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You Can Now Run Beta Versions of OS X—For Free
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '14 at 06:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's debian-did-it-better department:
redletterdave (2493036) writes "Apple on Tuesday announced the OS X Beta Seed Program, which allows anyone to download and install pre-release Mac software for the sake of testing and submitting feedback before the public launch. Until Tuesday, Apple charged users $99 a year to test out new OS X software—doing so required a paid-up developer account. (Testing new iPhone software still requires a separate developer account for another $99 a year.) Now, much the same way new OS X software is now totally free to download, it's also free to try out. All you need is an Apple ID to sign up."

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By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's someone-said-you-were-a-sinner department:
An anonymous reader writes "On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police officers are legally allowed to stop and search vehicles based solely on anonymous 911 tips. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority opinion, reasoned that 'a 911 call has some features that allow for identifying and tracking callers' as well as for recording their calls, both of which he believed gave anonymous callers enough reliability for police officers to act on their tips with reasonable suspicion against the people being reported.

The specific case before them involved an anonymous woman who called 911 to report a driver who forced her off the road. She gave the driver's license plate number and the make and model of his car as well as the location of the incident in question. Police officers later found him, pulled him over, smelled marijuana, and searched his car. They found 30 pounds of weed and subsequently arrested the driver. The driver later challenged the constitutionality of the arrest, claiming that a tip from an anonymous source was unreliable and therefore failed to meet the criteria of reasonable suspicion, which would have justified the stop and search. Five of the nine justices disagreed with him."


The ruling itself (PDF).

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Annotated Anime: Selector Infected WIXOSS 3
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '14 at 06:00 AM
By Karen Mead from Japanator:
The show wastes no time delivering on the double face-off we were promised, only it's not as exciting as I would have hoped. Yuzuki loses hard to Akira because she's an idiot, while Ruko wins because she's been practicing WIXOSS every night with her awesome grandma -- I mean, they don't say that's why she won, but it totally is, right?



Read more...

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Chikara Invites You to Recreate-A-Wrestler!
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '14 at 05:15 AM
By from Panels on Pages:
Get those pens, pencils, and inks ready, Pop!-ulation. Comic - and wrestling - stardom may be just a submission away with Chikara's Recreate-A-Wrestler contest! Come inside for some insight on how this came to be.

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By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's man-is-obsolete department:
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Face recognition has come a long way in recent years. In ideal lighting conditions, given the same pose, facial expression etc, it easily outperforms humans. But the real world isn't like that. People grow beards, wear make up and glasses, make strange faces and so on, which makes the task of facial recognition tricky even for humans. A well-known photo database called Labelled Faces in the Wild captures much of this variation. It consists of 13,000 face images of almost 6000 public figures collected off the web. When images of the same person are paired, humans can correctly spot matches and mismatches 97.53 per cent of the time. By comparison, face recognition algorithms have never come close to this. Now a group of computer scientists have developed a new algorithm called GaussianFace that outperforms humans in this task for the first time. The algorithm normalises each face into a 150 x 120 pixel image by transforming it based on five image landmarks: the position of both eyes, the nose and the two corners of the mouth. After being trained on a wide variety of images in advance, it can then compare faces looking for similarities. It does this with an accuracy of 98.52 per cent; the first time an algorithm has beaten human-level performance in such challenging real-world conditions. You can test yourself on some of the image pairs on the other side of the link."

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By Soulskill from Slashdot's sensitive-subjects department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "The Supreme Court, by a vote of 6 — 2, has upheld a Michigan law banning the use of racial criteria in college admissions, finding that a lower court did not have the authority to set aside the measure approved in a 2006 referendum supported by 58% of voters. 'This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it,' wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy. 'Michigan voters used the initiative system to bypass public officials who were deemed not responsive to the concerns of a majority of the voters with respect to a policy of granting race-based preferences that raises difficult and delicate issues.' Kennedy's core opinion in the Michigan case seems to exalt referenda as a kind of direct democracy that the courts should be particularly reluctant to disturb. This might be a problem for same-sex marriage opponents if a future Supreme Court challenge involves a state law or constitutional amendment enacted by voters.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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30 Years of Transformers in 30 Days - 1999
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '14 at 04:15 AM
By Sol Fury from TFW2005:
1999 was the fifteenth anniversary of the Transformers brand, an occasion that went largely unmarked save for a recognition at Botcon 1999 (which was also the fifth anniversary of Botcon). Beast Wars reached its climax, concluding with a finale written by long time Transformers comics scribe Simon Furman, and the toyline carried on and developed the Transmetals theme with Transmetal 2s. Japan meanwhile got a double-whammy of new series this year with a dub of Beast Wars seasons 2 and 3 as “Beast Wars Metals” as well as the Japan-only series Beast Wars Neo, which had its own toyline populated almost exclusively with new and Japan-only toys.

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'The Door Problem' of Game Design
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '14 at 02:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's making-adoorable-games department:
An anonymous reader writes "Game design is one of those jobs everybody thinks they can do. After all, they've played a few games, and they know what they liked and disliked, right? How hard could it be? Well, professional game designer Liz England has summed up the difficulty of the job and the breadth of knowledge needed to do it in what she calls 'the door problem.' Quoting: 'Premise: You are making a game. Are there doors in your game? Can the player open them? Can the player open every door in the game? What tells a player a door is locked and will open, as opposed to a door that they will never open? What happens if there are two players? Does it only lock after both players pass through the door? What if the level is REALLY BIG and can't all exist at the same time?' This is just a few of the questions that need answering. She then goes through how other employees in the company respond to the issue, often complicating it. 'Network Programmer: "Do all the players need to see the door open at the same time?" Release Engineer: "You need to get your doors in by 3pm if you want them on the disk." Producer: "Do we need to give everyone those doors or can we save them for a pre-order bonus?"'"

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The $5,600 Tablet
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '14 at 01:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-big-or-go-home department:
An anonymous reader writes "Tablets have come a long way in the past few years, and it has become possible to find a capable device for under $200. But what about the tablets pushing toward the high end of the spectrum? Xplore Technologies sells a line of tablets that top out at $5,600. Who on earth would pay that much? The military, of course. 'The DMSR models both have handles and are encased in tough protective covers. They can be dropped more than 2 meters onto a plywood floor and 1.2 meters onto concrete, and can operate in temperatures between -30 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 to 60 degrees Celsius). They've been tested to the U.S. military's tough MIL-STD-810G standard for extreme conditions. The tablets run Windows and come with Intel's latest Core i5 or i7 Haswell processors. Solid-state drive options extend to 480GB. ... They display images at 1024 x 768 resolution. That's less than some cheaper Windows tablets, but Xplore claims to offer excellent LCD visibility in sunlight thanks to a display luminescence of 1,300 NITS. The tablets have internal fans but can still run for up to eight-and-a-half hours on a 10-cell battery, Xplore said. They weigh a hefty 2.4 kilograms.'"

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IDW Transformers Comics for July 2014
Posted by News Fetcher on April 22 '14 at 10:46 PM
By Sol Fury from TFW2005:
Via Previews World, we can share with you the solicits for the Transformers comics coming in July this year from IDW Publishing! There's four Transformers books on the cards for July - Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #31, Robots in Disguise #31, Windblade #4 and Transformers VS G.I. Joe #1.

Cover art for all the books is available, attached to this post - also read on for the full text of the solicits, but as always beware of spoilers for the upcoming issues!

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WRT54G Successor Falls Flat On Promises
Posted by News Fetcher on April 22 '14 at 10:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's too-good-to-be-true department:
New submitter JImbob0i0 writes: "Back in January, Linksys/Belkin made a big deal about their new router, the WRT1900AC, which they claimed was a successor to the venerable WRT54G, and how they were working with OpenWRT. They released it this week, but their promises have fallen far short. You need to apply patches (which don't apply cleanly) and compile yourself in order to get it to work... so long as you don't need wireless support. There has not been much response from Linksys on the mailing list to criticism of the improperly formatted patch dump and poor reviews as a result."

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Phone Alarm
Posted by News Fetcher on April 22 '14 at 09:30 PM
From XKCD:

Who's calling me?? WHY IS THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD CALLING ME!?

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By Soulskill from Slashdot's without-the-liquid-cooling-i-hope department:
An anonymous reader writes "Now that Google's modular phone effort, Project Ara, looks a bit less like vaporware, people are starting to figure out its implications for the future of cellphones. One fascinating possibility is that it could transform the cellphone purchasing process into something resembling desktop computer purchasing. Enthusiasts could search out the individual parts they like the best and assemble them into cellphone Voltron. People who just want a decent phone with no hassle could look at pre-built offerings — and not just from Apple, Samsung, and the like. It could open up a whole new group of phone 'manufacturers.' Of course, this comes with drawbacks, too — if you think fragmentation is bad now, imagine trying to support thousands of different hardware combinations."

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By DESTRO from TFW2005:
What Is New Jersey Brick Collectors Con?

An all new convention based in New Jersey, focusing on Brick Collectors from all brands – LEGO, KRE-O, Mega Bloks and more. We will have a dealer room, events and guests that cater to the needs and wants of Brick Collectors from custom bricks to brick sculptures.

Just look at what can be done with Transformers G1 using Kre-O


When and Where Is The Next New Jersey Brick Collectors Con?

Holiday Inn Cherry Hill – New Jersey
2175 West Marlton Pike (Rt. 70), Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Sunday, August 24th 2014

NJBCC 2014 Dealer Registration is now open. Dealers and Exhibitors should contact fran@njcc.co for more information on the Summer NJBCC Brick Show, full update on Show Events coming soon…….

Join us on FaceBook New Jersey Brick Collectors Con

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By DESTRO from TFW2005:


When and Where Is The Next New Jersey Collectors Con?

Holiday Inn Cherry Hill – New Jersey
2175 West Marlton Pike (Rt. 70), Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Sunday, August 17th, 2014

NJCC 2014 Dealer Registration is now open. Dealers should contact fran@njcc.co for more information on the Summer NJCC Toy Show, full update on Show Events coming soon…….

Join us on FaceBook New Jersey Collectors Con

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