By Soulskill from Slashdot's revolution-will-not-be-streamed department
New submitter Mauro
sends word that Microsoft has announced upcoming Xbox One support for streaming media
both from attached USB devices, such as flash drives, and DLNA media servers. Compatibility with a broad list of media formats will be added by the end of the year, including .MKV files
. They also followed up last week's announcement
of a digital TV tuner with an interesting twist: it will be able to stream broadcasts over a local network to devices running the Smartglass app, which is available on Windows, Android, and iOS.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's siri-why-does-my-cat-throw-up-so-much? department
sends this report from Wired on the next generation of consumer AI:Google Now has a huge knowledge graph—you can ask questions like "Where was Abraham Lincoln born?" And it can name the city. You can also say, "What is the population?" of a city and it’ll bring up a chart and answer. But you cannot say, "What is the population of the city where Abraham Lincoln was born?" The system may have the data for both these components, but it has no ability to put them together, either to answer a query or to make a smart suggestion. Like Siri, it can’t do anything that coders haven’t explicitly programmed it to do. Viv breaks through those constraints by generating its own code on the fly, no programmers required. Take a complicated command like "Give me a flight to Dallas with a seat that Shaq could fit in." Viv will parse the sentence and then it will perform its best trick: automatically generating a quick, efficient program to link third-party sources of information together—say, Kayak, SeatGuru, and the NBA media guide—so it can identify available flights with lots of legroom.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's first-of-many department
An anonymous reader sends news that the 2014 Fields Medals
have been awarded for outstanding work in the field of mathematics. The winners are Artur Avila, Manjul Bhargava, Martin Hairer, and Maryam Mirzakhani. Quanta Magazine writes, Mirzakhani is the first woman to win a Fields Medal. The gender imbalance in mathematics is long-standing and pervasive, and the Fields Medal, in particular, is ill-suited to the career arcs of many female mathematicians. It is restricted to mathematicians younger than 40, focusing on the very years during which many women dial back their careers to raise children. Mirzakhani feels certain, however, that there will be many more female Fields medalists in the future. "There are really many great female mathematicians doing great things," she said.
Quanta has profiles of the other winners as well (Avila
), and of Rolf Nevanlinna Prize winner Subhash Khot
.Read Replies (0)
By Roblimo from Slashdot's you-can-type-faster-if-you-use-more-than-one-finger-at-a-time department
Joshua Lifton says you can learn to type at 225 words per minute with his Stenosaurus
, an open source stenography keyboard that has a not-there-yet website with nothing but the words, "Stenography is about to evolve," on it as of this writing. If you've heard of Joshua it's probably because he's part of the team behind Crowd Supply
, which claims, "Our projects raise an average of $43,600, over twice as much as Kickstarter." A brave boast, but there's plenty of brainpower
behind the company. Joshua, himself. has a PhD from MIT, which according to his company bio means, "he's devoted a significant amount of his time learning how to make things that blink." But the steno machine is his own project, independent of Crowd Supply.
< article continued at Slashdot
>Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can't-you-go-back-to-not-passing-legislation department
An anonymous reader writes: Phil Plait reports that a trio of U.S. Congressmen are asking NASA to investigate what they call "an epidemic of anomalies" at SpaceX. They sent a memo (PDF) demanding that SpaceX be held accountable to taxpayers for mission delays stemming from the development of new rockets. Plait notes, "[A]s a contractor, the rules are different for them than they would be if NASA themselves built the rockets, just as the rules are for Boeing or any other contractor. In fact, as reported by Space News, NASA didn't actually pay for the development of the Falcon 9; Elon Musk did." He adds, "Another reason this is silly is that every rocket ever made has undergone problems; they are fiendishly complex machines and no design has ever gotten from the drafting board to the launch pad without issues. Sure, SpaceX has experienced launch delays and other problems, but the critical thing to remember is that those problems are noted, assessed, and fixed sometimes within hours or minutes." Plait accuses the congressmen of trying to bury private spaceflight under red tape in order to protect established industries in their own states.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's he-actually-wrote-the-book department
(attorney Lawrence Rosen
) writes with a response to an article that appeared on Opensource.com late last month, detailing a court case that arose between Versata Software and Ameriprise Financial Services
; part of the resulting dispute hinges on Versata's use of GPL'd software (parsing utility VTD-X, from Ximpleware
), though without acknowledging the license. According to the article's author, attorney Aaron Williamson (former staff attorney for the Software Freedom Law Center), "Lawyers for commercial software vendors have feared a claim like this for essentially the entire 20-odd-year lifetime of the GPL: a vendor incorporates some GPL-licensed code into a product—maybe naively, maybe willfully—and could be compelled to freely license the entire product as a result. The documents filed by Amerprise in the case reflect this fearful atmosphere, adopting the classically fear-mongering characterization of the GPL as a 'viral' license that 'infects' its host and 'requires it to become open source, too.'" Rosen writes: I want to acknowledge Aaron's main points: This lawsuit challenges certain assumptions about GPLv2 licensing, and it also emphasizes the effects of patents on the FOSS (and commercial) software ecosystem. I also want to acknowledge that I have been consulted as an expert by the plaintiff in this litigation (Ximpleware vs. Versata, et al.) and so some of what I say below they may also say in court.
Read on for the rest (and Williamson's article, too, for a better understanding of this reaction to it). An important take-away: it's not just the license that matters.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's don't-steal-the-government-hates-competition department
An anonymous reader writes "Criminals smuggle an estimated $30 billion in U.S. currency into Mexico each year from the United States, most of it laundered drug money. But researchers say help is on the way for border guards in the form of a portable device that identifies specific vapors given off by U.S. paper money. "We're developing a device that mimics the function of trained dogs 'sniffing' out concealed money, but without the drawbacks, such as expensive training, sophisticated operators, down time and communication limitations," says Suiqiong Li, Ph.D., a member of the research team behind the technology. When developing the device, the researchers first had to figure out which gases money emits and how fast that happens. It turned out that the gases are a set of trace chemicals, including aldehydes, furans and organic acids."
What do bitcoins smell like?Read Replies (0)