Technology

Google and Garmin altered directions to the Hollywood sign on behalf of nearby homeowners to keep tourists away (Alissa Walker/Gizmodo)

TechMeme - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 11:10am

Alissa Walker / Gizmodo:
Google and Garmin altered directions to the Hollywood sign on behalf of nearby homeowners to keep tourists away  —  Why People Keep Trying to Erase the Hollywood Sign From Google Maps  —  The Hollywood Sign might be one of the most recognizable things on Earth.  In Los Angeles, it's also one of the most visible.

Categories: Technology

Corning Reveals Gorilla Glass 4, Promises No More Broken IPhones

Slashdot - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 10:33am
An anonymous reader writes "Corning introduced next-generation Gorilla Glass, which it said is ten times tougher than any competitive cover glass now in the market. The company says that the Gorilla Glass 4 so launched is to address the No.1 problem among the smartphones users- screen breakage due to everyday drops."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

DreamWorks Reveals Glimpse of "Super Cinema" Format For VR Films

Slashdot - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 9:27am
An anonymous reader writes Warren Mayoss, Head of Technology Product Development at DreamWorks Animation, spoke at the 2014 Samsung Developer Conference last week about the company's forays into the young medium of virtual reality. In addition to real-time experiences, DreamWorks is exploring ways to enabled their bread and butter in VR: high-fidelity pre-rendered CGI. One method the company is exploring is a "Super Cinema" format: pre-rendered 360 degree 3D frames to be projected around the user in virtual reality. On stage, Mayoss showed a video glimpse of the format using assets from the company's "How to Train Your Dragon" franchise.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

The US Congress won't limit the NSA: individuals, courts, and other nations must step up (Glenn Greenwald/The Intercept)

TechMeme - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 9:25am

Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept:
The US Congress won't limit the NSA: individuals, courts, and other nations must step up  —  Congress Is Irrelevant on Mass Surveillance.  Here's What Matters Instead.  —  The “USA Freedom Act”—which its proponents were heralding as “NSA reform” despite its suffocatingly narrow scope …

Categories: Technology

In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

Slashdot - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 8:23am
HughPickens.com writes: Jerry Hirsch writes in the LA Times that personal transportation is on the cusp of its greatest transformation since the advent of the internal combustion engine. For a century, cars have been symbols of freedom and status. But according to Hirsch, passengers of the future may well view vehicles as just another form of public transportation, to be purchased by the trip or in a subscription. Buying sexy, fast cars for garages could evolve into buying seat-miles in appliance-like pods, piloted by robots, parked in public stalls. "There will come a time when driving the car is like riding the horse," says futurist Peter Schwartz. "Some people will still like to do it, but most of us won't." People still will want to own vehicles for various needs, says James Lentz, chief executive of Toyota's North American operations. They might live in a rural area and travel long distances daily. They might have a big family to haul around. They might own a business that requires transporting supplies. "You will still have people who have the passion for driving the cars and feeling the road," says Lentz. "There may be times when they want the cars to drive them, but they won't be buying autonomous-only cars." One vision of the future is already playing out in Grenoble, France, where residents can rent from a fleet of 70 pod-like Toyota i-Road and Coms electric cars for short city trips. "It is a sharing program like what you see in Portland with bicycles," says Lentz. Drivers can check out and return the cars at various charging points. Through a subscription, they pay the equivalent of $3.75 for 30 minutes. Because the vehicles are so small, its easy to build out their parking and charging infrastructure. Skeptics should consider the cynicism that greeted the horseless carriage more than a century ago, says Adam Jonas. He adds that fully autonomous vehicles will be here far sooner than the market thinks (PDF). Then, Jonas says, skeptics asked: "Why would any rational person want to replace the assuredness of that hot horse body trustily pulling your comfortable carriage with an unreliable, oil-spurting heap of gears, belts and chains?"

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

How 3-D printing is revolutionizing medicine (Jerome Groopman/New Yorker)

TechMeme - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 5:40am

Jerome Groopman / New Yorker:
How 3-D printing is revolutionizing medicine  —  In February of 2012, a medical team at the University of Michigan's C. S. Mott Children's Hospital, in Ann Arbor, carried out an unusual operation on a three-month-old boy.  The baby had been born with a rare condition called tracheobronchomalacia …

Categories: Technology

How "Big Ideas" Are Actually Hurting International Development

Slashdot - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 5:10am
schnell writes: The New Republic is running a fascinating article that analyzes the changing state of foreign development. Tech entrepreneurs and celebrities are increasingly realizing the inefficiencies of the old charitable NGO-based model of foreign aid, and shifting their support to "disruptive" new ideas that have been demonstrated in small experiments to deliver disproportionately beneficial results. But multiple studies now show that "game changing" ideas that prove revolutionary in limited studies fail to prove effective at scale, and are limited by a simple and disappointing fact: no matter how revolutionary your idea is, whether it works or not is wholly dependent on 1.) the local culture and circumstances, and 2.) who is implementing the program.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology