mutherhacker writes: A group from Osaka University in Japan and McMaster University in Canada have presented a method to control a virtual 3D object using a smartphone [video]. The method was primarily designed for presentations but also applies to virtual reality using a head mounted display, gaming or even quadrocopter control. There is an open paper online as well as a git repository for both the client and the server. The client smartphone communicates with the main computer over the network with TUIO for touch and Google protocol buffers for orientation sensor data.
mutherhacker writes: Whereas previously it was only possible to see what pages your friends "liked", in a flagrant disregard for privacy Facebook makes it possible to see what facebook pages your friends visited! Right below the page header on the top left, Facebook now shows you which of your friends have visited that page. Imagine the privacy implications of this for a second: If somebody visited a page of some political activist organization or some adult oriented content, then that person's friends can all see that he/she has done so. This is an especially poor design decision from Facebook since essentially, it is possible to be logged as having visited some content by running into a page accidentally. Is this a blunder from Facebook's part?
mutherhacker writes: Researchers at INRIA in France have open sourced their biped robotics platform "poppy". This platform allows for building a humanoid biped robot from off-the-shelf parts and 3D printed components. Despite the robot being open source, the components needed to build it cost around 7500€. More information at the project site: http://www.poppy-project.org/
mutherhacker writes: Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have created a display that enhances the displayed image by applying small-amplitude vibrations to the display panel and synchronizing them with the screen refresh cycles. The display works with a weight attached to a motor that spins at 1800 RPM. Results are quite impressive. The article is paywalled but the abstract is very informative. A video is also available.
mutherhacker writes: Canonical just released Ubuntu 11.10 (codenamed "Oneiric Ocelot"). This release includes an improved software center, a re-designed dash, improved application switching and much more. Now if only they could get copy-paste to work...
mutherhacker writes: Science fiction novelist and technology activist Cory Doctorow blogs about the recent U.S. government assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, without any due process (no chance to face his accusations in a court of law), a clear violation of the 5th amendment. To top it all, U.S. citizens cheered the assassination of their fellow citizen. First Bin Laden, now al-Awlaki, next? CmdrTaco is my guess.More details.
mutherhacker writes: With graduation up ahead, I'll have to return my research-lab-issued mac book pro. Being a person who despises Steve Jobs, it's difficult to admit it but I loved my mbp. Yet buying an Apple product goes against everything I stand for so I'm going to be looking to buy a laptop to run Linux on. Are there any hardware makers who make sure their linux drivers are up to par?
mutherhacker writes: In a world where automated systems are taking over a large part of the manual labor from humans, and where more and more people study and work to design, build and maintain technology, could we eventually see the failure of Apple's business model? Since the introduction of iStuff, Apple's market has been one of users who didn't have time/and or desire to tinker and customize their gear. They just want the thing to work and look good. Plain and Simple. But since more and more people are becoming technology savvy, isn't there going to be an increase in users who just don't care what Steve Jobs thinks is best, and want to customize their phone's home screen or change the interface on their home computer? Is Apple destined to marginalize itself should it not change it's business model?
mutherhacker writes: Ever since the launch of battlefield bc2, EA has been making available for sale what they refer to as "VIP Map Packs" on regular intervals. The latest installment went on sale today "VIP Map Pack #6". PC gamers get those packs for free whereas consoles have to dish out cash for them. The map packs are in essence the same old maps but with re-defined boundaries and simply enabled for different game modes. To put it in simple FPS gamer terms, imagine having a deathmatch map and then having to pay just so you can simply play TEAM deathmatch on that same map. And they call that a map--pack! In the good old days of PC gaming, a map pack was a file that contained more than one entirely new map (and companies gave them out for free). The content that EA sells are essentially the same maps. Plus they censor any sort of criticism on their blog. So the question is: Why do gamers keep paying money to a company that screws them over?
mutherhacker writes: I wish Slashdot readers would explain to me why creators of work of intellect should collect royalties on their work for life.
When I go see the doctor, I pay a certain amount because I used up the doctor's time. He worked 30 minutes to examine me, treat me etc. A construction worker only gets paid for the hours he worked. Most people only get paid for the hours they work so why should musicians for example collect royalties on their recordings for life? Even their children and grandchildren go on to collect royalties from sales in some cases after the creators pass away. If the artist worked 2 hours recording the track then he should only get paid for 2 hours of work. Maybe a system would be setup where the first early adopters would pay for the music and then after a number of sales the work would be in the public domain. Some people will argue that you can't put a price on "works of genius" and that it's up to the artists to name a pricetag for their work but I think there should be some alternative.
To take it even further? When I write an academic paper I cite all the works that I based my paper on. I somehow give "credit" to all the previous scientists that inspired me and who's work contributed to mine. Artists rarely do such a thing. They rarely (if ever) list their musical influences in the back of the CD or give credit to some other artist from whom they "copied" a tune or a lick. Inspired by the story of the mathematician that wouldn't accept the monetary award for his work because it's not his OWN. It's based on work by hundreds of years of research that dates back to ancient Greece, even further.
So why should musicians or other artists get paid for life? I think they should only get paid to perform live!
mutherhacker writes: Ken Perlin a professor at NYU has blogged a very interesting and insightful take on why people like games. Not only computer games but those included as well. He presents a very interesting perspective as to why games, are as important to humans as is food and sex! A must-read for all gamers.
mutherhacker writes: Today, a day which will live in infamy, I have created a filter which blocks all e-mail messages sent from Hotmail and iPhone devices. The reason? I don't like to read ads in my messages. The filter also sends the following message as a reply:
"YOUR MESSAGE TO me@somedomain HAS NOT BEEN READ, IT HAS BEEN AUTOMATICALLY DELETED!
Thank you for contacting me. In my ongoing fight against ads/commercial messages I have decided to block all messages that contain ad-like content. This includes messages from:
* apple's iPhone that contain the line: "Sent from my iPhone" — I don't care where it has been sent from.
* Microsoft's Hotmail service that append a short ad at the bottom of the message — I don't like to read ads.
*...probably more to come
If you wish to contact me please do so using a service that does not append ads or irrelevant information inside your e-mail message. I apologize for any inconvenience caused and I beg for your understanding."
Jubei writes: "I recently decided as part of a university project to prototype an application on the iPhone. Little did I know, about the horrors that awaited! In order to read anything on the iphone sdk site registration is mandatory. Hence the ordeal begins.
In order to register you must provide apple with every single piece of information about you including "what time you go to the bathroom every day", "who was the girl you kissed first in elementary school" or "what is the blood type of your pet iguana". Of course I filled everything with fake information.
After the painful procedure of filling a form with information about you, an e-mail comes from apple and once you activate the link, you can login and the links on the SDK site become active (no longer faded-out gray) so you can finally click on them and begin your adventurous journey in the world of mobile touch computing. So you click on "Introduction to the iPhone SDK" to finally view the video but..oh... not so fast buddy! In order to view the video you need iTunes installed on your computer.
iTunes installation is surprisingly very tricky. It has all those default textboxes checked that make itunes your homepage in your browser and all the rest installation checkbox gimmicks which honestly i didnt expect to see from such a big company's installer. So after carefully unclicking 25 checkboxes you are ready to view the promised video. So you go back to your browser and click the link again to view the video.
But nooo... before you view the video you have to apply to the apple developer program. That was the last drop, thats when I furiously went to the control panel, uninstalled iTunes, and e-mailed apple requesting them to delete my apple login information from their systems immediately.
So I ask. How do these people sleep at night?"
Jubei writes: "With the increase in popularity of browsers such as Firefox and Opera we are starting to see a more ad-free web day by day. I, for instance, have not seen an ad in a few years since I fist installed Adblock plus on my firefox. However, I recently stumbled upon a website called tweaktown.com who could detect adblock and asked me to disable it in order to continue browsing. It would not let me continue otherwise. I refused to disable adblock and chose not to view the contents of that website. But I wonder what I would do if that website was google.com? What would I do then? What are users going to do if sites that detect adblockers increase in numbers? The semantic web, when and if it comes, is going to be a completely ad-free web. How is the web going to survive then? What I am asking in essence is: Can the web exist without ads?"
Jubei writes: I never imagined that it would come to this but here I am. I havent burned a single disc in over 8 months, I fear that if I press the eject button on my DVD-RW I will find new life forms on the tray. I was browsing "all programs" on my start menu today and I saw an entry "nero" and thought to myself: "Gosh... how long has it been since I ran this?". The truth is that in the upcoming broadband era we dont need optical media. I for one satisfy all my needs via downloads. Movies, Games, Manuals for my Digital Camera. After I see it I just delete it. Yes, even the 41GB HD movie that I downloaded is gone from my drive as soon as I see it. You see in Japan, the internet is incredibly fast. I have a fiber optic connection at home for a measly 5,5 EUR(8,2 USD). With these download speeds you dont need storage. If I need something I can download it within minutes so why store it? So I wonder. When other countries reach Japan's level of broadband (might take a while), will this mean the end of optical media/drives companies and cdburning software companies?