rjmarvin writes: While companies like Google are advancing robotics and artificial intelligence by buying up every robotics startup in sight, an open source source robotics movement is working to develop a new generation of widespread, accessible robot technology http://sdt.bz/69002. The Poppy Project http://www.poppy-project.org/ is an open source humanoid platform consisting of an open source Python library and framework for creating custom-built robots, and 3D-printed modular hardware that together comprise a child-sized robot. Pierre-Yves Oudeyer, research director of the Bordeaux, France-based Flowers Laboratory https://flowers.inria.fr/ that created Poppy called Poppy "a platform that is providing Lego bricks for building animated structures, that would teach people how to use these technologies and then allow them to advance innovative products."
rjmarvin writes: When most people think of Microsoft, the first thing that comes to mind is Windows. The operating system has defined the company, and everything it's done, for decades. The OS has fallen into a familiar hit-and-miss cycle, from XP to Vista to Windows 7 and now Windows 8. The pattern leaves Windows 9 as the OS to right the ship, but will it http://sdt.bz/68955? The problems with Windows 8 and 8.1 are many and more between the Metro touch interface, the loss of the Start button and the general dissent between desktop and tablet users. If Satya Nadella wants Windows 9, expected in April 2015 http://winsupersite.com/window..., to be successful, Microsoft may have to pick a strategy and stick with it instead of its usual philosophy of trying to appease its broad customer base. Searching for the balance between making its touch and keyboard users happy could just serve to perpetuate the cycle, and Microsoft can't afford it.
rjmarvin writes: Researchers in the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a platform for building secure web applications and services that never decrypt or leak data http://sdt.bz/68972. MIT researcher Raluca Ada Popa, who previously worked on the Google and SAP-adopted CryptoDB, and her team have put a longstanding philosophy into practice: to never store unencrypted data on servers. They've redesigned the entire approach to securing online data by creating Mylar http://css.csail.mit.edu/mylar..., which builds and updates applications to keep data secure from server breaches with constant encryption during storage, only decrypting the data in the user's browser. Integrated with the open-source Meteor https://www.meteor.com/ framework, a Mylar prototype has already secured six application by changing only 35 lines of code.
rjmarvin writes: OpenGL ES has taken a huge leap forward http://sdt.bz/68964. The 2D/3D graphics specification is rarely talked about outside the gaming community, and the version number of “3.1” implies a small improvement. On the contrary.The release of OpenGL ES 3.1 http://www.khronos.org/registr... optimizes mobile graphics with added features including compute shaders, separate shader objects, indirect draw commands and enhanced texturing functionality.
rjmarvin writes: NASA has challenged developers to build software that improves life on Earth and advances space exploration before, but now they're asking them to simulate cataclysmic natural disaster http://sdt.bz/68958. The space agency is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the third annual International Space Apps Challenge https://2014.spaceappschalleng.... Participants are tasked to create and deploy data-driven visualizations and simulations charting the impact of sea level rise and erosion on future coastal flooding.
rjmarvin writes: The Eclipse Foundation plans to integrate desktop Eclipse with the Web-based Orion IDE in a new tool initiative codenamed Flux http://sdt.bz/68947, Eclipse executive director Mike Milinkovich announced at EclipseCon in San Francisco. The Flux announcement also coincides with the release of Java 8, for which Eclipse also announced new plug-ins. EclipseCon's other big theme has been the Internet of Things, with presentations on how to program Internet of Things applications from within Eclipse using the C Development Tooling chain.
rjmarvin writes: Watson hasn't made many headlines since winning 'Jeopardy!' in 2011, but IBM's supercomputer has gotten faster, smarter and leaner, leaving trivia behind http://sdt.bz/68924 for forays into mobile, the healthcare industry, online shopping and even a food truck. Since dumping $1 billion into the new Watson Group in January http://tech.slashdot.org/story..., IBM has also launched the Watson Mobile Developer Challenge http://www.ibm.com/smarterplan... to bring its AI entity from desktops, hospitals, cars and cloud applications into users' hands.
rjmarvin writes: Git 2.0.0 was released yesterday http://sdt.bz/68912 with updated features and fixes from version 1.9, including making "“simple mode” the default for “git push,” which pushes only the current branch to the branch with the same name, and only when the current branch is set to integrate with that remote branch. Other UI and workflow updataes including a new "git reset -N" option and tree-wode "git add -u" and "git add -A" operations, backwards compatibility notes and fixes are detailed in the release notes https://git.kernel.org/cgit/gi....
rjmarvin writes: As the background code displayed in movies and TV, a new industry is growing around custom-building realistic software and dummy code http://sdt.bz/68898. Twisted Media, a Chicago-based design team, started doing fake computer graphics back in 2007 for the TNT show "Leverage," and is now working on three prime-time shows on top of films like "Gravity" and the upcoming "Divergent" designing and creating realistic interfaces and code bases for futuristic software. British computer scientist John Graham-Cumming has drawn attention to entertainment background code by debunking inaccurate screenshots in his blog http://entertainment.slashdot...., but more and more as the public is more aware, studios are paying for fake code that's actually convincing.
rjmarvin writes: Dutch physcist Peter Meijer has developed sensory substitution software called vOICe http://sdt.bz/68889, which converts live camera images into corresponding soundscapes to preserve pictorial information. vOICe, which runs on Windows with USB camera glasses and on Android with Google Glass, scans video frames from left to right while associating height with pitch and brightness with sound intensity, according to Meijer. In a research paper http://www.seeingwithsound.com..., Meijer and psychology professor Jamie Ward reported late-blind users who have memories of prior eyesight experienced visual sensations.
rjmarvin writes: Samsung looks to have found a way around voice commands for smart glasses by projecting an augmented reality keyboard http://sdt.bz/68883 onto users' hands. Galaxy Glass wearers' thumbs are used as input devices, tapping different areas of their fingers where various keys are virtually mapped. According to the August 2013 patent filing http://patentscope.wipo.int/se... with the WIPO and South Korea's Intellectual Property Office, Samsung states that voice controls are too imprecise a technology, which are too heavily impacted by the noise levels of the surrounding environment.
rjmarvin writes: Ring, a new wearable input device from Logbar, gives users gesture-control over devices with the flick of a finger http://sdt.bz/68858. The "Ringbearer" can control smartphone apps and home appliances through a bluetooth connection, send texts by writing letters in the air and pay bills, all using gestures. The iOS, Android and Windows Phone-compatible device, which has already far exceeded its Kickstarter goal https://www.kickstarter.com/pr..., executes unique gestures for each app and letter of the alphabet. Ring ships this July. No word yet on whether there will be a custom golden ring inscribed with the black speech of Mordor.
rjmarvin writes: The Apache Software Foundation announced the open-source cluster-computing framework for Big Data analysis has graduated http://sdt.bz/68845 from the Apache Incubator to a top-level project. A project management committee will guide the projects day-to-day operations, and Databricks cofounder and VP of Apache Spark Matei Zaharia will be appointed VP of Apache Spark.Spark runs programs 100x faster than Apache Hadoop MapReduce in memory, and it provides APIs that enable developers to rapidly develop applications in Java, Python or Scala, according to the ASF http://spark.apache.org/.
rjmarvin writes: We don't often see technologies arise that are clearly the future of software development. Git was one such piece of software. Hadoop another. This year it's Docker http://sdt.bz/68844. In a time when applications must be reworked and redeployed almost daily, Docker doesn't require everyone to write to some crazy framework, or to push all of their models into some form of PaaS. Instead, it requires developers to build in Linux http://sdt.bz/68736, and to uncouple their applications from each other. The day-to-day drudgery of keeping virtual machine OS images up to date is destroyed by Docker, and good riddance.