Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Is JavaScript Ready For Creating Quality Games? 165

kumpetan writes "After seeing so many games built with JavaScript, and considering the applications it powers and the use of Ajax, it seems like web developers are now in the game development pot. It is getting easier and more popular with libraries like jQuery, MooTools, Prototype, etc. There are even libraries like Game JS, GameQuery or JavaScript GameLib, specifically for this purpose. So, will we start to see more ambitious game projects arise using these tools?"
Communications

FCC Cancels Free Internet Vote 257

Earlier this year we discussed a proposal from the FCC which would have required winning bidders for a portion of the wireless spectrum to use some of that bandwidth for free internet access. A vote for the plan was scheduled for next Thursday, but now the FCC has canceled those plans, facing "opposition from several top officials, wireless providers, and even civil rights groups." The internet access would have had some level of filtering, to which privacy groups took exception, and the Bush administration objected to forcing requirements on the winners of the spectrum auction. Others simply asked the FCC not to take on such a major project as the transition between analog and digital television transmissions looms.
Image

Wireless Invention Jams Teen Drivers' Cell Calls Screenshot-sm 232

alphadogg writes "University of Utah researchers have invented technology that could come to be embraced by teenagers with the same enthusiasm they have for curfews and ID checks. And like those things, it could save their lives. Key2SafeDriving technology uses RFID or Bluetooth wireless capabilities to issue signals from car keys to cell phones to prevent drivers from talking on their phones or texting while driving. A company called Accendo LC of Kaysville, Utah has licensed the technology and is working to build it into commercial devices that could be on the market next year. The company is sorting out how to bring the technology to market, but one possibility is that it would be made available through cell phone service companies and could also be tied in with insurance companies, which might offer discounts for users."
The Media

Reuters Pulls Out of Second Life, Army Heads In 77

A little over two years ago, Reuters made headlines by setting up a reporter as a go-between for Second Life and the real world. Now, they've evidently decided that the buzz is no longer there, so they've ended the virtual-reporting experiment. The reporter, Eric Krangel, offered his own take on the situation, and what he thinks Linden Labs could do to make Second Life a better place. Whether or not the advice is taken, the US Army has decided to carve out its own presence in the virtual world by setting up a pair of islands that will function as recruiting tools. An article at Massively suggests that interest in Second Life is still high among a variety of organizations, saying, "at present it appears that more businesses are coming in than going out."
Data Storage

Optimizing Linux Use On a USB Flash Drive? 137

Buckbeak writes "I like to carry my Linux systems around with me, on USB flash drives. Typically, SanDisk Cruzers or Kingston HyperX. I encrypt the root partition and boot off the USB stick. Sometimes, the performance leaves something to be desired. I want to be able to do an 'apt-get upgrade' or 'yum update' while surfing but the experience is sometimes painful. What can I do to maximize the performance of Linux while running off of a slow medium? I've turned on 'noatime' in the mount options and I don't use a swap partition. Is there any way to minimize drive I/O or batch it up more? Is there any easy way to run in memory and write everything out when I shut down? I've tried both EXT2 and EXT3 and it doesn't seem to make much difference. Any other suggestions?"
Operating Systems

FreeBSD 6.4 Released 64

hmallett writes "FreeBSD 6.4-RELEASE, the fifth release from the 6-STABLE branch of FreeBSD development, is now available. In addition to being hosted at many FTP sites, ISO images can be downloaded via the BitTorrent tracker, or for users of earlier FreeBSD releases, FreeBSD Update can be used to perform a binary upgrade."
News

Inside Dean Kamen's Seceded Island of Geekery 187

mattnyc99 writes "The new issue of Esquire has a long, in-depth, intricate profile of Dean Kamen and his quest to invent a better world. Earlier this month, we discussed Kamen's Sterling-electric car, but this piece goes into much more detail about how that engine works — he got the original idea from the upmodded Henry Ford artifact in the basement of his insane island lab — and about how his inventions often go overlooked, including the Slingshot water purifier that Stephen Colbert made famous but that no one has actually bought yet. Quoting: 'To get the Slingshot to the 20 percent of the world that doesn't have electricity, Kamen came up with the idea of splitting it in half. Leaving the Stirling aside, he would try to develop a market for his distiller in parts of the developing world that have electricity but not reliable clean water. "There are five hundred thousand little stores in Mexico," he says. "If we can put one of these in 10 percent of them, that's enough to put it in production." That may be the killer app for the distiller.' So, is this guy all hype with overpriced devices, or is time for someone to take his genius (Segway aside) to the mass market?"
Image

US Officials Flunk Test On Civic Knowledge Screenshot-sm 334

A test on civic knowledge given to elected officials proved that they are slightly less knowledgeable than the uninformed people who voted them into office. Elected officials scored a 44 percent while ordinary citizens managed an amazing 49 percent on the 33 questions compiled by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. "It is disturbing enough that the general public failed ISI's civic literacy test, but when you consider the even more dismal scores of elected officials, you have to be concerned," said Josiah Bunting, chairman of the National Civic Literacy Board at ISI. The three branches of government aren't the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria?
Image

Woman Unable To Recognize Voices, Unless It's Sean Connery Screenshot-sm 68

A 60-year-old British woman is suffering from a neurological defect that is sure to put her in the next version of "The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat." She is unable to recognize any voice she hears — any voice, that is, but Sean Connery's. Unless she sees the face of the person speaking, she has no idea who is talking to her, even her daughter and co-worker's voices are unrecognizable. Dr. Brad Duchaine at University College London, thinks she might have the first documented case of vocal prosopagnosia, a condition which makes it extremely difficult for people to recognize faces. "His accent is distinctive," Duchaine explained. "And she is a British woman in her sixties ... let's say it's probable he got her attention."
Cellphones

iPhone Gaming Continues To Grow 131

1Up reports that the popularity of gaming on smartphones is growing, particularly on the iPhone. In fact, gaming on portable devices is growing even at home, where users presumably have access to more powerful platforms. CNN points out that the developer for Trism, one of the first popular games, has raked in over $250,000 in profits through the App Store. Apple exec Bob Borchers and various game developers recently discussed the future of games on the iPhone. "Patrick Gunn, director of marketing for EA Mobile, showcased Need for Speed Undercover, which will be available next month. Gunn says that EA has 'taken full advantage of all of the unique elements ... like touch, flick, accelerometer, and motion sensitivity' — and graphically, the game appears to be roughly on par with a PSP title."
Space

The ISS Marks 10 Years In Space 153

Matt_dk writes to point out the upcoming tenth anniversary of the International Space Station in two days' time. "On 20 November 1998, a Russian Proton rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome for a historic mission: It was carrying the first module of the International Space Station ISS, named Zarya (Russian for 'dawn'). This cargo and control module, which weighs about 20 tonnes and is almost 13 meters long, provides electrical power, propulsion, flight path guidance and storage space. The launch of the module... heralded a new era in space exploration, as, for the first time ever, lasting cooperation in space was achieved between Russia, the US, Europe, Canada and Japan. Over the next ten years, many other modules were brought into orbit, and ISS developed into the largest human outpost in space. Since that time, the building blocks, transported by Russian launch vehicles or the US Space Shuttle, have expanded the ISS to the size of a soccer pitch and a current total mass of about 300 tons."
NASA

Urine Passes NASA Taste Test 404

Ponca City, We love you writes "Astronauts flying aboard space shuttle Endeavour are delivering a device to the International Space Station that may leave you wondering if NASA is taking recycling too far. Among the ship's cargo is a water regeneration system that distills, filters, ionizes, and oxidizes wastewater — including urine — into fresh water for drinking or, as one astronaut puts it, 'will make yesterday's coffee into today's coffee.' The US space agency spent $250M for the water recycling equipment but with the space shuttles due to retire in two years, NASA needed to make sure the station crew would have a good supply of fresh water. The Environmental Control and Life Support Systems uses a purification process called vapor compression distillation: urine is boiled until the water in it turns to steam. In space, there's an additional challenge: steam doesn't rise, so the entire distillation system is spun to create artificial gravity to separate the steam from the brine. The water has been thoroughly tested on Earth, including blind taste tests that pitted recycled urine with similarly treated tap water. 'Some people may think it's downright disgusting, but if it's done correctly, you process water that's purer than what you drink here on Earth,' said Endeavour astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper."

Slashdot Top Deals

We cannot command nature except by obeying her. -- Sir Francis Bacon

Working...