Steam For Linux Bug Wipes Out All of a User's Files
Has anyone actually gone into root and executed the command-that-shall-not-be-named? It's like being in a slow-motion train-wreck. I'd like to say I did it once just to see what would happen, but that would be a lie. I was a fresh-faced admin on a Solaris workstation with root access cleaning up the hard drive of extraneous data. Imagine the scene: the finger comes down in slow motion, the Enter key depresses and a few microseconds after, everything speeds up to real time as the brain realizes what just happened. That little bit of skin between your legs crushes up and you feel like your guts are falling out of your body. You rapidly try to find the process and kill it before those very commands get wiped, but it's too late....
Apple Awarded Gesture-Control Patent
This patent covers how to unlock a computer by raising your hand vertically about 20 cm. It's limited to that, so it's hardly "broad".
Quick Analysis of the independent claims (the broadest ones):
Claim 1. A method, comprising: receiving, by a computer executing a non-tactile three dimensional (3D) user interface, a set of multiple 3D coordinates representing a gesture by a hand positioned within a field of view of a sensing device coupled to the computer, the gesture comprising a rising motion along a vertical axis in space wherein the hand performs the rising motion for at least an unlock gesture distance at a minimum unlock gesture speed; and transitioning the non-tactile 3D user interface from a locked state to an unlocked state upon detecting completion of the gesture.
Summary: Covers raising your hand to unlock a computer.
Claims 2,3,4 & 5 add additional specifics around this.
Claim 6. An apparatus, comprising: a sensing device; and a computer executing a non-tactile three dimensional (3D) user interface and configured to receive, from the sensing device, a set of multiple 3D coordinates representing a gesture by a hand positioned within a field of view of the sensing device, the gesture comprising a rising motion along a vertical axis in space wherein the hand performs the rising motion for at least an unlock gesture distance at a minimum unlock gesture speed, and to transition the non-tactile 3D user interface from a locked state to an unlocked state upon detecting completion of the gesture.
Summary: Same as #1, but it's for an apparatus. It's still to unlock a computer.
Claims 7,8,9,10 just add detail to Claim 6.
Claim 11: A computer software product comprising a non-transitory computer-readable medium, in which program instructions are stored, which instructions, when read by a computer executing a non-tactile user interface, cause the computer to receive, from a sensing device, a set of multiple 3D coordinates representing a gesture by a hand positioned within a field of view of the sensing device, the gesture comprising a rising motion along a vertical axis in space wherein the hand performs the rising motion for at least an unlock gesture distance at a minimum unlock gesture speed, and to transition the non-tactile 3D user interface from a locked state to an unlocked state upon detecting completion of the gesture.
Summary: This makes the invention a machine rather just an algorithm, because that like makes it patentable.
Claim 12: A method, comprising: receiving, by a computer executing a non-tactile three dimensional (3D) user interface, a set of multiple 3D coordinates representing a gesture by a hand positioned within a field of view of a sensing device coupled to the computer, the gesture comprising a rising motion along a vertical axis in space; determining whether the gesture of the hand included a rising of the hand by at least 20 centimeters; and transitioning the non-tactile 3D user interface from a locked state to an unlocked state upon detecting completion of the gesture, wherein the transitioning of the user interface from a locked state to an unlocked state is performed only if the upward gesture included a rise of the hand by at least 20 centimeters.
Summary: The cherry on top claim that just sums up all the others into one that is actually what the invention most likely does in real life.
Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?
Not the melodious version, but the tinny mono piezo one. Gahhh, it was everywhere!
Second, hour beeps. Back when digital watches were gain ground, the manufacturers decided to add a handy beep, beep feature on the hour. It was great. Except at school assembly, when about 300 watches would all beep at roughly the same time, ish.
BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer
This is just like TV Be Gone if it's used by a visitor to a wifi network - a bit cool, a bit controversial. But if it's the wifi network's owner in the coffee shop, fair game!
Artificial Spleen Removes Ebola, HIV Viruses and Toxins From Blood Using Magnets
But wait, you mean two days straight of grapefruit juice and acai chocolate doesn't work?
Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?
As the original aim was to record the memories of the event, the best back up is to create new memories as soon as possible. Sit your kids in front of the monitor and subject ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H show them the videos. Provide plenty of glucose and caffeine so that they back up the memories as accurately as possible. Verbal annotations will help too.
If you want extra back-up diversity, invite members of your close family, and then extended family, work, church, sewing club, etc., to multiple showings. Produce fill-in-the-blanks question sheets about key events and run competitions to spot hard-to-see or difficult-to-catch occurrences. This will ensure multiple imprints of the video material in the neuro-cellular structures of the viewer's heads. Indeed, additional augmented memories may be generated by this whole exercise that can be shared later. And if you record those events on up-to-date video recording media, you will have a useful meta-recording to digest and disseminate further!
John McAfee Airs His Beefs About Privacy In Def Con Surprise Talk
As of 9:32PM PDT the brown list is down. I would say it is slashdotted, but given the dwindling number of readers of this site and the server error it tossed out, I expect it's either been hacked, or is just broken.
UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January
Whenever I travel to the UK, I'm impressed and often overwhelmed with the level of visual information that there is when driving - UK roads are fantastically well lined and signposted, they are especially good at night with reflectors/cats eyes down the middle of the road and often different colored ones on the side of the road. As you drive down a freeway/motorway there will typically be at least 4 or 5 signs warning you of a turn-off - two actual directions, and then 100m count-down signs! In the US, you're lucky if there's more than one, and usually that one single sign is just before the turn-off! Of course, computer-driven cars will be able to use GPS/satNav, but driving in the UK is like driving a video game compared to the US. In a lot of Colorado cities, they don't even paint a line across the road at the stop/traffic lights!
Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It
If you did high-school physics you may have heard about black body radiation and a thing called a black box - a box that absorbs all light that enters it. This could be a box with a hole in it lined with light-absorbing material, such that any light entering the hole never goes out again. That hole is essentially "black" and can be very, very black indeed. It can be so black, that your mind can play tricks on you as to what it is. This experience occurred to me at work in the, ahem, Gent's, with a toilet roll dispenser. For months, this dispenser (one of those that is stainless steel and holds two rolls, one above the other) had a matt black plastic cover on the front about where a lock was supposed to be, (you can see where this is going). It was absolutely a solid black plastic cover. Quite boring, but clearly covering a hole for some reason. One day, while waiting for nature to, err, take its course I poked the cover and in a flash, found it was a hole! It was a stunning realization that this plastic thing I'd been staring at for months, every day, was actually, nothing. I've subsequently checked this many times and it's an extremely good black box because even when I knew what it was, it still looked like a solid cover. Sadly, last week the facilities folks filled it up with a new lock and ruined a great physical phenomenon. It will be sadly missed.
Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?
Sounds like the Pebble or the Toq. Toq has the inductive charging and they both have reflective displays.
Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?
Agree with you on lots of these.
Interesting about the battery life - why 36 hours?
You mention e-ink - but mirasol looks better. Color, high res, high frame rate, great outdoors.
With you on the touch screen - I prefer buttons. Could be okay though, but you still have the glove issue when it's cold.
Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?
> But I would have a hard time investing a few grand in a watch
Wow, a few grand? These watches will be a couple of ton, maybe a monkey max.
The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"
All plastic pod coffee systems should be banned or at least CRV charged on every single pod or equivalent. The only "pods" I've seen that come close to being eco-friendly are the commercial Flavia ones that are just foil in a UFO shape. Plastic creamer pods should be banned too! Those stupid bits of plastic stick around for thousands of years. If you want a quick cuppa, boil a kettle and drink tea or a decent instant coffee.
The Moderately Enthusiastic Programmer
This is so true, but I do the inverse! I work as a product manager and generate PowerPoint, Word and emails all day. Then I go home and code Java Plugins for Minecraft. It's fun hobby and a great way to de-stress from business ambiguities and customer interactions.
How Role-Playing Games Arrived In Japan With Black Onyx
Yes, I remember that episode and it's a good analogy. Off topic, but that episode (baring the odd acting) was one of the better ones from a xeno-culture-clash perspective.
Healthcare.gov and the Gulf Between Planning and Reality
I thought that was the phrase...
Ask Slashdot: Can You Trust Online Tax Software?
I don't keep any tax data on my PC for security reasons. Had an iMac a while ago that blew up and it was a pain to get the drive out before trashing the thing. Easier just to keep the data in the tax cloud.
Affordable Blood Work In Four Hours Coming To Pharmacies
Based on my recent experience with an illness, this is exactly what you will have to do if you ever fall out of the normal bounds of straightforward illnesses. You will be managing your own treatment and trying to piece together what's wrong with you. You will burn through doctors and specialists one by one as they say they cannot help and refuse to let you make appointments. You will end up being the only person on the whole planet who cares and all the time you will be doing this when you are sick and/or drugged up. You will also realize that the whole health care system does not work like JIRA and that there is no follow up and your issue will be dropped if you don't continue to be the squeaky wheel. Health care is not engineering. It's scary how few engineering best practices are used in it and how full of holes the "system" has. Healthcare is probably about 40 years behind engineering in terms of problems solving and issue resolution and about a million years behind understanding how our bodies work vs "complex" systems we diddle around with all day on computers.
Moral of the story is - don't get sick with anything weird otherwise you're basically toast.
Samsung Creates Phone With Curved Display
...had the display flowing over the edge of the phone's sides so you could place a phone on a table and have only the edge display info.
Interview: Ask President Anant Agarwal About edX and the Future of Education
As a hiring manager, I would not care if a candidate had completed their degree online or offline so long as it was a real degree (we can test some things, but the whole point of a qualification is that it's supposed to mean something). However, there seems to be a big reluctance by established universities to give degrees based on these online courses so far. What needs to change for that to happen and will it ever?
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