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Data Storage

Building a Searchable Literature Archive With Keywords? 211

Posted by timothy
from the must-be-in-here-somewhere dept.
Sooner Boomer writes "I'm trying to help drag a professor I work with into the 20th century. Although he is involved in cutting-edge research (nanotechnology), his method of literature search is to begin with digging through the hundreds of 3-ring binders that contain articles (usually from PDFs) that he has printed out. Even though the binders are labeled, the articles can only go under one 'heading' and there's no way to do a keyword search on subject, methods, materials, etc. Yeah, google is pretty good for finding stuff, as are other on-line literature services, but they only work for articles that are already on-line. His literature also includes articles copied from books, professional correspondence, and other sources. Is there a FOSS database or archive method (preferably with a web interface) where he could archive the PDFs and scanned documents and be able to search by keywords? It would also be nice to categorize them under multiple subject headings if possible. I know this has been covered ad nauseum with things like photos and the like, but I'm not looking at storage as such: instead I'm trying to find what's stored."
Sun Microsystems

Sun In Talks To Be Acquired By IBM 526

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the there-can-be-only-one dept.
gandhi_2 writes "Sun Microsystems soared in European trading after a report that it was in talks to be acquired by IBM. The Wall Street Journal, quoting "people familiar with the matter," reported Wednesday that International Business Machines was in talks to buy the company for at least $6.5 billion in cash, a premium of more than 100 percent over the company's closing share price Tuesday. Officials of Sun and IBM could not immediately be reached for comment."
Technology (Apple)

Apple's iPhone Developer Crisis 315

Posted by Soulskill
from the mo'-apps-mo'-problems dept.
David Gerard writes "iPhone development sounds closed-shop but simple — apply to be a developer, put application on the App Store, you and Apple make money. Except Apple can't keep up with the request load — whereas getting a developer contract used to take a couple of days, it's now taking months. Some early developers' contracts are expiring with no notice of renewal options. And Apple has no idea what's going on or the state of things. If you want to maintain a completely closed system, it helps if you can actually keep up with it." Reader h11:6 points out news of a recent study which suggests that "Android's open source nature will give it a boost over Apple's iPhone," and thus take the lead in sales as soon as three years from now. It will be interesting to see how they deal with the flood of proposed apps as their popularity rises.
Robotics

Snakelike Robot To Treat Soldiers During Battle 130

Posted by kdawson
from the badger-badger dept.
Al writes "Technology Review has an article about a snake-like robotic arm that could soon be used to treat injured soldiers as they lie on the battlefield. Developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the snakebot attaches to a stretcher and is controlled remotely using a joystick, allowing a doctor to assess a soldier's injuries as the bullets fly by. In future, the robotic arm will be fitted with sensors allowing it to measure vital signs and probe for internal bleeding. Here's a brief video of a prototype arm in action. The arm will become part of the US military's high-tech stretcher, called the Life Support for Trauma and Transport system. This is essentially a portable intensive-care unit, with a ventilator, defibrillator, and other physiological monitors, and it's currently being used in areas of Iraq and Afghanistan."
Education

Best IT Solution For a Brand-New School? 411

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-eniac-per-child dept.
Iain writes "I'm a teacher at a British 'City Academy' (ages 11-19) that is going to move into a new building next year. Management is deciding now on the IT that the students will use in the new building, as everything will be built from scratch. Currently, the school has one ICT suite per department, each containing about 25-30 PCs. My issue with this model is that it means these suites are only rarely used for a bit of googling or typing up assignments, not as interactive teaching tools. The head likes the idea of moving to a thin client solution, with the same one room per department plan, as he see the cost benefits. However, I have seen tablet PCs used to great effect, with every single classroom having 20-30 units which the students use as 'electronic workbooks,' for want of a better phrase. This allows every lesson to fully utilize IT (multimedia resources, Internet access, instant handout and retrieval of learning resources, etc.) and all work to be stored centrally. My question is: In your opinion, what is the best way for a school to use IT (traditional computer lab, OLPCs, etc.) and what hardware is out there to best serve that purpose? Fat clients for IT/Media lessons and thin client for the rest? Thin client tablets? Giving each student a laptop to take home? Although, obviously, cost is an issue, we have a significant budget, so it should not be the only consideration."
Perl

Free Resources for Windows Perl Development 117

Posted by kdawson
from the christmas-present dept.
jamie pointed out an important announcement in the Perl community. Adam Kennedy, known as Alias, developed Strawberry Perl to "make Win32 a truly first class citizen of the Perl platform world." Over the last year, major CPAN modules have used Strawberry Perl to get to releases that work trouble-free on Windows. But the tens of thousands of smaller modules on CPAN are lagging, in many cases because of lack of access to a Windows environment for development and testing. Now Alias has worked with Microsoft's Open Source Software Lab to provide for every CPAN author free access to a centrally-hosted virtual machine environment containing every major version of Windows. "More information (and press releases) will follow, the entire program under which this partnership will be run is so new it's only just been given a name, so some of the organisational details will ironed out as we go. But for now, to all the CPAN authors, all I have to add is... Merry Christmas. P.S. Or your appropriate equivalent religious or non-religious event, if any, occurring during the month of December, etc., etc."

Censorship By Glut 391

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the all-my-ideas-are-brilliant dept.
Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "A 2006 paper by Matthew Salganik, Peter Dodds and Duncan Watts, about the patterns that users follow in choosing and recommending songs to each other on a music download site, may be the key to understanding the most effective form of "censorship" that still exists in mostly-free countries like the US It also explains why your great ideas haven't made you famous, while lower-wattage bulbs always seem to find a platform to spout off their ideas (and you can keep your smart remarks to yourself)." Read on for the rest of Bennett's take on why the effects of peer ratings on a music download site go a long way towards explaining how good ideas can effectively be "censored" even in a country with no formal political censorship.
Hardware Hacking

The State of Open Source Hardware In 2008 88

Posted by Soulskill
from the time-to-pick-a-winter-project dept.
ptorrone writes "MAKE Magazine has put together their 3rd annual 'State of Open Source Hardware 2008' — in just a few years, the number of projects has grown from a small handful to an amazing 60+ offerings. Similar to open source software, open source hardware is available with source code, schematics, firmware and bills of materials, and allows commercial use. The most popular project, Arduino, the open source prototyping platform for artists and engineers, has shipped over 60,000 units." The article is formatted such that the first link for a particular device will usually take you to the project home page. Some will bring you instead to where you can purchase the items, but most still have a "How To" tab which will direct you to guides and instructions on how to build your own gadgets. There are a bunch of interesting devices, from the Game of Life on the outside of a cube to a home-made MP3 player to OpenMoko.

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