SciRuby: Science and Matrix Libraries For Ruby 138

Aciel writes "Ruby has long been popular in the web/business community, while Python dominates the scientific community. One new project seeks to bring balance to the force: SciRuby. We've already introduced a linear algebra library called NMatrix (currently alpha status). There's at least one fellowship available for students interested in working on the project this summer."

Ask Slashdot: Overhauling an Amusement Park's Multi-Zone Audio Player? 120

mcmadman writes "The multi-zone audio player I'm working with uses an almost decade old card/software combo that is prone to crashes and other anomalies. I would like to know if there are open source (read 'free') or other alternatives that would allow multiple simultaneous playlists played through the myriad of audio interfaces out there. The line outs are then plugged into a CobraNet matrix, which handles the distribution of the music/sound to their respective areas. I'm looking at eight channels minimum, timed playlist start/stops, and triggered announcements. So far the only software and hardware I've found are proprietary broadcasting solutions which tend to be a bit heavy on the wallet or meant for home use."

Quantum Random Numbers 167

tqft writes "What the world needs is more truly random sources of numbers. Researchers from Australian National University have found a brilliant way to make one: 'We do this by splitting a beam of light into two beams and then measuring the power in each beam. Because light is quantised, the light intensity in each beam fluctuates about the mean. Those fluctuations, due ultimately to the quantum vacuum, can be converted into a source of random numbers. Every number is randomly generated in real time and cannot be predicted beforehand.' So if you need some really random numbers, just use their generator service."

Video GreenSQL is a Database Security Solution, says CTO David Maman (Video) 108

'GreenSQL is an Open Source database firewall used to protect databases from SQL injection attacks,' says the website, which also says, 'GreenSQL works as a proxy and has built-in support for MySQL and PostgreSQL. The logic is based on evaluation of SQL commands using a risk scoring matrix as well as blocking known db administrative commands (DROP, CREATE, etc).' The company also maintains a commercial version as a separate entity. GreenSQL CTO/CoFounder David Maman gives more details about both the company and open source GreenSQL in this video interview.

The Sounds of Tech Past 231

itwbennett writes "If you're of a certain generation, the screech of a modem, the stuttering song of the dot matrix printer, and the wet slap of a mimeograph machine can transport you to simpler (or at least slower) times. JR Raphael has rounded up 20 tech sounds on the brink of extinction for your listening torture. We're only sorry we don't have smell-o-vision to bring you that sweet mimeograph scent."

Researchers Teach Subliminally; Matrix Learning One Step Closer 103

An anonymous reader writes "For the first time ever, scientists from Boston University and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan have managed to use functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or fMRI to decode the process of learning. As the research stands to date, it isn't capable of much. Rather than working with skills like juggling, the researchers relied on images so they could tie into the vision part of the brain, the part that they have managed to partially decode. Nevertheless, they demonstrated that information could be taught using neurofeedback techniques. And it was effective even when people didn't know they were learning."

Computer-Controlled Cyborg Yeast 61

MrSeb writes "With a slightly weird world first, scientists have formed a feedback loop between common, baking and brewing yeast, and a computer. The computer can trigger the yeast to produce a protein, and the yeast then feeds back to the computer how much of the protein is being produced — the computer has exact control over the yeast's production. This work, performed by scientists at the Automatic Control Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, is exceptional because of its simplicity: The computer turns the yeast on by flashing a red light, and it turns the yeast off by flashing a deeper red light. Connected to the yeast is a 'reporter' molecule that fluoresces when the protein is produced. The computer can see this fluorescence and alter the light it emits, thus creating a full feedback loop. The simplicity is significant because of the role of yeasts and bacteria in the production of antibiotics, biofuels, and more. The problem is controlling those organisms — so far, scientists have tried to genetically add synthetic control circuits, with limited success... and now the Swiss have shown that it can be done by simply shining a couple of lights."

Book Review: Securing the Clicks Screenshot-sm 19

brothke writes:"The book Digital Assassination: Protecting Your Reputation, Brand, or Business Against Online Attacks says businesses that take days to respond to social media issues are way behind the curve. Social media operates in real-time, and responses need to be almost as quick. In a valuable new book on the topic, Securing the Clicks Network Security in the Age of Social Media, Gary Bahadur, Jason Inasi and Alex de Carvalho provide the reader with a comprehensive overview on how not to be a victim of social media based security problems." Read on for the rest of Ben's review.

Electrical Power From Humans 220

Coisiche writes "The BBC covers a team of scientists who are working on a new way to power medical implants: an internal biofuel cell. From the article: 'Their gadget, called a biofuel cell, uses glucose and oxygen at concentrations found in the body to generate electricity. They are the first group in the world to demonstrate their device working while implanted in a living animal. If all goes to plan, within a decade or two, biofuel cells may be used to power a range of medical implants, from sensors and drug delivery devices to entire artificial organs. All you'll need to do to power them up is eat a candy bar, or drink a coke. ... In 2010, they tested their fuel cell in a rat for 40 days and reported that it worked flawlessly, producing a steady electrical current throughout, with no noticeable side effects on the rat's behavior or physiology.' Of course, there's never been a sci-fi movie using such technology as a plot device..."

When Algorithms Control the World 150

MTCicero writes "The BBC has an interesting if not apocalyptic take on the spread of algorithms into everyday life. Perhaps the author should have spent a little more time discussing how algorithms in everyday life have improved things like communications, medical care, etc... I guess doom and gloom sells more ads. From the article: 'At last month's TEDGlobal conference, algorithm expert Kevin Slavin delivered one of the tech show's most "sit up and take notice" speeches where he warned that the "maths that computers use to decide stuff" was infiltrating every aspect of our lives. Among the examples he cited were a robo-cleaner that maps out the best way to do housework, and the online trading algorithms that are increasingly controlling Wall Street.'"

Car Makers Explore EEG Headrests 77

mrtr writes "A number of car makers are looking at whether EEG devices built into headrests could prevent accidents by sensing when a driver is in danger of drifting off. The technology comes from Neurosky, which already makes commercial EEG units for use in gaming and market research. Other approaches, such as using cameras to spot drooping eyelids, have proven too unreliable so far. From the story: 'Fatigue causes more than 100,000 crashes and 40,000 injuries, and around 1,550 deaths, per year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some studies suggest drowsiness is involved in 20 to 25 percent of all crashes on monotonous stretches of road.'"

Pdf.js Reaches First Milestone 164

theweatherelectric writes "The pdf.js project aims to implement a PDF viewer using standards-compliant Web technologies. The project has reached its first milestone: it renders the sample PDF (a paper on Mozilla's Tracemonkey JavaScript engine) perfectly. However, that perfection currently comes with some caveats: 'pdf.js produces different results on pretty much every element in the browser×OS matrix. We said above that pdf.js renders the Tracemonkey paper "perfectly" if you're running a Firefox nightly. On a Windows 7 machine where Firefox can use Direct2D and DirectWrite. If you ignore what appears to be a bug in DirectWrite's font hinting. The paper is rendered less well on other platforms and in older Firefoxen, and even worse in other browsers. But such is life on the bleeding edge of the web platform.'"

Intel Aims For Exaflops Supercomputer By 2018 66

siliconbits writes "Intel has laid down its roadmap in terms of computing performance for the next seven years in a press release; in addition, it revealed its expectations until 2027 in one deck of slides shown last week. The semiconductor chip maker wants a supercomputer capable of reaching 1000 petaflops (or one exaflops) to be unveiled by the end of 2018 (just in time for the company's 50th anniversary) with four exaflops being the upper end target by the end of the decade. The slide that was shared also shows that Intel wants to smash the zettaflops barrier — that's one million petaflops — sometime before 2030. This, Intel expects, will allow for significant strides in the field of genomics research, as well as much more accurate weather prediction (assuming Skynet or the Matrix hasn't taken over the world)."

Soldier Re-Grows Leg Muscle After Experimental Procedure Screenshot-sm 141

Marine Isaias Hernandez has been able to grow back most of the missing muscle from his leg, including skeletal muscle, thanks to an experimental treatment involving an injection of a a growth promoting substance extracted from pig bladders. Hernandez lost 70% of his right thigh muscles from a mortar exploded attack in Afghanistan. Normally this type of injury would lead to an amputation. From the article: "In preparation for the operation, corporal Hernandez was made to build up the remaining 30 per cent of muscle left on the damaged thigh. Surgeons then sliced into the thigh, placing a thin slice of a substance called extracellular matrix. The surgery is the result of a $70 million investment by the US military into regenerative medicine research."

Will Graphene Revolutionize the 21st Century? 345

An anonymous reader writes "Much has been made of graphene's potential. It can be used for anything from composite materials — like how carbon-fiber is used currently — to electronics. 'Our research establishes Graphene as the strongest material ever measured, some 200 times stronger than structural steel,' mechanical engineering professor James Hone, of Columbia University, said in a statement. If graphene can be compared to the way plastic is used today, everything from crisp packets to clothing could be digitized once the technology is established. The future could see credit cards contain as much processing power as your current smartphone."

Neuromancer Movie Deal Moving Forward 334

chill writes "After years in development, a film adaptation of William Gibson's seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer is finally moving forward. According to a press release, the film has secured sales from distributors at Cannes and visual effects work has already begun. Filming will begin in 2012 with locations in Canada, Istanbul, Tokyo, and London."

Reeves Rumors Reversed 156

AdmiralXyz writes "The rumor that Keanu Reeves was in talks with the Wachowski brothers to produce Matrix movies 4 and 5, in 3-D, is apparently just that. Representatives from Warner Bros. spoke to Wired and called the rumors 'bunk,' pointing out that the school Reeves was supposedly accepting an award from when he made the announcement doesn't actually exist. His publicists made similar statements. Perhaps the film deities have shown us mercy just this once."
The Matrix

The Matrix Re-Reloaded 640

derGoldstein writes "According to Keanu Reeves: ' Matrix 4 and 5 are coming.' At an event that took place at the London International School of Performing Arts, 'Reeves revealed that he met with the Wachowskis around Christmas. They told him that they completed script treatments for two more Matrix installments. They are planning to make the films in 3D and have already met with James Cameron to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the technology. Reeves added that he's excited to return as Neo and promised that the treatments will truly revolutionize the action genre like the first Matrix film did.'"

Kinect Hacked To Play Max Payne, Left 4 Dead 2 30

TechieAlizay points out a post at about a man who hacked Microsoft's Kinect to play Max Payne. "This hack was possible due to FAAST (a toolkit for Kinect), OpenNi/Nite and GlovePIE. Here's how the hacker describes the different control gestures: 'As you can see, the leaning left and right stuff is all there – and moving your body forward and back moves you back and forward. The reload and interact gestures are becoming pretty standard for me now, and pain killers are popped with an upward motion of the left hand. What makes this special though is the leg movements that activate bullet time. The result is bullet time diving for real! When this game hit just after the Matrix film came out, it caused a big stir – with Kinect augmentation it gets even better. The one thing that needs fixing is weapon select; this will be handled by the +/- buttons on the mote in future, I think.'" Another video shows Kinect controlling Left 4 Dead 2. In addition to future PC support, Microsoft is reportedly working on an official SDK. Yet another recent hack of note allows a human to control a humanoid robot with an impressive level of accuracy. Just be careful if you play the Kinect boxing game; somebody might call the police.

Slashdot Top Deals