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Submission + - UI wants to make me vomit 3

Stonefish writes: The new Slashdot UI is so bad that I have removed the shortcut from my browser's toolbar. Thanks for the fish...... goodbye

Comment My car did not come without a GPS option... (Score 1) 310

Well, to be perfectly honest, I did have the opportunity to get this model car without a GPS, if I were willing to lose a lot of other features with it and special-order it from the manufacturer.

The maker only offered the advanced "Safety and Collision-Avoidance" features as part of the "Technology" package that also included the NAV system, an upgraded audio system and heated seats. The tweeters are nice, but trust me, I really don't care about having a built-in GPS or heated seats. (And satellite radio. A complete waste with all of the tunnels and parking garages and tall buildings that I have to deal with.) Round here, an alarm that sounds when the driver next to you starts swinging into your lane without a signal is priceless.

And on top of that, no dealer in the region stocks that model vehicle without the Technology package, so if I were okay losing every safety feature of the car that made it worth the premium price just to ditch the GPS then I'd have to find a dealer willing to order one for me and wait up to several months for it to ship from the factory.

Between the two, it just seemed better to take the silly NAV that they were throwing in.

I use Waze for navigation. A 3rd party magnetic mount on my dash holds my cell phone at the perfect spot on the dash, above and to the left of the steering wheel where my peripheral vision catches it and I don't have to take my eyes off the road.

The built-in GPS is roughly centered on the dash below the windshield. Very hard to see without turning my head and looking down. And with roads constantly changing around here for construction, it's not really useful at all.

Comment You're lucky they let you hand out candy from home (Score 5, Informative) 151

In my community, there were fliers left on every door requesting that people not hand out candy from their homes due to concerns about children with dietary restrictions and "safety."

Instead, organizers designated several areas around the community where residents could reserve a spot for a table (table not supplied) to hand out candy under supervision from local volunteers. If the tables were not suitable, families were instructed to take their kids to the mall for "an authentic trick or treating experience."

I happened to need something from the mall, so I got to see their idea of a fun Halloween first-hand. Those shops handing out candy had hung photocopies of a tiny bitmapped 1980s "The Print Shop" style picture of a pumpkin near their doorways. They weren't permitted to hand out anything with chocolate, peanut, dairy, etc. so it was basically nothing but hard candies, mostly peppermints. 'Didn't look like anyone was hanging around for very long.

Halloween: Sanitized for your protection.

Submission + - University of Arkansas releases first Round Up ready soybean (

ChromeAeonium writes: The University of Arkansas will be releasing their first soybean with the transgenic trait for tolerance to the herbicide glyphosate, commonly sold under the trade name Roundup. Originally developed by Monsanto, the patent on the popular glyphosate tolerant soybean expires in March 2015, allowing anyone to grow or breed the genetically engineered soybeans. This isn't the first time a popular crop variety went off patent; the patent on the Honeycrisp apple expired in 2008. As the patent on glyphosate expired in 2000, the both parts of the system will soon be off patent.

Submission + - Designing The Best Board Game (

An anonymous reader writes: Twilight Struggle tops BoardGameGeek's ranking of user-rated board games, handily beating classics like Puerto Rico, Settlers of the Catan, and Risk. FiveThirtyEight has an article about the game's design, and how certain design choices can affect enjoyment. Quoting: "Gupta has a few theories about why his game has done so well. For one, it’s a two-player game — the Americans vs. the Soviets. Two-player games are attractive for a couple of reasons. First, by definition, half the players win. People like winning, and are likely to replay and rate highly a game they think they have a chance to win. ... The data offers some evidence for Gupta’s hypothesis. Games that support three players rate highest, with an average of 6.58. But two-player games are a close second, with an average rating of 6.55. Next closest are five-player games, which average 6.39. ... The shortest games are the lowest rated, on average. But players don’t favor length without bounds. Three hours seems to be right around the point of diminishing marginal returns. Another key to the game’s success is its mix of luck and skill."

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Live Video Of Iceland's Bardarbunga Volcano, Currently Erupting Beneath A ... - (


Live Video Of Iceland's Bardarbunga Volcano, Currently Erupting Beneath A ...
Magma has been on the move for several days under the surface of Iceland, which has been jarred by its strongest earthquakes in the past twenty years in the process, and now scientists at the island nation's Meteorological Office say a small volcanic...
Airlines on alert as eruption begins in
Eruption begins in Iceland`s Bardarbunga volcano, `red` alert issued to airlinesZee News
Iceland says subglacial eruption is under wayFox News
Sky News-BBC News-Irish Independent
all 455 news articles

Submission + - Youth Arrested for "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

Rambo Tribble writes: In South Carolina a 16-year old boy, Alex Stone, was arrested and charged with creating a disturbance at his school, as well as suspended, for choosing to write: "I killed my neighbor's pet dinosaur. I bought the gun to take care of the business," in response to a class writing assignment. The story has attracted international attention.

Submission + - Boston Testing Solar-Powered Benches That Charge Smartphones

stephendavion writes: Continuing the trend toward nearly everything becoming smartphone-friendly — from ovens to boxing gloves — benches in the Boston area are getting a technology boost, too. Some park dwellers in the region are already charging their mobile devices via solar-powered benches, which could eventually collect real-time data about its surrounding environment too (think air quality and noise levels).

Smart urban furniture company Soofa (developed by Changing Environments, an MIT Media Lab spin-off) is bringing more of its solar-powered benches to Boston and Cambridge, Mass. parks soon. The name Soofa stems from an acronym the company developed to describe a smart urban furniture appliance: SUFA. To give it more of a Silicon Valley feel, Richter switched the letter u to double o's.

Submission + - India's Patent Law: The Law That Saved a Billion Lives? Really? (

jungly writes: An article from OPEN The Magazine tells the story of how India's patent laws have evolved since 1913, and how the changes in 2013 could cause some business models to change.

The article then talks about how the seemingly 'protective' Indian system was challenged when India joined the WTO, and then now how the latest ruling against Novartis is playing out.

It is the conclusion that seems the most exciting. A possible co-operation amongst poorer countries to innovate for the common good. Too much idealism maybe, but it is a nice thought.

And this brings us to the crux of the matter. India represents 1.3 per cent of the global pharmaceutical market by value. We are a poor country, and a resolutely low-cost generics market to boot. Certainly, there is money to be made here; it’s just that the money is little or nothing when set against the industry’s global bottomline. On its own, India cannot improve the way the industry innovates, regardless of the strength of its patent law, because it lacks clout. The real problem for global majors is the symbolic value of the Supreme Court’s justification of Indian patent law. You will not hear this problem expressed publicly, because expressing it will only make it worse, but rest assured CEOs in London, New York and Basel are worrying about it. The real threat posed by Indian patent law is that other countries may want it too. If that happens on a large enough scale—and it’s a big if—an unjustifiable business model will be upended and we may finally see innovation and access going hand-in-hand.

Submission + - Microsoft is killing Linux shops with Secure Boot

An anonymous reader writes: Here are some examples (Dutch so I passed the links through Google Translate)

It's now impossible to buy a Linux laptop in the Netherlands. You HAVE to pay for Windows, even though you don't want to use that OS at all.

Seems like we're back to square one. And the worst part is, nobody seems to care. No outcry from the developer community. It's really sad. We don't seem to give a shit about freedom and choice.

Submission + - ORBX.js - 1080p DRM free video and cloud gaming enirely in JavaScript (

An anonymous reader writes: According to Brendan Eich, CTO of Mozilla and the creator of JavaScript, ORBX.js can decode 1080p HD video and support low latency remote graphics entirely in JavaScript, offering a pure JavaScript alternative to VP8/H.264 native code extensions for HTML5 video. Watermarking is used during encoding process for protected IP, rather than relying on local DRM in the browser.

Mozilla is also working with OTOY, Autodesk and USC ICT to support emerging technologies through ORBX.js — including light field displays and VR headsets like the Oculus Rift.

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