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Security

3-D Light System May Revolutionize Fingerprinting 71

coondoggie writes "The US Department of Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate recently awarded almost $420,000 to a Kentucky company to further develop a contactless finger print/biometric system. The goal is a machine that can snap 10 fingerprints in high resolution in less than 10 seconds, without human intervention. This goal is beginning to look feasible. FlashScan3D is working with the University of Kentucky's Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments, and has developed a technique called 'structured light illumination' (WIPO patent description), where a pattern of dots or stripes is projected onto a curved or irregular surface."
Hardware Hacking

Old Computers Resurrected As Instruments At Bletchley Park 109

arcticstoat writes with a snippet from bit-tech.com; musician Matthew Applegate "plans on assembling a virtual orchestra of 20 retired relics of computing at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park. The choice of venue will even allow Applegate to feature the infamous Colossus Mark 2 computer in the event, which was used for code-breaking in World War II and was recently reconstructed at Bletchley Park in 2007. ... A wide selection of computing fossils be used in Applegate's final musical presentation, which is called 'Obsolete?' This includes the Elliot 803 (a 1960s machine with 4KB of memory), the aforementioned Colossus Mark 2, a Bunsviga adding machine (pictured) and a punch card machine. As well as this, there are also some machines that will look nostalgically familiar to kids who grew up with the home computer generation, including a BBC Micro, an Atari 800XL, a Dragon 32 and an Amstrad CPC464." The article's list of the members of this "orchestra" makes an interesting checklist of computer hardware history.
Portables

Ion Platform For Atom Tested With Games, HD Video 115

J. Dzhugashvili writes "Nvidia has already pulled the curtain off its Ion platform, which couples GeForce 9400 integrated graphics with Intel's Atom processor. But how does it perform? The Tech Report has taken the tiny Ion reference system for a spin in games and video decoding to see if the GeForce GPU really helps. The verdict? 1080p playback is actually smooth, and the whole system only draws 25W during playback. Fast-paced action games are another story—Half-Life 2, Quake Wars, and Call of Duty 4 are all choppy with a single Atom core and single-channel RAM, although they do run. TR concludes that Ion is nevertheless a clear improvement over Intel's 945G chipset, especially since Nvidia doesn't expect Ion-based Atom systems to cost significantly more than all-Intel ones." Update: 02/04 09:14 GMT by T : HotHardware is one of the several other sites offering some performance benchmark numbers on the new chipset.

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