If it’s a conspiracy of dunces a pack of lies, why does Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon believe that the world is warming due to fossil fuel use?
An anonymous reader writes: Oculus, creator of the Rift VR headset, has released a new version of their SDK which brings with it long sought-after support for Linux, which the company says is “experimental.” Linux support was previously unavailable since the launch of the company’s second development kit, the DK2. The latest SDK update also adds support for Unity Free, the non-commercial version of the popular game authoring engine. Previously, Unity developers needed the Pro version—costing $1,500 or $75/month—to create experiences for the Oculus Rift.
An anonymous reader writes: Cristophe de Dinechin, long-time software developer, has an interesting article on the processes involved in building the major browsers. From the article:
“Mozilla Firefox, Chromium (the open-source variant of Chrome) and WebKit (the basis for Safari) are all great examples of open-source software. The Qt project has a simple webkit-based web browser in their examples. So that’s at least four different open-source web browsers to choose from. But what does it take to actually build them? The TL;DR answer is that these are complex pieces of software, each of them with rather idiosyncratic build systems, and that you should consider 100GB of disk space to build all the browsers, a few hours of download, and be prepared to learn lots of new, rather specific tools.”
jimwormold writes: I need to build a system for outdoor use, capable of withstanding a high pressure water jet! “Embedded PC,” I hear you cry. Well, ideally yes. However, the system does a fair bit of number crunching on a GPU (GTX970) and there don’t appear to be any such embedded systems available. The perfect solution will be as small as possible (ideally about 1.5x the size of a motherboard, and the height will be limited to accommodate the graphics card). I’m U.K.- based, so the ambient temperature will range from -5C to 30C, so I presume some sort of active temperature control would be useful.
I found this helpful discussion, but it’s 14 years old. Thus, I thought I’d post my question here. Do any of you enlightened Slashdotters have insights to this problem, or know of any products that will help me achieve my goals?
An anonymous reader writes: The NY Times explains research into how our mindset can influence results. The common refrain when striving for a goal is to stay positive and imagine success — people say this will help you accomplish what you want. But a series of psychological experiments show such thinking tends to have exactly the opposite effect. “In a 2011 study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, we asked two groups of college students to write about what lay in store for the coming week. One group was asked to imagine that the week would be great. The other group was just asked to write down any thoughts about the week that came to mind. The students who had positively fantasized reported feeling less energized than those in the control group. As we later documented, they also went on to accomplish less during that week.” This research has been replicated across many types of people and many different goals.
Building on that research, the scientists developed a thought process called “mental contrasting,” where people are encouraged to think about their dreams coming true only for a few minutes before dedicating just as much time to thinking about the obstacles they’ll have to deal with. Experiments have demonstrated that subjects using these techniques were more successful at things like exercise and maintaining a healthy diet than a control group. “[D]reaming about the future calms you down, measurably reducing systolic blood pressure, but it also can drain you of the energy you need to take action in pursuit of your goals.”
New submitter JackDW writes: Tetris is one of the best-known computer games ever made. It’s easy to play but hard to master, and it’s based on a NP-hard problem. But that’s not all that’s difficult about it. Though it’s simple enough to be implemented in one line of BBC BASIC, it’s complex enough to be really hard to thoroughly test.
It may seem like you can test everything in Tetris just by playing it for a few minutes, but this is very unlikely! As I explain in this article, the game is filled with special cases that rarely occur in normal play, and these can only be easily found with the help of a coverage tool.
New submitter steve_torquay writes: Last week, President Obama signed a new Executive Order calling for “all agencies making personal data accessible to citizens through digital applications” to “require the use of multiple factors of authentication and an effective identity proofing process.” This does not necessarily imply that the government will issue online credentials to all U.S. residents.
The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) is working towards a distributed identity ecosystem that facilitates authentication and authorization without compromising privacy. NSTIC points out that this is a great opportunity to leverage the technology to enable a wide array of new citizen-facing digital services while reducing costs and hassles for individuals and government agencies alike.
Vulture at the Wheel When I took my seatbelt off, the Caterham 160 didn’t beep at me. I didn’t get electronically reprimanded when I got out and left the headlights on and I didn’t have any problems bluetoothing my phone to the radio because it doesn’t have Bluetooth. Or a radio.
An interactive photo of the Caterham. Click on a spot and the image will re-focus itself there
The entertainment system in the Caterham 160 comes from Suzuki, in the form of a 660cc turbocharged three cylinder engine putting out 80hp.
It represents a refreshing antidote to lardy, tech-laden cars. The Seven was famously designed by Lotus in 1957 under a mantra of “adding lightness”, and the newish 160 proves the point. It’s the same back-to-basics philosophy as Raspberry Pi has adopted. I may be the first person to have drawn parallels between Colin Chapman and Eben Upton, but it works.
Just as the Raspberry Pi is the best way to learn about computing by cutting out all the fluff, the Caterham Seven should be an essential part of everyone’s motoring education. This is a car where paint is an optional extra and the rawness is exhilarating.
Caterham Seven 160: Exhiliratingly raw and excellent fun to drive
The “160” comes from the power-to-weight ratio. This car weighs a little under half a tonne. My 70 kilos makes a difference. The added lightness means the suspension is that little bit lighter, the 14 inch 155/65 Avon tyres thinner and there is a multiplier between lightness and finesse. The steering, unassisted of course, has a level of feel you don’t get in anything else. Not even a Lotus, and that’s leagues better than something with a German or Italian badge.
Watching the wheels work is fun. I have to admit to aiming at cats’ eyes to see the wheel bobble, and I loved the sky reflected in the big chrome lights. The driving position is great and given the immediacy and delicacy of the whole experience you can be extremely precise. You steer with the power as well as the wheels; there is just the right amount of power to coax the tyres into relinquishing their grip. You won’t leave elevens along the street but you can modify the movement around roundabouts.
The balance of steering and oomph is something to relish. As I negotiated a chicane in a south London street, I thought “This isn’t traffic calming, it’s traffic exciting”. Speed bumps do, however, have to be treated with caution, particularly the dome-shaped “road wart” versions which need to be negotiated with two wheels up and two down to avoid scraping your bottom. I’d still not describe them as “calming”.
The UK government is hoping to force through a change in law to lower the legal threshold on punishments handed out to companies that make nuisance calls and send annoying texts to Brits.
A six-week consultation process was announced by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport this morning.
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said that Whitehall was pushing for a change in the legislation, which currently requires the Information Commissioner’s Office to prove a firm had caused “substantial damage or substantial distress”, before proceeding with any action against such an outfit.
“Companies have bombarded people with unwanted marketing calls and texts, but have escaped punishment because they did not cause enough harm,” said Javid.
“Being called day after day may not be ‘substantially distressing’, but that doesn’t make it acceptable. I want to make it easier for companies to face the consequences of ignoring the law and subjecting us to calls or texts we have said we don’t want.”
The ICO added that the tweak to existing law would help the watchdog more readily punish rogue marketing firms. Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said:
The public clearly want to see a stop to nuisance calls and texts. We welcome this proposed change in the law which will enable the ICO to make more fines stick, sending a clear message to the spammers and scammers that the rules around cold calls and spam texts must be followed.
Last year, the regulator received 161,720 reports from people concerned about spam texts and nuisance calls.
The Ministry of Fun’s consultation process runs until 7 December. Details this way. ®