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Comment: Fenix flashlights (Score 1) 211

by billmil (#42350019) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Gifts For a 90-Year-Old, Tech-Savvy Dad?

While more "gear head" than "techy", the new hi-tech LED flashlights (Fenix) can probably fit in anyone's home arsenal of tools and toys--whether it's one to 'always carry' or 'store at home for emergency'. These AFAICT are "police grade"--well engineered tools

I've read that some of the models are effective in temporarily blinding intruders

http://www.fenixlight.com/newping.asp

Comment: Bring back 4x3 screen ratio: more vertical screen (Score 5, Insightful) 399

by billmil (#39941683) Attached to: Dell Designing Developer Oriented Laptop

As a developer, I need more vertical screen space: looking at code, looking at debuggers, editing long files.

I have two monitors at work: an ld 19" and 23". The 23" has less vertical screen space than the 19".

More vetical screen real estate would make a laptop more dev friendly

Linux

New Linux Petabyte-Scale Distributed File System 132

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-it-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A recent addition to Linux's impressive selection of file systems is Ceph, a distributed file system that incorporates replication and fault tolerance while maintaining POSIX compatibility. Explore the architecture of Ceph and learn how it provides fault tolerance and simplifies the management of massive amounts of data."
Nintendo

Brain Training Games Don't Train Your Brain 151

Posted by timothy
from the maybe-it-just-takes-more-than-6-weeks dept.
Stoobalou writes with this excerpt from Thinq.co.uk: "A new study has shown that brain training games do little to exercise the grey matter. Millions of people who have been prodding away at their Nintendo DS portable consoles, smug in the knowledge that they are giving their brains a proper work-out, might have to rethink how they are going to stop the contents of their skulls turning into mush."
Earth

An Animal That Lives Without Oxygen 166

Posted by timothy
from the besides-me dept.
Julie188 writes "Scientists have found the first multicellular animals that apparently live entirely without oxygen. The creatures reside deep in one of the harshest environments on earth: the Mediterranean Ocean's L'Atalante basin, which contains salt brine so dense that it doesn't mix with the oxygen-containing waters above."
Image

Son Sues Mother Over Facebook Posts 428

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-your-family-status dept.
Most kids hate having their parents join in on a discussion on Facebook, but one 16-year-old in Arkansas hates it so much he has filed suit against his mother, charging her with harassment. From the article: "An Arkadelphia mother is charged with harassment for making entries on her son's Facebook page. Denise New's 16-year-old son filed charges against her last month and requested a no-contact order after he claims she posted slanderous entries about him on the social networking site. New says she was just trying to monitor what he was posting." Seems like he could just unfriend her.
Image

College To Save Money By Switching Email Font 306

Posted by samzenpus
from the smallest-things dept.
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has come up with an unusual way of saving money: changing their email font. The school expects to use 30% less ink by switching from Arial to Century Gothic. From the article: "Diane Blohowiak is the school's director of computing. She says the new font uses about 30 percent less ink than the previous one. That could add up to real savings, since the cost of printer ink works out to about $10,000 per gallon. Blohowiak says the decision is part of the school's five-year plan to go green. She tells Wisconsin Public Radio it's great that a change that's eco-friendly also saves money."

Apple Orders 10 Million Tablets? 221

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the pricepoint-better-be-right dept.
Arvisp writes "According to a blog post by former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee, Apple plans to produce nearly 10 million tablets in the still-unannounced product's first year. If Lee's blog post is to be believed, Apple plans to sell nearly twice as many tablets as it did iPhones in the product's first year."

Comment: WFMT Best Programming Music Ever (Score 1) 1019

by billmil (#30454068) Attached to: Music While Programming?

I highly recommend listening to WFMT classical radio station (streaming, or in Chicago 98.7) while coding.

WFMT is the only station in the country that has announcer-read ads (i.e no jingles or pre-recorded commercials. Thus their commercials are non-intrusive.). Their announcers are excellent. The programming is accessible but a good mix. It's really great around Christmas.

Classical music for me helps me concentrate and, unlike my rock/rap doesn't distract me from intense concentration. (As a rule, I put on rock only when I'm doing work that doesn't require much concentration).

Don't like classical? It's actually good stuff if you develop a taste for it.

Comment: how do you teach respect for IP (Score 1) 507

by billmil (#29470257) Attached to: RIAA's Elementary School Copyright Curriculum

The poster seems hostile to everything the RIAA says. I too distrust them. That said, I think "teaching children to respect intellectual property" deserves some attention --more so now because the technology changes make copying easier than ever.

I personally think it's flat-out wrong to download/watch a pirated movie while it's still in the theaters. Is it as wrong to download an out-of-print video on Bit Torrent?

If it's wrong to copy music from a struggling artist, why is it less wrong to copy The Blueprint #3?

Fwiw, Johannes Brahms made his money by selling rights to music publishers : he would transcribe his string works (e.g. string quartets) for piano ..people bought the sheet music to play in their own home for their own entertainment. To clarify: most homes people had musical skill to read and play Brahms on the piano. And that's how Austrian folks entertained themselves.

Times have changed indeed.

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