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Comment: Oh Come On, it's a Press Release (Score 4, Insightful) 74

OK, no real technical data and some absurd claims here.

First all-digital transceiver? No. There have been others. Especially if you allow them to have a DAC and an ADC and no other components in the analog domain, but even without that, there are lots of IoT-class radios with direct-to-digital detectors and digital outputs directly to the antenna. You might have one in your car remote (mine is two-way).

And they have to use patented algorithms? Everybody else can get along with well-known technology old enough that any applicable patents are long expired.

It would be nicer if there was some information about what they are actually doing. If they really have patented it, there's no reason to hold back.

Comment: such a tired myth (Score 3, Interesting) 219

by SuperBanana (#49185897) Attached to: <em>Star Trek</em> Fans Told To Stop "Spocking" Canadian $5 Bill

First off, Canada != US, fellow American.

Second: people and businesses can limit the forms of payment they'll accept for practical reasons all the time. As in: no bills over a certain amount, or refusing payment in pennies. Coins CAN be legal tender, but no merchant or private party MUST accept a particular form of currency. Don't want to accept $1 bills, only $5 and $10? That's fine:

  http://www.snopes.com/business...

"Legal tender is the default method of payment assumed in contractual agreements involving debts and payments for goods or services unless otherwise specified."

Third: the currency is defaced. That is the whole point - it's potentially not legal currency if you've drawn all over it. If you interfere with security features in the bill and it becomes more risky to trust as valid (such as, counterfeit bills that meet other security features elsewhere on the bill)...then they are right to refuse it.

I'm kind of shocked Canada doesn't specifically outlaw defacement of the currency; the US sure does.

+ - NVIDIA Fixes Old Compiz Bug

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "NVIDIA has fixed a long-standing issue in the Ubuntu Unity desktop by patching Compiz. When opening the window of a new application, it would go black or become transparent on NVIDIA hardware. There has been bug reports dating back to Ubuntu 12.10 times. The problem was caused by Compiz, which had some leftover code from a port. An NVIDIA developer posted on Launchpad and said that the NVIDIA team has been looking at this issue and they also proposed a patch. "Our interpretation of the specification is that creating two GLX pixmaps pointing at the same drawable is not allowed, because it can lead to poorly defined behavior if the properties of both GLX drawables don't match. Our driver prevents this, but Compiz appears to try to do this.", wrote NVIDIA's Arthur Huillet. The Compiz patch has been accepted upstream."

+ - Astronomers Find a Dusty Galaxy That Shouldn't Exist->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Peering back in time to find the very earliest objects in the universe, an international team of astronomers has discovered a galaxy that shouldn't be there at all.

The problem, the scientists report Monday in Nature , is that while the tiny galaxy dates from just 700 million years or so after the big bang, it's far more dusty than something this young and small has any right to be.

The dusty galaxy is just one of the recent surprises astronomers have found. "Last week," says Marrone, "we learned of an incredibly massive black hole in the early universe. Now we have this average galaxy with significant amounts of dust. We've had this cartoon picture of the early universe, but it's clear that we really don't know what's going on.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: fortunately, you don't need showers (Score 1) 304

by SuperBanana (#49167907) Attached to: I ride a bike ...

Fortunately, you don't need showers. Bicycling != sweaty. And sweaty !=stinky.

People stink because they cover themselves in chemical perfumes (perfumes, soaps, shampoos, moisturizers, etc) that have limited 'life' before they start to decompose. People stink because they use fabric softener on their clothing (see above...also, fabric softeners are basically fat. Which goes rancid...) People stink because they toss their sweaty clothes into a hamper instead of airing them out.

I'm American. I ride a bike every day, in a city that goes from 0 degrees to 100+ degrees. I don't understand this obsession with sweat. If I'm going somewhere and can't show up sweaty, I slow down, or I get there a few minutes early and cool off/dry off just by...uh...standing around...

People seem to forget that biking is more efficient and thus for the same energy used walking, you can go several times faster, which means for the same energy you are less likely to get sweaty.

+ - New Seagate Shingled hard drive teardown

Submitted by Peter Desnoyers
Peter Desnoyers (11115) writes "Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) drives are starting to hit the market, promising larger drives without heroic (and expensive) measures such as helium fill, but at a cost — data can no longer be over-written in place, requiring SSD-like algorithms to handle random writes.

At the USENIX File and Storage Technologies conference in February, researchers from Northeastern University (disclaimer — I'm one of them)
dissected shingled drive performance both figuratively and literally, using both micro-benchmarks and a window cut in the drive to uncover the secrets of Seagate's first line of publicly-available
SMR drives.

TLDR: It's a pretty good desktop drive — with write cache enabled (the default for non-server setups) and an intermittent workload it performs quite well, handling bursts of random writes (up to a few tens of GB total) far faster than a conventional drive — but only if it has long powered-on idle periods for garbage collection. Reads and large writes run at about the same speed as on a conventional drive, and at $280 it costs less than a pair of decent 4TB drives. For heavily-loaded server applications, though, you might want to wait for the next generation.

Videos (in 16x slow motion) showing the drive in action — sequential read after deliberately fragmenting the drive, and a few thousand random writes."

+ - Photo First: Light Captured as Both Particle and Wave->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "It’s one of those enduring Zen koans of science that we’ve all grown up with: Light behaves as both a particle and a wave—at the same time. Einstein taught us that, so we’re all generally on board, but to actually understand what it means would require several Ph.D.s and a thorough understanding of quantum physics.

What’s more, scientists have never been able to devise an experiment that documents light behaving as both a wave and a particle simultaneously. Until now.

That’s the contention of a team of Swiss and American researchers, who say they’ve succeeded in capturing the first-ever snapshot of light’s dual behavior. Using an advanced electron microscope – one of only two on the planet – at the EPFL labs in Switzerland, the team has generated a kind of quantum photograph of light behaving as both a particle and a wave.

The experiment involves firing laser light at a microscopic metallic nanowire, causing light to travel — as a wave — back and forth along the wire. When waves traveling in opposite directions meet, they form a “standing wave” that emits light itself — as particles. By shooting a stream of electrons close to the nanowire, the researchers were able to capture an image that simultaneously demonstrates both the wave-nature and particle-nature of light.

“This experiment demonstrates that, for the first time ever, we can film quantum mechanics — and its paradoxical nature — directly,” says lead researcher Fabrizio Carbone of EPFL, on the lab’s project page. The study is to be officially published this week in the journal Nature Communications."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Viewing Launches (Score 1) 23

by Bruce Perens (#49166815) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Dual Satellite Mission

With luck, they'll start incorporating our radio transceivers. I hear that SpaceX flies with several USRPs now, so that's not completely unrealistic. That might be as close as I can get. Anyone who can get me a base invitation, though, would be greatly appreciated and I'd be happy to do some entertaining speeches while there. I need a base invite for Vandenberg, too. I got in to the official viewing site for the first try of the last launch (and that scrubbed too), but this next one is on Pad 6.

Comment: Viewing Launches (Score 3, Interesting) 23

by Bruce Perens (#49164783) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Dual Satellite Mission

I was in Florida to speak at Orlando Hamcation and went to see the DISCOVR launch at Kennedy Space Center. I paid $50 to be at LC-39 for the launch, an observation tower made from a disused gantry on the Nasa Causeway between the pads and the Vehicle Assembly Building. A crawler was parked next door! A hot sandwich buffet, chips, and sodas were served. It was cold and windy! I watched for a few hours and unfortunately the launch scrubbed due to high stratospheric winds.

The next day, Delaware North Corporation, which operates tourism at KSC, decided not to open LC-39 or the Saturn 5 center for the launch. This was the third launch attempt and I guess they decided most people had left. I was annoyed.

The closest beach was going to be closed in the evening, it's a sensitive ecological area. I ended up seeing the launch from Jetty Park. This turned out not to be such a great location, the tower wasn't visible at all and the first 10 seconds of the rocket in flight were obscured before we saw it over a hill.

What's a better viewing location?

Comment: Re:Great News (Score 1) 233

I, for one, am concerned over the constant use of the words "legal content" without defining what is and what isn't "legal content" and under what jurisdictions that falls. My pet theory is that bullying and "hate speech" will become unlawful and then blocked, and you know how the government is when it has a new hammer; everything starts to look like our thumbs.

+ - Google Taking Over New TLDs->

Submitted by bobo the hobo
bobo the hobo (302407) writes "In the corner of the internet where people care about DNS, there is a bit of an uproar at Google's application for over a hundred new top-level domains, including .dev, .lol, .app, .blog, .cloud and .search. Their application includes statements such as:
By contrast, our application for the .blog TLD describes a new way of automatically linking new second level domains to blogs on our Blogger platform – this approach eliminates the need for any technical configuration on the part of the user and thus makes the domain name more user friendly.

And also limiting usage of .dev to Google only:
Second-level domain names within the proposed gTLD are intended for registration and use by Google only, and domain names under the new gTLD will not be available to the general public for purchase, sale, or registration. As such, Charleston Road Registry intends to apply for an exemption to the ICANN Registry Operator Code of Conduct as Google is intended to be the sole registrar and registrant."

Link to Original Source

+ - NSA Spying Wins Another Rubber Stamp->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The FISA court has again renewed an order allowing the NSA to continue its illegal bulk collection of Americans' phone records, at least until June 1 when it is set to expire in Congress. President Obama pledged to end the controversial program more than a year ago.

The extension is the fifth of its kind since Obama said he would effectively end the Snowden-exposed program as it currently exists during a major policy speech in January 2014. Obama and senior administration officials have repeatedly insisted that they will not act alone to end the program without Congress.

After all the other things he's done against or without congressional approval and he balks at this one?"

Link to Original Source

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