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Ask Slashdot: Selecting a Version Control System For an Inexperienced Team 325

An anonymous reader writes: I have been programming in Python for quite a while, but so far I have not used a version control system. For a new project, a lot more people (10-15) are expected to contribute to the code base, many of them have never written a single line of Python but C, LabVIEW or Java instead. This is a company decision that can be seen as a Python vs. LabVIEW comparison — if successful the company is willing to migrate all code to Python. The code will be mostly geared towards data acquisition and data analysis leading to reports. At the moment I have the feeling, that managing that data (=measurements + reports) might be done within the version control system since this would generate an audit trail on the fly. So far I have been trying to select a version control system, based on google I guess it should be git or mercurial. I get the feeling, that they are quite similar for basic things. I expect, that the differences will show up when more sophisticated topics/problems are addressed — so to pick one I would have to learn both — what are your suggestions? Read below for more specifics.

Supersonic Jet Could Fly NYC To London In 3 Hours 238

An anonymous reader writes: A new supersonic luxury plane that could fly people from New York to London in just three hours is being developed by a team of engineers. Spike Aerospace's S-512 Supersonic Jet was introduced in 2013, but the company recently announced a few updates to the plane's design. Discovery reports: "Spike Aerospace's engineers claim the S-512 could reach a maximum speed of Mach 1.8 (1,370 mph, or 2,205 km/h), which is 1.8 times the speed of sound. For comparison, the fastest Boeing 747 commercial "jumbo jet" can reach a maximum speed of Mach 0.92 (700 mph, or 1,126 km/h). If the S-512 really is built to reach these supersonic speeds, it would be as fast as an F-18 Hornet, a military fighter jet with a max speed of Mach 1.8. This would also make the supersonic jet about 450 mph (724 km/h) faster than the fastest civilian jet, according to Spike Aerospace."

FBI Wants Pirate Bay Logs For Criminal Investigation Into Copyright Trolls 84

the simurgh writes: It has been revealed today that In the past few months, two of the Pirate Bay co-founders have been repeatedly questioned by Swedish authorities, acting on behalf of the FBI. The internet now has clear evidence that Prenda is indeed being investigated by the U.S. Government for uploading their own copyrighted content in torrents placed onto The Pirate Bay, for the sole purpose of creating a honeypot trap to sue over pirated downloads.

Comment Re:As others said (Score 1) 269

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 ( ). Great service for native mail clients, a good online interface, and an informative blog ( ). Worth the $10 to $40 a year IMHO.


Energy Harnessed From Humidity Can Power Small Devices 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.

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

The Ambitions and Challenges of Mesh Networks and the Local Internet Movement 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."

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

Pi Day Extraordinaire 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

"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

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.

No problem is so formidable that you can't just walk away from it. -- C. Schulz