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Comment Campus funding (Score 1) 244

While it is difficult for faculty at many institutions to find funding to attend conferences, it is possible that funding possibilities exist for students at your institution. Be sure to exhaust all university travel grants before you spend any of your own money. If there isn't an official program, ask your department for funding directly.

Comment Why not experiment with algorithmic art? (Score 1) 131

It might be an interesting time to explore algorithmic art. There are many authoring environments such as Processing which have a rich array of methods to create using algorithmic techniques. Your friend could perhaps learn a chording keyboard with the other hand, or simply use a QWERTY keyboard one handed to work in such an authoring environment.

Comment But with Disappointing Authoring Software? (Score 4, Interesting) 513

Kim mentions the use of free audio production software, such as Audacity, as substitutes for commercial offerings. While an Audacity user is more than welcome to dive into the code base and make needed improvements, not every user has the time and/or ability to do such. In my estimation, neither Audacity 1.3.7 nor Audacity 1.2.6 are stable enough to be considered "professional-quality" software. I am not trying to insult the developers and their abilities -- they have a complex project on their hands. But Audacity's graphical interface has serious and repeatable bugs; Audacity's sound export facilities reliably adds spurious noise to sound. I admire Kim's decision to use Ubuntu as an audio workstation, but I don't think Kim has been forthcoming about sacrifices in software quality that a user must make to do so. Kim can easily translate most audio programming done in Max/MSP (the commercial environment he has worked with extensively) to the public domain environment "pd" -- but as an experienced user of both systems there are more functionality loses than gains moving from the commercial Max/MSP/Jitter environment to pd (Pure Data).

If the cost of an Apple system and the higher cost of outfitting it with professional quality audio production and performance software are bankrupting a musician, then I can see the logic of using an Ubuntu system at this time. Otherwise, I still believe the adage "you get what you pay for" applies. However, I believe with effort from open source audio developers an Ubuntu audio workstation with both cost and quality advantages is more than possible. The bugs I am seeing in Audacity today remind me of the bugs I saw in the comparable commercial application "Peak" ten years ago.

Comment Re:I'd go iPhone: (Score 1) 344

You're practically self-parodying here...

You can target the iPod touch as well as the iPhone, and can develop on the iPod touch as well as the iPhone ($220 development platforms with no per-month cost).

Excluding, of course, the per-month AT&T contract.

Ummm, there isn't a contract for the iPod touch. You can pay $220 for the iPod touch and develop for the iPhone without any monthly contract as long as your application doesn't require carrier networking. One of two iPhones that I develop for is a 1st gen without a sim and without a contract. They sometimes can be picked up cheaply used at this point. It needs to be jailbroken, but Apple still lets me develop on it.

And apple takes only a 30% cut of revenue, in exchange for a nice distribution mechanism.

"Only" 30%? And they can pull the plug on your app any time they want.

All you've managed to do so far is to show that it could work, not why it's better than anything else.

And Apple has pulled how many plugs now out of close to ten thousand? I can count them on my hands. More than 5 less than 10. Of those pulled only 2 of them could be proudly shown to the developer's mother. And several of the pulled apps could be created in less than 1 hour of work.

The iPhone is a fantastic platform for networking development. It has several excellent network APIs available at its disposal. I went with BSD for my networking code -- byzantine but solid and extraordinarily well-documented. Windows Mobile as an alternative? I would not even ping .NET let alone touch it with a ten foot pole. I really don't think it is as appropriate a networking framework for the poster's application.

Sure Android is a good platform for network development too... but if you want to sell your work, have a more elegant, easier to code user interface environment, and hundreds of really fun apps to play with, I would go with the iPhone.

BTW, There is nothing more galvanizing for an iPhone developer than getting paid -- first checks (yes plural from several regions of our planet) came in today. =)


No Space Porn (For Now) 260

With the entry to sub-orbital flight, and even orbital flight, becoming ever so slightly easier, the obvious thought of space porn kicks in. Who wouldn't want to see two or more people going at it like rabbits in a weightless environment (or at least trying to go at it like rabbits in a weightless environment)? Sadly, Virgin Galactic has turned down a $1 million offer to do just that. The offer was made by an unidentified party who was willing to put the money up front to do a space porn movie. Considering that a flight aboard VG costs $200,000 for a two-hour flight, $1 million doesn't seem too bad. Though how much you could actually do and perform in two hours is debatable. And what if one or more of the actors gets sick?

Plug-in Hybrids May Not Go Mainstream, Toyota Says 519

mattnyc99 writes "Honda's challenger to the Prius — the Insight hybrid that we discussed so lividly a month ago — got its official unveiling today at the Paris auto show, with insiders confirming it would be cheaper than the world's most popular 'green' car while still hitting the same fuel-efficiency range. But the hybrid-electric showdown comes in the midst of a sudden rethink by Toyota about plug-in hybrids. Apparently all the recent hype — over the production version of the Chevy Volt, plus Chrysler's new electric trio and even the cool new Pininfarina EV also unveiled today — has execs from the world's number one automaker, and alt-fuel experts, questioning how many people will really buy electric cars, whether people will really charge them at night to keep the grid clear, whether batteries will make them too expensive and more. "
Operating Systems

How Kernel Hackers Boosted the Speed of Desktop Linux 380

chromatic writes "Kernel hackers Arjan van de Ven and Auke Kok showed off Linux booting in five seconds at last month's Linux Plumbers Conference. Arjan and other hackers have already improved the Linux user experience by reducing power consumption and latency. O'Reilly News interviewed him about his work on improving the Linux experience with PowerTOP, LatencyTOP, and Five-Second Boot."
Media (Apple)

Looming Royalty Decision Threatens iTunes Store, Apple Hints 279

eldavojohn writes "You may recall us discussing some legislation about online music. More decisions are being made that may affect how much money Apple must impart to labels and musicians. Right now, it's 9 cents a track — which adds up, when you sell 2.4 billion tracks each year. The Copyright Royalty Board is asking for 15 cents a track (66% increase) and Apple isn't going to agree." Reader scorp1us points out a similar article at CNN; both stories mention that Apple has intimated such a change might cause a complete shutdown of the iTunes Music Store. Update: 10/02 21:03 GMT by T : According to CNet, the rate has been officially frozen at 9.1 cents per track.

Ultrasound Machine Ages Wine 448

Inventor Casey Jones says his creation uses ultrasound technology to recreate the effects of decades of aging by colliding alcohol molecules inside the bottle. Mr. Jones said, "This machine can take your run-of-the-mill £3.99 bottle of plonk and turn it into a finest bottle of vintage tasting like it costs hundreds. It works on any alcohol that tastes better aged, even a bottle of paintstripper whisky can taste like an 8-year-aged single malt." The Ultrasonic Wine Ager, which looks like a Dr. Who ice bucket, takes 30 minutes to work and has already been given the thumbs up by an English winemaker. I know a certain special lady who is about to have the best bottle of Boone's Farm in the world.

Bad Signs For Blu-ray 1276

Ian Lamont writes "More than six months after HD-DVD gave up the ghost, there are several signs that Sony's rival Blu-ray format is struggling to gain consumer acceptance. According to recent sales data from Nielsen, market share for Blu-ray discs in the U.S. is declining, and Sony and its Blu-ray partners are trying several tactics to boost the format — including free trial discs bundled into magazines and cheap Blu-ray players that cost less than $200."
The Media

Debating "Deletionism" At Wikipedia 484

Ian Lamont writes "In a strange turn of events, the Wikipedia entry for Deletionpedia — an online archive of deleted Wikipedia articles — is now being considered for deletion. The entry for Deletionpedia was created shortly after the publication of an Industry Standard article and a discussion on Slashdot this week. Almost immediately, it was nominated for deletion, which has sparked a running debate about the importance of the Wikipedia entry, Deletionpedia, and the sources that reference it. For the time being, you can read the current version of the Deletionpedia entry, while the Wikipedia editors carry on the debate."
Technology (Apple)

Revamped WebKit JavaScript Engine Doubles In Speed 270

Shin-LaC writes "In a post on their official blog, WebKit developers introduced the 'next generation' of their JavaScript engine, SquirrelFish Extreme, claimed to be twice as fast as its predecessor. The post lists several changes contributing to the performance improvements, including 'bytecode optimization,' a 'polymorphic inline cache' (which sounds similar to V8's 'hidden class transitions'), and a 'context threaded JIT' compiler which generates native code (currently only for x86 processors), and is also applied to regular expressions. The new JavaScript engine is already available in the latest WebKit nightly builds. According to comparative benchmarks, the new engine is around 35% faster than the V8 engine recently introduced in Google Chrome, and 55% faster than Mozilla's TraceMonkey."

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