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Ask Slashdot: Time To Get Into Crypto-currency? If So, Which? 62

Qbertino writes: With the ever-looming cyberpunk future in close proximity, I'm starting to wonder if it isn't time to get myself familiar with crypto currency as a means of trade. Bitcoin is all the hype, but the blockchain has flaws, in that it isn't as anonymous as one would hope for — you can track past transactions. Rumors of Bitcoin showing cracks are popping up and also there are quite a few alternatives out there. So I have some questions: Is getting into dealing with crypto currency worthwhile already? Is Bitcoin the way to go, or will it falter under wide use / become easily trackable once NSA and the likes adapt their systems to doing exactly that? What digital currency has the technical and mind-share potential to supersede bitcoin? Are there feasible cryptocurrencies that have the upsides of Bitcoin (such as a mathematical limit to their amount) but are fully anonymous in transactions? What do the economists and digi-currency nerds here have to contribute on that? What are your experiences with handling and holding cryptocurrency? And does Bitcoin own the market or is it still flexible enough for an technology upgrade?

Comment Re:Surprised? (Score 1) 337

Read the article, temetry wasn't disabled.

If I read the actual article correctly, it was just a Vanilla install of Windows 10 enterprise. There was no active attempt to disable or block any of the actual telemetry features at all. He did go through the customized install and turned off the 'cloud/personalization/sync options there', but that's it.

The actual telemetry features would still have been on.

Not to mention all the usual windows features that phone home:

Everything from windows update, to time sync, to the regular ping it does to see if you have internet connectivity would have still been on.

I'm guessing all the live tiles in his start menu were still on too, so they'd have been pulling ads and updates, etc.

Seriously... it's an interesting exercise and an interesting article about what one's computer is doing. But it doesn't show what anybody here is really concluding.

Comment Re:Decades of makware (Score 1) 32

Some could. Amigas (and Macs too I believe?) would automatically pop up an icon for floppies when they were inserted, without needing to do anything else.

While those absolutely are technically "personal computers", everyone understands "PC" to mean "IBM PC or compatible". And yes, both Amigas and Macs had floppy detect. Actually, it was technically possible to do it on the PC as well, and ISTR some programs actually doing it. The solution to the training problem is pathetically obvious (as evinced by the fact that I figured it out while reading TFA which I just google'd) which is to train the system the first time the user successfully reads a floppy disk, and thus you know that there's a disk in the drive. But... Microsoft


Giant Magellan Telescope Set To Revolutionize Ground-Based Astronomy 62

StartsWithABang writes: If you want to see farther, deeper and at higher resolution than ever before into the Universe, you need four things: the largest aperture possible, the best-quality optical systems and cameras/CCDs, the least interference from the atmosphere, and the analytical techniques and power to make the most of every photon. While the last three have improved tremendously over the past 25 years, telescope size hasn't increased at all. That's all about to change over the next decade, as three telescopes — the Giant Magellan Telescope, the Thirty Meter Telescope and the European Extremely Large Telescope — are set to take us from 8-10 meter class astronomy to 25-40 meter class. While the latter two are fighting over funding, construction rights and other political concerns, the Giant Magellan Telescope is already under construction, and is poised to be the first in line to begin the future of ground-based astronomy.

Comment Re:Stupid design (Score 2) 119

The second one is the device is dropping voltage and consuming power. In standard USB with 500mA at 5V, if the MOSFET takes 1V, that's half a watt of power you're losing in the transistor. (And really, you just use a diode). USB-C with up to 100W, you're looking at losing a lot of power in your reverse protection components.

100% wrong.

The MOSFET is not a diode. Diodes DO cause a 0.6-1V drop. That's why they use a MOSFET instead here in applications where a diode drop is too much. The MOSFET only drops as much as its internal Ron on-resistance allows. For a high-grade MOSFET, that can be in the single milliohms, so it's effectively a dead short. Cheapo MOSFETs are still in the low tens of milliohms. So with 3A of power, that's 1/4W with a crappy 30mohm MOSFET, or 72mW with one with a 8mohm on-resistance. The only reason you'd leave this out if reverse polarity is at all possible is cheapness.

Input Devices

Let Your Pupils Do the Typing 39

New submitter s.mathot writes: Researchers from France and the Netherlands have developed a way to—literally—write text by thinking of letters. (Academic paper [open access], non-technical blog, YouTube video.) This technique relies on small changes in pupil size that occur when you covertly (from the corner of your eye; without moving your eyes or body) attend to bright or dark objects. By presenting a virtual keyboard on which the 'keys' alternate in brightness, and simultaneously measuring the size of the eye's pupil, the technique automatically determines which letter you want to write; as a result, you can write letters by merely attending to them, without moving any part of your body, including the eyes.

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