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Comment: Re:Do it yourself? (Score 1) 130

by mrmeval (#47846965) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?

I used a video capture card with Svideo input. I found after many trials that VLC worked well in capture mode with a tape that had issues. I had to manually clean the video and audio heads in the thrift store VCR and used another tape to verify the VCR worked wel mechanically. It still took two attempts. I then transfered it from the Windows 7 box to a Linux box and had FFmpeg transcode it after bleeding the docs for a couple hours and fumbling with several attempts.

Education

Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round? 421

Posted by timothy
from the home-schooling-never-stops dept.
Around the world, American schools' long summer break is viewed as an anomaly, and the long summer seems to be getting shorter. While most American primary and secondary schools used to start after Labor Day, more and more of them now open sometime in August (and that's not counting the ones that have gone to a year-round schedule). Some of my younger relatives started a new school year last week (in Indiana), while Baltimore schools start later this month. Both Seattle and Portland's kids have until after Labor Day (with start dates of the 3rd and 4th of September, respectively). The 4th is also the start date for students in New York City's public schools, the country's largest district. Colleges more often start in September, but some get a jump start in August, especially with required seminars or orientation programs for new students. Whether you're in school, out of school, or back in school by proxy (packing lunches or paying tuition), what time does (or did) your school-year start? Would you prefer that your local public schools run all year round, if they're of the long-summer variety? (And conversely, if your local schools give short shrift to summer, whether that's in the U.S. or anywhere else, do you think that's a good idea?)

Comment: Re:Do we really need new books? (Score 3, Informative) 405

A friend of mine self publishes on Amazon. He managed to bootstrap himself to be his own publisher by doing the best he could on his first two books. He's now to the point he pays the people needed to review and clean up his books as a publisher would do. He self promotes and is doing well enough he's happy. If he had the time he'd be able to do writing full time but sadly he started writing science fiction in his 60s. The one thing he cannot do and probably will not is to provide intriquing cover art.

Stross and other authors dependant on an outdated business model and unable to change will continue to go on ranting screeds against change.

Comment: You can make a vault (Score 1) 408

by mrmeval (#47024069) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Anti-Theft Products For the Over-Equipped Household?

You can make a room or closet a vault or just build a wall with a door to make an enclosed space in a room. You then alarm that with it's own zone. It's trivial to do. If you're very paranoid you can lace the walls. It does not have to be reinforced but you want to make it difficult which is fairly inexpensive.

Bitcoin

DarkMarket, the Decentralized Answer To Silk Road, Is About More Than Just Drugs 251

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the keep-telling-yourself-that dept.
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "If you were anywhere near the internet last week, you would have come across reports of 'DarkMarket', a new system being touted as a Silk Road the FBI could never seize. Although running in a similar fashion on the face of things — some users buy drugs, other sell them — DarkMarket works in a fundamentally different way to Silk Road or any other online marketplace. Instead of being hosted off a server like a normal website, it runs in a decentralized manner: Users download a piece of software onto their device, which allows them to access the DarkMarket site. The really clever part is how the system incorporates data with the blockchain, the part of Bitcoin that everybody can see. Rather than just carrying the currency from buyer to seller, data such as user names are added to the blockchain by including it in very small transactions, meaning that its impossible to impersonate someone else because their pseudonymous identity is preserved in the ledger. Andy Greenberg has a good explanation of how it works over at Wired. The prototype includes nearly everything needed for a working marketplace: private communications between buyers and sellers, Bitcoin transfers to make purchases, and an escrow system that protects the cash until it is confirmed that the buyer has received their product. Theoretically, being a decentralized and thus autonomous network, it would still run without any assistance from site administrators, and would certainly make seizing a central server, as was the case with the original Silk Road, impossible."

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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