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Razer, Valve, and Sixense Working On Motion Control For PC Games
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 03:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's trendy-name-guaranteed deptartment:
An anonymous reader sends along this excerpt from Shacknews: "Gaming hardware developer Razer has announced a new multi-year partnership with Sixense Entertainment and Valve Software to deliver a '...revolutionary true-to-life, next-generation motion sensing and gesture recognition controller for PC gaming.' Razer, Valve, and Sixense, along with a selection of PC OEM partners, are aiming to produce '...ultra-precise one-to-one motion sensing controllers that use electromagnetic fields to track precise movements along all six axes.' Each controller will reportedly track its orientation within a single degree, and detect positioning within one millimeter. Thankfully, the device will be compatible with both current and future generation PC games."

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France Considers 'Pirate Tax' For Online Ads
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 01:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's somone-has-to-pay deptartment:
angry tapir writes "A report commissioned by the French Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand urges the introduction of a tax on online advertising such as that carried by Google, which would be used to pay the creators of artistic and other works that lose out to online piracy."

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M.U.L.E. Is Back
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 12:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-for-the-red-wings deptartment:
jmp_nyc writes "The developers at Turborilla have remade the 1983 classic game M.U.L.E. The game is free, and has slightly updated graphics, but more or less the same gameplay as the original version. As with the original game, up to four players can play against each other (or fewer than four with AI players taking the other spots). Unlike the original version, the four players can play against each other online. For those of you not familiar with M.U.L.E., it was one of the earliest economic simulation games, revolving around the colonization of the fictitious planet Irata (Atari spelled backwards). I have fond memories of spending what seemed like days at a time playing the game, as it's quite addictive, with the gameplay seeming simpler than it turns out to be. I'm sure I'm not the only Slashdotter who had a nasty M.U.L.E. addiction back in the day and would like a dose of nostalgia every now and then."

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Full Body Scanners Violate Child Porn Laws
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 11:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's think-of-the-children deptartment:
gandhi_2 writes "The Guardian has a story about an ongoing legal battle over the use of full body scanners in the UK. The Protection of Children Act 1978, includes provisions in which it is illegal to create an indecent image or a "pseudo-image" of a child....which a full body scanner does."

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The 9 Most Tested Lab Animals
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 08:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-a-list-you-want-to-be-on deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Discover Magazine has this odd photo gallery in which they explain why certain animals are used in scientific research. Why are high-tech contact lenses always tried out in rabbits? Why do we study monogamy in prairie voles? Etc. They say of the 9 animals: 'Taken (or stitched) together, they form a kind of laboratory doppelganger for humans.'"

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Mexico Wants Payment For Aztec Images
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 08:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's montezuma's-latest-revenge deptartment:
innocent_white_lamb writes "Starbucks brought out a line of cups with prehistoric Aztec images on them. Now the government of Mexico wants them to pay for the use of the images. Does the copyright on an image last hundreds of years?"

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FCC Wants More Time To Craft Broadband Plan
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 06:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we'll-be-right-with-you deptartment:
adeelarshad82 writes "Julius Genachowski, Federal Communications Commission Chairman, has sent out a letter to Congress requesting more time for the commission to deliver its national broadband plan. According to the stimulus bill passed in early 2009, the FCC was to come up with a plan to provide all citizens with access to broadband services and deliver it to the committee by February 17, 2010. Even though an outline of the plan was released last month, FCC is requesting till March 17, 2010 to finalize the plan."

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USGS Develops Twitter-Based Earthquake Detection
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 04:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's whole-lotta-shaking-going-on deptartment:
sprinkletown writes "A team of seismologists at the U.S. Geological Survey have found that Twitter is the fastest way to get information out of an earthquake area, especially in those less densely populated. Seeing the twitter community as an untapped resource, the USGS has developed a new way to track earthquakes by clustering quake-centric tweets."

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Using a Toy Train To Calibrate a Reactor
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's little-engine-that-could-measure-minute-amounts deptartment:
alfredos writes "Physicists and engineers at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory built tracks inside a fusion reactor and ran a toy train for three days to help them with their calibrations. From the article: 'The modified model of a diesel train engine was carrying a small chunk of californium-252, a radioactive element that spews neutrons as it falls apart. “We needed to refine the calibration technique to make sure we are measuring our neutrons as accurately as possible,” said Masa Ono, the project head of the National Spherical Torus Experiment.'"

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400 Years Ago, Galileo Discovered Four Jovian Moons
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 03:00 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's dwarfing-the-dwarf-planets deptartment:
krswan writes "OK, the moons themselves are much older, but on January 7, 1610 Galileo first observed '4 fixed stars' surrounding Jupiter. Observations of their changing positions led Galileo to postulate they were really moons orbiting Jupiter, which became further evidence against Aristotelian Cosmology, which led to problems with the Roman Catholic Church, etc... Jupiter will be low in the southwest (in the Northern Hemisphere) after sunset this evening — nothing else around it is as bright, so you can't miss it. Celebrate by pointing binoculars or a telescope at Jupiter and checking out the moons for yourself."

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Netflix Will Delay Renting New WB Releases
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 02:15 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's times-they-are-a-changin' deptartment:
DesertBlade tips the news that Netflix will delay renting new releases from Warner Brothers for 28 days, and adds "Luckily I am so far behind in my movie watching that I will probably never catch up anyway." "It's part of a strategy by several studios to create staggered releases of DVDs so that the most profitable transactions are available first and cheaper rental options take effect further down the road. The move could be copied by other studios, forcing consumers to wait nearly a month if they want to rent popular movies from Netflix. ... The studio is hoping that the four-week window will push consumers interested in watching movies at home to buy the DVDs or pay a premium to rent them from stores like Blockbuster or from Internet and cable video-on-demand services. Warner Bros. already imposes a 28-day window on $1-a-night kiosk firm Redbox."

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Hotmailers Hawking Hoax Hunan Half-Offs
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 01:30 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's how-horrific deptartment:
Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "An estimated 200,000 Hotmail users currently have their auto-reply set to a message spamming an advertisement for Chinese scam websites, which sell "discounted" electronics. Presumably the spammers compromised a large number of Hotmail accounts to pull this off, but wouldn't it be pretty easy for Hotmail to query for which users have that set as their auto-reply, and turn the auto-reply off for them?" Read below for Bennet's thoughts.

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AMD Launches World's First Mobile DirectX 11 GPUs
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 12:30 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's forty-nm-of-fast deptartment:
J. Dzhugashvili writes "Less than 4 months after releasing the first DX11 desktop graphics card, AMD has followed up with a whole lineup of mobile graphics processors based on the same architecture. The new Mobility Radeon HD 5000 lineup includes four different series of GPUs designed to serve everything from high-end gaming notebooks to mainstream thin-and-light systems. AMD has based these processors on the same silicon chips as its desktop Radeon HD 5000-series graphics cards, so performance shouldn't disappoint. The company also intends to follow Nvidia's lead by offering notebook graphics drivers directly from its website, as opposed to relying on laptop vendors to provide updates."

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Google's Book Scanning Technology Revealed
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 11:45 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's real-page-turner deptartment:
blee37 writes "Last March we discussed Google's patent for a rapid book scanning system. This article describes and provides pictures of how the system works in practice. Google is secretive, but the system's inner workings were apparently divulged by University of Tokyo researchers who wrote a research article on essentially identical technology. There are also videos of robotic page flippers and information about how Google wants to use music to help humans flip pages."

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Cellphone Radiation May Protect Brain From Alzheimers
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 11:00 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's i-forget-why deptartment:
We've discussed cellphones and cancer many times. Here's a new angle: reader olddotter sends in a Reuters article suggesting that cellPhone radiation may protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease. "At the end of that time, they found cellphone exposure erased a build-up of beta amyloid, a protein that serves as a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer's mice showed improvement and had reversal of their brain pathology..."

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Details On Natal's Motion Capture Technology
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 10:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's do-a-little-dance deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Following yesterday's announcement of a late 2010 launch date for Natal, more details are emerging on exactly how Natal works. Alex Kipman, the project's lead developer, explains that Natal uses only 10-15% of the Xbox's resources to calibrate to a new player inside 160 milliseconds, track one or two players simultaneously, and use rudimentary knowledge of body anatomy to estimate where hands or other body parts are even when they can't be seen by Natal — for instance when they are held behind the back."

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Factorization of a 768-bit RSA Modulus
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 09:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's thats-a-lotta-math deptartment:
dtmos writes "The 768-bit, 232-digit number RSA-768 has been factored. 'The number RSA-768 was taken from the now obsolete RSA Challenge list as a representative 768-bit RSA modulus. This result is a record for factoring general integers. Factoring a 1024-bit RSA modulus would be about a thousand times harder, and a 768-bit RSA modulus is several thousands times harder to factor than a 512-bit one. Because the first factorization of a 512-bit RSA modulus was reported only a decade ago it is not unreasonable to expect that 1024-bit RSA moduli can be factored well within the next decade by an academic effort such as ours . . . . Thus, it would be prudent to phase out usage of 1024-bit RSA within the next three to four years.'"

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World's First Integrated Twin-lens 3D Camcorder
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 09:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i'll-call-it-shamdora deptartment:
ElectricSteve writes "Shooting in 3D has traditionally required a complex, bulky and fragile rig using two cameras and additional hardware to calibrate and adjust them. Panasonic's straight-forwardly-named Twin-lens Full HD 3D camcorder looks to radically change the 3D game, with integrated lenses and dual SDHC memory card slots allowing you to capture 3D footage immediately, with just one device." So there ya go, get started making your own Avatar.

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Windows 7 Has Lots of ‘God Modes’
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 08:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i-am-god-here deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Those intrigued by the “GodMode” in Windows 7 may be interested to know that there are many other similar shortcuts hidden within the operating system. teven Sinofsky, Windows division president, said several similar undocumented features provide direct access to all kinds of settings, from choosing a location to managing power settings to identifying biometric sensors."

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8% of Your DNA Comes From a Virus
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 07:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's well-not-you-peronally deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "About 8 percent of human genetic material comes from a virus and not from our ancestors, according to an article by University of Texas at Arlington biology professor Cédric Feschotte, published in the Jan. 7, 2010 issue of Nature magazine."

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