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Security

Submission + - Flashlight weapon makes target vomit (foxnews.com)

synaptic writes: "From the FOXNews article:

Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc., of Torrance, Calif., has been granted a contract by the Department of Homeland Security to develop what it calls the "LED Incapacitator," according to a DHS online newsletter. The handheld device using [sic] light-emitting diodes to emit super-bright pulses of light at rapidly changing wavelengths, causing disorientation, nausea and even vomiting in whomever it's pointed at.

"There's one wavelength that gets everybody," says IOS President Bob Lieberman. "Vlad [IOS top scientist Vladimir Rubtsov] calls it 'the evil color.'"
Vlad calls it the EVIL COLOR, eh? I wonder if shutter glasses could be rigged to detect the light and actively filter it."

Communications

Submission + - Chaos Communication Camp 2007 starting august 8th (events.ccc.de)

VinciB writes: "The 2007 Chaos Communication Camp will take place from August 8th till August 12th at Finowfurt, near Berlin, Germany.
This international hacker community meeting will see many hackers from all over the world coming to exchange ideas, stuff, tricks & tips, and of course challenge eachothers. It's not too late to take a plane to Berlin, geeks & nerds from /. are welcome. A fahrplan (Schedule) of all conferences is available on the event wiki. Hope this camp will be as successfull as the previous one (CC2003).
See you there geeks."

Graphics

Submission + - AMD Tech Day at Develop Conference 2007 (beyond3d.com)

ryszards writes: "At the tail end of the Develop Expo and Conference this year, AMD held their Tech Day to talk about D3D10 graphics development, multi-GPU, multi-core CPU programming and more. Designed to educate games developers so they get the most out of AMD GPUs and CPUs, it's one of the only free tech tours the company does in the UK. This year they partnered with Microsoft again, and Beyond3D showed up to cover it.

The day was dominated by discussion on the challenges games developers will face when using D3D10 and multi-core processors to develop the next generation of games on Windows, and the information imparted by the representatives of AMD and Microsoft is invaluable."

Software

Submission + - Linux Powered PS3 to be used in DARPA

An anonymous reader writes: Axion Racing was the first team to autonomously drive up to the top of Colorado's Pike Peak and now leads the way by finding cutting edge uses for the beleaguered Sony PS3. This two time DARPA Grand Challenge qualifier is the first racing team to implement Yellow Dog Linux and a Sony PlayStation game console to manage one of seven autonomous vehicle cameras.
United States

Submission + - Working in a very remote area

leeet writes: My family and I are faced with a big dilemma. I'm from a small town where the only thing IT-related is the local mom and pop computer shop and I'm barely being sarcastic. There is no innovation and most medium to large companies fulfill their IT needs from head office (i.e. if something breaks, they basically sent consultants for 1 or 2 days). Since I work in a semi-specialized field (IT Security), I had to move to a large city in order to make a "nice" living. Turns out that we're not sure if we're living a "nice living" after all: long commute time, away from our family, expensive housing and so on. I think everyone knows what I'm talking about.

So I'm faced with two choices:

1. Work in a large city, pay a high mortgage, commute forever and have no life whatsoever with my family. Not the best for my family.

2. Move to a nice remote area, work in some factory and struggle to make a decent living while never knowing when the factory will close (I'm also being barely sarcastic here). Not really better for my family.

So the best is of course a mixture of both options. I have some ideas in mind but they are very limited (like starting my own physical/Internet business, telecommuting for an IT company or simply re-orienting my career although this would be hard — like opening a restaurant, owning a bed & breakfast inn or something entirely different of what I do)

As far as telecommuting, I'm curious to know about real-life examples. What do you telecommuter people do? Sure some people telecommute, but is this "real"? Do some people really telecommute 365 days a year? Every single company that I worked for had a telecommute policy and we couldn't do it year round. We had perhaps 1 or 2 days per week at the maximum. My current company actually completely forbids telecommuting. So are there fields that are more open to telecommuters (perhaps fields where decentralization is well accepted — like insurance)?

Anyone willing to tell their own success story? How are you making enough money to support your family in a remote area? And perhaps more important, what are you doing exactly? I'm not looking for obvious ideas (i.e. do freelance programming — I already know about this) but rather for "think out of the box" ideas. Is anyone working from Hoot Owl, Oklahoma and is happy about it?
Programming

Submission + - Baby Talk

An anonymous reader writes: PhysOrg has an interesting article about language development in babies that seems to have implications for the equivalent AI scenario.

If the snowball effect of vocabulary development is an unavoidable outcome that does not require hardwiring, then the AI process to achieve the same goal should be nearer than many have envisioned.

Furthermore the article begs the question "Why haven't we seen it yet?"
Software

Submission + - What qualities make for a good MMORPG?

Anonymous Gamer writes: "I am a long time RPG gamer. I've played pen and paper games for over 20 years, from Palladium Games, to Star Wars, to classic D&D. I have also been playing computer RPGs for a long time, all the way back to Legacy Of The Ancients (1987) and before.

Today's MMO's often leave a lot to be desired. I do not play WoW. I do not play Everquest. I've tried them all, and the "grind" just didn't appeal.

What makes a _good_ MMORPG, in the minds of Slashdot's crowd?

I like factions. I think EVERY world should be full PVP. The user-generated content of games like NeverWinter Nights has kept it going for years now.

My ideal MMO would have a "Elder Scrolls" style of progression in levels. You get better at the things you practice most.
Factions would be blended together, with guildmasters able to declare hostility to others, allowing for the "tags" of others to change colors based on that. User created drama can bring a great deal of fun to a game. Limiting the population somewhat will bring more of a family feel to the world. Limiting the resources to gain money and power quickly will keep the competitiveness high between factions.

There should be laws, and the world should be able to change. For example, if Reynard the thief decides to burn down the pawnshop because he got a bad deal on a gem he stole. The AI of the game should not only allow him to do it, but punish him by causing the guards to target him on sight. Perhaps his name would get a symbol next to it, allowing for players to hunt him down for the bounty. Bottom line, if you're a bad guy, you should eventually be driven out of civilized lands altogether. Good guys and newbie players should be wary of journeying alone in the wilds, because bad things happen to good people.. and good games. Perhaps people on a development team will read our ideas and run with it."
KDE

Submission + - KDE 4.0 Beta 1 Released 1

mernil writes: "The KDE Community is happy to announce the immediate availability of the first Beta release for KDE 4.0. This release marks the beginning of the integration process which will bring the powerful new technologies included in the now frozen KDE 4 libraries to the applications."
Power

Submission + - Cooling Your House With Solar Heat

An anonymous reader writes: The German Fraunhofer research institute has created the spin-off company SorTech, which plans to produce air conditioning systems that are run by solar heat. This mind-boggling feat is achieved by a thermo-chemical process called sorption. The technology could help to satisfy the increasing energy consumption used for air conditioning. It seems to be a perfect application for using solar energy: Good efficiency is possible by avoiding a conversion from heat into electricity and back to cooling energy. It also does not need a long term energy storage system, because the energy needed for cooling spikes exactly at the time, when most solar energy is available.
Biotech

Submission + - "Brain Pacemaker" wakes man from vegetativ (reuters.com)

Kram_Gunderson writes: Reuters is reporting that medical researchers have awakened a man from a six-year near-vegetative state using a pacemaker-like device tied to electrodes implanted in the man's brain. The man, who was robbed, beaten, and left for dead in 1999, can now chew his own food, speak with a limited vocabulary, and play cards with his family. The treatment was begun in 2005, and gives hope for recovery to patients in minimally-conscious states.
Google

Submission + - Google to Mobile GMaps: No tiles for you (hacktheday.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Apparently Google doesn't like the idea that their maps service has become so popular. As an example, they asked MGMaps to stop using Google Maps. But since you can enter the url of any map server in MGMaps, here's the hack to get support for Google maps back in: add a custom map type and enter http://mt.google.com/mt for maps or http://kh.google.com/kh?v=20 for satellite imagery.
Networking

Submission + - Mini-ITX Clusters?

HesAnIndieRocker writes: "I've recently become interested in experimenting with Linux cluster technologies (databases, distributed file systems, etc) but have been held back by the availability of cheap server hardware. Via's MiniITX C7-based motherboards look very promising, but all of the enclosures I have seen for the platform look like stereo components or traditional PCs. Are there any solutions out there for putting multiple boards in a single box with shared power and space for hard drives, or must the aspiring supercomputer owner build everything themselves? Is there a cluster hobbyist market or are they only built (and priced) for the enterprise?"
Quickies

Submission + - Exercise, caffeine fight skin cancer (yahoo.com)

caffiend666 writes: "The combination of exercise and caffeine increased destruction of precancerous cells that had been damaged by the sun's ultraviolet-B radiation, according to a team of researchers at Rutgers University.... In mice there is a protective effect from both caffeine and voluntary exercise, and when both are provided — not necessarily at the same time — protection is even more than the sum of the two..." All proof that we're doing the right thing by staying indoors and drinking coffee!"
Software

Submission + - Good profiling tools for C/C++ unser un*x?

serviscope_minor writes: It should be well known to any developer that you should only optimize parts of a program which need optimizing. And the way to find those parts is through profiling. This simplifies one point: profiling is difficult. The obvious way is to enable profiling in the compiler and use gprof, but this has problems. Firstly there is no point in profiling a program without turning on -O3 (or which ever), since this can change the results dramatically. Secondly, -O3 will inline functions which can ruin profiling results by making them far too coarse. Even if it doesn't do this, there is no way of determining which part of a function is taking up all the time. So that brings me to my question: does anyone know of profiling tools which do not suffer from these problems? My platform is C++ (using g++) on Linux.

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