By samzenpus from Slashdot's getting-wired department
writes "Bioengineers at Harvard University have created the first examples of cyborg tissue: Neurons, heart cells, muscle, and blood vessels that are interwoven by nanowires and transistors. These cyborg tissues are half living cells, half electronics. As far as the cells are concerned, they're just normal cells that behave normally — but the electronic side actually acts as a sensor network, allowing a computer to interface directly with the cells. In the case of cyborg heart tissue, the researchers have already used the embedded nanowires to measure the contractions (heart rate) of the cells. So far, the researchers have only used the nanoelectric scaffolds to read data from the cells — but according to lead researcher Charles Lieber, the next step is to find a way of talking to the individual cells, to 'wire up tissue and communicate with it in the same way a biological system does.' Suffice it to say, if you can use a digital computer to read and write data to your body's cells, there are some awesome applications."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's servers-need-to-be-able-to-play-quake-too department
writes "AMD named John Gustafson as senior fellow and chief product architect of AMD's Graphics Business Unit, the former ATI graphics business unit. Gustafson, known for developing a key axiom governing parallel processing, will apply that knowledge to AMD's more traditional graphics units and GPGPUs, co-processors that have begun appearing in high-performance computing (HPC) systems to add more computational oomph via parallel processing. At the Hot Chips conference, AMD's chief technical officer, Mark Papermaster, also provided a more comprehensive look at AMD's future in the data center, claiming that APUs were the keystone of the 'surround computing era,' where a wealth of data — through sensors, gestures, voice, augmented reality, metadata, and HD video and graphics — will need to be contextualized, analyzed, and either encrypted or assigned privacy policies. That, of course, means the cloud must shoulder the computational burden."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's still-waiting-on-that-android-based-toaster department
writes "Today Samsung joined Nikon in announcing an Android-powered camera. The Samsung Galaxy Camera weighs 305g, features a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, 21x super zoom lens, a quad-core 1.4GHz SoC (probably Exynos 4), 8GB of internal storage, and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This compares with the Nikon S800c which also has a 16MP CMOS sensor, along with a 7x zoom f/2 lens and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Since neither unit has shipped, we don't know anything yet about how good they are as cameras, but we do know that the companies are trying to regain some of the ground they've lost to smartphones by integrating sharing right into their cameras. For photographers, there are a couple of critical questions about these new models: First is whether these cameras will have enough additional functionality to justify the added cost and weight when most people already have a serviceable camera in their phone. Second, and more importantly, there is still a big question mark hanging over Nikon and Samsung's long-term intentions for Android. If Android cameras are just standard point-and-shoots with a smartphone OS bolted on for sharing, that'll be a wasted opportunity. It would have been easier to create a camera that instantly tethered to a smartphone instead, and let the phone do all the work. There is an exciting possibility, if Nikon and Samsung do this correctly and allow low-level access to the camera functions via Android, to really unleash the power of Android to enable new photographic solutions."
< article continued at Slashdot
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By Soulskill from Slashdot's enough-for-everybody-so-please-share department
writes "NASA today said its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer satellite has unearthed a 'bonanza of new-found supermassive black holes and extreme galaxies called hot DOGs, or dust-obscured galaxies.' NASA said the latest discoveries help astronomers better understand how galaxies and the behemoth black holes at their centers grow and evolve together."
The news was released in a press conference, and io9 has a comprehensive write-up about everything that was covered
, including the Q&A session. Pretty pictures here
.Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department
writes "Of all the open source content management systems used for building websites, Drupal has a reputation for being one of the most flexible and powerful available, but not the easiest for web designers to use. Drupal version 7 has made some strides in alleviating those flaws, but there is still much progress to be made. During the past few years, a number of books have been published that explain how Drupal designers can do custom theming, but they tend to focus on the technical details of the theme layer, and not the practice of web design when using Drupal as a foundation. That rich yet neglected subject area is the focus of a new book, Drupal for Designers: The Context You Need Without the Jargon You Don't." Keep reading to see what Michael has to say about the book.
Drupal for Designers
author Dani Nordin
pages 328 pages
publisher O'Reilly Media
reviewer Michael J. Ross
summary How to design and manage Drupal projects.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's surprise-surprise department
One of the interesting tidbits that came out of last week's billion-dollar verdict
in Apple v. Samsung was that the jury's foreman, a patent holder himself, was instrumental
in leading the other members through the various complicated infringement claims. Now, Groklaw analyzes an interview the man gave with Bloomberg News
(video), in which his statements reveal a basic misunderstanding of what qualifies as prior art
. Quoting Groklaw:"In discussing the first patent on the list, he says they got into a discussion about the prior art that was presented at trial. Here's why they discounted it: 'The software on the Apple side could not be placed into the processor on the prior art and vice versa. That means they are not interchangeable. That changed everything right there.' That isn't disqualifying for prior art. It doesn't have to run on the same processor. It doesn't have to run at all. It can be words on a piece of paper. (If you don't believe little old me, here's a lawyer noticing the video too now.) ... The foreman, in answering criticisms, says that the jury paid close attention to the jury instructions. But looking at this one, did they? I'm sure they meant to, and I'm also sure they did their best according to what they understood. But this was an error, and it's one I don't think the judge can ignore, if anyone brings it to her attention."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's to-be-fair-so-do-i department
derekmead writes "Hot on the heels of the U.S. Air Force's most recent failed test of an unmanned hypersonic vehicle, Russia now says it wants to jump into the hypersonic game with a long-range bomber. Will Russia's newest Bear fly at 4,500 miles an hour? The Russian military sure hopes so. 'I think we need to go down the route of hypersonic technology and we are moving in that direction and are not falling behind the Americans,' Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Russian television. 'The question is will we copy the Americans' 40-year experience and create a [Northrop] B-2 analog or will we go down a new, ultramodern technology route, looking to the horizon, and create a machine able to penetrate air defenses and carry out a strike on any aggressor.' The Russians want their plane operational by 2020, which doesn't seem particularly realistic — we are talking about five times the speed of sound here, and Russia is just starting engine development. The U.S., meanwhile, has been investing in its Waverider program since 2004, and the last test of the X-51A scramjet-powered missile failed after just 15 seconds."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's for-some-definitions-of-open department
alphadogg writes in with an excerpt from Network World:"Five leading Internet standards bodies have joined together to articulate a set of guidelines for the creation of open standards that they say will foster continued innovation, competition and interoperability in the Internet industry. The IEEE, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the IETF, the Internet Society and the World Wide Web Consortium hammered out the language for their five basic principles for standards development over the course of the last few months. Dubbed 'OpenStand,' these lofty principles are envisioned as a modern paradigm for global, open standards development processes. The OpenStand principles are in sharp contrast to the more formal, government-driven efforts of rival standards bodies such as the International Telecommunication Union, which is an arm of the United Nations, and the International Organization for Standardization, a group of national standards bodies."
Although the principles generally seem reasonable, they made no stand against patents in standards: "Standards specifications are made accessible to all for implementation and deployment. Affirming standards organizations have defined procedures to develop specifications that can be implemented under fair terms. Given market diversity, fair terms may vary from royalty-free to fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND)."Read Replies (0)