Wednesday August 20, 2014

Slashdot: How Patent Trolls Destroy Innovation

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 17:16 AWST)

walterbyrd sends this story from Vox: Everyone agrees that there's been an explosion of patent litigation in recent years, and that lawsuits from non-practicing entities (NPEs) — known to critics as patent trolls — are a major factor. But there's a big debate about whether trolls are creating a drag on innovation — and if so, how big the problem is. A new study (PDF) by researchers at Harvard and the University of Texas provides some insight on this question. Drawing from data on litigation, R&D spending, and patent citations, the researchers find that firms that are forced to pay NPEs (either because they lost a lawsuit or settled out of court) dramatically reduce R&D spending: losing firms spent $211 million less on R&D, on average, than firms that won a lawsuit against a troll. "After losing to NPEs, firms significantly reduce R&D spending — both projects inside the firm and acquiring innovative R&D outside the firm," the authors write. "Our evidence suggests that it really is the NPE litigation event that causes this decrease in innovation."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








DFES Emergency Alerts: Bushfire ADVICE for Lake Argyle Road in the Shire of Wyndham - East Kimberley

DFES Emergency Alerts (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 15:52 AWST)

Category: Fire
Alert Summary: A bushfire ADVICE remains for people travelling on Lake Argyle Road in the Shire of Wyndham - East Kimberley
Content:
A bushfire ADVICE remains for people travelling on Lake Argyle Road in the Shire of Wyndham - East Kimberley
 
  • There is no threat to lives or homes but there is a lot of smoke in the area.
  • Although there is no immediate danger you need to be aware and keep up to date in case the situation changes.
  • The fire is burning in bushland near Lake Argyle Road between the Victoria Highway and Spillway Creek in the Shire of Wyndham - East Kimberley  .
 
BUSHFIRE BEHAVIOUR:
  • The bushfire is moving slowly in a north westerly direction.  
 
WHAT TO DO:
  • Be extremely careful when driving through the area.
  • Turn your headlights on and drive slowly.
  • Watch for emergency services personnel and follow their directions.
  • If you cannot see clearly, pull over, keep your headlights and hazard lights on, and wait until the smoke clears.
  • If you have a respiratory condition and you have been affected by smoke you should contact your local doctor or call Health Direct on 1800 022 222.
 
ROAD CLOSURES:
No roads are closed.
Avoid the area and be aware of fire and other emergency services personnel working on site.
 
WHAT FIREFIGHTERS ARE DOING:
DFES and firefighters are monitoring the fire.

EXTRA INFORMATION:
  • The incident was reported today, Wednesday 20 August 2014
  • The cause of the fire is suspicious.
  • People are asked to report any suspicious behaviour to Police Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
  • DFES is managing the fire.
 
KEEP UP TO DATE:
Visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter @dfes_wa or listen to news bulletins.
 
The next update will be provided by 11.00am Thursday 21 August 2014 unless the situation changes.
 

Publication Time: 20/08/2014 3:50 PM

DFES Emergency Alerts: Bushfire ADVICE for Gibb River Road in the Shire of Derby

DFES Emergency Alerts (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 15:38 AWST)

Category: Fire
Alert Summary: A bushfire ADVICE remains for people and travellers on the Gibb River Road in the Shire of Derby.
Content:
A bushfire ADVICE remains for people and travellers on the Gibb River Road in the Shire of Derby.
 
  • There is no threat to lives or homes but there is a lot of smoke in the area.
  • Although there is no immediate danger you need to be aware and keep up to date in case the situation changes.

BUSHFIRE BEHAVIOUR:
  • The fire is burning on two separate fronts along the Gibb River Road.
  • It is burning on one front in bushland approximately five to ten kilometres east of the Derby Highway and Gibb River Road intersection.
  • This fire has burnt approximately 3,000 hectares.
  • The second front is burning on the southern side of the Gibb River Road, approximately forty kilometres east of the Derby Highway and Gibb River Road interesection.
  • This fire has burnt approximately 62,000 hectares.
  • Each bushfire front is moving slowly in a westerly direction.
  • The fires remain out of control and unpredictable due to variable weather conditions.
 
WHAT TO DO:
  • Be extremely careful when driving through the area.
  • Turn your headlights on and drive slowly.
  • Watch for emergency services personnel and follow their directions.
  • If you cannot see clearly, pull over, keep your headlights and hazard lights on, and wait until the smoke clears.
  • If you have a respiratory condition and you have been affected by smoke you should contact your local doctor or call Health Direct on 1800 022 222.
 
ROAD CLOSURES:

No roads are closed.
Avoid the area and be aware of fire and other emergency services personnel working on site.
 
WHAT FIREFIGHTERS ARE DOING:
DFES staff, firefighters from the Hamlet Grove Volunteer Bush Fire Service and local pastoralists are actively fighting the fire.
 
EXTRA INFORMATION:
  • The incident was reported at 2.09pm on Saturday 16 August 2014.
  • The cause of the fires is unknown.
  • DFES are managing the fires.
 
KEEP UP TO DATE:
Visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter @dfes_wa or listen to news bulletins.
 
The next update will be provided by 11.00am Thursday 21 August 2014 unless the situation changes.

Publication Time: 20/08/2014 3:35 PM

Slashdot: Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 15:35 AWST)

An anonymous reader writes: The folks in charge of the Mars rover Curiosity have been trying to solve an increasingly urgent problem: what to do about unexpected wheel damage. The team knew from the start that wear and tear on the wheels would slowly accumulate, but they've been surprised at how quickly the wheels have degraded over the past year. Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Society blog has posted a detailed report on the team's conclusions as to what's causing the damage and how they can mitigate it going forward. Quoting: "The tears result from fatigue. You know how if you bend a metal paper clip back and forth repeatedly, it eventually snaps? Well, when the wheels are driving over a very hard rock surface — one with no sand — the thin skin of the wheels repeatedly bends. The wheels were designed to bend quite a lot, and return to their original shape. But the repeated bending and straightening is fatiguing the skin, causing it to fracture in a brittle way. The bending doesn't happen (or doesn't happen as much) if the ground gives way under the rover's weight, as it does if it's got the slightest coating of sand on top of rock. It only happens when the ground is utterly impervious to the rover's weight — hard bedrock. The stresses from metal fatigue are highest near the tips of the chevron features, and indeed a lot of tears seem to initiate close to the chevron features."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








DFES Emergency Alerts: Bushfire ADVICE for Cape Leveque Road, 100 kilometres north of Broome in the Shire of Broome

DFES Emergency Alerts (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 15:31 AWST)

Category: Fire
Alert Summary: A bushfire ADVICE remains for people near Cape Leveque Road, approximately 100 kilometres north of Broome, in the Shire of Broome.
Content:
A bushfire ADVICE remains for people near Cape Leveque Road, approximately 100 kilometres north of Broome, in the Shire of Broome.
 
  • There is no threat to lives or homes but there is a lot of smoke in the area.
  • Although there is no immediate danger you need to be aware and keep up to date in case the situation changes.
  • The fire is burning on the eastern and western side of Cape Leveque Road near Country Downs Station.
 
BUSHFIRE BEHAVIOUR
  • The bushfire is moving slowly, with there being variable wind conditions.
  • The bushfire is moving towards the coast.
  • It is out of control and unpredictable.
  • The fire has burnt approximately 450,000 hectares.
 
WHAT TO DO:
  • Be extremely careful when driving through the area.
  • Turn your headlights on and drive slowly. 
  • Watch for emergency services personnel and follow their directions. 
  • If you cannot see clearly, pull over, keep your headlights and hazard lights on, and wait until the smoke clears. 
  • If you have a respiratory condition and you have been affected by smoke you should contact your local doctor or call Health Direct on 1800 022 222.
 
ROAD CLOSURES
No roads are closed.
Avoid the area and be aware of fire and other emergency services personnel working on site.
Road information may also be available from the Shire of Broome.
Campers and travellers in the area are asked to monitor fire conditions closely and plan their journey accordingly.

WHAT FIREFIGHTERS ARE DOING:

DFES is monitoring the fire remotely.   

EXTRA INFORMATION:
  • The incident was reported on Monday 4 August 2014. 
  • The cause of the fire is unknown. 
  • DFES is managing the fire.
 
KEEP UP TO DATE:
Visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter @dfes_wa or listen to news bulletins.

The next update will be provided by 11.00am tomorrow, Thursday 21 August 2014, unless the situation changes.

Publication Time: 20/08/2014 3:23 PM

DP Review: Samsung NX3000 real-world samples

DP Review (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 15:01 AWST)

The Samsung NX3000 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that sports a 20.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor, a 3" flip-up LCD, 5 fps continuous shooting, and Wi-Fi with NFC. We took delivery of an NX3000 recently and we've been out shooting with it and the 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 power zoom lens to see how it performs in the real world. Click through for a link to our gallery

EEV Blog: EEVblog #653 – Sydney Maker Faire 2014 Highlights

EEV Blog (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 14:24 AWST)


Highlights from the 2014 Sydney Mini Maker Faire

Introduction Video
Behind The Scenes Video
Growing Maker Communities Video

Comments

SC Magazine: Vodafone boss labels NBN payments to Telstra ‘outrageous’

(posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 14:24 AWST)

Pushes for 'level playing field'.

Slashdot: Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 14:10 AWST)

Elledan writes: Federal investigators in California have requested that BrightSource — owner of thermal solar plants — halt the construction of more (and bigger) plants until their impact on wildlife has been further investigated. "Unlike many other solar plants, the Ivanpah plant does not generate energy using photovoltaic solar panels. Instead, it has more than 300,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door. Together, they cover 1,416 hectares. Each mirror collects and reflects solar rays, focusing and concentrating solar energy from their entire surfaces upward onto three boiler towers, each looming up to 40 stories high. The solar energy heats the water inside the towers to produce steam, which turns turbines that generate enough electricity for 140,000 homes." The concentrated solar energy chars and incinerates the feathers of passing birds. BrightSource estimates about a thousand bird die this way every year, but an environmental group claims the real number is much higher.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








SC Magazine: Qld Justice to equip workplace inspectors with Windows tablets

(posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 13:20 AWST)

Goes public for new app.

DP Review: Metz Mecablitz 64 AF-1 flagship flash unit gets US announcement and pricing

DP Review (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 13:00 AWST)

Previously introduced on its European website, Metz has announced its new flagship model the Mecablitz 64 AF-1 in the US market. It's the most powerful flash in that manufacturer's lineup with a guide number of 64 at ISO 100 and a zoom range covering 24-200mm focal lengths, and will be available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax cameras. Read more

GNOME Look: Spider Void (GTK 2.x Theme/Style)

(posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 12:23 AWST)

ThumbnailSpider Void
(GTK 2.x Theme/Style)
Green and Black Cinnamon void theme, GTK 2/3, Metacity theme, wallpaper, and .conkyrc included

changelog:
Transparent pop-up menu
Added weather station to conky with README to assist with installation

[read more]

job recommendations:
[more jobs]

Comments

GNOME Look: Graphite Void (GTK 2.x Theme/Style)

(posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 12:14 AWST)

ThumbnailGraphite Void
(GTK 2.x Theme/Style)
A different popup menu, with GTK 2/3, Metacity and conky and wallpaper.

changelog:
Fixed panel radius
Added weather station to conky with README to assist with its adjustment

[read more]

job recommendations:
[more jobs]

Comments

GNOME Look: METROlux menu with CLOUD apps.auto inst. 1.0.0.16 (GnoMenu Theme)

(posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 12:14 AWST)

ThumbnailMETROlux menu with CLOUD apps.auto inst. 1.0.0.16
(GnoMenu Theme)
METROluxPRO 1.0.0.16 with cloud apps & MS Office 365 cloud.

You can start direct the cloud apps with this free version.

Plugged:Cloud apps & 15 Gb + 15 Gb storage.

The menu works with this icons:

3D@pro-1.0.0.13
3D@pro-1.0.0.14
3D@pro-1.0.0.15

NEW with easy installer.


Download & unpack the auto menu installer & uninstaller.

just double klik on it and restart your Gnomenu after select this version.

Installer dont start?

-Open your terminal and type:
su
then your root password.

cd /the-location-untarred-download/

Then you must see the location and you can find the installer with the command:

ls.

copy the name of the installer and type:

./

and paste the the installer name:

you get:

./COLOHpro-menu-1.0.0.16-Linux-x86-Install

now press enter and click to install.




version 1.0.0.16 -- howto cloud apps
------------------- OneDrive
------------------- Google Drive
------------------- OwnCloud demo
------------------- some browser changes
------------------- update icons.

A update with serveral NEW cloud apps and MS office online with the free version of METROlux PRO menu!.

For professional users, and advertising
SEE The INFO menu.

First use:
- Install GnoMenu with your distribution manager.
- Please install the "midori" browser (search in google)to let the info,help and cloud function work.

There are 3 necessairy maps & files to complete the menu.

1-install the download on the bottom.


2-install this download:

http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php/METROluxIItiles?content=165733.

Download and extract this one in a map on your system and klick on the installer.

( In METROluxIItiles i have embedded the tiles and applet)



3- install locations:
the METROluxIItiles:

the auto installer & un installer installs the map "3D@pro-1.0.0.15" in:

/usr/share/gnomenu/Themes/Icon/

launcher is installed in:

/usr/share/gnomenu/Themes/applet)


succes.

All the menus Works perfect with great performance and usability.

If you are interested to the binairy installer (Windows installer for Linux)
with all the necessairy components an a install script for the applications you need.
You can install it with simple mouse clicks.

please contact me.

You can get the METROlux theme in a PRO and a home version.

Thanks for your interest in my menus.


If you want more menus or information for a personal menu : please contact me.
thanks.

[read more]

job recommendations:
[more jobs]

Comments

Slashdot: Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 12:10 AWST)

New submitter Jason Baker writes: With the rise of Docker containers as an alternative for deploying complex server-based applications, one might wonder, does the operating system even matter anymore? Certainly the question gets asked periodically. Gordon Haff makes the argument on Opensource.com that the operating system is still very much alive and kicking, and that a hardened, tuned, reliable operating system is just as important to the success of applications as it was in the pre-container data center.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








SC Magazine: ATO releases long-awaited Bitcoin guidance

(posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 12:01 AWST)

Everyday investors escape the tax man.

SC Magazine: Vodafone picks Ericsson to rebuild core network

(posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 11:35 AWST)

Bids to be first with voice over 4G.

Slashdot: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 11:05 AWST)

New submitter GammaKitsune writes: "The Player's Handbook for the fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons, formerly known as "D&D Next," released today to major bookstores and online retailers across the U.S. The Player's Handbook, which contains core rules for gameplay and character creation, is one of thee core rulebooks that developer Wizards of the Coast plans to release in 2014. The Monster Manual is scheduled to release in late September, and the Dungeon Master's Guide will release in mid November. Also out today is the first of two adventure modules in which players team up to battle against the dragon goddess Tiamat. Fifth edition has a lot to prove following the highly-controversial fourth edition, the rise of competing roleplaying game Pathfinder, and two years of public playtesting. Initial reviews posted on Amazon appear overwhelmingly positive at the time of writing, but more skeptical gamers may wish to take a look at the free "Basic Rules" posted on the official D&D website. The basic rules contain all the bare essentials needed to create a character or run your own adventure, and will serve both as a free introduction for new players and as a holdover for long time players until the remaining two rulebooks are released.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Slashdot: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 10:05 AWST)

WheezyJoe writes: The Verge reports on leaked training manuals from Comcast, which show how selling services is a required part of the job, even for employees doing tech support. The so-called "4S training material" explicitly states that 20 percent of a call center employee's rating for a given call is dependent on effectively selling the customer new Comcast services. "There are pages of materials on 'probing' customers to ferret out upsell opportunities, as well as on batting aside customer objections to being told they need to buy something. 'We can certainly look at other options, but you would lose which you mentioned was important to you,' the guide suggests clumsily saying to an angry customer who doesn't want to buy any more Comcast services." Images of the leaked documents are available on the Verge, making for fun reading.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








SC Magazine: WorleyParsons CIO warns his peers to 'mind the gap'

(posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 09:29 AWST)

Calls on IT professionals to change the conversation.

SC Magazine: Labor NBN panel member rejects Scales review

(posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 08:58 AWST)

[Opinion] In support of a FTTP NBN.

Slashdot: Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 08:21 AWST)

KindMind writes: At Wired, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has posted his take on net neutrality. He lays the problem at the feet of the large ISPs. Hastings says, "Consider this: A single fiber-optic strand the diameter of a human hair can carry 101.7 terabits of data per second, enough to support nearly every Netflix subscriber watching content in HD at the same time. And while technology has improved and capacity has increased, costs have continued to decline. A few more shelves of equipment might be needed in the buildings that house interconnection points, but broadband itself is as limitless as its uses. We'll never realize broadband's potential if large ISPs erect a pay-to-play system that charges both the sender and receiver for the same content. ... It's worth noting that Netflix connects directly with hundreds of ISPs globally, and 99 percent of those agreements don't involve access fees. It is only a handful of the largest U.S. ISPs, which control the majority of consumer connections, demanding this toll. Why would more profitable, larger companies charge for connections and capacity that smaller companies provide for free? Because they can."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








DP Review: HTC introduces One M8 for Windows Phone

DP Review (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 08:01 AWST)

Two years after HTC launched its Windows Phone flagship model 8X, the Taiwanese manufacturer now offers another high-end model with the Microsoft OS. Today HTC has revealed a Windows Phone version of the HTC One M8, originally launched with Google's Android OS in March this year. This means the One M8's unique Duo Cam features are now available in a Windows phone environment. Read more

Slashdot: $125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 07:40 AWST)

mpicpp sends word of a $125,000 settlement for a man who was arrested for photographing members of the New York Police Department. On June 14th, 2012, the man was sitting in his car when he saw three African-American youths being stopped and frisked by police officers. He began taking pictures of the encounter, and after the police were done, he advised the youths to get the officers' badge numbers next time. When the officers heard him, they pulled him violently from his car and arrested him under a charge of disorderly conduct. The police allegedly deleted the pictures from his phone (PDF). Rather than go to trial, the city's lawyers decided a settlement was the best course of action.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








SC Magazine: NSW Government builds identity management hub

(posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 07:06 AWST)

Aims for single sign-on for all NSW Government staff.

Slashdot: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 06:58 AWST)

Lasrick writes: Yale's Jason Parisi makes a compelling case for fusion power, and explains why fusion is cleaner, safer, and doesn't provide opportunities for nuclear smuggling and proliferation. The only downside will be the transition period, when there are both fission and fusion plants available and the small amount of "booster" elements (tritium and deuterium) found in fusion power could provide would-be proliferators what they need to boost the yield of fission bombs: "The period during which both fission and fusion plants coexist could be dangerous, however. Just a few grams of deuterium and tritium are needed to increase the yield of a fission bomb, in a process known as 'boosting.'" Details about current research into fusion power and an exploration of relative costs make fusion power seem like the answer to a civilization trying to get away from fossil fuels.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








SC Magazine: Telstra targeted in late fees class action

(posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 06:40 AWST)

Lawyers lobby customers to get on board.

Slashdot: YouTube Music Subscription Details Leak

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 06:16 AWST)

Several readers sent word that Android Police has leaked details about YouTube's upcoming subscription service, Music Key. The benefits for users will include ad-free music, offline playback, and audio-only streams. It's expected to cost $10 per month. "Of course, one of Music Key's major value propositions is that users will have access not just to official discographies, but to concert footage, covers, and remixes. Play Music already houses some remixes and covers, but YouTube as a platform is significantly more open and workable for derivative content — the platform is much easier to add content to, and user discoverability is substantially different from Play Music." Others note Google still has to negotiate terms with many independent musicians, who could subsequently see their work blocked if they aren't willing to play by Google's rules.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Slashdot: Scientists Find Traces of Sea Plankton On ISS Surface

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 05:56 AWST)

schwit1 sends this report from the ITAR-TASS News Agency: An experiment of taking samples from illuminators and the ISS surface has brought unique results, as scientists had found traces of sea plankton there, the chief of an orbital mission on Russia's ISS segment told reporters. Results of the scope of scientific experiments which had been conducted for a quite long time were summed up in the previous year, confirming that some organisms can live on the surface of the International Space Station for years amid factors of a space flight, such as zero gravity, temperature conditions and hard cosmic radiation. Several surveys proved that these organisms can even develop. He noted that it was not quite clear how these microscopic particles could have appeared on the surface of the space station.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Slashdot: Modular Hive Homes Win Mars Base Design Competition

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 05:34 AWST)

In June, we discussed news that JPL and MakerBot were teaming up to host a competition for designing a futuristic Mars base. The competition is now over, and the top three designs have been chosen. First place went to Noah Hornberger, who designed a base with hexagonal rooms and shielding made of depleted uranium. Second place went to a martian pyramid with an aquaponics system on top, mirror-based solar collectors, central water storage, and compartmentalized living spaces. The third place award went to Chris Starr for his Mars Acropolis, which was styled upon the ancient Greek Acropolis. It has a water tower at the top of the structure, a series of greenhouses at the bottom, and living quarters in between. The full list of 227 entries is browse-able on Thingiverse.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Slashdot: Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 04:51 AWST)

jones_supa writes: After leaving his position as CEO of Microsoft a year ago, Steve Ballmer has still held a position as a member of the board of directors for the company. Now, he is leaving the board, explaining why in a letter to fresh Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "I have become very busy," Ballmer explains. "I see a combination of Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking up a lot of time." Despite his departure, the former-CEO is still invested in the company's success, and he spent most of the letter encouraging Nadella and giving advice. Nadella shot back a supportive, equally optimistic response, promising that Microsoft will thrive in "the mobile-first, cloud-first world."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








SC Magazine: SA Health confirms legal spat with Allscripts

(posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 04:31 AWST)

Claim and counter-claim over EPAS billing module delays.

SC Magazine: Steve Ballmer decamps Microsoft board

(posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 04:30 AWST)

Swaps board for basketball.

Slashdot: At Home with Tim O'Reilly (Videos 1 and 2 of 6)

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 04:10 AWST)

Wikipedia says Tim O'Reilly "is the founder of O'Reilly Media (formerly O'Reilly & Associates) and a supporter of the free software and open source movements." And so he is. O'Reilly Media is also the company from which Make magazine and the assorted Maker Faires sprang, before spinning off into an ongoing presence of their own. (This year's Solid conference, as well as the confluence of hardware and software at OSCON demonstrate O'Reilly's ongoing interest in the world of makers, though.) O'Reilly has been a powerful force in technical book publishing, popularized the term Web 2.0, and has been at least a godfather to the open source movement. He's also an interesting person in general, even more so when he's hanging out at home than when he's on stage at a conference or doing a formal interview. That's why we were glad Timothy Lord was able to get hold of Tim O'Reilly via Hangout while he was in a relaxed mood in a no-pressure environment, happy to give detailed responses based on your questions, from small (everyday technology) to big (the Internet as "global brain"). We've run a few two-part videos, but this is the first time we've split one video into six parts -- with two running today, two tomorrow, and two Thursday. But then, how many people do we interview who have had as much of an effect on the nature of information transmission -- as opposed to just publishing -- as Tim O'Reilly? We don't know for sure, but there's a good chance that O'Reilly books are owned by more Slashdot readers than books from any other publisher. That alone makes Tim O'Reilly worth listening to for nearly an hour, total. (Alternate Video Links: Video 1 ~ Video 2; transcript below covers both videos.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Slashdot: German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, and Kofi Annan

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 03:27 AWST)

cold fjord writes: According to Foreign Policy, "The revelation that Germany spies on Turkey, a NATO member, should dispel any notion that spying on allies violates the unwritten rules of international espionage. ... For nearly a year, the extent of NSA surveillance on German leaders ... has drawn stern rebuke from the German political and media establishment. ... Merkel went so far as to publicly oust the CIA station chief in Berlin. 'Spying among friends is not at all acceptable,' Merkel said. ... [C]alls made by Secretary of State John Kerry and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were accidentally recorded. ... 'It's a kind of delightful revelation given the fact that the Germans have been on their high horse.' Christian Whiton, a former ... State Department senior advisor, added that the report on German spying is a perfect example of why rifts over intelligence among allies should be handled quietly and privately." The Wall Street Journal adds, "Cem Özdemir, the head of the Green party and a leading German politician of Turkish descent, told Spiegel Online it would be 'irresponsible' for German spies not to target Turkey given its location as a transit country for Islamic State militants from Europe." Further details at Spiegel Online and The Wall Street Journal."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Digital Photography School: Review of The Promote Control for Time Lapse and Focus Stacking

Digital Photography School (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 03:00 AWST)

Want to take super sharp “focus stacked” photographs that boast corner to corner sharpness with perfect focus? Want to shoot spectacular ‘holy grail’ time lapse sequences that capture the change from day to night? How about advanced bracketing for HDR shooting? Do you fancy getting shots like this?

Horseshoe Bend Focus Stacked Gavin Hardcastle

The Promote Control from Promote Systems delivers very precise control over DSLR cameras to open up new creative possibilities. Here’s a list of things that the Promote Control can do:

  • Promote Control ReviewHyperfocal Distance Calculator
  • Remote Shutter (One Shot)
  • Time Lapse Intervalometer
  • HDR Bracketing
  • BulB HDR Bracketing
  • Bulb Ramping for Time Lapse
  • Focus Stacking
  • Video Control
  • Manual Shutter for long Bulb Exposures

This device is like a Swiss Army Knife for photographers who want to get the most out of their DSLR cameras. Currently priced at $299, it’s an accessory that will appeal to the more hardcore shooters, but for those photographers that regularly need advanced HDR bracketing, focus stacking or bulb ramping, the Promote Control is worth every penny.

Rather than go into every single function of the Promote Control, I’m going to highlight its three most powerful features, which I believe merit the asking price themselves.

Focus Stacking

As a landscape shooter, I mostly want corner to corner sharpness in my images and sometimes I’ll use focus stacking to achieve maximum sharpness throughout the frame. This really only works when your static subjects are perfectly still, with little to no breeze. If you’ve ever tried focus stacking the manual way, you’ll know that there is some margin for error and it can take practice to do it well. The Promote Control takes all the guess work out of focus stacking by incrementally adjusting your focus from start and end points that you specify.

Once you’ve done this a couple of times you’ll never be able to go back to doing it manually. When you see the results of your focus stacked image and the lack of weird looking artifacts that can sometimes result from inaccurate focus adjustments done manually, you’ll be hooked.

Macro and small product photographers will love this feature.

Here’s an example of a focus stacked shot with corner to corner focus using a mid range aperture.

Focus Stacking with the Promote Control

Here’s a video demonstrating how this works with the Promote Control.

Bulb Ramping for day to night Time Lapse

If you’ve ever tried to shoot a time lapse sequence of the setting sun, you’ll know that there are only two ways to capture the correct exposures as the light changes. You either adjust the shutter speed manually while shooting (which introduces terrible flicker) or you use a bulb ramping device that can gradually and smoothly alter your shutter speed over time.

This technique is known as Bulb Ramping, and there really aren’t that many devices out there that do a good job. The Promote Control has become something of a “go to” bulb ramping solution for quite some time now, because it simply does such an excellent job of adjusting your DSLR camera’s shutter speed in tiny increments, over a set period of time. You tell the Promote Control how long you’d like to shoot, and when you’d like it to begin increasing or decreasing the exposure time.

Of course, it can’t know exactly when the changes in light occur, you have to know in advance by casing your location the night before, and making a note of the sunset time. The Promote  Control simply does what you tell it to do, and it does it well. Here’s a video of Joel Schat explaining how to achieve bulb ramping with the Promote Control.

HDR Bracketing

If three or five bracketed exposures simply aren’t enough to capture the dynamic range of your scene, how does 45 exposures sound? Simply tell the Promote Control what shutter speed to use for the middle (or correct) exposure, then tell it how many EV steps to use and the number of total exposures. The Promote Control will do the grunt work while you look around for the next shot.

A jack of all trades

Everything that the Promote Control does, it does well. I expect that most users will only use two to three of this device’s powerful features but at $299 it’s worth every penny.

Build quality

weather sealed promote control

The Promote Control is very well built. It’s a solid little unit that’s about the same size as a Smartphone, but is just under an inch thick. The backlit LCD screen is easy to read and there are only eight buttons on the entire unit. It’s small enough to pack into any mid-sized camera bag, and comes with a tidy little carry case. It even comes with a lifetime warranty for manufacturing and workmanship defects. How often do you see that?

The device is powered by two AA batteries which last a long time. You can also power the Promote Control with an external DC power jack for taking super long exposures, or lengthy time lapse shoots.

What I’d like to see in the next update

To me, there is one glaringly obvious function that is missing from this device. HDR Focus Stacking. Why not combine the advanced HDR bracketing feature and the focus stacking feature? When I focus stack manually, I often have to bracket in order to capture the dynamic range. I can’t imagine why this feature is not available with this device.

My only two complaints

The Promote Control is such a simple little device that there’s not much to complain about, it either works or it doesn’t. My only gripe isn’t with the unit itself, but with the hotshoe attachment, required for bulb ramping when shooting time lapse sequences. I found that the cable fell out of the hotshoe attachment at the slightest nudge, not something I would trust out in the field when shooting a lengthy time lapse.

Hot Shoe Cable

I had problems with the cable that attaches to the hotshoe accessory.

My other complaint is that the Promote Control is not compatible with mirrorless cameras like my Sony A7R. Full compatibility only extends to Nikon and Canon, with limited compatibility for Sony and Sigma cameras. This is the only reason I decided not to buy the Promote Control. But if Promote Systems manages to catch up with the mirrorless movement, I’ll be unleashing the credit card.

I asked Promote Systems about it and this was their response:

We get a lot of requests for compatibility with the A7/A7R and we would love to support the cameras, but unfortunately Sony doesn’t make that possible. They implemented a tethering protocol on A7 cameras, but just as with earlier cameras, it refuses to save images on the card – you MUST pick them up and save them elsewhere, or all subsequent USB image acquisition commands will fail. Until Sony resolves the issues with not saving images on to the in-camera card when tethered, we can’t do much about it, unfortunately.

Why can’t my camera do all this?

When you look at what the Promote Control does and the results that it achieves, there’s obviously a demand for this level of functionality. There’s no reason why digital cameras can’t have all of this functionality built in, and with cameras like the Sony A7R able to run Apps that users install, it’s only a matter of time until all of this can be done in camera. Until then, Promote Systems are filling a gap in the market and they are doing it very well. I’m going to award the Promote Control 4 stars.

Would you buy this clever little device?

The post Review of The Promote Control for Time Lapse and Focus Stacking by appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Comments

DP Review: Canon offers three new wireless Pixma inkjet photo printers

DP Review (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 02:52 AWST)

Canon has announced three new Pixma All-in-One inkjet printers, the Canon Pixma MG7520, MG6620 and MG5620 (MG7550, MG6650 and MG5650 in Europe). They all offer wireless support with Apple AirPrint connectivity, as well as compatibility with Canon's Easy-PhotoPrint+ web application and Pixma Printing Solutions. Read more

Slashdot: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 02:45 AWST)

mrspoonsi sends a report about how Google's autonomous vehicles handle speed limits. It's easy to assume that driverless cars will simply be programmed never to exceed a posted speed limit, but Google has found that such behavior can actually be less safe than speeding a bit. Thus, they've allowed their cars to exceed the speed limit by up to 10 miles per hour. In July, the U.K. government announced that driverless cars will be allowed on public roads from January next year. In addition, ministers ordered a review of the U.K.'s road regulations to provide appropriate guidelines. This will cover the need for self-drive vehicles to comply with safety and traffic laws, and involve changes to the Highway Code, which applies to England, Scotland and Wales. Commenting on Google self-drive cars' ability to exceed the speed limit, a Department for Transport spokesman said: "There are no plans to change speed limits, which will still apply to driverless cars." In a separate development on Monday, the White House said it wanted all cars and light trucks to be equipped with technology that could prevent collisions.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








GNOME Look: Numix 2.3 (GTK 3.x Theme/Style)

(posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 02:18 AWST)

ThumbnailNumix 2.3
(GTK 3.x Theme/Style)
Numix is a modern flat theme with a combination of light and dark elements. It supports Gnome, Unity, XFCE and Openbox.

Numix GTK theme is a part of the Numix Project http://numixproject.org

A request

If you have few bucks to spare, please consider purchasing the theme to support the project and show that you appreciate the work and time spent into making the theme.

As a bonus, you'll also get an additional Numix Dark theme with the purchase.

Installation instructions

Ubuntu users can install Numix from our PPA using the following commands,

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:numix/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install numix-gtk-theme

Arch Linux users can install Numix from the community repo

pacman -S numix-themes

Fedora and OpenSUSE users can install Numix from our build service repo - https://build.opensuse.org/project/show/home:paolorotolo:numix

Manual installation

Extract the zip file to the themes directory i.e. /usr/share/themes/

To set the theme in Gnome, run the following commands in Terminal,

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme "Numix"
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences theme "Numix"

To set the theme in Xfce, run the following commands in Terminal,

xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Net/ThemeName -s "Numix"
xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/theme -s "Numix"

Requirements

GTK+ 3.6 or above
Murrine theme engine

[read more]

job recommendations:
[more jobs]

Comments

Slashdot: FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 02:02 AWST)

New submitter ErnieKey writes: Farming has been stuck in a bit of a rut, when compared to other industries. Businesses across the globe have been innovating for decades, while farming has been using techniques that have been handed down from centuries ago. The FarmBot Foundation is creating a machine, similar to that of a CNC mill and/or 3D printer, which is capable of being run by sophisticated software and equipped with any tools you can imagine, including seed injectors, plows, burners, robotic arms (for harvesting), cutters, shredders, tillers, discers, watering nozzles, sensors and more. The goal? To increase food production by automating as much of it as possible.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








OpenBSD Journal: Heads up: rcctl(8) the rc.conf.local management tool landing in base soon

OpenBSD Journal (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 01:34 AWST)

Antoine Jacoutot (ajacoutot@) has just committed committed a tool for managing rc.conf.local(8), in order to make it simpler for automated management systems such as Puppet or Ansible to interface with the operating system configuration:

CVSROOT:	/cvs
Module name:	src
Changes by:	ajacoutot@cvs.openbsd.org	2014/08/19 08:08:20

Added files:
	usr.sbin/rcctl : Makefile rcctl.8 rcctl.sh 

Log message:
Introduce rcctl(8), a simple utility for maintaining rc.conf.local(8).

# rcctl
usage: rcctl enable|disable|status|action [service [flags [...]]]

Lots of man page improvement from the usual suspects (jmc@ and schwarze@)
not hooked up yet but committing now so work can continue in-tree
agreed by several

Slashdot: Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 01:20 AWST)

Fubar writes: Two city council members from Phoenix, AZ are introducing "draft language" for public discussion that would make it illegal to use a drone to film people without their knowledge. The council members are worred about privacy of people in their own yards, even including the requirement that law enforcement obtain a warrant for drone surveillance. A violation of the ordinance would be a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries up to a $2,500 fine and six months in jail.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Slashdot: Introducing Slashdot's New Build Section

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 00:53 AWST)

Along with the rest of the mix that makes this site work, Slashdot has nearly two decades now of spotting and showing off interesting projects, inventions, technologies, and hobbies. Some of them are strictly personal, some are frankly commercial, and some are the fruits of ambitious organizations (or tiny teams) motivated by curiosity and passion (or even politics, or just plain fun). As outlined earlier, we've been gathering a lot of these into our new Build section; read on to learn a bit more about what that includes. (And watch out later today for the first part of our conversation with technology-inspiring Rennaisance Man Tim O'Reilly, and later in the week for answers to the questions you asked Bunnie Huang.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








DP Review: Nikon announces service advisory for D810 'bright spots'

DP Review (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 00:52 AWST)

Nikon has announced a service advisory for the Nikon D810, in response to reports of 'bright spots' in images taken at long shutter speeds and in 1.2X crop mode. According to an announcement on Nikon's website, affected cameras will be serviced free of charge. Apparently, the issue only affects cameras within a certain serial number range, and if you're lucky enough to have got hold of a D810 already, you can check the serial number of your camera against Nikon's database via the company's service and support pages. Click through for a link

Slashdot: New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

Slashdot (posted on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 00:12 AWST)

New submitter nrjperera (2669521) submits news of a new laptop from HP that's in Chromebook (or, a few years ago, "netbook") territory, price-wise, but loaded with Windows 8.1 instead. Microsoft has teamed up with HP to make an affordable Windows laptop to beat Google Chromebooks at their own game. German website Mobile Geeks have found some leaked information about this upcoming HP laptop dubbed Stream 14, including its specifications. According to the leaked data sheet the HP Stream 14 laptop will share similar specs to HP's cheap Chromebook. It will be shipped with an AMD A4 Micro processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of flash storage and a display with 1,366 x 768 screen resolution. Microsoft will likely offer 100GB of OneDrive cloud storage with the device to balance the limited storage option.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Tuesday August 19, 2014

GNOME Look: DeLorean-Dark-Themes vs. 3.8, 3.10, 3.12 (GTK 3.x Theme/Style)

(posted on Tuesday August 19, 2014 at 23:45 AWST)

ThumbnailDeLorean-Dark-Themes vs. 3.8, 3.10, 3.12
(GTK 3.x Theme/Style)
Delorean-Dark-3.8 is a highly polished glass and metal theme showcased within dramatic contrasts.
Delorean-Dark-3.10 is designed to be sleek and less complicated than its previous incarnation. It's unfocused state resembles a pencil sketch, while its focused state sports multi-toned metallic surfaces.
DeLorean-Dark-3.12 includes two versions Light and Dark. It resembles 3.8. And has many of its own special features, including round menu buttons.

Installation:
Information can be viewed on download page.

  • Ubuntu 14.04/14.10
    sudo add-apt repository ppa:noobslab/themes
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install delorean-dark-3.12
    or
    sudo apt-get install delorean-dark-3.10

    PPA is available with http://www.noobslab.com


  • Give DeLorean a test drive; you deserve it!

    changelog:
    Changelog can be viewed on download page.


    [read more]

    job recommendations:
    [more jobs]

    Comments

    Slashdot: C++14 Is Set In Stone

    Slashdot (posted on Tuesday August 19, 2014 at 23:30 AWST)

    jones_supa (887896) writes "Apart from minor editorial tweaks, the ISO C++14 standard can be considered completed. Implementations are already shipping by major suppliers. C++14 is mostly an incremental update over C++11 with some new features like function return type deduction, variable templates, binary literals, generic lambdas, and so on. The official C++14 specification release will arrive later in the year, but for now Wikipedia serves as a good overview of the feature set."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.








    Slashdot: Iceland's Seismic Activity: A Repeat Show for Atmospheric Ash?

    Slashdot (posted on Tuesday August 19, 2014 at 22:49 AWST)

    In 2010, ash spewed into the atmosphere by the volcano beneath Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull glacier grounded European air traffic for days (and, partially, for weeks). As reported by The Guardian, a series of similarly situated earthquakes may herald a similar ash-ejecting erruption, and the country has raised its volcano risk to its second-most-severe rating (orange). From the article: Iceland met office seismologist Martin Hensch said the risk of any disruptive ash cloud similar to the one in 2010 would depend on how high any ash would be thrown, how much there would be and how fine-grained it would be. Bardarbunga is Iceland's largest volcanic system, located under the ice cap of the Vatnajokull glacier in the southeast of Iceland. It is in a different range to Eyjafjallajokull. The met office said in a statement it measured the strongest earthquake in the region since 1996 early on Monday and it now had strong indications of ongoing magma movement. "As evidence of magma movement shallower than 10km implies increased potential of a volcanic eruption, the Bardarbunga aviation colour code has been changed to orange," it said. "Presently there are no signs of eruption, but it cannot be excluded that the current activity will result in an explosive subglacial eruption, leading to an outburst flood and ash emission." ... Hensch said the biggest risk in Iceland itself was from flood waves from any eruption under the glacier. He said the area of Iceland mainly at risk of flooding was mostly uninhabited but that roads in the area had been closed.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


    Slashdot: Iceland's Seismic Acticity: A Repeat Show for Atmospheric Ash?

    Slashdot (posted on Tuesday August 19, 2014 at 22:49 AWST)

    In 2010, ash spewed into the atmosphere by the volcano beneath Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull glacier grounded European air traffic for days (and, partially, for weeks). As reported by The Guardian, a series of similarly situated earthquakes may herald a similar ash-ejecting erruption, and the country has raised its volcano risk to it's second-most-severe rating (orange). From the article: Iceland met office seismologist Martin Hensch said the risk of any disruptive ash cloud similar to the one in 2010 would depend on how high any ash would be thrown, how much there would be and how fine-grained it would be. Bardarbunga is Iceland's largest volcanic system, located under the ice cap of the Vatnajokull glacier in the southeast of Iceland. It is in a different range to Eyjafjallajokull. The met office said in a statement it measured the strongest earthquake in the region since 1996 early on Monday and it now had strong indications of ongoing magma movement. "As evidence of magma movement shallower than 10km implies increased potential of a volcanic eruption, the Bardarbunga aviation colour code has been changed to orange," it said. "Presently there are no signs of eruption, but it cannot be excluded that the current activity will result in an explosive subglacial eruption, leading to an outburst flood and ash emission." ... Hensch said the biggest risk in Iceland itself was from flood waves from any eruption under the glacier. He said the area of Iceland mainly at risk of flooding was mostly uninhabited but that roads in the area had been closed.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.








    Slashdot: Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data

    Slashdot (posted on Tuesday August 19, 2014 at 22:09 AWST)

    itwbennett (1594911) writes In a follow-up to yesterday's story about the Chinese hackers who stole hospital data of 4.5 million patients, IDG News Service's Martyn Williams set out to learn why the data, which didn't include credit card information, was so valuable. The answer is depressingly simple: people without health insurance can potentially get treatment by using medical data of one of the hacking victims. John Halamka, chief information officer of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and chairman of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network, said a medical record can be worth between $50 and $250 to the right customer — many times more than the amount typically paid for a credit card number, or the cents paid for a user name and password. "If I am one of the 50 million Americans who are uninsured ... and I need a million-dollar heart transplant, for $250 I can get a complete medical record including insurance company details," he said.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.