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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: Wrong forum - ask a choir director (Score 2) 189

by rrkaiser (#43386741) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can a Blind Singer 'See' the Choirmaster's Baton?
Ask someone who's encountered the problem and seen it solved... Like a choir director or one of the many organizations of choir and choral directors. Here's one. Part of the purpose of such organizations is to share information about what works for common and uncommon situations.

+ - Good neighbor? Microsoft data center in rural Washington->

Submitted by
rrkaiser writes "Cloud data centers use huge amounts of electrical power and get located so they can use cheap utility power. Microsoft built a data center in rural Quincy, Washington who was happy to welcome the new-comer and its influx of dollars and taxes. Now? Quincy sees a mixed blessing, knows better about being neighbors with a economic giant."
Link to Original Source

Kongregate App Pulled From Android Market 139

Posted by Soulskill
from the gone-in-a-flash dept.
itwbennett writes "Last week Google took a page from Apple's book and pulled the Arcade by Kongregate app from the Android Market for violating its terms of service. In particular, the part that forbids distributing 'any Product whose primary purpose is to facilitate the distribution of Products outside of the Market.' As Kongregate's Jim Greer explained to Joystiq, the app is essentially a custom web browser that loads in a Flash game from the mobile version of Kongregate. Plus, it will cache the game so you can play offline. And this may be the feature that got it yanked, speculates Ryan Kim at GigaOm."

Experiment Shows Not Washing Jeans for 15 Months is Disgusting But Safe 258

Posted by samzenpus
from the thank-you-science dept.
dbune writes "Young people who argue with their parents over wearing the same pair of smelly jeans can now cite the work of a 20-year old University of Alberta student who wore the same jeans for 15 months straight. From the article: 'Josh Le wore the same pair of jeans to break in the raw denim, so it would wrap the contours of his body, leaving distinct wear lines. He had his textile professor test the jeans for bacteria before washing them for the first time. The results showed high counts of five different kinds of bacteria, but nothing in the range of being considered a health hazard."

Wikipedia and the History of Gaming 240

Posted by Soulskill
from the citation-needed dept.
Wired is running a story about Wikipedia's tremendous contribution to documenting the history of video games, and why it shouldn't necessarily be relied upon. Quoting: "Wikipedia requires reliable, third-party sources for content to stick, and most of the sites that covered MUDs throughout the ’80s were user-generated, heavily specialized or buried deep within forums, user groups and newsletters. Despite their mammoth influence on the current gaming landscape, their insular communities were rarely explored by a nascent games journalist crowd. ... while cataloging gaming history is a vitally important move for this culture or art form, and Wikipedia makes a very valiant contribution, the site can’t be held accountable as the singular destination for gaming archeology. But as it’s often treated as one, due care must be paid to the site to ensure that its recollection doesn’t become clouded or irresponsible, and to ensure its coalition of editors and administrators are not using its stringent rule set to sweep anything as vitally relevant as MUDS under the rug of history."

DIY FireHero Project 27

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'm-burning-for-you dept.
If you have a propane tank, an ultrasonic sensor, a copy of Guitar Hero and a touch of pyromania, this is the project for you. From the article: "For version 1 of FireHero, the player simply watches a video of the guitar hero chart and plays on the guitar accordingly. Version 2 of FireHero will have a much better system, with Autoplay functionality. I will be able to take a custom guitar hero chart, convert it into a MIDI file, and use Processing to analyze it and play FireHero to the track."

Smart Wallets React To Spending By Shrinking 98

Posted by samzenpus
from the smaller-by-the-hour dept.
fangmcgee writes "These high-tech wallets are digitally programmed to react to your bank account levels by shrinking in size, refusing to open, or vibrating whenever a transaction is processed. From the article: 'The Proverbial Wallets come in three attractive styles to fit your spending needs: The Mother Bear has a constricting hinge that makes it harder to open the closer you approach your monthly budget, while the Bumblebee buzzes every time a transaction is processed. The Peacock inflates and deflates with the amount of cash in your account, which puts your assets on “display” for potential mates, according to the designers.'"

Mobile Wi-Fi Hot Spot 202

Posted by kdawson
from the boy-in-a-bubble dept.
bsharma writes to let us know about a little goodie that we will be able to buy starting May 17: a battery-powered, rechargeable, cellular, Wi-Fi hot spot that you can put in your pocket. "What if you had a personal Wi-Fi bubble, a private hot spot, that followed you everywhere you go? Incredibly, there is such a thing. It's the Novatel MiFi 2200, available from Verizon starting in mid-May ($100 with two-year contract, after rebate). It's a little wisp of a thing, like a triple-thick credit card. It has one power button, one status light and a swappable battery that looks like the one in a cellphone. When you turn on your MiFi and wait 30 seconds, it provides a personal, portable, powerful, password-protected wireless hot spot. ... If you just want to do e-mail and the Web, you pay $40 a month for the service (250 megabytes of data transfer, 10 cents a megabyte above that). If you watch videos and shuttle a lot of big files, opt for the $60 plan (5 gigabytes). And if you don't travel incessantly, the best deal may be the one-day pass: $15 for 24 hours, only when you need it. In that case, the MiFi itself costs $270." The device has its Wi-Fi password printed on the bottom, so you can invite someone to join your network simply by showing it to them.

Churches Use Twitter To Reach a Wider Audience 169

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-tell-it-on-the-internet dept.
In an attempt to reverse declining attendance figures, many American churches are starting to ask WWJD in 140 or fewer characters. Pastors at Westwinds Community Church in Michigan spent two weeks teaching their 900-member congregation how to use Twitter. 150 of them are now tweeting. Seattle's Mars Hill Church encourages its members to Twitter messages during services. The tweets appear on the church's official Twitter page. Kyle Firstenberg, the church's administrator, said,"It's a good way for them to tell their friends what church is about without their friends even coming in the building."

Comment: I saw it (Score 5, Interesting) 67

by rrkaiser (#17271188) Attached to: Mid-Atlantic Commercial Spaceport Makes First Launch
I made an early morning trip to a local laudromat in Bowie, Maryland. I normally get there a little before 7:00 A.M. EST. Sunrise happens now around 7:10 A.M. It's a pleasure to see the sky and clouds change color and appearance as sunrise nears.

As I watched today, I said, "What's that?". To the east a thin bright white contrail grew longer and longer. What's that? I had no idea. Something "shiny" was drawing a line on the sky. The contrail quickly went from a line to jaggy. My guess - Something must be traveling vertical, going through different wind layers.

Acceleration was easily visible - not at all like a cruising plane. It changed course from what may have been nearly vertical to something much closer to horizontal. At times, a long "wake" was visible - a bright line vee from the base of the "shiny thing".

I had no idea what I was looking at. Now I do.
Shiny? The rocket exhaust flame? The distance from Bowie to Wallops is on the order of 100 miles, I can't have been seeing the rocket itself.

It might be decade or so since that last time I've seen a "not looking for it" launch display from the Wallops area.

Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.