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Input Devices

Brain-Control Gaming Headset Launching Dec. 21 112

An anonymous reader writes "Controlling computers with our minds may sound like science fiction, but one Australian company claims to be able to let you do just that. The Emotiv device has been garnering attention at trade shows and conferences for several years, and now the company says it is set to launch the Emotiv EPOC headset on December 21. PC Authority spoke to co-founder Nam Do about the Emotiv technology and its potential as a mainstream gaming interface." One wonders what kind of adoption they expect with a $299 price tag.

Ryan Gordon Wants To Bring Universal Binaries To Linux 487

wisesifu writes "One of the interesting features of Mac OS X is its 'universal binaries' feature that allows a single binary file to run natively on both PowerPC and Intel x86 platforms. While this comes at a cost of a larger binary file, it's convenient on the end-user and on software vendors for distributing their applications. While Linux has lacked such support for fat binaries, Ryan Gordon has decided this should be changed."
GNU is Not Unix

Stallman Says Pirate Party Hurts Free Software 546

bonch writes "Richard Stallman has written an article on the GNU Web site describing the effect the Swedish Pirate Party's platform would have on the free software movement. While he supports general changes to copyright law, he makes a point that many anti-copyright proponents don't realize — the GPL itself is a copyright license that relies on copyright law to protect access to source code. According to Stallman, the Pirate Party's proposal of a five-year limit on copyright would remove the freedom users have to gain access to source code by eventually allowing its inclusion in proprietary products. Stallman suggests requiring proprietary software to also release its code within five years to even the balance of power."
Real Time Strategy (Games)

Red Alert 3 Expansion Announced 41

TheProphet92 writes "Electronic Arts has announced a single-player only add-on to their popular real-time strategy game, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3. The expansion features new units and more campaign levels to play. Although not a part of the expansion, 25 new multiplayer maps will be released as part of a patch. 12 of them are 1v1 maps and the remaining 13 are 2v2. Amer Ajami, an EA exec, said, 'Uprising is a game that in many ways reflects the feedback we have gotten from the Command & Conquer community. We're giving gamers more of what they want — more of the fast, fluid and fun gameplay, more of the story we began to tell in Red Alert 3 and more cutscenes featuring top-notch Hollywood talent. At the same time, we're excited we're going to be able to bring new things to the mix, including new units and the Commander's Challenge, which is a great way for players to hone their skills and get deeper into the combat.'"

Woman Unable To Recognize Voices, Unless It's Sean Connery 68

A 60-year-old British woman is suffering from a neurological defect that is sure to put her in the next version of "The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat." She is unable to recognize any voice she hears — any voice, that is, but Sean Connery's. Unless she sees the face of the person speaking, she has no idea who is talking to her, even her daughter and co-worker's voices are unrecognizable. Dr. Brad Duchaine at University College London, thinks she might have the first documented case of vocal prosopagnosia, a condition which makes it extremely difficult for people to recognize faces. "His accent is distinctive," Duchaine explained. "And she is a British woman in her sixties ... let's say it's probable he got her attention."

iTunes On OS X Finally Has Competition 668

mallumax writes "The truth is, iTunes is an average music player. Though the UI is simple and good like most Apple products, it has lagged in features compared to music players available on Linux and Windows. A feature as basic as monitoring a folder and adding the latest music files to the library is unavailable in iTunes. There are no plugins or themes. Despite the many faults, many of us continued to use iTunes because of the lack of options available. But today the wait is finally over. Not one, but two music players have become credible contenders. Songbird: An open source music player which has been in the works for more than 2 years has finally released its 1.0 Release Candidate builds. The team behind Songbird has members who previously developed for both Winamp and the Yahoo Music Engine. It has support for extensions and themes ('feathers' in Songbird parlance). Amarok: The undisputed champion among Linux music players is finally coming to OS X, thanks to KDE 4 being ported there. Amarok developer Leo Franchi has been able to run a Amarok on OS X natively. So we can expect a reasonably stable Amarok to hit OS X in a few months' time. Hopefully these players will gain traction among OS X users, which will finally force Apple to either step up in terms of features or open up iTunes for extensions."

Comment 4 (Score 1) 360

I'm using 4 displays hooked up to 1 nvidia quadro graphics card, 19 inch monitors (1280x1024), 3 of them oriented vertically so i can get long pages of code / webpages on them easily. Horizontally oriented one is technically the primary (and leftmost) for IRC/comms and the occasional game of UT. Xinerama and KDE behaves fine, not using compiz or anything fancy tho. I highly recommend getting multiple displays - you will be more productive. Orienting vertically also means I don't need an enormously wide desk.

Comment Re:No news here. (Score 1) 73

> When the components NASA needs are available off-the-shelf, that will be an excellent approach. The actual spacecraft is about half the cost of any NASA program. The other half is all the test equipment, the prototype models, etc. Having worked on the Kepler program, I can assure you that there are many off the shelf components that can be used -- not necessarily on the spacecraft, but definitely in the test equipment area. Another effort that the contractors are scurrying to implement are reusable test components that can be carried over from program to program. The difficulty is that most NASA contracts state that all the equipment created over the course of the program belongs to NASA. Figuring out the legal bits of the contract to make equipment reuse more viable is another change that needs to happen at NASA/JPL, too. Blessings, TwP

If Next-Gen Is Too Pricey Go Retro 109

Via RetroGaming with Racketboy, a story in the San Francisco Chronicle suggesting that you go retro if the new consoles are too expensive. They single out the (still excellent) Sega Dreamcast console as the best buy for your money vs. enjoyment. The folks at SF Gate also mention several other older games and consoles that will allow modern gamers their fun without breaking the bank. From the article: "Scenario 4: I'm poorer than any of the characters from 'Angela's Ashes' but not quite as poor as Jim Braddock's family when the heat got shut off in 'Cinderella Man.' (I pulled this newspaper out of the recycling bin at BART.): You've presented a challenge, but not an impossible one. I saw a copy of the PC game Grim Fandango, a complete masterpiece that most people never played, for $6 on eBay. Since it came out in 1998, you can probably find an abandoned computer on the curb that will play it. You'll be experiencing about 98.5 percent of the fun that the Getty heir who bought the PS3 is having, at about 1 percent of the price. "

PlayStation 3 Gets Software Update On Launch Day 27

narramissic writes "Just as the long-awaited PlayStation 3 games consoles go on sale in Japan this Saturday, Sony will also be offering the first software update. The firmware update, offered as a free download, adds support for the PlayStation Network online service." From the article: "In late November the company also plans to offer a firmware update for its PlayStation Portable (PSP) games device. The update will bump the firmware to version 3.0 and add PlayStation Network support. With the new firmware in both devices the PSP will be able to access contents stored on the PlayStation 3 via a wireless LAN connection using a system Sony has dubbed 'Remote Play.' It will also make it possible to purchase and download PSP games content."

Comment Re:No way (Score 2, Informative) 66

No-one seems to understand the purpose of Bluetooth or Zigbee. Zigbee is designed to be low power, make once, then use until it's battery dies and for sensors. Adhoc networks for routing and low response times( I think its about 40ms instead of Bluetooth's 3seconds ish) but also low bandwidth.
It's not intended to be a Bluetooth killer. They are both great for their designed purposes. Bluetooth for rechargable peripherals and Zigbee for making a load of probes to scatter around a plant to measure temperature, humidity etc and then report back on those conditions.
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