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Comment: Synology (Score 5, Informative) 227

I recently installed a small DS212+ for a small office of 5 using around 1tb of data. The NAS was chosen as a low cost option but after running it for a few weeks it's actually better than a windows box for this use case, mostly because of its excellent software and ease of use. It has a built in VPN server and access to a host of 3rd party apps. Highly recommended.

Android

+ - Final Android 3.0 SDK released->

Submitted by teh31337one
teh31337one (1590023) writes "Google have released the SDK for their tablet OS, Android 3.0 "Honeycomb".

Google state on their developers blog that the APIs are final, and you can now develop apps targeting this new platform and publish them to Android Market. The new API level is 11.

An overview of the new user and developer features, is available here: Android 3.0 Platform Highlights."

Link to Original Source

+ - Linking Without RTFA Can Get You In Trouble->

Submitted by microbee
microbee (682094) writes "Journalist Nir Rosen published some offensive tweets about CBS' Lara Logan. He asserted he did not know the assualt was sexual in nature although his tweet contained a link to CBS' statement. Anderson Cooper found it unbelievable that he could link to an article without knowing the full contents of it. Obviously Cooper never visited Slashdot to know the common sense."
Link to Original Source

+ - Psychic Neural Nets Take Drugs and Draw-> 1

Submitted by brilanon
brilanon (1121645) writes "The open source artificial-life sim Critterding is a physics sandbox where blocky creatures evolve neural nets in a survival contest. What we've done is to give these animals an extra retina which is shared with the whole population. It's extended through time like a movie and they can write to it for communication or pleasure. Since this introduces the possibility of the creation of art, we decided to give them a selection of narcotics, stimulants and psychedelics. This is not in Critterding.

telepathic-critterdrug is our new application and it may actually produce hallucinations in the user. If the rules for Conway's game of life emerged from the substrate's thought and evolution you might get something like this. (Screenshot)"

Link to Original Source
Education

+ - The Internet Generation: Old Fogies in their 20s?

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times has an interesting report on the iGeneration, born in the ’90s and this decade comparing them to the Net Generation, born in the 1980s. The Net Generation spend two hours a day talking on the phone and still use e-mail frequently while the iGeneration — conceivably their younger siblings — spends considerably more time texting than talking on the phone, pays less attention to television than the older group and tends to communicate more over instant-messenger networks. “People two, three or four years apart are having completely different experiences with technology,” says Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. “College students scratch their heads at what their high school siblings are doing, and they scratch their heads at their younger siblings. It has sped up generational differences.” Dr. Larry Rosen, a professor of psychology at California State University, says that the iGeneration, unlike their older peers, expect an instant response from everyone they communicate with, and don't have the patience for anything less. “They’ll want their teachers and professors to respond to them immediately, and they will expect instantaneous access to everyone, because after all, that is the experience they have growing up,” says Rosen. Another intra-generational gap is the iGeneration comfort in multi-tasking with studies showing that 16- to 18-year-olds perform seven tasks, on average, in their free time — like texting on the phone, sending instant messages and checking Facebook while sitting in front of the television while people in their early 20s can handle only six, and those in their 30s perform about five and a half. "That versatility is great when they’re killing time, but will a younger generation be as focused at school and work as their forebears?" writes Brad Smith. “I worry that young people won’t be able to summon the capacity to focus and concentrate when they need to,” says Vicky Rideout, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation."

+ - What kind of a computer system for RV?

Submitted by Slartidad
Slartidad (1717722) writes "I am purchasing a small (32 foot) RV and looking for ideas for implementation of a computer system for it. So far I am putting in video cameras, sound and dvd players, three monitors (two mirrored ones for movie watching movies, one touch screen for driver) What other uses should I plan for? I have set side very little hardware so far (2 video cameras and the three monitors) so the OS question is wide open, my budget is $1,000.00

What do you think?"
Technology

+ - 2010 is the year of 3D

Submitted by GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes (729054) writes "It is now, just this first week in January, basically impossible to avoid some media outlet breathlessly informing me that 2010 AD is going to be the year of 3D, not only will we now be having 3D TV sets in our homes, but every piece of cinematic crap from the seventies (Star Wars) onwards is going to be re-released in 3D.

Luckily, all the major electronics manufacturers have new products, which take about a year to develop, ready to take advantage of the “smash hit” that was Avatar, which took about a year to develop. Now isn’t that a happy coincidence?

Even Sky, who have yet to broadcast any decent quality HD content (e.g. 1080p @ > 16 mbit/sec) are getting in on the bandwagon, football is going to be in 3D.

Deep Joy. Every pub, venue and lounge on the planet is now going to look like covens of the Stevie Wonder appreciation society.
(I’m not going to diss Roy Orbison, at least he had talent)

Even better, studios are claiming that the new 3D format is “pirate proof”!! (Yeah, that’ll be why I downloaded the 3d IMAX version of Avatar buddy) This fallacy is of course based on the false notion that all film piracy is due to kids sneaking camcorders into the cinema.

Even better still, all your Blu-Ray players and 1080p HD televisions are now obsolete, so you’ll have to buy new stuff.

So, what is 3D TV?

Currently, there are two ways of displaying a picture, one is interlaced, one is progressive.

A 1080p set has 1080 horizontal lines, in an interlaced picture every other line, or 540 lines, is refreshed each frame, in progressive, all 1080 lines are refreshed each frame.

A frame is each individual image on a roll of film.

Now we have seen our flat panel TVs, which started out at 50 Hz (60 Hz if your are state-side) go to 100 Hz (120 Hz) and now 200 Hz (240 Hz) and of course the default 24 Hz movie refresh, which is a bit of nonsense really because if you show a 24 Hz movie on a 240 Hz set, it just means ten successive frames on the set show each frame of the movie, then move on to the next frame.

Now it depends on whether or not you are cynical (experienced) or gullible.

It just so happens, rather like Avatar and 3D televisions both being ready for market at the same time, that all the existing HD TV technology is exactly what you need to do 3D TV, how amazing is that?

How it works is this, you take the existing panel technology, and then you put a *switchable* polarising filter in front of the screen. No aftermarket answers here, you buy a whole new set.

Then, with the existing technology which allows refresh rates which are multiples of frame rates, you start showing left channel image data for this frame with the polarising filter switched this way, then you show the right channel image for the same frame with the polarising filter switched that way.

All you need to add now is a set of gimpy Stevie Wonder glasses, with each lens containing nothing more than a polarising filter, set at 90 degrees to one another, to match the two states of the polarising filter built in to the screen, and voila!

Part of each frame can only be seen by the left eye, while the right eye sees only dark screen, and part of each frame can only be seen by the right eye, while the left eye sees only dark screen. Do this backwards and forwards fast enough and, like cine film, you get apparent smooth motion, but now in 3D.

BUT IT BLOODY WELL IS NOT THREE DEE!

The keyboard that I am typing this on IS three dee, and because the function keys are further away from my eyes than ZXCVB etc, there is depth of field and focus.

But, on a television screen, absolutely everything you see is exactly the same distance away. There is no depth of field, there is no focus.

So how the hell to they say it is 3D.

Google “moving optical illusion” and all will become clearer, or more blurred and head-achey depending on your perspective.

So it is NOT 3D, and like the so called 3D pictures shown on the Google search, a large part of the “trick” to viewing them involves training your mind to stop rejecting the twisty wrongness, and start perceiving depth or movement that simply is not there.

This is nothing less than a MASSIVE social experiment in optical /neural stimulus.

I am personally extremely dubious about the long term effects of this on the brain.

Speaking of myself personally, I have what is known as a “lazy eye” which means my brain basically ignores much of what my right eye sees. It all works, and when I was seven years old I wore a patch on my left eye for six months, which taught my brain to stop ignoring my right eye, but, within six months of removing the patch, my brain went back to ignoring it again.

For people like me then, this new 3D technology simply does not work, period, and can not be made to work.

Interestingly, only a very small percentage of the population use both eyes equally, the vast majority of the population have brains that favour one eye slightly over the other, it is a distribution curve, with people like me at one end, and those who use both eyes equally at the other, and everyone else somewhere in the middle.

But of course none of this matters, the marketing departments have already decided the future.

So, to (mis)quote Animal Farm, our dystopian Stevie Wonder fan club future worlds looks like it is going to be “Four eyes good, two eyes bad”

I wonder if it will evolve into “Four eyes good, two eyes better”"
Linux

+ - $199 Freescale Tablet runs Chrome OS-> 3

Submitted by Charbax
Charbax (678404) writes "This is an extensive video interview with Freescale's Manager of Software development about their integration of the Chromium OS onto their ARM Cortex A8 i.MX51 based $199 Tablet reference design.

It seems to run smoothly and fast with multiple tabs. No touch screen support yet so input is using a USB keyboard and mouse for now, but the WiFi drivers are fine. Freescale is also demonstrating Android and Ubuntu versions. Those have 3G sim card reader built-in, even an HDMI output and 720p video playback. The question is, will they be able to support full Chrome browser web browsing at full speed on the most Javascript and Flash intensive websites and support an unlimited amount of opened tabs?"

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Ikee worm author wins job as iPhone app developer->

Submitted by Unexpof
Unexpof (1364249) writes "It looks like the owners of non-jailbroken iPhones might soon be running code written by a virus writer after all.

Ashley Towns, the 21-year-old author of the Rickrolling Ikee worm which displayed an image of 1980s pop star Rick Astley on infected iPhones, has been given a job by an Australian company that develops applications for the iPhone, according to a report from Sophos.

Towns revealed on his Twitter page that he had been hired by Mogeneration, a Sydney-based firm that develops a number of different iPhone apps including Lingopal, TrueLocal and Xumii.

Sophos researcher Graham Cluley claims that the iPhone worm's code includes a number of bugs, and that "there are plenty of young coders out there who would not have acted so stupidly, are just as worthy of an opportunity inside a software development company, and are actually quite likely to be better coders than Towns.""

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The Internet

+ - 30000 UK ISP Users Face Illegal P2P Threat Letters->

Submitted by Mark.JUK
Mark.JUK (1222360) writes "Solicitors at ACS:Law have been granted approval by the Royal Courts of Justice in London to demand the private personal details of some 30,000 customers suspected of involvement with illegal file sharing from UK broadband ISPs. The customers concerned are "suspected" of illegally file sharing (P2P) approximately 291 movie titles, they now face threatening demands for money (settlement) or risk the prospect of court action. It's noted that 25,000 of the IP addresses that have been collected belong to BT users."
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Databases

+ - How to manage database changes (MySQL)? 1

Submitted by pimpam
pimpam (1686184) writes "I'm in charge of deploying a reasonably high-traffic dynamic web site built on PHP/MySQL. We are a team of 5 developers and we update the site every 2 weeks.

We use rsync to deploy code to staging and then production, but can't decide on the best approach to managing changes to the database schema. Ideally I'd like a reliable automated solution but haven't found any, and am weighing up whether it's better to keep looking (so any of the developers can easily deploy) or just to managing changes manually (in which case deployments are tedious and error-prone). We only have a single master database server.

How do fellow slashdotters do this?"

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins

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