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+ - Microsoft considered giving away original Xbox

Submitted by donniebaseball23
donniebaseball23 (1888144) writes "While the term 'Xbox' is firmly implanted in every gamer's mind today, when Microsoft first set out to launch a console in 2001, people weren't sure what to expect and Microsoft clearly wasn't sure what approach to take to the market. As Xbox co-creator Seamus Blackley explained, "In the early days of Xbox, especially before we had figured out how to get greenlit for the project as a pure game console, everybody and their brother who saw the new project starting tried to come in and say it should be free, say it should be forced to run Windows after some period of time." Blackley added that other ideas were pushed around at Microsoft too, like Microsoft should just gobble up Nintendo. "Just name it, name a bad idea and it was something we had to deal with," he said."

+ - Amazon's New Dash Button Hardware Offers Instant Orders For Products-> 1

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Amazon has new hardware called the Dash Button that allows one-press ordering of products you’re likely to want to replace on a regular basis. The Dash Button comes in a number of different branded versions based on what it’s coded to order, and includes an adhesive backing and hook holster to let you stick it where it’s most convenient.

The Dash Button is a natural extension of Amazon’s one-click ordering feature on the web, but turned into a hardware gadget that makes ordering laundry detergent, for instance, as easy as actually starting the wash cycle. Amazon clearly hopes that if you have a physical one-button device near the place where you actually consume these consumables, you’re more likely to have the presence of mind to order them via its service before you run out, when a trip to the corner store might prove more convenient even than home delivery.

You setup Amazon’s Dash Button using the Amazon mobile app, and then connecting to your Wi-Fi network to assign the product you want the Dash Button to order with a single press (limited by brands pictured on the hardware at launch, apparently). Once it’s configured, the button will automatically trigger an order to your default address using your default Amazon payment order, and you can cancel it via your phone should you have second thoughts. Amazon won’t trigger another order made via subsequent button presses until the first one is delivered, the company notes, unless you override that manually.

At launch, the eligible products for the Dash Button include things like toilet paper, cleaning products, juice, personal grooming products, dog food and much more."

Link to Original Source

+ - Kickstarter: Record Chopin on 1832 Pleyel under Creative Commons->

Submitted by rDouglass
rDouglass (1068738) writes "Frédéric Chopin's favorite piano was the Pleyel — it is the instrument he played and heard while composing his pieces. Unfortunately, finding Creative Commons photos, recordings, and video of Pleyel pianos is very difficult. Kimiko Ishizaka, the pianist behind the Open Goldberg Variations, is raising money via Kickstarter to record Chopin's 24 Préludes on an 1832 Pleyel piano with all of its original parts, and to release the recording, video, and photos with a Creative Commons license."
Link to Original Source

Google News Sci Tech: Microsoft's Surface 3 is a $499 tablet that could be a full Windows laptop - The->

From feed by feedfeeder

Kansas City Star

Microsoft's Surface 3 is a $499 tablet that could be a full Windows laptop
The Verge
Microsoft is back with a brand new Surface 3 tablet, but this time things are a little different. While the original Surface RT and Surface 2 tablets didn't let you run traditional Windows applications, Microsoft is ditching ARM processors and Windows RT to bring a...
Microsoft introduces Surface 3, a cheaper tablet starting at $499Los Angeles Times
New Microsoft Surface 3 Matches iPad with $499 Price
New Surface 3 Tablet Abandons Windows RT, Rocks Intel Cherry Trail ChipTom's Hardware
VentureBeat-Load The Game
all 215 news articles

Link to Original Source

+ - America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

Submitted by (3830033) writes "According to an op-ed by Fareed Zakaria in the Washington Post, if Americans are united in any conviction these days, it is that we urgently need to shift the country’s education toward the teaching of specific, technical skills, expand STEM courses (science, technology, engineering and math) and deemphasize the humanities. "It is the only way, we are told, to ensure that Americans survive in an age defined by technology and shaped by global competition. The stakes could not be higher." But according to Zakaria the dismissal of broad-based learning, however, comes from a fundamental misreading of the facts — and puts America on a dangerously narrow path for the future.

As Steve Jobs once explained “it’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough — that it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.” Zakaria says that no matter how strong your math and science skills are, you still need to know how to learn, think and even write and cites Jeff Bezos' insistence that writing a memo that makes sense is an even more important skill to master. “Full sentences are harder to write,” says Bezos. “They have verbs. The paragraphs have topic sentences. There is no way to write a six-page, narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking.” "This doesn’t in any way detract from the need for training in technology," concludes Zakaria, "but it does suggest that as we work with computers (which is really the future of all work), the most valuable skills will be the ones that are uniquely human, that computers cannot quite figure out — yet. And for those jobs, and that life, you could not do better than to follow your passion, engage with a breadth of material in both science and the humanities, and perhaps above all, study the human condition.""

Google News Sci Tech: New Microsoft Surface 3 Matches iPad with $499 Price Tag ->

From feed by feedfeeder

New Microsoft Surface 3 Matches iPad with $499 Price Tag
Microsoft announced the Surface 3 on Tuesday, a lighter, cheaper alternative to its Surface Pro 3, which was released last year. Unlike Microsoft's other non-Pro tablets, this one will run a full version of Windows 8.1. And its price point puts it squarely in...
Surface 3 Looks Awesome But Don't Waste Your Money On 4G / LTEForbes
Microsoft Surface 3 promises great battery life, costs just $499 and runs ... PCWorld
Microsoft's Surface 3: Stuck in the middle between work and play?CNET
VentureBeat-PC Magazine-CNNMoney
all 186 news articles

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Google News Sci Tech: Security firm says new spy software in 10 countries came from Lebanon - Reuters->

From feed by feedfeeder

Channel News Asia

Security firm says new spy software in 10 countries came from Lebanon
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A security company has discovered a computer spying campaign that it said "likely" originated with a government agency or political group in Lebanon, underscoring how far the capability for sophisticated computer espionage is...
Media Alert: Check Point Researchers Discover Global Cyber Espionage ... CNNMoney
Lebanon Believed Behind Newly Uncovered Cyber Espionage OperationDark Reading
Volatile Cedar APT Group First Operating Out of LebanonThreatpost

all 15 news articles

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+ - Stanford crypto expert Dan Boneh wins $175K computer science award->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Stanford University computer science professor Dan Boneh has been named as the recipient of the 2014 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in Computing Sciences his work in cryptography. The award, which includes a $175,000 prize, The award citation formally acknowledges Boneh "For ground-breaking contributions to the development of pairing-based cryptography and its application in identity-based encryption.""
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+ - Amazon tests delivery drones at secret Canada site after US frustration ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Amazon is testing its drone delivery service at a secret site in Canada, following repeated warnings by the e-commerce giant that it would go outside the US to bypass what it sees as the US federal government’s lethargic approach to the new technology.

The largest internet retailer in the world is keeping the location of its new test site closely guarded. What can be revealed is that the company’s formidable team of roboticists, software engineers, aeronautics experts and pioneers in remote sensing – including a former Nasa astronaut and the designer of the wingtip of the Boeing 787 – are now operating in British Columbia.

The end goal is to utilise what Amazon sees as a slice of virgin airspace – above 200ft, where most buildings end, and below 500ft, where general aviation begins. Into that aerial slice the company plans to pour highly autonomous drones of less than 55lbs, flying through corridors 10 miles or longer at 50mph and carrying payloads of up to 5lbs that account for 86% of all the company’s packages."

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+ - Developer of 'Banished' Develops His Own Shading Language->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Luke Hodorowicz, the hard-working developer behind the townbuilding strategy computer game Banished, has designed a novel GPU shading language and written a compiler for it. The language has been christened "Shining Rock Shading Language" (SRSL) and it outputs the program in several other shading languages. The first goal for the language was to treat the vertex, fragment and geometry shader as a single program. The language sees the graphics pipeline as a stream of data, followed by some code, which outputs a stream of data, and then more code runs, and another stream of data is output. Body text of the shaders is very C-like and should be understood easily coming from other shading languages. SRSL has all the intrinsic functions you would expect from HLSL or GLSL. All types are HLSL-style. Loops and conditionals are available, but switch statements and global variables are seen redundant and not implemented. Luke's blog post tells more about the details of the language, complemented with examples."
Link to Original Source

+ - SCOTUS: GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "If the government puts a GPS tracker on you, your car, or any of your personal effects, it counts as a search—and is therefore protected by the Fourth Amendment.

The Supreme Court clarified and affirmed that law on Monday, when it ruled on Torrey Dale Grady v. North Carolina, before sending the case back to that state’s high court. The Court’s short but unanimous opinions helps make sense of how the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure, interacts with the expanding technological powers of the U.S. government.

The only theory we discern [...] is that the State’s system of nonconsensual satellite-based monitoring does not entail a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. That theory is inconsistent with this Court’s precedents.


Link to Original Source

+ - GLaDOS and The Sniper: A Voice Acting Love Story->

Submitted by sarahnaomi
sarahnaomi (3948215) writes "Ellen McLain, the voice behind the murderous artificial intelligence GLaDOS from the Portal series, and her husband, John Patrick Lowrie, who voices The Sniper from the game Team Fortress 2, are nothing if not adorable.

The celebrity of the characters they portray may not be readily apparent for the minority of Americans who don’t play video games. But the games they have worked on have won multiple British Academy Awards (the UK Academy Awards have a video game category), sold out 10,000-seat stadium esports events in under an hour, and raked in hundreds of millions of dollars annually for at least one of their publishers. Ellen and John, and their decade-spanning body of work, are at the epicenter of the video game voice acting universe. During a recent recording session at a dimly lit Seattle studio, the couple gave me a demonstration of how they work."

Link to Original Source

+ - Miniature Pacemaker Designed to be Implanted in Fetuses->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "In the near future, it's entirely possible that babies with heart defects will be born with complete pacemakers already installed. That's because scientists at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and the University of Southern California have developed the world's first fully-implantable pacemaker for fetuses."
Link to Original Source

+ - Students in Michigan Tech 3D printing course build (and keep) their own printers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "When engineering students start college, the high cost of proprietary tools can be a barrier to making their dreams become a reality. Recent advances in free and open source 3D printing have lowered rapid prototyping costs, making it accessible to everyone. The software industry already knows the force of open source, so now it's time to start teaching free and open source hardware to all engineers.

Last fall, Michigan Tech offered a new course: Open Source 3D Printing. Students pay an additional $500 course fee for the components and tools necessary to build their own MOST Delta RepRap 3D printer, which they then use for the course. At the end of the semester, each student keeps the printer they built and modified. The 50 seats for the class filled immediately."

Link to Original Source

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