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Movies

How James Cameron Pumped Volume Into Titanic 289

Posted by timothy
from the really-big-hose dept.
MrSeb writes with ExtremeTech's account of how director (and deep sea explorer) James Cameron spent a reported $18 million converting his blockbuster movie, Titantic, to 3D. The article "looks at the primary way of managing depth in 3D films (parallax), how you add depth to a movie that was originally filmed in 2D, and some of the software (both computer and human-brain) difficulties that Cameron had to overcome in the more-than-two-year process to convert Titanic into 3D."
Businesses

Will Kickstarter Launch a Gaming Renaissance? 170

Posted by timothy
from the pair-a-dimes-shift dept.
jfruh writes "Most gamers probably know that legendary game designer Tim Schafer turned to Kickstarter to help raise money a new adventure game; aiming for $400,000, he managed to raise more than $3 million. But you might not know that a host of other game projects are doing well on the crowdfunding site, with creators ranging from industry famous to unknown. By bypassing corporate funding and appealing directly to their audience, these developers are sparking a renaissance in quirky, personal games that probably wouldn't be backed by a big label looking for a sure-fire hit."
Android

Google Earns $2 Per Handset; Apple, $575 366

Posted by timothy
from the rough-figures-and-harsh dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "While Apple generates more than $575 in profit for every iOS device, and according to estimates in 2007 Apple earned more than $800 on every iPhone sold through ATT, Horace Dediu reports that Android generated less than $550m in revenues for Google between 2008 and the end of 2011, earning only $1.70 per year, per Android device — explaining how Apple is sucking up two thirds of the profit in the mobile phone business. Dediu's starting point is a settlement offer Google made to Oracle of $2.8 million and 0.515% of Android revenues on an ongoing basis. His assumption is that those numbers represent Google's revenue from Android to date. 'If this is the case,' writes Dediu, 'We have a significant breakthrough in understanding the economics of Android and the overall mobile platform strategy of Google.' Of course profitability is not the only reason Google is in the mobile phone business. 'P&L considerations were not the only (or even at all) factors in investment for Google. Having a hedge against hegemony of potential rivals, having a means to learn and develop new business and having a role in defining the post-PC computing paradigm are all probably bigger considerations than profitability,' writes Dediu. 'My take is that [Android] is not a bad business. But it's also not a great one.'"
Books

Next Kindle Expected To Have a Front-Lit Display 132

Posted by timothy
from the complicated-tradeoffs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Amazon doesn't show off prototypes unless it is pretty confident about the tech, so you may be surprised to find the next Kindle is probably going to have a front-lit display. The lighting tech comes from a company they purchased back in 2010 called Oy Modilis. It specialized in such lighting and has patents related to whatever Amazon decided to use. The display is meant to be lit in a blue-white glow, and if it's anything like Flex lighting probably won't impact battery life too much. The question is, does anyone really want or need a light for their Kindle?"
The Military

Robot Helicopters To Single Out Pirate Ships 123

Posted by timothy
from the does-this-pass-the-skiff-test? dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Innovation News reports that the U.S. Navy plans to upgrade its robotic Fire Scouts with electronic 'brains' that are able to automatically recognize small pirate boats spotted through 3D laser imaging by bouncing millions of laser pulses off distant objects to create a 3D 'radar' image of any boats on the high seas — a technology known as LIDAR or LADAR — so that their new software can automatically compare the 3D images to pirate boat profiles on record. Having smarter robotic helicopters could ease the workload strain for Navy sailors, who must otherwise eyeball the data coming from the new Multi-Mode Sensor Seeker (MMSS) — a sensor mix of high-definition cameras, mid-wave infrared sensors and the 3D LADAR technology. Meanwhile, the Navy has begun testing other new technologies to tackle the problem of piracy — an especially thorny issue because of Somali pirates attacking ships off the coast of East Africa. Its more forceful countermeasures include a combination of lasers and machine guns, as well as swarms of smart rockets capable of picking out their own small boat targets."
Data Storage

Data Safety In a Time of Natural Disasters 86

Posted by timothy
from the I-prepare-for-unsurvivable dept.
CowboyRobot writes "The National Weather Service has begun testing the way it labels natural disasters. It's hoping that the new warnings, which include words like 'catastrophic,' 'complete devastation likely,' and 'unsurvivable,' will make people more likely to take action to save their lives. But what about their digital lives? Recommendations include: Keep all electronics out of basements and off the floor; Unplug your hardware; Buy a surge protector; Enclose anything valuable in plastic. If the National Weather Service issued a 'complete devastation' warning today, would your data be ready?"
Google

Larry Page Issues Public Update On Google Changes 159

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the trust-us-we're-not-evil dept.
itwbennett writes "Larry Page just wants to be loved. Well, he wants 'Google to be a company that is deserving of great love,' Page wrote in a public letter. But he also wants to offer the kind of personalized service that the requires trampling on your privacy. 'The recent changes we made to our privacy policies generated a lot of interest. But they will enable us to create a much better, more intuitive experience across Google — our key focus for the year,' Page wrote." From the letter: "Think about basic actions like sharing or recommendations. When you find a great article, you want to share that knowledge with people who will find it interesting, too. If you see a great movie, you want to recommend it to friends. Google+ makes sharing super easy by creating a social layer across all our products so users connect with the people who matter to them." With all the claims of altruistic intent in the open letter, one might wonder why Google has to push their own social network instead of working on open protocols for sharing.
The Internet

MPAA Chief Dodd Hints At Talks To Revive SOPA 279

Posted by samzenpus
from the they're-back dept.
suraj.sun writes "Christopher Dodd, the former Connecticut senator who now leads the MPAA, hasn't given up on his dream of censoring the Internet. In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, he said that Hollywood and the technology industry 'need to come to an understanding' about new copyright legislation. Dodd said that there were 'conversations going on now,' about SOPA-style legislation, but that he was 'not going to go into more detail because obviously if I do, it becomes counterproductive.' Asked whether the White House's decision to oppose SOPA had created tensions with Hollywood, Dodd insisted that he was 'not going to revisit the events of last winter,' but said he hoped the president would use his 'good relationships' with both Hollywood and the technology industry to broker a deal."
Australia

The Story Behind Australia's CSIRO Wi-Fi Claims 161

Posted by timothy
from the upside-down-land dept.
An anonymous reader writes "U.S. consumers will be making a multimillion dollar donation to an Australian government agency in the near future, whether they like it or not. After the resolution of a recent lawsuit, practically every wireless-enabled device sold in the U.S. will now involve a payment to an Australian research organization called the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, or CSIRO, which hired U.S. patent lawyers who told a very lucrative tale in an East Texas courtroom, that they had '[invented] the concept of wireless LAN ... [and] when the IEEE adopted the 802.11a standard in 1999 — and the more widely-used 802.11g standard years later — the group was choosing CSIRO technology. Now CSIRO had come to court to get the payments it deserved.'"
Crime

Samsung Employees Conspired To Sell AMOLED Tech; 11 Arrested 93

Posted by timothy
from the theft-is-intellectual-property dept.
zacharye writes with this snippet from BGR: "Nearly a dozen suspects have been arrested and charged with crimes related to the theft and sale of AMOLED display technology under development at Samsung. Yonhap News Agency on Thursday reported that 11 suspects either currently or formerly employed by Samsung Mobile Display have been arrested. One 46-year-old researcher at Samsung is believed to have accepted a payment of nearly $170,000 from an unnamed 'local rival firm' in exchange for trade secrets pertaining to proprietary Samsung technology used in the company's AMOLED panels..."
Bug

On Slashdot Video, We Hear You Loud and Clear 263

Posted by timothy
from the what've-you-got-against-synergystic-deliverables? dept.
You complained; we heard you. We're making some adjustments to our ongoing experiment with video on Slashdot, and are trying to get it right. Some of the videos just haven't gelled, to put it lightly, and we know it. We're feeling out just what kinds of videos make sense here: it's a steep learning curve. So far, though, besides a few videos that nearly everyone hated, we've also seen some wacky, impressive, fun technology, and we're going to keep bringing more of it, but in what we intend to be smarter doses, here on the Slashdot home page. (A larger selection will be available on tv.slashdot.org.) We're also planning to start finding and documenting some creative means of destruction for naughty hardware; suggestions welcome. We have also heard you when it comes to improving the core Slashdot site experience and fixing bugs on site. We're working on these items, too. As always, suggestions are welcome, too, for other things worth getting on camera or publishing on Slashdot.
Patents

Why Tech Vendors Fund Patent Trolls 58

Posted by timothy
from the can't-leave-their-friends-behind dept.
Lucas123 writes "Major tech vendors are funding patent trolls, companies that derive the bulk of their income, if not all of it, from licensing huge libraries of patents they hold as well as by suing companies that use their patents without permission, according to an investigation by Computerworld. Tech companies — including Apple and Micron — have railed against patent 'nuisance' lawsuits, only to fund or otherwise support some of the patent trolls. Because of patent trolls, more politely called mass patent aggregators, patent litigation has in part increased by more than 230% over the past 20 years. 'Most of the major tech companies are backing a troll in some way, probably financially,' says Thomas Ewing, an attorney who has authored reports on what he calls 'patent privateering.'"
Patents

The Supreme Court To Rule On Monsanto Seed Patents 372

Posted by samzenpus
from the corn-of-the-people dept.
Fluffeh writes "Can a farmer commit patent infringement just by planting soybeans he bought on the open market? This week, the Supreme Court asked the Obama administration to weigh in on the question. The Court is pondering an appeals court decision saying that such planting can, in fact, infringe patents. Last year, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled, as it had on several previous occasions, that patent exhaustion did not cover second-generation seeds. The Supreme Court has now asked the Solicitor General, the official in charge of representing the Obama administration before the Court, to weigh in on the case."
Transportation

Chevy Volt To Resume Production One Week Early Following Record Sales 443

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-to-work dept.
surewouldoutlaw writes "On the heels of the news that the Chevy Volt had a record month, selling 2,289 units in March, the Detroit-Hamtramck plant where the car is made will be resuming production of the car one week early, reducing a five-week shutdown to just four weeks, the United Auto Workers union said Tuesday. The shutdown had been put in place to re-align supply with demand. Volt workers have also begun to lash out at Republican presidential candidates' criticisms of the car: 'They're attacking our car to get at the President...But our car is going to change the way America does business. It's a breath of fresh air.'"
Businesses

Google Strikes Deal With Paramount 105

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the you-have-bad-taste-in-film dept.
redletterdave writes about more movies being made available on Youtube's rental service. From the article: "Google announced a new deal with Paramount Pictures on Tuesday, which will make more than 500 movie titles available for rental on YouTube and the new Google Play platform. The deal was made even though Google is still embroiled in a four-year-old legal battle over copyrights with Paramount's parent company, Viacom. The latest deal means Google has rental deals with five of the six major Hollywood studios, including Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney, Universal Pictures, and Sony Pictures. The lone exception is 20th Century Fox, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Google will only make these titles available for rent; the search giant has not yet made a decision to sell any movies it licenses, despite pressure from major Hollywood studios looking to compensate for poor DVD sales."

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