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+ - Police Stations Increasingly Offer Safe Haven for Craigslist Transactions 2

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Lily Hay Newman reports at Future Tense that the police department in Columbia, Missouri, recently announced that its lobby will be open 24/7 for people making Craigslist transactions or any type of exchange facilitated by Internet services following a trend begun by police stations in Virginia Beach, East Chicago and Boca Raton. Internet listings like Craigslist are, of course, a quick and convenient way to buy, sell, barter, and generally deal with junk. But tales of Craigslist-related assaults, robberies, and murders where victims are lured to locations with the promise of a sale, aren’t uncommom, an item being sold could be broken or fake, and the money being used to buy it could be counterfeit. "Transactions should not be conducted in secluded parking lots, behind a building, in a dark location especially when you’re dealing with strangers. Someone you’ve never met before – you have no idea what their intentions are – whether they have evil intent or the best of intentions,” says Officer James Cason Jr. With surveillance cameras running 24 hours a day, plus the obvious bonus of a constant police presence, meeting in the lobby of the police department can help weed out people trying to rip others off. "People with stolen items may not want to meet at the police department," says Bryana Maupin."

+ - Physicists Made a Mobius Strip from Dualing Beams of Light

Submitted by rossgneumann
rossgneumann (3901661) writes "A group of physicists has successfully manipulated beams of laser light into an optical mobius strip. The shape, a classic mindfuck all but nonexistent in nature, has never before been seen in such an immaterial form. Making a simple mobius strip from a strip of paper is as easy as the result is vexing. Twist once and tape the thing end to end. Ta da: a structure with just one side and one edge. Its single boundary is a closed circle; that is, to get from one "side" of the strip to the other, just follow an edge, which will eventually reveal itself to be the same edge as every other edge found on the mobius strip. Fun."

+ - The Pirate Bay is back online, properly

Submitted by cbiltcliffe
cbiltcliffe (186293) writes "About a month ago, a story was submitted that the Pirate Bay domain name was back online. This story mentioned a timer, which supposedly showed the time since the police raid. I didn't notice at the time, but a more recent check showed this counter was counting down, not up, with a time to reach zero at the end of January. Sometime around a week ago, the waving pirate flag video changed to a graphic of an orange phoenix, and a disabled search box showed up. I've been watching the site since, and now, about 12 hours before the timer was to reach zero, the site is back up, complete with searches."

Comment: Underrated Inkscape tool: Vectorizing (Score 4, Interesting) 84

by timothy (#48948985) Attached to: Inkscape Version 0.91 Released

One of the coolest things about Inkscape is that it does a good job of converting bitmapped images to vectors, which is especially nice if you want to combine source elements created in a raster-art program at wildly different scales. This capability is found in other software, I know, but Inkscape makes it relatively simple and (at least if you're going to use the results *in* Inkscape) saves some steps.

This is also a fun way to decompose images into constituent color layers, separate them, and then play with the resulting layers -- cool high-contrast results sometimes in combining just 2 or 3 of the resulting layers.

Comment: Re:O...okay? (Score 5, Informative) 84

by timothy (#48948949) Attached to: Inkscape Version 0.91 Released

Inkscape is one of the handful of apps (along with The GIMP, Firefox, OpenOffice, and some others that could round out a nice top-10 or top-20) that together make up a good base set of software that's more than good enough for most people's computerizing needs. (And, in keeping with that idea, it's included in the defaults for many distros, which is appropriate.)

What's funny is how limited / limiting the default software set is on Windows (a bit better on Mac OS X, but still falls short), if you're used to the kind of apps that come with a typical Linux distro, or are available for instant free download. The GIMP is not PhotoShop (you know how you can tell? You don't have to keep buying it each month ... ), and Inkscape is not Illustrator (ditto), but they're both *good,* and mean you / the 900 students in the school down the street / etc. can be playing with and using them now, for free, forever.

No one can make anyone care about this or much of anything, but quality open-source / Free software has a lot of person-hours behind it, and its worth celebrating, especially when the releases are separated by such a long time.

Serious answer for a question I suspect is pure troll, but Hey, it's my day off, and everyone needs a hobby ;)

Graphics

GeForce GTX 980 and 970 Cards From MSI, EVGA, and Zotac Reviewed 55

Posted by Soulskill
from the price-vs.-performance-vs.-really-loud-fans dept.
MojoKid writes: In all of its iterations, NVIDIA's Maxwell architecture has proven to be a good performing, power-efficient GPU thus far. At the high-end of the product stack is where some of the most interesting products reside, however. When NVIDIA launches a new high-end GPU, cards based on the company's reference design trickle out first, and then board partners follow up with custom solutions packing unique cooling hardware, higher clocks, and sometimes additional features. With the GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980, NVIDIA's board partners were ready with custom solutions very quickly. These three custom GeForce cards, from enthusiast favorites EVGA, MSI, and Zotac represent optimization at the high-end of Maxwell. Two of the cards are GTX 980s: the MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G and the Zotac GeForce GTX 980 AMP! Omgea, the third is a GTX 970 from EVGA, their GeForce GTX 970 FTW with ACX 2.0. Besides their crazy long names, all of these cards are custom solutions, that ship overclocked from the manufacturer. In testing, NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980 was the fastest, single-GPU available. The custom, factory overclocked MSI and Zotac cards cemented that fact. Overall, thanks to a higher default GPU-clock, the MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G was the best performing card. EVGA's GeForce GTX 970 FTW was also relatively strong, despite its alleged memory bug. Although, as expected, it couldn't quite catch the higher-end GeForce GTX 980s, but occasionally outpaced the AMD's top-end Radeon R9 290X.

Comment: Re:w***e ? (Score 1) 213

by lgw (#48948147) Attached to: Comcast Employees Change Customer Names To 'Dummy' and Other Insults

"disenchanted/upset customer"? Clearly, you haven't worked in tech support, or known anyone who has, or read any of the blogs or horror stories, or, really, informed yourself in any way about this. Humans have a bell curve of both "crazy" and "mean", and the tail end of either is not something you'd ever want to come into contact with.

Linux Business

Dell Continues Shipping Fresh Linux Laptops 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the permanent-penguin dept.
jones_supa writes: In its latest move, Dell will be bringing Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to its top-of-the-line Precision M3800 workstation laptop and the latest model of the Dell XPS 13. Both systems will be running Ubuntu 14.04.1. According to Barton George, Dell's Director of Developer Programs, programmers had been asking for a better, officially-supported Ubuntu developer laptop. This came about from a combination of the efforts of Dell software engineer Jared Dominguez and enthusiastic feedback. Specs of M3800: 15.6" LCD @ 3840x2160, Intel i7 quad core CPU, NVIDIA Quadro GPU, up to 16 GB RAM. The bad news is, as Dominguez explained on his blog, this version of the M3800 doesn't support its built-in Thunderbolt 2 port out of the box. However, thanks to the hardware-enablement stack in Ubuntu, starting with upcoming Ubuntu 14.04.2, you will be able to upgrade your kernel to add some Thunderbolt support.

+ - Is there a modern IP Webcam that lets the user control the output? 4

Submitted by Tronster
Tronster (25566) writes "Owners of a local shop have a menu that changes daily and wanted an IP webcam to update an image on their web-site. After a frustrating 2 hours of a "Hikvision" refusing to behave, I threw in the towel and looked for a better camera to recommend. The biggest issue today is that the new webcams that come out don't support FTP, they all support sending images/video direct to a "private cloud" (e.g., Simplicam, Dropcam, etc...)

Google has been no help; all the sites are either outdated in terms of ranking or the most recent ones recommend a Foscam. They previously tried one of these and it's image quality was too poor.

While security systems and home automation has been discussed recently, I haven't found any recent discussions on webcams that give a user control of where the content is sent. Does anyone in the Slashdot community have recommendations, reputable sites that are up-to-date in rankings, and/or hacks to have control over some of these newer cameras?"

+ - Customer given a Community Order for uploading a pornographic image

Submitted by Sesostris III
Sesostris III (730910) writes "Be careful what you upload to demonstration tablets in shops! After changing the display image of a demonstration iPad to a hardcore pornographic photo, a Tesco customer in Wales, UK, has been given a 12-month Community Order by magistrates in Swansea.

The man uploaded the image a a joke, and panicked when he realised he couldn't delete the image. In court, he admitted the charge of "causing the display of indecent matter". The image was only seen by Tesco workers and not by members of the public.

The sentence includes 100 hours of unpaid work, a victim surcharge of 60 GBP and costs of 85 GBP.

Of course, the Tesco store, like most supermarkets, probably sells the Sun newspaper (prop R Murdock) with its famous (and ongoing) page 3 (NSFW)."

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