By samzenpus from Slashdot's did-you-see-that department
writes "This is pretty fascinating: The Chronicle of Higher Ed has an article about a DARPA project that allows researchers to scan satellite photos, video, etc., and have a computer pick up differences in brain activity to tell whether an image has been seen...images that might flash by before conscious recognition. From the article: 'In a small, anonymous office in the Trump Tower, 28 floors above Wall Street, a man sits in front of a computer screen sifting through satellite images of a foreign desert. The images depict a vast, sandy emptiness, marked every so often by dunes and hills. He is searching for man-made structures: houses, compounds, airfields, any sign of civilization that might be visible from the sky. The images flash at a rate of 20 per second, so fast that before he can truly perceive the details of each landscape, it is gone. He pushes no buttons, takes no notes. His performance is near perfect.'"Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can-of-worms department
An anonymous reader writes with news of a study
out of the University of Florida which found that alcohol is the biggest "gateway" drug
, the use of which increases the likelihood of other drug use. Quoting:"In the sample of students, alcohol also represented the most commonly used substance, with 72.2 percent of students reporting alcohol consumption at some point in their lifetime. Comparatively, 45 percent of students reported using tobacco, and 43.3 percent cited marijuana use. In addition, the drug use documented found that substance use typically begins with the most socially acceptable drugs, such as alcohol and cigarettes, then proceeds to marijuana use and finally to other illegal, harder drugs. Moreover, the study showed that students who used alcohol exhibited a significantly greater likelihood — up to 16 times — of licit and illicit substance use."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can-we-shoot-you-with-this-laser-to-uhhhh-scan-you? department
writes "It seems like every time I set foot in an airport, there is some new machine I need to stand in, walk through, or put my shoes on. The argument can be made that much of this is security theater — an effort to just make things look safe. However, if a new kind of laser-based molecular scanner lives up to its promise and finds its way into airports as planned, it could actually make a difference. A company called Genia Photonics has developed a programmable picosecond laser that is capable of spotting trace amounts of a variety of substances. Genia claims that the system can detect explosives, chemical agents, and hazardous biological substances at up to 50 meters. This device relies on classic spectroscopy; just a very advanced form of it. In the case of Genia's scanner, it is using far-infrared radiation in the terahertz band. This is why the US Department of Homeland Security is so keen on getting it into airports. Understandably, some are calling foul on the possible privacy concerns, but this technology is halfway to a Star Trek tricorder."Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's listen-up department
CowboyNeal writes "Unless you don't care about PC gaming at all, by now you're aware of Valve's entry into the MOBA/ARTS genre, Dota 2. Despite still being in a closed beta, it's currently the number one game on Valve's Steam gaming service, and judging from Valve's earlier declaration regarding Steam on Linux, it's only a matter of time, even if that time be a year or more, before we see Dota 2 come to Linux as well as Mac. Valve has big plans for Dota 2, no less big than what happened with Team Fortress 2, even if it took them a few years to get to where Team Fortress 2 is today. What makes the current state of Dota 2 noteworthy, however, is that it has managed to displace Team Fortress 2 as Steam's most popular game, while still being tested in a closed beta."
Read on for the rest of CowboyNeal's thoughts on games, and what it's like being a Slashdot poll option.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's smells-like-2001 department
mikejuk writes with a winner for quickest follow-up in a while
as the Ouya console managed to raise over $2 million in a mere eight hours. From the article: "On the surface it all sounds like a really good idea. The OUYA games console is planned to be an open competitor to the likes of Xbox and PS3. It seems so good that it has been crowd funded to the tune of $1 million — but why exactly is it needed? There must be a good reason — after all the wisdom of crowds is never wrong. The simple answer seems to be freedom. The company claims that you can do what you want to the machine. A CyanogenMod port would allow you to do what you like to the OS and it wouldn't void your warranty. You can hack the hardware or software. However, it is important to note that this isn't open hardware. ... In the same way the software seems to be open and yet controlled. ... The Kickstarter page says 'When we say, "open" we mean it. We've made many decisions based on this philosophy:..' But it isn't Open Source. And yet it is so much better than the alternative. Perhaps this is a sign of just how desperate we all are to get away from the control of the big console manufacturers, that we will fund anything that sounds even slightly reasonable. The walled gardens of Apple, Sony and Microsoft no longer seem the warm and welcoming places they once did (if they ever did)"
Issues not raised on yesterday's post; the console will require a significant number of binary blobs just to function, and it's really unclear whether or not it will actually be DRM free. Anyone remember Indrema
?Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's catching-up-with-the-lisp-machine department
StormDriver writes "Firefox 15 has hit the Mozilla pre-beta Aurora channel, and it features a redesigned, built-in debugger."
The original weblog post
has more. Thanks to improved debugger internals
in SpiderMonkey, supposedly code should run just as fast with debugging enabled as without (ever try loading Slashdot with firebug accidentally enabled?). There are also new tools for testing mobile layouts from the comfort of your workstation, and the debugger can attach to remote processes
(Something Emacs users have enjoyed for years now
, albeit in a hackish manner and without support for mobile Firefox).Read Replies (0)