top Congress Passes Bill Allowing Warrantless Forfeiture of Private Communications
So they can't settle on a decent healthcare system for us, but when it comes to spying on us... push it right through!
about a month and a half ago
top The Case Against Gmail
Penguinisto, he mentioned Outlook 11 times in his last 3 paragraphs.
top Thousands of SCADA, ICS Devices Exposed Through Serial Ports
Thousands of SCADA Devices Discovered on the Open Internet
Best part is, it's the same submitter. And y'all wonder why
/. is dying.
top How To Use a Linux Virtual Private Server
>> Slashdot is dead, and this is its rotting corpse.
> Where shall we all go, then?
'Tis truth. But... who shall
bell the cat?
Ever since Taco left, I find that I've been patching together select RSS feeds from other sites for my nerd news fix. But RSS lacks one thing: Slashdot commenters, for better or for worse.
Sometimes the discussion on
/. degenerates into a bunch of shit-flinging monkeys, but dammit, they're our shit-flinging monkeys. Don't forget, editors: Slashdot is user-driven and the readers are the ones who submit the articles. How many submissions were rejected so that this article from Mr. I-can-barely-use-SSH could appear on the front page?
I feel like, somehow, the editors lost a lot of technical savvy in the last year and are now incapable of properly judging submissions. Or have we hemorrhaged so many good submitters that this is the best they've got to pick from?
top Why One Person Thinks Raspberry Pi Is Unsuitable For Education
I started working on an embedded project (hobby, not work) that needed something beefier than an Arduino. Took my time looking at what's out there: various ARM dev boards, the Raspi (with its proprietary Broadcom chip) and one or two other "embeddable" platforms.
Last week, I was working out how to interface to a display (and the grinding that would entail). The same day, Slashdot ran the
"hardware is dead" article. So, I took a chance and ordered a generic 7" tablet. They aren't kidding - these things are under $60 shipped. That's like 2 days' parking in downtown SF.
It uses the Allwinner A13 SoC (ARM core, integrated 10/100 ethernet, GPL'd kernel sources). Runs Android 4 out of the box, but Debian will also run. I can just hang an Arduino off the USB bus for my custom I/O, and code up a touch-based interface. Shoot, looks like it'll be easier to develop for than the Raspi.
I'm all for hackery for hackery's sake, but now that it's "the future," I'm glad we don't have to lift ourselves up by the bootstraps in order to do every little thing. It lets me concentrate on hackery at the macro level.
top Woman Wants To Replace Her Non-functioning Hand With a Bionic Prosthesis
Doesn't this sound a bit drastic? Damn, if it were me I'd be hax0ring it.
There's groups on places like the Open Prosthetic Project, who could design something for a use case like this. Probably for less than the cost of a "replacement."
Why remove her hand, when you could support it with a rigid exoskeleton? Minimalist carbon fiber spars and rings (a ring around each knuckle), very light but strong, and little external actuators that sit in the wrist / forearm. Nylon worm gear and a little 12V DC motor for each digit. Run back to an Arduino or similar and pull input from the last-known-good nerves around the base of the arm. Basically support the (numb) arm in position and have the exoskeleton move it around. Lock the wrist in the first iteration as you refine the design. Lots of little vacuum actuated suckers that keep the whole shebang stuck to the skin (creepy, but secure!)
A hundred bucks of carbon fiber, maybe a couple thousand bucks of really good fasteners and electronics, tubing, motors, pump, rubber and CNC work. $10,000 a month (for 3-6 months, depending) to a hacker who knows what he's doing.
top Microsoft Details Windows 8 for ARM
It's not a great likeness, but the imagery, oh the imagery!
top China Catches Up With Google's Driverless Car
After watching this
simulation of a computerized intersection, I would say that the situation at the street level would mean the end of airbags in cars, and the introduction of anti-pants-shitting technology for the passengers.
videos page with their approach and statistics is quite good as well.
top The Hackintosh Guide
I suspect the non-standard, weirdly-driver'ed power controller is the only reason you're getting good sleep performance out of Windows. It's good to know Toshiba's putting in the effort to make that aspect of Windows nice. I've always had rotten luck with Windows sleep, so I'm one of those people that walks around with their laptop lid open.
Even with my latest Core i7 unibody, it's slow to sleep/wake. A little faster, but a PowerBook it ain't. Was just working on an old 1.66GHz PowerBook, and marveled at how fast that old beast did this.
top The Hackintosh Guide
Clevenger, is it just me, or did the PPC Macs have better sleep/wake capability than the Intel Macs?
Used to be that when you closed the lid on an (aluminum) PowerBook, it'd go to sleep within one second flat. Same when opening the lid. On every Intel MBP I've used, including the 5 or 6 I've owned, when I close the lid, they whir and beep and bloop for almost 10 seconds - sometimes more - before going to sleep. On wake, it's usually faster than that, but typically is around 3 seconds to get a proper image. I've also seen waaaaay more "phantom sleep/wake" issues with the Intels, where a machine refuses to come out of sleep, etc. My hunch is it's something to do with re-purposed Intel hardware as opposed to purpose-built PPC hardware, EFI notwithstanding. Or, could be the "shadow hibernation" function saving to disk, which the GP was talking about.
Eh. Still smokes any PC I've used, though!
top Many Top iPhone Apps Collect Unique Device ID
Happened to me, too. You can change your Pandora password 'til the cows come home, and the old phone will still be able to login!
Best part is, Pandora keeps their UDID databases inaccessible from your account, so you can't just login to Pandora and see the device(s) associated with that account. You have to email Customer Service and ask them to delete all your devices, whatever those may be. Happens on their (paid) desktop client, too. I put in a feature request to make our devices available in our account settings, but I'm not holding my breath.
For what it's worth, Pandora Support told me that if I chose "log out" on the Pandora iPhone client before getting rid of my old phone, it would have removed the UDID from their database. I half-believe this: more likely it's just marked it as "logged off."
top Hands-on With the iPad Alternatives On Display At IFA
top Ideas For a Great Control Room?
Personally, I would not give them "snacks," as that will make them fat. The handsome room's aesthetics will be spoiled by a bunch of fatasses at the desks. Providing exercise equipment will not help, as they won't use it and instead will eat the snacks. Think dogs: 3 meals a day is recommended; any more (by way of snacks) leads to fatassery, especially as snacks require no preparation.
Fatness rant over. I'd also think about the following:
- acoustics, so as to provide for a less-tiresome work environment. Should be pretty quiet all the time, no humming from machines, etc.
- lighting, assuming reflective displays and 2-3 generations of displays being swapped out over the lifetime of the NOC. - height of "pods." Do you want their heads to be visible to each other? Just eyes? Nothing (traditional cubicles)? I'd recommend their heads or eyes be visible to each other, as traditional cubicles tend to lead to less interaction and more fucking around. - level of built-in-idness. That's not a word but let me clarify. Do you want über-fancy, mission-control stuff with flush-mounted displays and consoles, or something a little like a more traditional office? For upgrades and such, the latter is a better choice, but isn't as "sexy." If you need teh sexy, go with dark desks and partitions (black) with either black or aluminum hardware on the desk (Apple Cinema Display type stuff). - cable management, and whether you'll allow personal gadgets and such on desks. Where will they plug them in? - furniture company. You're on your own on this one, but likely you'll need to choose an office system. We use a HON open plan at work, but it's all white and very 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Personally I'd use smoked glass everywhere and completely overdo the 80s mission-control room thing. Why the hell not? The only thing that would "date" it is if you got all tacky. Speaking of 2001, check out those set designs. Still timeless. May want to hire an architect with a portfolio of stuff that you like and have them do some concepts.
top Apple's "iPad" Out In the Open
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that,
y'all, collectively, are not the target audience for this thing. That said, we should be celebrating, rather than bitching. Here's why.
Raise your hands, please: those who've installed LogMeIn on their mothers' computers.
LogMeIn is a crutch, and you know it. You know damn well why you installed it, too. It's so you can support her when shit breaks every couple months, or when she can't figure something out.
The nice thing about the iPhone OS is that it's
tight. My mom had never used a cell phone in her life, and figured out how to make a call with my iPhone in seconds. The OS is like an appliance, reliability-wise. The target audience is users, not the nerd herd, and the interface reflects that. It's basically a $500 ticket to never having to support Mother again (or really any user that "just needs the basics").
If you really think it's just a big iPhone, look at the
iPad interface video (from about 1:00 - 3:00). It was the first time I actually was like, holy shit, it looks like one of those futuristic computers out of a Hollywood movie; except it actually makes logical sense, yet retains teh bling. Unlike every other OS, multitouch is "baked in" to the iPhone OS, and you can really see the level of refinement in that video. All that shit that Microsoft wishes it could do with multitouch, this thing actually does.
No, it doesn't have multitasking or an OLED display or a webcam or a fucking JTAG header; those people can vote with their ducats and get an HP Slate. Have fun troubleshooting your wireless network in Windows 7 or GNOME using your fingertips. Ugh.
top World's First Production Hybrid Motorcycle To Hit Market In India
OK, I actually R'd the FA - you know, the
text part of it - and feel like I should amend my comment. Basically they made a hybrid Honda Cub-ish-looking bike for $900. Though hideous, that's pretty sweet! To non-moto people: in a nutshell, the Cub is sort of the VW Bug of Asia, except it's unnaturally reliable. (Skip to 5:00 for the dropping-it-off-a-building part.)
top World's First Production Hybrid Motorcycle To Hit Market In India
Holy hell, that
is ugly. Designers musta said, "we need to take a Honda Ruckus, slap a dirt-bike front end on it, and put an ammo box filled with batteries in the middle." Only thing missing is the duct tape!
top KDE Rebrands, Introduces KDE Plasma Desktop
For me, at least, "rebranding" has always had a certain stink of failure about it. (I like KDE, BTW, so don't lose your fucking minds.)
Palm, Inc. > PalmOne + PalmSource > Palm, Inc. Tropicana > Tropicana "generic crappy label" > Tropicana AOL > LOL "remedial art-school" logo
How did you feel while the respective companies were doing this? Is there anyone in the room that remembers reading the headline, "Palm splits into PalmSource and PalmOne," and thought, "Man, that's some
sexy marketing right there. I need to get me a Treo but quick." No. We saw it and thought, "the shark has been jumped, the drain is being circled." Yes, you did.
While I'm on a roll, for shits and giggles, let's look at the bastard sibling of rebranding, "editions."
Toothpaste. Now was that Crest Tartar Control plus Whitening, or Crest Whitening plus Tartar Control? And did you want that in paste or gel? I swear, we need meta-toothpaste, where it's formulated on the spot. You have a big board with all sorts of shit like "mint," "sparkly" (for the child or man-child in your household), "tartar control," and buzzword of the year, "whitening." Then you push a whole bunch and hit the MIX button, and get a toothpaste tube with all that shit custom-made. It'd be like ordering an HP server; it'd even warn you about compatibility issues! But I digress. Windows 98 > Windows XP. Then it hit the fan. Windows Vista Home Basic + Home Premium + Business + Ultimate. I won't get into Windows 7, but suffice to say there's an edition for everyone, even your crazy next-door neighbor that listens to Yanni all day, has an alpaca fetish, and taught his kids to communicate solely in Klingon. (Sorry if I've touched a nerve amongst anyone here.) Sun is particularly adept at this. You can almost taste the management schizophrenia: Solaris > Solaris Express Community Edition + OpenSolaris + Solaris > Solaris + OpenSolaris (not including Indiana, Nevada, et al. the distinctions between which I'm not sure anyone truly understands). Besides, half the stuff will be discontinued by the time you read this, so why bother itemizing it all?
The moral of the story, kids, is that
rebranding is for the desperate, and editions are for suckers.
top Can We Really Tell Lossless From MP3?
The thing that bugs me about Grado cans is that they're
really chintzy. However, they are made in Brooklyn, which is kick-ass. I prefer the $70 Sony MDR-V6 headphones... the design is unchanged since the 80s and popular among musicians / recording studios. (It can't hurt to listen to the music on the same headphones they were edited with...) Very well-made, and have lasted me the last 6 years I've had 'em. The only downside is that they're fairly low impedance, which means if you're running them off a small device like an iPhone or iPod, you may want to use a headphone amp. But they're pretty good as-is, and if you hate 'em, people will buy them for close to what you paid.
If you can't get MDR-V6s, you can get the MDR-7506, which is basically the same thing with a gold plug. You don't really want to get anything else, though- like the V600 for example - which is designed for consumers and as such is very boomy and weird-sounding. Just use the EQ if you want bass.
top Kids Score 40 Percent Higher When They Get Paid For Grades
Sounds like a neat idea. It's like a little career, before your real career. Maybe this would motivate some kids that are otherwise thinking, "why should I do well in school?" Sort of a sampler as to what could happen if you work hard.
Of course, there's the cheating/collusion/milking the system angle. One would have to put in some pretty intense safeguards. Anyone clever enough to get past them, well, heck, maybe they earned it.
top Microsoft Unveils Windows 7 File-Sharing Beta
Sooo... it's like Apple's iDisk, but almost 10 years later, and DRM'ed up the ass.
I am blown away. Technical tour de force, guys.
Can't wait to see your version of Spotlight- oh wait, I installed Windows Desktop Search, and uh, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.