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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).


Comment: Re:Colors of computer science (Score 1) 612

by martinX (#45764695) Attached to: Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist?

If you want to be a scientist, I really don't think you're going to be led away from that by a sociology degree.

I did a test tube shaking, microscope squinting, bug hunting degree and if someone had tried to recruit me to sociology, I would have thought they were retarded. Incidentally, 80% of my class were women. In the mid-80s.

Engineering was, I noted, overwhelmingly male. I think that has something to do with the beer drinking requirements.

Comment: Re:Um.... (Score 1) 163

by martinX (#44517119) Attached to: Camels May Transmit New Middle Eastern Virus

Until you read that Saddam et al were trying to weaponize camel pox. That virus was chosen because it was assumed that the local (middle eastern) population would have been exposed and thus largely immune to it. Never know, they might have been able to get it to work.

Comment: PowerBook 1400 (Score 3, Interesting) 155

by martinX (#44493987) Attached to: First Laptop With Full-Sized Solar Panels Will Run On Ubuntu

Apple's PowerBook 1400 had a removable book cover style lid so you could put in pretty pictures etc. A company called Keep It Simple Systems made a solar panel that slipped right in. (TidBITS article here). Here's a quote from MacFormat magazine describing it (source):

The PowerCover is especially neat because it fits into the BookCover slot on PowerBook 1400s, so you can leave it on more or less permanently. This will extend the battery life by around 35% (the PowerCover is, after all, a bit smaller than the Mercury II). KISS claims you can expect its products to give you up to 20 years of free energy. An extreme example of these devices’ usefulness is that of Ralph Harvey, a research scientist who uses a solar charger on his PowerBook in the Antarctic where power’s clearly at a premium. [...]

Comment: Re:Smart move (Score 1) 117

by martinX (#44493745) Attached to: Apple Announces a Trade-in Program For Third-Party Chargers

A couple of people have died as a result of cheap knock-off chargers so what you think Apple may be implying -- "third-party hardware is real junk compared to ours" -- is probably on the money.

As for me, I tried to save a few dollars on a mini display port to VGA cable. Result: the VGA plug's shield is just a little too big for the VGA port it's meant to go into. It fits into some others a little better, but there's no getting around the fact that it's not-quite-right. Yep, a VGA plug - the type that's been around for 30 years. Some company has managed to screw that up.

Live and learn.

Comment: Re:Unloved Thunderbolt (Score 1) 224

by martinX (#44376611) Attached to: 13-Inch Haswell-Powered MacBook Air With PCIe SSD Tested

They are not incompatible alternatives that can't exist together. My iMac has an SDXC card slot, four USB 3 ports, two Thunderbolt ports (one's connected to another monitor) and a Gigabit Ethernet port.

The MacBook Pro I just bought (refurb) has a Gigabit Ethernet port, FireWire 800 port (up to 800 Mbps), two USB 3 ports, 1 Thunderbolt port and an SDXC card slot.

Comment: Re:Its a false choice (Score 2) 48

by martinX (#43844797) Attached to: WeVideo Helps You Edit Your Videos Online (Video)

Lightworks has some happy customers. (Windows, Linux). It is free-ish, but there is a cost associated with the use of some codecs.
iMovie (Mac) and Windows Movie Maker are also available.

These should fill the need for "casual video production", or the "want to try editing a video or two but have no idea if you're going to be good enough that it will be worth spending money on video editing software" scenario. Given that the free version of WeVideo drops a watermark on any exports, someone who just wants to have a go at this stuff could alternatively download a trial version of Premiere Elements, FCP X or something from Corel if they want a more professional system that won't watermark their videos.

In addition, some video cameras come with rudimentary video editing software.

Others may be found here:

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.