Geek Stuff

Ubisoft Talks Splitscreen and the Division

Slashdot -

SlappingOysters writes: Ubisoft's next entry in the Tom Clancy series is pushing at the boundaries of three genres, mixing the RPG, the squad-based shooter and the MMO into The Division. The game features drop-in, drop-out co-op in a near-future, post-pandemic New York that seamlessly allows players to transition from PvE to PvP environments without any menus or lobbies. However, despite its co-op gameplay, The Division does not support splitscreen. Finder.com.au recently ran an extensive hands-on with the game, as well as an interview with Ubisoft Massive's creative director Magnus Jansén regarding the decision to forgo splitscreen co-op.

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Google Is Shutting Down Picasa In Favor of Photos

Slashdot -

Google has been steadily migrating its resources towards the Photos ecosystem since the company first announced it at last years I/O developers conference. Today, Google announced that it will shut down Picasa. Starting May 1st, Google will start phasing out Picasa from its product lineup, moving over to Google Photos.

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Smartphones May Soon Provide Earthquake Warnings

Slashdot -

sciencehabit writes: When it comes to an earthquake, just a few seconds' warning could make the difference between life and death. But many earthquake-prone countries lack the seismic networks that would give their citizens the lead time to find cover or shut down critical utilities. Now, a group of enterprising engineers is looking at a substitute network: smartphones. Using smartphones' built-in accelerometers, researchers have invented an app, released today, that they say can detect strong earthquakes seconds before the damaging seismic waves arrive. MyShake, as the app is called, could become the basis for an earthquake warning system for the world's most vulnerable regions.

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Researchers Improve Efficiency of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles By Almost 12%

Slashdot -

hypnosec writes: A new study has put forward claims that by working on and improving the energy management system (EMS) that decides when the switch from 'all-electric' mode to 'hybrid' mode in plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, efficiency of these vehicles can be improved by as much as 12 per cent. Researchers have shown in their lab tests that blended discharge strategies wherein power from the battery is used throughout the trip, have proven to be more efficient at minimizing fuel consumption and emissions.

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US Copyright Law Forces Wikimedia To Remove the Diary of Anne Frank

Slashdot -

Today, the Wikimedia Foundation announced its removal of The Diary of Anne Frank from Wikisource, a digital library of free texts. According to the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act, works are protected for 95 years from the date of publication, meaning Wikimedia is not allowed to host a copy of the book before 2042. Rogers, the Legal Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, says this is just one of the many examples of the overreach of the United States' current copyright law. He goes on to say, "Our removal serves as an excellent example of why the law should be changed to prevent repeated extensions of copyright terms."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

US Copyright Law Forces Wikimedia To Remove the Diary of Anne Frank

Slashdot -

Today, the Wikimedia Foundation announced it's removal of The Diary of Anne Frank from Wikisource, a digital library of free texts. According to the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), works are protected for 95 years from the date of publication, meaning Wikimedia is not allowed to host a copy of the book before 2042. Rogers, the Legal Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, says this is just one of the many examples of the overreach of the United States' current copyright law. He goes on to say, "Our removal serves as an excellent example of why the law should be changed to prevent repeated extensions of copyright terms."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

French Court Rules That Facebook Can Now Be Sued in France

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: A Paris court of appeal has ruled in favor of a French complainant whose account was suspended, because he linked to an image of the 1866 Gustav Courbet nude 'L'Origine du monde', currently residing at the Musee d'Orsay. The appeals court not only agreed that the user's suspension by Facebook constitutes censorship, but the ruling itself negates Facebook's insistence that all legal challenges take place in its native California.

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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Have a Pager? Do You Find It Useful?

Slashdot -

New submitter Chance Callahan writes: I am starting a business, helping a friend with his own startup, and volunteering regularly with a major political campaign (#feelthebern). One thing I have noticed is that my phone likes to die at the most inconvenient times and leaves me out of touch with people. With the business I'm starting requiring clients to be able to get ahold me quickly, I have been seriously considering getting a two-way pager. It's much easier swap out a AA battery once a month then to worry "will client X be able to get ahold me in the event of an emergency?" So, Slashdot, the million dollar question is, in the age of cell phones, do you have a pager? Do you still find it useful? Do any other "dead-tech" tools still play a big role for your communications? For example, fax machines are still big in Japan, and a lot of people keep landlines, too.

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Samsung Chromebook 3 is now available for $200

Liliputing -

Samsung introduced a new low-cost Chromebook at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Now the Samsung Chromebook 3 is available for purchase from Adorama for $200. The entry-level model has an 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display, an Intel Celeron N3050 Braswell processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. Samsung also plans to offer a model […]

Samsung Chromebook 3 is now available for $200 is a post from: Liliputing

Fresh Wayland Experiences With Weston, GNOME, KDE and Enlightenment

Slashdot -

jones_supa writes: Software developer Pavlo Rudyi has written a blog post about his experiences with the various desktop environments currently supporting Wayland. The results are not a big surprise, but nevertheless it is great to see the continued interest in Wayland and the ongoing work by many different parties in ensuring that Wayland will eventually be able to dominate the Linux desktop. To summarize, Pavlo found Weston to be "good," GNOME is "perfect," KDE is "bad," and Enlightenment is "good." He also created a video from his testing. Have you done any testing? What's your experience?

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iPhones Bricked By Setting Date To Jan 1, 1970

Slashdot -

lightbox32 writes: Beware of a hoax circling the interwebs, which can be seen by setting your iPhone's date to January 1, 1970. Many people are reporting that doing so will brick the device. It's unclear what exactly causes the issue, but could be related to how iOS stores date and time formats. Jan. 1, 1970 is a value of zero or less than zero, which would make any process that uses a time stamp to fail. Apple is aware of the issue and is looking into it.

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Deals of the Day (2-12-2016)

Liliputing -

Just a few weeks after Dell launched its new Inspiron 11 3000 Series notebook for $200, you can pick one up for more than 25% off. Best Buy is running a sale Presidents’ Day sale this weekend, and among other deals, the store is offering Dell’s new 2.7 pound low-cost laptop for $145. Here are […]

Deals of the Day (2-12-2016) is a post from: Liliputing

UK GHCQ Is Allowed To Hack

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: A security tribunal has just decreed that hacking by the UK security agency GCHQ is legal. [The case was launched after revelations by Edward Snowden about the extent of US and UK spying. Campaigners Privacy International claimed GCHQ's hacking operations were too intrusive]. The legal challenge that they were violating European law was rejected.

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Goodnight Picasa (Google shutters its first photo sharing service)

Liliputing -

Before there was Google Photos, there was Picasa. Originally developed as a desktop app by Lifescape, Google acquired Picasa in 2004 and eventually added a photo sharing component called Picasa Web Albums. But now Google is pulling the plug on Picasa. The company says it will be retiring Picasa “over the coming months” to focus […]

Goodnight Picasa (Google shutters its first photo sharing service) is a post from: Liliputing

Scientists Say Goodbye to Philae Comet Lander

Slashdot -

Today, scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) announced that they are saying goodbye to Philae, the comet lander that is currently perched on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it races toward the sun. According to Stephan Ulamec, Philae's project manager, "Unfortunately, the probability of Philae re-establishing contact with our team at the DLR Lander Control Center is almost zero." Philae first made history when it successfully landed on a comet in fall of 2014, but problems soon began when commands were not able to reach the robot.

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OCZ Toshiba Breaks 30 Cents Per GB Barrier With New Trion 150 SSD

Slashdot -

MojoKid writes: OCZ's Trion 150 SSD is an update to the company's Trion 100, which was the first drive from OCZ to feature TLC NAND and all in-house, Toshiba-built technology. As its branding suggests, the new Trion 150 kicks things up a notch over the Trion 100, thanks to some cutting-edge Toshiba 15nm NAND flash memory and a tweaked firmware, that combined, offer increased performance and lower cost over its predecessor. In testing, the Trion 150 hits peak reads and writes well north of 500MB/sec like most SATA-based SSDs but the kicker is, at its higher densities, the drive weighs in at about 28 cents per GiB. This equates to street prices of $70 for a 240GB drive, $140 for 480GB and $270 for a 960GB version. It's good to see mainstream solid state storage costs continuing to come down.

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Did a Timer Error Change the Outcome of a Division I College Basketball Game?

Slashdot -

New submitter javakah writes: Controversy has erupted from the February 10th basketball game between Boise State and Colorado State, and speculation is that a timer may have made an incorrect assumption about the number of frames per second the game was recorded in, and ultimately lead to an erroneous result. With the game tied in overtime, Boise State had the ball out-of-bounds with 0.8 seconds left on the game clock. The ball was thrown in-bounds, the shot went in, and the game clock showed that the Boise State player got the shot off with 0.4 seconds left. However there was a problem: the game clock did not start until a fraction of a second after the in-bounds player touched the ball. Referees decided to use video replay to examine whether the player had gotten the shot off within 0.8 seconds or not. To do this, they used a timer embedded in the video replay system. This embedded timer indicated that 1.3 seconds had passed between the time that the in-bounds player touched the ball and when he got the shot off. (Read more, below.)

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Make your own Firefox OS TV

Liliputing -

Mozilla may not be actively developing Firefox OS for smartphones anymore… but the company is still pushing the operating system as an option for smart TVs and Internet-of Things products. Don’t want to spend money on a TV that comes with Firefox OS? You can build your own Firefox-based smart TV device… sort of. Developer fiji-flo […]

Make your own Firefox OS TV is a post from: Liliputing

Google Brain Researchers Make Significant Progress On Language Modeling

Slashdot -

New submitter integralclosure writes: Using neural networks, Google Brain researchers have significantly improved a computer's ability to model English (achieving extremely low perplexity score on a large dataset). Using the model they were able to generate random sentences, such as the following: 'Yuri Zhirkov was in attendance at the Stamford Bridge at the start of the second half but neither Drogba nor Malouda was able to push on through the Barcelona defence.' The sentences are generally coherent and mostly grammatically correct. Advances seem to be a replay of neural networks' dominance in the Imagenet competition.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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