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Comment: Re:Not really unusual, but... (Score 1) 116 116

In the early 90's, I was tasked with looking at a 286 in a warehouse that wouldn't run for more than a few minutes before crashing angrily.

I turned it on, observed that the PSU fan was caked with dust and not spinning, unplugged the hard drive, and gave the PSU some brisk percussive maintenance. It belched a thick cloud of brown crud, and the fan worked again.

Reassembled, and it worked for years.

Comment: Re:Easy solution, albeit a 'free market' one... (Score 2) 66 66

Crying baby monitor ? Really ? :|

Deaf people have babies, too.

Rooting isn't so bad on an S5, either: Downgrade the phone to a version that towelroot works on (using odin). Install towelroot, safestrap (in that order). Flash a rooted Lollipop ROM of your choosing using Safestrap.

Being able to understand and complete the rooting process for a given device is something that I do before I even consider buying it.

Programming

Clang Plays Tetris -- Tetris As a C++ Template Metaprogram 47 47

New submitter mjvzb writes: Ever wish compiling was more fun? Well, I recently implemented Tetris as a C++ template metaprogram (code at Github). The game is played by recompiling its source, taking player input by compiler flag. The runtime program is only needed to print the game screen to the console and save the game state across compiler runs.

Implementing Tetris in templates is not as horrific as you may imagine, and I've put together a post covering the details. Once you get over the syntax, C++ metaprogramming is just like functional programming.

Comment: Re:Converted old cell phone to uplink transmitter (Score 2) 116 116

Many moons ago, I got tired of what was on the radio, and I built a pirate FM station. It had a studio supplied with over 50 volunteer DJs, but most of all it had the transmitter up in the mountains, with a UHF uplink system, to allow for very broad coverage of our city. I made the uplink transmitter form a 1985 Motorola cell phone, the old brick type. It was suitably modified to put out wideband FM audio. You might be able to read about it by Googling "Radio Limbo Tucson".

You're my hero.

Biotech

3-D Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanning Could Strengthen Smartphone Security 28 28

Zothecula sends news that researchers from the University of California are developing new fingerprint scanning technology that could one day enhance the security of mobile devices. The new technique scans a fingertip in 3D, capturing the tiny ridges and valleys that make up a fingerprint, as well as the tissue beneath the surface. This guards against attackers unlocking a device with an image of the fingerprint, or by attempting to dust the scanner. The basic concepts behind the researchers’ technology are akin to those of medical ultrasound imaging. They created a tiny ultrasound imager, designed to observe only a shallow layer of tissue near the finger’s surface. "Ultrasound images are collected in the same way that medical ultrasound is conducted," said [Professor David] Horsley. "Transducers on the chip’s surface emit a pulse of ultrasound, and these same transducers receive echoes returning from the ridges and valleys of your fingerprint’s surface." The basis for the ultrasound sensor is an array of MEMS ultrasound devices with highly uniform characteristics, and therefore very similar frequency response characteristics. ... To fabricate their imager, the group employed existing microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology, which smartphones rely on for such functions as microphones and directional orientation. They used a modified version of the manufacturing process used to make the MEMS accelerometer and gyroscope found in the iPhone and many other consumer electronics devices.

Comment: Re:What baffles me is.... (Score 2) 80 80

If this scum has a history of making false claims then why are they still allowed to make claims at all? Better yet, why haven't they been banned from Youtube altogether?

Alice posts a video using music that Bob owns the copyright to. Carol posts a video that uses music Bob falsely claims to also hold the copyright for. Unfortunately Bob's false claim against Carol doesn't change the fact that he actually does have a legitimate legal claim against Alice's video. So kicking him off the system means he's going to issue a takedown against Alice. The whole point of bringing him into the system was to give him an incentive to leave Alice alone.

The problem here isn't Bob and Alice -- that part of the scenario is working fine. The problem is Bob and Carol. There's no incentive for Bob not to make false claims against Carol. That's the bit that has to be fixed.

Hardware Hacking

Ask Slashdot: What Is Your Most Unusual Hardware Hack? 116 116

An anonymous reader writes: Another Slashdotter recently asked what kind of things someone can power with an external USB battery. I have a followup along those lines: what kind of modifications have you made to your gadgets to do things that they were never meant to do? Consider old routers, cell phones, monitors, etc. that have absolutely no use or value anymore in their intended form. What can you do with them? Have you ever done something stupid and damaged your electronics?
Graphics

Square Enix Pulls, Apologizes For Mac Version of Final Fantasy XIV 67 67

_xeno_ writes: Just over a week after Warner Bros. pulled the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight due to bugs, Square Enix is now being forced to do the same thing with the Mac OS X version of Final Fantasy XIV (which was released at the same time as Batman: Arkham Knight). The rather long note explaining the decision apologizes for releasing the port before it was ready and blames OS X and OpenGL for the discrepancy between the game's performance on identical Mac hardware running Windows. It's unclear when (or even if) Square Enix will resume selling an OS X version — the note indicates that the development team is hopeful that "[w]ith the adoption of DirectX 11 for Mac, and the replacement of OpenGL with a new graphics API in Apple's next OS, the fundamental gap in current performance issues may soon be eliminated." (I'm not sure what "the adoption of DirectX 11 for Mac" refers to. OS X gaining DirectX 11 support is news to me — and, I suspect, Microsoft.) Given that the game supports the aging PS3 console, you'd think the developers would be able to find a way to get the same graphics as the PS3 version on more powerful Mac OS X hardware.
The Almighty Buck

Leased LEDs and Energy Service Contracts can Cut Electric Bills (Video) 43 43

I first heard of Consumer Energy Solutions from a non-profit's IT guy who was boasting about how he got them to lease him LED bulbs for their parking lot and the security lights at their equipment lot -- pretty much all their outdoor lighting -- for a lot less than their monthly savings on electricity from replacing most of their Halogen, fluorescent, and other less-efficient lights with LEDs. What made this a big deal to my friend was that no front money was required. It's one thing to tell a town council or non-profit board, "If we spend $180,000 on LEDs we'll save it all back in five years" (or whatever). It's another thing to say, "We can lease LEDs for all our outdoor lighting for $4,000 per month and save $8,000 on electricity right away." That gets officials to prick up their ears in a hurry.Then there are energy service contracts, essentially buying electricity one, two or three years in advance. This business got a bad name from Enron and their energy wholesaling business, but despite that single big blast of negative publicity, it grows a little each year. And the LED lease business? In many areas, governments and utility companies actually subsidize purchases of anything that cuts electricity use. Totally worth checking out.

But why, you might ask, is this on Slashdot? Because some of our readers own stacks of servers (or work for companies that own stacks of servers) and need to know they don't have to pay whatever their local electric utility demands, but can shop for better electricity prices in today's deregulated electricity market. And while this conversation was with one person in this business, we are not pushing his company. As interviewee Patrick Clouden says at the end of the interview, it's a competitive business. So if you want the best deal, you'd better shop around. One more thing: the deregulated utility market, with its multitude of suppliers, peak and off-peak pricing, and (often) minute-by-minute price changes, takes excellent software (possibly written by someone like you) to negotiate, so this business niche might be one an entrepreneurial software developer should explore.

Comment: Re:Indeed (Score 1) 307 307

Everyone has the right to express their disgust with you...

Yes. Absolutely.

...and take whatever measures they like in response.

No. Not even close.

the trolls keep telling us that there is "no right to be offended"

Well, perhaps, but I've never run into it. What I have run into, and said myself, is that "there is no right to not be offended."

The version you quote is ridiculous. The version I give you is profoundly defensible.

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce

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