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Submission + - Star Trek's LCARS could become your virtual assistant

H_Fisher writes: It has arguably inspired many other technological innovations in the fifty years since its premiere, and now another Star Trek -inspired touch could be coming to your device: the voice of Majel Barrett from the Trek universe's LCARS computer system.

As CNET reports:

The voice of LCARS was provided by Majel Barrett, who was married to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Although Barrett sadly passed away in 2008, she took several roles on the show over the years, including nurse Christine Chapel in Star Trek: The Original Series and Betazoid ambassador Lwaxana Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation. According to a tweet by the official Roddenberry account yesterday, this has provided enough phonetic data to perhaps get Barrett's voice appearing in upcoming new 2017 TV series Star Trek: Discovery — and maybe even a Siri-like virtual assistant.

Submission + - 30 years later, William Harwood recalls the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster (cbsnews.com)

H_Fisher writes: Thirty years ago this week, longtime CBS news space correspondent William Harwood was covering what seemed like a routine, uneventful news story: the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger from Cape Canaveral. Only one cable network, CNN, was broadcasting the launch live when the unthinkable happened, as Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after launch on that icy January morning.

Harwood recounts the media silence that NASA tried to impose, and details the lengths reporters went to in order to learn the facts. "None of us knew that O-ring seals in the joints between the fuel segments making up Challenger's two solid-propellant boosters also were affected by the cold (...) And none of us knew about an intense debate the night before when engineers with Morton Thiokol, builder of the huge rockets, recommended a launch delay because of concern about the effects of cold weather on the critical O-ring seals. They knew, as most reporters did not, that a seal failure could result in a catastrophic 'burn through.'" Harwood goes on to imagine how coverage of the Challenger disaster would be different in today's age of omnipresent social media.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Best API management system?

An anonymous reader writes: I've landed a summer internship with a software firm that has a library of APIs available to current and potential customers. One of my team's tasks is to make recommendations on how to improve the developer portal, which not only provides a testing sandbox and documentation, but is also a source of sales leads for the company's business units. Mashery was the original choice for this task, but there are some limitations: some types of customers don't need to see all of the API in the library, and different business units have different goals for this developer platform when it comes to sales and marketing. What solutions work best to provide scaleable, customizable access?

Submission + - SPAM: Getty Images embraces embedding, stops suing over copied pictures.

H_Fisher writes: After years of threatening bloggers and others with litigation for copying their copyrighted pictures, Getty Images has decided that the cat is finally out of the bag. In an article published today on Bloomberg Businessweek, Getty is said to be rolling out an image-embedding tool, allowing bloggers and other non-commercial users to hotlink photos — and allowing Getty to track views, and potentially add Google-style advertising. Commercial users are still expected to pony up for licensing fees. As for the small fry, a Getty VP is quoted as saying: "There are two ways to look at the world. People sharing content without a license is an issue—or it’s an opportunity.”
Link to Original Source

Submission + - The rise and fall of Kodak (latimes.com)

H_Fisher writes: "Michael Hiltzik of the L.A. Times writes with a frank look at the decisions and changes that have led to Kodak's decline from top U.S. photography company to a company whose product is almost irrelevant. He writes: "[Kodak] executives couldn't foresee a future in which film had no role in image capture at all, nor come to grips with the lower profit margins or faster competitive pace of high-tech industries." He also notes that Kodak's story comes as a cautionary tale to giants like Google and Facebook."

Submission + - Sony blaming Anonymous for PSN hack (reuters.com)

H_Fisher writes: "In a letter to Congress, Kazuo Hirai, chairman of Sony's board of directors, blames hacker group Anonymous for making possible the theft of gamers' personal information. "What is becoming more and more evident is that Sony has been the victim of a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack designed to steal personal and credit card information for illegal purposes," Hirai wrote. He also indicated that Sony waited two days before notifying the FBI of the theft."

Submission + - Xoom sues Motorola over use of name (tomsguide.com)

H_Fisher writes: "Here come the lawyers: San Francisco-based financial company Xoom is suing Motorola for "trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, false advertising, unfair business practices and other claims" due to the use of their name for the tablet PC released last week,"
America Online

Submission + - Beginning of the end for AOL? (cnn.com)

H_Fisher writes: A Fortune magazine report confirms what many geeks have thought for ages: AOL is relying on an unsustainable business model. A leaked plan from inside shows a company using an ever-declining pool of dial-up users, many of them elderly, while struggling to rebrand itself as a source for "content" — articles on topics like "Backpacking the Axis of Evil," farmed out to writers for $10 or so a pop.

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