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+ - Linux on a Motorola 68000 solderless breadboard

Submitted by lars_stefan_axelsson
lars_stefan_axelsson (236283) writes "When I was an undergrad in the eighties, "building" a computer meant that you got a bunch of chips and a soldering iron and went to work. The art is still alive today, but instead of a running BASIC interpreter as the ultimate proof of success, today the crowning achievement is getting Linux to run:

"What does it take to build a little 68000-based protoboard computer, and get it running Linux? In my case, about three weeks of spare time, plenty of coffee, and a strong dose of stubborness. After banging my head against the wall with problems ranging from the inductance of pushbutton switches to memory leaks in the C standard library, it finally works! "

"

+ - Khrushchev's 1959 Visit to IBM->

Submitted by harrymcc
harrymcc (1641347) writes "In September of 1959, Nikita Khrushchev, the premier of the Soviet Union, spent 12 days touring the U.S. One of his stops was IBM's facilities in San Jose, which helped to create the area later known as Silicon Valley. The premier got to see the first computer which came with a hard disk, which IBM programmed to answer history questions. But what he was most impressed by was IBM's modern cafeteria. Over at Fast Company, I've chronicled this fascinating and little-known moment in tech history, which will be covered in an upcoming PBS program on Khrushchev's U.S. trip."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:The police and health care are not the same (Score 1) 739

by anybody_out_there (#48278081) Attached to: Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

This is a good example of why Social Security and Medicare are failing. They aren't means tested. You can have a fat pension and $2m in assets and still get the same maximum social security check as someone who was a skilled construction worker and entered old age with little more than a home and a small savings account to hopefully pass onto the kids. Should they both be entitled to these programs? Absolutely not.

This is off-topic, but you do realize that in the US, if you work you are paying into both of these systems? Why shouldn't I have at least a chance of getting (some of) my money back out? That's why it is not means tested... I should get paid because it's my money to begin with!

Alas the reality may be that by the time I am eligible, the system could be bankrupt and I won't see a penny of it anyway. That is a different discussion.

+ - Say Something Nice About systemd 4

Submitted by ewhac
ewhac (5844) writes "I'm probably going to deeply deeply regret this, but every time a story appears here mentioning systemd, a 700-comment thread of back-and-forth bickering breaks out which is about as informative as an old Bud Light commercial, and I don't really learn anything new about the subject. My gut reaction to systemd is (currently) a negative one, and it's very easy to find screeds decrying systemd on the net. However, said screeds haven't been enough to prevent its adoption by several distros, which leads me to suspect that maybe there's something worthwhile there that I haven't discovered yet. So I thought it might be instructive to turn the question around and ask the membership about what makes systemd good. However, before you stab at the "Post" button, there are some rules...

Bias Disclosure: I currently dislike systemd because — without diving very deeply into the documentation, mind — it looks and feels like a poorly-described, gigantic mess I know nothing about that seeks to replace other poorly-described, smaller messes which I know a little bit about. So you will be arguing in that environment.

Nice Things About systemd Rules:
  1. Post each new Nice Thing as a new post, not as a reply to another post. This will let visitors skim the base level of comments for things that interest them, rather than have to dive through a fractally expanding tree of comments looking for things to support/oppose. It will also make it easier to follow the next rule:
  2. Avoid duplication; read the entire base-level of comments before adding a new Nice Thing. Someone may already have mentioned your Nice Thing. Add your support/opposition to that Nice Thing there, rather than as a new post.
  3. Only one concrete Nice Thing about systemd per base-level post. Keep the post focused on a single Nice Thing systemd does. If you know of multiple distinct things, write multiple distinct posts.
  4. Describe the Nice Thing in some detail. Don't assume, for example, that merely saying "Supports Linux cgroups" will be immediately persuasive.
  5. Describe how the Nice Thing is better than existing, less controversial solutions. systemd is allegedly better at some things than sysvinit or upstart or inetd. Why? Why is the Nice Thing possible in systemd, and impossible (or extremely difficult) with anything else? (In some cases, the Nice Thing will be a completely new thing that's never existed before; describe why it's good thing.)

Bonus points are awarded for:

  • Personal Experience. "I actually did this," counts for way more than, "The docs claim you can do this."
  • Working Examples. Corollary to the above — if you did a Nice Thing with systemd, consider also posting the code/script/service file you wrote to accomplish it.
  • Links to Supporting Documentation. If you leveraged a Nice Thing, furnish a link to the docs you used that describe the Nice Thing and its usage.

We will assume out of the gate that systemd boots your system faster than ${SOMETHING_ELSE}, so no points for bringing that up."

+ - Is Geometric Algebra finally adopted in STEM curricula?->

Submitted by quax
quax (19371) writes "It has been over a century that William Kingdon Clifford developed Geometric Algebra. Yet due to his untimely death it was quickly forgotten, only to be partially reinvented when Dirac tackled relativistic quantum mechanics and introduced spinors. But geometric algebra is much more versatile than that, for instance it makes for a better alternative to vector calculus, combining div and curl operators and doing away with the cross-product in favor of bivectors. It is such a straightforward unification of otherwise, disparate mathematical techniques that I very much regret that my physics curriculum twenty years ago didn't cover it. Has this changed? Have you encountered geometric algebra in an undergraduate program?"
Link to Original Source

+ - Expedition 42 ISS Crew Embrace Douglas Adams -> 1

Submitted by SchrodingerZ
SchrodingerZ (2576405) writes "In November of this year, the 42th Expedition to the International Space Station will launch, and the crew have decided to embrace their infamous number. NASA has released an image of the crew, mimicking the movie poster for The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, a film released in 2005, based on a book with the same name by Douglas Adams. Commander Butch Wilmore stands in the center as protagonist Arthur Dent, flight engineer Elena Serova as hitchhiker Ford Prefect, flight engineer Alexander Samokutyayev as antagonist Humma Kavula, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti as Trillian, and flight engineers Terry Virts and Anton Shkaplerov as two-headed galactic president Zaphod Beeblebrox. The robotic "Robonaut 2" also stands in the picture as Marvin the depressed android. Cristoforetti, ecstatic to be part of this mission stated,"Enjoy, don't panic and always know where your towel is!" Wilmore, Serova and Samokutyayev blasted off September 25th for Expedition 41, the rest of Expedition 42 will launch November 23rd."
Link to Original Source

+ - Laid off from job, man builds tweeting toilet->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "With parts from an electric motor, a few household items, an open-source hardware board running Linux, and some coding, Thomas Ruecker, built a connected toilet that Tweets with each flush. The first reaction to the Twitter feed at @iotoilets may be a chuckle. But the idea behind this and what it illustrates is serious. It tracks water usage, offers a warning about the future of privacy in the Internet of Things, and may say something about the modern job hunt. Ruecker built his device on a recent long weekend after he was laid off as an open source evangelist at a technology firm undergoing "rightsizing," as he put it. He lives in Finland."
Link to Original Source

+ - Hidden Archeology of Stonehenge Revealed in New Geophysical Map->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Utilizing a comprehensive array of remote sensing technology and non-invasive geophysical survey equipment, researchers working on the site of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England have revealed hundreds of previously unknown features buried deep beneath the ground as part of the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project. The finds include images of dwellings from the Bronze and Iron Ages as well as details of buried Roman settlements never before seen."
Link to Original Source

+ - Tiny glass pyramids used to create self-cooling solar cells->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Solar panels need to be placed in direct sunlight in order to function, but that means they get hot, become less efficient, and age quickly. For every 1 degree Celsius the temperature increases, solar cell efficiency decreases by 0.5%. So at a typical peak temperature of 55 degrees a 30% efficient solar panel is only converting around 21% of the solar energy.

What we need is passive cooling, and a team at Standford Uni has solved the problem using tiny glass pyramids to manipulate the properties of light."

Link to Original Source

+ - Robots Are Set to Conduct National Security Clearance Interviews

Submitted by meghan elizabeth
meghan elizabeth (3689911) writes "Advancing a career in the US government might soon require an interview with a computer-generated head here who wants to know about that time you took ketamine.

A recent study by psychologists at the National Center for Credibility Assessment, published in the journal Computers and Human Behavior, asserts that not only would a computer-generated interviewer be less “time consuming, labor intensive, and costly to the Federal Government,” people are actually more likely to admit things to the robot."

+ - Insurance Claims Reveal Hidden Electronic Damage From Geomagnetic Storms

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "On 13 March 1989, a powerful geomagnetic storm severely disrupted the Hydro-Québec high-voltage grid triggering numerous circuit breakers and blacking out much of eastern Canada and the north eastern US. Since then, Earth has been hit by numerous solar maelstroms although without such large-scale disruption. But the smaller-scale effect of these storms on low voltage transmissions line, and the equipment connected to them, has been unknown. Until now. Researchers from the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory have analysed insurance claims for damage to industrial electrical equipment between 2000 and 2010 and found a clear correlation with geomagnetic activity. They say that the number of claims increases by up to 20 per cent on the days of highest geomagnetic activity. On this basis, they calculate that the economic impact of geomagnetic damage must amount to several billion dollars per year. That raises the question of the impact these storms are having on household electronic equipment, such as computers, smartphones and tablets, and whether domestic insurance claims might throw some light on the issue. So if your iPhone has ever been fried in mysterious circumstances, the culprit may have been the Sun."

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