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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:This Just In! (Score 1) 111

by Keick (#47785887) Attached to: How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

Just to burn some Karma i'm going to offer an opposing argument.

My biggest objection to municipality run ISP's is the rural factor; There is no laws that says a municipality has to provide service to those just outside.

I'm on Verizon DSL where I live, 3/4 mile outside of town limits but in a non-dense area. In college town there are thousands of apartments in high density areas, and also served by Verizon.

Now say the town decides to run it's own fiber to all these apartments. Now Verizon loses all that customer base, but is still required to operate in the surrounding low density areas. What do you think is going to happen to MY bills?

Comment: Slashdot Clone? (Score 4, Interesting) 197

by Keick (#46176301) Attached to: QuakeNet: Government-Sponsored Attacks On IRC Networks

Ok, I tried the beta. Yeah its not pretty, the comment section is pretty small width wise, it looks HORRIBLE on my iPad... The client side filtering of comments completely ignores my long time preferences, etc etc.

To the point; Many have asked about cloning Slashdot, and retaking the community site. But has anyone thought about how such a mission could be accomplished? Yes I know I can go grab slashcode and standup a 16 core xeon box to toss on my 100mbps connection. But what about the users, the stories, the comments. We can't just screen scrape those to stand up a new site.

In what possible way could we honestly standup a new slashdot that is community owned?


+ - How to fix Slashdot Beta? 17

Submitted by Forbo
Forbo (3035827) writes "Since the migration to Slashdot Beta was announced, it seems all meaningful discussion has been completely disrupted with calls to boycott and protest. Rather than pull an Occupy, what can be done to focus and organize the action? What is the end goal: To revert entirely to the previous site, or to address the problems with the new site?"

+ - Fuck beta 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The beta is bad. It's so bad. The comments are reduced in screen width about 50%. Subject lines are deemphasized, scores are minimized, etc.

The discussions are the reason to come to Slashdot, and the beta trivializes them entirely. It looks like the comment section on a generic news site.

The comments now look like an afterthought, whereas they used to be the primary focus of the site."

+ - User Backlash at Slashdot Beta Site-> 3

Submitted by hduff
hduff (570443) writes "Look at almost any current Slashdot story and see loyal, long-time members rail against the new site design, willing to burn precious karma points to post off-topic rants against the new design and it being forced on users by the Dice Overlords. Discussion has begun to create an alternate site."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Mostly because companies are bastards. (Score 4, Informative) 138

by Keick (#45769797) Attached to: Percentage of Self-Employed IT Workers Increasing

I'm going to chime in here, as other have.

I'm an S-Corp as well, vs. a LLC for exactly those reasons. Namely I pay myself a standard rate, and bill out at a higher rate. There are several advantages, and caviets.

Let me jump in a say that MOST contract houses run at the 1.8 to 2.1 factor and for good reasons. For example, say I'm at a 2.0 factor. If I want my hourly rate to myself to be $40 I'll charge 2.0 times that to my customer, or $80.

The best reason to stay in that 1.8 to 2.1 range is that it is easy to account for in case of an audit. Most GSA have base * overhead * profit, where profit is supposed to be only 15%. However the overhead side of the equation is big, because it covers all the indirect employees; secretaries, accountants, IT staff, CEO's, etc. So on any given GSA contract, the billing rates will all end up in the 1.8 to 2.1 range.

1) The key here is the IRS knows GSA, so anything in that range is legit, so long story short stay at or ABOVE the 50% mark for your hourly rate vs billing rate if you want to stay off the IRS radar.
2) As much as you'd like to, don't ever write off part of your house on the S-Corp. Yes its legal, but since it is highly abused your more likely to be flagged for an audit.
3) Expense as much as your toys as you can, computers, routers, printers are all valid deductions of the S-Corp income.
4) Use quickbooks and its payroll add-ons. Yes there are other tools, but quickbooks is easy an worth the $300. Wait for a good sale in Feb of almost every year for $100 off.
5) Set everything up hourly, not salary. Set your billing rates, pay rates, vacation rates, even 401K or 408K per hour. This just is much easier to track and bill your clients, and pay yourself and your future employee's!

Comment: Re:guiding system (Score 1) 176

by Keick (#44260787) Attached to: First Successful Unmanned Drone Landing On an Aircraft Carrier

The real question in my opinion is what kind of guiding system do the drones use. Flying with visual guidance is considerably harder

We did this back in 2002 with the X-31, although we used a simulated carrier. So while it was the first actual landing of a drone, it wasn't even close to the first to do a full auto carrier landing.

What the most likely primary sensor technology is GPS for the drone, merged with good old rate/accel/intertial sensor suite. What was done with the X-31 was put a suedolite (ground gps) around the target, in this case it would be the carrier. The X-31 would do a first pass through the 'bubble' created by the ground station and refine it's position to within 1 cm (yes that close) in all 3 axis. Then it would circle the target and autoland starting at about 15km out.

So I doubt it is anything fancy like imaging, ladar, radar, but more likely enhanced GPS that the X-31 pioneered.

Oh, and the X-31 could hit that landing without the arresting gear but doing a stale manuever, wicked cool if you ever get to see the videos. Modern Marvels did a show on it and it has some of the ok footage.


Giant Robotic Jellyfish Unveiled by Researchers 43

Posted by samzenpus
from the thank-you-science dept.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, an anonymous reader writes in with news about a giant robot jellyfish. As if there weren't enough real jellyfish around to trigger our thalassophobia, researchers at Virginia Tech have created Cryo -- an eight-armed autonomous robot that mimics jelly movement with the help of a flexible silicone hat. The man-sized jellybot altogether dwarfs previous efforts, hence the upgrade from small tank to swimming pool for mock field tests. And unlike the passively propelled bots we've seen recently, Cryo runs on batteries, with the researchers hoping to better replicate the energy-efficient nature of jelly movement to eventually increase Cryo's charge cycle to months instead of hours. That's also the reason these robotic jellyfish are getting bigger -- because the larger they are, the further they can go."

Did the Spamhaus DDoS Really Slow Down Global Internet Access? 70

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-to-blame dept.
CowboyRobot writes "Despite the headlines, the big denial of service attack may not have slowed the Internet after all. The argument against the original claim include the fact that reports of Internet users seeing slowdowns came not from service providers, but the DDoS mitigation service CloudFlare, which signed up Spamhaus as a customer last week. Also, multiple service providers and Internet watchers have now publicly stated that while the DDoS attacks against Spamhaus could theoretically have led to slowdowns, they've seen no evidence that this occurred for general Internet users. And while some users may have noticed a slowdown, the undersea cable cuts discovered by Egyptian sailors had more of an impact than the DDoS."

Solar Impulse Airplane To Launch First Sun-Powered Flight Across America 89

Posted by samzenpus
from the guided-by-the-light dept.
First time accepted submitter markboyer writes "The Solar Impulse just landed at Moffett Field in Mountain View, California to announce a journey that will take it from San Francisco to New York without using a single drop of fuel. The 'Across America' tour will kick off this May when founders Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg take off from San Francisco. From there the plane will visit four cities across the states before landing in New York."
The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567

Posted by samzenpus
from the nice-day-for-a-flight dept.
skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."

4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-a-look dept.
SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure