For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

+ - 102 Brick-Laying Robot Can Build a Full-Sized House in Two Days->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula writes: As robots get smarter, cheaper and more versatile, they're taking on a growing number of challenges – and bricklaying can now be added to the list. Engineers in Perth, Australia, have created a fully working house-building machine that can create the brick framework of a property in just two days, working about 20 times faster than a human bricklayer.
Link to Original Source

+ - 115 Brand Yourself by Building a Twitter Following

Submitted by Tanisha Williams
Tanisha Williams writes: Twitter is a network that contains an abundance of interaction between users and is the perfect platform if you wish to brand yourself as an author. An enormous amount of tweets are shared each day, and the majority of the world is observing these tweets. Despite this fact, if you do not devote enough time and effort to building your Twitter following, you are missing out on the zillions of eyeballs that could be gazing your masterpiece. With this social media platform it is essential that you make sure you are using the proper strategy to brand yourself. Twitter is a large network, but it is composed of many smaller communities. So in order to efficiently create a community that is composed of people with a shared interest, it is vital that the content you choose to post has a single core focus. The key factor to gaining followers on Twitter and building a brand is ultimately building a following comprised of readers who have a genuine interest in you and what you have to offer as a writer.

Create a Profile
The first step to building a Twitter following is to build your profile. Your profile should be clear so that you can be certain readers will want to follow you. Creating your profile does not take a long time. When creating your Twitter name, you should truly give a lot of thought to how you want to brand yourself as an author and make it as simple as possible. Since tweets only allow 140 characters, it is important to remember that every character counts. You should also take in to consideration the ease or difficultly in which you Twitter name can be found. By keeping your name simple, your target audience will be able to search and find you with ease without having to hunt you down.

No Brainer Tip — You can use your author name, which would make it relatively easy for potential followers to find you!

Follow People
One you've created a profile, search for communities that your target market is following, and start following the followers of that community. An effective strategy is to find a profile of a professional author, preferably one who is in the same genre as you. You should then “view” their list of followers. From there, take some time to follow the people who follow them. Naturally, these people will commence to following you back. In order to successfully brand yourself and build a Twitter following, it's also a good practice to follow those that start following you. This is the most effective method to accumulate more followers who are interested in you and what you have to offer.

Use Hashtags
Using hashtags is also an important aspect of building a Twitter following in your quest to brand yourself. Just in case you are super new to Twitter and unfamiliar with the lingo, a hashtag is the tic-tac-toe looking character on your keyboard. Ending tweets with hashtags creates a community in and of itself of people who are tweeting on the same topic. Thus, hashtags allow your target audience to easily find your post. You should therefore give careful consideration to the topics your potential followers may be searching for when choosing a hashtag. Try to compose tweets where you regularly hashtag a trending topic at the time. This will significantly increase your exposure and help you brand yourself as an author.

Tweeting in moderation is important when building a Twitter following. If you don't tweet enough, people will lose interest, and if you tweet excessively, people will lose interest. Tweeting twice a day tends to be the ideal sweet spot. You should tweet once before 9 am and once after 5 pm, as these are the hours that most people check their Twitter feed. By tweeting at these hours, you increase the chances of your posts being seen. Try and vary the content between the tweet you post in the morning and the one you post at night, and avoid posting content that is

When using Twitter as a platform to brand yourself, the most important step is to respond to your followers. Thank them for following you....Thank them for their retweets....Thank them for favoring your tweets. Remember that your followers are utilizing Twitter as a social networking tool. So the more you interact, the more successful you'll be in developing a community of loyal followers who are eager to read your latest tweets on your next book release!

Tanisha Williams is the author of two non-profit e-books “501c3 In 12-Steps” and “Simple Internal Controls That Protect Your Assets”. Her desire for more interaction with readers was the key inspiration behind the development of her latest business venture ChatEbooks. ChatEbooks, launched in October 2014, harnesses the strengths of social media in order to help authors and their readers engage and connect within the context of the selling/reading experience.

+ - 279 Adafruit now has same day delivery in Manhattan->

Submitted by coop0030
coop0030 writes: Adafruit, an open source hardware and software company, is now one of the first maker companies to offer same day delivery. If you order by 11am from the initially supported zip codes, you'll receive your package on the same day. You can find more details at our same day delivery page.
Link to Original Source

+ - 102 FriendUP - an OS that uses the whole internet as PC->

Submitted by hogne
hogne writes: FriendUP — the Friend Unifying Platform — is a new open source OS that runs in your web browser, on your phone, tablet or TV, that uses the whole internet as hardware. It uses the resources where it can find them, and connects them to your screen. Additionally, it treats everything as a file, with each resource separated on its own virtual partition. This way, you can copy files between your Wordpress site, your email and your storage disk — either using its desktop environment, or through the built-in SSH server. There is now a campaign on Kickstarter, to help speed up the completion of the project.
Link to Original Source

+ - 191 Venus and Jupiter: Together at Last->

Submitted by The Grim Reefer
The Grim Reefer writes: Anyone who pays even cursory attention to the evening sky has surely noticed that the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, have been drawing closer together in the west in the evening twilight. At the beginning of June, the two planets were 20 degrees apart in the sky, about twice the width of your fist held at arm's length. Week by week, Jupiter and the stars behind it have gradually slipped lower in the evening twilight. But Venus, due to its rapid orbital motion around the Sun, has stayed high up.

But now the spectacle is taking an even more dramatic turn — one you just can't miss. For eight nights beginning June 27th, these two bright planets will be within 2 degrees of each other — close enough to cover both with the thumb of an outstretched hand. In the midst of that weeklong run, on June 30th, Venus and Jupiter will appear so close together — just 1/3 of a degree apart — that they'll look like a tight, brilliant double star in the evening sky. You'll be able to cover both with the tip of an outstretched pinky finger.

Link to Original Source

+ - 121 Microsoft to sell Bing Maps, advertising sections->

Submitted by UnknowingFool
UnknowingFool writes: Microsoft has announced that they will sell some Bing Maps technology to Uber and their advertising business to AOL. About 1300 employees are expected to be offered positions in their new companies. CEO Nadella said previously that there would be "tough choices" to be made. Some outside analysts have said neither venture was very profitable for Microsoft and may have been unprofitable at times.
Link to Original Source

+ - 105 Crowfunding might save Greece->

Submitted by Pander
Pander writes: A bold crowdfunding campaign might save the Greek people from a Grexit. The amount that needs to be pledged is unprecedented even though it requires only € 3,- per European. The idea behind it is to move on to other business and fix what politicians could not do by using the power of the people and crowdfunding. Leaving aside that things in Greece must change and they remain responsible for their economic situation, all these meetings and media attention is costing us also valuable time and money. So make a pledge, make world history, enjoy some Greek products in return and move on to other important business.
Link to Original Source

+ - 154 First Fedora image for the MIPS architecture is available for testing->

Submitted by alexvoica
alexvoica writes: Today Fedora contributor Michal Toman has announced that the first Fedora 22 image for 32-bit MIPS CPUs is available for testing; this version of the operating system was developed using our Creator CI20 microcomputer which includes a 1.2 GHz dual-core MIPS processor.

In addition, Michal announced he is working on a 64-bit version designed to run on MIPS-based Cavium OCTEON III processors.

Link to Original Source

+ - 393 European goverment agrees Net Neutrality rules, with exemptions

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The European Union's three main legislative bodies, the European Council, the European Parliment, and the European Commision, have reached an agreement on "Open Internet" rules that establish principles similar to Net Neutrality in the EU. The rules require that all internet traffic and users be treated equally, forbidding paid-for prioritisation of traffic. However, exemptions are permitted for particular "specialised services" where the service is not possible under the open network's normal conditions, provided that the customer using the service pays for the privilege. (The examples given are IPTV, teleconferencing, and telepresence surgery.) Zero-rating — exempting particular data from traffic caps — is also permitted, but will be subject to oversight.

+ - 164 The gaming chip that nearly changed the world->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: In the Wild West of Silicon Valley startups of the late 1990s, one little company looked like it might accomplish something incredible. VM Labs had some of the best engineering talent in the world, an explosive mix of bright young minds with burning ambition and experienced old hands who once held key positions in companies such as Atari, Sony, and Sega. Their business revolved around a little chunk of silicon codenamed "Project X.” Later, they officially named their dream chip the Nuon. VM Labs believed it might change the world. (See their marketing specs [PDF] or OEM architecture guide [PDF] for proof.)
Link to Original Source

+ - 136 Popular VPNs Leak Data, Don't Offer Promised Privacy And Anonymity

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: VPN services can be used for circumventing Internet censorship and accessing blocked content, but researchers warn that you shouldn't believe the companies' claims that they offer privacy and anonymity. A group of researchers from the Sapienza University (Rome) and Queen Mary University (London) have recently tested 14 of the most popular commercial VPN services: Hide My Ass, IPVanish, Astrill, ExpressVPN, StrongVPN, PureVPN, TorGuard, AirVPN, PrivateInternetAccess, VyprVPN, Tunnelbear, proXPN, Mullvad, and Hotspot Shield Elite. They found that ten of them leak IP data, and all except one are vulnerable to IPv6 DNS hijacking attacks.

+ - 141 Finnish co-inventor of SMS texting dies->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The BBC News reports that Matti Makkonen, one of the "grand old man of mobile industry" who helped launch the worldwide sensation of texting, has died at the age of 63 after an illness.

Although planning to retire later in 2015 from the board of Finnet Telecoms, Makkonen constantly remained fascinated with communications technologies, from the Nokia 2010 mobile phone to 3G connections.

He lived just enough to witness the last remnants of former finnish mobile industry giant Nokia disappear, as Redmond announced its intent last month to convert all Nokia stores into Microsoft-branded Authorised Reseller and Service Centres, offering Xbox game consoles alongside the Nokia-drived Lumia range of smartphones.

Link to Original Source

+ - 143 NSA denies engaging in economic espionage->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Anyway, with all that it should be obvious that of course the NSA engages in economic espionage — but as if to highlight this even more strongly, Wikileaks has now released more documents showing pretty clear economic espionage in the form of snooping on French finance ministers, looking to get information on "French export contracts, trade and budget talks."
Link to Original Source

+ - 231 Lawsuit Filed Over Domain Name Registered 16 Years Before Plaintiff's Use

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Cybersquatting is registering, selling or using a domain name with the intent of profiting from the goodwill of someone else's trademark. It generally refers to the practice of buying up domain names that use the names of existing businesses with the intent to sell the names for a profit to those businesses. Now Andrew Allmann writes at Domain Name Wire that New York company Office Space Solutions, Inc. has filed a cybersquatting lawsuit against Jason Kneen over the domain name WorkBetter.com that Kneen registered in 1999 although Office Space Solutions didn't use the term “Work Better” in commerce until 2015. "Workbetter.com is virtually identical to, and/or confusingly similar to the WORK BETTER Service Mark, which was distinctive at the time that the Defendant renewed and/or updated the registration of workbetter.com," says the lawsuit. But according to an Office Space Solutions’ filing with the USPTO, it didn’t use the term “Work Better” in commerce until 2015. Office Space Solutions is making the argument that the domain name was renewed in bad faith. According to Kneen, Office Space previously tried to purchase the domain name from him and after it failed to acquire the domain name, is now trying to take it via a lawsuit.

+ - 134 Ask Slashdot: What to do with empty toner cartridges?

Submitted by MoarSauce123
MoarSauce123 writes: Over time I accumulated a number of empty toner cartridges for a Brother laser printer. Initially, I wanted to take a local office supply chain store up on their offer to give me store credit for the returned cartridge. For that credit to be issued I would have to sign up for their store card providing a bunch of personal information. The credit is so lousy that after the deduction from the sales price of a new toner cartridge the price is still much higher than from a large online retailer. And the credit only applies to one new cartridge, so I cannot keep collecting the credit and then get a cartridge 'for free' at some point.
I also looked into a local store of a toner refill chain. Their prices are a bit better, but the closest store is about half an hour away with rather odd business hours. Still, at the end they charge more than the large online retailer asks for a brand new cartridge.
For now I bring the empty cartridges to the big office supply store and tell them that I do not want their dumb store credit. I rather have big corp make some bucks on me than throw these things in the trash and have it go to a landfill.
Are there any better options? Anything from donating it to charity to refilling myself is of interest.

+ - 128 Boxuino - the professional Arduino enclosure with HMI

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Boxuino is a professional enclosure for your next project involving Arduino or other microcontrollers, sensors, relays, actuators, etc.
It will fit any major developing platform like Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone, or your own design. It comes with an LCD, keypad and Arduino code for sample menu.

https://www.kickstarter.com/pr...

If you consider it to be worthy of sharing with your electronics enthusiasts readers, then please do so. Either way, any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,

Mircea