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Submission + - How Not to Design a UI: Slashdot Beta Site is a Train Wreck ( 1

iggymanz writes: As with Canonical's Unity and Windows 8, the majority of otherwise intelligent coders are completely out of their element when trying to make a user interface. They fly off on tangents, ignoring any user needs or input, making something understood and useable only to themselves. A bad UI is neither discoverable, learnable, efficient of space, nor capable of providing proper feedback to the user. With apologies, I link to the vilest and most aweful forum interface misdesigned by the minds of idiot-savants in full idiot mode, the Slashdot Beta Site.

Submission + - Good low latency PS2/USB gaming keyboards?

An anonymous reader writes: I've a cheap but low latency mouse (A4Tech) and I noticed my trusty old wired Logitech PS/2 keyboard seems at least 50ms slower (if not more) than the mouse when I test with those reaction time sites e.g.

I even increased finger travel distance over my mouse button to make it fairer and the difference still remains. So either the tests are slower with keyboards or my keyboard is high latency. Assuming the latter any suggestions for a good reasonably priced gaming keyboard? Extra function keys might be nice but since my hands aren't big what would be better is being able to output a custom key/combo if you hold down (special?)keys while pressing another key. For example I could configure it so if I hold down "Special Key 1" with pinkie or thumb and press 4 it actually outputs 9, and if I hold down shift as well it outputs shift+9 (and not just 9).

Being able to replace the capslock key function and have it behave as another key (or a special modifier) would be a bonus — I've never needed capslock and have probably used it more by mistake than for its normal function, or to test how badly a PC has hung.

Submission + - Cisco Type 4 passwords have no salt (

TheLink writes: Cisco's Type 4 password algorithm does not use PBKDF2 and does not use a salt, but instead performs a single iteration of SHA-256 over the user-provided plaintext password. This approach causes a Type 4 password to be less resilient to brute-force attacks than a Type 5 password of equivalent complexity.

Submission + - MIT's Patented Super Seeing Software Ready To Download (

mikejuk writes: A group of researchers at MIT CSAIL and Quanta Research Cambridge, MA applied very fundamental image processing techniques — spatial decomposition and temporal filtering — to standard video to show details that are normally very hard, if not impossible, to see. It works by tracking color variations in time at fixed locations in the image. If you point it at a human then you can see the blood flow as a color variation in the skin, you can see breathing patterns greatly exaggerated and you can see small vibrations as much larger movements.
The paper was presented about a year ago but now the MatLab software is available to download and try out. There is also a website where you can upload your own videos and see the result of processing. However the software isn't open source and there is a patent pending. So don't get any bright new ideas while trying the software out.
The MIT team are working on a smart phone app and it would make a killer Google Glass app — now that would be super vision.


Submission + - Megaupload Assets Can be Frozen even if Case Dismissed Says US Gov (

hypnosec writes: The US government has said that even if indictment of Kim Dotcom founded Megaupload Corporation is dismissed by court it will be in a position to continue the indefinite freeze imposed on the corporation's assets as it awaits Kim Dotcom’s as well his associates’ extradition. Megaupload doesn’t have a US address and federal rules of criminal proceedings do not have any way whereby a notice can be served to a corporation with no US address. For this specific reason, it has come to light that Judge Liam O'Grady is currently looking at a request to dismiss the indictment against Megaupload. The judge hasn’t giving an ruling but, it has come to light that at a hearing in Alexandria, VA, both attorneys in the case were grilled by him. Megaupload's attorney said that the company is a Hong Kong corporation and has no presence in the US and he further argued that Megaupload be subject to criminal laws of Hong Kong, but not the United States. “It's never had a US address", said the attorney. The US government on the other hand is of the viewpoint that there are ways to sidestep the mailing requirement in several ways. The government could either wait for Kim Dotcom’s extradition to mail the notice at the prison he is kept or just send in the notice of indictment to Carpathia Hosting, a Virginia company that leased hundreds of servers to the cyberlocker site. Another way was to send in a notice to Megaupload’s HK address based on Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.

Submission + - Average office workers burn as much energy as hunter-gatherers (

gezb writes: The BBC is reporting the findings of an anthropological study published in PloS that found, contrary to received wisdom, members of a Tanzanian hunter-gatherer tribe, burned off the same amount of energy in a day as a typical Western. This lead to some excitable headlines in some UK tabloids, such as ‘ Good news for couch potatoes.

However, the always excellent Behind the Headlines have done a takedown of the story and found that burning energy won’t automatically make you fit."

Other relevant links:


Submission + - Nike's stroboscopic eyewear improves visual memory, hand-eye coordination (

MrSeb writes: "Sports athletes in recent years have concentrated on making themselves stronger and faster (sometimes to their own detriment and sanctity of the sport — see Baseball, Steroids Era), but building muscle mass is only part of the equation. Nike, one of the biggest sponsors of sport, sees potential (and profit) in specialized eye gear designed to allow athletes to fine tune their sensory skills and “see their sport better” through the use of modern technology. To prove its point and draw attention to its Sparq Vapor Strobe sports glasses ($300), Nike commissioned a study at Duke’s Institute for Brain Sciences that focuses on “stroboscopic training” using Nike’s eyewear. Through the use of computer-generated memory tests, the study found that strobe eyewear can boost visual memory retention for up to 24 hours. The Sparq Vapor Strobe glasses works its sensory mojo by blocking or disrupting vision using a user-adjustable strobe or flicker effect (the glasses are made of curved plastic LCD lenses). By switching between clear and blocked vision, the glasses train the athlete’s brain to anticipate what’s coming when the eyes are blocked, Nike explains. This, in turn, leads to a hypersensitive ability to pick up on subtle motion cues, better visual information processing, and superior timing of motion. In real world terms, the glasses could improve hand-eye coordination, making it easier for a football player to make a tough catch. “This project takes a big step by showing that these improved perceptual abilities are driven, at least in part, by improvements in visual memory.” says Stephen Mitroff, a professor at Duke University."

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Asynchronous inputs are at the root of our race problems. -- D. Winker and F. Prosser