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What are you doing for Labor day?

  • Sleeping
  • Grilling delicious foodstuffs
  • Working [I am so sorry]
  • Recovering from a hangover
  • D&D with the group
  • I do not observe Labor day (insensitive clod)
  • Chores/yard work
  • Something illegal - Specify

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:13 | Votes:82

posted by janrinok on Saturday August 30, @12:33AM   Printer-friendly
from the I'll-just-leave-this-here-but-it-should-have-been-there dept.

The European Space Agency's (ESA's) embarrassment at having two of its Galileo satnav birds land in the wrong orbit has been blamed on bad programming of the Soyuz craft that hauled the satellites aloft. Russia's Izviestia reports that an investigation of the incident found that the Soyuz's first stage did all that was asked of it. So did the second stage, but that vehicle had been programmed incorrectly.

[Izviestia reports]: [In Russian]

[Google Translation]:

posted by janrinok on Friday August 29, @10:29PM   Printer-friendly
from the Glass-find-me-a-female! dept.

German researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS have developed a Google Glass app that recognises faces, but not the identity of the person. Emotions, gender, and age are recognised, and no images are sent over a network to do so.

Sophisticated High-speed Object Recognition Engine (SHORE) is the name of the group's software, which processes video on the Google Glass CPU. All calculations are performed in real-time by the CPU. By participating in the Google Glass "Explorer Program" Fraunhofer IIS was able to test the smart eyewear. The Google Glass app was made possible by adapting and implementing the Fraunhofer IIS SHORE software library as Glassware.

A software library of data built on C++ analyzes the face. Information about the person—happy, sad, angry, surprised, age estimation, gender—is superimposed next to the face. SHORE can also do eye-blink estimation and valence (emotion) recognition.

The researchers said the database has over 10,000 annotated faces. In combination with structure-based features and learning algorithms, they said they can train so-called models that boast extremely high recognition rates.

CNET's Seth Rosenblatt said the organization sees SHORE as a communication aid for people, for example, on the autism spectrum who may have difficulties in identifying emotions. "Fraunhofer also points out that its app could be applied to market analyses and other more commercial uses," he wrote.

posted by janrinok on Friday August 29, @09:09PM   Printer-friendly
from the the-answer-is-42 dept.

Watson Discovery Advisor has been upgraded to seek out hidden relations in data.

IBM has upgraded its Watson Discovery Advisor data analysis service so it can answer your questions before you even ask. The updated Watson Discovery Advisor can examine a body of data and identify trends, correlations and other points of interest for researchers, IBM said. The service will provide you leads "when you don't know the question to ask, and for when you want to uncover and discover in the data new insights and patterns," said Steve Gold, IBM vice president for the Watson platform.

Watson Discovery Advisor is a commercial offshoot ( ) of Watson, packaging some of Watson's capabilities as a data analysis cloud service.

There is also notification of a Watson Group Discovery Event which has, unfortunately, reached us too late to be of any use - it took place on the 28 Aug in New York. Did any members of our community attend, and what was it like?

posted by janrinok on Friday August 29, @07:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the definitely-not-fanbois dept.

CNET reports:

Apple's San Francisco flagship store temporarily became a scene of confusion and arrests on Thursday because of a sit-in held inside. A gathering of roughly 50 protestors were demonstrating against Apple for allegedly underpaying contract employees that work at its retail stores.

The protestors reportedly belong to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and said Apple routinely underpays contractors, such as security guards. The union also alleged that Apple hires contractors for part-time jobs to prevent paying employee benefits.

posted by n1 on Friday August 29, @05:55PM   Printer-friendly
from the artists-representation-of-particleboard-furniture dept.

In the summer of 2004, IKEA decided to change the way they produced their product images for catalogs and other promotional materials. They made the first tentative moves toward CG rendered, rather than photographic, images. The real turning point came when, in 2009, an internal review review of the worst 200 product images turned out to be all traditional photographs and the handful of best images were all CG.

Today, around 75% of all IKEA’s product images are CG rendered at 4Kx4K resolution. They have a bank of 25,000 models. The first entire room image to be created in CG for one of IKEA’s catalogues was in 2010.

posted by n1 on Friday August 29, @04:33PM   Printer-friendly
from the but-not-with-an-uzi dept.

The accidental death of an instructor at an Arizona shooting range, killed while teaching a 9-year-old girl to fire a fully automatic Uzi, has touched off a debate among those who enjoy and teach the use of firearms: What’s the proper way to teach children about guns? The key, is training says gun instructor Butch Jensen. A gun is a tool, and like any tool — be it a circular saw or a kitchen knife — requires proper instruction. “It was clear that she was a beginner, and you don’t start a beginner in that type of firearm,” says Jensen, who watched a widely circulated video of the fatal lesson. “If you want to learn how to run Indy cars, you don’t start at Indy.” Blake Carrington, who serves in the Air Force, has taught his 10-year-old daughter to shoot a .22 rifle. “I personally would never give my child a fully automatic weapon,” says Carrington. “I feel terrible for that little girl having to live with that.”

Shooting instructors said in interviews that in some cases, a 9-year-old may be able to handle an Uzi, even though it has a tricky recoil and can fire hundreds of rounds per minute. The child would have to weigh enough to handle the recoil and have some experience with guns. The parent and instructor would have to jointly determine that the child is mature and skilled enough to operate the firearm safely. Tom, who practiced with an M1 Garand Rifle, says he shoots for sport and to exercise his 2nd Amendment rights. “I don’t think you should keep kids away from firearms. This shouldn’t keep people from taking their kids to the range.” Still, Tom says he could not fathom why adults allowed the 9-year-old girl to shoot an Uzi. “I don’t know what they were thinking. My personal opinion is someone under 15 years of age playing with a submachine weapon is not a good idea.”

posted by n1 on Friday August 29, @02:57PM   Printer-friendly
from the time-before-corporate-rule dept.

The BBC is reporting that millions of historical images are available on Flickr thanks to a researcher creating a searchable database of 12 million historic copyright-free images.

The photos and drawings are sourced from more than 600 million library books scanned in by the Internet Archive organisation.

The images have been difficult to access until now.

Mr Leetaru said digitisation projects had so far focused on words and ignored pictures.

"For all these years all the libraries have been digitising their books, but they have been putting them up as PDFs or text searchable works," he told the BBC.

"They have been focusing on the books as a collection of words. This inverts that.

"Stretching half a millennia, it's amazing to see the total range of images and how the portrayals of things have changed over time.

posted by n1 on Friday August 29, @01:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the welcome-to-the-world-of-tomorrow dept.

Some bitcoin enthusiasts have used their cryptocurrency to travel around the world. Others have spent it on a trip to space. But the very earliest user of bitcoin (after its inventor Satoshi Nakamoto himself) has now spent his crypto coins on the most ambitious mission yet: to visit the future.

Hal Finney, the renowned cryptographer, coder, and bitcoin pioneer, died Thursday morning at the age of 58 after five years battling ALS. He will be remembered for a remarkable career that included working as the number-two developer on the groundbreaking encryption software PGP in the early 1990s, creating one of the first “remailers” that presaged the anonymity software Tor, and—more than a decade later—becoming one of the first programmers to work on bitcoin’s open source code; in 2008, he received the very first bitcoin transaction from Satoshi Nakamoto.

Now Finney has become an early adopter of a far more science fictional technology: human cryopreservation, the process of freezing human bodies so that they can be revived decades or even centuries later.

posted by LaminatorX on Friday August 29, @11:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the gravitas dept.

Berlin based Quasando released the source code of Gravit on github.

Gravit is completely written in HTML5, CSS3 and JS and has been released under a dual GPLv3+/commercial license.

You can try it out from here.

posted by LaminatorX on Friday August 29, @10:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the vape-culture dept.

Research into second hand emissions from cigarettes and e-cigarettes (Abstract) has found that while there is a tenfold decrease in overall exposure to carcinogenic particulate matter from e-cigarettes compared to cigarettes, there were increased levels of certain toxic metals. The researchers noted that more of this came from the device itself as opposed to the liquid used in the device.

In recent years, electronic cigarettes have gained increasing popularity as alternatives to normal (tobacco-containing) cigarettes. In the present study, particles generated by e-cigarettes and normal cigarettes have been analyzed and the degree of exposure to different chemical agents and their emission rates were quantified. Despite the 10-fold decrease in the total exposure to particulate elements in e-cigarettes compared to normal cigarettes, specific metals (e.g. Ni and Ag) still displayed a higher emission rate from e-cigarettes. Further analysis indicated that the contribution of e-liquid to the emission of these metals is rather minimal, implying that they likely originate from other components of the e-cigarette device or other indoor sources. Organic species had lower emission rates during e-cigarette consumption compared to normal cigarettes. Of particular note was the non-detectable emission of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from e-cigarettes, while substantial emission of these species was observed from normal cigarettes. Overall, with the exception of Ni, Zn, and Ag, the consumption of e-cigarettes resulted in a remarkable decrease in secondhand exposure to all metals and organic compounds. Implementing quality control protocols on the manufacture of e-cigarettes would further minimize the emission of metals from these devices and improve their safety and associated health effects.

posted by martyb on Friday August 29, @08:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the was-the-dinosaur-purple? dept.

WCSC reported that a South Carolina High School student was arrested and suspended after writing about killing a dinosaur using a gun in a class assignment. Attorney David Aylor, who is representing 16-year-old Alex Stone, said his client's arrest over a creative writing assignment was "completely absurd," and is seeking to appeal the suspension. "Students were asked to write about themselves and a creative Facebook status update – just days into the new school year – and my client was arrested and suspended after a school assignment."

Stone said he and his classmates were told in class to write a few sentences about themselves, and a "status" as if it was a Facebook page. Stone said in his "status" he wrote a fictional story that involved the words "gun" and "take care of business."

"I killed my neighbor's pet dinosaur, and, then, in the next status I said I bought the gun to take care of the business"

“I could understand if they made him rewrite it because he did have ‘gun’ in it. But a pet dinosaur?” said his mother Karen Gray. “I mean first of all, we don’t have dinosaurs anymore. Second of all, he’s not even old enough to buy a gun.”

Additional coverage here.

posted by n1 on Friday August 29, @07:11AM   Printer-friendly
from the intuitive-user-friendly-design dept.

The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like” search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.

The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants.

This story comes via The Intercept.

posted by n1 on Friday August 29, @05:31AM   Printer-friendly
from the never-where-you-want-it dept.

Ars Technica reports that in an effort to better understand, and possibly eradicate Wi-Fi dead zones, one man took the hard way by solving the Helmholtz equation for his flat (apartment).

The Helmholtz equation models "the propagation of electronic waves" that involves using a sparse matrix to help minimize the amount of calculation a computer has to do in order to figure out the paths and interferences of waves, in this case from a Wi-Fi router. The whole process is similar to how scattered granular material, like rice or salt, will form complex patterns on top of a speaker depending on where the sound waves are hitting the surfaces.

posted by n1 on Friday August 29, @03:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the a-tip-of-the-fedora dept.

Longtime employee and CTO of RedHat is leaving the company.

“We want to thank Brian for his years of service and numerous contributions to Red Hat’s business. We wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO of Red Hat.

ZDNet reports:

Stevens' eyes may have been wandering elsewhere because of conflicts with Red Hat's president of products and technologies Paul Cormier. Cormier will be taking over the office of the CTO for the time being.

His future? It's unclear but it's possible he's moving to greener pastures, "a major California-based technology company."

Commence wild speculation! What does this mean for RedHat and GNU/Linux? Anything?

posted by n1 on Friday August 29, @02:25AM   Printer-friendly
from the see,-no-hands dept.

The Car Connection reports that back in May Google unveiled the prototype of its first autonomous car built in-house but there were a few features that the new model lacked — for example, a steering wheel and brake pedal. Now, California's DMV has told Google to return those accouterments to their traditional locations so that riders can take "immediate physical control" of the car, if necessary. That and other autonomous vehicle regulations kick in on September 15.

"This isn't a huge setback for Google," writes Richard Reed. "After all, the prototypes aren't nearly ready for primetime, they're just being used for tests. Though the control-less models have worked fine on closed tracks, with no accidents to date, they'll eventually be navigating real streets in real traffic, so they'll need to be up to code. In fact, the DMV may tighten up things a bit further next month, when it issues regulations concerning test vehicles on public roads." In the long run, though, we'd expect the DMV to loosen some of these restrictions. It will undoubtedly take years for regulators and the public to begin trusting autonomous cars — and even then, it's likely that automakers will keep some kind of manual override system in place. After all, given the safety records of autonomous cars — records that will certainly improve with the rollout of vehicle-to-vehicle technology — we're hopeful that motorists will (almost) never need to use them.

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