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Submission + - Freetype lands in... Office (

phy_si_kal writes: Now Microsoft must love free software.
Indeed, Office 2011 for Mac (beta 5 at least) uses Freetype! Screenshot at:
Somehow they figured out the free software "clean room implementation" of their own (patented) TrueType technology must better suit their needs.


Brick Shooting Shotgun Built From Lego By 15-Year-Old Screenshot-sm 70

Lanxon writes "A mildly terrifying young Brit named Jack Streat has managed to build a series of working guns, including a Lee Enfield bolt-action sniper rifle, entirely out of Lego and rubber bands, reports Wired. Streat, who lists himself as 15 years old on his profile, has constructed an enormous and diverse armory of weaponry that fire either rubber bands or Lego bricks. Most are based on real-life guns, including a Steyr AUG, a Tommygun, an AK-47, a belt-fed M429 PARA, an Arctic Warfare sniper rifle, a Glock 17, a pair of semi-automatic TEC-9s, a SPAS 12 pump-action shotgun and a minigun that he calls the Obliterator."

Submission + - Google demonstrates quantum computer image search (

An anonymous reader writes: Google's web services may be considered cutting edge, but they run in warehouses filled with conventional computers. Now the search giant has revealed it is investigating the use of quantum computers to run its next generation of faster applications.

Writing on Google's research blog this week, Hartmut Neven, head of its image recognition team, reveals that the Californian firm has for three years been quietly developing a quantum computer that can identify particular objects in a database of stills or video.

Google has been doing this, Neven says, with D-Wave, a Canadian firm that has developed an on-chip array of quantum bits – or qubits – encoded in magnetically coupled superconducting loops.

Submission + - 3 Years Prison in CA For Covering Laptop ( 7

mrcaseyj writes: California penal code section 537e makes it a felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison to be in possession of an integrated computer panel where the serial number or any other distinguishing number or identification mark has been covered. It's also a crime punishable by 6 months or a year to cover or obliterate the serial number or identification mark of just about any other personal property, from tools to CDs and much more. While a district attorney might have a hard time prosecuting you for such a crime, it appears a police officer could still take you to jail without having to worry about getting in trouble, because covering is apparently illegal by the letter of the law.

Submission + - Scientists Discover How to Recover Lost Wallets

The Narrative Fallacy writes: "The Times reports that researchers left 240 wallets on the streets of Edinburgh last year to see how many were returned to their owners. The wallets were planted at random about a quarter of a mile apart and snapshots were inserted into a clear plastic window inside the wallets, none of which contained money. However, some of the wallets contained photographs of a baby, a cute puppy, a family or a portrait of an elderly couple while others contained a card suggesting the owner had recently made a charity donation. A control batch was also left containing no additional items. Those containing the picture of the infant were most likely to trigger an honest reaction from the finder, with 88 per cent being returned, followed by those containing pictures of the puppy at 53 per cent. Wallets containing the charity cards and the control sample were least likely to be returned, with rates of 20 and 15 per cent respectively. "The baby kicked off a caring feeling in people, which is not surprising from an evolutionary perspective," said Richard Wiseman, a psychologist who supervised the experiment. "We were amazed by the high percentage of wallets that came back.""

Submission + - What is the best algorithm for HAND sorting? 2

EricHsu writes: "I'm a teacher and I've often had to sort stacks of 20-100 papers by last name. For I while I did what I suppose most hand sorters do: I made a new stack and added new papers in order. I believe this is basically insertion sort, right?

After a while, this felt inefficient, particular since it's relatively slow to flip through the papers. So I tried a kind of bucket sort where I first sorted papers into four piles of lead letter ranges, like [A-F][G-M][N-S][T-Z], and then did an insertion sort on the piles. This seemed to go faster, but it was a bit confusing to remember which letters bounded each pile.

It seemed to me that someone must have thought about this harder that I have and that such a geek could be found on Slashdot. In particular, it seems to me that one could do a somewhat detailed study of hand-sorting algorithms by modifying analyses of computer sorting algorithms, which usually take into account number of comparisons and memory usage etc, taking into account human parameters like difficulty of flipping papers, difficulty of remembering the algorithm, how many papers one can hold easily in a single hand, difficulty of accessing piles as the number grows.

So, any careful analyses out there? Or failing that, any great hand sorting algorithms?"

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