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Slashback: Dry Mars, Wet Doc, Keyboard Teaser

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the dispelling-the-news dept.

Slashback 159

Slashback tonight brings some corrections, clarifications, and updates to previous Slashdot stories, including a possible release date for the long awaited Optimus keyboard, yet another extension in the Blackberry court case, lakebed theory on Mars possibly all wet, US-CERT statistics perhaps not all they are cracked up to be, stem cell investigation reveals papers were faked, the FTC objects to the Netflix settlement, and a new Crossover Office fixes the WMF exploit among other things. Read on for details.

Optimus keyboard may have a real release date? Jacket writes to tell us that the much talked about Optimus keyboard has a suggestive message on their website. With "Good things come in small packages February 1, 2006" could it be possible that this holy grail (for some) keyboard could be available in our near future?

Yet another delay for Blackberry court case. ahsile writes "TheGlobeandMail.com is reporting that 'NTP Inc., the company suing Research in Motion Ltd over the Blackberry e-mail service, wants more time to respond to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's preliminary rejections of its patents.'

Lakebed theory on Mars all wet? Sensible Clod writes "The Meridiani Planum region on Mars, long believed to have been covered with water millions of years ago, may not have been so wet after all, according to a new study from the University of Colorado at Boulder. From the article: 'The new study indicates chemical signatures in the bedrock, interpreted...as evidence for widespread, intermittent water at Mars' surface, may have instead been created by the reaction of sulfur-bearing steam vapors moving up through volcanic ash deposits. Known as Meridiani Planum, the region may have been more geologically similar to volcanic regions in parts of North America, Hawaii or Europe.'"

US-CERT statistics not all they are cracked up to be? jtshaw writes "Tectonic has an interesting article about the latest US-CERT stats. The actual vulnerabilities for a hand full of OS's after wading through the data: Microsoft Windows - 44, Apple Mac OS X - 21, IBM AIX - 21, HP-UX - 15, SCO Unix - 9, Red Hat Linux - 7, Suse Linux - 12, Debian Linux - 10, Gentoo Linux - 5, FreeBSD - 13, NetBSD - 2. It appears to me that commercial unix systems and open source *nix systems did pretty well compared to Windows on the vulnerability front."

Stem cell papers, confirmed fakes. An anonymous reader writes "The committee created to investigate stem cell researcher Hwang Woo Suk has confirmed that his first and second papers were faked. 'dashing hopes that his work is a breakthrough in treatments for diabetes and Parkinson's disease. [...] The panel backed Hwang's claim that he cloned the world's first dog.'"

FTC objects to Netflix settlement. AtariDatacenter writes "Although some question the validity of a recent lawsuit against Netflix, many users were up in arms about the terms of the settlement, which seemed like more of a marketing gimmick. Today, we learned that The Federal Trade Commission agreed, and asked the judge to reject the terms of the settlement."

New Crossover Office fixes,among other things, WMF exploit. ubuntuincleelum writes "Just on the heels of the announcement of new WMF security vulnerabilities Codeweavers is releasing Crossover Office 5.0.1. A bugfix release, this release features a fix for the original WMF bug. Among the changes in this release: Improved support for Gnome, improvements in Debian packaging and improvements in general for operability on Debian and Debian Derivatives."

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There was a Win98 WMF Fix, Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450230)

Some antivirus company I can't remember right now made a WMF fix that worked on Win 98/ME, too, and I haven't seen that reported.

Of course, Avery J. Parker reported on his blog that he just couldn't get anything to infect Win98 using the WMF flaw, so it may not be that necessary to have a patch.

Attention Slashdot readers: (-1, Offtopic)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450250)

In a prior post, I identified a set of ideological premises as superordinate constructions that maintain the rhetorical context in which Slashdot is able to trivialize certain events that are particularly special to us all. I will now elaborate on three of its most shameless premises:

      1. The ideas of "freedom" and "alarmism" are Siamese twins.
      2. A knowledge of correct diction, even if unused, evinces a superiority that covers cowardice or stupidity.
      3. It can rip off everyone and his brother and get away with it.

First things first: It thinks it's good that its hastily mounted campaigns create a climate of intimidation. It is difficult to know how to respond to such monumentally misplaced values, but let's try this: Its mind has limited horizons. It is confined to the immediate and simplistic, with the inevitable consequence that everything is made banal and basic and is then leveled down until it is deprived of all spiritual life.

If Slashdot can't stand the heat, it should get out of the kitchen. To add another dimension to this argument, let me mention that Slashdot deserves exemplary punishment. At the risk of sounding a tad redundant, let me add that we must overcome the fears that beset us every day of our lives. We must overcome the fear that Slashdot will produce precisely the alienation and conflict needed to invent a new moral system that legitimizes its desire to make it impossible to disturb its froward gravy train. And to overcome these fears, we must strip the unjust power from those who seek power over others and over nature.

Slashdot's secret police suspect that "Man's eternal search for Truth is a challenge to be avoided at all costs." First off, that's a lousy sentence. If they had written that I wouldn't waste my time trying to call a spade a spade if Slashdot's pleas weren't parroted by so many brutish calumniators, then that quote would have had more validity. As it stands, you won't find many of Slashdot's collaborators who will openly admit that they favor Slashdot's schemes to use paid informants and provocateurs to prevent us from getting in touch with our feelings. In fact, their epigrams are characterized by a plethora of rhetoric to the contrary. If you listen closely, though, you'll hear how carefully they cover up the fact that Slashdot's hatchet jobs are more than just noxious. They're a revolt against nature. While the concept of broad-based peace and social justice coalitions remains desirable, Slashdot's cult followers actually believe the bunkum they're always mouthing. That's because these sorts of humorless, insipid rascals are idealistic, have no sense of history or human nature, and they think that what they're doing will improve the world when you least expect it. In reality, of course, if a cogent, logical argument entered Slashdot's brain, no doubt a concussion would result. The truth hurts, doesn't it, Slashdot? As I conclude this post, let me remind you that my goal in writing it was not only to address a number of important issues. I sought also to use this post as a means to bring fresh leadership and even-handed tolerance to the present controversy.

URLs for the Patch & Story (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450313)

There we go, I found the links again:



Note: I don't even know if these work. Avery reported that he couldn't get any exploits to actually run on Win 98. Use at your own risk.

Re:URLs for the Patch & Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450819)

>> Use at your own risk.

do you mean win98 its self or the patches?

Honestly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450851)

> Do you mean Win98 itself or the patches?

Both :)

Optimus button (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450241)

The message "good things come in small packages" to me suggest that there will be a single button version of this keyboard as there is a display on the button, it can be any button you wish .. A - Z 0-9..

Otherwise maybe they mean a 1x1 pixel button pack...or.. oh i just don't know, i find those suggestive messages too clever for me as i lack any imagination(TM)...

one thing I do know is that musicians are going gaga over this thing.

-Sj53

Re:Optimus button (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450860)

Why? I'm a musician (not professionally), and I can see no use of this keyboard as a musical instrument. Computer keyboards are not pianos (possibly with the exception of those new combo keyboards that Creative is making). I can see lots of use for this from a composer's point of view, however. You can actually "type out" a composition with this thing (though some software, such as Noteworthy Composer, will let you do this already).

Re:Optimus button (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451036)

Many of the musicians I know nowdays use computers in some shape or form for their music, not to mention if you are an electronic musician.

With the multitude of applications and varying keyboard references for them, this unit will be a welcome addition to ones arsenal as opposed to paying $200 for a Pro Tools keyboard ...

Applications such as Ableton Live http://www.ableton.com/ [ableton.com] which allow you to perform electronic music in a live manner and allow for the user to create their own shortcuts have created a surge in the production of control surfaces which are all configured in varying ways for the performer. With the Optimus keyboard, you could have your own Live keyboard mapping without purchasing a massive controller which is limited to your music performances and have the icons on the keyboard tailored to your momentary usage needs.

I guess in hindsight, I was referring mainly to electronic musicians, producers and engineers as opposed to using this keyboard as a bow for your cello.

-Sj53

Optimus (5, Insightful)

iMaple (769378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450272)

Optimus keyboard may have a real release date

Its highly unlikely that they will release a product by 1 Feb (a a resonable price , say $500). The price of high res OLED displays (required for each key!) is simple too expensive even now. Maybe we will see that in 2007. Notice that their site does not have a clear release date (which it would to hype up the launch).

Re:Optimus (5, Informative)

ecryder (851413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450339)

Check this FAQ on artlebedev http://www.artlebedev.com/portfolio/optimus/answer s/ [artlebedev.com] "...less than a good mobile phone"

Re:Optimus (0)

pilkul (667659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450515)

They can claim that until they turn blue, but it ain't going to happen unless they like losing money on every sale.

Re:Optimus (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450670)

Or maybe they really meant less than a top of the line mobile phone _before_ the discounts for signing up for a long term committment.

My guess is this keyboard will cost more than some computers, but for some it might be worth it (it IS massively cool).

Re:Optimus (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451612)

(it IS massively cool).
 
At risk of sounding stupid, why is it massively cool?
 
I never look at my keyboard when I type; I learned to type in high school on old manual Underwoods that didn't have any markings on the keys at all (special design for schools, I guess) and have never, ever, had the urge to look at the keys when I'm typing.
 
So what's the point of this keyboard, and why would I want to give up my trusty Microsoft Natural keyboard (that and Sidewinder joysticks are the only Microsoft products actually worth having) to use one?

Re:Optimus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450673)

What evidence do you have to support your claim?

They have surely done more homework on the costings than you have in your 30 second reply to /.

-Sj53

Re:Optimus (1)

MrLizardo (264289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450643)

So, the next question is: What do they consider a good mobile phone?

Re:Optimus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450675)

Actually, that's not saying much. Cell phones would still cost thousands of dollars if they weren't manufactured by the tens of millions, and subsidized by the carriers.

Few people appreciate the insane amount of RF coolness that it takes to make a mobile phone.

Re:Optimus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450717)

Also it's likely to need it's own power source 'cause there's no way USB 1 or 2 can power a full sized OLED keyboard. So expect a power brick beside this thing.

The teaser about "good things in small packages" is currently taken to mean they're releasing a num pad.

ps. And here's some competitors http://www.unitedkeys.com/index.html [unitedkeys.com] http://ikeyinfinity.com/ [ikeyinfinity.com]

pps. keyboards on screens = goatse keyboard virus

Re:Optimus (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451145)

Wow, a whole plethora of companies that photoshop keyboards and produce bogus release dates for vapourware!

Having said that, this is vapourware that people genuinely seem to want. I certainly would love one, if it were possible.

Certainly, the finished product would be wildly different from the photoshops we see on the websites.

Can you imagine the power consumption? Not to mention possibly needing a cooling fan (the thing would need some kind of internal processor). The whole thing would generate quite a bit of heat, too. This is your keyboard we're talking about! It's hot, noisy, you have to reboot it every now and then, too.

Re:Optimus (2, Informative)

shaka (13165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451342)

Can you imagine the power consumption? Not to mention possibly needing a cooling fan (the thing would need some kind of internal processor). The whole thing would generate quite a bit of heat, too. This is your keyboard we're talking about! It's hot, noisy, you have to reboot it every now and then, too.

Very funny. I can imagine the power consumption. this OLED screen [epn-online.com] is about as big as I expect the Enter-key on the Optimus will be. The Optimus images show 140 buttons. Even if every button would be as big as the Enter-key, and they would all have 65k colors, and they would continuously show full screen white color, the power consumption would be ~50 watts. Calculating with an average size of a quarter of that (~14x14 mm) would give us a much lower number. Given that they will always show mostly black, I'd say an average of less than 7 watts is probable.

The keyboard would need "some kind of internal processor", yes (as does any USB keyboard), but it would do with your average microcontroller, well maybe a couple of them. My guess is that the power dissipation of each would be 1-2 watts. No need for fans. No more heat than the keyboard I'm typing on now (it's a laptop). No need for reboots of the keyboard - it would obviously be driven from the computer, the keyboard won't need to know anything about what it's showing.

Re:Optimus (1)

A_Pryd3 (792814) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450654)

They might just make the spacebar and function keys OLED to save on cost, untill mass production drives down the price. Then they'll make all the keys OLED.

Re:Optimus (1)

youknowmewell (754551) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450657)

We'll see on Feb 1st then. If it is true, it will ROCK. If not, oh well.

Re:Optimus (3, Insightful)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450674)

OK, 1 joke and 2 serious notes.

Has anyone considered the ramifications of the "BLUE KEYBOARD OF DEATH" scenario when Windows halts with a BSOD.

My first serious note is; Why hasn't Apple jumped on this like stink-on-poo. This seems like an item that would be right up their alley.

Second; Depending on the SDK, of course, imagine writing applications that can modify the keyboard based on available program options.

Scenario: Using `less`, the left and right keys are dimmed while the up arrow is red (indicating that you're at the top of the document) and the down arrow is flashing green with a number (indicating the number of rows remain in the document.) As you scroll down, the remaining lines decrease.

If this gets popular, how long 'til spam infiltrates your keyboard? Where's my backspace key.....what the... \/1@6®/\

Re:Optimus (4, Interesting)

shaka (13165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450917)

My first serious note is; Why hasn't Apple jumped on this like stink-on-poo. This seems like an item that would be right up their alley.

My thoughts exactly. I must admit I'm a bit frustrated that even geeks who like the idea of this keyboard doesn't seem to view it as more than a cute toy. I think it might revolutionize human-computer interaction (I explain this in more detail below). Imagine the new Mac Book Pro with a keyboard like this, and application support in every Apple application...

Scenario: Using `less`, the left and right keys are dimmed while the up arrow is red (indicating that you're at the top of the document) and the down arrow is flashing green with a number (indicating the number of rows remain in the document.) As you scroll down, the remaining lines decrease.

While this is cute (and I would love it), it's not good enough.

Scenario: When you point your mouse at a text-input area (such as the one I'm typing in right now), the keyboard is a regular keyboard with a few cool shortcuts. When you're done typing, and click at the browser area (in which you can't type), it all changes. Suddenly, keys are instead shortcuts to Reload, Back, Home, this type of stuff. The "/" key is a magnifying glass, and when you press it, you get your regular keyboard to indicate that you can enter text to search in the page.

While surfing, the Email-key on your keyboard starts pulsating with an envelope, indicating that new mail has arrived (Biff in your keyboard baby!). You switch focus to your MUA, and the keyboard buttons transform into icons for Reply, Forward, Write new, Next unread message... You reply to the new message, and voilà, there's your regular keys again.

When you're done, the IM key starts blinking... Well, you get my drift.

So, what does this change in your UI? Well, for starters, we can finally get rid of all these space hogging, most often ugly, shortcut tool-/buttonbars. All of this functionality will instead be available in the keyboard. Learning shortcuts in a new application will be a breeze - the first times you're using it, the keys show what they mean, and after a while, you have it in your fingers and can make all keys turn black, effectively cloning the Das Keyboard [daskeyboard.com] ... ;)

The real action, of course, happens in applications with heavy use of shortcuts, such as Photoshop, Word, Eclipse and other IDEs, and the ruler of them all: Emacs! Imagine pressing Alt, then Meta, then Ctrl... While the keys are updated to reflect their current functionality!

Again, people view this as cute; I view it as a potential user interface revolution in the hands of someone like Apple (or preferably Gnome!).

Re:Optimus (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451161)

There are some ergonomic damage issues with this, though. I often spend most of my time typing looking at the screen rather than the keyboard. If my fingerplacing gets really messed up I might peek at the board but that's it. My monitor is usually set up in a position where I can see it without straining my neck.

Spending all day looking down at my keyboard though? That's got to do some damage, right?

Re:Optimus (2, Insightful)

joshki (152061) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451389)

Does anyone actually look at their keyboard?? I can't remember the last time I even saw mine! Anyone who seriously uses a computer should be able to touch type, and I don't remember the last time I used an "email shortcut" key or anything like that. In all honesty, I can't even tell you what that key does in Linux at the moment -- I've never pressed it or any of the keys in that row. They're just detritus that I completely ignore. It sounds like your idea would be a neat toy, or maybe a training aide for someone who doesn't know emacs (though the tab key works pretty well to find the command you're looking for once you hit meta), but for a serious user I simply can't see any value added whatsoever. A keyboard is a simple tool designed to do a simple job -- input characters to the operating system. You start going beyond that and in my opinion, you wind up decreasing its usefulness.

Re:Optimus (2, Insightful)

shaka (13165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451421)

Well, I'm sure you are a great touch-typist. I'm pretty good, too. However, I'm talking about the other stuff you're able to use your keyboard for. In Photoshop, for instance, all those keys actually are shortcuts right now, but since most people - even someone like my ex-girlfriend who is a photographer and has spent years in school and work using Photoshop - don't know a fraction of the shortcuts available, they bring the mouse and wander away in the menus.

The same thing with me and Eclipse or IntelliJ Idea - there are hundreds of shortcuts. Most of them are very valuable. But it's so damn hard to learn them because they are so many, most of them go unnoticed - to me anyway. Maybe you are different, but if I can use my keyboard for more, and my mouse for less, I will be a happy guy.

And that thing about Emacs was a joke. I use vi.

Re:Optimus (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451713)

Well, the 'less' feature wouldn't help me much; I look at my monitor while I type. (Even when reaching for the arrow keys.)

PS Love your sig, watched that episode of Firefly again tonight.

Re:Optimus (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450889)

You're just being mean. How dare you dash my hopes like that. :`(

--Neth

Re:Optimus (1)

commbat (50622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451383)

While the concept is intriguing, what are the mechanics? A quick look at the site didn't answer that question... as a buckling-spring fan I'd reject any keyboard that didn't have my prefered feel, no matter what other bells and whistles it provides.

Not high-rez at all (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451423)

If you look at the keys, they're 32x32 icons. [artlebedev.com] That's not very high-rez, and those are the concept pictures: the real thing may use 16x16 or less.

Likewise, my understanding was that the larger the display, the more expensive it becomes. This, like chips, is because of the increasing fragility and the increasing likelyhood of a manufacturing defect sending it all to pot. But these are postage-stamp size screens, and as such should be much cheaper.

And except for the red background in one of the pictures, the normal keys are all black and white. They'll probably dump the red and go with B&W images on the regular keyboard keys, further driving down cost.

A bunch of low-rez postage-stamp sized color screens, and about 90 low-rez black-and-white keys? And about a million miles of tiny little wires? Should be do-able in 300 bucks. If they needed to drive costs down further, go traditional LCD on all of the normal keys with one big glowing backlight... that I could see coming in at 100 or less, though looking pretty crappy.

On the other hand, realistically they're probably not launching on Feb 1st. That's probably when they will make the announcement about the release date, or even announce the date they will announce the release date.

Re:Optimus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451744)

Quoted from the latest article listed about the keyboard http://www.legitreviews.com/article.php?aid=247 [legitreviews.com]

Right now the keyboard is still technically a prototype and the cost is hovering around US $200 to produce this keyboard. The good news is that the keyboard is slated to go into mass production next year and launched in the Summer of 2006, which should allow the price of the "new" technology go down.

Other evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450277)

Rampart craters and the recent radar imaging have pretty much proven that Mars had water. While the volcanic gas theory for the formation of spherules is plausible, I doubt it is correct. Spherules were identified by both rovers. With the other water evidence, it would be *very* consistent for the spherules to have formed by water. But to form in two locations vastly far apart seems unlikely.

Re:Other evidence (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451234)

Exactly. Slashdot editors, once again, prove themselves ignorant of the scientific process. If an author writes a paper that gets published, *this does not mean that it is correct*. It means the science is, in general, sound. What comes next is a large amount of debate in the scientific communicaty. The wet Mars hypothesis has a lot going for it (and there's even been new supportive data since then from the MERs), so it won't be easy.

Treating some random new paper or two from a couple scientists and ignoring the hundreds of papers to the contrary is frankly silly. Yes - it is a hypothesis that merits interest and captures the imagination. But it does *not* merit a headline that calls the wet mars concepts "all wet".

US-CERT stats (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450284)

The original stats are not incorrect in the sense that they do not represent the data. However, the corrected data is now pared so the smaller numbers make linux look more secure. Statistically, it is underrepresented so you can't take a lot away from the new numbers.

Re:US-CERT stats (1)

jotok (728554) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450399)

I dunno...I think you could look at OS statistics on high-traffic websites and make a SWAG as to the actual representation. That's what nonparametric tests are for.

Also I think time between discovery and mitigation would be another interesting datum.

Discovery to fix time averages for MS (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450562)

Link [washingtonpost.com] .

Confirmed by Microsoft according to the article.

In 2003, Microsoft took an average of three months to issue patches for problems reported to them. In 2004, that time frame shot up to 134.5 days, a number that remained virtually unchanged in 2005.

I'm certain that critical flaws for other OSes are always fixed faster.

Re:US-CERT stats (2, Informative)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450719)

The original stats are not incorrect in the sense that they do not represent the data.

True. They count as incorrect in that they duplicate entries in the data.

if a kernel or major package vulnerability affects one distro, it affects them all (mostly). Do we count a buffer overflow in an abscure SCSI card driver once, or once per known distro using that driver?

For a fair comparison, the recent WMF exploit affected all know versions of Windows at least back to Win95. Do we therefore count it 24+ or so times (three versions of Win95, three of Win98, one NT3.5, three of NT4, one(?) of ME, three of Win2K, five of XP, five of Win2k3 (and that doesn't even count the major "Service Pack X included" re-releases, but since US-CERT didn't include different version of RedHat, I'll grant concede that point)?

FOSS equivalent of optimus keyboard (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450285)

It is software, but gives you the same functionality as the optimus keyboard for (f/F)ree...
http://www.qliner.com/hotkeys [qliner.com]

Windows only at the moment :( maybe they'll create a nice Gnome version in the future...

Re:FOSS equivalent of optimus keyboard (0)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450447)

lol, that site is blank, perpahs I need javascript

yeah, I can trust their judgement

anyway, do you even know what the functionality of the Optimus is - it's the freakin keys, not the mapping, we can do the mapping already !!!

Re:FOSS equivalent of optimus keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450493)

I have studied the optimus keyboard in detail and like it a lot. Enable script and have a look at the site. It does the same thing as the optimus on screen. Holding the windows key several seconds makes a on screen keyboard pop up with icons on the key.

The keyboard can be modified with drag and drop. (Dropping stuff on the keyboard or moving icons around on it.)

Also the on screen keyboard can be altered to resemble your actual keyboard.

Meridiani Planum (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450287)

Known as Meridiani Planum, the region may have been more geologically similar to volcanic regions in parts of North America, Hawaii or Europe.'"
Which means it bears no similarity to volcanic regions in New Zealand?

Re:Meridiani Planum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450346)

None whatsoever.

Optimus (3, Informative)

ACME Septic (936684) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450296)

If you click on the Answers link on that page for the Optimus keyboard, it says: It's in the initial stage of production. We hope it will be released in 2006. It will cost less than a good mobile phone. It will be real. It will be OS-independent (at least it's going to be able to work in some default state with any OS). It will support any language or layout. Moscow is the capital of Russia. Each key could be programmed to produce any sequence. It will be an open-source keyboard, SDK will be available. Some day it will be split (and made "ergonomic"). It will most likely use the OLED technology (e-paper is sooo slow). Our studio is located two blocks from the Kremlin. It will feature a key-saver. Keys could be animated when needed. It has a numeric keypad because we love it. There's no snow in Moscow in summer. It will be available worldwide (why not?) OEM is possible (why not?)

Re:Optimus (0)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450534)

http://hardware.slashdot.org/hardware/05/07/18/131 4226.shtml [slashdot.org]
"It seems that Art Lebedev has responded to the Slashdotting that occured to their page about the 'Optimus Keyboard'. They have included a FAQ at the middle-right of the page stating some of the questions that Slashdotters were wondering."


It's in the initial stage of production.

We hope it will be released in 2006.

It will cost less than a good mobile phone.

It will be real.

It will be OS-independent (at least it's going to be able to work in some default state with any OS).

It will support any language or layout.

Moscow is the capital of Russia.

Each key could be programmed to produce any sequence.

It will be an open-source keyboard, SDK will be available.

Some day it will be split (and made "ergonomic").

It will most likely use the OLED technology (e-paper is sooo slow).

Our studio is located two blocks from the Kremlin.

It will feature a key-saver.

Keys could be animated when needed.

It has a numeric keypad because we love it.

There's no snow in Moscow in summer.

It will be available worldwide (why not?)

OEM is possible (why not?)

/It's really annoying when people forget to pick "Plain Old Text" from the drop-down next to the preview button. I got tired of adding br's and p's & just made it my /. default.

Previous /. article (July 14
http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/ 14/1335215 [slashdot.org]

Re:Optimus (2, Insightful)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450556)

It will most likely use the OLED technology (e-paper is sooo slow).

Yeah, because I know I demand my keytop displays to be locked to a 60fps update, otherwise it breaks the illusion.

Re:Optimus (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450869)

Moscow is the capital of Russia. Our studio is located two blocks from the Kremlin. There's no snow in Moscow in summer.

Aww, the Russian geeks are shy! How cuute.

meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450304)

A keyboard with not only a number pad but also the extra columns of program keys is not exactly a small package.

Be nice if it's real, but I'm pretty dubious.

Netflix (0)

iMaple (769378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450311)

Netflix should offer something like 'get a used DVD of your choice' as the settlement. I'll love that, no crappy upgrades which automatically charge the credit card if I forget to cancel.

Re:Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450822)

Yeah I dont mind that settlement

Case for water still strong (4, Informative)

amightywind (691887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450322)

The new study indicates chemical signatures in the bedrock, interpreted...as evidence for widespread, intermittent water at Mars' surface, may have instead been created by the reaction of sulfur-bearing steam vapors moving up through volcanic ash deposits.

The famed 'blueberries' present in the Martian sediments are concretions. On Earth they only form in the presence of water. They are very widespread in the sedimentary layers of Meridiani. The article gives no alternate explanation. Such concretions are not present in the fumurole-altered sediments of Solfatara Crater. That does not mean the Martian sediments are not volcanoclastic in origin, but the case for water immersion is still strong.

Re:Case for water still strong (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450609)

Indeed. The two studies that tried to refute the water theory were in the news weeks ago, and already refuted by Squyres by the time they hit the press. Not that they have to be wrong, but they didn't use all the data available (partly because it was still being released).

That keyboard looks cool, but... (1, Insightful)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450327)

With those buttons, it's going to be expensive. And everybody how most keyboards are nowadays: after a year or two of intense use, they're ruined. So, this Optimus better have mechanical keyswitches, or even hall effect sensors; or else, it'd be a waste of a good idea.

Re:That keyboard looks cool, but... (1)

Random Destruction (866027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450375)

Are you serious?
I've only ever used old keyboards, like circa 1990. I somehow accumulate them. The only times ive switched are after hitting it (before dumping windows) and another that I got bored of what id written on it.

Makes me glad I haven't broken down and bought a shiny new one.

Re:That keyboard looks cool, but... (2, Funny)

mattkime (8466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450435)

that link to the anti-circumcision page is quite a hoot!

Re:That keyboard looks cool, but... (4, Funny)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450489)

All my new keyboards are dead, all my old ones are still going.

I don't know how old this Silcon Graphics one is but it has a "YES Netware Approved" sticker on the bottom and I bought it *used* 3 yrs ago. None of the keytops show's the slightest wear, despite all day use sine it arrived.

I could hit burglars with the beast and still keep typing.

even at $400, 2 years is only $4 a week

I'm sure I'd pay $400 for the gee whizzest keyboard in the world, esp. if no other geek in town has one.

The bitches'll be on me like gnats on a dog's dick when I attach mine to my laptop at the WiFi hotspot.

Re:That keyboard looks cool, but... (1)

sirwired (27582) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450763)

If you want to see a sturdy keyboard, hunt around for an old IBM Model M. While the sound may drive your friends nuts, there is no finer keyboard ever made. You can get these at any computer swap meet or by digging through the junk closet of any data center.

SirWired

Re:That keyboard looks cool, but... (2, Funny)

Peyna (14792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450861)

We had a bunch of these at a small ISP I used to work at. The customers would constantly complain over the phone about the annoying "typewriters" in the background. Needless to say, they are very tough keyboards.

You have to be more specific (1)

syberdave (658106) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450766)

The bitches'll be on me like gnats on a dog's dick when I attach mine to my laptop at the WiFi hotspot.


Attach what to your laptop? Your dick or your keyboard? Well, I guess technically, the former is already attached to your laptop.

Re:That keyboard looks cool, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451122)

I don't know how old this Silcon Graphics one is but it has a "YES Netware Approved" sticker on the bottom

I bought a Key Tronic 3601 keyboard new last year (needed a USB keyboard) and it has a sticker on the back that says that.

Re:That keyboard looks cool, but... (1)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450725)

It might almost be worth it, assuming it doesn't crap out after a year. I noticed the sample pictures, one showing key mappings for Quake, the other labeled with keyboard shortcuts for photoshop. I can never remember keyboard shortcuts for all the programs I use, so I generally end up sticking to the mouse and the menues. While I'm sure you probably have to set up the key-mappings yourself (someone correct me if that's wrong...that'd be cool), if these got popular enough, I could see some collaboration between the manufacturer and software companies to define the keys and icons in a small config file if these things get popular.

Re:That keyboard looks cool, but... (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451344)

Who cares if this keyboard is expensive... its Prime.

"Good things come in small packages" (3, Funny)

renrutal (872592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450363)

Are they only delivering the keys?

Re:"Good things come in small packages" (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450686)

I think they're going to release:

- A box with a handful of customizable keys that you use in conjunction with a regular keyboard, like the USB numeric keypads some people have.
- It will use B&W LCDs instead of colour OLEDS.
- It will be twice as thick as the rendered Optimus keyboard.
- It will cost $100 or more.
- The drivers and configuration software will be flakey.
- It will not stand up to a year's worth of regular use.

Seriously, I like the original idea, but it's not practical right now.

Re:"Good things come in small packages" (1)

starwed (735423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451060)

Yes, and you have to sleep with them to get more...

Wet doc. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450371)

I'll show you a wet doc.

Korean (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450386)

Don't expect the results of the inquiry to reflect reality, just what they want people to believe. He may have made those breakthroughs, or he may have done much worse than they say. It is immaterial.

The world's first dog ? (2, Insightful)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450410)

I had a dog long before this guy cloned one.

Perhaps the submitted meant "the first to sucessfully clone a dog"

Talking of dogs, you can sponsor the poor beggers here [dogstrust.org.uk] (after looking at the one I sponsor)

Re:The world's first dog ? (2, Funny)

weierstrass (669421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450522)

Yes, it's because he cloned the first one that there is now more than one dog.

Re:The world's first dog ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450538)

Was his name Seymour? Could he bark Walking on Sunshine? Could he do two, no, three things at once?

If not he wasn't a real dog.

Re:The world's first dog ? (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450810)

Chinese clone handbag. Chinese clone software. Chinese clone dog.

What next?

For real ease of use, there must be 2 keys only (4, Funny)

mi (197448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450424)

The only two keys: "DO" and "Undo". The software is supposed to be able to figure out (correctly!), what to do (or undo).

Re:For real ease of use, there must be 2 keys only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450451)

if only life had an Undo button. (stolen from some interview somewhere)

-Sj53

Re:For real ease of use, there must be 2 keys only (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450462)

The only two keys: "DO" and "Undo". The software is supposed to be able to figure out (correctly!), what to do (or undo).

Do+undo == try. So there is a try ... that deceptive Yoda fooled us.

That's it, I'm turning to the Dark Side. ;-P

Re:For real ease of use, there must be 2 keys only (1)

Z0mb1eman (629653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450682)

If the software correctly figures out what to do every time, why would you ever need an undo? :p

Re:For real ease of use, there must be 2 keys only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450890)

If the software correctly figures out what to do every time, why would you ever need an undo?
It's for the times when the user doesn't know what the correct thing to do is. He'll hit "Do - Undo - Do - Undo" until he realizes that the keyboard was right the first time.

Re:For real ease of use, there must be 2 keys only (2, Funny)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451033)

Ha! My keyboard is even easier to use - it has only *one* key. I entered this message in Morse code. :-)

Re:For real ease of use, there must be 2 keys only (1)

Baricom (763970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451703)

Steve Jobs? Is that you?

you (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450463)

duped it scuttlefag

I dont see it (2, Insightful)

TwentyQuestions (945020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450467)

I dont see that keyboard happening this year, maybe not at all.

They obviously dont even have a protype worth photographing because all their pictures are CG.

The whole thing makes me suspicious.

It says "It will cost less than a good mobile phone". I really cant see that happening. The displays will cost alot, but the microcontrollers to make this thing be "OS-independent" would put it over $200-$300 alone I think.

"It will most likely use the OLED technology (e-paper is sooo slow)."
Its just a keyboard...If E-Ink is good enough and cheap enough for everything from Wristwatches(http://compuquart.com/content/view/17 63/2/ [compuquart.com] ) to EBook readers(http://www.engadget.com/2005/12/29/sony-to -announce-us-e-book-reader/ [engadget.com] ), I think it can do the job for a fairly static keyboard(less power usage too).

Above of all to me the silliness on their answers page("Moscow is the capital of Russia." etc..) shows they arent very serious.

Re:I dont see it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450664)

Above of all to me the silliness on their answers page("Moscow is the capital of Russia." etc..) shows they arent very serious.

[ironic remark]yeah, i know what you mean... just like winamp... http://www.winamp.com/about/team.php [winamp.com] [/ ironic remark]

Re:I dont see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450732)

the microcontrollers to make this thing be "OS-independent" would put it over $200-$300 alone I think.

You are assuming too much. The website says "It will be OS-independent (at least it's going to be able to work in some default state with any OS)." So it doesn't need all the fancy stuff to work independently of the computer, it just needs to know enough to default to a standard 105 key QWERTY. And that's what existing keyboards do - without $200-$300 costs. They can ship something that's basically a normal keyboard, except it accepts OS-driven events to change the bitmaps on the keys, and still do what they are claiming.

Re:I dont see it (1)

Matimus (598096) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450745)

It says "It will cost less than a good mobile phone". I really cant see that happening. The displays will cost alot, but the microcontrollers to make this thing be "OS-independent" would put it over $200-$300 alone I think.

$200 - $300 for a microcontroller? Maybe I'm confused about what you are trying to say but last time I checked, good-enough "microcontrollers" were only about $4 each in bulk. I'm guessing the keyboard is USB, and will just work like a normal USB keyboard if it is connected to a system that doesn't have drivers, thus is the nature of USB. I doubt this keyboard has more than one processor anyway, assuming its not an ASIC or FPGA. The displays will be spendy, processing power is relatively cheap though.

Re:I dont see it (1)

TwentyQuestions (945020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450883)

Yes microcontrollers are very cheap. But the products cost usually goes up many times the actual cost of the hardware. Exspecialy if its a new and innovative feature.

The features they outline would require alot of in-keyboard intelligence. To be properly "OS-independent" it would require a good bit of processing power in the keyboard.

Yes it is fairly cheap to manufacturer, but its not a cheap feature when bought to have a "mini" computer in a usally passive device.

will just work like a normal USB keyboard if it is connected to a system that doesn't have drivers

Well they dont tell use much about it so we dont really know. The way I read it, its more or less driverless as well, acting totaly like a normal keyboard just sending combinations of keystrokes when a programmed key is pressed.

Re:I dont see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451098)

You have no idea what the fuck you are talking about twentyquestions. At least have the stones to admit when you're wrong.

Actual Date (2, Funny)

El Royo (907295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451114)

It was a small typo on the web page. The release date is April 1, 2006.

that keyboard looks pretty sweet... (1)

atarione (601740) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450472)

but i'm not sure i want to pay as much for a keyboard as i would for a high end video card...

what is it with computers lately... first they want me to pay for 2 video cards (sli, crossfire) then two processor cores.....Now with the $500 keyboards....

I'm going to have to take out a 2nd mortgage when i upgrade my current pc at this rate....

jeeze....

Cloned the world's first dog? (0)

themysteryman73 (771100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450480)

The panel backed Hwang's claim that he cloned the world's first dog.

Wow, it must have taken him a while to find the world's first ever dog!

Stop wasting my time (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450622)

call me when ya got something about a keyboard taser...

Almost Identical to a Type 6 (1)

daverabbitz (468967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450683)

Has anyone else noticed that the keyboard layout is almost identical to a Sun Type 6.
Those Keys are pretty swank, though I don't really see the point in it, Who looks at the keyboard when they type anyway?

Re:Almost Identical to a Type 6 (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450896)

Those Keys are pretty swank, though I don't really see the point in it,

Unless you're learning to type in different kbd layouts, yeah there's not a lot of point to have 100+ keys have little pictures. If it was just the hotkeys on the left, that would be cool, cuz you could program whatever apps you wanted onto it.

Re:Almost Identical to a Type 6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451351)

though I don't really see the point in it, Who looks at the keyboard when they type anyway?

Becuase outside the little world you call the USA where cultures mix it would probably be pretty handy to have a keyboard where the layout can be remapped to whatever language happens to be needed. Internet kiosks? Internet cafes?

It could also open a whole new world of speed for "mouse only" users when they can see the application shortcuts on the keytops.

Re:Almost Identical to a Type 6 (2, Insightful)

Losifer (49469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451625)

It's not for typing.

There are several applications that use an incredible number of essential [logickeyboard.com] keyboard shortcuts.

I work at a video editing firm, and every Avid suite has a custom, color-coded keyboard. This sort of thing is very useful in non-typing situations. If it was context-sensitive, and would display the new commands when you go into, say, After Effects, your work would get done faster.

This is for the video editor who switches between Avid and Final Cut Pro. Or the 3d animator who switches between 3DS Max and Lightwave. Or the photographer using both Photoshop and Aperture. Or one person using more than one of these programs.

SCO has best flaw/user ratio. (4, Funny)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450689)

SCO had only nine.

That's one for each user, fantastic!

Re:SCO has best flaw/user ratio. (1)

Photon Ghoul (14932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451291)

Oh god, you're cracking me up over here. Slashdot has the best comedians...

How I deal with opt-out subscription plans (1)

koreth (409849) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450837)

Some banks now offer a way to generate a temporary credit card number with a reduced credit limit or a shortened expiration time. (MBNA's implementation is called "ShopSafe.") So if you have to supply a credit card number to get a freebie from some company, and they say they'll charge you if you don't cancel, just give them a newly generated card number that expires at the end of the month or that has a credit limit lower than their monthly fee.

I've gotten in the habit of using a temp card number for most of my online purchases, mostly so I don't have to go through the annoyance of changing the card numbers on all my subscriptions if some website's credit card database gets hacked and the bank has to invalidate the cards of all the site's customers. It's also a decent way to protect myself against credit card fraud.

Should have included that Damn CD story (2, Informative)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451013)

After I had some time I checked my collection of old burnt CD's. I found 10 from 96 and 10 were good. I had 3 different brands of CD. While 10 CD's may not be any way statiscally indicative. If the things had an absolute max life of 5 years you owuld have expected at least 1 not to read. I also found a couple from 98,99 and 2000 all good as well. I have to ask what agenda does the guy promulgating the short CD life theory have ?? Is IBM starting to manufacture a new tape drive tech ?

Netflix owns (1)

rho (6063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451021)

I've been so completely satisfied with Netflix, I can't even begin to gush enough.

Screw the settlement. If you don't like Netflix, drop it. Bunch of fucking whiners.

I am a Touch Typist (1)

farnsaw (252018) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451776)

I am a Touch Typist and I see no use to having every keycap be changable. The advantage of having the keys static is that you can touch type very very quickly. Changing what a key does is doable today but would be confusing since you probably would not move the keycaps around on your keyboard every time you changed the layout (i.e. from application to application) but having software that would do this doesn't seem to be particularly useful in most cases. Ok, having the "Web Keys" or "Application Keys" or whatever those new extra keys are called that will launch various applications have dynamic keycaps and be easily programable would be nice, and I could see where having the line number displayed on the down arrow key might be nice in vi (ok, vim) but really, most people who need to know that either use a graphical editor that displays the current line number or knows the key commands necessary for their editor of choice to show them. I certainly would not pay $500 for one of these keyboards.
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