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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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+ - Inside Bratislava's low-cost, open source bike share solution->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Bike Kitchen started WhiteBikes in Bratislava after a failed attempt by the city to finance a similar program. At first users shared donated bikes with the same lock code. They needed a system that would work somewhat automatically without the need for manual rentals (e.g. somebody giving out bicycles).

From there, smsBikeShare was born. Users registered with a mobile phone number and could send basic SMS commands (RENT, RETURN, FREE, WHERE, etc.). The system used an inexpensive SMS gateway API and a local message-back number to receive and respond to messages. Shared bicycles have a coded U-lock with a four-digit number, and upon renting a bike, users receive a code to unlock the bicycle and another to reset it to once they are done.

Send a message, receive the answer, unlock the bike, reset the lock, and you're off pedaling."

Link to Original Source

+ - The Guy Who Ruined Dogecoin->

Submitted by sarahnaomi
sarahnaomi (3948215) writes "Dogecoin was never supposed to be taken seriously.

The cryptocurrency based on the doge meme was originally started for shits and giggles. It attracted lighthearted individuals who were more interested in cracking jokes than in getting rich quick, who preferred to donate coins for causes both silly and serious than to hoard troves of digital treasure.

But its greatest strength was also its greatest weakness. The dizzying rise in popularity made Dogecoin a target. Its strong sense of community made it vulnerable.

For a predator, Dogecoin was simply irresistible.

Now, a little more than a year after the alternative cryptocurrency exploded onto the market, a man accused of stealing as much as $4 million worth of digital currency after taking over the online exchange platform MintPal has likely been arrested in the UK, according to multiple reports. But like so much in the bizarre saga of Dogecoin, the truth is difficult to pin down."

Link to Original Source

+ - Amazon Opening Imported Goods Store on Alibaba->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Amazon is usually on the other end of the 'if you can't beat em, join em' dynamic. But next month Amazon is launching a store on Alibaba’s Tmall.com site to get access to some of the Chinese online retail giant's 265 million monthly active users. Amazon already has its own e-commerce site geared for the country, but its share of China’s online retail market is only 0.8 percent, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. Alibaba, in contrast, controls three quarters of the market through its Tmall and Taobao Marketplace sites."
Link to Original Source

Comment: WTF? What has this guy been smoking? (Score 2) 145

by Qbertino (#49196317) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?

Last time I checked, Sun was a corporation selling pro-level branded hardware and insanely expensive services (like they all do), being bought out by Oracle and Mozilla was a FOSS orgranisation watching over branding and provided guidance to a set of web- and mobile-centric FOSS projects.

Those two things couldn't be more wider apart.

As for Mozillas market and mindshare being eaten by Google: That is due to Google releasing the awesome Chrome browser, because the web is too important an income vector to them, so they decided to pull it inhouse and cut out the policy middleman. Mozilla itself is ten git commits away from switching from Gecko to Blink, and the devs could probalby do this in a weekend. Probalby have been doing it privately already just for the kicks. So no big deal, it's all free and replacable anyway.

The one big thing that Mozilla has going for them is their branding, and as far as I can tell that is going pretty well. Right now, anything standing between a totalitarian Googlezied control of the web and freedom loving citizens is Mozilla - at least in most peoples perception and if they continue playing their cards right, relyably drumming the hip and flashy but yet still underdog/freedom theme, they'll continue to do just fine.

IMHO Firefox OS was a bit of a stretch, but if they manage to keep things simple and intuitive in that ecosystem, having a mobile plattform that puts web-technology front and center could be just exactly the right thing a continuingly fragmented mobile space needs.

As for the browser: Google-independant "Hello" voicechat by Telefonica, Search by Yahoo, neat, google-independant environment syncing, etc. All these things aren't too bad. In fact they're all pretty interesting to me. And I am an IT opinion leader, as we all are. That should have Apple and Google raising their eyebrows.

What we need is a replacement for the Google online suite of apps, and if Mozilla can manage to pull yet another underdog of the industry in to help build that, we have a free-free competitor to all the Google stuff. Desperately needed!

Meantime, Mozilla IMHO is doing just fine making neat celebrative movies and playing to the hippster independant "we are different and free" crowd. That's what made apple big. Apple, however, is a PLC, dependant on profit. Google is too. Mozilla, OTOH, is mostly a FOSS organisation. They can all go on vacation 10 years and then come back and everything will still be the same for them. What does that have to do with revenue and eval problems Sun had back when Oracle scooped them up? ... Nothing.

I see Mozilla as a hip web-zentric play of the old and bland EFF & GNU organisations with a solid focus on branding (very smart btw.). They'll do just fine if they don't spread themselves to thin and wait for the big boys get all paniky about profits somewhere down the line.

I've got FF in everyday use and will continue to use it. If they build an independant contacts application for mobile and web alongside a calendar and perhaps some simple docs management, preferably all of it encrypted, I'll be on board from day one.

Google doesn't have to get *that* big or know everything.

My 2 cents.

+ - The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Quentin Hugon, Benjamin Benoit and Damien Leloup have created a memorial page for projects adandoned by Google over the years including: Google Answers, Lively, Reader, Deskbar, Click-to-Call, Writely, Hello, Send to Phone, Audio Ads, Google Catalogs, Dodgeball, Ride Finder, Shared Stuff, Page Creator, Marratech, Goog-411, Google Labs, Google Buzz, Powermeter, Real Estate, Google Directory, Google Sets, Fast Flip, Image Labeler, Aardvark, Google Gears, Google Bookmarks, Google Notebook, Google Code Search, News Badges, Google Related, Latitude, Flu Vaccine Finder, Google Health, Knol, One Pass, Listen, Slide, Building Maker, Meebo, Talk, SMS, iGoogle, Schemer, Notifier, Orkut, Hotpot, Music Trends, Refine, SearchWiki, US Government Search, Sparrow, Web Accelerator, Google Accelerator, Accessible Search, Google Video, and Helpouts. Missing from the list that we remember are Friend Connect, Google Radio Ads, Jaiku, SideWiki, and Wave.

We knew there were a lot, but who knew there'd be so many. Which abandoned Google project do you wish were still around?"

+ - New Titanium nanoparticles-based paint creates self-cleaning surfaces->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Scientists have created a paint not only provides ultimate self-cleaning surfaces, but also continues to retain those abilities even in cases of damaging effects. The paint, composed of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles, is delivered as a suspension in ethanol containing the chemical perfluorooctyltriethoxysilane. Once the coating is applied on any surface, the ethanol needs to be allowed to evaporate for 180 seconds before it is ready for use. Depending on the surface on which it is applied, the coating can be sprayed, dipped, or painted onto a surface. YouTube Link [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtLs5ky3m-s]"
Link to Original Source

+ - Inside Minerva, a Silicon Valley Bid to Start an Elite College Online->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""The Minerva Project, a for-profit company now backed with more than $95-million from Silicon Valley venture-capital firms. Its goal is both audacious and unprecedented in the recent history of higher education: to build a name-brand, elite, liberal-arts-focused university that would cost about half of what Ivy League institutions charge." There's no campus, and all the classes take place online, but the students all live near each other in San Francisco. As small liberal-arts colleges like Sweet Briar shut down, is this campusless college the future?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Only if they can keep their other nationality! (Score 2) 622

by Qbertino (#49195401) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

I missed applying for a German ID at the age of 16 which would've automatically made me a German citizen. I could've kept my amercian citizenship. I had to renunciate it when I wanted to become a German as a grown up. It's a bit of a shame I couldn't get my lazy teenage ass to go to the citizens bureau for 20 minutes to pick up my ID a few years earlyer. If I still were american, I'd have zero hassles entering the US whenever I want to.

I am glad to be German, Germany has quite a few upsides, especially these days. But it would be cooler to have both citizenships. No suprise here.

If you can get U.S. citizenship for your kids without needing to renunciate their other citizenship(s), by all means do it.

On the other hand, ditching a perfectly neat european citizenship for a U.S. citizenship is something I probalby wouldn't do.

Quite a few countries public don't allow for multiple citizenships, but in pratice they let them slip (who's going to find out anyway?). If you can sneak into a dual-citizenship for your children without to much of a legal risk, do it. Just tell them when they're grown up, and tell them not to advertise it at every occasion, especially not at US customs(!!!).

Ask other swedish/belian people in simular situations and try to find out how belgium/sweden handles dual citizenships and if there are any serious legal pitfalls.

Good luck.

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