By Soulskill from Slashdot's solid-color-rectangles-redux department
adeelarshad82 writes "Microsoft launched the preview version of Windows 8.1 at the company's Build conference in San Francisco and early signs show that Microsoft heard the criticisms, and has responded with improvements. The new OS includes a number of changes starting with the return of the Start button and the ability to boot directly to the desktop. However, Microsoft hasn't given up on making the new-style tile and full-screen more usable for all users. If anything, the tile-based Start screen has gotten more flexible, with new smaller and larger tile options. Windows 8.1 also drastically improves built-in search, SkyDrive cloud syncing, mail and Microsoft Music."
Microsoft also released a preview of Visual Studio 2013
and .NET 4.5.1
, and there's a program that will give developers early access to the PC version of the Kinect sensor
. Other tidbits: Windows 8.1 will use a standard driver model for 3-D printers
, and it's getting better support for both high-res displays and using multiple displays with different resolutions
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Was That A Tsunami?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 26 '13 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's about-time-new-jersey-got-some-bigger-waves department
Rebecka Schumann writes "The East Coast was hit by a tsunami earlier this month, but apparently, no one was the wiser. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration a rare six-foot wave collided with the region in early June, a phenomenon currently under review. The wave is being considered 'complex' and is believed to have been caused 'the slumping at the continental shelf east of New Jersey' or a strong storm according to the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center. While speculation regarding the mystery tsunami is rampant, another individual is claiming the surge could possibly be a 'meteotsunami,' meaning it was not caused by seismic activity but merely a change in meteorological conditions. Paul Whitmore, an NOAA tsunami center director, said a weather system's ability to change air pressure is enough to 'generate waves that act just like tsunamis.' The alleged tsunami caused three divers to be swept off rocks, two reportedly requiring medical attention after suffering from non life-threatening injuries due the storm. The tsunami, which also caused damage to boats and docks, reportedly lasted a total of five minutes."
For less obtrusive advertising, see similar stories at The Verge
, and at NPR
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By timothy from Slashdot's totally-bringing-on-the-apocalypse department
12 U.S. states have adopted same-sex marriage over the past decade, and many other states have adopted legislation specifically intended to prevent same-sex marriages from being performed or recognized within their borders. The landscape has just changed on that front, though: the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act
, which barred federal recognition of same-sex marriages, has been ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court
; here's the ruling itself
. From the NBC News version of the story:"The decision was 5-4, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.
“'DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others,' the ruling said. 'The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.'"
One major area this affects is tax law; that's one of the salient points in U.S. v. Windsor
, the case that drove the court's conclusion. There's more on the story at many major news outlets, and at law-centric sources like SCOTUSblog
. The Boston Globe is also live blogging various reactions
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By Soulskill from Slashdot's need-to-sleep-some-time department
Lasrick sends in an article from John Horgan at Scientific American explaining why he thinks engineering freshmen should make a bit of space in their course-load for the humanities. Quoting:"But it is precisely because science is so powerful that we need the humanities now more than ever. In your science, mathematics and engineering classes, you're given facts, answers, knowledge, truth. Your professors say, 'This is how things are.' They give you certainty. The humanities, at least the way I teach them, give you uncertainty, doubt and skepticism. The humanities are subversive. They undermine the claims of all authorities, whether political, religious or scientific. This skepticism is especially important when it comes to claims about humanity, about what we are, where we came from, and even what we can be and should be. Science has replaced religion as our main source of answers to these questions. Science has told us a lot about ourselves, and we’re learning more every day. But the humanities remind us that we have an enormous capacity for deluding ourselves."Read Replies (0)