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+ - Ask Slashdot: Best options for a standalone offline printing station?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "My father considers to get himself a Chromebook, but there is a problem: He occasionally wants to print. Chrome OS only talks to physical printers by Google Cloud Print, so the printer has to be online one way or another. But my father wants to surf over 3G, so he has no network infrastructure.
Now what are the best options for a standalone printing station that works offline?

I have a Raspberry Pi and a small touch display that I could spare, how about I prepared some scripts and called that the dedicated printing computer? Then what printers have ARM drivers available?

Does anybody know a consumer-grade or small-office-grade printer that can print ordinary PDF docs directly from flash drives or memory cards? I have looked, but could not find one yet. The devices I found that print PDF docs directly only do so if the docs were made by the (proprietary) printer-related software or the printer itself.

There are ways to turn PDF docs into series of JPG files. A lot of ordinary printers can print JPG files directly from flash media, should my father stick with this option?

Also, what are secondary options in case the offline printing station does not work out?

Should he consider buying a 3G-capable WiFi router (there are enough available) and set up a home network, then use Google Cloud Print?

Should I just send my father to a copy shop?

Or should he simply forget about the Chromebook and get an ordinary laptop with a common OS that can talk to printers by USB?"

+ - Pope Francis to Issue Encyclical on Global Warming 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The Guardian reports that following a visit in March to Tacloban, the Philippine city devastated in 2012 by typhoon Haiyan, Pope Francis plans to publish a rare encyclical on climate change and human ecology urging all Catholics to take action on moral and scientific grounds. "A papal encyclical is rare," says Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences who revealed the pope's plans when he delivered Cafod’s annual Pope Paul VI lecture. "It is among the highest levels of a pope’s authority. It will be 50 to 60 pages long; it’s a big deal." The encyclical will be sent to the world’s 5,000 Catholic bishops and 400,000 priests, who will distribute it to parishioners. Within Catholicism in recent times, an encyclical is generally used for significant issues, and is second in importance only to the highest ranking document now issued by popes, an Apostolic Constitution. “Just as humanity confronted revolutionary change in the 19th century at the time of industrialization, today we have changed the natural environment so much," says Sorondo. "If current trends continue, the century will witness unprecedented climate change and destruction of the ecosystem with tragic consequences.”

Francis’s environmental radicalism is likely to attract resistance from Vatican conservatives and in rightwing church circles, particularly in the US – where Catholic climate sceptics also include John Boehner, Republican leader of the House of Representatives and Rick Santorum, the former Republican presidential candidate. “There will always be 5-10% of people who will take offence. They are very vocal and have political clout," says Dan Misleh, director of the Catholic climate covenant. "This encyclical will threaten some people and bring joy to others. The arguments are around economics and science rather than morality." Francis will also be opposed by the powerful US evangelical movement, says Calvin Beisner, spokesman for the conservative Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, which has declared the US environmental movement to be “un-biblical” and a false religion. “The pope should back off,” says Beisner. “The Catholic church is correct on the ethical principles but has been misled on the science. It follows that the policies the Vatican is promoting are incorrect. Our position reflects the views of millions of evangelical Christians in the US.”"

+ - Windows 8.1 Vulnerability Revealed in Google Database After Timeout

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google's security research database has after a 90 day timeout automatically undisclosed a Windows 8.1 vulnerability which Microsoft hasn't yet patched. By design the system call NtApphelpCacheControl() in ahcache.sys allows application compatibility data to be cached for quick reuse when new processes are created. A normal user can query the cache but cannot add new cached entries as the operation is restricted to administrators. This is checked in the function AhcVerifyAdminContext(). Long story short, the aforementioned function has a vulnerability where it doesn't correctly check the impersonation token of the caller to determine if the user is an administrator. It hasn't been fully verified if Windows 7 is vulnerable. For a passer-by it is also hard to tell whether Microsoft has even reviewed the issue reported by the Google researcher. The database has already one worried comment saying that automatically revealing a vulnerability just like that might be a bad idea."

+ - More Than 100,000 WordPress Sites Has Infected By SoakSoak Virus->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "brightverge.com: On Sunday, mysterious Russia named SoakSoak Virus has infected more than 100,000 WordPress sites, transforming them into attack platforms. Google has already developed the index 11000 sites to avoid further damage. SoakSoak is almost deliberated a prevalent considering the damage that it has done so far."
Link to Original Source

+ - Designing The Best Board Game->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Twilight Struggle tops BoardGameGeek's ranking of user-rated board games, handily beating classics like Puerto Rico, Settlers of the Catan, and Risk. FiveThirtyEight has an article about the game's design, and how certain design choices can affect enjoyment. Quoting: "Gupta has a few theories about why his game has done so well. For one, it’s a two-player game — the Americans vs. the Soviets. Two-player games are attractive for a couple of reasons. First, by definition, half the players win. People like winning, and are likely to replay and rate highly a game they think they have a chance to win. ... The data offers some evidence for Gupta’s hypothesis. Games that support three players rate highest, with an average of 6.58. But two-player games are a close second, with an average rating of 6.55. Next closest are five-player games, which average 6.39. ... The shortest games are the lowest rated, on average. But players don’t favor length without bounds. Three hours seems to be right around the point of diminishing marginal returns. Another key to the game’s success is its mix of luck and skill.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:100 year old survival knowledge in PDF files??? (Score 4, Interesting) 272

by korgitser (#48248853) Attached to: A Library For Survival Knowledge

Actually, no.
The current world will not end in a bang like some 2012 maya pipe dream, killing computers overnight. What we have at hands right now is the ongoing process of choosing by inaction not to create enough ways to harvest renewable energy. As the fossils run out, we will see a gradual shift away from our current global industrial world.
Cheap mass shipping to the other side of the world will be among the first luxuries to go, meaning we will need to start to produce most of our goods locally again, starting from the basics and working up to more complicated ones. Which is where the library kicks in. If we reasonably manage our inheritance from the industrial era, we will have quite a stretch of time available while which we can rig up a some power to a computer to read and transcribe the library. I mean, many a slashdotter will be able to rip apart that electric car into some wind generators, batteries included.
Now we can plot a simple graph with two lines - one of us exhausting and repurposing our current goods and infrastructure until we run out, the other line being us rebuilding our civilization on renewable and sustainable production and goods. What is still undecided is how low the valley will go, and whether we hit such a critical low of development that we will never come back up again.
How well this will go depends on a few factors. First, practicing any technology needs a society able to feed specialists. This ability will decline sharply everywhere, because our current agriculture is 100% about converting oil into food - there is a real possibility that billions will die of hunger. Second, some countries like the USA and GB will have to start pretty much from the beginning, having destroyed their industrial base through corporate looting and offshoring. Contrast that with China or Germany with their massive industrial base which only needs to get the power back on. Third is of course the availability of raw materials, on which point do also note the lack of plastics in a post-oil world.
And if this was too easy, expect mass migrations caused by sea level rises, thirst and hunger and wars of every size and reason to complicate matters further. Only a state with can comfortably secure it's territory, food and resources with a reasonable surplus will have a chance to actually think about a rebound. At this point we can only hope there will be one.
Or we could get off our collective arses and actually do something about the future. I seriously doubt we will see an actual global push into renewable and sustainable, though. This would require effort, resilience and actual change, all of which are in a very short supply on this scale; furthermore, it would mean replacing our power structures, ideologies and economical systems, all of which are and will fight tooth and nail to survive. So it remains that the next best thing is for us to compile some kind of a library of survival knowledge...

Comment: Re:Years ago, I was involved in an edit war. (Score 1) 219

by korgitser (#45680373) Attached to: Wikipedia's Lamest Edit Wars

Well the academia is no different. The same petty politics, the same self-serving nipple rubbing. People are the same everywhere. The only difference is that academia is more p2p - If your real work is outgunned, you can hopefully find another journal or university, get a second opinion. This makes a hell of a difference - because wikipedia seems to be a central authority, you outsource much of your critical thinking and then find yourseld pissed when people happen. In academia, because of the explicit p2p nature you are forced to do your own thinking and therefore learn to deal with it to the point that it becomes programmatic and you are not able to pause to see it to be the same thing anymore.
Also you should not underestimate the system of meta(data) you build in your mind to navigate the the academia. This meta is linked to the best and only true value system you can imagine (your's), is built on the most complete and competent data available to you (your experience) and is therefore the best you can imagine (this meta is _you_, afterall!). So you build your image of academia in the image of yourself, and then notice that academia navigates well, is predictably reliable and gets the job done. Just like you! Expect it to happen in any field though, once you invest enough brainhours.

Comment: Re:Before you scream about it... (Score 1) 382

Can anyone think of some basic research going on right now that wouldn't fit in one of those six categories?

Climate change - reserch on this has fought the banhammer since Dubya.
Effects of fracking - the new kid in town.
Considering the status quo in the US of A, I'm pretty sure this proposal is all about clearing the road to kick the can down on.

Comment: Re:I have a easier answer... (Score 1) 322

by korgitser (#45264719) Attached to: Even the Author of the Patriot Act Is Trying To Stop the NSA

You seem to have trouble parsing political language.

Temporary means permanent. Once you remeber this, you will be amazed how often you hear this word.

For some further fun, notice how many of their plans and speeches become crystal clear once you interpret 'terrorist' the way they do: 'a person'.

Do I even need to remind anyone that freedom = slavery?

If I were a grave-digger or even a hangman, there are some people I could work for with a great deal of enjoyment. -- Douglas Jerrold

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