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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 7 declined, 5 accepted (12 total, 41.67% accepted)

+ - Satellite Internet connections for South America (specifically Peru). Advice? 6

Submitted by EdIII
EdIII (1114411) writes "I've been looking on the Internet for a decent contention service (4:1,10:1) in South America and I am not finding much. I have also heard that some frequency bands are a lot better at cutting through cloud cover. This is for a fairly remote ground station with reliable power generation, but also routinely cloudy. I would need at least 3/1Mbps with hopefully decent latency. What's your advice Slashdotters? Yes, I know that some of the solutions can cost 20K for deployment and 2-10K per month for service. Not looking NASA results with Home Depot parts on the budget of a 7/11 chiclet. Feel free to to tell me about a good commercial service. There is another ground station that might be deployed in north east Alaska. Thanks"
Politics

+ - White House must answer petition to "Build Death Star"->

Submitted by EdIII
EdIII (1114411) writes "The White House petition to secure funding for building the Death Star has garnered 25,499 petitions, meaning the White House must officially respond.

I can't wait for the response... but my question to Slashdot readers is what modifications would you add to the proposed Death Star?

Obviously, as one journalist put it, "guardrails around any of the facility's seemingly endless number of bridges, spans, shafts and pits""

Link to Original Source
Science

+ - 7,500 square mile floating rock shelf in the Southern Ocean->

Submitted by EdIII
EdIII (1114411) writes "Sailors from New Zealand's Royal Navy found more than 7,500 square miles of the lava rock bobbing on the surface of the South Pacific Ocean, which is slightly smaller than New Jersey, but more interesting.

It has been initially determined to be from underwater volcanic eruption, possibly from Monowai."

Link to Original Source

+ - White House dimisses petition to investigate Chris-> 2

Submitted by EdIII
EdIII (1114411) writes "Recently a petition was successful to ask the White House to investigate former Senator, and now MPAA CEO, Chris Dodd and others for bribery due to his specific comments about funding from Hollywood tied to the passing of SOPA/PIPA. The White House refused to comment or take action on the grounds the petition specifically asked for a criminal investigation.

For all the lawyers out there, armchair or otherwise, how can we reword and resubmit the petition to ask the White House to compel an ethics investigation, or some similar investigation of improper conduct surrounding SOPA/PIPA that is within the purview of Congress and the President?

It's clearly bribery, so how we can change the wording so we can't be so easily dismissed?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Netflix meltdown in progress?

Submitted by EdIII
EdIII (1114411) writes "Like many I got home from work (approx 9:15 PST) and sat down to use my "Netflix Ready Device" to get my Netflix on.

It reported errors connecting on the device. Rebooted it, since it helped before, and still had the error.

Upon checking with my web browser I was unable play content with Netflix advising me to contact them.

Their 1800 number is so overloaded it first reported all circuits busy, but not in the same way as my cell phone would.

2nd attempt played a message saying that there were not accepting further calls due to heavy call volume.

So I went to my queue just to remove something and it reported that it could not do so in a jquery like pop-up.

Then my dvd queue and instant wach disappeared.

Then some of my personal data in front of me.

So..............

Anyone else experiencing similar issues with Netflix? It it having a really really bad day in the IT Dept? :D"

+ - material can pump water with no added energy-> 1

Submitted by EdIII
EdIII (1114411) writes "

Researchers at the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics have discovered a way to make liquid flow vertically upward along a silicon surface, overcoming the pull of gravity, without pumps or other mechanical devices.

This seems to be a trend where new materials are being designed with properties derived only from their physical construction, and not chemical components. Just recently there was a material modeled after spider hairs that is nearly 100% waterproof. The examples of this material are geared towards computing and thermal cooling, but.. if this material effectively pumps water without any energy requirements (pumps) and can do so against gravity I wonder if it could be used for different purposes. Pumping water obviously, but what about hydro power generation? Possible uses for this material seem to far exceed just computing."
Link to Original Source

Idle

+ - NYPD spends 1 million dollars on typewriters-> 1

Submitted by EdIII
EdIII (1114411) writes "Despite having most, if not all, of it's arrest forms computerized, the NYPD has spent nearly $1M dollars on new typewriters for it's police officers to fill out property and evidence vouchers with carbon copies. Regardless of complaints from police officers about inefficiency, lack of common sense, and slow processing type writers are not going to be phased out anytime soon according to officials. As one cop put it, "We have to sneak around the rest of the precinct in search of a ribbon to steal". According to one study by Dr. Edith Linn outdated equipment is part of the reason for officers being averse to making arrests for less serious crimes. However, it's not all bad news. For the type writer companies at least."
Link to Original Source
Communications

+ - 45 year old modem used to surf the web-> 3

Submitted by EdIII
EdIII (1114411) writes "

[phreakmonkey] got his hands on a great piece of old tech. It's a 1964 Livermore Data Systems Model A Acoustic Coupler Modem. He recieved it in 1989 and recently decided to see if it would actually work. It took some digging to find a proper D25 adapter and even then the original serial adapter wasn't working because the oscillator depends on the serial voltage. He dials in and connects at 300baud. Then logs into a remote system and fires up lynx to load Wikipedia. Lucky for [phreakmonkey] they managed to decide on a modulation standard in 1962. It's still amazing to see this machine working 45 years later.

Although impractical for surfing the Internet today, there is something truly cool about getting a 45-year old modem to work with modern technology. The question I have, is what is the oldest working piece of equipment fellow Slashdotters have out there? I'm afraid as far back as I can go is a Number Nine Imagine 128 Series 2 Graphics card on a server still in use at my house which only puts me at about 14 years."
Link to Original Source

Media

+ - ZillionTV brings ad-based streaming content to TV->

Submitted by EdIII
EdIII (1114411) writes "

The ZillionTV(TM) Service (www.zilliontv.tv) is a breakthrough television entertainment platform that gives television lovers instant access to their favorite shows and movies with no subscription fees — all on-demand and delivered directly to their television sets. Major Hollywood studios and television networks such as ABC/Disney, Fox, NBC/Universal, Sony and Warner Bros. have partnered with ZillionTV to provide a vast collection of programs that will continue to expand.

There is a catch:

Advertisers experience a revolutionary new way to ensure that viewers actually experience their advertising within an industry already hard-hit by the proliferation of ad-skipping DVR technology.

By opting in to view personally selected advertising with no fast forwarding allowed , the viewer actually earns rewards which can then be redeemed directly through the TV remote.

Now advertising is a deal breaker to me in all instances. Especially the forced viewing. However, there seems to be a strong indication that in exchange for targeted advertising that cannot be stopped the customer is given a free subscription and rewards that can be exchanged for products you see on the "TV". So fellow Slashdotters, just how many of you would be willing to make that kind of deal and why?"
Link to Original Source

Television

+ - Time Warner recommends Internet for some shows->

Submitted by EdIII
EdIII (1114411) writes "The dispute between Time Warner and Viacom over fees seems to be without any resolution this year. Time Warner faces the possibility of being without content for almost 20 channels. Alexander Dudley, a spokesperson for Time Warner, is fighting back:

We will be telling our customers exactly where they can go to see these programs online," Mr. Dudley said. "We'll also be telling them how they can hook up their PCs to a television set.

Why pay for digital cable when many content providers and now providing it on demand via the Internet? Not to mention the widespread availability of tv shows in both standard and high definition on public and private torrent tracker sites. It is entirely possible to watch television with no commercials or advertising with only an Internet connection. So getting your content via the Internet is not exactly free, but it certainly isn't contributing to Time Warner or any other cable providers revenue stream. The real question is why Time Warner would fight back by so clearly showing how increasingly obsolete they are becoming and that cable providers are losing their monopolistic grip on media delivery."
Link to Original Source

Privacy

+ - PC manufacturers view piracy as "hidden benefi

Submitted by EdIII
EdIII (1114411) writes "GamesIndustry.biz is running a story about an interview with Todd Hollenshead from iD. Some notable comments:

iD Software's CEO Todd Hollenshead has stated that he believes PC manufacturers' acceptance of piracy and the sharing of content the user does not pay for is the PC hardware industry's "dirty little secret".

Hollenshead — famed for PC titles Doom, Quake and the forthcoming Rage — believes that PC manufacturers will obviously speak out against piracy in public, but the enormity of the problem is evidence that it's being largely ignored by hardware companies.

If Mr. Hollenshead thinks that hardware companies are ignoring the problem, which is to say his problem, just what does he think the solution should be? It would seem that he thinks that computer hardware is no different than a rented cable tv box and the industry as a whole should have rights to create whatever protections that they want in the form of hardware level DRM.

Is a computer really just an extension of corporate property in consumer's homes, or do we as consumers have an absolute right to control what code gets executed and how?"

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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