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Submission + - $340 Audiophile Ethernet Cable Tested->

An anonymous reader writes: Ars Technica has done a series of articles that attempt to verify whether there's any difference between a $340 "audiophile" Ethernet cable and a $2.50 generic one. In addition to doing a quick teardown, they took the cables to Las Vegas and asked a bunch of test subjects to evaluate the cables in a blind test. Surprise, surprise: they couldn't. They weren't even asked to say which one was better, just whether they could tell a difference. But for the sake of completeness, they also passed the cables through a battery of electrical tests. The expensive cable met specs — barely, in some cases — while the cheap one didn't. It passed data, but with a ton of noise. "And listeners still failed to hear any difference."
Link to Original Source

Comment Easy Conclusion If Perceived Costs & Range Ign (Score 1) 841 841

Nice to see that electric cars are seen as a viable alternative but I think we're a long way away from the "tipping point" which won't change until consumers attitudes change.

I can't see electric cars being at the same or less purchase price than gasoline powered cars for some time. Don't forget there is also the cost of the charger installation and this could be a very significant cost for people who live in (rented and owned) apartments.

Maybe this will change with the $35k Tesla in 2016/2017 but even that is significantly more expensive than a basic Corolla - if the cost difference is $10k and the car is driven 10k miles/year and gets 25 miles/gallon and gas costs $4/gallon and electricity was free, it would take 6.25 years to make up the difference. That extra $10k seems to be hard to justify.

When I talk to friends/family about electric cars, the issue that always comes up is range. These are people who maybe drive more than 100 miles in a day once or twice a year and this is a huge concern. I don't know what happened with Tesla's robotic replacement for battery packs, but until it is common place or cars can travel 1,000 miles on a charge (and can be charged in less than five minutes) or "Mr. Fusion" becomes a reality, I don't see this not being an issue with the public at large.

Maybe we could see the tipping point if the price of an electric car was comparable to a gas powered car but I think it will take lower costs and essentially infinite range for it to happen.

Submission + - Could the Slashdot community take control of Slashdot? 10 10

turp182 writes: This is intended to be an idea generation story for how the community itself could purchase and then control Slashdot. If this happened I believe a lot of former users would at least come and take a look, and some of them would participate again.

This is not about improving the site, only about aquiring the site.

First, here's what we know:
1. DHI (Dice) paid $20 million for Slashdot, SourceForce, and Freecode, purchased from Geeknet back in 2012:
    http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/...
2. Slashdot has an Alexa Global Rank of 1,689, obtaining actual traffic numbers require money to see:
    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/...
3. According to Quantcast, Slashdot has over 250,000 unique monthly views:
    https://www.quantcast.com/slas...
4. Per an Arstechnia article, Slashdot Media (Slashdot and Sourceforge) had 2015Q2 revenues of $1.7 million and have expected full year revenues of $15-$16 million (which doesn't make sense given the quarterly number):
    http://arstechnica.com/informa...

Next, things we don't know:
0. Is Slashdot viable without a corporate owner? (the only question that matters)
1. What would DHI (Dice) sell Slashdot for? Would they split it from Sourceforge?
2. What are the hosting and equipment costs?
3. What are the personnel costs (editors, advertising saleforce, etc.)?
4. What other expenses does the site incur (legal for example)?
5. What is Slashdot's portion of the revenue of Slashdot Media?

These questions would need to be answered in order to valuate the site. Getting that info and performing the valuation would require expensive professional services.

What are possible ways we could proceed?

In my opinion, a non-profit organization would be the best route.

Finally, the hard part: Funding. Here are some ideas.

1. Benefactor(s) — It would be very nice to have people with some wealth that could help.
2. Crowdfunding/Kickstarter — I would contribute to such an effort I think a lot of Slashdotters would contribute. I think this would need to be a part of the funding rather than all of it.
3. Grants and Corporate Donations — Slashdot has a wide and varied membership and audience. We regularly see post from people that work at Google, Apple, and Microsoft. And at universities. We are developers (like me), scientists, experts, and also ordinary (also like me). A revived Slashdot could be a corporate cause in the world of tax deductions for companies.
4. ????
5. Profit!

Oh, the last thing: Is this even a relevant conversation?

I can't say. I think timing is the problem, with generating funds and access to financial information (probably won't get this without the funds) being the most critical barriers. Someone will buy the site, we're inside the top 2,000 global sites per info above.

The best solution, I believe, is to find a large corporate "sponsor" willing to help with the initial purchase and to be the recipient of any crowd sourcing funds to help repay them. The key is the site would have to have autonomy as a separate organization. They could have prime advertising space (so we should focus on IBM...) with the goal would be to repay the sponsor in full over time (no interest please?).

The second best is seeking a combination of "legal pledges" from companies/schools/organizations combined with crowdsourcing. This could get access to the necessary financials.

Also problematic, from a time perspective, a group of people would need to be formed to handle organization (managing fundraising/crowdsourcing) and interations with DHI (Dice). All volunteer for sure.

Is this even a relevant conversation? I say it is, I actually love Slashdot; it offers fun, entertaining, and enlightning conversation (I browse above the sewer), and I find the article selection interesting (this gyrates, but I still check a lot).

And to finish, the most critical question: Is Slashdot financially viable as an independent organization?

Submission + - White House Responds to Petition to Pardon Edward Snowden

protest_boy writes: The White House has issued a response to the two-year old petition to pardon Edward Snowden for any crimes that may have been committed in revealing secret NSA programs.

"If he [Snowden] felt his actions were consistent with civil disobedience, then he should do what those who have taken issue with their own government do: Challenge it, speak out, engage in a constructive act of protest, and — importantly — accept the consequences of his actions. He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers — not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime. Right now, he's running away from the consequences of his actions."

Comment Can't this be tested on a Cube Sat? (Score 4, Interesting) 502 502

Just thinking about this, how expensive would it be to create a small, simple satellite, with solar cells, some large LiPoly batteries, a transponder and an EM drive that fires up every time there is enough juice in the batteries to run it for a few minutes?

Sticking with the 50nN thrust level for 50W of input and assuming that a 1kg LiPol battery has 260Whr available (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_polymer_battery), that is approximately 5hr of running time and assuming that the satellite is 5kg, there will be a 10nm/s^2 acceleration.

5 hours is 18,000s so there should be a delta-V imparted on the satellite of 1.8(10^-4)m/s which is tiny (I did say this is a pretty useless drive at the current time right now) but should be measurable or at least noticeable to its relative position to a control satellite that was launched along with it.

Comment Interesting, but still a lot of hype (Score 1) 502 502

This is really amazing and hopefully it is turning into a window into parts of our universe that we've never imagined.

But, reading the articles, I think we're a long way off from understanding what this phenomena is and how to exploit it practically. Going back over the previous articles, the measured force was for 50 uN from 50W of power - this doesn't seem like a very practical application as yet; the claims of round trips to Mars in less than a year are very exaggerated.

On that point, I thought we could go to Mars in 3 months or so now; it just takes a nuclear rocket rather than chemical, plasma or EM drives.

Finally, in the hacked.com article, rather than expelling "propellant", aren't you expelling "reaction mass"?

Submission + - Battle For Wesnoth Seeks For New Developers->

jones_supa writes: Twelve years ago, David White sat down over a weekend and created the small pet project that we know today as the open source strategy game The Battle For Wesnoth. At the time, Dave was the sole programmer, working alongside Francisco Muñoz, who produced the first graphics. As more and more people contributed, the game grew from a tiny personal project into an extensive one, encompassing hundreds of contributors. Today however, the ship is sinking. The project is asking for help to keep things rolling. Especially requested are C++, Python, and gameplay (WML) programmers. Any willing volunteers should have good communication skills and preferably be experienced with working alongside fellow members of a large project. More details can be found at the project website.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Cambridge Professor alleges climate scientists were murdered. ->

whoever57 writes: A Cambridge professor is alleging that the deaths of 3 scientists who were researching arctic ice loss may have been assassinated. All three died within a short space of time from causes that looked like accidents but, in the case of two of them could equally have been murder (falling down stairs, traffic accident). The third scientist died from being struck by lightning, which is a unlikely way to die, but would be hard to fake. The professor himself also experienced a traffic incident that could have been a deliberate attempt to kill him.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Showgoers Brings Circa-1985 Bill Gates 'Virtual Dates' to Netflix

theodp writes: In their 1992 book Gates: How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry — and Made Himself the Richest Man in America, Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews described how Bill Gates and then-girlfriend Ann Winblad conducted a long-distance romance in the mid-eighties: "In a paroxysm of high-tech romanticism, the two would even have 'virtual dates': They would go to the same movie simultaneously in different cities, and discuss it on their car phones on their way to and from the theater." That was then. This is now. "Showgoers is a Chrome browser extension [public beta] to synchronize your Netflix player with someone else so that you can co-watch the same movie on different computers with no hassle. When using Showgoers, clicking play/pause or seeking to a specific spot in the movie will now send out a ping that causes your friend's browser to do the same thing. With your Netflix players automatically synced, you can focus on just sharing the experience together without hassle."

Submission + - The OpenSSH Bug That Wasn't ->

badger.foo writes: Get your facts straight before reporting, is the main takeaway from Peter Hansteen's latest piece, The OpenSSH Bug That Wasn't. OpenSSH servers that are set up to use PAM for authentication and with a very specific (non-default on OpenBSD and most other places) setup are in fact vulnerable, and fixing the configuration is trivial.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Men who harass women online are quite literally losers, new study finds

AmiMoJo writes: The men most likely to harass women online are the men most likely to have their own problems. That bit of validation comes courtesy Michael Kasumovic and Jeffrey Kuznekoff, researchers at the University of New South Wales and Miami University, respectively. For their latest study, published in the journal PLOS One last week, the duo watched how men treated women during 163 plays of the video game Halo 3. As they watched the games play out and tracked the comments that players made to each other, the researchers observed that — no matter their skill level, or how the game went — men tended to be pretty cordial to each other. Male players who were good at the game also tended to pay compliments to other male and female players. Some male players, however — the ones who were less-skilled at the game, and performing worse relative their peers — made frequent, nasty comments to the female gamers. In other words, sexist dudes are literally losers.

Comment Re:Everyone is missing what the police actually sa (Score 1) 312 312

Right. We're all being "manipulated" into thinking that flying guns might not be such a great idea. Because how in the world could anyone come up with that idea on their own?

I'm not at all arguing that point. I don't even particularly care one way or the other. I'm more fascinated that everyone is so busy arguing over over everything other than this blatant leveraging of the situation.

Hear me out. I'm saying that if they wanted to arrest the kid, they would. They're intentionally publicly saying 'Gee, nothing we can do about this! If only we had some new laws for this new technology...'. I guarantee if they weren't playing that angle they'd just arrest him regardless of whether a crime has been committed or not as people got up in arms about the whole thing. This is an opportunistic play for more resources the way I'm seeing it.

Comment Re:Everyone is missing what the police actually sa (Score 1) 312 312

"It appears to be a case of technology surpassing current legislation."

They're intentionally not finding a reason to arrest him and they tell you why right there. They want new laws. This is an underhanded attempt at manipulating the public and I very much suspect it will work if the comments on this story are any indication.

Probably right. But from the comments it also does seem that he clearly broke the letter of the law unintentionally. So there is already a law against this. Just because a law is broken, however, doesn't mean that a crime was committed or that charges should be filed. This is an obscure law, at most the ATF should just issue a clarification that this is illegal under existing law.

That would be very reasonable. I'm very sure it also doesn't allow a new large budget to be appropriated and I almost guarantee the police are actually looking for new toys and less restrictions along with a bigger budget. I'd bet you a beer my interpretation is much closer to what you're going to see if the recent pattern holds. I am pretty sure of this: that quote wasn't an off the cuff remark; it clearly was a call for action while giving the preferred solution in a thinly veiled way.

OTOH, I'll be the first to admit that I very well could be wrong. We'll see how it plays out.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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