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Submission + - The abandoned college campuses of Second Life (fusion.net)

drkim writes: "In the year 2007, people were really excited about Second Life... Many universities set up their own private islands to engage students; some even held classes within Second Life.
Most of these virtual universities are gone... ...but it turns out a handful remain as ghost towns..."

Submission + - Russians might be able to break unbreakable crypto (boingboing.net)

drkim writes: Mere moments after publications of an independent report condemning UK's mass surveillance programme, sources in the UK spy agencies — who are pushing for massively expanded surveillance powers through the Snoopers' Charter — leaked an evidence-free story claiming the Russians and Chinese had magically gained the ability to decrypt the files Snowden took with him from the NSA.

Submission + - Automatically creating interactive models from short video clip (ted.com)

drkim writes: Using a short video clip of a (slightly) moving object, an interactive 'model' can be created automatically.
(Video @ 12:30)
"Subtle motion happens around us all the time, including tiny vibrations caused by sound. New technology shows that we can pick up on these vibrations and actually re-create sound and conversations just from a video of a seemingly still object. But now Abe Davis takes it one step further: Watch him demo software that lets anyone interact with these hidden properties, just from a simple video."

Submission + - Physicist Builds Supercomputer From Old PlayStations (sciencealert.com) 1

drkim writes: A home-made PlayStation 3 supercomputer is 3,000 times more powerful than any desktop processor, and is being used to study black holes.

Guarav Khanna, a black hole physicist at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the US, has managed to build a powerful and extremely cheap supercomputer using old PlayStation 3s (PS3s), and he’s used it to publish several papers on black holes.

His research focusses on finding gravitational waves, which are curvatures in space-time that ripple out from a violent astrophysical event, such as two black holes colliding. They were first predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, but no one has been able to observe them.

Submission + - Kano Ships 18,000 Learn-To-Code Computer Kits (techcrunch.com)

drkim writes: Kano Computing, a startup that plays in the learn to code space by adding a step-by-step hand-holding layer atop the Raspberry Pi single-board microcomputer to make hacking around with code and learning about computational thinking child’s play, has shipped all the hardware kits in its first batch of crowdfunded orders and pre-orders.

That’s around 18,000 kits in all, co-founder Alex Klein confirmed to TechCrunch. “They are all in the wild, they are out of our hands. About 1,000 have arrived already — the early bird kits.

Submission + - Is your textbook studying you? (ruwenzori.net)

drkim writes: Shades of "Snow Crash"?

A number of schools have started using a program called CourseSmart, which uses e-book analytics to alert teachers if their students are studying the night before tests, rather than taking a long-haul approach to learning.

In addition to test scores, the CourseSmart algorithm assigns each student an “engagement index” which can determine not just if a student is studying, but also if they’re studying properly.

(BTW: We are holding a 'In Soviet Russia....' reference contest on this one, too.)

Submission + - Guys Make A Better Healthcare.gov In Days (theeverlastinggopstoppers.com)

drkim writes: "Three tech geeks in their 20s... ...didn’t like witnessing the abysmal rollout of the Affordable Care Act website that is Healthcare.gov, so they did what any self-respecting web gurus would do... ...made their own version. On a few nights and weekends."

Rather than make this a flame war about the ACA, what would YOU do to build a better web site?

Submission + - Computerized Rifle Scope Puts Every Bullet On Target (youtube.com)

drkim writes: A computerized sniper scope allows even beginning shooters to target accurately at long ranges — a "real-life" aimbot.

The scope has you designate the point you wish to hit, it then calculates all the variables of where the rifle should be pointed, and then while you hold down the trigger, the scope decides when to make the shot. It can even send multiple bullets to the same spot.

Sadly — it will not be available 'til January — too late to be my Christmas present...

Privacy

Submission + - Do you want your mouse spying on you? (hothardware.com)

drkim writes: Razer’s 'Naga' gaming mouse not only needs a connection to the net to activate advanced functions and extra buttons, their ToS lets them harvest 'aggregate,' 'individual,' and 'personally identifiable' information on you. The constant connection to the net can also cause sluggish response during gaming. Remember, here in US, mouse watches you. Another article: http://boingboing.net/2012/11/07/razer-naga-gaming-mouse-requir.html
Apple

Submission + - Apple Fires Head Of Mapping Team (guardian.co.uk)

drkim writes: "Apple fires head of mapping team after backlash from customers. Richard Williamson was manager of troubled maps division that has been dogged by glitches since dropping Google."

Mr. Williamson promptly left Apple headquarters in Antarctica, and walked to his home in Middelfart, Denmark.

Submission + - Lytro newest camera lets you change perspective, focus, content based filters (techcrunch.com)

drkim writes: Lytro previous camera let you adjust focus after the picture was taken, this new version also lets you shift perspective and apply cool post effects, based on content, long after the picture is taken.

The image shift could allow for 3-D imaging.

On the sample page there are 'live' examples. Try clicking and dragging; single clicking; or double clicking to get different effects.

Privacy

Submission + - The advertising industry wants to make "Do Not Track" mean "It's OK To Track" (zdnet.com)

drkim writes: The advertising industry wants to change the definition of "Do Not Track" into "Give me all your data."
A representative of the DMA says, "Marketing fuels the world. It is as American as apple pie and delivers relevant advertising to consumers about products they will be interested at a time they are interested."

"DNT should permit it as one of the most important values of civil society...Marketing as a permitted use would allow the use of the data to send relevant offers to consumers through specific devices they have used."

Submission + - World's largest kinetic art sculpture = computer controlled copper raindrops (stylesight.com)

drkim writes: "Kinetic Rain" the world's largest kinetic art sculpture is an array of 1216 copper coated aluminum 'droplets' which are individually motorized on wires, and their animation controlled by computer.

It can be seen at the Singapore airport and is the length of four checkout counters.

You can see a "making of" and demo here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhP9n6WvVfQ ...and the entire 15 minute animation cycle here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmETioVtRG0
(which is lovely, but warning: sappy elevator music!)

It was designed by Art+Com of Berlin.

The Internet

Submission + - Religious sites riskier than porn sites (huffingtonpost.com)

drkim writes: Article: "According to a report released... by security software firm Symantec, religious and ideological websites are riskier to visit than adult and pornographic websites. ...analysis found that religious sites had more than triple the average number of threats per infected site than pornographic sites..."

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