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+ - Physicists Made a Mobius Strip from Dualing Beams of Light

Submitted by rossgneumann
rossgneumann (3901661) writes "A group of physicists has successfully manipulated beams of laser light into an optical mobius strip. The shape, a classic mindfuck all but nonexistent in nature, has never before been seen in such an immaterial form. Making a simple mobius strip from a strip of paper is as easy as the result is vexing. Twist once and tape the thing end to end. Ta da: a structure with just one side and one edge. Its single boundary is a closed circle; that is, to get from one "side" of the strip to the other, just follow an edge, which will eventually reveal itself to be the same edge as every other edge found on the mobius strip. Fun."

+ - The Pirate Bay is back online, properly

Submitted by cbiltcliffe
cbiltcliffe (186293) writes "About a month ago, a story was submitted that the Pirate Bay domain name was back online. This story mentioned a timer, which supposedly showed the time since the police raid. I didn't notice at the time, but a more recent check showed this counter was counting down, not up, with a time to reach zero at the end of January. Sometime around a week ago, the waving pirate flag video changed to a graphic of an orange phoenix, and a disabled search box showed up. I've been watching the site since, and now, about 12 hours before the timer was to reach zero, the site is back up, complete with searches."

Comment: Underrated Inkscape tool: Vectorizing (Score 4, Interesting) 53

by timothy (#48948985) Attached to: Inkscape Version 0.91 Released

One of the coolest things about Inkscape is that it does a good job of converting bitmapped images to vectors, which is especially nice if you want to combine source elements created in a raster-art program at wildly different scales. This capability is found in other software, I know, but Inkscape makes it relatively simple and (at least if you're going to use the results *in* Inkscape) saves some steps.

This is also a fun way to decompose images into constituent color layers, separate them, and then play with the resulting layers -- cool high-contrast results sometimes in combining just 2 or 3 of the resulting layers.

Comment: Re:O...okay? (Score 5, Informative) 53

by timothy (#48948949) Attached to: Inkscape Version 0.91 Released

Inkscape is one of the handful of apps (along with The GIMP, Firefox, OpenOffice, and some others that could round out a nice top-10 or top-20) that together make up a good base set of software that's more than good enough for most people's computerizing needs. (And, in keeping with that idea, it's included in the defaults for many distros, which is appropriate.)

What's funny is how limited / limiting the default software set is on Windows (a bit better on Mac OS X, but still falls short), if you're used to the kind of apps that come with a typical Linux distro, or are available for instant free download. The GIMP is not PhotoShop (you know how you can tell? You don't have to keep buying it each month ... ), and Inkscape is not Illustrator (ditto), but they're both *good,* and mean you / the 900 students in the school down the street / etc. can be playing with and using them now, for free, forever.

No one can make anyone care about this or much of anything, but quality open-source / Free software has a lot of person-hours behind it, and its worth celebrating, especially when the releases are separated by such a long time.

Serious answer for a question I suspect is pure troll, but Hey, it's my day off, and everyone needs a hobby ;)

Graphics

GeForce GTX 980 and 970 Cards From MSI, EVGA, and Zotac Reviewed 42

Posted by Soulskill
from the price-vs.-performance-vs.-really-loud-fans dept.
MojoKid writes: In all of its iterations, NVIDIA's Maxwell architecture has proven to be a good performing, power-efficient GPU thus far. At the high-end of the product stack is where some of the most interesting products reside, however. When NVIDIA launches a new high-end GPU, cards based on the company's reference design trickle out first, and then board partners follow up with custom solutions packing unique cooling hardware, higher clocks, and sometimes additional features. With the GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980, NVIDIA's board partners were ready with custom solutions very quickly. These three custom GeForce cards, from enthusiast favorites EVGA, MSI, and Zotac represent optimization at the high-end of Maxwell. Two of the cards are GTX 980s: the MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G and the Zotac GeForce GTX 980 AMP! Omgea, the third is a GTX 970 from EVGA, their GeForce GTX 970 FTW with ACX 2.0. Besides their crazy long names, all of these cards are custom solutions, that ship overclocked from the manufacturer. In testing, NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980 was the fastest, single-GPU available. The custom, factory overclocked MSI and Zotac cards cemented that fact. Overall, thanks to a higher default GPU-clock, the MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G was the best performing card. EVGA's GeForce GTX 970 FTW was also relatively strong, despite its alleged memory bug. Although, as expected, it couldn't quite catch the higher-end GeForce GTX 980s, but occasionally outpaced the AMD's top-end Radeon R9 290X.
Linux Business

Dell Continues Shipping Fresh Linux Laptops 92

Posted by Soulskill
from the permanent-penguin dept.
jones_supa writes: In its latest move, Dell will be bringing Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to its top-of-the-line Precision M3800 workstation laptop and the latest model of the Dell XPS 13. Both systems will be running Ubuntu 14.04.1. According to Barton George, Dell's Director of Developer Programs, programmers had been asking for a better, officially-supported Ubuntu developer laptop. This came about from a combination of the efforts of Dell software engineer Jared Dominguez and enthusiastic feedback. Specs of M3800: 15.6" LCD @ 3840x2160, Intel i7 quad core CPU, NVIDIA Quadro GPU, up to 16 GB RAM. The bad news is, as Dominguez explained on his blog, this version of the M3800 doesn't support its built-in Thunderbolt 2 port out of the box. However, thanks to the hardware-enablement stack in Ubuntu, starting with upcoming Ubuntu 14.04.2, you will be able to upgrade your kernel to add some Thunderbolt support.

+ - Is there a modern IP Webcam that lets the user control the output? 4

Submitted by Tronster
Tronster (25566) writes "Owners of a local shop have a menu that changes daily and wanted an IP webcam to update an image on their web-site. After a frustrating 2 hours of a "Hikvision" refusing to behave, I threw in the towel and looked for a better camera to recommend. The biggest issue today is that the new webcams that come out don't support FTP, they all support sending images/video direct to a "private cloud" (e.g., Simplicam, Dropcam, etc...)

Google has been no help; all the sites are either outdated in terms of ranking or the most recent ones recommend a Foscam. They previously tried one of these and it's image quality was too poor.

While security systems and home automation has been discussed recently, I haven't found any recent discussions on webcams that give a user control of where the content is sent. Does anyone in the Slashdot community have recommendations, reputable sites that are up-to-date in rankings, and/or hacks to have control over some of these newer cameras?"

+ - Customer given a Community Order for uploading a pornographic image

Submitted by Sesostris III
Sesostris III (730910) writes "Be careful what you upload to demonstration tablets in shops! After changing the display image of a demonstration iPad to a hardcore pornographic photo, a Tesco customer in Wales, UK, has been given a 12-month Community Order by magistrates in Swansea.

The man uploaded the image a a joke, and panicked when he realised he couldn't delete the image. In court, he admitted the charge of "causing the display of indecent matter". The image was only seen by Tesco workers and not by members of the public.

The sentence includes 100 hours of unpaid work, a victim surcharge of 60 GBP and costs of 85 GBP.

Of course, the Tesco store, like most supermarkets, probably sells the Sun newspaper (prop R Murdock) with its famous (and ongoing) page 3 (NSFW)."
Businesses

How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft 358

Posted by timothy
from the paper-beats-rock dept.
HughPickens.com writes James B. Stewart writes in the NYT that in 1998 Bill Gates said in an interview that he "couldn't imagine a situation in which Apple would ever be bigger and more profitable than Microsoft" but less than two decades later, Apple, with a market capitalization more than double Microsoft's, has won. The most successful companies need a vision, and both Apple and Microsoft have one. But according to Stewart, Apple's vision was more radical and, as it turns out, more farsighted. Where Microsoft foresaw a computer on every person's desk, Apple went a big step further: Its vision was a computer in every pocket. "Apple has been very visionary in creating and expanding significant new consumer electronics categories," says Toni Sacconaghi. "Unique, disruptive innovation is really hard to do. Doing it multiple times, as Apple has, is extremely difficult." According to Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson, Microsoft seemed to have the better business for a long time. "But in the end, it didn't create products of ethereal beauty. Steve believed you had to control every brush stroke from beginning to end. Not because he was a control freak, but because he had a passion for perfection." Can Apple continue to live by Jobs's disruptive creed now that the company is as successful as Microsoft once was? According to Robert Cihra it was one thing for Apple to cannibalize its iPod or Mac businesses, but quite another to risk its iPhone juggernaut. "The question investors have is, what's the next iPhone? There's no obvious answer. It's almost impossible to think of anything that will create a $140 billion business out of nothing."

+ - Lab samples database "JuliaBase" published as open source->

Submitted by bronger
bronger (721978) writes "After six years of closed-source development, the Research Centre Jülich published its database solution for laboratory samples and processes as open source, while continuing maintaining it. JuliaBase is a framework written in Python/Django that enables research institution or research group to set up browser-based samples tracking and measurement management easily. Next to Bika and LabLey, this is one of the very few open source LIMS systems, and in contrast to the others, not specialized in biomedicine or service labs."
Link to Original Source

+ - How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "James B. Stewart writes in the NYT that in 1998 Bill Gates said in an interview that he “couldn’t imagine a situation in which Apple would ever be bigger and more profitable than Microsoft" but less than two decades later, Apple, with a market capitalization more than double Microsoft’s, has won. The most successful companies need a vision, and both Apple and Microsoft have one. But according to Stewart, Apple’s vision was more radical and, as it turns out, more farsighted. Where Microsoft foresaw a computer on every person’s desk, Apple went a big step further: Its vision was a computer in every pocket. “Apple has been very visionary in creating and expanding significant new consumer electronics categories,” says Toni Sacconaghi. “Unique, disruptive innovation is really hard to do. Doing it multiple times, as Apple has, is extremely difficult." According to Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson, Microsoft seemed to have the better business for a long time. “But in the end, it didn’t create products of ethereal beauty. Steve believed you had to control every brush stroke from beginning to end. Not because he was a control freak, but because he had a passion for perfection.” Can Apple continue to live by Jobs’s disruptive creed now that the company is as successful as Microsoft once was? According to Robert Cihra it was one thing for Apple to cannibalize its iPod or Mac businesses, but quite another to risk its iPhone juggernaut. “The question investors have is, what’s the next iPhone? There’s no obvious answer. It’s almost impossible to think of anything that will create a $140 billion business out of nothing.”"
United Kingdom

BT Unveils 1000Mbps Capable G.fast Broadband Rollout For the United Kingdom 100

Posted by timothy
from the gee-that's-fast dept.
Mark.JUK writes The national telecoms operator for the United Kingdom, BT, has today announced that it will begin a country-wide deployment of the next generation hybrid-fibre G.fast (ITU G.9701) broadband technology from 2016/17, with most homes being told to expect speeds of up to 500Mbps (Megabits per second) and a premium service offering 1000Mbps will also be available.

At present BT already covers most of the UK with hybrid Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology, which delivers download speeds of up to 80Mbps by running a fibre optic cable to a local street cabinet and then using VDSL2 over the remaining copper line from the cabinet to homes. G.fast follows a similar principal, but it brings the fibre optic cable even closer to homes (often by installing smaller remote nodes on telegraph poles) and uses more radio spectrum (17-106MHz) over a shorter remaining run of copper cable (ideally less than 250 metres). The reliance upon copper cable means that the real-world speeds for some, such as those living furthest away from the remote nodes, will probably struggle to match up to BT's claims. Nevertheless many telecoms operators see this as being a more cost effective approach to broadband than deploying a pure fibre optic / Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network.

+ - BT Unveils 1000Mbps Capable G.fast Broadband Rollout for the United Kingdom

Submitted by Mark.JUK
Mark.JUK (1222360) writes "The national telecoms operator for the United Kingdom, BT, has today announced that it will begin a country-wide deployment of the next generation hybrid-fibre G.fast (ITU G.9701) broadband technology from 2016/17, with most homes being told to expect speeds of up to 500Mbps (Megabits per second) and a premium service offering 1000Mbps will also be available.

At present BT already covers most of the UK with hybrid Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology, which delivers download speeds of up to 80Mbps by running a fibre optic cable to a local street cabinet and then using VDSL2 over the remaining copper line from the cabinet to homes. G.fast follows a similar principal, but it brings the fibre optic cable even closer to homes (often by installing smaller remote nodes on telegraph poles) and uses more radio spectrum (17-106MHz) over a shorter remaining run of copper cable (ideally less than 250 metres).

The reliance upon copper cable means that the real-world speeds for some, such as those living furthest away from the remote nodes, will probably struggle to match up to BT’s claims. Never the less many telecoms operators see this as being a more cost effective approach to broadband than deploying a pure fibre optic / Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network."
Books

R.U. Sirius Co-Authors New Book On Transhumanism 47

Posted by timothy
from the r-u-goffman-doesn't-have-the-same-ring dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I've never been able to work up a fear of the robot apocalypse," admits R.U. Sirius, who more than 20 years after Mondo 2000's original guide to geek culture has again collaborated on a new encyclopedia of emerging technologies. As we progress to a world where technology actually becomes invisible, he argues that "everything about how we will define the future is still in play," suggesting that the transhumanist movement is "a good way to take isolated radical tech developments and bundle them together". While his co-author argues transhumanists "like to solve everything," Sirius points out a much bigger concern is a future of technologies dominated by the government or big capital.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen

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