N8F8 writes: "The book industry is so focused on the web-connected ebook market that I haven't been able to find a SINGLE product or service that allows eBook lending for communities that aren't connected to the web all the time. Is anyone aware of a eBook kiosk system that caches eBooks locally? Or a Open Source software that would allow users to plug a USB eBook reader into a kiosk, browse through a catalog and download the eBook to the reader? Also, is anyone aware of a major book publisher or book distributor that would allow such a system or at least bulk eBook license?"
mikejuk writes: Online "digital university" Udacity has announced a partnership with Pearson VUE that enables them to offer students the option of a certified credential. Students will only need to undertake this additional step, which will involve "a nominal fee": "if they wish to pursue Udacitiy's "official credential and be part of [its] job placement program." Including an extra final test overcomes one of problems faced by online education — was it really the student who's name appears on the certificate that completed the course and took the test? Was it that student's own unaided work? By going to a Pearson Vue testing center your identity can be checked. And by sitting a test your knowledge can be established. However, as the first round of tests for Udacity courses are only 90 minutes, with a multiple choice format and no programming they are not a substitute for the course assessment that currently takes place — and, of course, this is not the intention. The idea is that your identify is checked and the fact that you do know enough for it to be reasonable that you actually took the more difficult online exam is the rational.
gh0stnaV writes: A very young and fresh generation of old-school point-and-click adventures seems to be quietly brewing in hiding among the grass roots. Several developers have recently organized themselves into yet another bundle, dubbed the Bundle-in-a-Box. Some of the games here are already well-known, e.g. Gemini Rue (Wadjet Eye Games) or Ben There, Dan That! (Size Five Games), but there's also the newcomer The Sea Will Claim Everything (Jonas Kyratzes) as well as a couple of games for those who choose to pay above the current average. Most of the offerings come from one-man teams, as true to the indie tag as can get. The question remains, though: will this underground development model prove viable? And does the world of point-and-click belong only to heavy hitters like Double Fine? Right now, the numbers point to an affirmative on the second question, while the first one hangs in the balance.
blubadger writes: Having slept through chemistry at school, I'm looking to fill in the gaps in my science education by following a short online course or two. I've been searching for "Chemistry 101", "Basics of Physics", "Biology Primer", and so on. There's some high-quality stuff on offer – from Academic Earth, MIT and others – but it tends to take the form of videos of traditional university lectures. I was hoping to cut through the chit-chat and blackboards and get straight into the infographics and animations that will help me understand complex ideas. Flash and HTML5 Canvas seem wasted on videos of lectures. If the quality were high enough I would be willing to pay. Have Slashdotters seen anything that fits the bill?
An anonymous reader writes: A new algorithm developed by researchers at West Point seems to break new ground for viral marketing practices in online social networks. Assuming a trend or behavior that spreads in an online social network based on the classic “tipping” model from sociology (based on the work of Thomas Schelling and Mark Granovetter), the new West Point algorithm can find a set of individuals in the network that can initiate a social cascade – a progressive series of “tipping” incidents — which leads to everyone in the social network adopting the new behavior. But the real good news for viral marketers is that this set of individuals is often very small – a sample of the Friendster social network can be influenced when only 0.8% of the initial population is seeded. The trick is finding the seed set – which the West Point algorithm often does in only a few minutes. The algorithm is described at a paper to be presented later this summer at the prestigious IEEE ASONAM conference. A copy of the paper is available at http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.4431. Further info on this new algorithm can also be found at http://blog.netsciwestpoint.org/2012/05/30/online-social-networks-can-be-tipped-by-as-little-as-0-8-of-their-population/.
"Windows-based clusters can be assembled quite easily using the Windows HPC Server 2008 operating system, and Microsoft provides guidelines for creating 'cluster-aware' applications that will make use of cluster resources when run on such a system," the feature explains. "Alternatively, there are various free Linux distributions that are designed for clustering, such as openMosix and ClusterKnoppix. These provide a user-friendly experience that makes it almost effortless to set up a cluster of any size using the popular Beowulf system.""
akulali writes: "A secret that will take him to a small town in Bihar; a town terrorized by a ruthless politician and the mafia he controls; a town whose inhabitants only hope for redemption is...Shiva!" Link to Original Source
schliz writes: Australian tech publication iTnews is defining ”patent trolls" as those who claim rights to an invention without commercializing it, and notes that government research organization CSIRO could come under that definition.
The CSIRO in April reached a $220 million settlement over three US telcos’ usage of WLAN that it invented in the early 1990s. Critics have argued that the CSIRO had failed to contribute to the world’s first wifi 802.11 standard, failed to commercialize the wifi chip through its spin-off, Radiata, and chose to wage its campaign in the Eastern District courts of Texas, a location favored by more notorious patent trolls.
ananyo writes: From the Nature story: The Andromeda galaxy will collide with the Milky Way about 4 billion years from now, astronomers announced today. Although the Sun and other stars will remain intact, the titanic tumult is likely to shove the Solar System to the outskirts of the merged galaxies.
Researchers came to that conclusion after using the Hubble Space Telescope between 2002 and 2010 to painstakingly track the motion of Andromeda as it inched along the sky. Andromeda, roughly 770,000 parsecs (2.5 million light years) away, is the nearest large spiral galaxy to the Milky Way.
Splintercat writes: The Humble Indie Bundle V has just been released featuring Psychonauts, LIMBO, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, and Bastion for Windows, OSX and Linux. Ubuntu software center support has also been added as a method of downloading.
The last two forks are participating this year for the first time in Junethack.
This tournament is trying to also appeal to players that get constantly mangled and beaten to death in unrealistic brutal situations by this sadistic game (that means probably you) by offering various non-winning achievements.
For additional geek creds you can hack away at the GPL source code of the tournament software available on GitHub if you are too ashamed of having a multi-digit death count."
benfrog writes: "In a rare show of bipartisan agreement, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle warned this morning that a United Nations summit in December will lead to a virtual takeover of the Internet if proposals from China, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are adopted. Called the World Conference on International Telecommunications, the summit would consider proposals including "[using] international mandates to charge certain Web destinations on a 'per-click' basis to fund the build-out of broadband infrastructure across the globe" and allowing ""governments to monitor and restrict content or impose economic costs upon international data flows." Concerns regarding the possible proposals were both aired at a congressional hearing this morning and drafted in a congressional resolution (pdf)."
BuzzSkyline writes: "Astronauts Don Pettit and Dan Burbank aboard the International Space Station took some time out to cobble together a didgeridoo from the ISS vacuum cleaner hoses. Skip to 1:30 to see Pettit mangle an official ISS crew shirt to look more like an authentic didgeridoo player (or at least what he thinks one should look like)."