Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

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).


+ - MIT creates an easy to fly iPhone quadcopter->

Submitted by Flash Modin
Flash Modin (1828190) writes "The Humans & Automation Lab (HAL) at MIT has created a quadcopter — or Micro Air Vehicle — that can be flown from an iPhone. The copter can be made to automatically correct for winds or obstacles and can hover at a set altitude to simplify controls; so the user can just plot a point in Google maps and it flies there by itself. Once it reaches the desired point, the copter switches to "nudge controls" so the user can maneuver it to spy on their wife, witness a drug deal or explore the canopy of a rainforest. To prove to the FAA that they should take the technology seriously, the team gave ROTC cadets a three-minute iPhone flying lesson and put the copter in an unfamiliar separate room where they had to pilot it. In the study, nine out of 14 could flawlessly read an eye chart with the copter's camera and identify a specified individual. A similar, but downgraded and commercially available iPhone quadcopter started selling on Amazon last week for $300, but with mixed — and very few — reviews."
Link to Original Source

Massive Star Burps, Then Explodes 110

Posted by Zonk
from the oof-excuse-me dept.
gollum123 writes with a link to the Berkley site about an impressive star explosion that took place some tens of millions of years ago. We first caught sight of it in 2004, when there was a bright outburst, ahead of a massive supernova. "All the observations suggest that the supernova's blast wave took only a few weeks to reach the shell of material ejected two years earlier, which did not have time to drift very far from the star. As the wave smashed into the ejecta, it heated the gas to millions of degrees, hot enough to emit copious X-rays. The Swift satellite saw the supernova continue to brighten in X-rays for 100 days, something that has never been seen before in a supernova. All supernovae previously observed in X-rays have started off bright and then quickly faded to invisibility."

Apple Ships 8-Core MacPro 628

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the way-more-cores-than-the-earth dept.
ivan1024 writes "The Apple website is announcing the availability of an 8-core Mac Pro. The machine will ship with two 3.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 processors. Older models with the Dual-Core chips remain available. Base model with two 3.0 GHz Quad-Core Xeon processors start at $3997, (albeit with unacceptably minimal RAM or HD space; fully spec'd with dual 30" monitors and tons o' RAM/HD still over $10K... bummer)"
United States

Daylight Saving Change Saved No Power 766

Posted by kdawson
from the pay-me-now-or-pay-me-later dept.
Brett writes "Results from energy companies are coming in, and the word is that moving Daylight Saving Time forward three weeks had no measurable impact on power consumption. The attempt by the US Congress to make it look like they were doing something about the energy crisis has been exposed as the waste it is. But the new DST is probably here to stay — letting the bill expire would mean re-patching a lot of systems again next year. So much for saving energy."
United States

+ - Daylight Saving change: no power savings

Submitted by Brett
Brett (666) writes "Results from energy companies are coming in, and the word is that moving Daylight Saving Time forward three weeks had "no measurable impact" on power consumption. The attempt by the US Congress to make it look like they were doing something about the US energy crisis has been exposed as the waste it is, but the new DST is probably here to stay. Letting the bill expire would mean re-patching a lot of systems again next year. So much for saving energy."
The Courts

+ - Literary agent sues Wikimedia Foundation & SFW

Submitted by
julesh writes "Literary agent Barbara Bauer, listed as one of the 20 worst literary agents by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and well known for making legal threats has initiated a law suit against a long list of individuals who have reported on her inclusion in the list, including the SFWA, the Wikimedia Foundation, and a number of prominent publishing industry personalities who maintain web sites that discussed her actions. One defendant is named only as "Miss Snark, Literary Agent", a well-known psuedonym of an anonymous blogger. See her Wikipedia article for more details. This action prompted the deletion and then restoration of her Wikipedia article, which is now being considered for deletion again. This raises the question: can you effectively silence criticism of you via litigation, even when the criticism is based on widely published (and almost-certainly true) information?"

+ - Google Maps Reverts to Pre-Katrina Gulf Coast

Submitted by
eldavojohn writes "For one reason or another, Google has reverted to using maps prior to the destruction by hurricane Katrina in gulf coast regions. From the article, "Scroll across the city and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and everything is back to normal: Marinas are filled with boats, bridges are intact and parks are filled with healthy, full-bodied trees. "Come on," said an incredulous Ruston Henry, president of the economic development association in New Orleans' devastated Lower 9th Ward. "Just put in big bold this: 'Google, don't pull the wool over the world's eyes. Let the truth shine.'" Google is claiming that these images are just higher quality than post Katrina images taken later. Indeed, Louisiana Superdome looks pristine."

Comment: Re:Apple vs Microsoft (Score 1) 133

by foolsdragon (#18501251) Attached to: Inside Apple's Leopard Server OS
You're probably right, in an "Apple vs. Microsoft" world, but in environments where Microsoft isn't the knee-jerk default for everything, a combination of Apple for the desktop/workgroup management and *nix for the production side is VERY compelling, cost effective, reliable, and competitive.

Not every move that a company makes is designed to immediately take on the biggest bully on the block. Despite not releasing beta after beta, Apple generally gets it right for what their customers want, at least in the consumer world for now. I think the changes in Leopard Server are indicative of them starting to get it right for the business world as well.

CD Music Sales Down 20% In Q1 2007 544

Posted by kdawson
from the RIP-CD dept.
prostoalex writes "Music sales are not just falling, they're plummeting — by as much as 20% when you compare January-March 2007 with the 2006 numbers. The revenue numbers are actually worse, since CD prices are under pressure. The Wall Street Journal lists many factors contributing to the rapid decline: 800 fewer retail outlets (Tower Records' demise alone closed 89); increasingly negative attitude towards CD sales from big-box retailers (Best Buy now dedicates less floor space to CDs in favor of better-selling items); and file sharing, among others. Songs are being traded at a rate about 17 times the iTunes Store's recent rate of sales. Diminishing CD sales means that you don't have to sell as many to get on the charts. The 'Dreamgirls' movie soundtrack recently hit #1 by selling 60,000 CDs in a week, a number that wouldn't have made the top 30 in 2005."

+ - Choosing F/OSS distance education tools

Submitted by SgtChaireBourne
SgtChaireBourne (457691) writes "A lot of the all-in-one distance education systems are expensive, poorly done, or both. Distance education makes heavy use of text-based chat, shared whiteboards (including the ability to display PDF and OpenDocument), and conference calls with recording and playback. Many of these have been available for ages, individually, as Free or open source software.

Which F/OSS tools or components would be most suitable, either individually or combined, for distance education and why?"

+ - Micro-Wind Turbines for use in the city

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "Engineers at the University of Hong Kong and a private renewable energy company have developed a new micro wind turbine that can generate electricity even if wind speeds are as low as two meters per second. Lucien Gambarota , the main inventor of the technology, says this is its advantage over conventional small wind turbines, which only work about 40 percent of the time because of low wind speed. "We never stop this machine and they never stop because there is always one meter per second wind — 365 days, 24 hours a day, they keep working," said Gambarota. "They deliver different levels of energy because the wind changes but these turbines they keep moving, they keep spinning." More:"

+ - Another step towards the driverless car

Submitted by
jtogel writes "At Essex, we have for some time been working on automatically learning how to race cars in simulation. It turns out that a combination of evolutionary algorithms and neural networks can learn how to beat all humans in racing games, and also come up with some quite interesting, novel behaviours, which might one day make their way into commercial racing games. While this is simulation, the race is now on for the real thing — we are setting up a competition for AI developers, where the goal is to win a race between model cars on real tracks. As the cars will be around half a meter long, the cost of participating will be a fraction of that for the famous DARPA Grand Challenge, whereas the challenges will be similar in terms of computer vision and AI."

Did Humans Evolve? No, Say Americans 2155

Posted by Zonk
from the i-do-not-think-that-word-means-what-you-think-it-means dept.
Stern Thinker writes "In a 2005 poll covering 33 countries, Americans are the least likely (except for Turkish respondents) to assert that 'humans developed ... from earlier species of animals.' Iceland, meanwhile, has an 85% acceptance rating for evolution." The blurb on the site for Science magazine is less circumspect about the findings: "The acceptance of evolution is lower in the United States than in Japan or Europe, largely because of widespread fundamentalism and the politicization of science in the United States."

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.