By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's two-devices-for-the-price-of-three department
writes with the scoop on Asus's new Transformer tablet/laptop devices: "If you've ever looked at an Asus Transformer and wished that it was slightly bigger, had an x86 processor, and ran Windows, I have good news: At Computex in Taiwan, Asus has unveiled just that. Dubbed the Transformer Book, this isn't some wimpy Atom-powered thing either: This Transformer will ship with a range of Ivy Bridge Core i3/5/7 processors and discrete Nvidia graphics. Like its Android-powered predecessors, the Transformer Book is a touchscreen tablet computer that plugs into keyboard docking station, effectively becoming a laptop (or ultrabook, if you prefer). Rounding out the specs, the Transformer Book will come in a range of models (11.6, 13, and 14 inches), your choice of SSD or HDD, up to 4GB of RAM. All three models will have an IPS display capable of full HD (1920×1080). There's a webcam on the front of the tablet portion of the Transformer, and a 5-megapixel shooter on the back. There's no mention of wireless connectivity, but presumably there's Bluetooth and WiFi; on the wired side, there seems to be only a single micro-HDMI socket (on the tablet), and a USB socket (on the keyboard/dock). On the software side, the Transformer Book will of course run Windows 8. It all sounds great — but Asus kept one tiny tidbit out of its presentation: battery life."
Aside from the Nvidia graphics (which, from the looks of it, can be disabled for the on-chip output), perhaps this could be the first "tablet" capable of running fully Free Software? (UEFI evil
aside).Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's listening-to-actual-users-instead-of-unicorns department
writes "KDE released the first beta for its version 4.9 of Workspaces, Applications, and Development Platform. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the KDE team's focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing new and old functionality. Highlights of 4.9 include, but are not limited to: Qt Quick in Plasma Workspaces, many improvements in Dolphin file manager, deeper integration of Activities, and many performance improvements. The KDE Community is committed to improving quality substantially with a new program that starts with the 4.9 releases. The 4.9 beta releases are the first phase of a testing process that involves volunteers called 'Beta Testers.' They will receive training, test the two beta releases and report issues through KDE Bugzilla."
I was recently forced into installing GNOME 3 (who knew printing required removing GNOME 2); after trying for a while to get Sawfish working again in the deprecated fallback mode, I gave up and tried KDE again. I have to say that I was surprised: KDE 4.5 was unpolished and painful to use whereas 4.7 is pretty slick. With the GNOME 3 developers catering to some seemingly mythical user, it's nice to see the other major desktop using user feedback to make design decisions.Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department
writes "Believe it or not, it's been 18 years since Design Patterns by Gamma, et al, first began to hit the desks of programmers world-wide. This was a work of undeniable influence and usefulness, but there is criticism however that pattern-abuse has lead to over-architected software. This failure is perhaps due to wide-spread use of patterns as templates instead of understanding their underlying 'grammar' of this language such that it may be applied gracefully to the problem at hand. What's been missing until now is a sufficiently authoritative study of design patterns at this 'grammatical' level of abstraction. Jason McC. Smith, through a surprisingly captivating series of analytic twists and turns, has developed a theory of Elemental Design Patterns that may yet rejuvenate this aging topic."
Keep reading for the rest of Joe's review. Elemental Design Patterns
author Jason McC. Smith
publisher Addison-Wesley Professional
reviewer Joe Kauzlarich
summary Software DesignRead Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's boy-wonder department
An anonymous reader writes "Sho Yano this week will become the youngest student to get an M.D. from University of Chicago. He was reading at age 2, writing by 3, and composing music by his 5th birthday. He graduated from Loyola University in three years — summa cum laude, no less. When he entered U. of C.'s prestigious Pritzker School of Medicine at 12, it was into one of the school's most rigorous programs, where students get both their doctorate and medical degrees. Intelligence is not Yano's only gift — though according to a test he took at age 4, his IQ is too high to accurately measure and is easily above genius level. He is an accomplished pianist who has performed at Ravinia, and he has a black belt in tae kwon do. Classmates and faculty described him as 'sweet' and 'humble,' a hardworking, Bach-adoring, Greek literature-quoting student. And in his own words, 'I may not be the most outgoing person, but I do like to be around people.'"Read Replies (0)