Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Oldest? (Score 1) 617 617

You beat me on that one. I was going to go with incandescent lights for IR heating of process tanks. Didn't think of wheels. It did get me to thinking that in semiconductor manufacture, ceramics is used in robot arms. How far does pottery go? Is it older than wheels?

Comment Re:Proof of Security Risk from Portable Electronic (Score 1) 227 227

Citation needed.. Sorry Hillary's private server was scrubbed and not inspected. Citation for improper communications and back room deals is not found.

Many IT departments know data is leaking as the effect is seen. The Edward Snowden type leak is what a lot of companies are afraid of.

The big questions are if you have secure documents and data, are they on systems isolated from open USB ports, bluetooth, etc? Is all the devices on the secure network locked down for protection from unauthorized connections? Is the normal office IT secure?

If I am on break and pull out a smart phone and look up the Slashdot headlines, there should be no problem. If I connect my Office Laptop to my personal hotspot so I can work at home, this is a serious security problem. Doing the latter should be grounds for immediate dismissal.

Comment Re:The reason is more simple (Score 4, Insightful) 688 688

Battery life and cost are big factors only following range anxiety.

Often the 10 year + life is cited for many of the hybrids such as the Prius. The long life is only obtained through battery maintenance. The state of charge is kept between 50 and 80% most of the time.

In an electric, that would severely limit range to preserve battery life.

To get maximum range, EV's often top off the battery (100% charge) which shortens the life and deep cycles them, also shortening the life. Think about other devices you deep cycle on a regular basis with the same battery technology. How long does your cell phone, laptop, tablet, etc last on a charge the first year and after 3 years of use. Do you expect an EV to get the same distance after 3 years of daily commute? Give me an EV with a guarantee of >80% capacity after 8 years or 100,000 miles and I am so on it. Making it only 60% of the way to work after 3 years is not going to cut it.

Comment Get involved too (Score 1) 268 268

I have found getting involved is the best way to see how contributions are used. Have you considered joining a local civic organization that provides community services besides being a local bar for members only.

I found VFW has some chartiable functions in addition to their more primary function as a social gathering place similar to a local bar. Lyons and shriners have specific goals for childeren's hospitals and community support. Forresters and Rotary International seem to be solid with local community support along with Kiawanas who are big on getting the youth involved such as Little League.

I support Guide Dogs for the Blind and take an active part in their annual fundraiser and am a puppy raiser, a worthwhile volunteer project if you can commit the time nessarry to do it corrrectly.

Best advice is to see who porvides what services and what you want to support. Youth spots, emergency services, senior services, veteran's social services,childeren's hospitals, childeren's eyeglasses and hearing aids, whatever. There are lots of non profits. Some are more a business such as the Girl Scouts.than we care for. I had become good friends with a guy who's job it was to produce cookies for the scouts and was shocked at how much the wholesale cost is for the cookies. The scouts only get a very small portion of the sale price. Most goes to the supplier of the promotional material.

Comment Re:Just take it in (Score 1) 479 479

A fast way is call on pretense of cancellation. Due to unreliable service and time lost on endless hold, I would like to cancel service.

A quick transfer to customer retention end in accepting to try a replacement modem, a faster tier, and a $10/month discount for 6 months.

Comment This done right is a good thing. (Score 1) 130 130

I would love this if it was used as part of 2 part authentication. A card and phone must be present to make retail purchases. A stolen card would trigger red flags if it is used without detecting the phone nearby. Online purchases could be validated by SMS Pin. No phone, no Pin reply, red flag to the bank.

Unfortunately it is open for abuse which is the main fear uncertanty and doubt on the system. Did a little FUD stop Linux? It's source code can be seen by hackers and may be abused. LOL FUD all over again.

Comment Re:Especially odd... (Score 1) 186 186

I've moved to SIP long ago.

SIP to SIP is free.
With a free DID number inbound calls are free unlike Skype in.
Outbound has many vendors and price plans unlike skype.
3rd party hardware is common. Panasonic, Cisco/Linksys, Grandstream, Snom, unlike Skype.
My free SIP account has free voicemail, multi presence, voice to email, conference calls, Skype gateway etc.
An INUM is standard
I have many PC & tablet softphones to choose from. Ekiga, Jitsi, Twinkle, etc. Some support video like Skype.
I can choose codects such as GSM, G711, G722, etc for low BW to high fidelity.
Not locked in to a single vendor.

Skype is the AOL of VOIP

Comment My short list (Score 1) 258 258

I added a transistor in line wirh the voltage reference on a 24 to 12 volt power supply. With a zener diode and resistor that progressively brought the output up with input between 22 and 28V, I made it into a solar charge controller for a 60 cell 240 Watt panel for the motorhome. It worked great and closely matched the panel peak power curve keeping the panel voltage high for any input power. It has been running trouble free for a couple years now.

Not electronics, but related. Converted disposable Freon tanks into high power t shirt cannons for an engineering challenge. Free tanks counted as part of the bill of materials, where cost was part of the contest. I'm in the blue shirt with the initial prototype at the end of the video.

Salvaged a 0.001Mhz crystal osc to use in an electronics shop. Used it for a reference for adjusting tape decks for speed and wow and flutter. A free crystal audio reference was much better than a reference CD with a short tone track. It was mush more stable than any shop function generator we had at the time. In a pinch it doubled as a stable square wace source to use for TDR with a scope.

A Hall sensor from a broken PC fan coupled with a 9V battery and a couple LEDs made a quick magnet sensor to check relay states in equipment for quick troubleshooting. Coupled with a scope, doubled as a tach for brushless DC motors.There is more I can't think of at the moment.

Comment Cable companies should offer value (Score 1) 160 160

Cable companies originally offered a larger seclection of channels which wre commercial free. I cut cable when they drove me nuts with time/life commercials and raised the reate from 12.95/mo. Haven't subscribed since. Netflix is eating their lunch for programming.

Comment Re:why do people get this wrong? (Score 1) 74 74

I guess I get the 3rd competing story for how it most likely happened..

A man poisoned his cronically ill wife and placed more poisoned pills on store shelves to produce the doubt he didn't murder his wife.

Who actually did the poisoning was not proven due to the number of cases.

"As the tampered-with bottles came from different factories, and the seven deaths had all occurred in the Chicago area, the possibility of sabotage during production was ruled out. Instead, the culprit was believed to have acquired bottles of Tylenol from various supermarkets and drug stores over a period of several weeks, added the cyanide to the capsules, then returned to the stores to place the bottles back on the shelves. In addition to the five bottles that led to the victims' deaths, three other tampered-with bottles were discovered."

Source Wikipedia.

Comment Re:Sneakernet (Score 1) 224 224

Phones, tablets and micro SD cards. What big brother can't see..

The ease of online file sharing has become risky. Other avenues are much less risky in a schoolyard.

My kids had no problem loading their devices to the max without using the home internet connection.

Any program which runs right is obsolete.