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Submission + - Maximizing economic output with linear programming ... and communism (medium.com)

mkwan writes: Economies are just a collection of processes that convert raw materials and labour into useful goods and services. By representing these processes as a series of equations and solving a humongous linear programming problem, it should be possible to maximize an economy's GDP. The catch? The economy needs to go communist.

Submission + - Augmented reality on the cheap (kickstarter.com)

mkwan writes: A couple of years ago Slashdot ran the story of a baseball cap head-up display: http://hardware-beta.slashdot.... Well, the design has evolved into something a bit more practical, and it now has its own Kickstarter. Just as unfashionable as the Rift, but at a sixth of the price!
Supporting the hat is a new wireless protocol, the Compact Augmented Reality Protocol (CARP). Loosely based on X11, it is more compact than X and improves latency by removing acknowledgements, and adds features such as anti-aliasing and ARGB colours. It also provides AR-specific capabilities such as head movement events and a coordinate system based on degrees rather than pixels.

Google

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Will Google Reader's demise clobber Slashdot?

mkwan writes: One overlooked benefit of Google Reader is the fact that it caches RSS feeds. If a million Reader users all subscribe to, say, Slashdot, Google will only query the RSS a few times per hour and make it available to all the users. And if they're like me and read most of the stories straight from the RSS, it places almost no load on the Slashdot servers.
But if those millions of Reader refugees swear off cloud-based readers and switch to clients such as Liferia that read the RSS directly, will the big blog sites be able to cope with the huge increase in load?
Youtube

Submission + - DIY Downfall parodies (notr.tv)

mkwan writes: A new website, notr.tv, simplifies the task of creating Downfall parodies — and subtitles in general. It works by rendering HTML text over an embedded YouTube player, and uses the YouTube API to synchronize the text with the video. Users are provided with an editor to create and share their own subtitles.
The technology is described in more detail by Hitler himself: http://www.notr.tv/?q=node/4
And it can also be used for DIY karaoke: http://www.notr.tv/?q=node/8

Comment It varies (Score 1) 577

For some categories of intellectual property it makes sense, for others it would be a disaster. Trademarks and logos need to last at least as long as the product itself to protect consumers against counterfeits. Pharmaceutical patents probably need to remain at 20 years. As things stand, after a 7-year FDA approval the drug companies have only 13 years to recoup the 9-figure development costs. But for software copyright/patents it makes sense. In any case, most software is protected by keeping the source code secret.

Submission + - DIY augmented reality head-up display (wordpress.com)

mkwan writes: A PhD student in Melbourne, Australia, has built an augmented reality head-up display using a baseball cap, an Android smartphone, and off-the-shelf optics. It won't win any awards for style or practicality, but it's a fun way to use Wikitude. All we need now is a Terminator-vision smartphone app.
Biotech

Submission + - Peoples' immune systems can now be duplicated in mice (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: Because everyone’s immune system is different, it’s impossible to predict with absolute certainty how any given person will react to a specific medication. In the not-too-distant future, however, at-risk patients may get their own custom-altered mouse, with an immune system that’s a copy of their own. Medications could be tried out on the mouse first, and if it showed no adverse reactions, then the person could receive them. If the person had an autoimmune disease, the mouse could also provide valuable insight into its treatment. A team led by Columbia University Medical Center’s Dr. Megan Sykes has recently developed a method of creating just such a “personalized immune mouse.”
Android

Submission + - X Windows now available for Android (wordpress.com)

mkwan writes: The open-source X Server for Android has hit beta and is now available for download through the Android Market. On Australian networks at least, smartphones are assigned publicly-accessible IP addresses, so it should be possible to display many Linux applications on an Android smartphone simply by setting the DISPLAY environment variable to the phone's IP address followed by :0

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