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Comment: Re:As others said (Score 1) 265 265

Also a +1 for Fastmail. I was using Spamcop for over a decade until they spun down services a little over a year ago. I asked them what they recommended and pointed me to Fastmail ( https://www.fastmail.com/ ). Great service for native mail clients, a good online interface, and an informative blog ( http://blog.fastmail.com/ ). Worth the $10 to $40 a year IMHO.

Power

Energy Harnessed From Humidity Can Power Small Devices 41 41

sciencehabit writes: Scientists have built small devices that generate electricity by harnessing changes in the ambient humidity. This is done through the use of dormant bacterial spores which expand when they absorb moisture from the air. To prove the concept, researchers attached the spores to one side of a curved polymer sheet, and when the spores absorbed humidity from the air, the sheet straightened out. Coupling this movement with an electromagnetic generator allowed them to harvest enough energy to power small devices like an LED and a 100-gram toy car.
IT

Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Service Providers When You're an IT Pro? 479 479

New submitter username440 writes: So, a lot of us will have been here: You have a problem with your ISP, cable TV, cellphone whatever technology and you need to call the provider. Ugh. Foreign call centers, inane fault-finding flowcharts (yes, I have turned it off and on again) and all the other cruft that you have to wade through to get to someone with the knowledge to determine that YOU in fact also have a degree of knowledge and have a real problem.

Recently I had a problem with my ISP, where the ISP-provided "modem" — it's a router — would lock up at least 3 times per day. I had router logs, many hundreds of Google results for that model and release of hardware showing this as a common problem, and simply wanted the ISP to provide a new router (it's a managed device). I replaced the router with a spare Airport Extreme and the problems disappeared, to be replaced with a warning from the ISP that they could't access my managed device" and the connection is provided contingent to using THIER router. However my point was to prove that their router is at fault.

How do you fare when trying to get through to a service provider that they actually DO know something in the field? How do you cut through the frontline support bull*hit and talk to someone who knows what they are doing? Should there be a codeword for this scenario?
Network

The Ambitions and Challenges of Mesh Networks and the Local Internet Movement 56 56

Lashdots writes: Two artists in New York are hatching a plan to teach kids about the internet by building their own. They'll be creating a small, decentralized network, similar to a mesh network, to access other computers, and they'll be developing their own simple social network to communicate with other people. It's part of a growing movement to supplement the Internet with resilient, local alternatives. "And yet, while the decentralized, ad hoc network architecture appeals philosophically to tech-savvy users fed up with monopolistic ISPs, nobody’s found a way to make mesh networks work easily and efficiently enough to replace home Internet connections. Built more for resiliency than for speed, each participating router must continuously search for the best paths to far-flung machines. For now, that makes them of limited interest to many ordinary consumers who simply want to check their email and watch movies."
Games

Project an Interactive Game on Your Floor or Wall (Video) 57 57

Lumo is an interactive projector. You can use it to bore people with PowerPoint slides or you can use it as a game machine. It has a built-in (low res) camera that can detect a kick (as shown at the beginning of the video) and make a (virtual) ball move as a result of that action. 'But,' you ask, 'do they have an Indiegogo campaign?' Not yet. It launches on March 23.

The Lumo projector was originally designed for commercial use at children's museums and as a trade show attention-getter -- at $10,000 a pop. The consumer version is expected to cost less than $500, according to Lumo CEO (and Slashdot interviewee) Meghan Athavale. And while she doesn't talk much about it in the interview, if you already have a computer, a projector, and a Kinect or webcam, you can buy the a stripped-down version of the company's 'interactive-floor-wall projection' software for $39, plus games or customizable game templates.
Math

Pi Day Extraordinaire 107 107

First time accepted submitter DrTJ writes Today is Pi day. This year is a bit more extraordinary as it is 3/14/15 (in American date format). To celebrate, USA Today has posted a number of videos of kids reciting Pi, one of them to 8,784 digits. The Washington Post highlights the story of a couple who decided to make it their special day. "Donahue, 33, a Legal Aid attorney, fell for Karmel’s geeky side as soon as they met. On a beach vacation with her friends in 2012, a psychic told her, 'You are about to meet your soulmate.' Three days later, she walked into Kostume Karaoke night at Solly’s Tavern along the U Street corridor and saw a man onstage croaking out the Backstreet Boys’s 'I Want It That Way.' By the end of the night, he would be serenading her with Cake’s 'The Distance' — the song the DJ will play when they cut the pie."

Comment: Re:Support standard protocols! (Score 1) 263 263

"Else just take a simple cheap webcam and do it yourself. A webcam, a rPi and a bit of coding ought to get you what you need easily."
This is the exact question I'm asking.... a good quality, (cheap if possible), webcam that can quickly be setup for this task of sending images to a server for a web-page to display. So far it doesn't look to exist.

Making it easy for the common user to send something to dropbox is fine, I just agree with Mobydisk that there should be some support for more advanced standards, if a user decides to tread there (WebDAV, SFTP, etc...). And as for FTP, it seems the cameras that support it (e.g., Foscam, Hikvision, etc...) don't support SFTP or FTP-S, the all only support vanilla, insecure, FTP....but that's a different issue.

I went into this thinking it could all be setup in no more than a few hours one afternoon; many of these solutions will take many days. (e.g., rPi is an interesting avenue, and may be something I'll jump into, as I've wanted an excuse to play with one, but it won't be "quick")

Comment: Re:Because (Score 1) 263 263

That is a good question...
It doesn't have to be trigger by motion; that is just a likely scenario when the menu board is updated. It could also upload a new photo every so many minutes/hours ... the trick would be to pick an interval that is frequent enough to be up-to-date but not so frequent that they much through their allocated bandwidth for the month from the frequent uploads.

Comment: Re:Most IP cameras (Score 1) 263 263

An interesting approach but it has some issues for this situation:
1) The potential web camera is on a LAN with an IP that isn't web visible
2) The idea is not to have to dedicate any other computers to get the image up
3) The shop does not have a static IP address

All of these are addressable, but if the camera can push the image out, rather than someone reach in to pull it from the camera, it seems to be a much easier task.
(Or it would be if the Hikvision FTP was working as claimed in the manual.)

Comment: Re:foscam/loftek (Score 1) 263 263

The end goal is to have a web-page that displays the image; FTP is just a way of getting the image to the page.
The Foscam they tried did have FTP build in but image quality wasn't up to snuff.

Thank you for mentioning the Zoneminder wiki/forums; that seems to be a good source of information from people having utilized the equipment they talk about.

Comment: Re:D-Link DCS-933L (Score 1) 263 263

Know Nutter: Thanks for the link.
Anon: Thanks for the notice on the resolution... there may be a DLink solution; the one KN mentioned is a bit low (640x480) but I see there are some at 720p which may do the trick if they go in this direction.

The early bird who catches the worm works for someone who comes in late and owns the worm farm. -- Travis McGee

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