Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:You'll miss them in a disaster (Score 1) 309

by Dhraakellian (#35457692) Attached to: King Wants To Sell Out Ham Radio

Voice-mode message passing is indeed a slow fallback (I think 5wpm was the number given at a recent RACES drill locally), which is why various digital/packet modes are coming into use.

Granted, it's still probably a good idea to have those skills in case your TNC fails, and voice is the only mode you have available.

Microsoft

Will Ballmer Be Replaced As Microsoft CEO? 342

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-eventually-sure dept.
Strudelkugel writes "The Beast reports unhappiness with Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft: Sources say the talk around Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, headquarters — which has grown increasingly loud ever since Apple surpassed Microsoft in market capitalization — is that the company's stock suffers from a 'Ballmer discount,' and that the CEO is on the clock to significantly move the needle on its share price over the next two or three quarters or face a potential move to oust him. 'Ballmer is on the list of mega-executives under pressure,' says a banker who has negotiated deals for Microsoft. 'If he was asked to leave the building, I suspect there would be more happy than unhappy people.'"
Google

Google Street View Logs Wi-Fi Networks, MAC Addresses 559

Posted by timothy
from the cannot-see-basements dept.
An anonymous reader points to this story at The Register that says "Google is collecting more than just images when they drive around for the Street View service. 'Google's roving Street View spycam may blur your face, but it's got your number. The Street View service is under fire in Germany for scanning private WLAN networks, and recording users' unique MAC (Media Access Control) addresses, as the car trundles along.' There's a choice quote at the end: 'Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently said Internet users shouldn't worry about privacy unless they have something to hide.'"

Comment: Bittorrent is not the enemy (Score 1) 234

by Dhraakellian (#29857935) Attached to: Hulu May Begin Charging For Content Next Year

The TV studios need to realize that the internet and bittorrent are not going away. They need to adapt and learn to use these technologies to their advantage.

They should release directly and officially to bittorrent with tastefully inserted ads. If the ads aren't overly obnoxious, people will be more likely to stay with the official, legitimate version and less likely to remove them or grab copies with the ads already removed.

Bittorrent also has the practical advantage of providing ratings with an enormous sample size. Even if the viewer to downloader ratio isn't exactly 1:1, bittorrent tracker stats would still be a good indicator of popularity.

I would suggest replacing the station ID watermark with a static "Sponsored by..." notice that changes at the points when there would otherwise be a commercial break. These would be better than banners because they'd be harder to remove without destroying part of the picture and would be far less annoying and offputting than the animated [unprintable] found in some OTA broadcasts.

If advertisers are unwilling to pay as much for such watermarks tucked away in the corner of the screen, classic-style commercials interspersed at certain intervals, but these would be easier to remove or just fast-forward through. These are more annoying and disruptive if not skipped, but customers (and advertisers) are used to them. DVR and VHS have had fast-forwarding for ages with time-shifted watching. Perhaps torrent streaming could be the answer to this for those who want their shows *right now*, before the download finishes all the way.

Hulu is a step in the right direction, but Flash is annoying, restrictive, and has performance issues for non-Windows users.

Comment: Re:computer generation gap (Score 3, Informative) 939

by Dhraakellian (#29621165) Attached to: The Most Useless Key On My Keyboard Is...

As a Missing Option how about the "SysRq" part of the Print Screen button... What the heck does that do?

It's useful for sending commands to the kernel.

For instance,

Alt+SysRq+{REISUB} (mnemonic: "Raising Elephants Is So Utterly Boring" or just "busier" backwards) is used to reboot an unresponsive Linux box:

  • R changes the keyboard mode
  • E sends SIGTERM to everything but init
  • I sends SIGKILL to everything but init
  • S attempts to sync all mounted filesystems
  • U attempts to unmount all filesystems
  • B immediately reboots the system.

It is useful, but it's inconvenient enough that it should avoid the watered-down fate of ctrl+alt+delete.

Comment: Re:CAPS LOCK (Score 1) 939

by Dhraakellian (#29620947) Attached to: The Most Useless Key On My Keyboard Is...

CapsLock is for trolling, overexcited teenage girls on AOL IM, and other such unenviable situations.

Just remap the key to something useful, such as Compose or, as with the Colemak keyboard layout, a second backspace.

The key itself isn't useless, but its default function is rather redundant and encourages bad behavior. Hold shift down if you really need to shout your emphasis. The added discomfort should serve as a reminder to use it sparingly.

Comment: Re:Scroll lock == KVM change system key (Score 1) 939

by Dhraakellian (#29620657) Attached to: The Most Useless Key On My Keyboard Is...

BTW, I voted the "Windows key" since I strictly run Linux. For me, it doesn't even have the functionality of the scroll lock key.

For goodness' sake, man, slap a Tux logo over that key and call it "meta" like the KDE folks do. KDE4 uses it for a number of global shortcuts. I've been using it to control Amarok since before KDE4 was thought of (meta+Z = play/pause; meta+shift+Z = stop; meta+alt+Z = stop after current track). I'm sure Gnome and XFCE users can think of similar uses for it.

(and before anyone suggests Compose/multi_key, I have that mapped to CapsLock, a key which is otherwise rather useless in most cases.)

NASA

Can the Ares Program Be Salvaged? 245

Posted by timothy
from the classic-special-interest dept.
MarkWhittington writes "The Augustine Commission has not officially presented its findings to the White House, but already a push back is starting to occur over the possibility that the Ares 1 rocket will be canceled after three billion dollars and over four years of development. According to a story in the Orlando Sentinel contractors involved in the development of the Ares 1 have started a quiet but persistent public relations campaign to save the Ares 1, criticized in some quarters because of cost and technical problems."
Communications

Facial Expressions Are "Not Global" 137

Posted by kdawson
from the look-me-in-the-mouth dept.
An anonymous reader sends in a BBC report on new research out of Glasgow University, which detected differences in how facial expressions are read between Westerners and East Asians. Using eye tracking, the researchers determined that "people from different cultural groups observe different parts of the face when interpreting expression. East Asians participants tended to focus on the eyes of the other person, while Western subjects took in the whole face, including the eyes and the mouth." Interestingly, the researchers point out that the emoticons used online by the two groups reflect this difference.
Space

Nearby, Recent Interplanetary Collision Inferred 88

Posted by kdawson
from the when-worlds-collide dept.
The Bad Astronomer writes about a new discovery by the Spitzer Space Telescope, which detected signs of an interplanetary smashup only 100 light-years from here, and only a few thousand years ago. There's a NASA-produced animation of the collision between a Mercury-sized planet and a moon-sized impactor. The collision's aftermath was detected by the presence of what are essentially glass shards in orbit around the star. Here's NASA's writeup.
Businesses

Working Off the Clock, How Much Is Too Much? 582

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the volunteering-isn't-voluntary dept.
The Wall Street Journal has word of yet another suit against an employer who required an "always on" mentality to persist because of easily available communications. Most of us working in some sort of tech related job are working more than 40 hours per week (or at least lead the lifestyle of always working), but how much is too much? What methods have others used in the past to help an employer see the line between work and personal life without resorting to a legal attack? "Greg Rasin, a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP, a New York business law firm, said the recession may spawn wage-and-hour disputes as employers try to do the same amount of work with fewer people. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act says employees must be paid for work performed off the clock, even if the work was voluntary. When the law was passed in 1938, 'work' was easy to define for hourly employees, said Mr. McCoy. As the workplace changed, so did the rules for when workers should be paid."
Software

Opera Dominates CNET Survey of "Underdog" Web Browsers 173

Posted by timothy
from the html's-great-blessing-is-heterogeneity dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Whether you consider Opera an underdog browser or not, it came out on top in a feature on CNet this weekend. It was up against 'underdog Web browsers' Camino, K-Meleon, Shiira and Arora in a piece loosely aimed at determining whether these browsers are yet ready to steal significant numbers of users from Firefox, Safari, IE etc. Interesting most to me, however, is that it transpires that Shiira, the Mac browser from Japan, is one of the fastest browsers on the planet, beating the original Chrome v1.0, Firefox 3.5 and more in its benchmark tests."

After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.

Working...