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The Ottawa Linux Symposium Needs You!

smitty_one_each (243267) writes | about half an hour ago

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smitty_one_each (243267) writes "I haven't actually attended since 2008, but OLS is something worth supporting, whether you're a "newbie" like me, an über hacker like Linus, or just want to check out a wonderful Canadian city in the summer. I chipped in a nominal amount.

Check out this Indegogo project, which lays out a sad tale, but with some hope of redemption, and contribute whatever you can to keep a great event alive."

Link to Original Source

Cheap Open Source Robot

Anonymous Coward writes | 48 minutes ago

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An anonymous reader writes "An interesting small two wheeled robot called a Droidle is up at Indiegogo.
Everything is open source, hardware, firmware, and Android app to script it over Bluetooth. Can also work standalone. Looks like it's for the toy market (each robot has it's own web page) but it could be used for multi-robot research (or fun). It's got a full IMU (including compass), IR range finder, BLE, rechargeable battery, and audio."

Microsofts Android patents ..

lippydude (3635849) writes | about an hour ago

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lippydude (3635849) writes "'73 patents that are said to be "standard-essential patents," or SEPs, implemented in smartphones generally, followed by 127 patents that Microsoft says are implemented in Android' ..

'The patent lists are strategically significant, because Microsoft has managed to build a huge patent-licensing business by taxing Android phones without revealing what kind of legal leverage they really have over those phones' ..."

Link to Original Source

NVIDIA found a way to quadruple display performance in low-res LCDs

mrspoonsi (2955715) writes | 1 hour ago

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mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Problem: how do they manufacture low-cost products with high-resolution screens? NVIDIA researchers have one solution — stack two low-resolution panels on top of each other to increase pixel density on the cheap. The solution is so simple it sounds ridiculous, but apparently, it works. Researchers disassembled two 1,280 x 800 LCD panels and rebuilt them into a single display with slightly offset pixels, a filter to weed out polarization conflicts and a bit of customized software to force the display components to work in tandem. NVIDIA calls the resulting prototype a "cascaded display," and in tests it has quadrupled the spatial resolution of the original panels (thanks, in part, to how the pixel offset crams an additional four pixels behind every one of the first panel's visible pixel)."

New software drowns out NSA surveillance

clique4.us (3768297) writes | 1 hour ago

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clique4.us (3768297) writes "DAYTON, OHIO July 26, 2014 — A computer security researcher at Wright State University has released a new tool for communicating invisibly over the Internet. The new software, named Clique, works by organizing users into large groups where everyone is always communicating, whether or not any particular pair of users actually knows one another or has anything of significance to say. This arrangement prevents eavesdroppers from being able to determine if an intercepted message has actual meaning, or is simply one more among millions of encrypted decoys.

“Millions are frustrated concerning the assimilation of their electronic communication by intelligence agencies, yet this problem is actually within human capability of solving,” writes Marc Abel, a Ph.D. student affiliated with the project. “There is always a tradeoff between convenience and security that every user has to make. Even online freedom isn’t free. But Clique offers unprecedented freedom to drop out of the dragnet completely, even when communicating across international boundaries, provided one is ready to invest the talent and patience needed to cope with a new system.”

It’s not only Clique’s users who will need to cope with change. Clique’s communications are immune to conventional interception methods while en route, so intelligence agencies will have to revert to older, costlier means of monitoring in order to target communicants, reducing the number of citizens an agency can track. Lawmakers will also face new hurdles. “Because Clique is completely decentralized, it cannot be taken down by changes to existing law, letters from copyright trolls, or other authoritarian regimes,” Abel says. “Now established, the global Clique network will remain in operation until the plug to the very last node gets pulled out of the wall.”

Technical details about the Clique network protocol, as well as the software itself, is available online at http://clique4.us/ at no cost."

Link to Original Source

Smoking mothers may alter the DNA of their children

sciencehabit (1205606) writes | 2 hours ago

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sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Pregnant women who smoke don’t just harm the health of their baby—they may actually impair their child’s DNA, according to new research. A genetic analysis shows that the children of mothers who smoke harbor far more chemical modifications of their genome--known as epigenetic changes--than kids of non-smoking mothers. Many of these are on genes tied to addiction and fetal development. The finding may explain why the children of smokers continue to suffer health complications later in life."
Link to Original Source

Looking for small company cloud storage providers

Anonymous Coward writes | 2 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Hello,

I work for a small company where most employees work from home. We currently uses JungleDisk as a way to provide shared storage to our users. It works great for most things but it lacks when it comes to search capabilities. Does slashdot have any suggestions for a better alternative? In particular we're looking for these features:

1. Windows Explorer integration. The main thing we like about JungleDisk is that it creates a network drive like any other Windows drive.
2. File name and file content searching. Jungle disk doesn't offer either as far as I'm aware. Our contract is charged based on data that's accessed, so running individual indexing services on each client would increase our cost significantly.
3. Web interface in addition to the Windows Explorer integration.
4. Data in transit is encrypted.
5. 99.9% uptime

Is there a product out there that does what we're looking for?"

Released Webcamoid 5.0.0RC1

Anonymous Coward writes | 3 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Webcamoid is web camera capture suite written in C++ and Qt.
Among its main features stand out the possibility of taking photos and recording video, and apply some fancy effects to both.
But even if Webcamoid is webcam specialiced software, it can also capture from your desktop, play your video files, GIF's and so on, mixing all of them in your video record.
In this new release has been fixed many bugs, ported to Qt5, added more effects, fixed the lips-inc (for playing UHD videos smoothly), removed some KDElibs dependencies and the Windows port is the road."

Link to Original Source

No surprise in the numbers: Tablets are 'wants,' smartphones are 'needs'

Steve Patterson (2850575) writes | 4 hours ago

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Steve Patterson (2850575) writes "Everyone would return home for a forgotten smartphone or notebook en route to work, but few would go back for a tablet.

The tablet’s Achilles heel defines it – it is a content consumption device. Compounding its Achilles heel is a progressively cross-platform world in which the content delivered to tablets isn’t exclusive."

Link to Original Source

Tiny glass pyramids used to create self-cooling solar cells

Anonymous Coward writes | 4 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Solar panels need to be placed in direct sunlight in order to function, but that means they get hot, become less efficient, and age quickly. For every 1 degree Celsius the temperature increases, solar cell efficiency decreases by 0.5%. So at a typical peak temperature of 55 degrees a 30% efficient solar panel is only converting around 21% of the solar energy.

What we need is passive cooling, and a team at Standford Uni has solved the problem using tiny glass pyramids to manipulate the properties of light."

Link to Original Source

Splashing Droplets Can Take Off Like Airplanes

benonemusic (2584875) writes | 5 hours ago

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benonemusic (2584875) writes "When liquid strikes a surface, the results can be difficult to predict. Researchers are suggesting that the nature of the air around the drop can provide huge clues. By knowing the details of the gas around the drop, researchers are able to predict things such as how fast you can make a drop travel before splattering. A new paper suggests that after a drop hits a surface a small pocket of air around its edges can provide lift like an airplane wing."
Link to Original Source

How do you wipe an Android tablet?

UrsaMajor987 (3604759) writes | yesterday

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UrsaMajor987 (3604759) writes "I have a Asus Transformer tablet that I dropped on the floor. There is no obvious sign of damage but It will no longer boot. Good excuse to get a newer model. I intend to sell it for parts (it comes with an undamaged keyboard) or maybe just toss it. I want to remove all my personal data. I removed the flash memory card but what about the other storage? I know how to wipe a hard drive, but how do you wipe a tablet?"

On Learning to Think Like A Programmer

danspalding (560127) writes | 5 hours ago

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danspalding (560127) writes "I'm an adult educator who's posted here before, about my book "How to Teach Adults". Now I'm learning to code to (hopefully) make quality adult ed available to more people around the world. And it's been hard. But I recently used my adult learning expertise to make a breakthrough in my ability to think like a programmer. So what does Slashdot think? What does thinking like a programmer mean to you — and how did you learn to do so?"

The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used to Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

Jason Koebler (3528235) writes | 6 hours ago

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Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "In the months and weeks leading up to a referendum vote that would have established a locally owned fiber network in three small Illinois cities, Comcast and SBC (now AT&T) bombarded residents and city council members with disinformation, exaggerations, and outright lies to ensure the measure failed.
The series of two-sided postcards painted municipal broadband as a foolhardy endeavor unfit for adults, responsible people, and perhaps as not something a smart woman would do. Municipal fiber was a gamble, a high-wire act, a game, something as "SCARY" as a ghost. Why build a municipal fiber network, one asked, when "internet service [is] already offered by two respectable private businesses?" In the corner, in tiny print, each postcard said "paid for by SBC" or "paid for by Comcast.""

Cellphone Unlocking Bill Has One Big Gotcha

itwbennett (1594911) writes | 6 hours ago

2

itwbennett (1594911) writes "The cellphone unlocking bill that passed in the House of Representatives on Friday, and which President Obama said he would sign, comes with a catch that will likely prevent you from switching carriers — at least right away: Your existing wireless contract takes precedence over the law. So if your wireless contract says that you can't unlock your phone until your contract expires, you can't do it."
Link to Original Source

Developing Desktop Applications with PHP using wxPHP

Anonymous Coward writes | 6 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Unlike other general purpose scripting languages like Python, Perl or Lua, PHP usage has been mostly limited to web applications. wxPHP is a wrapper of wxWidigets that lets you develop cross-platform desktop applications using PHP, which revives a usage scenario for the language. The authors of the project believe that developing with wxPHP leads to decreased development time and easier interpolation with web applications. In contrast to its older brother PHP-GTK, wxPHP applications look native in all platforms, the extension is easier to build and more up to date. Binary builds for various platforms that use latest PHP versions are available, also the GUI designer wxFormBuilder has PHP support."

U.S. Coastal Flooding on the Rise, Government Study Finds

mdsolar (1045926) writes | 6 hours ago

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mdsolar (1045926) writes "Flooding is increasing in frequency along much of the U.S. coast, and the rate of increase is accelerating along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts, a team of federal government scientists found in a study released Monday.

The study examined how often 45 tide gauges along the country’s shore exceeded National Weather Service flood thresholds across several decades. The researchers found that the frequency of flooding increased at 41 locations. Moreover, they found that the rate of increase was accelerating at 28 of those locations. The highest rates of increase were concentrated along the mid-Atlantic coast."

Link to Original Source

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