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Energy-Generating Fabric Set To Power Battery-Free Wearables
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 10:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's static-cling-is-powerful department:
An anonymous reader writes A team of researchers in Korea and Australia have developed a flexible fabric which generates power from human movement – a breakthrough which could replace batteries in future wearable devices. The effect of the fabric's nanogenerators mirrors static electricity with the two fabrics repeatedly brushing against each other and stealing electrons from the one another – this exchange creates energy from the wearer's activity without the need for an external power source. During testing, the researchers demonstrated the nanogenerator powering a number of devices such as LEDs, a liquid crystal display, as well as a keyless car entry system embedded in a nanogenerator 'power suit'.

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Ultralight Convertibles Approaching Desktop Performance
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 07:01 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's lots-of-moving-parts-to-break department:
MojoKid writes Laptops with fully articulating hinges are starting to show up from more vendors than just Lenovo, though the company certainly got some mileage out of their Yoga brand of machines. Now it appears HP is getting in on the action as well, with the new HP Spectre X360 that's powered Intel's new Core i5-5200U Broadwell-based processor with integrated Intel HD 5500 series graphics, along with 8GB of DDR3-1600 memory, a 256GB Solid State Drive (a Samsung M.2 PCIe SSD), 802.11ac WiFi, and a 13.3" Full HD (1920x1080) multi-touch screen. The Spectre X360 has a geared and spring-assisted hinges. The hinges swing open easily, and then offer more resistance as the screen is moved into an upright position, or swung around into tent, stand, or tablet modes. What's also interesting about this new breed of convertibles, beyond just its ability to contort into tablet mode and various other angles, is that performance for these ultralight platforms is scaling up nicely, with faster, low-power processors and M.2 PCIe Solid State Drives offering up a very responsive experience and under 10 second boot times. It has gotten to the point that 3 pound and under notebooks feel every bit as nimble as desktop machines, at least for mainstream productivity and media consumption usage models.

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New Concept Tire Could Recharge Car Battery
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 04:16 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's perpetual-motion-machine department:
randomErr writes Goodyear Tire showed off its new BH03 tire that can partially recharge your electric car while driving. At the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show a new concept tire was displayed that uses heat generated while driving and converts the thermal energy to electrical power. The triple inner tube design changes pressure to maximize electrical output while adjusting to the road conditions.

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Why It's Almost Impossible To Teach a Robot To Do Your Laundry
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 03:16 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's apparently-I-can't-do-it-either department:
An anonymous reader writes with this selection from an article at Medium: "For a robot, doing laundry is a nightmare. A robot programmed to do laundry is faced with 14 distinct tasks, but the most washbots right now can only complete about half of them in a sequence. But to even get to that point, there are an inestimable number of ways each task can vary or go wrong—infinite doors that may or may not open."

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Fujitsu Tech Can Track Heavily Blurred People In Security Videos
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 02:16 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's ok-but-how-do-the-heavily-blurred-people-live? department:
itwbennett writes Fujitsu has developed image-processing technology that can be used to track people in security camera footage, even when the images are heavily blurred to protect their privacy. The company says that detecting the movements of people in this way could be useful for retail design, reducing pedestrian congestion in crowded urban areas or improving evacuation routes for emergencies. An indoor test of the system was able to track the paths of 80 percent of test subjects, according to the company.

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Ask Slashdot: Best Strategies For Teaching Kids CS Skills With Basic?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 01:16 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's goto-from-here-on-out department:
beaverdownunder writes We're currently working on developing a teaching platform based around our BASIC interpreter DiscoRunner, and we would love to hear from Slashdot readers as to what methods they've used in the past to teach kids computer science concepts — which worked, what didn't, and why? This will obviously be invaluable to us when it comes to working out the lessons that will be taught in our fight-to-save-the-world-from-evil learning environment, and we would be eternally grateful for any scraps of wisdom you could toss our way.

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Sewage Bacteria Reveal Cities' Obesity Rates
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 12:31 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's floral-research department:
benonemusic writes A new frontier in data mining: Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts surveyed bacteria from human waste in the municipal sewage systems. Surprisingly they found different proportions of bacterial species in cities that correlated with obesity rates in those municipal areas. The researchers believe that these bacterial samples can yield city-level information on other diseases as well. Hopefully this isn't just a messy case of spurious correlation.

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Chinese Government Takes Down Anti-Pollution Documentary "Under The Dome"
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 11:31 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's go-about-your-business department:
An anonymous reader writes with a link to BBC's report that [A]uthorities in China have a removed from websites a popular documentary which highlights the country's severe pollution problem. Under the Dome explains the social and health costs of pollution, and was watched by more than 100 million people online, sparking debates. It was removed just two days after Premier Li Keqiang called pollution a blight on people's lives.

Searching YouTube gives you a pretty good idea of what the Chinese government doesn't want people to see.

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KDE Accepted To Google Summer of Code 2015
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 11:01 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's making-things-better department:
jrepin writes The KDE student programs team is happy to announce that KDE has been accepted as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code 2015. This will allow students from around the world to work with mentors on KDE software projects. Successful students will receive stipends from Google. Ideas on what a student entering Google Summer of Code 2015 with KDE might work on are listed on the Community Wiki.

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Go R, Young Man
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 10:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's or-certain-other-letters department:
theodp (442580) writes " Learning to code has become a mainstream fascination," writes Brian Liou in Why are YOU learning to code?, "but all the evangelization has been misleading. The problem in our Chris-Bosh-codes-so-should-you society is that people learn to code without first asking "for what purpose do you want to use code?" What in your day-to-day work could you actually automate using code? Let's face it, your odds of creating the next hot iPhone app aren't great, but the spreadsheets you look at everyday or the strategic business decisions you or your company makes? Coding can help you with those. Coding to better understand data would help everyone." Leada co-founder Liou's advice? "So to all non-technical professionals looking to get technical: If you want to become a software engineer, by all means learn Ruby or go through the JavaScript tutorials on Codecademy. But if you're simply a business professional looking to gain an edge on your peers, trust me, you are much better off learning R." So, did Mark Zuckerberg steer 100 million K-12 coder wannabes down the wrong path with the JavaScript and Ruby preaching?"

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FTC Announces $50k In Prizes For Robocaller Trap Software
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's looking-at-your-karen-from-the-service-department department:
crazyhorse44 that the Federal Trade Commission announced this week that it is launching two new robocall contests challenging the public to develop a crowd-source honeypot and better analyze data from an existing honeypot. A honeypot is an information system that may be used by government, private and academic partners to lure and analyze robocalls. The challenges are part of the FTC's long-term multi-pronged effort to combat illegal robocallers and contestants of one of the challenges will compete for $25,000 in a top prize. As part of Robocalls: Humanity Strikes Back, the FTC is asking contestants to create a technical solution for consumers that will identify unwanted robocalls received on landlines or mobile phones, and block and forward those calls to a honeypot. A qualifying phase [launched Wednesday] and runs through June 15, 2015 at 10:00 p.m. ET; and a second and final phase concludes at DEF CON 23 on Aug. 9, 2015.

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Inside Minerva, a Silicon Valley Bid To Start an Elite College Online
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's see-you-at-the-reunion department:
An anonymous reader writes with this article about The Minerva Project, a for-profit company now backed with more than $95 million from Silicon Valley venture-capital firms. Its goal is both audacious and unprecedented in the recent history of higher education: to build a name-brand, elite, liberal-arts-focused university that would cost about half of what Ivy League institutions charge. There's no campus, and all the classes take place online, but the students all live near each other in San Francisco. As small liberal-arts colleges like Sweet Briar shut down, is this campusless college the future?

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Daylight Saving Time Change On Sunday For N. America
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's time-keeps-on-slippin'-slippin'-slippin' department:
An anonymous reader writes Just a reminder that DST starts this weekend for most of North America. The majority of people feel that DST is a bad idea and want it to stop. If that was done, the main question would then probably be whether to go to Standard time year-round, or "summer" time year-round (more). For the latter, there is some evidence that it helps reduce crime (at least initially); for the former, more northern locations would have sunrise occur 08:30 or later, which would make the morning commute difficult. Some even argue that the U.S. should go to only two timezones. The DST change occurs at the end of March in the EU, so there will be a second round of confusion for trans-Atlantic conference calls then.

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Mesa 10.5 Updates Open-Source Graphics Drivers
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's pushing-pixels department:
An anonymous reader writes Mesa 10.5 has been released to update the open-source Linux graphics driver stack. This quarterly update to Mesa has initial support for Intel's next-generation Skylake graphics, Qualcomm Adreno A4xx support, EGL support on the BeOS-inspired Haiku, the new NIR intermediate representation, and other changes. While new GL4 extensions were implemented, the Intel/Radeon/Nouveau drivers only have enough support right now to expose OpenGL 3.3, but GL4.2 is expected out of the open-source drivers by the end of the year.

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The Origin of Life and the Hidden Role of Quantum Criticality
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's tasers-hurt-us-at-a-deep-level department:
KentuckyFC writes One of the great puzzles of biology is how the molecular machinery of life is so finely coordinated. Even the simplest cells are complex three dimensional biochemical factories in which a dazzling array of machines pump, push, copy, and compute in a dance of extraordinarily detailed complexity. Indeed, it is hard to imagine how the ordinary processes of electron transport allow this complexity to emerge given the losses that arise in much simpler circuits. Now a group of researchers led by Stuart Kauffmann have discovered that the electronic properties of biomolecules are entirely different to those of ordinary conductors. It turns out that most biomolecules exist in an exotic state called quantum criticality that sits on the knife edge between conduction and insulation. In other words, biomolecules belong to an entirely new class of conductor that is not bound by the ordinary rules of electron transport. Of course, organic molecules can be ordinary conductors or insulators and the team have found a few biomolecules that fall into these categories. But evolution seems to have mainly selected biomolecules that are quantum critical, implying that that this property must confer some evolutionary advantage. Exactly what this could be isn't yet clear but it must play an important role in the machinery of life and its origin.

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NBC Thinks Connected Gloves and "Bullet Time" Can Make Boxing Cool
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 03:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's where-are-their-helmets? department:
New submitter Lashdots writes with this excerpt from a piece at Fast Company about what may be the future of boxing, at least from the perspective of television audiences. "Right now, millennials turn boxing on and they're like, 'Who's winning? I don't get this,'" said Anthony Bailey. The chief technology officer of NBC's Premier Boxing Champions was watching a pair of fighters spar—each wearing sensor-equipped boxing gloves—in preparation for this weekend's fight, the first to be broadcast on NBC's primetime slot (8:30 pm EST) in 30 years. "These guys are real athletes. It's not just two guys going out in the ring trying to beat the crap out of each other. It's two guys that actually have strategy. They're actually thinking."

In a makeshift television studio here last month, Bailey, a team of engineers, and some of boxing's heaviest hitters were working to make that thinking a little more visible—in HD, with video-game-like graphics and Matrix-like camera angles. It's one part of an ambitious multimillion-dollar effort by NBC and some of boxing's biggest names to gain an edge against popular competitors like mixed martial arts, and to draw in younger, more casual audiences who may never have thought about watching before.


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New Images From Mangalyaan
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '15 at 12:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's way-up-there department:
schwit1 writes Indian scientists have released a new set of color images taken by their Mars orbiter, Mangalyaan. Arsia Mons is one of the three giant volcanoes to the east of Mars' biggest volcano, Olympus Mons. Arsia Mons is important for future manned colonization, as there are known caves on its western flanks. In addition, those western flanks show solid evidence of past glaciers, which means that it is very likely that those caves will harbor significant quantities of water-ice, making settlement much easier.

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El Nino Has Finally Arrived, Far Weaker Than Predicted
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '15 at 11:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's weather-is-hard department:
An anonymous reader writes "The periodic warm weather pattern called El Niño has finally arrived in the mid-equatorial Pacific Ocean, more than a year late and far weaker than predicted by scientists. "The announcement comes a year after forecasters first predicted that a major El Niño could be in the works. At the time, NOAA predicted a 50% chance that an El Niño could develop in the latter half of 2014. The agency also said the wind patterns that were driving water east across the Pacific were similar to those that occurred in the months leading up to the epic El Niño of 1997, which caught scientists by surprise and contributed to flooding, droughts and fires across multiple continents.

In the end, last year's forecasts came up short, in part because the winds that were driving the system petered out. Researchers, who have been working to improve their forecasting models since 1997, are trying to figure out precisely what happened last year and why their models failed to capture it."


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Make Those Brown Eyes Blue
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '15 at 08:51 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-can-always-reembrownen-them department:
randomErr writes A new procedure has been developed that can turn any brown eye to blue. The procedure uses a laser that disturbs the melanin in the pigmented part of the eye. Over the course of a few weeks your body would eliminate the disturbed pigment revealing the blue layer below all people have. The procedure costs about $5,000 and only takes a few second to complete. You can't get it yet in the U.S. because it still going through clinical trials and some ophthalmologists fear that process could increase pressure in the eyes.

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Indian Gov't Wants Worldwide Ban On Rape Documentary, Including Online
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '15 at 08:51 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's oh-that'll-work department:
An anonymous reader writes India's far-right Hindu Nationalist government headed by Narendra Modi has banned telecasting and viewing online of a BBC documentary on the 2012 Delhi rape which shocked the nation. The documentary consists interviews of the rapist Mukesh Singh, his lawyers and the victim's parents seems to expose the male dominant nature of Indian society. Indian government is now attempting to ban the documentary worldwide. Critics of the Indian government's action has accused it of not addressing issues women face and instead trying to hide the dirty secrets of its culture from the world. Some Indian websites have also reported that the views expressed by the rapist are echoed by policemen, lawyers and politicians of the nation. So far the government's attempt to ban the video online is with mixed success.

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