Open Source

DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software

Slashdot - 7 hours 1 min ago
coondoggie (973519) writes "Call it the ultimate auto-pilot — an automated system that can help take care of all phases of aircraft flight-even perhaps helping pilots overcome system failures in-flight. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will in May detail a new program called Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) that would build upon what the agency called the considerable advances that have been made in aircraft automation systems over the past 50 years, as well as the advances made in remotely piloted aircraft automation, to help reduce pilot workload, augment mission performance and improve aircraft safety."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

SpaceX Lands Launches Load to ISS, Successfully Tests Falcon 9 Over Water

Slashdot - 9 hours 52 min ago
mosb1000 (710161) writes "SpaceX is reporting that they've successfully landed the first stage of their CRS3 Falcon 9 rocket over the Atlantic Ocean today. This is potentially a huge milestone for low-cost space flight." In another win for the company, as the L.A. Times reports, SpaceX also has launched a re-supply mission to the ISS.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Bookies Predict the Future of Tech

Slashdot - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 8:52pm
First time accepted submitter machineghost (622031) writes "It's one thing to make predictions about the future of tech; that happens all the time on Slashdot. But it's quite a different thing to put money on the line to back up those predictions, which is exactly what this British bookie has done. Think you know whether Google Glass will beat the iPhone, or whether we'll be ready to go to Mars and back by 2020? Now's your chance to capitalize on those predictions!" Or you could, y'know, invest money in at least some of them, and thereby increase their chances of succeeding.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Gadget Lab Podcast: A Smartphone With a Vaporizer Module

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 8:11pm
In celebration of 4/20 on Sunday, Mat and Mike spend this week's show getting high — on technology!






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Game|Life Podcast: President Dirtbike

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 8:11pm
WIRED editors talk Trials Fusion, PAX East and more on this week's Game|Life podcast.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

Slashdot - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 7:32pm
waderoush (1271548) writes "In April 2012, former Snapfish CEO Ben Nelson provoked both praise and skepticism by announcing that he'd raised $25 million from venture firm Benchmark to start the Minerva Project, a new kind of university where students will live together but all class seminars will take place over a Google Hangouts-style video conferencing system. Two years later, there are answers – or the beginnings of answers – to many of the questions observers have raised about the project, on everything from the way the seminars will be organized to how much tuition the San Francisco-based university will charge and how it's gaining accreditation. And in an interview published today, Nelson share more details about how Minerva plans to use technology to improve teaching quality. 'If a student wants football and Greek life and not doing any work for class, they have every single Ivy League university to choose from,' Nelson says. 'That is not what we provide. Similarly, there are faculty who want to do research and get in front of a lecture hall and regurgitate the same lecture they've been giving for 20 years. We have a different model,' based on extensive faculty review of video recordings of the seminars, to make sure students are picking up key concepts. Last month Minerva admitted 45 students to its founding class, and in September it expects to welcome 19 of them to its Nob Hill residence hall."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Free iPhone 5s Deal Proves Apple Isn’t So Special

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 7:24pm
Little more than six months after Apple tried to rev up a more diversified market for its iPhones by releasing a “premium” model (the 5s) and a “cheap” model (the 5c), the supposedly fancier phone is now available for free.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Parodist

Slashdot - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 6:51pm
New submitter rotorbudd (1242864) writes with an article at Reason about Jim Ardis, mayor of Peoria, Illinois, who ordered police to track down whoever was responsible for a parody Twitter account mocking him."Guess the good Mayor has never heard of the Streisand Effect. 'The original Twitter account had a total of 50 followers. The new account has over 200.'"

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

Slashdot - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 6:09pm
dcblogs writes: "Southern California Edison is preparing to offshore IT jobs, the second major U.S. utility in the last year to do so. It will be cutting its staff, but it hasn't said by how much. The utility is using at least two offshore outsourcing firms, according to government records. SCE's management culture may be particularly primed for firing its IT workers. Following a workplace shooting in SCE's IT offices in 2011, the utility conducted an independent audit of its organizational and management culture. One observation in this report, which was completed a year later, was that 'employees perceive managers to be more concerned about how they 'look' from above, and less concerned about how they are viewed by their subordinates. This fosters an unhealthy culture and climate by sending a message to employees that it is more important to focus on how things look from the top than how they actually are down below.'"

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

How Nest and FitBit Might Spy On You For Cash

Slashdot - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 5:22pm
Nerval's Lobster writes: "Forbes offers up a comforting little story about how Nest and FitBit are planning on turning user data in a multi-billion-dollar business. 'Smart-thermostat maker Nest Labs (which is being acquired by Google for $3.2 billion) has quietly built a side business managing the energy consumption of a slice of its customers on behalf of electric companies,' reads the article. 'In wearables, health tracker Fitbit is selling companies the tracking bracelets and analytics services to better manage their health care budgets, and its rival Jawbone may be preparing to do the same.' As many a wit has said over the years: If you're not paying, you're the product. But if Forbes is right, wearable-electronics companies may have discovered a sweeter deal: paying customers on one side, and companies paying for those customers' data on the other. Will most consumers actually care, though?"

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Sexual Healing: Bonobos Use Sex to De-Stress

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 5:04pm
Bonobos have earned a reputation as a “sexy” ape. Sexual activity — in many creative forms — plays a large role in bonobo society. Sexual contacts occur often, in virtually all partner combinations and in a slew of different positions. Bonobo society is also known to be more egalitarian and peaceful, especially compared with their […]






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Americans Uncomfortable With Possibility of Ubiquitous Drones, Designer Babies

Slashdot - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 4:35pm
alphadogg writes: "Americans are optimistic about scientific inventions on the horizon, though are cautious about future uses of DNA, robots, drones and always-on implants, according to the latest Pew Research Center survey on future technology (PDF). Asked about the likelihood of certain advances 50 years from now, survey respondents were most sure that lab-grown custom organs for transplant will happen (81%). Only 19% expect humans will be able to control the weather by then. When asked how they felt about possible near-term advances, 65% thought robot caregivers for the elderly is a bad idea, 63% didn't want to see personal drones in U.S. airspace, and 66% thought parents altering the DNA of prospective children was a bad idea."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

MediaGoblin and FSF Successfully Raise Funds For Federation, Privacy Features

Slashdot - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 3:50pm
paroneayea writes: "GNU MediaGoblin and the Free Software Foundation have jointly run a campaign for privacy and federation on the web. The campaign is in its last day but has already passed the first two funding milestones, and is hoping to raise more with the possibility of bringing in multiple dedicated resources to the project. The project has also released a full financial transparency report so donors can know how they can expect their money to be used!"

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Adorable Bees That Live Inside Snail Shells

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 3:47pm
Osmia bicolor is one of the first bees of spring, emerging as early as February in their native range of South England and Wales. As solitary bees, there are no queens and workers; females build their nests alone. Males emerge, mate, and then die. What makes these little bees so captivating is where they make their nests. They repurpose empty snail shells, belonging to a small group of bees known as "helicophiles" (snail-lovers). As a single mom, letting a snail do all the construction work for a home seems much more sensible than building your own from scratch.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

The Week in WIRED Comments: Comics Sex, Chris Farley, and Pizza-Cutter Bikes

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 3:16pm
Welcome to the weekly roundup of comments on WIRED that really added something to the conversation. Below are the best conversations going on across the site this week.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

Slashdot - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 2:58pm
RoccamOccam sends news that the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that Michael Mann, a climate scientist notable for his work on the "hockey stick" graph, does not have to turn over the entirety of his papers and emails under Freedom of Information laws. Roughly 1,000 documents were turned over in response to the request, but another 12,000 remain, which lawyers for the University of Virginia say are "of a proprietary nature," and thus entitled to an exemption. The VA Supreme Court ruled (PDF), "the higher education research exemption's desired effect is to avoid competitive harm not limited to financial matters," and said the application of "proprietary" was correct in this case. Mann said he hopes the ruling "can serve as a precedent in other states confronting this same assault on public universities and their faculty."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Slashdot - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 2:08pm
itwbennett writes: "When you think about tech products these days, you probably think 'refresh cycle' more than 'built to last.' But there are plenty of tech products that put up with hard, daily use year after year. Here's a few to get you started: Logitech MX510 mouse, Brother black & white laser printer, Casio G-Shock watch, Alvin Draf-Tec Retrac mechanical pencil, Sony Dream Machine alarm clock. What's your longest-lasting, hardest-working device?"

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Watch These Amazing Flip Books of Birds and Butterflies

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 1:11pm
Colorful hummingbirds and butterflies flit across the page in constant motion, like an Audubon guide come to life






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Samsung's Position On Tizen May Hurt Developer Recruitment

Slashdot - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 1:06pm
CowboyRobot sends in an article about how Samsung's constantly shifting plans for its smartwatches are making it hard for developers to commit to building apps. Quoting: "Samsung's first smartwatch, released in October last year, ran a modified version of Google's Android platform. The device had access to about 80 apps at launch, all of which were managed by a central smartphone app. Samsung offered developers an SDK for the Galaxy Gear so they could create more apps. Developers obliged. Then Samsung changed direction. Samsung announced a new series of smartwatches in February: the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit. Unlike the first device, these three run Samsung’s Tizen platform. ... This week, Samsung made things even more interesting. Speaking to Reuters, Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung’s product strategy team, said the company is working on a watch that will use Google’s Android Wear platform. In other words, Samsung will bring three different watches to market with three different operating systems in under a year."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

This Week’s Apple Rumors, Ranked From Dumbest to Most Plausible

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 12:40pm
This week's Apple rumors include more hints about the iPhone 6's final design and speculation about a new, Shazam-like song ID system for iOS.






Categories: Open Source, Technology