By msmash from Slashdot's soon department
If you were rooting for fictitious chatacters Dolores and William to make it work on HBO's Westworld, just wait a few more decades and their relationship may be able to exist in real life. That's right, a few experts say marriage will be legal between humans and robots by 2050. From a report on Fortune: At a conference last week called "Love and Sex with Robots" at Goldsmith University in London, David Levy, author of a book on human-robot love, made the bold prediction. And while some other experts were skeptical, Adrian Cheok, a professor at City University London and director of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore, supported Levy's idea. "That might seem outrageous because it's only 35 years away. But 35 years ago people thought homosexual marriage was outrageous," Cheok said. "Until the 1970s, some states didn't allow white and black people to marry each other. Society does progress and change very rapidly."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's new-laptops department
An anonymous reader shares a BetaNews article: If you have been looking for a new Chromebook with some modern specifications and features, I have some good news. An all-new convertible touchscreen ASUS Chromebook has hit Newegg. Apparently, the company has not yet announced the laptop, making it quite the surprise. Called "C302CA-DHM4," it has solid specifications, looks great, and best of all, it is reasonably priced. Also cool is the fact that the Chromebook has a backlit keyboard -- very useful for those that work in the dark. It even features dual USB-C ports (also used for charging), but neither are USB 3.1 Gen 2 -- both are Gen 1, which is essentially the slower USB 3.0. If 64GB of onboard storage isn't enough, you can expand using the microSD card port. Luckily, this ASUS Chromebook comes with 4GB of RAM, which I consider the bare minimum nowadays. While some folks may pooh-pooh the Intel Core m3 processor as underpowered, I disagree -- it is a very capable chip. For Chrome OS in particular, I expect it to be quite nimble.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's piracy-haven department
Spotify is not only one of the world's most popular music services, it's also one that's proven particularly popular with both current and former pirates. From a report on TorrentFreak: Today Spotify is indeed huge. The service has an estimated 100 million users, many of them taking advantage of its ad-supported free tier. This is the gateway for many subscribers, including millions of former and even current pirates who augment their sharing with the desirable service. Now, in a new interview with The Journal on Sports and Entertainment Law, General Counsel of Spotify Horacio Gutierrez reveals just how deeply this philosophy runs in the company. It's absolutely fundamental to its being, he explains. "One of the things that inspired the creation of Spotify and is part of the DNA of the company from the day it launched (and remember the service was launched for the first time around 8 years ago) was addressing one of the biggest questions that everyone in the music industry had at the time -- how would one tackle and combat online piracy in music?" Gutierrez says. "Spotify was determined from the very beginning to provide a fully licensed, legal alternative for online music consumption that people would prefer over piracy." [...] Of course, hardcore pirates aren't always easily encouraged to part with their cash, so Spotify needed an equivalent to the no-cost approach of many torrent sites. That is still being achieved today via its ad-supported entry level, Gutierrez says.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's not-the-onion department
An anonymous reader writes from a BBC article: "I'm just a farmer's wife," says Christine Conder, modestly. But for 2,300 members of the rural communities of Lancashire she is also a revolutionary internet pioneer. Her DIY solution to a neighbour's internet connectivity problems in 2009 has evolved into B4RN, an internet service provider offering fast one gigabit per second broadband speeds to the parishes which nestle in the picturesque Lune Valley. That is 35 times faster than the 28.9 Mbps average UK speed internet connection according to Ofcom. It all began when the trees which separated Chris's neighbouring farm from its nearest wireless mast -- their only connection to the internet, provided by Lancaster University -- grew too tall. Something more robust was required, and no alternatives were available in the area, so Chris decided to take matters into her own hands. She purchased a kilometre of fibre-optic cable and commandeered her farm tractor to dig a trench. After lighting the cable, the two farms were connected, with hers feeding the one behind the trees. "We dug it ourselves and we lit [the cable] ourselves and we proved that ordinary people could do it," she says. "It wasn't rocket science. It was three days of hard work."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's projections department
Microsoft's $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn could help the Redmond company become the first technology giant to reach a market value of $1 trillion, or so thinks a notable analyst. Analyst Michael Markowski believes that Microsoft will be able to leverage LinkedIn to become a leader in social media space and the emerging crowdfunding platform. So much so that it will beat Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook in becoming the first company to hit $1 trillion market value. From a report on GeekWire: Here are the market caps of these big tech companies as of Monday morning: Apple: $622.6B, Alphabet: $549.7B, Microsoft: $489.3B, Amazon: $358.7B, and Facebook: $337.6B. "The public has an insatiable appetite for making small bets and purchasing lottery tickets, etc., that provide the chance to make a big profit," Markowski wrote. "The millennials will be a good example. Many will want to routinely invest $100 or even less into high-risk ventures that could produce returns of 10X to 100X." Microsoft, through LinkedIn, will be able to take advantage of this trend because it has a monopoly on the business social media sphere. Markowski predicts that all the big tech companies will eventually build services to facilitate crowdfunding investments.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's no-more department
For years, an "entrepreneurial spirit" kept several of abandoned articles on Wikipedia afloat. The WikiProject called Abandoned Articles, which sought to bring abandoned articles back to life, or "if appropriate, merging information or recommending deletion"
is no more...for a long time. From an article on the Outline: A few editors are still listed as active, but most don't actively edit articles anymore. The few I tried to contact didn't get back to me. One email address I found bounced back. Many seem to have moved on with their lives. The concept of "abandoned" Wikipedia articles, one finds, when one peruses the Abandoned project for a few minutes, is sort of outmoded. Back in 2007, when the project was really last active, Wikipedia was a much different place. One user who occasionally edited "stub" articles -- those with little to no content, often the first on the chopping block for deletion because of their lack of "relevance" -- told me that "back then Wikipedia was a lot emptier. It was occasionally possible to find, like, sort of significant people or whatever -- a photographer -- whose entire Wikipedia entry amounted to the work of two people." Now that Wikipedia averages, according to its own statistics, 10 edits per second and 800 new articles a day, a group dedicated to articles that are dormant -- not deleted, simply left to grow over with weeds -- seems almost quaint. In fact, of the many articles still listed as needing to be adopted, almost none are currently abandoned: Straight Face was deleted in December 2007; Pavane got further disambiguated; "From a View to a Kill" was inhaled into the greater entry for For Your Eyes Only, a short story collection by Ian Fleming; likewise, Forward Link was added to the larger entry for "Telecommunications link."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's about-time department
HandBrake, popular open source video transcoder, has finally hit version 1.0.0 affter spending roughly more than 13 years in development. HandBrake 1.0.0 brings tons of new presets and support for more devices and file types. From a report: HandBrake 1.0.0 comes with new web and MKV presets. The official presets from HandBrake 0.10.x can be found under 'Legacy.' New Jason-based preset system, including command line support, has been added. The additional features of HandBrake are title/chapter selection, queuing up multiple encodes, chapter markers, subtitles, different video filters, and video preview. Just in case you have a compatible Skylake or later CPU, Intel QuickSync Video H.265/HEVC encoder support brings performance improvements. HandBrake 1.0.0 also brings along new online documentation beta. It's written in a simple and easy-to-understand language.You can download it here.Read Replies (0)
Some Pixels Have Problems
Posted by News Fetcher on December 26 '16 at 05:21 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Android-issues department
An anonymous reader quotes Tech Times:
Pixel owners have so far reported on camera issues, audio issues, LTE band 4 connectivity problems and others, but the random freezing remains among the most persistent ones. While most previous issues have already received a fix, users have been complaining about the Google Pixel or Pixel XL randomly freezing since November and it seems Google has yet to get to the bottom of this. The official Pixel User Community forum has a long thread on the matter and the discussion started a good while back [in early November]...
[U]sers reporting on the Pixel Community Forum run different apps and they haven't found a common denominator just yet, and some don't have any third-party apps at all, further suggesting that the issue might not be caused by a third-party app. On the other hand, some Pixel owners got rid of this issue by uninstalling a third-party app called Live360 Family Locator, but others didn't even have the app installed and still experienced the issues.
Despite the problems, "most Pixel owners thus far have been quite pleased with their device," notes BGR -- though Softpedia also reports on some users complaining about "static and distorted sounds when at the three highest volume levels."Read Replies (0)