Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Apple & Medical Sensor Technology... (Score 1) 255

Sound like apple is trying to take one big leap OVER wearable computing and get INSIDE us! Actually this sounds like a pretty cool idea... Just think about it. With Apple inside of us, instead of just a walled garden, we could have a garden of pure ideology. We could be one people with one will, one resolve, one cause. This unification of thoughts could change the world; it would be a more powerful weapon than any fleet or army on earth! Our enemies shall talk themselves to death while we bury them with their own confusion!

Comment Re:Digital Movie Projection... and "Average People (Score 1) 414

Standard deviations go both ways; above & below the mean. "High end" on the other hand, is synonymous with "above average" - i.e. better than what most people use/need.

I'd say, IDEALLY it's better to build high end, but in reality we build according to requirements, financial constraints, time to market, return on investment, etc. Using the original topic as an example, you could build high end 4K Ultra High Definition monitors that would certainly work almost everyone. However, at this time, to make a profit you're probably going to have to sell your monitors at a price point that 2-3 standard deviations of the mean population can't afford.

Comment Re:Digital Movie Projection... and "Average People (Score 1) 414

Actually, history has proven just the opposite... When you build for the average person, you maximize the selling potential of your product. That's why everything from ramen noodles to cars are designed for an "average" person. Moreover, in many situations you're required to design & build products to conform to some regulation designed for an average person. Not meeting those requirements immediately dooms your product to failure.

Sure there's some variability to what is considered average, depending on your country and/or market, and even level of technology, but the point being, that by not designing products for the average person, you're designing for a niche or specialty market, or experimenting with new or novel technology.

Obligatory car analogy: That's why there's a whole lot more people driving Toyota Corollas then there are driving Bugatti Veyrons - even though side by side, most people would probably notice a clear difference and prefer a Veyron. /Obligatory car analogy

Comment Geek Creds Anyone? (Score 2) 332

'If all you see in your workday are your co-workers and all you see out your window is the green perimeter of your carefully tended property,' Mozingo writes, and you drive to and from work in the cocoon of your private car, 'the notion of a shared responsibility in the collective metropolitan realm is predictably distant."

So where did this guy get his geek credentials from anyway? I don't even have window... I get enough UV radiation from my wall o'monitors down here in the basement, thanks. The only scenery I look at is rendered through a pixel shader... And my commute is never lonely - since my mom does all the driving.

This guy really needs to get in touch with reality...

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 225

Just hand over your geek card now. You've become to jaded & cynical to deserve it. This is Slashdot after all. You know: "News for Nerds", and all that. OF COURSE IT MATTERS what OS the latest gadget is using, does it understand Mobile Web sites, does it render XHTML Mobile Profile, etc. etc. etc. That's why we're all here reading about it. Brand names mean nothing to us geeks - it's all about functionality! Who cares about all the rampant fanboyism over a particular manufacturer's product? What we're concerned most with is how will this company's next offering stack up against others in this highly competitive & fast evolving market.

Also, in this case let's not forget that Apple has had a history of forcing innovation on the public and taking (borrowing and even stealing) cutting edge technologies & making them practical, popular & even necessary. For instance, before the iPhone, I remember trying to decide if I should toss my Palm Treo & go with a Blackberry. Back then, there weren't really any other smart phone options for me. I remember people laughing at the idea of a touch screen phone and harping about all that was wrong with the iPhone's simplistic interface and wondering how successful they'd be by not allowing the iPhone to be carrier-branded

Now look at how far we've come. Almost every phone out there today has benefitted in some way from the iPhone - not to mention that there are alot more smart phones on the market today & they all resemble the basic iPhone design.

So come on, the iPhone saga has been a hot topic since its vaporware days, and even if you don't use an iPhone, you're inner geek has to be at least curious to see what the next version will have to offer.

Submission + - Sharing Information Corrupts Wisdom of Crowds (

kwolf22 writes: In a new study of crowd wisdom — the statistical phenomenon by which individual biases cancel each other out, distilling hundreds or thousands of individual guesses into uncannily accurate average answers — researchers told test participants about their peers’ guesses. As a result, their group insight went awry.

Submission + - Boy (not Luke) demonstrates his new bionic hand (

digitaldc writes: Last year, Patrick, a 24-year-old Austrian, decided to have his dysfunctional hand amputated and replaced with a bionic hand. He lost the use of his left hand after being electrocuted at work.

Here he demonstrates the extra movement his new bionic hand has given him, opening a bottle and tying his shoelaces, and tests a prototype hand which will give him additional wrist movement.


Submission + - Satellite Sees Atmospheric Warming Before Quake (

cybrpnk2 writes: From Tech Review's arXiv Blog: "Dimitar Ouzounov at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland and a few buddies present the data from the Great Tohoku earthquake which devastated Japan on 11 March. Their results, although preliminary, are eye-opening. They say that before the M9 earthquake, the total electron content of the ionosphere increased dramatically over the epicentre, reaching a maximum three days before the quake struck. At the same time, satellite observations showed a big increase in infrared emissions from above the epicentre, which peaked in the hours before the quake. In other words, the atmosphere was heating up."

Submission + - Robots Successfully Invent Their Own Language

An anonymous reader writes: One group of Australian researchers have managed to teach robots to do something that, until now, was the reserve of humans and a few other animals: they've taught them how to invent and use spoken language. The robots, called LingoDroids, are introduced to each other. In order to share information, they need to communicate. Since they don't share a common language, they do the next best thing: they make one up. The LingoDroids invent words to describe areas on their maps, speak the word aloud to the other robot, and then find a way to connect the word and the place, the same way a human would point to themselves and speak their name to someone who doesn't speak their language.

Comment Re:Not exactly (Score 1) 716

And HP, Motorola, Samsung, RIM, Microsoft, Nokia, HTC... these are fly-by-night upstarts, new to the industry?

...No, but as far as iPad-style tablets go, they're all a little late to the party. I'm sure that they'll catch up eventually - just like they did with the iPhone, but it's gonna be more of an uphill battle than with the iPhone because the tablets aren't as closely tied to cell phone carriers.

Comment Re:'Gamification' (Score 1) 95

Fair enough, in a general/abstract sense... But that's not my point. The point that I was trying to make is that online education is ripe for "gameification". This is because video games - especially online video games - are incredibly efficient mechanisms for learning, while online instruction is not - even though many of the high level patterns that you encounter in video game design are very similar to the patterns that you find in online instruction... In fact, the basic problem domain seems to be pretty much the same between the two.

I tend to believe that this doesn't have as much to do with content as it does with the fact that the technology used for online instruction is relatively primitive when compared to even simple online video games; in that online instruction generally doesn't implement many of the technologies that we would consider "normal" elements of online video games.

...and yes, the concepts behind those technologies are not necessarily specific to video games or even gaming in general, but the implementation that I'm referring to is.

Comment Re:'Gamification' (Score 1) 95

In the education industry there's a lot of interest in the gamification of online courses. One thing that's often found lacking in an online class as compared to a face-to-face class is interaction. That is, online classes are either full of static text-based content, or one-way TV-style videos that require very little participation (communication & interaction) from students. However, one of the greatest strengths of online an online class is the ability to be asynchronous & self paced; allowing students to participate & learn on their own schedule. In a general sense, video games - even simple ones bridge these gaps by allowing people play when they want to play and interact with the game as much as is required to accomplish the goal of the game (i.e. they learn). The game keeps track of the player's progress and can often adjust to match the player's skill level - all automatically. Moreover, gaming can provide frameworks for communication, organization, and competition among individuals & groups can be well beyond the physical limitations of a traditional classroom.

Of course, probably the greatest challenge to bridging the two worlds is adapting various course materials to work as games. Although I've seen a lot of great "expert systems" that are good at introducing a concept, then following up with questions until it is determined that a student understands the concept, these are usually text-based and not very engaging. Not much better than the early text-based computer games from the back in the 80's.

As paper is becoming more & more obsolete, it would be nice to see textbook publishers think beyond e-books & online CMSs and get into game development. Then maybe we'd see some truly immersive, interactive games that can help students learn.


Submission + - OS X 10.6.7: Macbook Pro & Pwn2Own fixes (

kwolf22 writes: Hot on the heals of Pwn2Own & reports of the 2011 Macbook Pro issue, Apple has released OS X 10.6.7. This release also resolve an issue when transferring files to certain SMB servers:

Slashdot Top Deals

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell