By Soulskill from Slashdot's paging-john-connor department
writes "A recent article in the Washington Post, A future for drones: Automated killing, describes the steady progress the military is making toward fully autonomous networks of targeting and killing machines. Does this (concern|scare|disgust) any of you? Quoting: 'After 20 minutes, one of the aircraft, carrying a computer that processed images from an onboard camera, zeroed in on the tarp and contacted the second plane, which flew nearby and used its own sensors to examine the colorful object. Then one of the aircraft signaled to an unmanned car on the ground so it could take a final, close-up look. Target confirmed. This successful exercise in autonomous robotics could presage the future of the American way of war: a day when drones hunt, identify and kill the enemy based on calculations made by software, not decisions made by humans. Imagine aerial "Terminators," minus beefcake and time travel.' The article goes on to discuss the dangers of surrendering to fully autonomous killing, concerns about the potential for 'atrocities,' and the nature of what we call 'common sense.'"Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's symbolics-wants-your-brains department
In his first accepted submission, MaxShaw
writes "repl.it is an online REPL that supports running code in 15+ languages, from Ruby to Scheme to QBasic, in the browser. It is intended as a tool for learning new languages and experimenting with code on the go. All the code is open sourced under the MIT license and available from GitHub."
(previously used to build Doom for the browser
). All evaluation occurs client side, but saved sessions are stored on their server.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's we-have-the-technology department
An anonymous reader writes with a UW news item about a really neat new transistor design. From the release: "Human [sic, probably meant Electronic] devices, from light bulbs to iPods, send information using electrons. Human bodies and all other living things, on the other hand, send signals and perform work using ions or protons. Materials scientists at the University of Washington have built a novel transistor that uses protons, creating a key piece for devices that can communicate directly with living things. Among the many potential areas for application is that of prosthetic limbs."
The paper's abstract
is available, but the full paper is unfortunately Paywalled. The Rolandi research group
has a few other neat projects in related areas.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's faster-faster-faster department
writes with an article in Extreme Tech about the ever quickening pace of Firefox development. Quoting the article: "Mozilla, not content with its monumental shift from four major builds in five years down to a new stable build every six weeks, is looking at outputting a new release every five weeks, or perhaps even less. Christian Legnitto, a project manager at Mozilla (and currently the 'release manager' of Firefox), announced the intention to shift to a shorter release cycle on Mozilla's planning mailing list. In response to one developer citing the success of the six-week release cycle, and asking whether it would be feasible to speed it up even further, Legnitto said: 'Yes, I absolutely think in the future we will shorten the cycle.' There are still some pains to overcome, though, such as add-on maintenance, testing, and localization — and ultimately, as browsers become more like operating systems, do we really want something as important as Firefox receiving a new major version every 5 weeks?"
In other news, it looks like Firefox is losing users faster than ever
despite (because of?) the new rapid release cycle.Read Replies (0)