Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Dust, critters, and humidity (Score 4, Informative) 253

OK, granted I know nothing about where you live, but there's those things to consider.

First, info: What kind of crawl space is it? To me, crawlspace brings to mind everything from the enclosed space under a prefab home to interior unused space (or only used for wiring) in large structures.

1) Do you know what the year-round temperatures are in the crawlspace? Depending on type, they can have a lot of variation.

2) Ventilation. If you're sticking a heater down there (which is what this is going to be) it's going to warm up a bit.

3) Insects: Some sort of metal cage to keep out insects would be highly recommended. Something along the lines of a server cage, but with mosquito sized mesh.

4) Small mammals: This is probably best handled by a medium grade wire. Chicken coop wire sort of stuff.

5) Humidity: sorry, can't think of anything, other than be careful.

6) Dust: How are you going to dust it? Or prevent it from getting dusty?

- First off, for keeping it safe, probably be best to have some kind of dual-mesh cage to keep it safe. Outer layer made out of chicken mesh (something like a guinea pig cage would work well too) with a mosquito mesh netting inside it. Should keep the bugs and small animals out, but you'll need to do something to protect the cables.

- As far as heat goes, I'd recommend two things: Firstly, use a fan-less cooling system. Less dust build up, fewer moving parts to break, and less maintenance. Secondly, I'd recommend using a heat sink rated for a lot more heat than you planned. More surface area to dissipate heat. Then you won't have to worry so much about the dust.

Comment Kind of neat, but.... (Score 2) 52

I find this rather interesting, personally. Although I imagine that the turn lag time must get huge very, very quickly.

In manner of explanation, apparently it is actually a 43 player single player game, where the human player used a mod to a) reveal the whole map, b) delete their capital city, and c) give themselves a nuclear submarine that they parked under the icecap. That way the human stays alive, but out of the game, and everyone else can play as if they weren't there. I'm not sure how much residual impact simply having an active human player in the game might have.

On the other hand, must be a slow day for news. But then again, Sundays usually are.

Comment Some ideas to be helpful (Score 2) 327

True. And a few other things.

People keep mentioning. "Why don't you have the kid run next door to the neighbor and get them to get help?" Last time I checked, if they're smart (and independent) enough to go next door for help, they're more than capable of hitting a panic button. Secondly, hitting a panic button, dad checking the cameras, and dad reacting, is all probably going to happen a lot faster than kid running next door, kid ringing door bell, talking to neighbor, neighbor coming over, neighbor deciding what to do.

On the same token, the panic button ->dad ->calls neighbour chain would likely get the nearest adult to the scene a lot faster than having the kid heading outside. Safer, too. Much better to have the kid inside with an epileptic than outside running around in a panic. What if the nearest "friendly" house is their friend's house across the street? In a panic the kid's not going to be looking both ways.

From the sounds of things, his wife is perfectly capable of taking care of things 95% of the time. If she was having daily seizures, he probably wouldn't be leaving the house. You don't need live-in care for something that may well only happen once a week or less. Instead of viewing this as an attempt at delegating all caretaking responsibility to the kid, think of it as establishing multiple fail-safes.

We know he's got bunch of cameras that he watches on a regular basis (but not continuous). Given that he's technically inclined, and that, from what I gather, many people with epileptic seizures can recognize onset symptoms, (not all sufferers, definitely not all the time, but at least sometimes) there's probably decent chances that they've rigged up something that the mother could use herself. Maybe just a speed dial, but possibly other things. If not, then the various ideas of using exercise bands and accelerometers might make a very good layer of redundancy there, too.

Personally, the idea of having a sensor-rigged cupboard with a big stuffed animal in it, and telling the kid to take mom the stuffed animal when she's in trouble sounds like a great idea too. Great padding to have between an epileptic and any potentially hard surfaces, although unlikely a kid would be placing it optimally.

Frankly, giving one's kid a panic button that sends a message to Dad seems like a really good thing to have, no matter what the situation at home is. Honestly, it isn't exactly that rare of an occurrence for the sole responsible adult at home to have some kind of accident where it would be *very* useful for the kid to have some way of summoning a responsible 3rd party, whether it be a neighbour or relative or whatever.

Lastly, just because he hasn't laid out every last precaution and detail of his family's life is no reason to assume that they're being negligent, that she's having daily severe seizures, or that they're pinning all their hopes of safety on the kid. We don't need to know all that. He simply asked for advice on a single, specific solution to a specific element of his situation. Let's help him out on that, shall we?

Some quick links that a google search turned up:

First one is an instructables video, the last two are commercial options, one for phone software, the second for an actual device.




Comment Re:even when it is powered off. (Score 1) 179

I kind of suspect that is the point: Low level functionality that allows them to actually turn on the computer, not just wake it up from standby or hibernation. It also grants access for BIOS updating, erasing and reinstalling hard drives, and other access like that.

I suspect that the only "Off" that would actually block its activity would be the more absolute "the power bar is turned off" type security. Which is probably a good idea anyway, these days.

Comment Re:life in the U.S. (Score 4, Insightful) 255

We're all glad that you've got decent service.

That being said, the point of changing the definition is so that the cable companies can't point to your plan and call it the "Extra super good internet plan."

The point is essentially a technicality: Raise the definition so that most typical plans don't count as broadband. Which makes it harder for the telcos to justify charging broadband prices for sub-broadband service. Which, hopefully, will either reduce prices for the low end of things so that more people can access it, or encourage the companies to upgrade their infrastructure to support the new speeds.

Look at it this way: This change should either make your 'net cheaper, or increase your speeds. Either way, you win. The only reason that the telcos oppose this is because they're going to actually have to spend some of their profit on upgrading infrastructure. The horror!

Comment It is about time! (Score 1) 93

Comment Re:As expected (Score 1) 173

FYI: As of yesterday, Civ V now runs on SteamOS. Supposedly all the DLC is supposed to too, but they're still working on that. And it is one of the play-anywhere type games, so if you own a copy, you can play on windows, mac, or Linux, no need to buy a new copy for the other OS. I'll be getting my dual boot running today to try it out.

Civ: Beyond Earth has been officially "Win, Mac, and SteamOS" for a while now. I'm guessing it and Civ V use the same base underlying engine, or at least close enough to make using code form one in the other easy enough, so they're using Civ V in SteamOS to test their code for the Beyond Earth release. (I know the preview footage from E3 yesterday that some aspects of Beyond Earth look like a reskinned Civ5, particularly the map, combat, city, and diplomacy screens. So I'm expecting it to feel like an expansion that adds a whole bunch of stuff combined with a TC (Total Conversion) that replaces all the existing content)

Comment Re:Brain-Computer Interfaces (Score 1) 552

If I had mod points, I'd vote this up, especially since it is actually relevant to answering the person's question.

Sorry I don't have any sources, but I know I've read a fair bit about experimental brain interfaces as Multiio describes, but from North American sources, so hopefully some usefull stuff turns up. As far as that goes, the wikipedia article on Brain-computer interfaces has some hopeful links.


Of particular note is all the succesfull experiments where they've had monkeys controlling robotic arms to feed themselves, using brain-wave monitoring devices to provide joystick type input into a computer, and stuff like that. From what I can tell, that's just the "proven and done" stuff. More complex things like outputting text directly to a computer makes sense to me, but I haven't seen any mention of that sort of thing.

To all those who, instead of answering the question have been providing "pull the plug" or "why don't you research ways to kill them" answers: don't assume anything less than perfect mobility is essential for an enjoyable life. I, for one, would want to keep on living so long as I can keep learning and experiencing things. Even if it amounts to never doing anything physical again and spending my time learning on the web, I still consider that to be a life worth living. We can't, and shouldn't, make these decisions for others, especially for those we don't know. After all, while there may be a few that really want to die and get a lot of media attention, there are just as many, probably more, who share my view: never pull the plug on me until my brain has completely, utterly, and without the slightest trace of a doubt ceased activity. And even then wait a week or two just to make sure it wasn't just faint for a bit before doing it.

Whenever locked in cases like this come up, I can't help but think of Anne McCaffrey's brain-ships series. Basic premise being that locked in people were hooked into spaceships. If they can control prosthetics, they can control anything else, the theory goes. If they can never live outside a machine, well, give them the best possible opportunity to be as productive as possible in a machine, ideally by doing things that un-injured people can't do. I'm sure it is possible, but it is a field that needs a lot more work.

Comment Partial vulnerability list (Score 5, Informative) 236

In the pdf of his presentation he mentions that there are 24 router models confirmed vulnerable spanning Cisco, Linksys, NetGear, and Diamond. I have yet to spot the actual list of vulnerable routers, though.

He also elaborates on how a technically skilled person can figure out if any particular router is vulnerable.

The link to the list of vulnerabilities is found in the pdf. Here's a copy/pasted list of the ones known so far.


Backdoor LISTENING ON THE INTERNET confirmed in :

        Linksys WAG120N (@p_w999)
        Netgear DG834B V5.01.14 (@domainzero)
        Netgear DGN2000 1.1.1,,,, (issue 44)
        Netgear WPNT834 (issue 79)
        OpenWAG200 maybe a little bit TOO open ;) (issue 49)

Backdoor confirmed in:

        Cisco RVS4000 fwv (issue 57)
        Cisco WAP4410N (issue 11)
        Cisco WRVS4400N
        Cisco WRVS4400N (issue 36)
        Diamond DSL642WLG / SerComm IP806Gx v2 TI (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6998682)
        LevelOne WBR3460B (http://www.securityfocus.com/archive/101/507219/30/0/threaded)
        Linksys RVS4000 Firmware V1.3.3.5 (issue 55)
        Linksys WAG120N (issue 58)
        Linksys WAG160n v1 and v2 (@xxchinasaurxx @saltspork)
        Linksys WAG200G
        Linksys WAG320N (http://zaufanatrzeciastrona.pl/post/smieszna-tylna-furtka-w-ruterach-linksysa-i-prawdopodobnie-netgeara/)
        Linksys WAG54G2 (@_xistence)
        Linksys WAG54GS (@henkka7)
        Linksys WRT350N v2 fw 2.00.19 (issue 39)
        Linksys WRT300N fw 2.00.17 (issue 34)
        Netgear DG834[â..., GB, N, PN, GT] version 5 (issue 19 & issue 25 & issue 62 & jd & Burn2 Dev)
        Netgear DGN1000 (don't know if there is a difference with the others N150 ones... issue 27)
        Netgear DGN1000[B] N150 (issue 3)
        Netgear DGN2000B (issue 26)
        Netgear DGN3500 (issue 13)
        Netgear DGND3300 (issue 56)
        Netgear DGND3300Bv2 fwv (issue 59)
        Netgear DM111Pv2 (@eguaj)
        Netgear JNR3210 (issue 37)

Backdoor may be present in:

        all SerComm manufactured devices (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6998258)
        Linksys WAG160N (http://zaufanatrzeciastrona.pl/post/smieszna-tylna-furtka-w-ruterach-linksysa-i-prawdopodobnie-netgeara/)
        Netgear DG934 probability: probability: 99.99% (http://codeinsecurity.wordpress.com/category/reverse-engineering/)
        Netgear WG602, WGR614 (v3 doesn't work, maybe others...) (http://zaufanatrzeciastrona.pl/post/smieszna-tylna-furtka-w-ruterach-linksysa-i-prawdopodobnie-netgeara/) :END COPIED TEXT

Comment Re:Good for you. (Score 1) 641

I continue to think that about 95% of all computer users would be happy if their current OS locked the feature set exactly where it is now and henceforth do nothing except patch bugs.

Maybe do a "new version" if they really must, but only if it doesn't eliminate or forcefully change the current workflow, doesn't require any additional resources, and can demonstrably *IMPROVE* the user's experience with the OS. Which for most people, means that the time that they spend actually using the OS is decreased. After all, for 95% of users, the OS is simply the digital equivalent of their desk. Most people don't want to spend their time staring at their desk, no matter how "pretty" it is, but rather they would prefer to be doing stuff with whatever they put on it.

Side question: How many people would upgrade their desk if the new version of their desk had drawers that took twice as long to open but made a fancy "Wooosh" noise when they did it? Or where you had to push a couple buttons on the side of the desk before you could pick up a pen (or touch the keyboard)?

Comment Re:Good for you. (Score 1) 641


I've been saying this for years in regards to "new" operating systems. I don't need more "features", I don't need it to look "prettier", I don't need animations when I do something.

Pretty much all I need is something that will organize my files and provide the necessary APIs and backend support for running a predetermined set of programs. (a set that has remained pretty much unchanged for the past 2 years, and only a few additions in the past 5)

Comment Nice, but.... (Score 2) 353

Well, I'm glad that someone's out there talking about it, but here on /. it really is preaching to the choir.

That being said, I'd love to see this video get sent out to the masses of people on some major news channels. Getting a couple million more people interested in upgrading and modding their own computer would do wonders for increasing the interest of computer parts manufacturers in catering to the upgrade/modding community.

Submission + - Astronaut Nearly Drowned During Space Walk

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Pete Spotts reports at the Christian Science Monitor that about 44 minutes into a 6.5-hour spacewalk last July, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano noted that water was building up inside his helmet – the second consecutive spacewalk during which he reported the problem. As Parmitano worked his way back to the air lock, water covered his eyes, filled his ears, disrupted communications, and eventually began to enter his nose, making it difficult for him to breathe. "I know that if the water does overwhelm me I can always open the helmet," wrote Parmitano about making it to the airlock. "I’ll probably lose consciousness, but in any case that would be better than drowning inside the helmet." Later, when crew mates removed his helmet, they found that it contained at least 1.5 quarts of water. In a 122-page report released Wednesday, a mishap investigation board identified a range of causes for the near-tragedy, including organizational causes that carried echoes of accident reports that followed the loss of the shuttles Challenger and Columbia and their crews in 1986 and 2003. Engineers traced the leak to a fan-and-pump assembly that is part of a system that extracts moisture from the air inside the suit and returns it to the suit's water-based cooling system. Contaminants clogged holes that would have carried the water to the cooling system after it was extracted from the air. The water backed up and flowed into the suit's air-circulation system, which sent it into Parmitano's helmet (PDF). The specific cause of the contamination is still under investigation but investigators also identified deeper causes, one of which involved what some accident-investigation specialists have dubbed the "normalization of deviance" – small malfunctions that appear so often that eventually they are accepted as normal. In this case, small water leaks had been observed in space-suit helmets for years, despite the knowledge that the water could form a film on the inside of a helmet, fogging the visor or reacting with antifogging chemicals on the visor in ways that irritate eyes. NASA officials are not planning on resuming non-urgent spacewalks before addressing all 16 of the highest priority suggestions from the Mishap Investigation Board. "I think it's a tribute to the agency that we're not hiding this stuff, that we're actually out trying to describe these things, and to describe where we can get better," says William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate said today. "I think that's how we prevent Columbias and Challengers."

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval