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Blackberry

BlackBerry 10 Unveiled 185

arcite writes "Research in Motion Ltd's new CEO, Thorsten Heins, unveiled BlackBerry 10 in Florida today. Will new features such as a virtual keyboard that learns from typing behavior and a camera that easily focuses on faces be enough to scrape back precious market share (which could possibly fall to 5%) from the likes of Apple and Android? With no physical device yet revealed and a release date ranging anywhere from August to October, it will be an uphill battle." Engadget had some brief hands-on time with a dev Alpha. It seems RIM is trying to jumpstart app development through its App Generator and financial incentives.
Software

Mercedes Can Now Update Car Software Remotely 228

MatthewVD writes "Our cars run millions of lines of code that need constant and, often, critical updates. Jim Motavalli writes that Mercedes-Benz's new mbrace2 'cloud infotainment system' has a secret capability: it can update software automatically and wirelessly. In a process called 'reflashing,' the Mercedes system turns on the car operating system (CU), downloads the new application, then cuts itself off. With companies like Fisker paying dearly for constant recalls for software problems, automakers will likely rush to embrace this technology. No more USBs in the dashboard!"
Media

Video Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to SlashdotTV! (Video) Screenshot-sm 203

You may have noticed that we've posted quite a few original videos on Slashdot in the past few months. Rather than being the work of a few rogue editors with newly-acquired Christmas cameras, this was part of the groundwork for a new site we're launching today. SlashdotTV, found at http://tv.slashdot.org, will let you easily find and watch all of our videos in one convenient location. In addition to Slashdot content, you also can watch videos from our sister sites, SourceForge and ThinkGeek. The site is brand new, and we're interested in hearing your feedback -- what you think about it, and what kind of videos you'd like to see. Currently, you can embed our videos on your own site or show them to your friends with our share feature. Commenting is coming soon. Check back often for new videos, and keep watching!
Input Devices

Slashdot Asks: How To Best Record Remote Video Interviews? 96

You've probably noticed that Slashdot's been running some video lately. There are a lot of interesting people and projects in the world we'd like to present in video form, but some of them are too far away for the corporate overlords to sponsor travel to shoot footage in person. (Another reason my dream of parachuting to McMurdo Station will probably never manifest.) We've been playing around with several things on both the software and hardware side, but in truth, all of them have some flaws — whether it's flaky sound (my experience with the otherwise pleasing RecordMyDesktop on Linux), sometimes garbled picture (Skype, even on seemingly fast network connections), or video quality in general. (Google Hangouts hasn't looked as good as Skype, for instance. And of the webcams built into any of the laptops we've tried, only Apple's were much worth looking at. Logitech's HD webcams seem to be a decent bargain for their quality.) We've got a motley bunch of Linux, OS X, and Windows systems, and can only control what's on our side of the connection: interviewees may have anything from a low-end laptop with a built-in webcam to elaborate conferencing tools — which means the more universal the tools, the better. (There may not be any free, open source, high-quality, cross-platform video conferencing tools with built-in capture and a great UI, but the closer we can get, the better.) With all that in mind, what tools and workflow would you suggest for capturing internet conversations (with video and sound), and why? Approaches that minimize annoyance to the person on the other end of the connection (like the annoyance of signing up for an obscure conferencing system) are especially valuable. We'd like to hear both sides, so please chime in if you've had especially good or bad experiences with capturing remote video like this.
Earth

Boiling Down the Meaning of Life 218

Shipud writes "A recent article in Journal of Biomolecular structure and Dynamics proposes to define life by semantic voting [Note: open-access article]: 'The definitions of life are more than often in conflict with one another. Undeniably, however, most of them do have a point, one or another or several, and common sense suggests that, probably, one could arrive to a consensus, if only the authors, some two centuries apart from one another, could be brought together. One thing, however, can be done – short of voting in absentia – asking which terms in the definitions are the most frequent and, thus, perhaps, reflecting the most important points shared by many.' The author arrives at a six-word definition, as explained here."
The Military

Self-Guided Bullet Can Hit Targets a Mile Away 421

New submitter jpwilliams writes "Gizmag reports that researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have tested a 10-centimeter bullet that can be fired from a smooth-bore rifle to hit a laser-marked target one mile away. The bullet 'includes an optical sensor in the nose to detect a laser beam on a target. The sensor sends information to guidance and control electronics that use an algorithm in an eight-bit central processing unit to command electromagnetic actuators. These actuators steer tiny fins that guide the bullet to the target.' Interestingly, accuracy improves with targets that are further away, because 'the bullet's motions settle the longer it is in flight.'"
AI

Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Learn About Game Theory and AI? 152

xmojox writes "I would like to learn more about Artificial Intelligence and Game Theory. I know these are both large areas of study; however, my main interest is in how these affect decisions in the world. This would include politicians, business people, and general society. I'm not looking for a career or anything; this is just a personal interest of mine. Where are good places to start in these areas for somebody new to them? I'm aware of the Stanford on-line classes, but those don't work with my current schedule."

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