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Ask Slashdot: Is There a Modern IP Webcam That Lets the User Control the Output?

localroger Most IP cameras (167 comments)

Any IP camera that provides a URL to return the current still frame as a JPEG can be easily used for this. Write a script to grab the screenshot periodically and stick it in the directory where the web server can find it, or the script can proceed to FTP it to its rightful destination.

4 hours ago
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How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft

localroger Both Apple and Microsof started as "Makers" (409 comments)

Both companies started in the world of garage built computers. They entered a field dominated by well funded business partners like IBM and DEC and showed that "toys" affordable to ordinary mortals could be fun and useful. Now Apple and Microsoft are today's IBM and DEC, and twenty years from now there will probably be new players in their place.

yesterday
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Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

localroger World's highest dick-waving contest (247 comments)

Highest skyscraper is a hell of an expensive way to show your ability to get an erection. How much of the Burj Dubai is even occupied? Or for that matter even the *cough* whatever they're calling it now in NYC which gets a third of its patriotic 1776 feet from a totally nonfuctional dick-waving spire.

4 days ago
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Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture

localroger The drugs are probable cause of a crime (316 comments)

Nobody is disputing that forfeiture should be an option when there is actual evidence of a crime. The problem is when all they find is the $20,000 and without any other evidence -- no secret compartments, no X, and no gun -- they decide the cash is "drug money," take it, and it's up to you to prove otherwise, which is very difficult and you have a very short time and poorly documented process to make the appeal.

about two weeks ago
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Gilbert, AZ Censors Biology Books the Old-Fashioned Way

localroger There are shades of crazy within the RCC (289 comments)

Catholics range from fundamentalist jerks like this woman to those like the Jesuits who are quite sophisticated philosophers and fully aware of the difficulties which arise aligning faith with reality. Unlike Protestants who are prone to start a new denomination when they have a disagreement, all Catholics tend to continue considering themselves Catholic but they build up cliques which can barely tolerate each other under the common umbrella of the main organization. I attended a Catholic high school even though my parents were Southern Baptist; this is not unusual in New Orleans where the Catholic schools have an excellent reputation for their secular education. They had a standard procedure for non-Catholics to opt-out of rituals like the Mass when those arose, although we did have to learn the major points of Catholic doctrine (which has turned out to be useful) and we also got a whole year of comparative religion hitting the main points of other world religions. I have to give it to the CSC that they weren't afraid to hold their own beliefs up for comparison with their competitors.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?

localroger Pelican Case + Thermostatic Heater (202 comments)

Double enclosed is best, but you probably don't have room for that. I've been putting stuff in food processing plants for 20+ years though where the conditions (especially during cleanup) are comparable. Find the smallest Pelican case (there are generic knockoffs, if you go with one check it thoroughly before trusting it) and equip it with a thermostatic heater to keep the temperature above 70F or so all the time to limit condensation. Pack in a big bag of dessicant because without double enclosure that still won't be perfect.

about 3 months ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

localroger The word is "neutrons." (305 comments)

Although there is some lip service to seeking "aneutronic" fusion the truth is that fusion is so hard to achieve that we don't have the luxury of being picky about the reactions we aim for, and all the practical ones generate a metric fuckton of neutrons, enough to be lethal even on the other side of thick shielding, enough to induce dangerous secondary radioactivity in many elements, and enough to knock enough atoms out of their place in metal crystalline lattices to seroiusly weaken structures made from elements that dont' become radioactive too. It's a serious enough problem that the first and most important clue that Pons and Fleischmann had not achieved cold fusion was that they were still alive.

about 5 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

localroger Maybe same chemicals, but not $20 (1330 comments)

As I replied below, my wife was on the PIll for 30 years. If there was a cheaper alternative I'd know about it.

about 7 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

localroger Great idea! Not only that... (1330 comments)

...there is no danger of pregnancy when the cucumber loses its cool and rapes you.

about 7 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

localroger In the US, insurance is a racket (1330 comments)

Nearly everything is much cheaper to an insurance company than it is for you if you walk in the pharmacy and pay for it out of pocket. By not being able to get it on insurance, you lose that discount. Not that it should be that way, but that's how it is, and often that discount is 70% or more because of some foolishness called "differential pricing" instead of by its proper name, "theft."

about 7 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

localroger More like $50/month in the US (1330 comments)

My wife has been on the Pill for 30 years. Believe me, if there were a cheaper option I'd know about it.

about 7 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

localroger Not in the US. (1330 comments)

The most common birth control pill in use in the US costs USD$50 a month not counting the mandatory prescriptions. Many countries do sell them cheaper -- but not in the US, and they are never OTC here. Although free clinics do sometimes hand out Plan B I have never heard of one that dispenses regular non-emergency contraception. And this is where the ruling in question applies.

about 7 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

localroger Lots of people can't afford a movie a week (1330 comments)

Particularly a $12 movie, which is what they would have to cost to equal the cost of the Pill. (Not counting the mandatory biannual medical exams, without which you can't get a prescription.) Ginsberg noted in her dissent that the cost of an IUD is comparable to a month's salary for a person making minimum wage. Then again, I'm sure you'll also agree that the cost of your own vaccines and blood transfusions are also reasonable when those folks start claiming their exemption under this stupid ruling.

about 7 months ago
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US Marshals Seize Police Stingray Records To Keep Them From the ACLU

localroger An old neighbor said 5 = bad cop (272 comments)

He himself retired from the redacted state police after 12 years, some spent undercover. He said that for the most part the idealists who want to save the world get washed out by the corruption by 5 years and anyone who's stayed longer than that is getting more out of it than their salary.

about 8 months ago
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Grace Hopper, UNIVAC, and the First Programming Language

localroger Not really (137 comments)

Your 8080 didn't spend most of its time waiting for instructions to pop out of the end of its delay line memory. (My first computer was also powered by an 8080, represent.)

about 8 months ago
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Meet Canada's Goosebuster Drone

localroger This might work for awhile (74 comments)

It will stop working when the geese realize that the drones never eat a goose and can be safely ignored.

about 8 months ago
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Obama Says He May Or May Not Let the NSA Exploit the Next Heartbleed

localroger This has nothing to do with Snowden etc. (134 comments)

I'm fully with the "buck stops here" theory of governance. The problem is that this isn't even a buck. How, exactly, do you think that the information that an exploit like Heartbleed exists migrates in a compartmentalized agency like the NSA from the group that identifies it to use in spying to the group that perhaps looks to protect us from foreign spies? How does it migrate to top administration? The answer is that it doesn't. It can't. Maybe it should, but as the NSA (and probably any practially workable version of it) exists there simply is no channel for that information to move from those who are using it to others who might have a need, on wholly different merits, to know it.

It is very unlikely that the guys who discovered Heartbleed as a SIGINT opportunity had any channels at all to warn other arms of the agency that it might be a vulnerability on our side; consider how such channels could and would be misused in so many other situations. The spooks would never implement such a thing. From the SIGINT side Heartbleed is a low-level technical detail, hardly worth the attention of a Civil Service level adminstrator except for the ops that it makes possible.

about 10 months ago
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Obama Says He May Or May Not Let the NSA Exploit the Next Heartbleed

localroger The President doesn't micro-manage this stuff (134 comments)

Really, anybody who thinks anybody cabinet level or higher even knows about this kind of logistical detail is an idiot. This isn't at all like the torture thing which is a basic human rights violation; nobody is questioning the NSA's right to spy on certain people, and this has nothing to do with any accusation that they're spying on people they shouldn't be spying on. This is about technological implementation, and it's part of NSA's purview as a spy agency to explore technologies that further their ability to do their job. Part of that is discovering weaknesses in cryptographic systems which are trusted by the people you want to spy on. Having discovered such a useful weakness they aren't obliged to report it, although they are obliged not to use it (or any of their other techniques) against our own citizens.

about 10 months ago
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How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

localroger Re:In a cochlear implant users own words: (510 comments)

El Rushbo's deafness isn't natural, it's the result of adult opioid abuse, so the treatment may be different than for non drug-addicts who are just naturally deaf.

about 10 months ago
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The Rescue Plan That Could Have Saved Space Shuttle Columbia

localroger If you have a time machine with a short range (247 comments)

...of only a few days, then this would be quite useful. You could get Denzel Washington in onthe project somehow.

about a year ago

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