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Hardware Hacking

Video Tour Houston's Texas-Sized Hackerspace (Video 1 of 2) 57

That things are bigger in Texas is sometimes more than just a cliche. A few weeks ago, on the way to LinuxCon, I stopped by what is certainly the biggest hackerspace that I've ever seen; is it the biggest in the world? Whatever the answer is to that, Houston's TX/RX Labs is not just big — it's busy, and booked. Unlike some spaces we've highlighted here before (like Seattle's Metrix:CreateSpace and Brooklyn's GenSpace), TX/RX Labs has room and year-round sunshine enough to contemplate putting a multi-kilowatt solar array in the backyard. Besides an array of CNC machines, 3-D printers, and both wood- and metal-working equipment, TX/RX has workbenches available for members to rent. (These are serious workspaces, made in-house of poured concrete and welded steel tubing.) Member Steve Cameron showed me around, but TX/RX Labs is so large that we broke the tour into two parts, with the other one set to display next week.

Shots Fired At US Capitol 608

skade88 writes with a report that "The United States Capitol has been put on lockdown after shots were fired. Reports indicate a policeman was injured." From the story: "The FBI was responding to the unconfirmed reports of shots, and a helicopter landed in front of the Capitol. A message from the Capitol Police ordered anyone in a House office to 'shelter in place.' 'Close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows,' the message said." Doubtless more to come on this; watch this space for updates. Update: 10/03 19:08 GMT by T : ABC News reports that the shots followed an attempt to ram the White House gates; the police subsequently shot and killed the driver. Other than that the driver was a woman, the reports adds little detail. Update: 10/03 19:19 GMT by T : Reuters' U.S. Politics Live feed is currently collating many reports from the scene. Of note: the lockdown itself was brief, and has been lifted.
Input Devices

Video The Difference Between Film and Digital Photography (Video) 182

Sally Wiener Grotta and her husband Daniel wrote some of the first books and articles about digital photography. Sally was an award-winning photographer in film days, and has maintained her reputation in the digital imaging age. In this interview, she talks about how to buy a digital camera -- including the radical idea that most people really don't need to spend more than $200 to take quality photos. (We had some bandwidth problems while doing this remote interview, but the sound is clear so we decided to run it "as is" rather than try to remake the video and lose the original's spontaneity.)

Video A Fun Slashdot 15th Anniversary Get-Together in St. Petersburg, FL (Video) Screenshot-sm 47

A lot of people in a lot of places celebrated Slashdot's 15th anniversary by getting together with other Slashdot readers in person. In the Tampa Bay part of Florida, a small and humble meeting was sponsored by an open source company called Fextel at their St. Petersburg HQ. The catering was excellent, and it was a fun group of 12 or so who showed up, about half of whom knew each other from the Suncoast Linux Users Group (SLUG). So we had good food and good people. What else did we need? Remote control helicopter battles, of course! In retrospect, we now believe remote helicopters crashing into each other should be required at any event with a Slashdot theme. We may may just be saying this because we live someplace where the NFL won't let us watch any home games, so we are more entertainment-deprived than most Americans. Then again, maybe helicopter wars are just plain cooler than watching football, and the USA should have fewer NFL games and more Slashdot-based parties.
Open Source

Video ARM Code for Raspberry Pi Goes Open Source (Video) Screenshot-sm 91

"The Raspberry Pi project relies heavily on Open Source and Free Software — heck, it's targeted by more than one Linux distro. But some of the hardware stack that makes up the Pi itself needs closed-source code to run; the code that runs all kinds of low-level hardware is often closed source and closed off. I got wind from project instigator and lead Eben Upton that the system-on-a-chip at the Raspberry Pi's heart is about to get a lot more open. Says Upton: "We're about to open source all of the remaining closed source ARM code for the Pi. This will make BCM2835 the first ARM multimedia SoC with a fully-open-source ARM user and kernel implementation." I spoke for a few minutes with Alex Bradbury, who runs the Linux software work for the project, about licensing and what the new code means not only for Raspberry Pi but for users and other OS projects." (Note: the sound quality on this translantic Skype call is poor. We suggest reading the transcript.) Get the code while it's hot.

Google WebRTC: Can It Replace Skype? 199

mikejuk writes "Google WebRTC, all open source, is part of the web revolution that allows one browser to talk directly to another without the need for a server getting involved. WebRTC is an API that used the new P2P web API to allow developers to implement audio and video communications using direct P2P links between browsers. This really is a game changer." And, while this feature doesn't seem to have gotten a lot of attention so far, Google Voice can call landline and cell phones for a small fee, just like Skype.
The Internet

World Internet Traffic To Top 966 Exabytes In 2015 100

Mark.JUK writes "Networking giant Cisco has released its latest annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) today, which forecasts that world internet traffic will quadruple by 2015 to reach 965.5 ExaBytes per year (up from 242.4 ExaBytes in 2010); when 40% of the world's population will be online (i.e. 3bn Internet users). Internet video will account for 61% of all consumer traffic in the same year, while P2P (File Sharing) will decline significantly to just 16%."

Anti-Porn Facebook Page is Deleted, Then Restored 145

Slashdot regular contributor Bennett Haselton writes: "An anti-porn organization's Facebook page is disabled by Facebook, and then resurrected. Was the page the victim of a 'complaint mob,' and could the previously-discussed 'voting algorithm' have saved the page from being shut down?"

Google Earth To Include Google Deep Sea 37

mikejuk writes "You may have heard about the swashbuckling adventures to be undertaken by Virgin Oceanic -- visits to the bottom of the deepest parts of the oceans of the world. As Sir Richard Branson said at the launch of Virgin Oceanic, more men have been to the moon than have ventured further down than 20,000 feet. As long as everything goes according to plan, everyone should be able to experience a virtual trip to the bottom of the ocean, courtesy of Google Earth."

Firefox 4 Beta 12 Released; Fixes Over 650 Bugs 181

darthcamaro writes "At last! Firefox 4 Beta 12 is now available. There are over 650 bug fixes in this massive update including a fix for a memory leak that kept Firefox consuming RAM even without opening new tabs. The other big thing that many users have asked for is that FINALLY, when you hover over a link, the URL is displayed in the status bar, instead of the location bar."

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