Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment I used to work at Illuminati Online ISP (Score 1) 111 111

Met Steve in person, of course. Nice guy, but quiet. And his brother Ken Jackson was the owner/boss/ mgt. of note.

IO had less than 5,000 customers, less than 20 staff, and brought in about a million in revenues per year. Here's a snapshot of the ISP's web v1.0 era website:

Anyone wanna slashdot me? Would be an honor! LOL

Comment Chinese Foscam Clone, $40 including s&h (Score 1) 263 263

Right on to the submitter, screw cameras that only work with a subscription, or a smartphone, or whatever.

This is a pan/tilt camera with no zoom. I've bought 5 of these, and I'm very happy with them. I'm trying to get the neighborhood interested in buying these, so we can have a central website to run a "virtual neighborhood watch" out of, and also have pooled offsite recordings.

They have an embedded web server, and come with basic multi-cam watching/recording s/w for windows. Smartphone app that seems to be cloud-dependent(haven't used that myself). You can retrieve still images and video streams from URLs. Embed the image in your own web page and control all of the functions by clicking buttons/links to shoot command URLs at it. Camera FTP's images upon motion detection. Connect to it with Ethernet or WIFI. With a custom profile, they work with Zoneminder Linux surveillance s/w. Has remote camera and speaker you can use as a baby monitor, or like an intercom. Pretty good night vision, including infra-LEDs. They're meant for indoors, but I've had 3 of them outside for over a year, under the roof eaves, and they're still going strong with the occasional lens cleaning.

Only two complaints: they're really picky about voltages (5v), so Power Over Ethernet isn't stable. Mainly because the motors slurp a lot more power than the camera/networking. Secondly: they all come configured with THE SAME WIRELESS MAC ADDRESS, so you need to use an included configuration utility to fix that, and the Chinglish utility is a biotch to figure out.

Comment Re:As with all space missions: (Score 1) 200 200

In learning school, the people of my tribe were taught that molecules ARE matter.

Anyway, I disagree with putting off the cheap, automated construction of simple, straightforward "space concrete" colonies in favor of throwing our entire planet's disposable income, for millions of years, into gussying up a hellhole like Venus or Mars. If we someday invent antigravity or anything else that makes it feasible to commute from Marinaras Deep-Sea City on Earth to Mars each day to work at Yeastburger King, we'll move into the planets then.

Comment Re:As with all space missions: (Score 1) 200 200

Seriously, I didn't mention rockets at all, did I?

I love the space elevator/beanstalk idea, but we're several human generations away from the first full-scale model. For getting on and off of planets and moons, I think we'll probably have transorbital skyhooks first. A grappling device at the end of a space-anchored cable will periodically swing down and "catch" high-altitude flying launch vehicles, moving at sub-escape speed, to pull them onward into space itself. Another grappler on the other end of the cable serves as the counterweight, which holds another vehicle headed home. The cable is far shorter than a space elevator, and the system is essentially in low orbit, rotating around a shifting point somewhere along the cable.

Typical interplanetary propulsion will be through solar wind sails, ion thrusters and maybe nuclear rockets. It's going to be slow, so there will be swarms of roomy interplanetary "ocean liners" on permanent tour between the Solar System's destinations, following meandering paths which again, cost very little in energy but take their time. These will be like mini-colonies, but with mostly temporary residents. Perhaps colonists will get some practice here for life in their future home.

Earth-moon-Lagrangian and inter-colony transportation may be through a network of space-slingshots much like the skyhook. AKA "rotovators" or space tethers. Freight and passenger modules are caught on one end of an anchored cable, whirled around, and released at just the right time to send them on to their destination, or yet another slingshot. This system relies on precision timing, but is extremely low-cost in terms of energy. Folks could board on Earth at a relatively conventional airport, and ride in the same seats all the way to the colonies or interplanetary 'liners.

If we're to make nuclear rockets routine, we'll first need to have already reached the asteroid belt - and gotten lucky with what resources we found there. If we're to make antimatter rockets routine, we'll need to have already built immense production facilities in Mercury orbit. And there's the problem of thousands of these torchships pointing their ultra-radioactive exhaust here and there.

So; a few hundred more years of chemical rockets, yeah. They'll still be heavy, complex, dangerous and expensive. And why go through all that just to get to and from solid ground when we have materials floating around everywhere, and can build our own habitats to fit our biological needs precisely. We just wait for the robots to finish a new colony, then we toss a can of settlers at it, lol. The issue with gravity isn't whether the plumbing works. It's that our bodies work properly only under 1G. It's far easier and cheaper to build space colonies with the proper characteristics, than it is to rebuild a lethal world or breed a new species tolerant of inhuman environments.

Oh, and if you want to cool Venus down with a solar shade, you'll first need a society stable enough to maintain a complicated, expensive project for many millions of years. Venus doesn't shed much heat, and it isn't absorbing much any more, either. The clouds are very reflective. Once Venus is stripped and chilled, you'll still just have a nice, cool sterile rock. Venus won't be of much use until we can disassemble and reassemble matter itself.

Comment Re:Can't wait to hear what happened (Score 1) 133 133

My symptoms WERE DNS. My home servers were still getting (reduced) web and mail connections, and I could reach web pages by IP address. I swiched my DNS servers around multiple times and found everyone's DNS servers just timed out. That's highly selective. I think what got screwed up was an attempt to transparently filter or redirect DNS traffic.

Comment I was affected (Score 1) 133 133

I can't believe how much chat there is about this outage, and so little talk about what diagnostics showed the problem was. It was a DNS issue, NOT a general routing issue.

It hit us here in Austin TX. It looked like a DNS outage... but I was using Google DNS. Routing was NOT down... I could still access a selection of web servers by direct IP address, and ping and traceroute. Rebooted my modem and router repeatedly. Modem acquired a link quickly, and status page showed it had a valid configuration. Modem's signal strength dropped from the usual minus-8-ish to minus-6-ish dBmV. Router acquired IP and WAN domain name effortlessly.

I tried OpenDNS, Earthlink, Dell, and some other public DNS servers I have in a list, but they didn't work either. All timed out. I didn't know what TWC's DNS servers were, so I zeroed them out in my router config, then rebooted. Well, DHCP picked up TWC's DNS servers like nothing was wrong. STILL had no working DNS resolution! And I could still access websites by direct IP address. I was also still receiving mail and web traffic to my own servers, though well below usual levels. The email server was rejecting all mail though, since it couldn't verify the sender's domain names.

Exhausted, I gave up and went to bed. Everything was simply working again when I got up.

The evidence suggests that TWC decided to *filter* DNS traffic, possibly even to aggregate and reroute all of it, and they screwed the pooch. I can't think of any legitimate reason they'd need to do this. I think I'm going to go back to running my own DNS server. Not much I can do about state-redirected DNS traffic other than tunnel it through a VPN perhaps.

Comment NSA Definitions and weasel words (Score 1) 245 245

"an immediate, specific, and harmful impact on the national security of the United States."

Yes, and see, they measured it out to be on the order of .0000000000000001% of a mission obstacle lasting all of 6 seconds. But by strict definition, it qualifies to trigger the "let us do anything we want without conditions" mechanism they love so much.

"This of course implies that they have no backup system — or at least that the backup are not held for long."

Unfortunately, it proves nothing. The recording systems capture EVERY byte coming along the cables and can be used to REPLAY exactly what data went between two points at any time. This means they can go back and re-examine traffic to find hidden transmissions they overlooked before. They don't throw anything out (specifically stating that they keep anything encrypted forever) and longevity is reported as anywhere from 4 days to several years of 100% of the Internet's activity. Reports vary due to being what the system was capable of at the time, probably. The UT center probably won't be full until your kids are out of diapers and graduating high school.

Comment Re:ya (Score 2) 282 282

Really? REALLY?

So, Netflix pays to have a direct line installed to Comcast, thus circumventing Comcast's backbone provider, and saving Comcast the expense of paying for all that video bandwidth. The bill is picked up by Netflix. For some refuckulous reason, Comcast wants to CHARGE Netflix for this direct-peering arrangement, and when Netflix goes "dude... whut?" Comcast starts bawling about being "forced" to provide Netflix with "free bandwidth"? Hahahhhhahahahahaa.....

See, when I walk down the street to drop a note off at my neighbor's house, I am NOT "cheating" USPS and "forcing" them to provide me with a "free" delivery. I've gone and done the damn thing myself, at my own expense, if any.

What's happened here is that Netflix found that Comcast's backbone providers could not be trusted to move data reliably and equitably. Then they went and determined that it would also be damned cheaper to just run their own line to Comcast's network as well. This contributes to a multi-pathed Internet which circumvents the grievously centralized Internet that we have now, studded with gate-keepers who do nothing but impose obstacles and demand money to overcome them. The Powers That Be cannot have this. Although the peering benefits Comcast in this case, it sets a precedent which could cost them profit in the future. By failing to rise up and sabotage this aspect of network neutrality, Comcast would receive the scowls of their monopolist peers.

Comment Re:Was FORTRAN really that hard? (Score 1) 224 224

First of all, you don't "hit RUN". You type "run" and hit "enter". If your keyboard had a big, red "RUN" key, it probably just locked up the computer. :D

Now, some versions of BASIC would evaluate each line of code you'd just input for obvious errors as soon as you hit enter to save it. It would work whether you had preceded the code with a line number or not. It would try to tell you what kind of error it thought it saw. If you had multiple syntax errors, it might frustrate the fark out of you by responding with the same error even though you'd retyped or edited the line to fix one of them. Some of them would just flash $ERR?$ or something useless at you instead.

Comment Re:Happy Birthday (Score 1) 224 224

Purists will LOVE this:

0 cls:forx=1964to2014:?"Happy Birthday, Basic":nextx

LBASIC was very easygoing about spacing and is probably the reasonicanstilleasilyreadsentenceswithoutspaces.

The feature only failed me under one circumstance as in; 100 letcall="5982341000":ifphone<>callprint"They Don't Match!" because since "phone" would never match "cal", it would always cause "They Don't Match!" to unexpectedly come out on the line printer, scaring the shit out of ya in the process.

Comment Costco's target market DOES buy extra goods (Score -1, Flamebait) 440 440 donate to food banks. If word spreads that NM food banks have all the peanut butter they'll need for this year, then Costco loses a tiny percentage of their expected sales of that item. I expect that the math works out to at or above $60k worth of peanut butter sales per year which are tracked to food bank donations. Thus, fcuk the needy, fcuk the peanut butter.

I say; boycott Costco peanut butter. Take multiple jars of it to the checkout counter, but then set them aside and say you aren't buying them.

"Why waste negative entropy on comments, when you could use the same entropy to create bugs instead?" -- Steve Elias