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Technology

Bookies Predict the Future of Tech 50

Posted by timothy
from the dead-eye-or-snake-eyes dept.
First time accepted submitter machineghost (622031) writes "It's one thing to make predictions about the future of tech; that happens all the time on Slashdot. But it's quite a different thing to put money on the line to back up those predictions, which is exactly what this British bookie has done. Think you know whether Google Glass will beat the iPhone, or whether we'll be ready to go to Mars and back by 2020? Now's your chance to capitalize on those predictions!" Or you could, y'know, invest money in at least some of them, and thereby increase their chances of succeeding.
Games

Getting Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia Out of Gaming 704

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A central theme for several talks at this week's Game Developers Conference has been how to deal with the abuse generated by a small segment of gamers. BioWare's Manveer Heir says he wants the industry to stop being scared of challenging the most outspoken and vituperative members of the gaming community. His GDC talk focused on 'misogyny, sexism, racism, ethnocentrism, nationalism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, queerphobia and other types of social injustice.' He said, 'We should use the ability of our medium to show players the issues first-hand, or give them a unique understanding of the issues and complexities by crafting game mechanics along with narrative components that result in dynamics of play that create meaning for the player in ways that other media isn't capable of.' Meanwhile, Adam Orth, who became the center of an internet hatestorm last year after an offhand comment about always-online DRM, said game developers should make an effort to encourage their playerbase to behave in a more civilized manner."

Comment: Won't say it's impossible... (Score 5, Insightful) 223

by yellowcord (#44388367) Attached to: Forget Apple: Samsung Could Be Google's Next Big Rival

Don't think it's too likely in the near future though. They now have the S4 Play Edition so I'm not sure that Samsung will be ditching andoid any time soon. I think they could make a go at it but without the Play ecosystem they'd basically be back to square one and be back with BlackBerry and Windows Phone for apps.

Biotech

Monkeys Made Smarter With Prosthetic Device 102

Posted by Soulskill
from the brain-damaged-coke-monkeys dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have successfully restored and, in some cases, enhanced decision-making ability in brain-damaged monkeys on cocaine by connecting a prosthetic device to their brains. 'In the study, the scientists trained five monkeys to match multiple images on a computer screen until they were correct 70 to 75 percent of the time. First, an image appeared on the screen, which the animals were trained to select using a hand-controlled cursor. The screen then went blank for up to two minutes, followed by the reappearance of two to eight images, including the initial one, on the same screen. When the monkeys correctly chose the image they were shown first, the electronic prosthetic device recorded the pattern of neural pulses associated with their decision by employing a multi-input multi-output nonlinear (MIMO) mathematical model, developed by researchers at the University of Southern California. In the next phase of the study, a drug known to disrupt cognitive activity, cocaine, was administered to the animals to simulate brain injury. When the animals repeated the image-selection task, their decision-making ability decreased 13 percent from normal. However, during these "drug sessions," the MIMO prosthesis detected when the animals were likely to choose the wrong image and played back the previously recorded "correct" neural patterns for the task. According to the study findings, the MIMO device was exceedingly effective in restoring the cocaine-impaired decision-making ability to an improved level of 10 percent above normal, even when the drug was still present and active.'"
Networking

Australia To Build Fiber-To-the-Premises Network 300

Posted by kdawson
from the no-censorship-on-the-wire-of-course dept.
candiman writes "The Australian PM, Kevin Rudd, has just announced that none of the private sector submissions to build a National Broadband Network was up to the standard, so instead the government is going to form a private company to build a fiber to the premises network. The network will connect to 90% of premises delivering 100Mb/s. The remaining 10% will be reached with wireless and satellite delivering up to 12Mb/s. The network cost has been estimated at 43 billion AU dollars over 8 years of construction — and is expected to employ 47,000 people at peak. It will be wholesale only and completely open access. As an Australian who voted for the other guys, all I can say is, wow."
Yahoo!

Yahoo Changes User Profiles, To Massive Outrage 255

Posted by kdawson
from the why'd-you-go-and-do-that dept.
Wiseleo writes "Yahoo decided to massively screw up their entire userbase by changing all user profiles to blank. No warning, no automated way to get data back, and other unwanted changes. The blog has such choice quotes as 'We know this has been a rough transition for some of you and, and are committed to helping you use, understand, and (hopefully) enjoy your new profile,' and, 'We also know lots of you worked hard on your old profiles and want your data. If you feel like you're missing data, we've saved a copy of your old profile (and alias) and our Customer Care team can retrieve this information. You won't, however, be able to revert back to your old profile format, but you will be able to get any data that you think is missing. To do this, please go here to contact Customer Care.' There were 850 comments posted, all negative, on the first day. There are hundreds more today. There is even more outrage on the Yahoo Messenger blog."
Programming

Getting Hired As an Entry-Level Programmer? 540

Posted by kdawson
from the foot-in-door dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I received a state university degree in Computer Science. After graduation, I immediately took jobs in QA to pay the bills while waiting for other opportunities, which of course turned out to be as naive as it sounds. I've been working QA for several years now and my resume does not show the right kind of work experience for programming. On the whole I'm probably no better as a a candidate than a CS graduate fresh out of college. But all of the job postings out in the real world are looking for people with 2-5 years of programming work experience. How do you build up those first 2 years of experience? What kinds of companies hire programmers with no prior experience?"

Comment: Re:Dismal Sales? (Score 1) 73

by yellowcord (#21215935) Attached to: Metal Gear Solid 4 Delayed To 2008
I saw this the other day and I think it's a bunch of really old numbers numbers. They say:
        * Xbox 360: hardware to software ratio: 6.59 (hardware total sold = 6.8 million; software total sold = 44.8 million)
        * PlayStation 3: hardware to software ratio: 3.58 (hardware total sold = 1.9 million; software total sold = 6.8 million)
        * Wii: hardware to software ratio: 3.44 (hardware total sold = 4.5 million; software total sold = 15.5 million)

Wikipedia says (I know I hate using wikipedia as a reference but I'm damn sure that these numbers are more reasonable, plus I'm lazy):
        * Xbox 360: 13.4 million consoles
        * PlayStation 3: 5.59 million consoles
        * Wii: 13.17 million consoles

Joystiq doesn't really say when their numbers come from so maybe they were just cherry-picking?
Science

Organism Survives 100 Million Years Without Sex 343

Posted by samzenpus
from the they-must-play-dungeons-and-dragons-too dept.
zyl0x writes "The Times has an interesting article online on the discovery of a 100-million-year-old micro-organism which has survived its entire lifespan without sex." From the article "A tiny creature that has not had sex for 100 million years has overturned the theory that animals need to mate to create variety. Analysis of the jaw shapes of bdelloid rotifers, combined with genetic data, revealed that the animals have diversified under pressure of natural selection. Researchers say that their study "refutes the idea that sex is necessary for diversification into evolutionary species".
Mozilla

+ - Get your Firefox add-ons while you still can

Submitted by
PetManimal
PetManimal writes "Mozilla is getting ready to relaunch the Firefox website on Monday, and when it does, several thousand extensions will be culled from the list. From the article:

... The site will drop marginal add-ons, as well as those no longer maintained by their creator or not updated for the browsers and e-mail clients now in use. A couple of hundred extensions will remain on the site after Monday.
"
The Internet

UK Teachers Say Censor The Internet 463

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-can-you-have-any-pudding-if-you-smash-my-window dept.
Marlow the Irelander writes "The BBC is reporting that in response to a YouTube video of a schoolboy breaking his teacher's window (yes, this is a video), NASUWT, one of the teaching unions in the UK, is calling for legislation to control the internet. Could Britain, rather than the US, be the main front of the battle against censorship in 2007?" From the article: "Unfortunately, any yob or vandal can now have their 15 minutes of fame, aided and abetted by readily accessible technology and irresponsible internet sites which enable such behaviour to be glorified. [The general secretary of the union] said the union supported a zero tolerance approach in schools to pupils who used technology to abuse and undermine teachers, and called for more rigorous legislative control of internet sites which gave them license."

Firefox Analyzed for Bugs by Software 226

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the killing-bugs-dead dept.
eldavojohn writes "In a brief article on CNet, a company named Coverity announced that Firefox is using software to detect flaws in Firefox's source code. Even more interesting is the DHS initiative for Coverity to use this same bug detection software on 40 open source projects." An interesting tidbit from the article: "Most of the 40 programs tested averaged less than one defect per thousand lines of code. The cleanest program was XMMS, a Unix-based multimedia application. It had only six bugs in its 116,899 lines of code, or .51 bugs per thousands lines of code. The buggiest program is the Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver, or AMANDA, a Linux backup application first developed at the University of Maryland. Coverity found 108 bugs in its 88,950 lines of code, or about 1.214 bugs per thousand lines of code." We've covered this before, only now Firefox is actually licensing the Coverity software and using it directly.

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