Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

How Facebook Is Eating the $140 Billion Hardware Market 89

mattydread23 writes: It started out as a controversial idea inside Facebook. In four short years, the Open Compute Project has turned the $141 billion data-center computer-hardware industry on its head. This is the comprehensive history of the project, including interviews with founder Jonathan Heiliger and members of the financial services industry who are already on board, plus a dismissal from Google's own data center guru Urs Holzle.
The Internet

Why Americans Loathe Cable Companies 229

HughPickens.com writes: Vikas Bajaj writes in the NYT that the results are in and the American Customer Satisfaction Index shows that customer satisfaction with cable TV, Internet and phone service providers have declined to a seven-year low. Of the 43 industries on which the survey solicits opinions, TV and Internet companies tied for last place in customer satisfaction. "Internet and TV have always been among the lowest scoring," says David VanAmburg, director of the Index. "But this year they're at the very bottom." The study, which is based on more than 14,000 consumer surveys, gives companies a rating from 0 to 100. The ACSI reports huge drops in customer satisfaction for Comcast and Time Warner Cable, following their failed merger. Already one of the lowest-scoring companies in the ACSI, Comcast sheds 10 percent to a customer satisfaction score of 54. Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable earns the distinction as least-satisfying company in the Index after falling 9 percent to 51. Joining Time Warner Cable in the basement is ACSI newcomer Mediacom Communications (51), which serves smaller markets in the Midwest and South. "Customer service in these industries has long been bad," says VanAmburg of Internet and TV providers. "They don't have a good business model for handling inquiries with efficiency and respect. It goes back a decade plus."

Even though those complaints are longstanding, customer frustration has risen along with the ever-rising prices. "You compound all that with the prices customers are paying, and that's the final straw," says VanAmburg. "They're opening bills each month and saying 'I'm paying how much?'" In an age of over-the-top viewing options like Hulu and Netflix, customer dissatisfaction may increasingly translate to companies' bottom lines. "There was a time when pay TV could get away with discontented users without being penalized by revenue losses from defecting customers," says Claes Fornell, chairman and founder of the Index. "But those days are over."
Data Storage

Ask Slashdot: Video Storage For Time Capsule? 169

New submitter dwywit, anticipating World Backup Day, writes I've been asked to film this year's ANZAC services in my town. This is a big one, as it's the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign, and dear to our hearts here in Oz. The organisers have asked me to provide a camera-to-projector setup for remote viewing (they're expecting big crowds this year), and a recording of the parade and various services throughout the morning. Copies will go to the local and state library as a record of the day, but they would also like a copy to go into a time capsule. I have two issues to solve: 1. a storage medium capable of lasting 50 or 100 years and still be readable, and 2. a wrapper/codec that will be available and usable when the capsule is opened. I have the feeling that a conversion to film might be the only way to satisfy both requirements — it's easy enough to build a projector, or even re-scan the images for viewing. Has anyone got a viable alternative? Cloud storage isn't an option — this is going underground in a stainless steel container. See also this similar question from 2008; how have the options changed in the meantime?

Lyft's New York Launch Halted By Restraining Order 92

Forbes reports that Lyft's planned expansion into the New York market has been delayed by a restraining order. The article explains that State officials had asked Lyft to delay its launch. When Lyft refused, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office filed a temporary restraining order against the startup Friday morning to prevent its launch. Other statements said that the restraining order had been granted, though Simpson said that was untrue. Lyft and officials will reconvene in court Monday for a hearing. Lyft will not launch until it has reached an agreement with the city, Simpson said. Since Monday, when Lyft announced it was planning to launch in the two boroughs [of Queens and Brooklyn], the app has faced criticism from city officials. The taxi and limousine commission declared the app 'unauthorized' and said its riders were at risk and its drivers could be cited and fined if they were caught using it. Lyft seems to have left riders mostly unscathed in Boston, where it's been operating since early last year, and in numerous other cities. Also at Ars Technica.

Robotic Exoskeletons Could Help Nuclear Plant Workers 29

itwbennett (1594911) writes "ActiveLink, which is 80% owned by Panasonic, is building heavy-duty strength-boosting suits that the company says can help workers shoulder the burden of heavy gear and protective clothing and could be useful at nuclear plants. 'Our powered suits could be used to assist and support remote-controlled robots in emergencies,' ActiveLink President Hiromichi Fujimoto said in an interview. 'Workers could wear the suits to carry PackBots to their deployment point and to work in low-radiation areas.'"

CyanogenMod Installer Removed From Google Play Store 255

sfcrazy writes "[Wednesday] Google asked the CM team to voluntarily remove the [CyanogenMod installer] app from the store or they would be forced to remove it administratively. CM team chose to remove the app voluntarily. According to the CyanogenMod team, Google initially said that the app was in violation of Google's Play's developer terms. When the CM team reached out to the Play team, they found that 'though application itself is harmless, and not actually in violation of their Terms of Service, since it 'encourages users to void their warranty', it would not be allowed to remain in the store.'" You can still install manually, though.

Buy the WarGames IMSAI 8080 and Possibly Impress Ally Sheedy 103

ilikenwf writes "Todd Fischer, the man behind this iconic prop from WarGames, the movie that spawned countless hackers, has come forward recently to announce its sale in the near future. Interestingly enough, the IMSAI 8080 still works, although the disk drive was damaged in shipping after the movie's conclusion, and was trashed."

Comment Commodore computers (Score 1) 623

First a VIC20, where coding a loop to print "Asshole" was the pinnacle of achievement :) Then moved on to C64, where I became more proficient in Basic and some of the graphics and sound stuff. But it was the Amiga (first 500, then later 3000 and 4000) where I taught myself C and later C++. From there about a year using Windows, and then to Linux.

As I look back, I now notice that almost every system I was ever drawn to was programmer-centric. I never realized it back then, and even into post-secondary education it took a while to realize that CS was my destiny.

GNU is Not Unix

FSF Certifies Atheros-Based ThinkPenguin 802.11 N USB Adapter 85

gnujoshua writes "You may recall that last Fall, the LulzBot AO-100 3D printer was awarded the use of the Free Software Foundation's Respects Your Freedom certification mark. Today, the FSF announced certification of the ThinkPenguin TPE-N150USB, Wireless N USB Adapter, which uses the Atheros ARAR9271 chip. The FSF's RYF certification requirements are focused on the software (not the hardware designs) of a product, which in this case was primarily the device firmware and ath9k-htc module in the Linux-libre kernel. (Disclosure: I work for the FSF.) There's also a cool story that is within this story... which is that the firmware for the Atheros AR9271 chipset was released as a result of a small device seller (ThinkPenguin) striking a deal with a large electronic device manufacturer (Qualcomm Atheros) to build a WLAN USB adapter that shipped with 100% free software firmware. This deal was possible largely because two motivated Qualcomm Atheros employees, Adrian Chadd and Luis Rodriguez, made the internal-push to get the firmware released as free software."

Comment Re:Enjoy each day (Score 1) 931

But it sort of does make sense. You spend your whole life worrying about the unknown. Saving for retirement, dreading what may potentially happen wrt your health. Will I still have a job next year, will I be healthy enough to provide for myself in old age, etc?

In some ways, you're living in a constant state of 'fight or flight', with adrenaline levels at maximum all the time. IOW, you're always stressing about something. When you eventually hear that you're dying, you can basically stop worrying about the future. You only have to think about things from day to day, and hence you can enjoy those days.

I've had that happen with relatives, where in one case they were extremely frugal their whole lives, and never spent money on themselves. When they found out they had a year to live, they went out a spent $20000 on credit cards, and died in debt. But they died (relatively) happy.

And another relative, who was exactly like your anecdote, that became happy once they knew they were dying. It makes sense if you consider that some peoples lives are a constant source of stress, and you can never relax for any reason. In some sense (and this will seem extremely ironic), being told you're going to die is a huge weight off your shoulders. I have to admit that I sometimes feel the same way at only 40 years of age. Perhaps that's not a good sign ...

"The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray." -- Robert G. Ingersoll