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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).


+ - Steam after death?

Submitted by kuzb
kuzb (724081) writes "I'm a gamer. I probably will be until the day it's not possible anymore. Like many others, I've got heavy investment in my steam library which now encompasses hundreds of titles and represents thousands of dollars. As a gamer, the games I've acquired are as important to me as any other item which might have sentimental value to someone else.

It got me thinking, what happens to all this media when I die? What happens with other services where I have media? Is it legal for me to will this content to someone else, or do all the rights to such content just vanish?"

+ - Karjisatsu: Is the culture around IT causing us to burnout or worse...->

Submitted by HockeyPuck
HockeyPuck (141947) writes "A blog by John Willis explores the story of one industry peer, Carlo Flores, and his battle against Karoshi or "Death from Overwork". All-night, holiday work, excessive hours, excessive sales efforts, bullying, fear of losing one’s job, and of course screwed up management. Most of the modern day startups have all kinds of tales of employees and ex-employees telling stories related to these stresses., whom can we turn to when we're burning and stressing out? We can turn to each other."
Link to Original Source

+ - 25 Years in the Making - This is How Photoshop 1.0 Looks Today->

Submitted by Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth (903542) writes "In celebration of Photoshop’s 25 anniversary Adobe decided to publish an interesting an a bit nostalgic video which looks at the original Photoshop — version 1.0 announced back in 1990.

There are very few working computers these days that can run Photoshop 1.0 directly, however using an emulator you can more or less reproduce the software as it was a quarter of a century ago. There are many things that we take for granted in Photoshop that you could not do in the original version including using layers (these came only in version 3.0), use live preview or even something as basic as saving your image as JPEG (which was introduced around 1992), not to speak of Camera RAW which was introduced quite a few years later (as there were no commercial digital cameras anywhere). Of course there was also no real internet so the only way to get digital images was by scanning prints..."

Link to Original Source
User Journal

Journal: Revolution 60: A game review I can get behind. 1

Journal by BarbaraHudson
This review of Revolution 60 sounds like it was written by me. But I can assure you, it's not. Exerpts:

an insipid, stumbling, humorless mess of a game that should never have left the brainstorming stage - the kind of game social justice warriors insist everyone wants to see, but in reality, the reaction seems to be put that thing back where it came from or so help me.


+ - Jellyfish are attacking nuclear power plants->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "The power plant shutdowns (both nuclear and non-nuclear) that jellyfish cause are increasing, possibly due to warming oceans. And it's not just jellyfish: algae and kelp are responsible for wreaking havoc on filtering systems that are proving no match for aquatic life. 'Jellyfish and algae have assaulted nuclear power plants in the United States, Canada, Scotland, Sweden, Japan, and France. In Scotland alone, two reactors at the country’s Torness power station had to shut down in a single week when the seawater they used as a coolant was inundated with jellyfish. (Because of their tremendous need for cool water, nuclear power plants are often located next to oceans and other naturally occurring large bodies of water.)' The IAEA warns that current monitoring and removal systems in place for 'biological fouling' are inadequate and that warming waters are going to cause more and more of these incidents, the costs of which are astronomical."
Link to Original Source

+ - The science of a bottomless pit

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "It’s the ultimate dream of many children with time on their hands and their first leisurely attempt at digging: to go clear through the Earth to the other side, creating a bottomless pit. Most of us don’t get very far in practice, but in theory, it should be possible to construct one, and consider what would happen to a very clever test subject who took all the proper precautions, and jumped right in. Here's what you would have to do to travel clear through the Earth, come out the other side, and make the return trip to right back where you started."

+ - Drones and satellites spot lost civilizations in unlikely places-> 1

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "What do the Sahara desert and the Amazon rainforest have in common? Until recently, archaeologists would have told you they were both inhospitable environments devoid of large-scale human settlements. But they were wrong. Here today at the annual meeting of the AAAS, two researchers explained how remote sensing technology, including satellite imaging and drone flights, is revealing the traces of past civilizations that have been hiding in plain sight."
Link to Original Source

+ - Smoking Is Even Deadlier Than Previously Thought

Submitted by (3830033) writes ""Who still smokes?" as Denise Grady reports at the NYT that however bad you thought smoking was, it’s even worse. A new study has found that in addition to the well-known hazards of lung cancer, artery disease, heart attacks, chronic lung disease and stroke, researchers found that smoking was linked to significantly increased risks of infection, kidney disease, intestinal disease caused by inadequate blood flow, and heart and lung ailments not previously attributed to tobacco. “The smoking epidemic is still ongoing, and there is a need to evaluate how smoking is hurting us as a society, to support clinicians and policy making in public health,” says Brian D. Carter, an author of the study. “It’s not a done story.” Carter says he was inspired to dig deeper into the causes of death in smokers after taking an initial look at data from five large health surveys being conducted by other researchers. As expected, death rates were higher among the smokers but diseases known to be caused by tobacco accounted for only 83 percent of the excess deaths in people who smoked. “I thought, ‘Wow, that’s really low,’ ” Mr. Carter said. “We have this huge cohort. Let’s get into the weeds, cast a wide net and see what is killing smokers that we don’t already know.” The researchers found that, compared with people who had never smoked, smokers were about twice as likely to die from infections, kidney disease, respiratory ailments not previously linked to tobacco, and hypertensive heart disease, in which high blood pressure leads to heart failure. "The Surgeon General's report claims 480,000 deaths directly caused by smoking, but we think that is really quite a bit off," concludes Carter adding that the figure may be closer to 540,000."

+ - How to see a black hole

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "The idea of a black hole has been around for hundreds of years: a region of space where there’s so much matter-and-energy that not even light can escape from it. Yet despite this property, the fact that any form of energy that ever enters it is forbidden from leaving, these objects are not invisible. Rather, there are a number of ways they reveal themselves to us practically, as well as theoretically, in ways we may detect in the not-too-distant future."

+ - Energy Returned on Energy Invested->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "EROI is the ratio of energy returned to energy invested in that energy source, along its entire life-cycle. That includes raw material acquisition, construction, fuel, O&M, etc. When the number is large, energy from that source is relatively easy to get and less expensive. However, when the number is small, the energy from that source is more difficult to get and more expensive.

The attached article shows the EROI of various energy sources. Before taking a look, make a guess as to which sources you think have the highest and lowest EROIs. Were you on target?"

Link to Original Source

+ - How Many Laws Did Apple Break? 1

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Jean-Louis Gassée writes at Monday note that Apple’s most recent quarterly numbers broke a number of laws: Law 1: Larger size makes growth increasingly difficult. The Law of Large Numbers predicts the eventual flattening of extraordinary growth. "And yet, last quarter, Apple revenue grew 30%, breaking the Law and any precedent," writes Gassée. "iPhone revenue, which grew 57%, exceeded $51B in one quarter — close to what Google achieved in its entire Fiscal 2014 year." Law 2: Everything becomes a commodity. As products are standardized, margins suffer as competitors frantically cut prices in a race to the bottom with the PC clone market serving as a good example. "At the risk of belaboring the obvious, a rising Average Selling Price (ASP) means customers are freely deciding to give more money to Apple," says Gassée. "We’re told that this is just a form of Stockholm Syndrome, the powerless customer held prisoner inside Apple’s Walled Garden." Yet according to Tim Cook “fewer than 15% of older iPhone owners upgraded to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The majority of switchers to iPhone came from smartphones running Google Inc.’s Android operating system.” Law 3: Market share always wins. With a bigger market share comes economies of scale and network effects leaving minority players condemned to irrelevance and starvation. Yet despite its small unit share (around 7% worldwide, higher in the US), Apple takes home about half of all PC industry profits, thanks to its significant ASP ($1,250 vs $417 industry-wide in 2014, trending down to $379 this year). Law 4: Modularity Always Wins. In the end, modularity always defeats integration. Clayton Christensen points out that in the PC clone market, modularity allowed competitors to undercut one another by improving layer after layer, smarter graphic cards, better/faster/cheaper processing, storage, and peripheral modules. Yet, as Apple’s recent numbers show, the iPhone seems immune to modularity threats.

"I have no trouble with the Law of Large Numbers, it only underlines Apple’s truly stupendous growth and, in the end, it always wins. No business can grow by 20%, or even 10% for ever. But, for the other three, Market Share, Commoditization, and Modularity, how can we ignore the sea of contradicting facts?" concludes Gassée. "As Apple continues to “break the law”, perhaps we’ll see a new body of scholarship that provides alternatives to the discredited refrains. As Rob Majteles tweeted: “Apple: where many, all?, management theories go to die?""

+ - The Man Who Invented the Science Fiction Paperback

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Clay Latimer writes at IBD that Ian Ballantine, called by many the father of the mass-market paperback, helped change American reading habits in the 1940s and '50s founding no fewer than three prestigious paperback houses — Penguin USA, Bantam Books and Ballantine Books. But Ballantine's greatest influence on mass culture was publishing science-fiction paperback originals, with writers including Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Theodore Sturgeon, and Frederik Pohl and publishing the first authorized paperback editions of J.R.R. Tolkien's books. "These were great classics of world fiction," says Loren Glass. "He published in original form some of the greatest works in the golden age of science fiction. One of the interesting things about Ballantine is that he was not only a businessman trying to make money in books; he was a student of literature and publishing, and something of an intellectual."

Turning serious science fiction into a literary genre ranks among Ballantine's greatest feats. Prior to Ballantine Books, science fiction barely existed in novel form. He changed that with the 1953 publication of "Fahrenheit 451," the firm's 41st book. "That was obviously a key moment in the history of science-fiction publishing," Glass says. In 1965, when Tolkien's rights to his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy lapsed, Ace Books published his books without paying royalties and Tolkien responded by conducting a personal campaign against Ace. Tolkien began to urge the fans who wrote to him to inform them that the American copies were pirated: "I am now inserting in every note of acknowledgement to readers in the U.S.A. a brief note informing them that Ace Books is a pirate, and asking them to inform others." Ballantine quickly bought the rights and included Tolkien's back-cover note: "Those who approve of courtesy (at least) to living authors will purchase it and no other.""

+ - Developer Saved Years Later by His Own Hardware->

Submitted by szczys
szczys (3402149) writes "Would you do a better job designing hardware if your life depended on it? Chris Nefcy is in that exact position. Years ago he developed an Automatic External Defibrilator for First Medic. The device allows non-doctors to restart a human heart in the field. When Chris had a heart attack his ticker was restarted with shocks from his own hardware.

His story isn't just heartwarming, he also covers the path that led him into developing the AED and the bumpy road encountered getting the hardware to market."

Link to Original Source

What good is a ticket to the good life, if you can't find the entrance?