Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

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).

×

+ - Control anything with gestures: Myo Bluetooth Protocol released->

Submitted by Legendary Teeth
Legendary Teeth (1087209) writes "The makers of the Myo Gesture Control Armband (Thalmic Labs) have just released the specs for the Bluetooth protocol it uses. While there are already official SDKs for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, this means that now anyone can roll their own support for other platforms like Linux or Arduino without needing to use one of the official platforms as a bridge. Anything you can write code for that that can act as a Bluetooth GATT client would now be possible, really.

If you aren't familiar with the Myo armband, it's a Bluetooth Low Energy device with 8 EMG pods and an IMU that you wear on your arm. It can read your muscle activity to detect gestures you make with you hands, which you can then use to do things like fly drones, play games, or control music."

Link to Original Source

+ - Mechanizing Humans vs. Humanizing Machines-> 1

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Web usability is all about bridging the gap between the human and the machine, with the assumption that when you do so that neither will be operating in its 'natural' state. But in a recent blog post, usability engineer Sasha Akhavi takes the view that being mechanistic, or algorithmic, is actually a very human tendency, and one we employ when reliability is critical: 'When humans need to be reliable (and have enough resources to determine how), we ourselves become algorithmic. Armies march in lockstep according to standard drills. Legislators fit their content contributions into a programmatic framework and acquiesce to its limits. Scientists follow standard protocols. And software companies practice software development methodologies.'"
Link to Original Source

+ - Seed from ancient extinct plant planted and brought back to life

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Israeli scientists have successfully gotten a 2000-year-old seed of an extinct date plant to grow and now reproduce.

Methuselah sprouted back in 2005, when agriculture expert Solowey germinated his antique seed. It had been pulled from the remains of Masada, an ancient fortification perched on a rock plateau in southern Israel, and at the time, no one could be sure that the plant would thrive. But he has, and his recent reproductive feat helps prove just how well he’s doing.

For a while, the Judean date palm was the sole representative of his kind: Methuselah’s variety was reportedly wiped out around 500 A.D. But Solowey has continued to grow date palms from ancient seeds discovered in the region, and she tells National Geographic that she is “trying to figure out how to plant an ancient date grove.” Doing so would allow researchers to better understand exactly what earlier peoples of the region were eating and how it tasted.

"

+ - Rockets Shake And Rattle, So SpaceX Rolls Homegrown CFD->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "“One of the major problems is radiation exposure,” explained Lichtl. “To get to Mars, you need to align your launch with the correct window to an orbit given the amount of energy that your rocket can produce. Anyone who has played Kerbil Space Program has seen this is delta-v, which is the change in one orbit – say one around the Earth – and escaping that by giving yourself a delta-v and a different trajectory that will intersect with Mars. We need vehicles that can provide as much delta-v as possible in order to shorten that trip to Mars. In addition, there is a second major obstacle of actually staying on Mars – not just taking a robot or a rover or going on a suicide trip, but a real expedition to Mars – is infrastructure. When the pioneers went across the country to settle, they had to build their own cabins and they had to hunt for food. But they had air. It is a little bit more tricky on Mars.”"
Link to Original Source

+ - Australian government outlines website-blocking scheme->

Submitted by angry tapir
angry tapir (1463043) writes "The Australian government has revealed its (previously mooted) proposed legislation that will allow copyright holders to apply for court orders that will force ISPs to block access to pirate websites. It forms part of a broader Australian crackdown on online copyright infringement, which also includes a warning notice scheme for alleged infringers."
Link to Original Source

+ - Another Patent Pool Forms for HEVC->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A new patent pool, dubbed HEVC Advance, has formed for the HEVC video codec. This pool offers separate licensing from the existing MPEG LA HEVC patent pool. In an article for CNET Stephen Shankland writes, "HEVC Advance promises a 'transparent' licensing process, but so far it isn't sharing details except to say it's got 500 patents it describes as essential for using HEVC, that it plans to unveil its license in the third quarter, and that expected licensors include General Electric, Technicolor, Dolby, Philips and Mitsubishi Electric. The group's statement suggested that some patent holders weren't satisfied with the money they'd make through MPEG LA's license. One of HEVC Advance's goals is 'delivering a balanced business model that supports HEVC commercialization'... HEVC Advance and MPEG LA aren't detailing what led to two patent pools, an outcome that undermines MPEG LA's attempt to offer a convenient 'one-stop shop' for companies needing a license." Perhaps this will lead to increased adoption of royalty-free video codecs such as VP9. Monty Montgomery of Xiph has some further commentary."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ikea Refugee Shelter Entering Production

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "A rather interesting product, Ikea's line of flatpack refugee shelters are going into production, the Swedish furniture maker announced this week. The lightweight Better Shelter was developed under a partnership between the Ikea Foundation and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and beta tested among refugee families in Ethiopia, Iraq, and Lebanon. Each unit takes about four hours to assemble and is designed to last for three years — far longer than conventional refugee shelters, which typically last about six months. The product is important tool in the prolonged refugee crisis that has unfolded across the Middle East. The war in Syria has spurred nearly 4 million people to leave their homes. The UNHCR has agreed to buy 10,000 of the shelters, and will begin providing them to refugee families this summer."

+ - Intel Finally Has a Challenger in the Server Market: IBM->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "With AMD's fade out from the server market and the rapid decline of RISC systems, Intel has stood atop the server market all by itself. But now IBM, through its OpenPOWER Foundation, could give Intel and its server OEMs a real fight in China, which is a massive server market. As the investor group Motley Fool notes, OpenPOWER is a threat to Intel in the Chinese server market because the government has been actively pushing homegrown solutions over foreign technology, and many of the Foundation members like Tyan are from China."
Link to Original Source

+ - Taxpayer subsidies to ULA to end

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Because it has concluded that they make it impossible to have a fair competition for contracts, the Air Force has decided to phase out taxpayer subsidies to the United Launch Alliance (ULA).

The specific amounts of these subsidies have been effectively buried by the Air Force in many different contracts, so we the taxpayers really don’t know how much the are.

Nonetheless, this decision, combined with the military report released yesterday that criticized the Air Force’s over-bearing and restrictive certification process with SpaceX indicates that the political pressure is now pushing them hard to open up bidding to multiple companies, which in turn will help lower cost and save the taxpayer money."

+ - Internet Explorer website wont work with Windows-> 3

Submitted by Anne Thwacks
Anne Thwacks (531696) writes "The British Government web site for applying for for a licence to be a security guard requires a plugin providing Internet Explorer emulation on Firefox to login and apply for a licence. It wont work with Firefox without the add-on, but it also wont work with Internet Explorer! (I tried Win XP and Win7 Professional). The error message says "you have more than one browser window open on the same internet connection". I didn't. and "to avoid this problem, close your browser and reopen it". I did. No change. I tried three different computers, with three different OSes.
Still no change.
I contacted their tech support and they said "Yes ... a lot of users complain about this. We have known about it since September, and are working on a fix! Meanwhile, we have instructions on how to use the "Fire IE" plugin to get round the problem". Eventually, I got this to work on Win7pro. (The plugin will not work on Linux). The instructions require a very old version of the plugin, and a bit of trial and error is needed to get it to work with the current one.

How can a government department concerned with security not get this sort of thing right?

Besides a massive amount of bribery and corruption, what could explain how the designers of the web site can't fix a chronic useability problem after 6 months?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Best Program to Organize Photos

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I'm a long time reader first time writer. What is the best program available to organize and sort your photos. I've tried a bunch of different one's with varying degrees of success. Does anybody have any suggestions."

+ - New Screenshots Detail Microsoft Spartan Web Browser For Windows 10 Smartphones->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "One of the most anticipated new features in Windows 10 is the Spartan web browser, which will replace the long-serving Internet Explorer. We've seen Spartan in action on the desktop/notebook front, but we're now getting a closer look at Spartan in action on the mobile side thanks to some newly leaked screenshots. Perhaps the biggest change with Spartan is the repositioning of the address bar from the bottom of the screen to the top (which is also in line with other mobile browsers like Safari and Chrome). The refresh button has also been moved from its right-hand position within the address bar to a new location to the left of the address bar. Reading Lists also make an appearance in this latest build of Spartan along with Microsoft's implementation of "Hubs" on Windows 10 for mobile devices."
Link to Original Source

+ - Iowa's Governor Terry Brandstad thinks he doesn't use e-mail->

Submitted by Earthquake Retrofit
Earthquake Retrofit (1372207) writes "The Washington Post reports the governor denying he uses e-mail but court documents expose his confusion.

From the article:
Branstad’s apparent confusion over smartphones, apps and e-mail is ironic because he has tried to portray himself as technologically savvy. His Instagram account has pictures of him taking selfies and using Skype... 2010 campaign ads show him tapping away on an iPad. “Want a brighter future? We’ve got an app for that.” Earlier this month, the governor’s office announced that it had even opened an account on Meerkat, the live video streaming app.

Perhaps he's distancing himself from e-mail because it's a Hillary thing."

Link to Original Source

+ - Notel media player helps North Koreans skirt censorship->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A small portable media device, costing roughly $50, is allowing North Koreans to access and view foreign media despite tight government censorship, according to a Reuters report [http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/03/27/uk-northkorea-change-insight-idUKKBN0MM2UW20150327]. The ‘Notel’, a mashup of notebook and television, is being described as a symbol of change in the repressed society. Used to watch DVDs and shared content from USB sticks and SD cards, the media player can be easily concealed and transported among families and friends. According to correspondents in the region, as many as half of all urban North Korean households have a notel and are swapping a broad range of banned media such as soaps and TV dramas from South Korea and China, Hollywood blockbusters, and news clips — all of which is strictly forbidden by Pyongyang law."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ellen Pao Loses Silicon Valley Gender Bias Case Against Kleiner Perkins->

Submitted by vivaoporto
vivaoporto (1064484) writes "As reported by the New York Times, USA Today and other publications, a jury of six men and six women rejected current Reddit Inc CEO Ellen Pao’s claims against her former employer, the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Ms. Pao’s suit, that allegged employment discrimination based on gender, workplace retaliation and failure to take reasonable steps to prevent gender discrimination, asked $16 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages.

The jury decided, after more than two days of deliberation and more than four weeks of testimony, that her formed employer neither discriminated against the former junior partner for her gender, nor fired the complainant because of a high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit against the firm in 2012.

She alleged that Kleiner Perkins had promoted male partners over equally qualified women at the firm, including herself, and then retaliated against her for raising concerns about the firm’s gender dynamics by failing to promote her and finally firing her after seven years at the firm after she filed her 2012 lawsuit."

Link to Original Source

CCI Power 6/40: one board, a megabyte of cache, and an attitude...

Working...