Ask Slashdot: How To Begin Simple Robotics As a Hobby?
The VEX robotics kits are much more versatile (think Erector Set) than the Lego kits. VEX robots use industry standard PIC microcontrollers, so for a programmer the C programming interface might actually be less of a hassle. They do the same line following or grasping type problems, but I've done things like attaching omnidirectional wheels, porting the code to other non-VEX PIC controllers, and sending instructions to the controller over a serial port from a laptop.
VEX kits are still fairly pricy, but compared to the Mindstorm kits you can do a lot more with them. They don't fall apart as easily as Lego robots. I would highly recommend them.
Call for Questions: Rasterman, Founder of the Enlightenment Project
Does the enlightenment project have any plans for moving away from X11 and towards Wayland in the future? While X11 will certainly stick around for quite a while, the popularity of portable touchscreen devices and the development of KMS makes it look X11 is on its way out.
Pirate Bay Founder Released From Solitary Confinement
It's what Slashdot is using now to drum up ad revenue. It's like printing money!
Nanoparticles Heated By Radio Waves Switch On Genes In Mice
Sounds like a quote from Portal 2...
"For this next test, we put nanoparticles in the gel. In layman's terms, that's a billion little gizmos that are gonna travel into your bloodstream and pump experimental genes and RNA molecules and so forth into your tumors. Now, maybe you don't have any tumors. Well, don't worry. If you sat on a folding chair in the lobby and weren't wearing lead underpants, we took care of that too." --Cave Johnson
Power-Saving Web Pages: Real Or Myth?
Even when Google first did this, they had a disclaimer that said that black web pages don't really save power. It's just an awareness campaign. This is not news.
Antenna Arrays Could Replace Satellite TV Dishes
The article says that the antennas would not need to be physically aimed like dishes.
Hacker Teaches iPhone Forensics To Police
"For example, every time an iPhone user closes out of the built-in mapping application, the phone snaps a screenshot and stores it." - TFS What?
I'm guessing it does that because when it opens it wants to look just as spiffy as it looked when the user closed it, and it can't do that if it has to re-render the map from scratch.
Blender 2.49 Scripting
Is this review going to make it onto the "Book Reviews" sidebar? That Excel one has been there forever. Nothing against the author, but I'm sure I'm not the only slashdotter that shudders at every thought of having to code something in Excel macros.
How many processes are running on your desktop box?
Don't forget to subtract the header line that ps puts on the top, or use the --no-headers flag; it might be significant. When I ran ps, I had 201 processes. So close...
Smart Underwear Designed For Military
Beep beep. Major fracture detected. Morphine administered. Warning: user death iminent. Seek medical attention.
Heh, I will forever associate the HEV suit with the rope elevator on the Lost Coast level.
Caffeine Addicts Get No Additional Perk, Only a Return To Baseline
Next you'll be telling me that smoking a cigarette doesn't actually calm me down, it just reverses the effects of nicotine withdraw!
Well, I will tell you that you won't have to *GASP* quite as often if you don't smoke.
New iConji Language For the Symbol-Minded Texter
I'm not a linguist, as I'm probably about to demonstrate, but the development of written language went (very) roughly like: pictograms -> consonants -> vowels -> punctuation
What?! Practically every language in existence, new or old, uses vowels. You can hardly make grunts without using vowels. Unless there are some highly advanced languages that I'm not aware of that write things like "aaaaaaoo ooaaaa iiieeey eeeuuueoo" and somehow understand what that means.
It seems the dumber things one says, the more likely one is to get +5 interesting on slashdot. If that's the case...
I for one am against the current trend of using more vowels and punctuation. I enjoy eating consonants for breakfast; they aid in my digestion. With less demand for consonants, the only breakfast cereals I can find on the shelves are O's shaped. I suspect this recent language paradigm shift was brought about by recent popular phrases such as "SPARTAAAAAAA" and "LOOOOOOOOL", but I don't know why the kids enjoy punctuation so much. I guess I'm out of the loop. :(
Robot With Knives Used In Robotics Injury Study
Could we first work on robots that DON'T stab people, before we put a lot of effort into developing robots that DO stab people?
Once again, the /. summary is misleading. TFA says that the researchers are developing a system that's used to detect and prevent such robot stabings. Whether or not this postpones the inevitable robot uprising is yet to be seen.
xkcd, Devotion To Duty
Having just spent 17 hours bringing a server back online after a third party team blew up a data center move I am greatly amused.
Did you crawl through ventilation ducts or kill anyone in the process? CmdrTaco must have, unless I misunderstood the phrase "hit the nail on the head."
xkcd, Devotion To Duty
Who reads Slashdot without checking xkcd? Anyone?
I just happened to check Slashdot first today.
How To Play HD Video On a Netbook
There's a project that lets you use CoreAVC on Linux using mplayer and wine. I've used it to play 1080p on my slightly underpowered Opteron box. I'm not sure if it works for the latest versions of CoreAVC though.
Microsoft Phasing Out FAST Search For Linux, Unix
It amuses me how he says:
we've designed the next wave of FAST products (scheduled for release in the first half of calendar year 2010) to include a cross-platform search core
but immediately after that he says:
in order to deliver more innovation per release in the future, the 2010 products will be the last to include a search core that runs on Linux and UNIX
It sounds to me like one of two things happened. Either they decided to stop designing their product, or management decided that they didn't like *nix. And to think, you'd be hard pressed to find a mainstream open source app not ported to three or more platforms. Proprietary software is silly. :(
FOSS CAD and 3D Modeling Software?
Or is the a scheme to get money out of stupid geeks by driving traffic to your website?
Drive geeks to their website? Everyone knows /. readers don't RTFA.
HandBrake Abandons DivX As an Output Format
I use CoreAVC (through wine) when I want to play 1080p video without having to buy a slightly newer video card.
xvid is decoded in software on the systems you mention, and that means it uses a lot of battery or mains power for this.
Well of course, I bought these systems before hardware h264 decoders were common. That doesn't make them useless. :(
I totally agree with you on AVI. MKV is a much better container format, especially if you want nice ASS subtitles or multiple soundtracks. Now, whether or not it was a good decision to remove it from HandBrake is their problem, as I don't use it anyway. :P
HandBrake Abandons DivX As an Output Format
Well, TFA says:
So there you go, DivX/XviD is gone from HandBrake and it's not coming back.
So I think the confusion is justified. Does anyone know for sure exactly what is being removed from HandBrake?
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