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Input Devices

Using Mobile Phones To Write Messages In Air 65

Posted by samzenpus
from the invisible-ink-2.0 dept.
Anonymous writes "Engineering students at Duke University have taken advantage of the accelerometers in emerging cell phones to create an application that permits users to write short notes in the air with their phone, and have that note automatically sent to an e-mail address. The 'PhonePoint Pen' can be held just like a pen, and words can be written on an imaginary whiteboard. With this application a user could take a picture with a phone camera, and annotating it immediately with a short caption. Duke Computer Engineering Professor Romit Roy Choudhury said that his research group is envisioning mobile phones as just not a communication device, but a much broader platform for social sensing and human-computer interaction. Such interactivity has also emerged in the work of other research groups, such as MIT's Sixth Sense project, Dartmouth's MetroSense project, and Microsoft Research's NeriCell project, to name a few."
Games

Videogame Places You're Not Supposed To Go 261

Posted by Soulskill
from the is-second-life-one-of-them dept.
Ssquared22 writes "The eight far-off realms in this article exist for different reasons. They could be developer test areas, or forgotten pieces of landscape that somehow made their way into the final code. Whatever their reason for being, they all have one thing in common: they weren't meant to be explored by the likes of you and me. But through persistence, hacks or some combination of the two, you can take in these rare delights for yourself. Pack your bags." What odd, interesting, or funny game locations have you wandered into?
Data Storage

How To Manage Hundreds of Thousands of Documents? 438

Posted by timothy
from the you-have-the-planes-just-fly-files-around dept.
ajmcello78 writes "We're a mid-sized aerospace company with over a hundred thousand documents stored out on our Samba servers that also need to be accessed from our satellite offices. We have a VPN set up for the remote sites and use the Samba net use command to map the remote shares. It's becoming quite a mess, sometimes quite slow, and there is really no naming or numbering convention in place for the files and directories. We end up with mixed casing, all uppercase, all lowercase, dashes and ampersands in the file names, and there are literally hundreds of directories to sort through before you can find the document you are looking for. Does anybody know of a good system or method to manage all these documents, and also make them available to our satellite offices?"
Science

First Acoustic Black Hole Created 165

Posted by Soulskill
from the for-music-that-really-sucks dept.
KentuckyFC writes "One of the many curious properties of Bose Einstein Condensates (BECs) is that the flow of sound through them is governed by the same equations that describe how light is bent by a gravitational field. Now, a group of Israeli physicists have exploited this idea to create an acoustic black hole in a BEC. The team created a supersonic flow of atoms within the BEC, a flow that prevents any phonon caught in it from making headway. The region where the flow changes from subsonic to supersonic is an event horizon, because any phonon unlucky enough to stray into the supersonic region can never escape. The real prize is not the acoustic black hole itself but what it makes possible: the first observation of Hawking radiation. Quantum mechanics predicts that pairs of phonons with opposite momentum ought to be constantly springing in and out of existence in a BEC. Were one of the pair to stray across the event horizon into the supersonic region, it could never escape. However, the other would be free to go on its way. This stream of phononic radiation away from an acoustic black hole would be the first observation of Hawking radiation. The team hasn't gotten that far yet, but it can't be long now before either they or their numerous competitors make this leap."
Handhelds

Palm Pre Is Out, Time For Discussion 283

Posted by timothy
from the post-pre-is-later dept.
caffiend666 writes "Palm Pre is out, let's discuss the status and compare stories. The first day seems to have gone as well as expected, with many selling out before noon. I bought the second at the local Sprint store, and so far I like it. Much more one-hand friendly than the iPhone. I haven't gotten the main apps to sync with Linux, but the media portion functions much like a thumb-drive with my Fedora-8 Linux system. For the Pre-verts out there, here's some Palm Pre dismantling pictures."
Censorship

Microsoft's Bing Refuses Search Term "Sex" In India 355

Posted by timothy
from the back-to-spontaneous-generation dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apparently Microsoft is censoring search results for Bing in India and other countries. If you try to search for the term 'sex,' along with lots of variations, from India using Microsoft's new search engine, an error message is returned that says, 'the search sex may return sexually explicit content. To get results, change your search terms.' There's no preference setting or toggle-on-or-off choice; you simply cannot search for the term 'sex' in India if you are using Bing. While a user still can change their country and try the non-Indian version of Bing, this seems like an unnecessary step and unnecessary censorship on the part of Microsoft. Apparently Google has no problem with Indians searching for the term 'sex.'"
Mars

China's First Mars Probe Ready To Launch 67

Posted by timothy
from the kazakhstan-facility-of-space-object-tossing-very-nice dept.
henrypijames writes "At the Shanghai Aerospace Exhibition last week, China's first Mars probe Yinghuo-1 was the main attraction. The newly completed probe will soon be sent to Moscow for some further testing, before a joint launch with Russia's own probe Phobos-Grunt from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan this October."
Privacy

9th Circuit Says Feds' Security Checks At JPL Go Too Far 139

Posted by timothy
from the and-you-thought-that-documents-were-sensitive dept.
coondoggie writes with an excerpt from Network World which explains that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals "this week ruled against the federal government and in favor of employees at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in their case which centers around background investigations known as Homeland Security Presidential Directive #12 (Nelson et al. vs NASA). The finding reaffirms the JPL employees claims' that the checks threaten their constitutional rights. The stink stems from HSPD #12 which is in part aimed at gathering information to develop a common identification standard that ensures that people are who they say they are, so government facilities and sensitive information stored in networks remains protected." At issue in particular: an employee's not agreeing to "an open ended background investigation, conducted by unknown investigators, in order to receive an identification badge that was compliant with HSPD#12" was grounds for dismissal.
Power

Vicariously Tour the National Ignition Facility 97

Posted by timothy
from the semi-disturbing-place-name dept.
Dave Bullock writes "The National Ignition Facility (NIF) has been discussed several times over the years on Slashdot and just recently fired all of its 192 lasers. LLNL scientists predict NIF will attain ignition (controlled nuclear explosion) in 2010. For now, take a look at the photos I shot of NIF for Wired.com when I toured it earlier this year."
Government

Is Arizona's Internet Voting System Safe Enough? 171

Posted by timothy
from the bear-alternatives'-problems-in-mind dept.
JMcCloy writes "Kevin Poulsen, senior editor at Wired News, asks readers 'Is internet voting safe?' and has a poll at the end of the article. So far, 32% responding actually think that internet voting is worth it, risks and all. It is scary how easily people can be persuaded to trust a system that is so vulnerable." The system described, used in Arizona in last year's election process, isn't just checking a box and clicking a button, but Poulsen lays out some scenarios by which it could be subverted.
Media

The Perils of DRM — When Content Providers Die 275

Posted by Soulskill
from the involuntary-renting dept.
An anonymous reader writes "If you purchase music or movies online, what happens if the vendor goes out of business? Will you have trouble accessing your content? The question came up recently after HDGiants — provider of high-quality audio and video downloads — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A consumer says his content became locked inside his PC. Walmart customers suffered a similar fate last year when the retailer shut down its DRM servers (a decision they reversed after many complaints). And if Vudu dies? Your content may be locked in a proprietary box forever. Time to start buying discs again?"
The Internet

Court Case Against VeriSign, .Com Monopoly Revived 37

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-not-pass-go dept.
netczar writes "According to a post by John Levine on CircleID, as well as other sources, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has reversed a lower court decision which threw out an antitrust lawsuit several years ago by the Coalition for ICANN Transparency (CFIT) against VeriSign. Levine writes: 'Back in 2005 an organization called the Coalition for ICANN Transparency burst upon the scene at the Vancouver ICANN meeting, and filed an anti-trust suit against VeriSign for their monopoly control of the .COM registry and of the market in expiring .COM domains. They didn't do very well in the trial court, which granted Verisign's motion to dismiss the case. But yesterday the Ninth Circuit reversed the trial court and put the suit back on track.'"

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