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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 136 declined, 85 accepted (221 total, 38.46% accepted)

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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How Do You Explain "Don't Improve My Software Syndrome" or DIMSS? 7

dryriver writes: I am someone who likes to post improvement suggestions for different software tools I use on the internet. If I see a function in a software that doesn't work well for me or could work better for everyone else, I immediately post suggestions as to how that function could be improved and made to work better for everybody. A striking phenomenon I have come across in posting such suggestions is the sheer number of "why would you want that at all" or "nobody needs that" or "the software is fine as it is" type responses from software users. What is particularly puzzling is that its not the developers of the software rejecting the suggestions — its users of the software that often react sourly to improvement suggestions that could, if implemented well, benefit a lot of people using the software in question. I have observed this happening online for years even for really good software feature/function improvement ideas that actually wound up being implemented. My question is — what causes this behavior of software users on the internet? Why would a software user see a suggestion that would very likely benefit many other users of the software and object loudly to that suggestion, or even pretend that "the suggestion is a bad one"?

Submission + - Imagination Technologies Previews New 7nm Process Furian GPUs (imgtec.com)

dryriver writes: Imagination Technologies' 28nm process PowerVR GPUs were mostly known for applications like low power mobile gaming (smartphones, tablets) until today. Imagination Technologies has just announced a new GPU architecture named "Furian". Furian GPUs will go as low as 7nm and target 4K 120FPS VR HDR gaming instead of lower end mobile gaming. They will also accelerate ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) and Neural Net based realtime computer vision applications. Imagination technologies claims great advances in GFLOPs density, fill rate and gaming performance density — 90% increase over the old Rogue architecture on that last one. Vulkan and OpenVX are supported. Just how powerful the new Furian GPUs will be hasn't been announced yet. Will Furian possibly compete with Nvidia, AMD and Intel GPUs in the PC gaming space?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What Are Good Books On Inventing, Innovating And Doing R&D?

dryriver writes: I've signed up to a project that involves inventing new ways to do things and also performing the technology R&D required to make these new ways a reality. So, dear Slashdotters — are there any good books on inventing, innovating or doing R&D? Books that describe different ways to approach inventing/R&D? Books on managing a team effort to invent, innovate and research? Or even good books about the history of past inventions — how they were created, why they were created, how and why the succeeded or failed in the real world? Thanks!

Submission + - There Are 19 Types Of Smile - But Only 6 Are For Happiness (bbc.com)

dryriver writes: The BBC reports: "In 1924, grad student Carney Landis conducted an experiment to see what kinds of smiles exist and what they signify. Landis wanted to know if certain experiences, such as pain or shock, always elicited the same facial expressions. And he was prepared to inflict them in order to find out. He sat his subjects down in comfortable chairs, then painted lines on their faces so that he could better see their grimaces. Over the course of three hours, they were repeatedly photographed while being subjected to a series of bizarre and unpleasant pranks, including placing fireworks under their seats and electrocuting their hands while they felt around in a bucket of slimy frogs. The climax came when he fetched a live white rat on a tray and asked them to cut off its head with a butcher’s knife. Landis’ methods were certainly unethical, but perhaps the most uneasy revelation was what he discovered. Even during the most violent tasks, the most common reaction wasn’t to cry or rage – it was to smile. He wrote: 'So far as this experiment goes I have found no expression other than a smile, which was present in enough photographs to be considered as typical of any situation.' Of 19 different types of smile, only six occur when we’re having a good time. The rest happen when we’re in pain, embarrassed, uncomfortable, horrified or even miserable. A smile may mean contempt, anger or incredulity, that we’re lying or that we’ve lost."

Submission + - The Incentives For Software Firms To Take Security Seriously Are Too Weak (economist.com)

dryriver writes: The Economist reports: "The software industry has for decades disclaimed liability for the harm when its products go wrong. Such an approach has its benefits. Silicon Valley’s fruitful 'go fast and break things' style of innovation is possible only if firms have relatively free rein to put out new products while they still need perfecting. But this point will soon be moot. As computers spread to products covered by established liability arrangements, such as cars or domestic goods, the industry’s disclaimers will increasingly butt up against existing laws. Firms should recognise that, if the courts do not force the liability issue, public opinion will. Many computer-security experts draw comparisons to the American car industry in the 1960s, which had ignored safety for decades. In 1965 Ralph Nader published 'Unsafe at Any Speed', a bestselling book that exposed and excoriated the industry’s lax attitude. The following year the government came down hard with rules on seat belts, headrests and the like. Now imagine the clamour for legislation after the first child fatality involving self-driving cars. Fortunately, the small but growing market in cyber-security insurance offers a way to protect consumers while preserving the computing industry’s ability to innovate. A firm whose products do not work properly, or are repeatedly hacked, will find its premiums rising, prodding it to solve the problem. A firm that takes reasonable steps to make things safe, but which is compromised nevertheless, will have recourse to an insurance payout that will stop it from going bankrupt."

Submission + - Living Near Airports, Aircraft Noise May Increase Your Diabetes 2 Chance By 86% (dailymail.co.uk)

dryriver writes: People who live below an airport flightpath are 86 per cent more likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who live in quieter areas, a new study has found. The findings have led scientists to suggest that aircraft noise, rather than air pollution, could be to blame. The scientists believe the noise from planes overhead has a devastating effect on the body’s metabolism, leading to increased blood sugar levels. The researchers suspect such changes are linked to sleep disruption, and say that people can reduce their exposure to harmful noise levels simply by closing their windows at night. The scientists said that although most flights occur in the day, there could be a knock-on effect on night-time sleep through raised stress levels. Type 2 diabetes – which can lead to heart disease, strokes, limb amputations and blindness – affects more than three million people in the UK. According to the European Commission, more than 700,000 people are currently affected by aircraft noise from London’s Heathrow Airport alone.

Submission + - Living Near Airports, Aircraft Noise May Increase Your Diabetes 2 Chance By 86% (dailymail.co.uk) 2

dryriver writes: People who live below an airport flightpath are 86 per cent more likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who live in quieter areas, a new study has found. The findings have led scientists to suggest that aircraft noise, rather than air pollution, could be to blame. The scientists believe the noise from planes overhead has a devastating effect on the body’s metabolism, leading to increased blood sugar levels. The researchers suspect such changes are linked to sleep disruption, and say that people can reduce their exposure to harmful noise levels simply by closing their windows at night. The scientists said that, although most flights occur in the day, there could be a knock-on effect on night-time sleep through raised stress levels. According to the European Commission, more than 700,000 people are currently affected by aircraft noise from London’s Heathrow Airport alone. The link was made by a team of scientists at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel, who studied more than 2,600 adults in a bid to establish the effects of noise and air pollution.

Submission + - Web Inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee Slams UK and US Internet Plans (bbc.com) 1

dryriver writes: The BBC reports: "Sir Tim Berners-Lee was speaking to the BBC following the news that he has been given the Turing Award. It is sometimes known as the Nobel Prize of computing. Sir Tim said moves to undermine encryption would be a 'bad idea' and represent a massive security breach. 'Now I know that if you're trying to catch terrorists it's really tempting to demand to be able to break all that encryption but if you break that encryption then guess what — so could other people and guess what — they may end up getting better at it than you are,' he said. Sir Tim also criticised moves by legislators on both sides of the Atlantic, which he sees as an assault on the privacy of web users. He attacked the UK's recent Investigatory Powers Act, which he had criticised when it went through Parliament: 'The idea that all ISPs should be required to spy on citizens and hold the data for six months is appalling.'

Submission + - SPAM: Ikutaro Kakehashi: Roland Founder And TR-808 Drum Machine Pioneer Dies Aged 87

dryriver writes: The BBC reports: "The music world is mourning the loss of Roland founder and electronic instrument pioneer Ikutaro Kakehashi, who has died aged 87. The Japanese engineer created many popular drum machines, including the iconic TR-808. Its sound is a staple of hip-hop and electronic music, used by everyone from Kanye West to Marvin Gaye. Kakehashi received a technical Grammy in 2013 for contributions to electronic music technology. Dave Smith — Kakehashi's co-winner — told the BBC he 'was just an amazing man, a good friend, a very good competitor of course and just innovative continually all that time'. The sound of the TR-808 proved a game-changer in the 1980s and 90s. It appears on Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing", and in the opening bars of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody". Rapper Kanye West's 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak showcases the machine throughout."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Neuromarketing - Everybody Uses It But Hardly Anyone Knows About It (wikipedia.org)

dryriver writes: The other day someone told me he's getting into "Neuromarketing", and that every large company in the world uses it for major promotional campaigns these days. What is Neuromarketing? Neuromarketing is when you show test subjects in a laboratory a TV ad, a print ad, a new website, a film trailer or game trailer or similar, and attach sophisticated medical monitoring gear to that person to try to gauge how they respond biologically to the promotional materials shown. The medical gear records things like brain activity, heart rate, galvanic skin response, respiration and also precisely what the person is looking at and when in the promotional materials shown. Rather than asking test subjects questions like "did you find this ad funny" or "was the hot chick in this beer ad sexy" or "did this horror movie trailer scare you", the medical gear tries to measure the test subject's biological responses to what is shown, and also when the responses happened — elevated heart rate for example, 39 seconds into a film trailer shown. Apparently many major promotional campaigns across many different industries use this technique to ensure, for example, that a trailer for a major Hollywood film or a TV ad for a new SUV model causes the right kind of reaction in the target demographic it is made for. According to Wikipedia, the Neuromarketing Science & Business Association currently has 1,700 members in 90 countries.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Can Linux Run A GPU-Computing Application Written For Windows? 2

dryriver writes: I have been told that Linux can run Windows software using Wine or perhaps a VM. What happens if that Windows software is a GPU-computing application — accessing the GPU through HLSL/GLSL/CUDA/OpenCL or similar interfaces? Can Wine or other solutions run that software at a decent speed under Linux? Or is GPU-computing software written for the Windows platform unsuitable for use — emulated or otherwise — under Linux?

Submission + - FBI Re-releases 9/11 Photos Of Pentagon (fbi.gov)

dryriver writes: BBC, CNN and various other outlets are reporting that the FBI has re-released images of the damaged Pentagon taken on 9/11/2001. Over the years, many conspiracy theorists have analyzed various photos of the Pentagon on the day of the 9/11 terror attacks and concluded that "no passenger plane hit the Pentagon" and similar. Now the FBI has re-released 27 photos from that day. Some of them show debris from an American Airlines plane. It appears that the images were first released online in 2011, then disappeared again due to a technical glitch.

Submission + - Study: Playing Tetris Can Reduce Onset Of PTSD After Trauma (cnn.com)

dryriver writes: CNN reports that a new study has found that playing Tetris within hours of a traumatic event can reduce the onset of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: "After experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, such as a car accident, people are likely to develop anxiety or distress in relation to that event soon after the experience, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But a new study has shown that playing the computer game Tetris within hours of experiencing trauma can prevent those feelings from taking over your mind.

PTSD occurs when intrusive memories linked to fear from a traumatic event become consolidated in a person's mind by them visualizing the event in a loop until it becomes locked in their brain. Competing with the visualization, such as with a game like Tetris, can block that consolidation form happening. 'An intrusive memory is a visual memory of a traumatic event,' said Emily Holmes, Professor of Psychology at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, whose team led the study. 'Tetris also requires imagination and vision. Your brain can't do two things at once, so this interrupts.' "

Submission + - Apartment Building In China Has A Train Going Through It - And Stopping In It (cnn.com) 1

dryriver writes: CNN reports: This decade, the mantra in real estate has been people want to live near mass transit. Now it seems people want to live with the transit. An apartment building erected in Chongqing, China — a city with a population of a whopping 49 million residents — has a train line passing through the 6th — 8th floors of the building. The train doesn't just pass through this building either, it also stops inside the building. So building residents can take the elevator up to the relevant floors — floors 6 to 8 — and hitch a ride on the train that stops there, then moves on to other parts of the city.

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