Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

flightmaker Re:35mm film (635 comments)

I've got some Fuji Provia 400 and Velvia 50 in the the back of the fridge, in 120 roll format. I keep promising myself that I'll get it out one day and run it through my Bronica. Load the finished film into slide carriers and project it for the ultimate image quality. So long as you can tolerate some inevitable dust contamination nothing else comes close.

Unless anybody here uses large format?

about three weeks ago

Domain Registry of America Suspended By ICANN

flightmaker Good! (113 comments)

It's always nice to get at least one item of good news in a day. I guess this is it.

I've also had the snail mailed fake invoices from them, which I can only suppose is an illegal use of the whois database. I guess their strategy is to land these on the desks of overworked administrators who are more likely than me to rubber stamp them and pass them along for payment. Me? I always put them in the shredder.

Why did it take so long? I really don't know. Why is it not a permanent shut down? Don't know that either, but at least they're shut down for now.

about 2 months ago

A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest With 1,000-Foot Walls

flightmaker Either..... (501 comments)

As another contributor suggested, build everything from reinforced concrete. That way, there's no lengths of timber for the violent winds to tear off and fling around as deadly missiles in the first place. Also, perhaps some wind tunnel research could help with tornado resistance.

Or, just build underground! Yes it initially costs more, but surely it's better to have property that you only need to build once rather than risk having it destroyed by weather. I bet the insurance would be damned cheap too compared to conventional building. Climate control is also going to be far easier and cheaper - anybody who's ever visited a show cave knows that the temperature stays almost constant throughout the year.

As for the person who suggested the tornado wall, there are special places for people who are this confused......

about 3 months ago

Researchers Outline Spammers' Business Ecosystem

flightmaker Re:I'm surprised (14 comments)

Me too, especially when the tossers keep sending six messages the same in one day. They totally loose all feasibility. There's always somebody there though who's stupid enough to click the link otherwise we wouldn't all be suffering.

We could probably put a good dent in illegal drug sales such as fake Viagra by randomly putting detection dogs in post delivery offices and prosecuting anybody caught ordering the crap.

about 3 months ago

Nominet Compromising UK WHOIS Privacy, Wants To See Gov't-Issued ID

flightmaker There's a very good reason.... (71 comments)

....for me not being able to go to a web site and use a vehicle number plate to look up the address of the jerk who cut me up in traffic today.

Similar reasons surely need to apply to domain registrations.

about 3 months ago

Justice Dept. Names ZeuS Trojan Author, Seizes Control of P2P "Gameover" Botnet

flightmaker Phew! (76 comments)

Maybe that's why I've had no more notices to appear in court the last couple of days.

The magistrate was getting pissed off telling me to go away!

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Beginner To Intermediate Programming Projects?

flightmaker Re:But what do you want to DO? (172 comments)

You're asking the wrong question. Programming isn't an end in itself, it's a means to an end.

"But what do you want to DO?" THAT is the correct question, IMHO.

Followed up by the correct statement. Computers are there to quickly and accurately do the repetitive donkey-work that we humans don't have the time or patience to do. Programmers enable computers to do this tiresome work.

Since I last got made redundant from an engineering job I've busied myself on two little projects for myself, because I've always loved to code and get stuff to work that others would have no idea about, even though I got sick of doing it for others.

Project 1 - software that gets kicked off by cron on my server every night, to send me by email reminders to do stuff on time. Works really well, the way I want it to.

Project 2 - to take a (sometimes cleaned up by using gpsprune) GPX format track file from my Garmin and analyse it to determine the exact distance I've walked or cycled, altitude gained and lost, and estimate the calories I burned during the exercise. This one is also working well, but I'm not certain of some of the parameters I built into it so I'm trying to find somebody knowledgeable about exercise science who can advise me on this.

So, what I'm saying is, find something that you do in everyday life that does or could generate a significant quantity of data to crunch and raises in your mind a "what if" question. Or, as somebody else suggested, do something with an arduino that you're curious about. I've always thought it might be nice to build an accurate outdoor thermometer, possibly using four terminal measurement with a platinum sensor. This would involve the use of hardware timers and interrupt service routines to take readings at regular intervals, and perhaps operate a multiplexed LED display.

If you find something like this to work on, that interests you in the first place and will perform a useful function after completion, the motivation will be there and success more likely.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Can We Create a Culture of Secure Behavior?

flightmaker Stop using passwords (169 comments)

It's high time we stopped using the term 'password'. Those in the know realise by now that a word or words is no good.

I'd like to suggest replacing the term with 'passcode'. For those who still use passwords, it might encourage them to cease and desist. Or maybe not, but it would surely be worth a try.

about 5 months ago

Linux May Succeed Windows XP As OS of Choice For ATMs

flightmaker Re:For the ones arguing that M$ gave 10 Years Noti (367 comments)

Wouldn't we have Microsoft's own incompetence with Windows Vista to thank for that?

No, just Microsoft's determination to exclude others from the computer market.

The other thing I just remembered, was that XP was already being shut down at the time. Retail copies were no longer available. The only way you could still buy XP was to have it pre-installed on a tiny portable that was incapable of running any other MS product.

about 6 months ago

Linux May Succeed Windows XP As OS of Choice For ATMs

flightmaker Re:For the ones arguing that M$ gave 10 Years Noti (367 comments)

I can remember the first of the small, low power netbook type computers coming on to the market - the EeePC type machines? And they all ran Linux because they couldn't run Vista.

So, if MS had terminated XP at that time they would have put themselves out of that market. Of course they were not prepared to do that at any cost, because it would have put Linux directly in the hands of consumers, so they extended XP and unfortunately Linux disappeared from all the netbook computers.

So, we have Linux to thank for the long support for XP, not charity on the part of MS.

about 6 months ago

Transhumanist Children's Book Argues, "Death Is Wrong"

flightmaker Irresponsible or what? (334 comments)

There's already far too many humans on the planet. If we stop dying there'll be nothing to eat and nowhere to stand.

about 6 months ago

The Ever So Unlikely Tale of How ARM Came To Rule the World

flightmaker Going back a little further... (111 comments)

A couple of years ago I donated my Acorn System 1 to the Museum of Computing in Swindon. It was on their Most Wanted list! I learned rather a lot with that machine, hand assembling machine code.

about 7 months ago

Levitating and Manipulating Objects With Sound

flightmaker Why? (59 comments)

What is the point of this? I'm not trying to be sarcastic, but the article gives no hints about what this might be used for. I'd like to know.

We all know what magnetic levitation is good for, but using loudspeakers to float a tiny object in a small box?

about 8 months ago

US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items"

flightmaker Re:So glad I'm not there (894 comments)

Are you a typical USA resident? It would explain a lot.

about 9 months ago

US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items"

flightmaker So glad I'm not there (894 comments)

Each and every day that I read /. I become even more relieved than the day before that fate smiled on me by not making me a citizen of the USA, and not giving me any compelling reason to visit.

about 9 months ago

Microsoft's Ticking Time Bomb Is Windows XP

flightmaker Re:The craptastic Windows 8 is Microsoft's time bo (829 comments)

This netbook I bought nearly two years ago arrived with windows 7 on it. I tried it out, just for fun, and oh boy what crap it was. I seem to remember it being so sluggish it was a bad joke to ever install it on this computer. Today, I'm running Linux Mint Maya 64 with Mate on it, which has turned it into a truly excellent, very portable, responsive little computer. It even fits inside a hotel room safe. I just can't think why anybody uses Microsoft.

about 9 months ago

It's Not Just the NSA: Police Are Tracking Your Car

flightmaker And I'm enjoying the benefits (201 comments)

I believe it's because of the proliferation of ANPR and other cameras that I had a major reduction of my motor insurance premium this year. Society pays for the crimes of the minority, so using technology to take the crooks off the road pays dividends to all.

about 9 months ago


flightmaker hasn't submitted any stories.


flightmaker has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>