joaommp (685612) writes "I'd like to share with you all our newest project, the Pitbull Wallet. This is a project that attempts to solve — or at least, mitigate — two problems at once, the storage of digital wallets and managing passwords. It is a credit card sized device that allows you to store, manage and recall sets of public/private keys — including wallets — and username/passwords. This way you'll have something that while not being exactly a hardcopy, it isn't left around on your PC either, making that data safer from remote hacking. It's something half way between digital and physical. I'd like to invite you all to take a look at the project at the page above and at the IndieGoGo campaign we are running to fund it. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated, as well as any contributions you might consider sharing." Link to Original Source top
Asking Slashdot: Converting an SUV into an hybrid diesel-electric
joaommp writes "So, my team has started a project to convert an SUV into an hybrid diesel-electric vehicle — basically, an electric vehicle with a diesel engine working as a range extender. We've now setup a campaign on Indiegogo to help with the project costs (we are a non-profit team) and later we'd like to, if the project is successful, be able to provide conversion kits and additional kits for elements of the transformation, like the HUD, for example. Why an SUV conversion? Because a lot of people like SUVs (sense of safety, overcompensation, etc) but they're un-economic and environment unfriendly. I'd like to ask all slashdotters if they have any advice or tips for this project. We already have the project well defined but more input is greatly appreciated before we begin tearing apart the beast. So, if you could help providing additional advice and information, it would be awesome." Link to Original Source top
joaommp writes "An Angry Birds Theme Park opened to the public on September 1st, according to CNN, in Changsha, the capital of the Hunan Province in southeastern China. It seems that it is part of a larger amusement park called Window of the World and, according to Rovio, the park is not licensed. On other news, Rovio itself launched a line of Angry Birds moon cakes in the same country to celebrate that country's Mid-autumn Festival." Link to Original Source top
joaommp writes "I'm tied to a non-profit NGO, which was only very recently made official and whose main objective is R&D of open projects. We're based outside the US. I'd like to ask other people here in slashdot, who, while in similar situations, might have had the need to search for funding and donations for their projects, how they did it, and how successful were those methods. I also know of a few crowdfunding platforms, like Kickstarter and IndieGogo, for example, but not being a US-based institution excludes us from Kickstarter and we haven't had much success with IndieGoGo and I'm hoping not to get limited to those kind of platforms. We've set up selling of our own teaching materials both on Amazon and Lulu, and even set up a simple online store on CafePress to sell some simple tokens of appreciation. I realize we still have a long way to go and so I was also curious to know how did they do to get attention towards their projects and institutions, and what recommendations and advices are there for such an endeavor." top
joaommp writes "Taiwanese scientists developed a new type of film that can be printed on a thermal printer and erased up to 260 times. The boffins at the Industrial Technology Research Institute claim it as an ideal replacement for paper signs and posters. It does not require patterned electrodes. It is based on a plastic film covered with cholestric liquid crystal, a type of liquid crystal structured similarly to cholesterol molecules and can be erased by simply plugging it to a power source and an A4 sheet costs only US $2. It is expected to be available to consumers within the next two years." Link to Original Source top
joaommp writes "The event that took my brother's life inspired me to come up with some sort of gadget to prevent any more lives from being lost. So, I figured that a low power device monitoring life-signs, transmitting a continuous ping to a central server, could eventually provide enough warning to prevent others from suffering the same fate my dear brother suffered. I also immediately noticed a bunch of possibilities to extend the functionality of the device and make the idea usable for many more situations like monitoring people in healthcare facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals, giving them more freedom, and keeping track of kids in amusement parks to help prevent accidents and kidnappings. I turned to my team at the non-profit I'm involved with and we agreed the project had merit and could go forward. Now I'm left with the difficult task of gathering the funds necessary to start the development of this system. So I turn to you all, slashdotters, for opinions, constructive criticism, advice and, if possible, that you contribute with work or donations to make this initiative flourish." Link to Original Source top
joaommp writes "My brother passed away last Wednesday, the 25th of May 2011. He was a strong, athletic, intelligent and dedicated boy. His lifeless body was found on the bottom of a pool which should have been guarded, but it wasn't. I wanted to do something in his memory. I though of doing something he would love. Therefore, my non-profit, Onda Technology, now has a new division dedicated to ecology. He loved nature and saved many animals. He was a very giving person, having donated his entiry first salary to a school for blind kids. For now and for him, I'm changing internal policies. For every 50 euros of donations, Onda Technology will be planting a tree. Besides, we have started a new project: we will be developing a kind of a health monitoring bracelet to monitor, in real time, people practicing sports and a real time warning and emergency team dispatching system so that what happened to my brother can be avoided for a lot of other people in the future. For that, we are asking for contributions, be it in the form of ideas, technology, help with the development process or donations. So, please take just a few seconds thinking about this and on how many lives could be saved in the future." Link to Original Source top
joaommp (685612) writes "Most open projects are funded by donations from users all around the globe. The projects set up a Paypal account for donations (I've done it too) and, if they're successful, they will be rewarded with donations from the community. Sometimes they give back a slight token of appreciation. At Onda Technology, we decided to do something a bit different. Instead of expecting donations, we are making available, for the public to be able to acquire, the manuals we wrote. For now, we've released one book about good principles in C++ programming. The book is available through Lulu. More will eventually follow. Although we've not yet released any of our projects, we are gradually doing so. By helping us, you can accelerate the pace and this way you get something more than just a token of our appreciation, you get something useful for yourself or to give to a friend." Link to Original Source top
joaommp (685612) writes "Seems that Pidgin and Adium Users have been left without the ability to connect to the Windows Live Messenger network for some reason. Haven't found any information yet about the problem, but hopefully someone will clarify this for us soon." top
Joaommp (685612) writes "Lately I found myself needing a particular device: high resolution touch screens. Such need derives from a particular project I've been involved with. My objective is to add the touch screen as a second screen to my desktop, using a second graphics card, and having two concurrent X sessions running on each screen. In one I would do development and on the touch screen session I'd do the testing. The problem is to find the right hardware for it. There's not a whole lot of information and easily accessible devices on the net. There are a few, some are extremely expensive.
One device I found was the Belinea s.display 5_22, which is an hybrid touch screen/tablet. The device looks very nice in the specs, but the problem is: how well would it work with Linux? After a long time of browsing through the net, I came up empty and the technical support seems to know about their own product less than I do. They couldn't even provide information about what controller was being used or even the USB IDs. I'm still trying to convince them to provide more information about it.
There is also the similar Wacom Cintiq line, but those, besides being only tablet, is also as much as three times more expensive and aim at the graphics professionals.
So, my question to the audience is: What is your experience with this type of devices under Linux and X and which ones would you recommend that are available in Europe?"
The event that took my brother's life inspired me to come up with some sort of gadget to prevent any more lives from being lost. So, I figured that a low power device monitoring life-signs, transmitting a continuous ping to a central server, could eventually provide enough warning to prevent others from suffering the same fate my dear brother suffered. I also immediately noticed a bunch of possibilities to extend the functionality of the device and make the idea usable for many more situations like monitoring people in healthcare facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals, giving them more freedom, and keeping track of kids in amusement parks to help prevent accidents and kidnappings. I turned to my team at the non-profit I'm involved with and we agreed the project had merit and could go forward. Now I'm left with the difficult task of gathering the funds necessary to start the development of this system. So I turn to you all, slashdotters, for opinions, constructive criticism, advice and, if possible, that you contribute with work or donations to make this initiative flourish.
It was on 25th that one of my brothers, Miguel, passed away. He was found on the bottom of a public pool, already too late. The company responsible for managing the pool failed, by incompetence, since they had no lifeguard present at the moment, who might have saved my brother's life.
A few months ago, after leaving my job at the time, I decided to finally start writing the book that a lot of people have, for so long, been asking me to write, a book about C++ programming, specifically, about good programming principles. Now I ended up with "C++ Programming: Good Principles For Excellent Endings". It's been released on the 19th of April. It features a few important topics, including the social part (team management, hiring, resources), project management (tools, methods and documentation), defensive programming, object oriented programming and optimizations. The difference about this book? Being an Edition Zero. The main objective was to come up with a manual for students and the trainees of the non-profit organization that I'm involved with to learn and improve their skills. It is called Edition Zero because the idea behind it was to release a non-definitive version to gather input from the community. Later, we will be offering a free copy of the First Edition of the book to the persons who provide the most important bits of constructive criticism on how to improve the book so it can reach that milestone. Also, all the profit made from the book will be used to support the projects being developed at Onda Technology, our non-profit R&D institute. I found this to be a much more interesting way to ask for support, not only we can get the much needed money to buy equipment, but we're also giving something more in return besides the joy of helping. So take a look and, if you feel like it, help our projects.
Portugal has one of the most, if not the most, advanced ATM networks in the world. While on most countries the ATM networks seem to be handled by individual banks, the Portuguese ATM network, called Multibanco (yes, as in multi-bank) is owned and ran by a state entity called SIBS (Sociedade Interbancária de Serviços - roughly inter-banking business society). This unified ATM network allows the state and the banking businesses to save millions in equipment, maintenance and headcount, as well as in transactions between banks. Besides the TPA terminals that allow people to comfortably pay for their shopping on the establishments with their precious credit and debit cards, there are also ATM machines, but these are packed full of features: not only can you withdraw money from your account, but you can also pay for your taxes, your electricity, water and phone bills, your Internet, top up your mobile phone credit, buy train tickets, buy seats for some shows and a lot more. All this on any of the more than 10000 ATM machines spread around the country. This is all free for the users. How's it paid? First: the businesses that receive money paid through the TPAs pay 0.8% of the transaction for "small values" and 3% of the transaction for "big values" to SIBS; and second: all credit and debit cards have an annual fee of 10€ (about $15). But now, the European Union wants to link all countries together with a single system. However, even though it could seem logical, there are a few problems: first, there is no public or financial demand for it (as, between other reasons, trans-border credit/debit card transactions are less than 3% in almost all countries and less than 2% in Portugal); second, it's estimated to cost 3 billion euros; third: the banks plan on starting to charge 1.5€ for each transaction (withdrawing funds, paying stuff, etc); fourth: on the ATM machines, the european system will only support the fund withdrawal feature, which would effectively result in Portugal losing a very advanced and successful system that is also free. The consequences? Some people will stop using banking accounts, others will resort to checks, there will be an increase in robberies as the wallets will again be carrying large sums of money to avoid the fee. So, not only will we lose functionality and be setup with a critically inferior system, but we will also have to pay more for it.
Seems like MSN Messenger is down and messenger.msn.com & messenger.live.com were taken offline. It has been like this for the last 3 hours. Having messenger.msn.com offline, there's no way to know what's going on, since it's there where they post information about the status of the messaging network. MSN Messenger is allowing successful logins, but the messages are bounced back with a "connection error" message, despite the online status and the continuing update of the other contact's status in the contact list. It is affecting several users.