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Comment: Flirting (Score 1) 698

I really wish my dad had talked to me about girls. Not the birds and the bees bit, but about how girls and boys are both the same: afraid to get their feelings hurt, unsure how relationships should progress, often hurtful to others by accident. He could have explained that the easiest way to let someone know you like them is to smile and say "Hi" every time you see them. To not be afraid of physical contact like dancing or holding hands. That even if you say or do the wrong thing, make an embarrassing mistake, if the other person likes you they'll still like you afterwards. That a good first date involves just spending time together talking and getting to know one another (and that I should therefore avoid movies for a first date!) It took me years to figure that stuff out, and looking back I can see a dozen points in my life where a simple explanation from my dad could have opened my eyes and saved me grief. Thankfully my wife recognized that I was clueless the moment we met, and simply told me how she felt.
Cellphones

Starting This Week, Wireless Carriers Must Unlock Your Phone 100

Posted by timothy
from the better-than-employees-must-wash-hands dept.
HughPickens.com writes Andrew Moore-Crispin reports that beginning today, as result of an agreement major wireless carriers made with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in late 2013, wireless carriers in the US must unlock your phone as soon as a contract term is fulfilled if asked to do so unless a phone is connected in some way to an account that owes the carrier money. Carriers must also post unlocking policies on their websites (here are links for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile), provide notice to customers when their devices are eligible for unlocking, respond to unlock requests within two business days, and unlock devices for deployed military personnel. So why unlock your phone? Unlocking a phone allows it to be used on any compatible network, regardless of carrier which could result in significant savings. Or you could go with an MVNO, stay on the same network, and pay much less for the same cellular service.
Earth

SpaceX Launch of "GoreSat" Planned For Today, Along With Another Landing Attempt 75

Posted by timothy
from the elon-musk-for-the-win dept.
The New York Times reports that SpaceX will again attempt to recover a Falcon 9 launch vehicle, after the recent unsuccessful try; the company believes the lessons from the earlier launch have been learned, and today's launch will be loaded with more hydraulic fluid. This evening, the rocket is to loft the satellite nicknamed "GoreSat," after Al Gore, who envisioned it as a sort of permanent eye in space beaing back pictures of Earth from afar. The purpose of the satellite has evolved, though: Writes the Times: The observatory, abbreviated as Dscovr and pronounced “discover,” is to serve as a sentinel for solar storms: bursts of high-energy particles originating from the sun. The particles from a gargantuan solar storm could induce electrical currents that might overwhelm the world’s power grids, possibly causing continent-wide blackouts. Even a 15-minute warning could let power companies take actions to limit damage.

Comment: Re:Moved themselves out of the market (Score 1) 242

by Walking The Walk (#48968349) Attached to: RadioShack Near Deal To Sell Half of Its Stores, Close the Rest

In Canada, the Radio Shack name was sold off years ago to Circuit City, and then when CC went under, bought up the Bell telco conglomerate, rebranding the stores as 'The Source' as another place to sell their cell phone packages and accessories. It looks familiar to Radio Shack, without any of the glory day components available for sale, selling cheap RC cars, computers and terrible audio equipment. The majority of stuff was labelled under a knock-off looking "Nexxtech" brand name. Again, inferior quality, but top-notch pricing.

So that's why I can't find anything useful there. I came back from New Zealand a few years ago, and was told by friends that Radio Shack was now "The Source", but when I went in they no longer had any of the stuff I needed. No bins of resistors or alligator clips or motors. No rolls of speaker wire, phone or network cabling. I have yet to find a replacement store that stocks hobby electronics like that, and I don't see the point in buying $5 of resistors off ebay and having to pay more than that in shipping.

I'm in the Canadian maritimes, if anyone has any recommendations for a new place to shop, I'd appreciate it.

United Kingdom

Winston Churchill's Scientists 77

Posted by timothy
from the they-never-never-never-gave-up dept.
HughPickens.com writes Nicola Davis writes at The Guardian that a new exhibition at London's Science Museum tiitled Churchill's Scientists aims to explore how a climate that mingled necessity with ambition spurred British scientists to forge ahead in fields as diverse as drug-discovery and operational research, paving the way for a further flurry of postwar progress in disciplines from neurology to radio astronomy. Churchill "was very unusual in that he was a politician from a grand Victorian family who was also interested in new technology and science," says Andrew Nahum. "That was quite remarkable at the time." An avid reader of Charles Darwin and HG Wells, Churchill also wrote science-inspired articles himself and fostered an environment where the brightest scientists could build ground-breaking machines, such as the Bernard Lovell telescope, and make world-changing discoveries, in molecular genetics, radio astronomy, nuclear power, nerve and brain function and robotics. "During the war the question was never, 'How much will it cost?' It was, 'Can we do it and how soon can we have it?' This left a heritage of extreme ambition and a lot of talented people who were keen to see what it could provide." (More, below.)
Communications

Your High School Wants You To Install Snapchat 157

Posted by timothy
from the just-ask-ram-sweeney dept.
Bennett Haselton writes: They would never admit it, but your high school admins would probably breathe a sigh of relief if all of their sexting-mad students would go ahead and install Snapchat so that evidence of (sometimes) illegal sexting would disappear into the ether. They can't recommend that you do this, because it would sound like an implicit endorsement, just like they can't recommend designated drivers for teen drinking parties -- but it's a good bet they would be grateful. Read on for the rest.
United Kingdom

First Crowdsourced, Open Data Address List Launches In the UK 33

Posted by timothy
from the ok-now-start-on-a-cell-phone-directory dept.
The internet is a great place to search for some kinds of information; Amazon (or L.L. Bean, or Digi-Key, or any retailer, really) do their best to connect you with all the products in their databases, and for lots of other search topics, the usual handful of general purpose search engines can ferret out answers based on your keywords. Addresses are sometimes harder to search, but in the UK at least that might soon be much easier: An anonymous reader writes The London based startup and open data advocacy organization Open Addresses UK wants to change all of that by inviting the public to collect and validate housing addresses to build the biggest UK open address dataset ever. To do so, they launched UK's first open and free address list on Wednesday, calling on individuals and companies to crowdsource information." What if you want the equivalent of an unlisted number, though?
Cellphones

Samsung Launches Tizen Phone In India 35

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-it-out dept.
puddingebola notes that Samsung's first smartphones powered by its Tizen operating system have gone on sale in India. "After plenty of speculation and an abort launch in Russia last year, Samsung has finally managed to release its first phone powered by the Tizen operating system. The Samsung Z1 is coming to India initially, where it is available to buy for 5,700 INR — that’s around $92 — from today. The Z1 is an affordable device, both in price and specs. It packs a four-inch WVGA PLS screen, and is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 768 MB RAM. There’s a 3.1-megapixel camera on the rear, and a limited VGA camera on the front. The phone runs version 2.3 of the Tizen operating system, and comes with 4GB of on-device storage which can be expanded by up to 64GB via a micro SD card. It supports dual SIMs, as is commonplace with devices in India."
Operating Systems

OpenBSD's Kernel Gets W^X Treatment On Amd64 84

Posted by Soulskill
from the write-stuff dept.
New submitter brynet tips this news from Theo de Raadt: Over the last two months Mike Larkin (mlarkin@) modified the amd64 kernel to follow the W^X principles. It started as a humble exercise to fix the .rodata segment, and kind of went crazy. As a result, no part of the kernel address space is writeable and executable simultaneously. At least that is the idea, modulo mistakes. Final attention to detail (which some of you experienced in buggy drafts in snapshots) was to make the MP and ACPI trampolines follow W^X, furthermore they are unmapped when not required. Final picture is many architectures were improved, but amd64 and sparc64 look the best due to MMU features available to service the W^X model. The entire safety model is also improved by a limited form of kernel ASLR (the code segment does not move around yet, but data and page table ASLR is fairly good."
Science

"Disco Clam" Lights Up To Scare Predators Away 49

Posted by samzenpus
from the stayin-alive dept.
sciencehabit writes When predators get close, the bright, orange-lipped "disco clam" flashes them to scare them off. But it's not just the light that's important. Researchers have found that the clam has sulfur in its fleshy lips and tentacles and suspect that, like another clam species that drop tentacles laden with sulfuric acid to deter predators, the disco clam's sulfur also gets converted into a distasteful substance. The flashing may warn predators away, similar to the bright orange of a monarch butterfly warning birds of its toxic taste.
United Kingdom

Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets 840

Posted by samzenpus
from the beyond-fixing dept.
antdude points out this story about one of the problems with our ever increasingly disposable world. "Young people in Britain have become a lost generation who can no longer mend gadgets and appliances because they have grown up in a disposable world, the professor giving this year's Royal Institution Christmas lectures has warned. Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering, at the University of Manchester, claims that the under 40s expect everything to 'just work' and have no idea what to do when things go wrong. Unlike previous generations who would ‘make do and mend’ now young people will just chuck out their faulty appliances and buy new ones. But Prof George claims that many broken or outdated gadgets could be fixed or repurposed with only a brief knowledge of engineering and electronics. "
Google

The History of the NORAD/Microsoft and Google Santa Trackers 59

Posted by Soulskill
from the NSA-only-has-santa-metadata dept.
theodp writes: Marketing Land's Danny Sullivan has a pretty epic post on How Google Became A Santa Tracker Tradition To Rival NORAD, and wonders if future generations will think of Santa tracking as synonymous with Google, just as past ones have felt about NORAD. Until it split with Google in 2012 (for unknown reasons) and hooked up with Microsoft, Sullivan explains, NORAD had really been the only place to go for a serious, dependable Santa tracking service. "There's a big part of me that wishes Google had gotten out of Santa tracking when it split from NORAD," says Sullivan of the divorce. "The NORAD Santa tracker brings back memories from my childhood; it brings back memories of me being a father with young kids checking in on Santa's progress. In contrast, Google feels to me like an upstart interloper messing with my nostalgic memories. But maybe Google's a welcome alternative to others. It's not uncommon to see the occasional complaint about a NORAD "Santa Cam" video showing Santa being accompanied by fighter jets. Some might prefer a Santa tracker that's not connected to a military organization. Of course, some might not feel one connected to a giant company is necessarily preferable. Part of me is also sad that when I go to NORAD's own site, I get a big Internet Explorer icon in the top right corner, which effectively opens up an ad for Microsoft. I guess I feel it's too blatant. Of course, complaining about the commercialization of something Christmas-related, I suppose, is kind of useless." Sullivan adds, "Overall, I'm thankful to the many people who are involved with both operations [NORAD Tracks Santa and Google Santa Tracker], who work hard to make children smile on Christmas Eve.""

Comment: Article summary: Use time-in more than time-out (Score 1) 323

by Walking The Walk (#48652911) Attached to: Putting Time Out In Time Out: The Science of Discipline

The point of the article is made near the end, which is to use less time-outs (which should still be used, as a time of reflection), and more "time-ins", which is apparently teaching your child about emotional events as they occur through the day. Based on the examples given, I would guess "time-in" is something we already do with our kids; it's just talking over events like "Wasn't it funny when Sarah sneezed milk out her nose?" Then listening to our kids tell their version. The new thing is to somehow "teach" them what that emotion means. I'm OK with a psych doing research that confirms common parental practices work, but there was a lot of vague hand-waviness about "teaching" emotions, and they skimmed over the fact that once a child is in school or daycare, the majority of their daily events aren't shared with their parents. Discussing such events therefore requires discovering them, which is difficult when the response to "How was your day at school?" is a terse "Okay".

PS: I actually read through TFA, which was rather long and filled with the author's opinions more than the psych's study results and opinions.. I don't recommend reading the article by the way, it was a lot of filler text with very little discussion of the main topic. It could use an editor's review - for example, it alternates between "time-out" and "timeout". Plus the title is misleading - it explicitly says time-ins aren't a counter-point to time-outs, it simply encourages that time-ins be added to the daily routine.

The next person to mention spaghetti stacks to me is going to have his head knocked off. -- Bill Conrad

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