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User Journal

Journal Journal: Copyright For Dummies

An interesting video was passed to a friend of a friend who subsequently passed it on to me about the original intent and virtues of copyright in America. Not surprisingly the video outlines the original intent of copyright to encourage the creators to bring new content and protect them for a period of time. As the video points out one of the largest instigators of the new rules on time privilege for creators was the Disn

Hardware

Submission + - Wind turbine can extract liters of water from air (geek.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Getting access to enough water to drink in a desert eveironment is a pretty tough proposition, but Eole Water may have solved the problem. It has created a wind turbine that can extract up to 1,000 liters of water per day from the air. All it requires is a 15mph wind to generate the 30kW's of power required for the process to happen. The end result is a tank full of purified water ready to drink at the base of each turbine.
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - CryENGINE 3 gives us a glimpse at the future of gaming (bgr.com)

zacharye writes: The next-generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles currently being developed by Microsoft and Sony will make the disparity between console and mobile gaming even more vast, adding more fluid animation support and a number of additional enhancements that will make video games more realistic than ever. But even when confined to the capabilities present in today’s home consoles, new video game engines show us just how amazing gaming will be moving forward. Ctytek, the lab behind the popular Crysis franchise, recently released the CryENGINE 3 SDK 3.4.0 DX11 update for developers as well as with a quick reel to highlight some of the engine’s capabilities...
Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - New Version Of Mac OS X Trojan Exploits Word, Not Java

An anonymous reader writes: Just a few days ago, a new Mac OS X Trojan was spotted in the wild that exploited Java vulnerabilities and required no user interaction to infect your Apple Mac, just like the Flashback Trojan. Kaspersky referred to it as “Backdoor.OSX.SabPub.a” while Sophos called it at “SX/Sabpab-A.” Now, both security firms have confirmed a different variant of this new Trojan that infects Macs by exploiting Microsoft Word, not Java.

Submission + - Nvidia Gives Up On Cheap Desktop GPGPU Processors

Nom du Keyboard writes: It appears that Nvidia is abandoning relatively cheap high-end GPGPU performance for the masses with the EOLing of their Fermi GF110 GTX 580 chip. The new GK104 Kepler GPU excels at graphics tasks, but is a dog at the gold standard of double precision floating point computation, unable to best even the previous generation GTX 580 chip,, let alone AMD's latest Tahiti HD 7970 GPGPU. While certainly Nvidia will soon announce a vastly more expensive workstation and supercomputer class GPGPU solution with undoubtedly a significant performance increase over their previous generation, it now seems like AMD is the only option in the market for the home user on a budget wanting major compute in addition to stellar graphics performance.
Math

Submission + - Laws of physics trumps traffic law. (physicscentral.com)

HeLLFiRe1151 writes: Here's a practical application for your physics education: using math to successfully beat a traffic ticket in court. Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist based at the University of California San Diego, did just that to avoid paying a fee for (purportedly) running a stop sign.

Krioukov not only proved his innocence, but he also posted a paper detailing his argument online on the arXiv server http://arxiv.org/pdf/1204.0162v1.

Education

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Compsci BS/MS from a research univ. or teaching univ. better? (gainesville.com)

mnanu writes: Recently due to budget cuts some public universities have decided to cut down research in computer science and turn their CS depts into teaching only departments. It is happening in the University of Florida and something similar occurred in the University of Cincinnati. The rationale given for the cuts at UFL is that the teaching quality can be maintained without conducting any research. What do slashdotters think about this? Does it matter if the faculty conducts research as far as BS and MS (non-thesis) programs are concerned?
Movies

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Movie/Video search aggregation?

raolin writes: I have been running without television service for the last few years, relying instead on Netflix Streaming, Hulu Plus, Amazon, and my personal video library. I have the latter indexed and easily searchable, but I have not managed to find a good aggregator for the streaming services that I use, so when I have friends over and the question "Can we see X?" is asked, I have to search three streaming sources, which is kind of a drag. I know Netflix has a search API that I could work with, and it seems at least possible that Hulu and Amazon do as well, but before I try to build something myself I thought I'd ask the community. Any thoughts?

Comment Cool (Score 1) 10

This is very cool. I nodded the submission in the FireHose.
Another interesting approach Ito true randomness: The guys ate SparkFun used a Geiger counter to decide when to give out prizes on their last freeday. In that implementation it was only giving random true/false, but that could be extended to produce numbers as well.
Math

Submission + - User Journal Quantum Random Numbers (anu.edu.au)

tqft writes: "What the world needs is more truly random sources of numbers. Here are some more:

" We do this by splitting a beam of light into two beams and then measuring the power in each beam. Because light is quantised, the light intensity in each beam fluctuates about the mean. Those fluctuations, due ultimately to the quantum vacuum, can be converted into a source of random numbers. Every number is randomly generated in real time and cannot be predicted beforehand. So if you need some really random numbers, use the link below!"

http://photonics.anu.edu.au/qoptics/Research/qrng.php

http://150.203.48.55/Matrix.php"

Linux

Submission + - Open-Source NVIDIA Driver Goes Stable On Linux (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The open source Nouveau driver that's a reverse-engineered incarnation of NVIDIA's official proprietary driver for Linux, has reached its biggest milestone. The Nouveau driver is now being considered stable within the Linux kernel and leaving the staging area with a pledge of a stable ABI. Phoronix has summarized the state of the Nouveau driver, which works fine if you don't care about performance or are fine with running hardware that's a few generations old.
Technology

Submission + - Cutting-edge Navy warship being built in Maine (yahoo.com)

SolKeshNaranek writes: Synopsis:
An enormous, expensive and technology-laden warship that some Navy leaders once tried to kill because of its cost is now viewed as an important part of the Obama administration's Asia-Pacific strategy, with advanced capabilities that the Navy's top officer says represent the Navy's future.

Article:
The stealthy, guided-missile Zumwalt that's taking shape at Bath Iron Works is the biggest destroyer ever built for the U.S. Navy.

The low-to-the-water warship will feature a wave-piercing hull, composite deckhouse, electric drive propulsion, advanced sonar, missiles, and powerful guns that fire rocket-propelled warheads as far as 100 miles. It's also longer and heavier than existing destroyers — but will have half the crew because of automated systems.

"With its stealth, incredibly capable sonar system, strike capability and lower manning requirements — this is our future," concluded Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, who gave the warship his endorsement on a visit last week to Bath Iron Works, where the ships are being built.

It wasn't always this way.

The General Accounting Office expressed concerns that the Navy was trying to incorporate too much new technology. Some Navy officials pointed out that it's less capable than existing destroyers when it comes to missile defense, and a defense analyst warned that it would be vulnerable while operating close to shore for fire support.

Even its "tumblehome" hull was criticized as potentially unstable in certain situations.

The 600-foot-long ships are so big that the General Dynamics-owned shipyard spent $40 million to construct a 106-foot-tall building to assemble the giant hull segments.

And then there's the cost, roughly $3.8 billion apiece, according to the Navy's latest proposed budget.

Including research and development, the cost grows to $7 billion apiece, said Winslow Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information in Washington.

Because of cost, the originally envisioned 32 ships dipped to 24 and then seven. Eventually, program was truncated to just three. The first, the Zumwalt, will be christened next year and delivered to the Navy in 2014.

But Greenert told reporters that the ship fits perfectly into the new emphasis on bolstering the U.S. military presence in the Pacific in response to Asia's growing economic importance and China's rise as a military power.

Greenert didn't go into detail on how the new ship could be used. But the Defense Department has expressed concerns that China is modernizing its Navy with a near-term goal of stopping or delaying U.S. intervention in a conflict involving Taiwan. China considers the self-governing island a renegade province.

Defense officials also see a potential flashpoint in the South China Sea, where China's territorial claims overlap with those of other countries including Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.

The Zumwalt's new technology will allow the warship to deter and defeat aggression and to maintain operations in areas where an enemy seeks to deny access, both on the open ocean and in operations closer to shore, the Navy says.

Jay Korman, industry analyst with The Avascent Group, said the warship uses so much new technology that it's viewed by the Navy as a "silver bullet" answer to threats. The only problem is the cost.

"They were looking to introduce so many new technologies at once, and the cost ballooned," he said. "I don't think people have changed their minds that it's a capable ship. It's just too expensive."

Unlike another new ship entering the Navy's arsenal — the small and speedy "littoral combat ship" — the Zumwalt will be heavily armored and armed.

The Zumwalt's 155 mm deck guns were built to pound the shore with guided projectiles to pave the way for the Marines to arrive in landing craft, and they're far more cost-effective in certain situations than cruise missiles, said Eric Wertheim, author of the "Naval Institute's Guide to Combat Fleets of the World."

The smaller crew also represents a substantial cost savings, he added.

Down the road, the ship could one day be equipped with an electromagnetic railgun, a powerful weapon that uses a magnetic field and electric current to fire a projectile at several times the speed of sound.

Production will stop after three ships, and the Navy will go back to building tried-and-true Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, 510-foot-long ships featuring a versatile Aegis radar system that's being modified for ballistic missile defense. Even with modifications, the ships will cost far less than the Zumwalt-class ships.

For Bath's 5,400 workers, the Zumwalt has been both exciting and challenging, with a new design and new construction techniques. In the coming months, workers will take delivery of the composite deck house and helicopter hangar, which are being built at the Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi. Those will be placed on the Bath-built hull.

"If anybody can do it and do it successfully, then I'm confident that's us," said Jay Wadleigh, vice president of Local S6 of the Machinists Union in Bath.

Government

Submission + - Vague Definitions in CISPA Raise Concerns of SOPA 2.0 (youtube.com)

An anonymous reader writes: April 12 (Bloomberg Law) — Trevor Timm, activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, talks with Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia about the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a new bill that attempts to regulate the internet by allowing companies to share internet user data with each other and the federal government for the purpose of protecting against the "vulnerability of, or threat to, a system or network of a government or private entity." While CISPA currently has the support of over 100 cosponsors in the US House of Representatives and over 20 major corporations, opponents of the bill have voiced concerns over the bill's potential negative effects on privacy laws and individual internet users' civil liberties. CISPA is scheduled to go to full vote in the US House of Representatives for the week of April 23rd.

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