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XBox (Games)

Microsoft: Xbox One Won't Require Kinect To Function 216

Posted by Soulskill
from the hmm,-what-do-we-complain-about-now? dept.
UnknowingFool writes "Microsoft has reversed course on another aspect of the Xbox One. Though Xbox One will come bundled with a Kinect sensor, the console will work without it. Critics were had suggested that an always-on video and audio sensor could be used to spy on users. Microsoft's Marc Whitten said, 'Games use Kinect in a variety of amazing ways from adding voice to control your squad mates to adding lean and other simple controls beyond the controller to full immersive gameplay. That said, like online, the console will still function if Kinect isn't plugged in, although you won't be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor.' This is the latest reversal from Microsoft since they killed the phone-home DRM and made it region-free."

Comment: Re:Just turn off the car? (Score 2, Informative) 911

by zulater (#39675131) Attached to: Mandatory Brake-Override Proposed For All Cars
I don't think an automatic with it's torque converter will work that way. Either way, putting the car in neutral or depressing the clutch is what they should have done and is a seemingly no brainer to myself but with driver education standards in America I can see how many people wouldn't understand it's that easy. Let the motor blow and get a new one (under warranty in this case) instead of dying.
Cloud

Ask Slashdot: Is Your Data Safe In the Cloud? 332 sponsored by: SourceForge

Posted by samzenpus
from the silverish-lining dept.
With so much personal data being kept on the cloud, including government and health records or your source code, do you have any concerns about it falling into the wrong hands? Do you think the cloud's benefits are outweighed by continuing security issues?
Apple

Using a Tablet As Your Primary Computer 627

Posted by samzenpus
from the out-with-the-old dept.
harrymcc writes "Three months ago, I started using an iPad 2 (with a Zagg keyboard) as my primary computing device--the one I blog on, write articles for TIME magazine on, and use to prepare photos and other illustrations that go with my writing. I now use it about 80 percent of the time; my trusty MacBook Air has become a secondary machine."
Bitcoin

Legal Tender? Maybe Not, Says Louisiana Law 655

Posted by timothy
from the this-is-pretty-nuts dept.
First time accepted submitter fyngyrz writes "Lousiana has passed a law that says people may no longer use cash for second hand transactions. The idea is to make all transactions traceable, thus foiling copper theft, etc. This move has profound implications that range from constitutional rights to Bitcoin, Craigslist and so forth; I wonder if there are any Slashdotters at all that support such a move." On the list of exceptions: people who deal in used goods or "junk" less frequently than once per month, and (drumroll, please) pawn shops. That means a pretty big chunk of the population who post in online classified ads in Louisiana are probably already in violation.
Science

Evangelical Scientists Debate Creation Story 1014

Posted by timothy
from the at-least-no-one-else-has-dogma dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Polls by Gallup and the Pew Research Center find that four out of 10 Americans believe humanity descend from Adam and Eve, but NPR reports that evangelical scientists are now saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account and that it is unlikely that we all descended from a single pair of humans. 'That would be against all the genomic evidence that we've assembled over the last 20 years so not likely at all,' says biologist Dennis Venema, a senior fellow at BioLogos Foundation, a Christian group that tries to reconcile faith and science. 'You would have to postulate that there's been this absolutely astronomical mutation rate that has produced all these new variants in an incredibly short period of time. Those types of mutation rates are just not possible. It would mutate us out of existence.' Venema is part of a growing cadre of Christian scholars who say they want their faith to come into the 21st century and say it's time to face facts: There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence."
Education

Can a Playground Be Too Safe? 493

Posted by timothy
from the think-of-the-children's-thinking dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "John Tierney writes that the old 10-foot-high jungle gyms and slides disappeared from most American playgrounds across the country in recent decades because of parental concerns, federal guidelines, new safety standards set by manufacturers and — the most frequently cited factor — fear of lawsuits. But today some researchers question the value of safety-first playgrounds. Even if children do suffer fewer physical injuries — and the evidence for that is debatable — critics say that these playgrounds may stunt emotional development, leaving children with anxieties and fears that are ultimately worse than a broken bone. 'Climbing equipment needs to be high enough, or else it will be too boring in the long run,' says professor Ellen Sandseter. 'Children approach thrills and risks in a progressive manner, and very few children would try to climb to the highest point for the first time they climb. The best thing is to let children encounter these challenges from an early age, and they will then progressively learn to master them through their play over the years.' After observing children on playgrounds in Norway, England and Australia, Dr. Sandseter identified six categories of risky play, although fear of litigation led New York City officials to remove seesaws, merry-go-rounds and the ropes that young Tarzans used to swing from one platform to another."
NASA

A Bittersweet Finale For Discovery Space Shuttle 205

Posted by samzenpus
from the fare-thee-well dept.
Julie188 writes "The shuttle Discovery re-entered the Earth's atmosphere for the last time Wednesday to close out the space plane's 39th and final voyage. And so marks the beginning of the end for America's shuttle program. Everything about the last flight felt epic, from how it overcame a down-to-the-last-second problem to launch on its final mission in February, to its sunny final landing this week. As it coasted to a stop, Discovery's odometer stood at some 5,750 orbits covering nearly 150 million miles, during 39 flights spanning a full year in space — a record unrivaled in the history of manned rockets."
Government

Utah To Teach USA is a Republic, Not a Democracy 1277

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the only-two-of-three-wives-agree dept.
0ryan0 writes "Utah lawmakers passed a bill today to force public school teachers to teach that the USA is a republic, not a democracy, because a 'Democracy' would have 'Democrat' in it." The good news must be that all issues of unemployment, finance and social service must be resolved in Utah for their legislature to spend time on this. It must be a utopia!
Earth

Watch 200 Years of Global Growth In 4 Minutes 270

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the statistics-are-fun dept.
kkleiner writes "A professor of international health in Sweden, Hans Rosling has a long history of exploring the facts and figures that surround our changing world. In the a segment of the BBC series, Rosling gives one of his most famous lectures with a new twist. Using 120,000+ bits of data and augmented reality, the exuberant professor takes us through the last 200 years of global history and its uneven growth of wealth and health." This is really worth watching. Seriously.
NASA

How To Deflect an Asteroid With Today's Technology 264

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-use-the-phasers dept.
Matt_dk writes "Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart is among an international group of people championing the need for the human race to prepare for what will certainly happen one day: an asteroid threat to Earth. Schweickart said the technology is available today to send a mission to an asteroid in an attempt to move it, or change its orbit so that an asteroid that threatens to hit Earth will pass by harmlessly. But what would such a mission entail?"

Premature optimization is the root of all evil. -- D.E. Knuth

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