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Submission + - Steam after death?

kuzb writes: I'm a gamer. I probably will be until the day it's not possible anymore. Like many others, I've got heavy investment in my steam library which now encompasses hundreds of titles and represents thousands of dollars. As a gamer, the games I've acquired are as important to me as any other item which might have sentimental value to someone else.

It got me thinking, what happens to all this media when I die? What happens with other services where I have media? Is it legal for me to will this content to someone else, or do all the rights to such content just vanish?

Submission + - Space X use Culture ship names

Coisiche writes: In a tribute to Iain M. Banks, Elon Musk has named a couple of Space X drone ships after Culture ships that appear in the Player of Games novel.

If that's a trend there are a lot to choose from.

Submission + - Linux Controlling a Gasoline Engine with Machine Learning

An anonymous reader writes: Here's a short (2 min) video of PREEMPT_RT Linux controlling a gasoline engine from one burn to the next using a Raspberry Pi: It's using an adaptive machine learning algorithm that can predict near chaotic combustion in real-time. A paper about the algorithm is available at:

Submission + - 47 Years Ago - The X-15 And The Fastest Manned Aircraft Flight Ever ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Tom Demerly at ALERT 5 writes, "It flew at nearly Mach 7, seven times the speed of sound and twice the speed of a rifle bullet. The speed record it set 47 years ago today still stands today. It flew so high its pilots earned Air Force astronaut wings: 280,500 feet or 53.1 miles above the earth. It pioneered technologies that were used on the SR-71 Blackbird, the space shuttle and the reusable spacecraft in Richard Branson’s future Virgin Galactic passenger space program. ... It was the North American X-15. ... The X-15 could be the most ambitious and successful flight test program in aviation history. Apollo astronauts flew it. It challenged the paradigms of aerospace design well beyond the limits of any prior program, including Chuck Yeager’s sound barrier busting Bell X-1. The X-15 program sits alongside the Wright Flyer as an aviation milestone. So much progress was made so quickly in the face of such great risk with such rudimentary technology that no other development program, with the exception of the Apollo missions, has come close."

Submission + - MIT's robotic cheetah no longer needs a leash (

walterbyrd writes: MIT's big-cat-inspired robot has gotten some serious upgrades as researchers continue to improve its skills. It's come a long way since its first treadmill test, during which it was tethered up. It can now run free, and a new algorithm allows it to bound in a peppy manner while navigating the terrain of a grass lawn.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Foldit for CPU design?

nichogenius writes: Firstly, I assume that I am not the only one that fantasizes about helping design the next generation of CPU's. I also assume that delving into the depths of CPU engineering is far too complicated for the average hobby project, especially when the tools needed to generate an end result are generally unobtainable. So, would it be feasible (economically/technologically) for a company such as AMD, IBM or intel to create a simplified environment that would allow a lazy, yet curious soul such as me to play around with my own designs? I'm picturing a Foldit-like crowd sourcing tool that would:
  • Allow enthusiasts the opportunity to contribute to their own CPU
  • Tap into the intelligence of the general populace
  • Allow more transparency in CPU design to draw more interest in the field.

I realize that the problem of building better processors right now is more of a technological problem than an engineering problem and that CPU design is nothing like determining the structure of proteins, but is there enough benefit (if any) to justify creating a crowd-sourced platform such as this, whether proprietary or open-source? Do any nifty tools already exist?

Submission + - So what do I really own? 5

argStyopa writes: I had an ample collection of DVDs, CDs, etc that all were destroyed in an apartment fire. Now, as I understand, according to the MPAA/RIAA I didn't actually own that media (and was not entitled to make digital copies) but merely a permission 'license' to view/listen to it.
Now that the physical media is destroyed, does that mean I am legally within my rights to download a copy from some online source? It would seem a double-standard to assert that the 'physical media is meaningless'...unless its destroyed, at which point it means you lose your rights to what you purchased.
IANAL (and I know most of you aren't either) but I'm curious if anyone knows about established precedent in this circumstance?

Submission + - One Bitcoin Miner is Mining $8 Million Each Month (

DavidGilbert99 writes: While most people are toiling in their bedrooms to try and optimise their graphics cards to most efficiently crack the complex mathematical equations needed to mine a bitcoin, one Seattle-based bitcoin enthusiast has taken things to a whole new level. Dave Carlson has two warehouses full of purpose built mining rigs running 24/7 and which are mining an estimated $8 million every month — though his electricity bill is a bit high....

Submission + - Researchers Create Device that Allows Men and Women to 'Swap' Bodies

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Kyle Vanhemert reports that a group of researchers in Barcelona are using the Oculus Rift headset to let participants experience the creative process through someone else’s eyes and in their latest experiment lets men and women swap bodies. Two subjects are outfitted with headsets connected so that each participant sees a video stream from point-of-view cameras attached to the other person’s rig. The participants are instructed to mimic each other’s movements, wordlessly dictating the action in tandem like kids playing with a Ouija board. They start out moving their hands around and touching their arms and bellies, but they then shed clothes, graze their own bare skin, and look into their underwear to give their partner a sense of what it’s like to look down and see (hello!) equipment that’s not usually there. The effect is profound says Philippe Bertrand. “Deep inside you know it’s not your body, but you feel like it is.” “The discovery of ‘mirror neurons’ by Giacomo Rizzolatti has shown us that you can’t conceive an “I” without an “us,” Bertrand explains. The group calls it "The Machine To Be Another” and over the last several months, the group has found a diverse group of researchers interested in their “embodiment experience platform,” from artists to therapists to anthropologists. The latest project was focused on VR’s potential for fields like gender studies and queer theory, but they’re already formulating applications from artistic performances to neurorehabilitation. Other studies suggest the effectiveness of embodiment for reducing implicit racial bias. The Machine To Be Another "aims to promote self understanding, empathy and tolerance among users" across the spectrum. It's basically highly conceptual performance art, though we could see the technology being used in educational settings to help broaden discussions on gender, race, disabilities, and aging.

Submission + - Comparing Cloud-Based Image Services for Developers (

Nerval's Lobster writes: As Web applications grow in number and capability, storing large amounts of images can quickly become a problem. If you’re a Web developer and need to store your client images, do you just keep them on the same server hosting your Website? What if you have several gigabytes worth of images that need to be processed in some way? Today, many developers are looking for an easy but cost-effective solution whereby images can be stored in the cloud and even processed automatically, thus taking a huge load off one’s own servers, freeing up resources to focus on building applications. With that in mind, developer and editor Jeff Cogswell looks at a couple different cloud-based services for image storage and processing. At first glance, these services seem similar—but they’re actually very different. He examines Cloudinary and Blitline, and encourages developers to take a look at ImageResizer, an open-source package that does a lot of what proprietary services do (you just need to install the software on your own servers). "If you’re not a programmer but a web designer or blogger, Blitline won’t be of much use for you,"he writes. "If you are a developer, both Cloudinary and Blitline work well." What do you think?

Submission + - Avatar - an open-source operating system for the Internet with privacy built-in (

zer0point writes: A new project aiming to help people to communicate and share more securely without sacrificing user experience or privacy. Avatar runs on top of Avatar Network which is a decentralize, anonymous p2p network based on the Phantom protocol. Users can send messages either inside Avatar Network, or to other social networks like Facebook or Twitter, store/share any data and access popular internet services with few clicks. The project is currently looking for architecture/security experts to help audit the protocol designs.

Submission + - The Debian Admin Handbook updated for Debian 7 "Wheezy" (

Raphaël Hertzog writes: The first edition of the book came out as a translation of our French book. During the associated crowdfunding campaign, we said clearly that we wanted to continue updating the book even after its release under free licenses.

That's what we did, thanks to the many people who contributed to its continued maintenance, either with a donation or by buying a paperback copy.

The book has thus been entirely updated for Debian 7 “Wheezy”. Granted, we're a bit late given that the release is out since May 2013. We'll try to bo better for Jessie. :-) In the mean time, please enjoy the book :

Submission + - Nvidia Creates Crop Circle As Chip Marketing Stunt (

jfruh writes: There's at least one crop circle that we now know with 100% certainty wasn't created by aliens: the one that appeared in a grain field south of the San Francisco Bay Area has now been claimed by the Nvidia marketing department. Nvidia CEO Jen Hsun Huang declared that the company's 192-core chip was so advanced that "it's practically built by aliens," ordered his marketing team to create an appropriate promotional campaign, and gave them zero budget. The crop circle was the result.

Submission + - Is Earth Weighed Down by Dark Matter? ( 1

Nerval's Lobster writes: There may be a giant ring of dark matter invisibly encircling the Earth, increasing its mass and pulling much harder on orbiting satellites than anything invisible should pull, according to preliminary research from a scientist specializing the physics of GPS signaling and satellite engineering. The dark-matter belt around the Earth could represent the beginning of a radically new understanding of how dark matter works and how it affects the human universe, or it could be something perfectly valid but less exciting despite having been written up by New Scientist and spreading to the rest of the geek universe on the basis of a single oral presentation of preliminary research at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in December. The presentation came from telecom- and GPS satellite expert Ben Harris, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Texas- Arlington, who based his conclusion on nine months’ worth of data that could indicate Earth’s gravity was pulling harder on its ring of geostationary GPS satellites than the accepted mass of the Earth would normally allow. Since planets can’t gain weight over the holidays like the rest of us, Harris’ conclusion was that something else was adding to the mass and gravitational power of Earth – something that would have to be pretty massive but almost completely undetectable, which would sound crazy if predominant theories about the composition of the universe didn’t assume 80 percent of it was made up of invisible dark matter. Harris calculated that the increase in gravity could have come from dark matter, but would have had to be an unexpectedly thick collection of it – one ringing the earth in a band 120 miles thick and 45,000 miles wide. Making elaborate claims in oral presentations, without nailing down all the variables that could keep a set of results from being twisted into something more interesting than the truth is a red flag for any scientific presentation, let alone one making audacious claims about the way dark matter behaves or weight of the Earth, according to an exasperated counterargument from Matthew R. Francis, who earned a Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from Rutgers in 2005, held visiting and assistant professorships at several Northeastern universities and whose science writing has appeared in Ars Technica, The New Yorker, Nautilus, BBC Future and others including his own science blog at Galileo’s Pendulum.

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