JoshJPhilipp writes: "I work as a journalist. Yes, at a newspaper. My theory is that investigative journalism and good feature stories are key points for newspapers to stay relevant these days, but unfortunately I think the art of journalism has fallen too much into well-written nonsense. I’m curious what types of stories you would like to see. Are there any issues you know of that should be investigated or that you’d like to see covered? And on that note, are there any topics you think aren’t getting enough coverage or that you would like to see journalists giving more weight to?"
jamiedolan writes: I've managed to consolidate most of my old data from the last decade onto drives attached to my main Windows 7 PC. Lots of files of all types from digital photos & scans to HD video files (also web site backup's mixed in which are the cause of such a high number of files). In more recent times I've organized files in a reasonable folder system and have an active / automated backup system. The problem is that I know that I have many old files that have been duplicated multiple times across my drives (many from doing quick backups of important data to an external drive that later got consolidate onto a single larger drive), chewing up space. I tried running a free de-dup program, but it ran for a week straight and was still "processing" when I finally gave up on it. I have a fast system, i7 2.8Ghz with 16GB of ram, but currently have 4.9TB of data with a total of 4.2 million files. Manual sorting is out of the question due to the number of files and my old sloppy filing (folder) system. I do need to keep the data, nuking it is not a viable option. Thanks. Jamie Dolan
mikejuk writes: Simulating cloth is big business — how else can CGI characters get to wear any clothes? Now, as well as simple fabrics, graphics designers can have knitwear on their virtual clothes racks. Cem Yuksel of the University of Utah, Jonathan Kaldor of Facebook, and Steve Marschner and Doug James of Cornell have tackled the problem of rendering knitted material. Rather than trying to create a full 3D model of the knitted surface the approach is to use a model of a single stitch, render it and then use it to tile the surface. The 3D model has an extra stitch mesh added to it and a pattern of stitches is built up for each of the appropriate tiles to fill.The process of rendering the final knitted surface has to be done off-line and it is slow. This means that, at the moment at least, it can't be easily used for real-time games, but for CGI movies it is just another batch rendering process to add to the mix. paper.pdf
goombah99 writes: Dan Rather Reports has posted a lengthy YouTube teaser of their upcoming touchscreen voting expose (to air tuesday at 8 or 11pm ET)
This is sort of a "60-minutes" style investigation of touchscreen voting. It's apparently not a rehash either. Rather turns up some new evidence such as tracking down the dilapidated plant where the ES&S ivotronic touchscreens were assembled. There they were having a 30 to 40% rejection rate on the screen themselves. Apparently the issue here was a rush to market to meet the election schedule. They needed lots of machines, fast. So plant workers say the rejects got shipped too. The "rush to market" aspect demonstrates an often overlooked strength of the use of open source software with commodity hardware and a multiple vendor business model like open voting consortium. This should be much less subject to single source point failures and has a built-in adversarial oversight nature that might lend some quality control. I just hope their conclusion is not "we need perfect machines and perfectly trained operators" and instead is we need a different approach that is transparent, robust and self correcting in the face of errors.