Cubism seeks to represent three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional plane by juxtaposing snapshots from different angles. The result is that a Cubist picture contains many ‘fragments of perception’ of the same object. That's why it is often hard for people to recognise the human figures that these pictures contain. Now a group of computer scientists have tested how computer vision algorithms fare at the task of spotting human figures in Cubist art. They compared a variety of different algorithms against humans in trying to spot human figures in 218 Cubist paintings by Picasso. Humans easily outperform all the algorithms at this task. But some algorithms were much better than others. The most successful were based on so-called "deformable parts models" that recognise human figures by looking for body parts rather than the entire form. Interestingly, the team says this backs up various studies by neuroscientists suggesting that the human brain works in a similar way."

+ - The Ebola Patient Was Sent Home Because of Bad Software->

Submitted by bricko
bricko (1052210) writes "The Dallas hospital's debacle highlights the atrociousness of many electronic health records.

        Protocols were followed by both the physician and the nurses. However, we have identified a flaw in the way the physician and nursing portions of our electronic health records (EHR) interacted in this specific case.

The hospital's electronic health record contains separate workflows for doctors and nurses. The information about the patient's travel history was on the nurses' side, but "it would not automatically appear in the physician’s standard workflow." Which means the doctor wouldn't know about Duncan's recent trip to Liberia. Which means she'd have no reason to suspect Duncan had Ebola.

The incident underscores how important it is for doctors and hospitals to find EHRs that work well. The federal government has greatly incentivized the use of digital records, as opposed to paper charts, and nearly half of physicians now use them. Increasingly, EHRs aren't just a convenient way to track appointments and vital signs, they're critical communication links that can make all the difference.

There are technical problems beyond the software, too: Ebola isn't even considered its own disease under the current medical classification system for diseases, called ICD. Under ICD-9, the current version, Ebola shares a code with "multiple viral diseases." (The virus will have its own code under ICD-10, which rolls out next year.)

For its part, the Dallas hospital said it plans to make changes to its health record in order to prevent future such slip-ups:

        As result of this discovery, Texas Health Dallas has relocated the travel history documentation to a portion of the EHR that is part of both workflows. It also has been modified to specifically reference Ebola-endemic regions in Africa. We have made this change to increase the visibility and documentation of the travel question in order to alert all providers. We feel that this change will improve the early identification of patients who may be at risk for communicable diseases, including Ebola."

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+ - The ReactOS Foundation officially joins the Open Invention Network->

Submitted by jeditobe
jeditobe (2701857) writes "

The ReactOS Foundation officially joins the Open Invention Network.Membership in this organization will help protect users of ReactOS operating system from possible patent claims around the world (even in the USA), now and in the future.

The Open Invention Network (OIN) is a company that acquires patents and licenses them royalty free to entities which, in turn, agree not to assert their own patents against Linux and Linux-related systems and applications. So in factOIN isis a shared defensive patent pool with the mission to protect Opencource projects. Launched in 2005, OIN has strong industry support with backing from Google, IBM, NEC, Philips, Red Hat, Sony and SUSE (a business unit of Novell).

ReactOS Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in the Russian Federation that provides support and promotion for the ReactOS Project. The primary objective of the ReactOS Project is to create an operating system that is binary compatible with applications and drivers developed for the Windows NT series of operating systems. To help further this goal, the ReactOS Foundation exists as an administrative and logistical entity, offering support for the project developers as well as engaging the ReactOS community and providing an avenue for communication and transparency.

"

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+ - Test version Windows 10 includes keylogger-> 1

Submitted by wabrandsma
wabrandsma (2551008) writes "From WinBeta:

One of the more interesting bits of data the company is collecting is text entered. Some are calling this a keylogger within the Windows 10 Technical Preview, which isn't good news.

Taking a closer look at the Privacy Policy for the Windows Insider Program, it looks like Microsoft may be collecting a lot more feedback from you behind the scenes.

Microsoft collects information about you, your devices, applications and networks, and your use of those devices, applications and networks. Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage.

This isn't the only thing Microsoft is collecting from Insider Program participants. According to the Privacy Policy, the company is collecting things like text inputted into the operating system, the details of any/all files on your system, voice input and program information."
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