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Submission + - Slashdot creates beta site users express theirs dislike ( 4

who_stole_my_kidneys writes: Slashdot started redirecting users in February to its newly revamped webpage and received a huge backlash from users. The majority of comments dislike the new site while some do offer solutions to make it better. The question is will Slashdot force the unwanted change on its users that clearly do not want change?

Comment Re:Market Saturation (Score 5, Insightful) 506

I am just taking a stab in the dark here as I don't really know, but maybe there are a lot of "MS Stack software" developers in the home of MS. If they got a ton of them already in town why import more?

Absolutely correct. I work in Seattle on FreeBSD, and there are plenty of places looking for employees (Amazon, F5, Isilon, etc.) with a Linux/BSD background. If you want to work on the "MS Stack" you are more or less going to be looking for a job a Microsoft. The market here is completely saturated with Microsoft employees who are looking for a change of pace. They actually do have 6 years of experience developing on frameworks Microsoft released 5 years ago.

Comment Re:Meaning (Score 4, Interesting) 107

Eh, I wouldn't be so sure about that. This was the front page story of The Stranger print edition, which is a fairly popular weekly newspaper in Seattle. I had no connection with The Stranger story, but I'm one of the obscure bloggers investigating the wireless mesh. I made my first request to the Seattle Police Department in February 2013. Yes, a full 10 months ago. I didn't ask them to answer any questions, I just asked for the records. I made the following request:

Pursuant to RCW Ch. 42.56 (Public Records Act), I hereby request the following records: The maps, purchase orders, maintenance contracts, technical specifications, usage policies, access procedures, data retention policies, installation instructions, device configurations, interconnect details, and other public records requests for the wireless mesh network installed in the second half of 2012.

Obviously these are all things they should have right? I've been fighting with the police department for months, and the best I've gotten is a picture of a crumpled up printout of a low resolution map of the system. You'd think there would be source files for that picture right?

There is clearly a coverup going on here, but the police aren't going to talk about it. So I went to the IT and Finance people. Well, I got back quite a few interesting records from them! For example, this project included $9795.19 RADIUS server. On what planet does a RADIUS server cost that much? It turns out to be a $1000 dell server running FreeRADIUS. Even that is overkill.

Another interesting feature, is the camera aspect you brought up. There are already 36 high-res pan tilt zoom cameras on this network, and there is enough bandwidth for them to add over 1600 more. In addition, they significantly overpaid for the cameras by not properly following their own bidding process rules.

There are real problems with this project and most of them are not related to surveillance. Even when it is just a small blogger investigating, it is the Seattle Police Department's responsibility under Washington state law to turn over copies of records requested. Hopefully The Stranger article will bring enough attention to this problem to encourage the Police department to do the right thing, obey the law, and release the records to anyone who asks for them.

Comment Your problem is congestion, not coverage. (Score 3, Interesting) 140

I live just a few blocks from the park (and staffed a table on Sunday of the event), the 4G problems are not due to coverage but due to network congestion. You can easily get 10-15 Mbps via both Clear and Verizon 4G when there aren't 50k people there. You really should be looking at point to point microwave for your backhall. I'm sure Spectrum Networks can provide you with a 1Gbps link on at least the south half of the park. Digital Fortress has a datacenter in the big black round building that overlooks the park. I suspect they could get you roof access and a 1Gbps feed too. Most of the buildings along the park belong to tech companies (F5 networks, Big Fish Games). If you can talk one of them into sponsoring you, they could likely get you bandwidth on their roofs too. Bandwidth isn't a problem, you just need to bring your own. Obviously that requires money and forward planning.

Comment Re:Can scan every item yet.... (Score 1) 324

They DO have a working tracking system for both letter sized mail and packages. You just have to build your own interface, all they do is upload a file with scans to your FTP server. They give quite a bit of data on a letter, here is an example from a mailpiece I sent a few weeks ago. It was scanned five times over two days, and they will send scans as frequently as once per hour.

Oh, and the example I provided was a First Class letter. Tracking cost me nothing more than printing a barcode on the envelope before dropping it in the mailbox. Too bad they don't provide an easy way to use this service.


Submission + - Epic Hacker Spoof of Dr. Seuss (

An anonymous reader writes: Hacker Dojo has outdone themselves with their latest fundraising video. It is a epic minute of hilariousness, staring the internet famous Katy Levinson.

Comment Re:So that's why the UW mail system went down (Score 1) 473

Hey, at least you aren't at that other state university. The one that uses microsoft hosted outlook. If you want an unreliable, insecure, windows only email solution with the same privacy implications as hosted Gmail, Try Outlook Live!

Oh, and just to clarify, this is not an option offered by the university, this is the only option.


Submission + - Did The USPTO Let Amazon Patent Facebook?

theodp writes: After shelling out a reported $90MM to buy PlanetAll in 1998, shuttered the site in 2000, explaining that 'it seemed really superfluous to have it running beside Friends and Favorites.' But years later in a 2008 patent filing, Amazon described the acquired PlanetAll technology to the USPTO in very Facebook-like terms. And on Tuesday, the USPTO issued U.S. Patent No. 7,739,139 to Amazon for its invention, the Social Networking System, which Amazon describes thusly: 'A networked computer system provides various services for assisting users in locating, and establishing contact relationships with, other users. For example, in one embodiment, users can identify other users based on their affiliations with particular schools or other organizations. The system also provides a mechanism for a user to selectively establish contact relationships or connections with other users, and to grant permissions for such other users to view personal information of the user. The system may also include features for enabling users to identify contacts of their respective contacts. In addition, the system may automatically notify users of personal information updates made by their respective contacts.' So, should Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg worry about Amazon opening a can of patent whup-ass?

Ham Radio Still Growing In the iStuff Age 368

vhfer writes "From NPR comes this story about old-school communications in the age of Twitter: 'Only a few years ago, blogs listed ham radio alongside 35 mm film and VHS tape as technologies slated to disappear. They were wrong. Nearly 700,000 Americans have ham radio licenses — up 60 percent from 1981, a generation ago. And the number is growing.' The article goes on to say that while there's plenty of 60-plus year old hams, there's also a growing contingent of teens. I just met a 14-year-old, licensed in 2009. Getting rid of the Morse Code requirement sure helped in that regard. So does the fact that the test questions (and the answers) are freely available, legally, on the Internet. Study, take the test, hang the license certificate on the wall. Your geek cred gets an immediate boost. And who knows? Maybe the next time there's a Haiti-earthquake-sized disaster, you'll be one of the thousands of ham volunteers who provided the only communications in/out of Haiti for weeks following the quake, not to mention all of the tactical comms the country had for nearly a month."

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made. -- Jean Giraudoux