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Comment Re:Why are they using a Nikon lens on a canon? (Score 1) 171

I don't know for sure, but the adaptor may actually be the reason. The adaptor is dumb - it has no electrical linkages to the Nikkor lens. In general practice, this is normally a limitation, as metering / aperture data can't be captured by the camera. But if one is hacking around with camera firmware, the adaptor provides safety as the lens can't be borked by accident. So the use of a cheap but reasonable prime lens separated from the camera electronics might be a good test environment.

Comment Re:Shame... (Score 3, Interesting) 89

Damn right. I just gave them some feedback (which you can too at "Why does the new site use so little screen space? On a fairly standard monitor, less than half of my screen space is being used by content. The yellow/black theme is fine, but throwing blue into the mix is horrible! The shade of blue chosen is also almost identical to that used in Windows 7 to highlighted text. There is also very little commonality in CSS - why are some section headings backed with a yellow banner, but other are not? Randomly scattered white boxes along with the yellow banner spreading out along the screen for no reason also distract. The whole design feels very rushed and unfinished, and not up to the usual BBC standards. The new BBC Food ( ) and Weather ( ) pages (in particular) have been refreshed much more successfully. Extremely disappointing."

Comment Re:I really don't get the point of this... (Score 2) 416

Actually, it depends on what you define as 'work'. For certain aspects of my work (as a science writer), the iPad is a fantastic device. I can work anywhere, read academic publications with ease, and even write monthly columns. My former laptop was stolen; I replaced it with an iPad, and the productivity increase has been huge. This is just my experience, though, and it won't hold for many professions. But don't make such sweeping generalisations unless you look at life outside your cubicle!

Submission + - Scientists Solve Mystery of Double Rainbows (

sciencehabit writes: Researchers performing computer simulations think they have an explanation for the odd phenomenon of double rainbows. The key are what the researchers call burgeroids—big raindrops that have been flattened by the buffeting of air. The simulations showed that this irregular shape causes the light to bounce off the raindrops at two different angles, producing a colorful, double rainbow in the sky. The researchers hope that their study could make computer graphics more lifelike for use in animated movies and computer games.
Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Microsoft Concedes Defeat in Browser War: Tries to ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has a problem. It can't seem to compete with Chrome, Firefox, or Safari on features or release speed. It won't support IE9 on Linux, Mac OS X, or even Windows XP. What to do? Microsoft has decided thrown in the towel, and is now openly trying to buy users with a hilariously named campaign called "Where's the Love?" Silly Microsoft, you can't buy love.

Submission + - New iOS Bug Lets Apps Run Unsigned Code (

Trailrunner7 writes: There is a bug in Apple iOS that enables an attacker to run unsigned code on a user's device, circumventing the company's checks on apps in the iTunes App Store. The bug, which researcher Charlie Miller identified, can be exploited by an app to take actions on the device without the user's knowledge.

Miller has written a benign demo app that has been in the iTunes App Store since Sept. 14. The app, Instastock, ostensibly just displays real-time stock price information, but Miller added functionality that enables the app to communicate with a server he controls. He can issue commands to the app, and have it perform any number of actions, including accessing the user's contact list. The bug that Miller found enables him to circumvent the restrictions that Apple has that prevents any unsigned code from running on the iPhone.


Submission + - How does Google search? (

mikejuk writes: It is almost legend that that Google was founded by two computer scientists, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of course, who invented the page rank algorithm. It is this algorithm that made Google different from every other search engine before and since and it is a deep, clever and mathematical idea.
But over time page rank has been down played and now a video from Google doesn't mention it once. Instead they seek "signals" which they hope might improve the ranking. The signals are tested and if they work the algorithm is changed.
So — no big idea, no fundamental algorithm, no mathematical theory. The idea that Google changes its search algorithm nearly every day (a claimed 500 improvements each year) now seems so much more believable.
If this is all true then this is a dangerous approach. Google's problem is essentially an AI problem.The page rank algorithm was a way of finding out what humans thought of the content of a website and that could be used to determine relevancy. Now that this no longer works, the technique seems to be to search for signals other than page rank that correlate with relevancy. As any AI researcher who has tried this sort of approach knows, the result is an ever-increasing mess of rules that often contradict each other and slowly grow to the point where the system becomes unmanageable. Let's hope that Google has a clever system that keeps its search algorithm clean and under control, otherwise it might just vanish in a puff of complexity.


Submission + - Dutch PlantLab Revolutionizes Indoor Farming ( 1

kkleiner writes: "Dutch agricultural company PlantLab has created a high tech ‘plant paradise’ for growing crops. Instead of outdoors, they grow plants indoors in warehouses. Instead of sunlight they use red and blue LEDs. Water? They need just 10% of the traditional requirements. At every stage of their high tech process, PlantLab monitors thousands of details (163,830 reports per second!) with advanced sensors to create the perfect environment for each individual type of crop."

Submission + - Do Spoilers Ruin A Good Story? No Say Resarchers

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "BBC reports that according to a recent study at the University of California San Diego, knowing how a book ends does not ruin its story and can actually enhance enjoyment suggesting that people may enjoy a good story as much as a good twist at the end, and even if they know the outcome, will enjoy the journey as much as the destination. "It could be that once you know how it turns out, you're more comfortable processing the information and can focus on a deeper understanding of the story," says Co-author Jonathan Leavitt. Researchers gave 12 short stories to 30 participants where two versions were spoiled and a third unspoiled and in all but one story, readers said they preferred versions which had spoiling paragraphs written into it and even when the stories contained a plot twist or mystery, subjects preferred the spoiled versions. "Plots are just excuses for great writing," says social psychologist Nicholas Christenfeld. "As a film director, your job isn't really to come to the conclusion that the butler did it. A single line would do that.""

Submission + - [Cloud] VMWare View for Android Tablets (

Mightee writes: "Have you been tempted by the recent onslaught of Honeycomb tablets entering the market, but forced yourself to hold back due to the lack of virtualization options available on the platform? No, neither have I (held back, that is), but these 'pro' applications always help when using a tablet, right?

VMWare users will be no doubt be delighted to hear about the arrival of VMWare View on the Android Market, which has been designed and developed from the ground up to give Honeycomb users the best possible experience when accessing their virtual Windows desktops on the go."

Comment Re:Several minutes seems more likely (Score 1) 557

Hmm... I'm part of a working group to evaluate IT needs for my department (R&D of a FTSE 100 company). We're pushing for differentiation from our colleagues in marketing / HR et c., so this is a good time to figure-out how bad the boot times are. I was given an HP EliteBook 6930P with Win XP about one year ago - it hasn't been re-imaged since then, so is fairly typical of my team. It's a P8700 Core2Duo with 4Gb ram (2.9Gb addressable), 250 GB 5400 rpm HD. Support is through HP. Obviously, the definition of end-of-boot is perhaps a little loose, so I've defined key points in start-up. Okay - mashing the power button and starting the stop-clock. [pedants - Time quoted in (m,ss)
1,45 seconds and I'm at the RSA SecureID log in (paused the clock for a few seconds to be fair)
3,52 and it's mapping network drives.
4,15 desktop appears
3,35 AV loaded
4,55 Hit the Outlook icon
5,13 It's syncing my 'My Documents' folder
6,00 Outlook splash screen
7,30 Outlook completed start-up Exchange connected
8,05 'My Documents' sync complete
9,32 Outlook completes folder sync.
10,35 CPU usage drops below 10% for first time.

Yeah, not looking too speedy for me. And shut down is hardly rocket-speed either - another forced 'My Documents' sync later, and it's [2,55] to get to power off.
I do use hibernate a few times during the day (boot-up on the train to work, hibernate; resume in the office, hibernate at CoB; resume on the train, hibernate), but the a daily rebook cycle is required or WiFi adaptor starts dying.
So yeah - it's a bag of crap.

AMD Demos Llano Fusion APU, Radeon 6800 Series 116

MojoKid writes "At a press event for the impending launch of AMD's new Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 series graphics cards, the company took the opportunity to provide an early look at the first, fully functional samples of their upcoming 'Llano' processor, or APU (Applications Processer Unit). For those unfamiliar with Llano, it's 32nm 'Fusion' product that integrates CPU, GPU, and Northbridge functions on a single die. The chip is a low-power derivative of the company's current Phenom II architecture fused with a GPU that will target a wide range of operating environments at speeds of 3GHz or higher. Test systems showed the integrated GPU had no trouble running Alien vs. Predator at a moderate resolution with DirectX 11 features enabled. In terms of the Radeon 6800 series, board shots have been unveiled today, as well as scenes from AMD's upcoming tech demo, Mecha Warrior, showcasing the new graphics technology and advanced effects from the open source Bullet Physics library."
United Kingdom

Badgers Digging Up Ancient Human Remains 172

One of England's oldest graveyards is under siege by badgers. Rev Simon Shouler now regularly patrols the grounds of St. Remigius Church looking for bones that the badgers have dug up. The badger is a protected species in England so they can not be killed, and attempts to have them relocated have been blocked by English Nature. From the article: "At least four graves have been disturbed so far; in one instance a child found a leg bone and took it home to his parents. ... Rev. Simon Shouler has been forced to carry out regular patrols to pick up stray bones, store them and re-inter them all in a new grave."

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