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Technology

Disney Research Creates Megastereo - Panoramas With Depth 48

mikejuk writes "Disney Research has made a breakthrough in implementing the technique of acquiring depth information from a simple camera scan of a scene. For a perfect panorama you need to rotate the camera around its optical center, i.e. just rotate the camera. However, if you just rotate the camera about itself you don't get any parallax effects — which is why it makes the stitching together easier. If you want to get 3D information from the sequence of shots you need parallax. This means rotating the camera mounted on an offset arm or just moving the camera along an arc in your outstretched hand. The big problem with this method is that the parallax makes it more difficult to fit the mosaic together, and this is the problem that the research team has been working on. Using a range of different scanning methods the results can be converted into high resolution panoramas automatically complete with 3D information."

Comment Re:Unfunded mandate? (Score 1) 285

Realistically there's no money for a major space project.

Realistically, there are a lot of labor resources available for a major space project. Of course, expecting any modern western neo-liberal government to be able to leverage said resources is laughable at best.

Money is just a tool. It has zero value in itself, and is only useful for distributing actual productive resources. As long as there exists underlying resources, the distribution of money can always be fixed with a combination of taxing and printing.

Claiming that an economically sovereign government like the US can't pay their obligations is laughable. It isn't like the US debt is denominated in gold or foreign currency. The people running the US government may not be willing to pay the obligations since it would expose the lies they use to scare voters with, but if they really wanted to they could.

Communications

Cerulean Studios Releases Trillian IM Protocol Specifications 95

Runefox writes "Cerulean Studios, the company behind the long-lived Trillian instant messaging client, has released preliminary specifications to their proprietary "Astra" protocol, now named IMPP (Instant Messaging and Presence Protocol), which provides continuous client functionality as well as mandatory TLS encryption for clients. According to their blog, Cerulean Studios' motivation for the release is to promote interoperability among the throngs of IM services and clients available by allowing others to also use the protocol. Future concepts include federation with XMPP. While the documentation is in an early state and the protocol is claimed to still be in development, it is hoped that it will help decentralize the very heavily fragmented messaging ecosystem. It's implied that, in turn, greater options for privacy may become available in the wake of the PRISM scandal via privately-run federated servers, unaffiliated with major networks, yet still able to communicate with them."
Hardware Hacking

Helicopter Parts Make For Amazing DIY Camera Stabilization 78

Iddo Genuth writes "Videographer Tom Antos developed an advanced DIY camera stabilizer which can hold almost any DSLR or mirrorless camera steady for video photography. Although this surely isn't as sophisticated (and super expensive) as the professional MVI M10 handheld 3-axis digital stabilized camera gimbal, its still quite impressive especially when you consider it only costs a few hundred dollars rather then tens of thousands — that is if you feel like building it yourself." Antos' design takes advantage of stabilized gimbal systems made for hanging cameras on remote-controlled helicopters, and does a very impressive job for its price.

Comment Re:Obligatory Quote (Score 2) 583

Government of the people for the people and by the people. Are you protesting representative democracy now? Thought that was chosen by "same group of men that Franklin stood with."

That you have government officials calling it treason that some policy documents were released goes to show that the US is no longer a democracy.

In a real democracy, those having hidden those documents should be the ones getting put before court.

You simply can't have real democracies without those voting having adequate information.

Japan

International Linear Collider Design Ready To Go 71

Via El Reg comes news that the International Linear Collider's Technical Design Report is finished, leaving only funding in the way of construction. From the article: "A five volume report containing the plans for the International Linear Collider has been handed over to the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) for approval. The Technical Design Report contains costings for the project, along with the design of the new collider. The new machine is significantly more powerful than the hoary European Large Hadron Collider and is likely to be sited in Japan, because the Pacific island nation has reportedly offered to pay for half of the construction costs. ... Jonathan Bagger, chair of the International Linear Collider Steering Committee, said the particle collider was 'ready to go.' 'The publication of the Technical Design Report represents a major accomplishment,' he continued. ... The ILC consists of two linear accelerators facing each other. " A few years late, but hopefully not never.

Comment Re:No used game sales means less new game purchase (Score 1) 581

No used game sales means less new game purchases

It is fairly trivial to show that the "recouped costs" as you put it will never allow more new game sales in a market that allows used sales.

If the used game market was 100% effective, then the new games sales would be the same between the two. However, the used market is far from efficient. It drains a huge percentage of the money that goes through it into the pocket of the dealers.

What is true is that a market without used sales will allow consumers to experience a lesser amount (not necessarily quality) of content. But if you want to make that argument, then I recommend that you first put your attention towards getting rid of copyright and intellectual property laws as they have the same effect.

Businesses

Lenovo Announces Grand Opening of US Manufacturing Facility 153

Kohenkatz writes "Chinese PC maker Lenovo had a ceremony [Wednesday] to mark the official grand opening of their new manufacturing facility in Whitsett, North Carolina. The 240,000-square-foot facility, located approximately 10 miles east of Greensboro, NC, was already being used as a Logistics Center, Customer Solutions Center, and National Returns Center, and is now also being used for Production. While actual line operations began in January 2013, the facility is on track to reach full operation by the end of June. The facility is equipped to build several types of Think-branded products, including desktops, tablets, and ultrabooks. Note that due to the extensive use of automation, the factory only adds 115 manufacturing jobs at the facility."
The Military

Israeli Army Retweeting 1967 War As It Happened 317

An anonymous reader writes "This is a new one, twitter as a form of historical reenactment: 'Israel's army is giving a "live" blow-by-blow account of the 1967 Six Day War, tweeting each air strike at the exact time it occurred 46 years ago ... @IDF1967 "is an official Israel Defence Forces account that is aimed at re-tweeting the events of the Six Day War in live time", ... The account was tweeting key events in the battle against the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria that took place from June 5 to 10, 1967 and includes pictures and videos, the army said. The tweets are mostly in Hebrew, with some translated into English. "In response to repeated provocations by Egypt, the State of Israel and the IDF are going to war. We will not sit idly as the enemy forces tighten the noose around our necks," the opening tweet said around 8.00am (1500 AEST) on Wednesday when Israel landed its first preemptive air strike 46 years ago.'"
Security

Memory Gaffe Leaves Aussie Bank Accounts Open To Theft 69

mask.of.sanity writes "A researcher has found flaws in the way major Australian banks handle customer login credentials which could allow the details to be siphoned off by malware. He built proof of concept malware to pull unencrypted passwords, account numbers and access credentials from volatile memory of popular web browsers every two hours."
Software

Ask Slashdot: When Is the User Experience Too Good? 397

gadzook33 writes "I had an interesting experience at work recently. A colleague suggested during a meeting that we were building something that would make it far too easy for the customer to perform a certain task; a task that my colleague felt was deleterious. Without going into specifics, I believe an apt analogy would be giving everyone in the country a flying car. While this would no doubt be enjoyable, without proper training and regulation it would also be tremendously dangerous (also assume training and regulating is not practical in this case). I retorted that ours is not to reason why, and that we had the responsibility to develop the best possible solution, end of story. However, in the following days I have begun to doubt my position and wonder if we don't have some responsibility to artificially 'cripple' the solution and in doing so protect the user from themselves (build a car that stays on the ground). I do not for a second imagine that I am playing the part of Oppenheimer; this is a much more practical issue and less of an ethical one. But is there something to this?"
Businesses

Yahoo Board Approves a $1.1B Pricetag For Tumblr 142

TechCrunch reports that Yahoo's string of acquisitions may soon include Tumblr: "The Wall Street Journal is now reporting via Twitter that the rumored $1.1 billion cash acquisition deal for social blogging site Tumblr has been approved by Yahoo’s board of directors. The Tumblr acquisition was rumored last week, with a price tag reportedly north of $1 billion, which appears to be accurate if the WSJ’s sources are correct." The article notes, too, that "Yahoo had only $1.2 billion cash on hand as of its most recent quarterly earnings, which makes an all-cash offer for Tumblr a lot more of a stretch than it would be for someone like Apple, or even Facebook, which acquired Instagram for $1 billion in a mix of both cash and stock."
Businesses

How To Talk Like a CIO 161

itwbennett writes "Today's CIOs speak business-buzzwords as a second language. And there's a good reason for that. There is a trend among CIOs to distance themselves from being regarded as technologists and to put themselves forward as business strategists. It boils down to one simple rule: Just as you should never be the first to mention compensation in the interview process, you should never be the first to break out the tech jargon in a business setting."
Beer

Video Linux is an Obvious Choice for Automating the Beer-Brewing Process (Video) 112

Linus Torvalds, Jon 'maddog' Hall, and many other names closely associated with Linux are also closely associated with beer. (Ed. note: I have personally watched them associate with beer, and may have even joined them.) It comes as no surprise, therefore, when Linux advocate and LinuxAutomation.org founder Kurt Forsberg talks about using Linux to control his beer brewing. Kurt is a strong believer in Linux Automation who talks about home thermostats, sprinklers, and many other application, "anything you can automate..." but, he adds, "we spend all our time brewing beer so we haven't explored many of those yet." He says this with a big smile, of course. And if you want to keep up with Linux Automation on Faceboook, go ahead; like everyone + dog they have a Facebook page.
The Courts

Groklaw Turns Ten 50

Founded just to cover the SCO/Caldera UNIX lawsuits back in 2003, Groklaw has proven itself a great place to read and discuss many of the major tech trials since. And today, it turns ten: "We made it. A decade of Groklaw as of today. Who'd a thunk it? Not I. When I started, I thought I'd do a little fiddling around for a couple of months to learn how to blog. But then all you guys showed up and taught me some important things that I didn't know, and vice versa I hope, and here we are, on our 10th anniversary, still going strong, together on a very different path than I originally imagined. The important moment for me was when I realized the potential we had as a group and decided to try to surf this incredible wave all of you created by contributing your skills and time. I saw we could work as a group, explain technology to the legal world so lawyers and judges could make better decisions, and explain the legal process to techies, so they could avoid troubles and also could be enabled to work effectively to defend Free and Open Source Software from cynical 'Intellectual Property' attacks from the proprietary world." This despite a smear campaign by SCO and nearly shutting down in 2009. And it's archived in the Library of Congress.

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