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Submission + - Research Finds Link Between Inflation And Laughter In Federal Reserve Meetings (businessinsider.com.au) 1

schliz writes: A one percentage point increase in an inflation forecast brings about a 75% rise in laughter, according to an American University PhD student, who studied transcripts of the Federal Open Market Committee at the Federal Reserve. Laughter usually comes in response to witticisms during a meeting at the time of the inflation forecast, and has been shown to be a mechanism for coping with the stress of a perceived threat.

Submission + - Crowdfunding platform for Drupal development launches (computerworld.com.au)

angry tapir writes: A team of developers has launched a new crowdfunding platform — Drupalfund.us — that's designed to help accelerate development work on the open-source Drupal CMS, as well as potentially fund new training material and other projects of interest to community members. I had a long-ish chat to one of the co-founders about the goals of the platform and how crowdfunding can be used to push forward open source development.

Submission + - Saleable used computer books

g01d4 writes: I volunteer at a used bookstore that supports the local library. One of my tasks is to sort book donations. For > 5 yr old computer books the choices typically are to save it for sale (fifty cents soft cover, one dollar hardback), pack it, e.g. for another library's bookstore, put it on the free cart, or toss it in the recycle bin. I occasionally dumpster dive the recycle bin to 'rescue' books that I don't think should be pulped. Recently I found a copy of PostgresSQL Essential Reference (2002) and Programming Perl (1996). Would you have left them to RIP? Obviously we have very limited space, 20 shelf feet (storage + sale) for STEM. What criteria would you use when sorting these types of books?

Submission + - The Comments Are Where The Real America Is

theodp writes: This weekend's NY Times is all-about-the-comments. First, Michael Erard recounts the history of Web site comments and explains how their technical origins have shaped the actual commentary we’ve come to expect as usual today. On dealing with people-behaving-badly, Erard writes, "Only a few [high-traffic sites] seem to have tried user-moderation systems like the one developed by Slashdot’s creator, Rob Malda. Founded in 1997, Slashdot rapidly began to suffer from what Malda called 'signal-to-noise-ratio problems' as tens of thousands of users showed up. Rather than embracing the chaos (which was a hallmark of Usenet, another digital channel of communications) or locking things down with moderators (which e-mail lists did), Malda figured out a way for users to moderate one another. Moderation became like jury duty, something you were called to do." Next, NY Times community manager Bassey Etim, who oversees 13 comment moderators, offers up his comments on comments, agreeing that "the comments are where the real America is." So, what is the next new thing for commenting? Erard cites annotation features, offered by the likes of Medium and Rap Genius. Finally, there's Gawker's next-generation Kinja, which aims to further blur the lines between stories, blog entries, and comments.

Submission + - Learning to Code: Are We Having Fun Yet? 1

theodp writes: Nate West has a nice essay on the importance of whimsy in learning to program. "It wasn’t until I was writing Ruby that I found learning to program to be fun," recalls West. "What’s funny is it really doesn’t take much effort to be more enjoyable than the C++ examples from earlier...just getting to write gets.chomp and puts over cout > made all the difference. Ruby examples kept me engaged just long enough that I could find Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby." So, does the future of introductory computer programming books and MOOCs lie in professional, business-like presentations, or does a less-polished production with some genuine goofy enthusiasm help the programming medicine go down?

Submission + - Apple iPhone 5S TouchID broken (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Chaos Computer Club has claimed that they have managed to break Apple's TouchID using everyday material and methods available on the web. Explaining their method on their website, the CCC hackers have claimed that all they did was photograph a fingerprint from a glass surface, ramped up the resolution of the photographed fingerprint, inverted and printed it using thick toner settings, smeared pink latex milk or white woodglue onto the pattern, lifted the latex sheet, moistened it a little and then placed it on the iPhone 5S’ fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone.

Submission + - Have to move into an office. Should I move to a U.S or European office 1

mindlessrabble writes: For promotion I have to change from a remote to office worker. But I don't have to be in any specific office. Should I move to a U.S. or European office? I have worked in both areas and am a US citizen. Not really tied to any place. Would be interested to hear experiences of anyone.

Submission + - Xbox One's HDMI Pass-Through Will Connect PlayStation 4, PCs and More (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: The Xbox One has both HDMI-in and HDMI-out capability. The point of HDMI-in is to allow you to hook up a cable box, with output then running from the Xbox One to your television. As it turns out, however, that's not the only thing the Xbox One can do. Since the HDMI-in port is a standard option, it can accept video input from a PS4 and also accept a video stream from a PC. According to Xbox senior director of product management, Albert Panello, "any application can be snapped to a game... this could be the live TV feed, so if you wanted to play Ryse and Killzone (a PS4 exclusive), you could snap that." Keep in mind, snapping a title to the Xbox One doesn't mean that you can actually keep using Xbox One controllers in the game. If you want to snap in a PS4 game, you still need PS4 controllers. If you want to hook a PC into the Xbox One's video output, you still need mouse and keyboard, though if the Xbox One's controllers are eventually PC compatible, then you might be able to use the same controller on both platforms without doing much more than flipping a switch.

Submission + - Privacy Implications Of Shops Which Don't Accept Cash 2

MotorMachineMercenar writes: As I went to buy a nice bottle of wine at a shop in Amsterdam, I was shocked when the shopkeeper told me "we don't accept cash, only cards." This was the second time I've run into a shop like this. He further told me that these types of shops will become more common, as it is "safer." Safer for who?

Do we really want everything that we buy to be a matter of record to be recorded and saved for indefinite period of time by banks and credit card companies? Amsterdam especially has services and goods on sale which might not look too good on a credit card bill. Even if all you bought was perfectly legal, who knows what conclusions current and future databases or officials will make? Will I receive an "enhanced" security check if I buy box cutters on the way to the airport?

While such shops are rare now, they might become more popular unless people are aware of the loss of privacy, and potential for abuse by unscrupulous people with access to the data. At least currently I have the choice of paying cash. I don't want that choice to be taken away, replaced by an ever-wider reach of the surveillance state.

Submission + - The Other Pong

theodp writes: Before there was Pong, there was Ping-Pong. Table tennis began in 19th-century Victorian England as a parlor game for the upper-middle class, with cigar box lids used as paddles. Today, as BusinessInsider half-joked, federal law requires all tech startups to have a functional ping pong table. Photographer Alec Soth discusses his love of the game in a NY Times interview and shares some vintage photos of the sport from his new limited-edition book Ping Pong. So, why do people — especially lots of computer programmers — get obsessed with Ping-Pong? Table tennis is "a way to do a physical sport that has actual athletic qualities but is kind of contained," explains Soth. "There’s a real mental element to it. It’s not chess, but your brain is engaged. It’s a break from neuroses."

Submission + - World Solar Challenge to start in less than two weeks (worldsolarchallenge.org)

SustainableJeroen writes: On October 6th, the 2013 World Solar Challenge will start. This year, 43 teams (more than ever before) from 24 countries around the world will compete in this biannual 3000 km road event, which runs from Darwin to Adelaide. In both 2009 and 2011, Tokai University (Japan), Nuon Solar Team (the Netherlands) and University of Michigan Solar Car Team (USA) finished in first, second and third position, respectively. Who will win this year? We'll know for sure on October 13th, the end of the event. Team details (photos, car specifications, links to websites) can be found here.

Submission + - Applying 3D Printing Concepts to the Farm and Garden (scribd.com)

Rory Landon Aronson writes: I wrote a white paper on my project FarmBot, an open-source, scalable, automated precision farming machine. Think of it like a giant 3D printer, but instead of wielding a plastic extruder, its tools are seed injectors, watering nozzles, plows, sensors, and more. The paper covers the technology and vision as well as details of FarmBot Genesis, the first version currently in development with plans for a crowdfunded launch in 2014. Looking for feedback. Thanks!

Submission + - Robotic Bartender Programmed to Recognize When You Are Ready for a Drink

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Michael Harper reports that researchers at the Bielefeld University in Germany are working to develop a robotic bartender and their most difficult challenge so far is to identify the body language that is most commonly used by customers and interpreted as someone wanting to buy a drink. A bartending robot has to be able to distinguish between customers intending to order, chatting with friends or just passing by — and do so in a very noisy environment. The researchers examined the behavior of customers in nightclubs to see which behaviors were most successful at indicating to the barman the customer was ready to be served. “Effectively, the customers identify themselves as ordering and non-ordering people through their behavior," says Dr Sebastian Loth, lead author of the study. The researchers analyzed 105 attempts to order drinks at nightclubs in Bielefeld and Herford in Germany and Edinburgh in Scotland and assessed the behavior of customers 35 seconds before they were served. They found the most successful tactic, which occurred in 95% of orders, was standing squarely towards the bar with head facing forward. Looking at money saw just seven per cent of customers being served within the 35 second time frame. The findings are used to produce an update to the robotic bartender’s programming to allow it to ask customers if they would like a drink when they display the right body language. What the research team has learned is being programmed into a robotic bartender called James, or Joint Action in Multimodal Embodied Systems. The researchers have been working on James since early 2011 and hope to have the project completed in January 2014.

Submission + - IDF Hackers Test Readiness In Israel for Cyberattacks (al-monitor.com)

cold fjord writes: Al-Monitor reports, "Lt. Col. M., 39, is in charge of the [cyber] defense ... the “blue team,” .... Capt. A. heads the “red team” in the cybersecurity lineup, whose task is to simulate attacks ... Together, the two teams maintain IDF preparedness in the face of any potential cyber threat. ... We have the edge not only in terms of technological level, but also in terms of motivation: We are protecting human lives, and our soldiers are thus far more motivated than civilian security specialists. ... Lt. Col. M. is therefore not really concerned about the reports that the American National Security Agency (NSA) has found a way around the [Internet-level] encryption protocols of most of the civilian computer systems worldwide — which draw on the information leaked by former NSA employee Edward Snowden. “Our job is to monitor the goings-on and keep track of the technological developments, and we need to know what the threats and risks in cyberspace are. In any event, to protect strategic assets, encryption systems that we develop ourselves in-house ... are customarily used.” ... while the IDF realized the importance of cyber warfare long ago, it is only recently that it has recognized the need to prepare for any scenario and regularly conduct quality assurance tests of the system. "

Submission + - Valve announces Steambox, sort of. (steampowered.com)

wbr1 writes: A new page has appeared over at steam with this slightly cryptic text, a countdown, and an image of a console controller.

"Last year, we shipped a software feature called Big Picture, a user-interface tailored for televisions and gamepads. This year we’ve been working on even more ways to connect the dots for customers who want Steam in the living-room. Soon, we’ll be adding you to our design process, so that you can help us shape the future of Steam."

It appears Gabe Newell wants to throw his hat in the console ring now with the XBone and PS4 about to be released. The countdown to the announcement is targeted at Monday.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is IOS 7 slow? 1

PopHollywood writes: Is IOS 7 slower that old 6? After upgrading, myself and a few others notice slow, choppy experience when scrolling, changing apps, etc. is this comon?

Submission + - Apple starts blocking unauthorized Lightning cables with IOS 7 (phonearena.com)

beltsbear writes: Your formerly working clone Lightning cable could stop working with the latest IOS update. Previously the beta version allowed these cables to charge with a warning message but the final release actually stops many cables from working. Apples Lightning connector system is locked with authentication chips that can verify if a cable is authorized by Apple. Many users with clone cables are now without the ability to charge their iPhones.

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