Mon, 16:15 stoolpigeon writes "With a large study showing software grades essays as well as humans, but much faster, it might seem that soon humans will be completely out of the loop when it comes to evaluating standardized tests. But Les Perelman, a writing teacher at MIT, has shown the limits of algorithms used for grading with an essay that got a top score from an automated system but contained no relevant information and many inaccuracies. Mr. Perelman outlined his approach for the NY Times after he was given a month to analyze E-Rater, one of the software packages that grades essays."
Mon, 15:33 eldavojohn writes "The New York Review of Books has an article penned by Steven Weinberg lamenting the future of physics, cosmology and this era of 'big science' in which we find ourselves. A quote from Goldhaber sums up the problem nicely, 'The first to disintegrate a nucleus was Rutherford, and there is a picture of him holding the apparatus in his lap. I then always remember the later picture when one of the famous cyclotrons was built at Berkeley, and all of the people were sitting in the lap of the cyclotron.' The article is lengthy with a history of big physics projects (most painfully perhaps the SSC) but Weinberg's message ultimately comes across as pessimism laced with fatalism — easily understandable given his experiences with government funding. Unfortunately he notes, 'Big science has the special problem that it can't easily be scaled down. It does no good to build an accelerator tunnel that only goes halfway around the circle.' Apparently this article mirrors his talk given in January at the American Astronomical Society. If not our government, will anyone fund these immense projects or will physics slowly grind to a halt due to fiscal constraints?"
Mon, 14:51 The Robots Rock. They Sock. They Rebound. And they *SCORE* at the USFIRST.org Robotics Competition, which is open to high school teams all over the U.S. -- including the Michigan competition where Robert 'samzenpus' Rozeboom shot this video. He says, "I had a nice suite to shoot from, but didn't get to interview teams or go on the floor. Pretty neat competition, made me wish we had a team when I was a kid."
Mon, 14:12 DustyShadow writes "The University of Florida announced this past week that it was dropping its computer science department, which will allow it to save about $1.7 million. The school is eliminating all funding for teaching assistants in computer science, cutting the graduate and research programs entirely, and moving the tattered remnants into other departments. Students at UF have already organized protests, and have created a website dedicated to saving the CS department. Several distinguished computer scientists have written to the president of UF to express their concerns, in very blunt terms. Prof. Zvi Galil, Dean of Computing at Georgia Tech, is 'amazed, shocked, and angered.' Prof. S.N. Maheshwari, former Dean of Engineering at IIT Delhi, calls this move 'outrageously wrong.' Computer scientist Carl de Boor, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and winner of the 2003 National Medal of Science, asked the UF president 'What were you thinking?'"
Mon, 12:21 fishmike writes with this news snipped from a Reuters story: "Britain may have enough offshore shale gas to catapult it into the top ranks of global producers, energy experts now believe, and while production costs are still very high, new U.S. technology should eventually make reserves commercially viable. UK offshore reserves of shale gas could exceed one thousand trillion cubic feet (tcf), compared to current rates of UK gas consumption of 3.5 tcf a year, or five times the latest estimate of onshore shale gas of 200 trillion cubic feet."
Mon, 09:30 With more on the Flashback malware plaguing many Macs, beaverdownunder writes with some explanation of how the infection grew so quickly: "Alexander Gostev, head of the global research and analysis team at Kaspersky, says that 'tens of thousands of sites powered by WordPress were compromised. How this happened is unclear. The main theories are that bloggers were using a vulnerable version of WordPress or they had installed the ToolsPack plug-in.'"
Mon, 06:37 It's not just the TRS-80; new submitter sebt writes "ZX Spectrum, the microcomputer launched in 1982 by Sinclair Research (Cambridge, UK) turns 30 today. The launch of the machine is seen by many today as the inspiration for a generation of eager young programmers, software and game designers in the UK. The events surrounding its launch, notably Sinclair's well-known rivalry with Acorn, later helped to inspire the design of the ARM architecture and most recently the Raspberry PI (based on ARM), in an effort to reboot the idea of enthusiastic kid programmers first captured by the Spectrum and Acorn's BBC micro. Happy birthday Spec!"
Mon, 03:50 Technically Inept writes with the lead paragraph from a report at Comics Alliance: "To the best of my knowledge, Jorge Cham's Piled Higher and Deeper (better known as PhD Comics) is the first webcomic to be adapted into a feature-length film. After months spent on a college campus screening tour, Piled Higher and Deeper: The Movie is finally available for purchase and streaming. And, like its comic inspiration, the PhD pokes fun at the frustrations of graduate students, those noble folks who enter academia with dreams of changing the world and inspiring young minds, only to be thwarted by indifferent professors, lazy undergrads and the ever-present fear that they'll never graduate." The short review linked makes this sound like a very watchable movie.
Mon, 01:40 CowboyRobot writes "Last year, a Nigerian man boarded a plane from N.Y. to L.A. using an invalid ID and a boarding pass issued to another person. A week later he was caught again with 10 expired boarding passes. In response to this and similar events, the Transportation Security Administration has begun testing a new system at Washington's Dulles International Airport that verifies an air traveler's identity by matching photo IDs to boarding passes and ensures that boarding passes are authentic. The test will soon be expanded to Houston and Puerto Rico."
Mon, 00:42 First time accepted submitter slashmatteo writes "The goal of the DEUS project (Dark Energy Universe Simulation) is to investigate the imprints of dark energy on cosmic structure formation through high-performance numerical simulations. In order to do so, the project has conducted a simulation of the structuring of the entire observable universe, from the Big Bang to the present day. Thanks to the Curie super-computer, the simulation has made it possible to follow the evolution of 550 billion particles. Two other complementary runs are scheduled by the end of May. More details in the press release."
Sun, 23:39 bs0d3 writes "From having a position in the development and support of ACTA, to implementation of HADOPI, to imposing an internet tax to pay for music; France has been at the forefront of anti-piracy legislation. This week, it has been announced that current President and anti-piracy advocate Nicolas Sarkozy is unlikely to win the next election. His leading opponent is a man named Francois Hollande. Hollande has in the past opposed both ACTA and HADOPI (France's 3 strikes law). Hollande believes that ACTA, 'originally intended to combat counterfeiting trade[,] was gradually diverted from its objective, in the utmost discretion and without any democratic process.' At the same time, Hollande is also strongly against piracy. 'Piracy has been costly,' Hollande said, 'but I do not think that law enforcement alone is the answer to the problem.' Will internet issues be of concern to the voters in France? It certainly is to the rest of us internet users."
Sun, 22:41 mikejuk writes "How does the Apple App Store actually work? What is the best strategy to employ if you want to get some users and make some money? There are some pointers on how it all works from an unusual source — artificial life. A pair of researchers Soo Ling Lim and Peter Bentley from University College London, set up an artificial life simulation of the app store's ecosystem. They created app developers with strategies such as — innovate, copy other apps, create useless variations on a basic app or try and optimize the app you have. What they found, among other things, was that the CopyCat strategy was on average the best. When they allow the strategies to compete and developer agents to swap then the use of the CopyCat fell to only 10%. The reason — more than 10% CopyCats resulted in nothing new to copy!"
Sun, 21:37 An anonymous reader writes "MIT hackers have turned the Green Building, the tallest building in Cambridge, into a giant, playable, full color game of Tetris. According to the IHTFP Hack Gallery, "MIT hackers have long considered 'Tetris on the Green Building' to be the Holy Grail of hacks.""
Sun, 20:32 CWmike writes "Microsoft may have simply run out of time with Windows RT, Directions on Microsoft analyst Michael Cherry said on Friday. Windows RT, the name Microsoft slapped on the OS earlier this week after calling it 'Windows on ARM,' or WOA, for months, is the forked version of Windows 8 designed to run on devices powered by ARM SoCs, or system-on-a-chip. Cherry was referring to gaps in Windows RT's feature set, particularly the lack of 'domain joining,' the ability to connect to a corporate Windows network and the lack of support for Group Policies, one of the ways IT administrators use to manage Windows devices. 'This is pure speculation on my part, but it seems like they had to make a trade-off with Windows RT,' Cherry said. 'What we're hearing now about Windows RT is a function of time and how they wanted the thing to behave. It seems to me that the a key goal was to get battery life decent and keep the weight [of devices] down.' His analysis on RT's chance of success: 'I think you can take Windows RT off the table for enterprises,' he said."
Sun, 19:27 Jeremiah Cornelius writes "While conducting investigative reporting on civilian contractors in the Pentagon's "InfoOps" Internet propaganda operations, two reporters found themselves the subject of a highly targeted, professional media manipulation effort. Reporter Tom Vanden Brook and Editor Ray Locker found that Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names. Some postings merely copied Vanden Brook's and Locker's previous reporting. Others accused them of being sponsored by the Taliban. 'I find it creepy and cowardly that somebody would hide behind my name and presumably make up other names in an attempt to undermine my credibility,' Vanden Brook said. If these websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption."
Mon, 16:13 Der Megaupload-Gründer Kim Schmitz könnte Glück haben und nicht an die USA ausgeliefert werden. Dafür sorgen Verfahrensfehler und andere Hürden.
Mon, 14:59 Forscher der ETH Zürich haben im Rahmen des Projekts «sFly» Flugroboter entwickelt, die sich mithilfe von 3D-Kameras und Computer selbstständig bewegen können.
Mon, 14:33 Mit der Veröffentlichung der Version 4.7 hat das Content-Management-System (CMS) Typo3 einen Schritt in Sachen Standardkonformität und Zugänglichkeit gemacht. Auch auf HTML5-Konformität wurde grossen Wert gelegt.
Mon, 13:58 Das Cloud-Computing-Unternehmen Interroute konnte im Geschäftsjahr 2011 seinen Umsatz auf 440 Millionen Franken steigern. Auch der EBITDA konnte um 16,5 Prozent auf 81 Millionen Franken erhöht werden.
Mon, 11:53 Einem Bericht zufolge plant Samsung einen eigenen Cloud-Dienst im Stile von Apples iCloud. Und: Am Montag werden wohl erste offizielle Informationen zum Galaxy S3 veröffentlicht.
Mon, 11:48 Der britische Carrier Vodafone bietet gut eine Milliarde Pfund (rund 1,27 Milliarden Euro) für den Netzbetreiber Cable & Wireless.
Mon, 11:34 Picasa, One Pass, Google Sync – Google räumt auf und stellt deshalb einige seiner kostenlosen Webdienste und Programme ein. Manchmal gibt es Alternativen.
Mon, 11:28 Die PostFinance führt für E-Banking-Kunden das persönliche Finanztool «E-Cockpit» ein. Damit ist wird das Analysieren von Einnahmen und Ausgaben erleichtert.
Mon, 11:20 Das Installieren von Office-Programmen an jedem Arbeitsplatz kommt langsam aus der Mode. Die Alternative: Cloud-Apps fürs Büro. Vor allem für die kollaborative Teamarbeit bieten sie echten Mehrwert.
Mon, 11:00 CA Technologies hat Andrea Dossena zum Vice President für Growth Markets and Partner Sales für die Region EMEA (Europe, Middle East und Africa) ernannt.
Mon, 16:04 «Das letzte visionäre Apple-Produkt wird voraussichtlich der HDTV-Fernseher sein», sagt der renommierte Techautor und Apple-Experte Stewart Wolpin vor der Präsentation der Quartalszahlen am 24. April.
Mon, 13:43 Der globale Atlas Openstreetmap.org sammelt frei nutzbare Geodaten. Der Gratisdienst macht den Google-Maps Konkurrenz.
Sun, 15:25 Welche Rolle soll die US-Regierung beim Schutz der Computersysteme privater Unternehmen spielen? Das US-Repräsentantenhaus beschäftigt sich mit einem Gesetz zur Verbesserung des Schutzes vor Angriffen aus dem Internet.
Sun, 12:49 Der US-Internetkonzern will nach Informationen des «Spiegel» in den nächsten Tagen seinen eigenen Cloud-Service starten.
Sat, 07:43 Die Analyse der immer grösser werdenden Datenmengen ist für Unternehmen zu einer echten Herausforderung geworden. Die Website Kaggle macht daraus einen sportlichen Wettbewerb.
Sun, 08:16 Google, Microsoft und Facebook bieten Dienste, mit denen sich Dokumente im Team teilen lassen. Eigenbrötlerisch gibt sich hingegen Apple.
Sat, 14:10 Der ehemalige Google-Chef Eric Schmidt hat bei seinem Abgang eine Abfindung von 101 Millionen Dollar erhalten. Die Höhe des Betrags wurde durch die Einreichung von Unternehmensdokumenten bekannt.
Fri, 16:08 Die Lytro-Kamera tanzt nicht nur optisch aus der Reihe: Mit der neuartigen Lichtfeld-Technik kann man nachträglich bestimmen, welcher Teil des Fotos scharf sein soll. Wir haben das aussergewöhnliche Gadget getestet.
Fri, 10:48 «Wir haben uns wie Rockstars gefühlt»: Der Film «Pirates of Silicon Valley» zeigt, wie die Studenten Steve Jobs und Bill Gates die Computerwelt revolutionierten. Jetzt ist die deutsche Version auf DVD erschienen.
Fri, 15:20 Die Musikrechte-Gesellschaft Gema hat um die Nutzung von Musikclips vor dem Hamburger Landgericht einen Sieg errungen.
Fri, 08:28 Die seit langem kursierenden Gerüchte über die Entwicklung einer kleineren Version des Apple-Tablets haben wieder neue Nahrung bekommen.
Fri, 08:09 Das Betriebssystem Windows hat sich im letzten Quartal überraschend gut verkauft. Darum konnte Microsoft am Donnerstag bessere Geschäftszahlen verkünden als erwartet.
Fri, 08:51 Mehrere Filmstudios sind vor dem Obersten Gerichtshof Australiens mit einer Berufungsklage gescheitert.
Fri, 11:17 Warum derzeit selbst die treusten Nokia-Fans der Verzweiflung nahe sind – und was Microsoft damit zu tun hat.
Thu, 17:00 Der Getränkeriese plant einen eigenen Internet-Musikdienst. Der Konzern verkündete am Mittwoch eine Allianz mit dem erfolgreichen schwedischen Anbieter Spotify.