Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

+ - High Speed DIY M&M Sorting Machine Uses iPhone Brain

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Canoe Tech reports that M&M sorting machines are a popular project for people who like combining electronics, programming and machine building. Most of them send a single M&M down a chute to a simple color sensor where the color sensor will then take a second or two to figure out the color. A servo motor will then rotate a chute that will direct the M&M into the correct pot. But a new project created by the nameless blogger behind the reviewmylife blog, that uses an iPhone 5s as its brain is capable of sensing different colors and so can "sort" the M&Ms as they fall past. The iPhone communicates the information via Bluetooth to an Arduino board, which in turn fires off the correct electro magnet controlled gate. One practical application of the sorter could be creating a bowl of M&Ms — with all the brown ones removed. According to Dan and Chip Heath, that's just what rock band Van Halen demand in one of the riders to their standard contract. The band’s “M&M clause” was written into its contract to serve a very specic purpose. It was called Article 126, and it read as follows: “There will be no brown M&M’s in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.” The article was buried in the middle of countless technical specications. When David Lee Roth would arrive at a new venue, he’d immediately walk backstage and glance at the M&M bowl. If he saw a brown M&M, he’d demand a line check of the entire production. “Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error,” said Roth.. “They didn’t read the contract Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show.”"

+ - Stupid Costly Patent Nuclear War By Microsoft & Apple Against Android Averte->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We've written a few times about Rockstar Consortium, a giant patent troll that was created when Microsoft and Apple (and a few others) teamed up to outbid Google, Intel (and a few others) in buying thousands of Nortel patents. Nortel admitted that it had bulked up on many of these patents for defensive measures, but once Nortel went bankrupt they went to the highest bidder (and the bidding went pretty damn high).

The winners of the bidding kept a few of the patents for themselves, but then dumped them all into "Rockstar Consortium" which was a new giant patent troll and which, importantly, was not subject to promises that Apple and Microsoft initially made (to avoid antitrust problems) to license the patents under reasonable terms."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:i'm not going to see this (Score 1) 346

by UnknownSoldier (#48664935) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

I'm not sure why The Hobbit is so bad. One was OK, Two was more meh. It was like all the heart, soul, and magic of LOTR vanished in a poof of smoke for The Hobbit. I mean, come on, one of -the- best parts in one was the dwarves singing "Misty Mountains" and the song is not even 2 minutes long! It is like they don't have any faith in their ability to please the non-ADD crowd ...

Speaking of foreign films ...

Wheat (2009) was a great foreign film .. IF you can find it !

It opened at the Shanghai International Film Festival, but I guess it is not dumb action like Prometheus so it got panned ...

Comment: Re:I don't get it (Score 0) 170

It is the same fucktards who spend $100,000+ on a watch. Hell, even spending $10,000 on a Rolex are idiots -- Who knew the price of vanity was so high!

> To anyone about to say real estate is an investment, go look at his electric bill, cleaning bill, and property taxes.

Spot on!

If it costs you money it is a liability
If it makes you money, it is an investment.

People who buy watches over $5,000 only prove that they have more money then brains.

Comment: Re:Quite possibly the stupidest vulnerability ever (Score 2) 118

by JesseMcDonald (#48629551) Attached to: Grinch Vulnerability Could Put a Hole In Your Linux Stocking

Please; this had nothing to do with systemd. It's about PackageKit, which has been around for quite a bit longer. The problem is with the part of their PackageKit configuration which apparently allows administrators to install software without authenticating first. It's rather like putting the line

%wheel ALL = (root) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/yum

in your sudoers file. PolicyKit can also be configured to require authentication for each action, it just wasn't set up that way on their system. There's nothing wrong with identifying the members of the "wheel" group as administrators, but the policies should be configured such that administrators need to authenticate prior to installing new software. (This seems to be the default on CentOS 6.4; I have no idea what they were running. "pkcon install" does not work by default here without authentication, even for a member of the "wheel" group.)

Comment: Re:Good, let them. (Score 1) 388

by JesseMcDonald (#48622101) Attached to: Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

They can very easily block anything that is not in plain text.

You can put whatever data you want inside a "plain text" message. Even under wartime conditions where all messages in and out are reviewed by actual humans, people still manage to get secrets through—and that approach doesn't scale. Any automated Internet censorship system (short of shutting down the Internet entirely) would leak like a sieve.

Comment: Re:The issue was raised before. (Score 1) 678

by JesseMcDonald (#48619297) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

You can, however, mine iron more efficiently if you have plenty of information at hand regarding the locations of the richest deposits, the latest mining techniques, and the state of the futures markets. The same goes for crops—better information regarding the health of your fields, meteorological forecasts, market conditions, and the latest agricultural developments all make for higher yields, and that's before you even consider the information-heavy R&D required for modern GMO crops.

Rapid worldwide information networks take the guesswork out of the economy, so that you don't spend months mining iron ore or growing crops only to discover when you finally deliver your finished product to market half a world away that the demand lies elsewhere. Producers can find out about changes in supply and demand as they occur and adjust their investments accordingly. That alone is a major development in its own right.

Comment: Re:Time for modern analog formats (Score 1) 433

by JesseMcDonald (#48604365) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

What is the guarantee your digital format will be readable after 100 years?

Provided there's still anyone who cares about the data after 100 years, I'd say the odds of it surviving completely intact are fairly good, especially if you use the space recovered through digital compression to store error-correcting codes. It's unlikely that we'd forget how to decode popular formats like MP3, FLAC or JPEG in such a short time, absent a global catastrophe of sufficient order to drive the entire human race back into the stone age.

I'll admit that analogue still images do have digital beat in one area, ease of access. For all its faults, at least film doesn't need a complicated decoder; just shine some light on it (or through it). Of course, that only works because you're not operating anywhere near the limits of your storage medium. How many analog images do you think you can fit in 15x11mm? My comparatively cheap 32GB micro-SD card can hold around 3,000 8MP raws (~10MB each), which is pushing the limits of consumer optics. With reasonable compression you could easily double that. At that scale I think you'd need a bit more than just a magnifying glass to see the individual images.

My response was really to this line, however:

But, we could do things with equally modern analog technology that would blow digital out of the water.

Any "modern analog technology" can be exploited for the storage of digital data, and thus benefits digital at least as much as analog. Analog is never going to "blow digital out of the water". It has its niche areas, like archival film for ease of access, and loses to digital everywhere else regardless of the recording technology.

+ - Sony Hires SCO's Anti-Linux Lawyer in Attempt to Bully the Press

Submitted by ErikTheRed
ErikTheRed (162431) writes "In what can only be taken as a serious attempt to provoke maximum outrage in the hacking community, Sony has retained the services of David Boies — the lead attorney in SCO's failed attempts at destroying Linux through its legal actions against Novell and IBM — to engage in some rather pathetic and legally questionable (per UCLA law professor and Washington Post blogger Eugene Volokh) attempts to get the media to stop talking about what is probably the largest corporate hack in history. What could possibly go wrong?"

Comment: Re:Time for modern analog formats (Score 1) 433

by JesseMcDonald (#48602249) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

You could use those same materials to store digital versions of the media far more compactly, with equivalent quality. Even lossless audio compression (FLAC) would reduce the amount of material required by 40-50%; the benefits are greater for video, much less something like a hologram. (Yes, you can store holograms digitally.)

Raw signals contain a lot of redundancy. Any real-world signal can be converted losslessly between analog and digital; a prime advantage of the digital representation is that it can be processed to remove that redundancy. Also, near-ideal filters can be implemented much more easily as DSP programs than as networks of analog components.

Comment: Out of the frying pan, into the fire (Score 1) 281

by bkr1_2k (#48600697) Attached to: Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services


I trust google with my data even less than I trust the government. It's why I no longer use any of their services. This article is not for anyone with a functional brain, it's for the masses that believe what they're told to believe. I'd also suspect this wasn't something Schmidt said without some "guidance" or "suggestions" from some of his high powered friends in the government.

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal