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Comment: Assuming you must have this week's cool new app (Score 1) 198

by raymorris (#47974135) Attached to: Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User?

You assume that you must have the cool new app of the week. A phone from five years ago still works exactly the same as it did when updates for it stopped last year. Very few people _need_ iOS 8. A 2009 model iPhone 3GS running iOS 6 (2014) does everything most people need.

You can easily get a 3GS for $26 and use it for another two years - $13 per year.

+ - New Brunswick election in question after Voting Machine Fiasco->

Submitted by Dr Caleb
Dr Caleb (121505) writes "

"The New Brunswick Progressive Conservatives say they won't accept Monday's election result until all ballots are counted by hand."

Elections New Brunswick used 713 vote tabulation machines in the election, which had been expected to speed up the process of counting the ballots. This was the first provincial election to use them. However, problems emerged within two hours of polls closing, as manual counts were not matching up with electronic counts. For at least 90 minutes, Elections New Brunswick stopped transmitting updated results. "Michael Quinn, the chief electoral officer, said in a statement Monday night that some of his staff noted some of the results being entered manually were not getting replaced properly with results being uploaded from the tabulators."

There have also been reports on TV and Radio that some of the memory cards from the machines are missing and unaccounted for. They had been removed from some machines that were not transmitting the data to the central servers, so the memory cards were to be physically taken there and entered into the records. Reports also say some machines were not certified properly."

Link to Original Source

+ - Kicking the Tires on 5 Free Python Editors->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "With so many options for Python editors out there, which should you use? Over on Dice (yes, yes, we know), developer and programmer David Bolton takes a look at five free Python editors, many of which are cross-platform: Eclipse plus PyDev and other plugins, PyScripter, Eric Python IDE, PyCharm Community Edition, and CodeSkulptor. He finds PyCharm "slick," Eric Python loaded up with some cool features, PyScripter nicely simple, and so on. "I’m leaning toward Eric because it’s just so full-featured, but that’s a personal preference," he writes. Everybody might not agree with his conclusions, especially given the popularity of Eclipse, but he does give an overview of what's out there."
Link to Original Source

+ - Qt 5.4 Bringing Qt Wayland Support->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Wayland game is being stepped up with Qt 5.4 now set to ship the Qt Wayland module. This in theory will allow Qt5 applications to run seamlessly on Wayland sir long as they have no explicit X dependencies, but in reality not everything may be as smooth as under X11 for the inaugural release with there being known shortcomings and TODO items to Qt Wayland."
Link to Original Source

+ - Plans to introduce FTTH in top 20 Indian cities->

Submitted by knwny
knwny (2940129) writes "Sterlite Industries are finalising the 'proof of concept' of a project to provide fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband services to urban households across the top 20 Indian cities. The company claims that the network and services to end consumers would be similar to the Google Fibre project but the major difference lies in its plans to tie up with mobile operators for last-mile connectivity. Sterlite Industries is initially looking to hook up a million homes by 2016 across Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Chennai but the proposed speeds of 20 to 50 Mbps are definitely a long way off from the 1 Gbit/s speeds that Google Fibre provides."
Link to Original Source

+ - Researchers Achieve Long-Distance Light to Matter Quantum Teleportation->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "A successful test in passing information from light into matter – using the teleportation of the quantum state of a photon via optical fiber cable to a receiving crystal located over 25 km (15 mi) away – has been claimed by physicists at the University of Geneva. This test shattered the same team’s previous record and may herald the development of greater, long-distance teleportation techniques and qubit communications and computing capabilities."
Link to Original Source

+ - High-Volume DDoS Attacks On The Rise

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A continuing trend of DDoS attacks are short in duration and repeated frequently. In parallel, high-volume and high-rate DDoS attacks were on the upswing in the first half of 2014, according to NSFOCUS. DDoS traffic volume was up overall with a third peaking at over 500Mbps and more than five percent reaching up to 4Gbps. The longest single attack lasted nine days and 11 hours, or 228 hours, while the single largest attack in terms of packet-per-second (pps) hit at a volume of 23 million pps."

+ - Popular WiFi thermostat full of security holes->

Submitted by cybergibbons
cybergibbons (554352) writes "Heatmiser, a U.K.-based manufacturer of digital thermostats, is contacting its customers today about a series of security issues that could expose a Wi-Fi-connected version of its product to takeover.

Andrew Tierney, a “reverse-engineer by night,” whose specialty is digging up bugs in embedded systems wrote on his blog, that he initially read about vulnerabilities in another one of the company’s products, NetMonitor, and decided to poke around its product line further.

This led him to discover a slew of issues in the company’s Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats running firmware version 1.2. The issues range from simple security missteps to critical oversights."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:this is opposite of economy of scale (Score 1) 139

by raymorris (#47970403) Attached to: The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

> The more 3d printers are manufactured, the lower the cost and the more features (bang for the buck) that scaling out any product brings.

A 3D printer in a retail setting, where it's kept fairly busy, will use a few thousand dollars worth of filament and electricity every month. A retail location needs to charge the same amount again to cover labor costs (a $9.50 employee costs $20/hour with taxes, healthcare, workers comp, etc.) Then roughly the same amount again for rent of the floor space, signage, permits, roi, etc. So the store needs to sell about $10,000 in prints per month for the machine to earn it's keep.

Whether the printer cost $5000 or $3000 to purchase has very little impact on the final cost to the consumer.

Comment: this is opposite of economy of scale (Score 1, Interesting) 139

by raymorris (#47969847) Attached to: The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

> As with everything, economies of scale and increases in technology will bring the per-unit cost down

"Economies of scale" refers to the various reasons that it's cheaper to do something 10,000 times, assembly line fashion, rather than one piece at a time. In other words, the exact OPPOSITE of what's being talked about here.

It may be useful where , due to the inefficiency of handling an order for one 20 cent knob, the manufacturer doesn't sell parts directly to consumers. The knob that costs 20 cents at scale (on Alibaba) will cost $5 to print. Alibaba operates at scale, and though. 3D printing is for when you're willing to give up economy (pay more per unit) because you're NOT operating at scale.

Advancements in 3D printing technology and competition should reduce costs somewhat. However, costs have already fallen by an order of magnitude or more. It's likely that they cannot be reduced another order of magnitude. The one economy of scale available is keeping the printing machines busy to amortize their cost across many prints, but Shapeway's printers are already busy. Now we can only save shipping costs by having a local machine busy.

Comment: true, not proven for flight, but endurance vehicle (Score 1) 48

by raymorris (#47967699) Attached to: SkyOrbiter UAVs Could Fly For Years and Provide Global Internet Access

That's a valid point, of course. Perhaps I should have been more specific and said the concept of a long- endurance vehicle being nuclear powered has been proven, but keeping the nuclear power source aloft for years is another question.

Power for long-range airplanes is a tricky thing. More endurance requires more fuel, but that additional fuel is more weight, which increases fuel consumption. Many options would be counterproductive, weighing more than can be kept aloft by the energy they provide or store. I suspect that only nuclear fuel and a hot-air envelope can provide enough energy to keep themselves aloft for years.

Comment: they want = they pay. you want = you pay (Score 2) 170

by raymorris (#47966641) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

My employer wants me to go to a conference in Vegas, DevLearn. Since it's something they want, they are paying.
I wanted to ho to a local conference on information security. Since it's something I wanted, I was willing to pay. My employer paid anyway because the bureaucracy says they should pay for one conference per year or whatever, but I have no problem paying for something I want to do for my own benefit.

If my employer wants me to fo it for their benefit, it's reasonable for them to pay for it.

I also decided to go back to school. I wanted to do that for myself, so I'm paying for it. My employer also gets some benefit, so they are paying part of it. Having an educated workforce paying more taxes helps the whole country, so the federal government is paying a small part via Pell grants. But mostly, it's something I want to do, for my own reasons, so I pay for it.

Comment: lots of wishing, no information. Nuclear powered? (Score 4, Interesting) 48

by raymorris (#47966525) Attached to: SkyOrbiter UAVs Could Fly For Years and Provide Global Internet Access

On their web site, I see a lot about what they wish they could do, and very little about how they'd manage to do it.
They say their HA series is designed to stay aloft for up to five years at "all latitudes". "All latitudes precludes the use of solar power since it's dark for six months at a time at far north and far south latitudes, and most of their pictures clearly show no solar panels. So are they hoping for a magic battery that will last five years but not weigh hundreds of pounds, or are they planning on nuclear power? Submarines that stay out for years use nuclear power, so that is a proven option.

Another option that's known to be somewhat workable at some latitudes is a hot air balloon, where the black balloon continually absorbs heat from the sun to keep the craft aloft. Their pictures show model planes, though, not balloons.

Do these guys have any idea how to solve the most fundamental physics problems in the way, or do they just have a wish and nothing else? Their web site doesn't seem to indicate they've thought about how to do it, just how to get people to hand over cash, with no actual plan published.


Comment: For those who don't get it, different altitudes (Score 5, Funny) 64

by raymorris (#47962355) Attached to: 2 Mars Missions Set For Arrival, Both Prepare for Orbital Maneuvers

For those who don't quite understand that "worthy of Monty Python " implies something ridiculous, so improbable as to be almost beyond imagination, let mw get serious for a moment.

They will not collide because the only time they will be "near" each other they'll be at very different altitudes from the Martian surface. One will be 10,000 meters above the surface while the other is 33,000 feet above. Veteran scientists who worked on the Mars climate orbiter have confirmed this is plenty of separation between the two.

Lisp Users: Due to the holiday next Monday, there will be no garbage collection.