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Programming

Software Combines Thousands of Online Images Into One That Represents Them All 66

Zothecula writes If you're trying to find out what the common features of tabby cats are, a Google image search will likely yield more results than you'd ever have the time or inclination to look over. New software created at the University of California, Berkeley, however, is designed to make such quests considerably easier. Known as AverageExplorer, it searches out thousands of images of a given subject, then amalgamates them into one composite "average" image.
Printer

Consumers Not Impressed With 3D Printing 302

Lucas123 (935744) writes "Putting a 3D printer beside the coffee maker in every home, as some manufacturers hope will happen someday, is a long ways from reality as consumers today still don't understand how the technology will benefit them, according to a new study. The study, by Juniper Research, states that part of the problem is that killer applications with the appropriate eco-system of software, apps and materials have yet to be identified and communicated to potential users. And, even though HP has announced its intention to enter the 3D printing space (possibly this fall) a massive, mainstream corporation isn't likely to change the market."
Encryption

Judge Orders Child Porn Suspect To Decrypt His Hard Drives 802

An anonymous reader writes "After having first decided against forcing a suspect to decrypt a number of hard drives that were believed to be his and to contain child pornography, a U.S. judge has changed his mind and has now ordered the suspect to provide law enforcement agents heading the investigation with a decrypted version of the contents of his encrypted data storage system, or the passwords needed to decrypt forensic copies of those storage devices. Jeffrey Feldman, a software developer at Rockwell Automation, has still not been charged with any crime, and the prosecution initially couldn't prove conclusively that the encrypted hard drives contained child pornography or were actually Feldman's, which led U.S. Magistrate Judge William Callahan to decide that forcing him to decrypt them would violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. But new evidence has made the judge reverse his first decision (PDF): the FBI has continued to try to crack the encryption on the discs, and has recently managed to decrypt and access one of the suspect's hard drives... The storage device was found to contain 'an intricate electronic folder structure comprised of approximately 6,712 folders and subfolders,' approximately 707,307 files (among them numerous files which constitute child pornography), detailed personal financial records and documents belonging to the suspect, as well as dozens of his personal photographs."
Microsoft

Microsoft Tests Social Search Waters With 'so.cl' Network 135

benfrog writes "Microsoft just quietly launched so.cl in an experiment to more closely unite web searches and social networking. It's not intended as a stand-alone social network — users can log in with Facebook or Windows Live IDs, and it will share your searches publicly by default. "As students work together, they often search for the same items, and discover new shared interests by sharing links. We see this trend today on many social networks, such as Twitter, where shared links spread virally and amplify popular content. So.cl experiments with this concept by automatically sharing links as you search." They've also (wisely?) put Bing Search at the center of the site."
Media

Tapeheads and the Quiet Return of VHS 446

Hugh Pickens writes "Joshua Phillips writes that something was lost when videos went from magnetic tape and plastic, to plastic discs, and now to digital streams as browsing aisles is no more and the once-great video shops slowly board up their windows across the country. Future generations may know little of the days when buying a movie meant you owned it even if the Internet went down and when getting a movie meant you had to scour aisles of boxes in search of one whose cover art called back a story that echoed your interests. Josh Johnson, one of the filmmakers behind the upcoming documentary 'Rewind This!' hopes to tell the story of how and why home video came about, and how it changed our culture giving B movies and films that didn't make the silver screen their own chance to shine. 'Essentially, the rental market expanded, because of voracious consumer demand, into non-blockbuster, off-Hollywood video content which would never have had a theatrical life otherwise,' says Palmer. While researching the documentary Palmer found something interesting: there is a resurgence taking place of people going back to VHS because a massive number of films are 'trapped on VHS' with 30 and 40 percent of films released on VHS never to be seen again on any other format. 'Most of the true VHS fanatics are children of the 1980s,' says Palmer. 'Whether they are motivated by a sense of nostalgia or prefer the format for the grainy aesthetic qualities of magnetic tape or some other reason entirely unknown, each tapehead is unique like a snowflake.'"
Censorship

Taliban Seizes and Burns PCs, Cell Phones To Stop Obscenity 294

retroworks writes "As translated from Central Asia Online, Cellular News reports that militants from South Waziristan set ablaze about 300 cellular phones and a number of computers in Wana because the devices were allegedly used to spread obscene materials. Prior to taking the action, they gave everyone fair warning with 'leaflets.' 300 cell phones down, 5 or 6 billion to go.
Education

Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Old Webcams? 258

An anonymous reader writes "I work as an IT administrator at a school. We have just upgraded our entire webcam inventory (about 45 webcams, model Logitech Quickcam Communicate STX) and have all the old ones sitting around. I would like to know what a neat project would be to make use of all the old ones. I was figuring there would be an open project somewhere that involved mass amounts of webcams."
Media

Proposed Standard Would Address Video Buffering 118

Lucas123 writes "Sony, SanDisk and several other technology providers have formed a group and proposed a standard that would use predictive software to pre-load content onto mobile devices in order to preempt buffering issues due to bandwidth bottlenecks, which industry experts say will only worsen over time. 'Intelligently coordinating content delivery in advance to local device storage lets consumers enjoy their video, games, periodicals, books and music when they're ready,' said Susan Kevorkian, a research director at IDC. The proposed standard also raises the question: do we really want Amazon downloading everything it thinks you want to your tablet?"

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