codegen writes: "The Ontario Court of Appeal has just ruled that the police can search your cellphone if you are arrested without a warrant if it is not password protected. But the ruling also stated that if it is password protected, then the police need a warrant. Previous to this case there was no decision on if the police could search your phone without a warrant in Canada."
codegen writes: The LA Times is reporting about a new project at a LA animal shelter that lets people play with cats remotely. There is a web camera and a cat toy on a servo that you can manipulate from a web interface (implemented in silverlight). The main idea is to increase adoption of cats by letting people play with them. Once the novelty for people not in LA(and the slashdot effect) wears off , it just might help.
codegen writes: Luma labs has decided stop selling (http://fredsherbet.com/2011/11/black-rapid-shut-down-luma-loop-with-broad-patent/) a camera sling due to the fact that a competitor has patented the design. Slings have been sold for guns and cameras for a while. The main innovation in the patent appears to be the insertion of a pad into the middle of the strap. Given that most camera bags have padding in the middle of the support strap, I would have thought the Patent office would find a padding in the middle of a sling to be a straitforward extension. But apparently not.
codegen writes: I've been teaching an undergraduate operating systems class based on Linux for several years now. However, the more recent kernels have become much more complicated and less suitable for use in an introductory OS course. I was thinking about switching to android, which has a simple linux kernel as well as a VM. While some of the work can be done in a simulator, I also have access to some curriculum development money to buy some tablets for use by the students. Since the work done will be introductory (some changes to the kernel, some system enhancements) we don't really need high end tablets. However, the tablet must be resiliant to flash errors, so that no matter what is flashed, one can always flash a backup image to recover the device. Since we have to buy a fair number of these, I'm looking for suggestions in the $200-$300 range.
codegen writes: The CBC is
reporting a discovery where the syrup of the maple tree can be used as a base for a polymer that is biodegradable.
Bacteria are used to transform the sugars into naturally occuring polymers. Maple syrup apparently works better than
other sources such as apple juce waste products or corn/cane sugars. The polymers may also have medical
applications as well.
codegen writes: The CBC (among others) is
that researchers at the University of Rochester and
Immersyve Inc. have released a study
indicating that people enjoy video games because they satisfy a psychological need. The study showed that
the interrelations between players in MMOs were particularly important.