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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 437

by vw_bob (#41638213) Attached to: Hallowe'en is coming. Trick-or-Treaters who visit ...

Dude, please do the kids with severe nut (peanut and tree nut) allergies a break. They don't get to enjoy the holiday like other kids do. My son has a severe, off the charts, peanut allergy. At least half of the candy is thrown away and I'm always nervous about cross contamination from peanut and non-peanut candy being in the same bag. So, please, from the bottom of my heart, I ask you not to give out nuts. If you must give out an allergen, let's go with shellfish instead.

Comment: I would volunteer for this in a heartbeat! (Score 1) 540

by vw_bob (#40454497) Attached to: Ask Bas Lansdorp About Going to Mars, One Way

My wife and kids might have something to say about it, but I swear, if I had any realistic chance of doing this, I would do my utmost to find a way! Death or not, to travel to another world? To travel in space? To set foot on mars? To see what no person has ever seen before? To experience a different gravity.

And hell, I don't mind making a fool of my self in public, so a reality show would be fine too!

Where do I sign up?


Apple Security Blunder Exposes Lion Login Passwords In Clear Text 205

Posted by samzenpus
from the whoops dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An Apple programmer, apparently by accident, left a debug flag open in the most recent version of its Mac OS X operating system. In specific configurations, applying the OS X Lion update 10.7.3 turns on a system-wide debug log file that contains the login passwords of every user who has logged in since the update was applied. The passwords are stored in clear text."

Comment: Re:You've got to think about the day after tomorro (Score 1) 422

by vw_bob (#39036807) Attached to: White House Wants Devastating Cuts To NASA's Mars Exploration

Oh, without a doubt, you're right. It's my opinion that one way or another we're going to collectively have to take a spanking. That should rightfully be across all areas of government, even social programs and entitlements. AND, we should raise taxes, close loopholes, increase taxes on the rich/investors, etc. Basically, spend less and make more.

In my house we are always saying how "every little bit helps". If we bring in an extra $20 somehow, or if we spend $20 less a month. It all adds up. So, cutting $10 billion from Nasa, when combined with other cuts, adds up to a net positive for our bottom line.... eventually. But other areas should also give.

Comment: I want to go to mars as much as the next guy... (Score 2) 422

by vw_bob (#39031579) Attached to: White House Wants Devastating Cuts To NASA's Mars Exploration

Ok, so I want to see us explore mars and space in general. I want this a lot. I think it's important, interesting, exciting, and more. And I really wish we weren't in the financial situation we are in the US, but we are. I don't think this is a matter of the administration valuing space exploration less, but more of a reflection that we can't continue spending recklessly forever.

Mars, space exploration, and science in general are very important for the human kind and the US' wellbeing in general. But we've got to get our shit in order first. I know that using the family metaphor for government is flawed, however, if I have crippling debt in my household, I need to cut back on the things that might not just be what I want, but also some things that may even be important for the future. I need to focus on making it through the here and now, get my stuff in order, and then start making these types of investments.

So, yes, I am really disappointed to hear about this, but I we really need to be brutal for the foreseeable future in how we spend money. Once that's under control we can come back and pick up where we left off.

Comment: Multiple displays (Score 1) 327

by vw_bob (#37669116) Attached to: Thunderbolt vs. SuperSpeed USB

Since Thunderbolt can be used to drive displays, I personally want it just so I can daisy chain two large displays off from one Macbook Pro. If it also means that I can plug peripherals into the monotor or onto the end of the chain, well that's just an added bonus. This is the one new feature on that has actually made me really want to upgrade sooner rather than later.

Comment: RTP, NC has one too (Score 3, Interesting) 36

by vw_bob (#31812060) Attached to: NYTimes Visits Menlo Park's TechShop

I just thought I'd throw this out. The Raleigh/Durham (RTP) area in North Carolina has one of these too. I used it to build a swing set for my son last xmass. I've been playing around with their shopbot and using their wood working room too. Access to Solidworks is a nice feature too.

Personally, the vast swath of tools and capabilities just wow me. They've got two machine shops (big and little). They've got a wood shop. They've got a plasma cutter. They've got a welding room. They've got a sand blaster. They've got a sewing room (with a surger that was so dangerous they had to hack it to slow it down). They've got a laser cutter. They've got an electronics room. They've got a 3d printer (and they're *building* two others). They've got lots of space to work too. Not to mention storage rooms and offices you can rent. Oh - and they've got classes on most of this stuff. All this for $30 a visit (or $100 a month for unlimited visits). It's a crazy deal.

Overall it's a great place to see geeks and artists doing their thing. Everyplace should have a TechShop.


+ - Apple disallows use of cross compilers for iPhone->

Submitted by vw_bob
vw_bob (117531) writes "In the new version of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement released by Apple yesterday (and which developers must agree to before downloading the 4.0 SDK beta), section 3.3.1, which used to only restrict developers to using published APIs, now reads: "Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited)."

This effectively shuts out MonoTouch, Flash CS5, Appcelerator and maybe others too. I wonder what Adobe's reaction to this will be?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Swappable battery packs (Score 1) 650

by vw_bob (#29604003) Attached to: Electric Car Nano-Batteries Aim For 500 Mile Range

Not too long ago I saw an interview with someone (sorry, too lazy to look up the name) who is trying to create a system of standardized swappable battery packs for cars. Just like toys and electronics, the solution for electric cars is not necessarily greater range and faster charging. Instead, batteries should be packed and installed in such a manner that they literally snap in and out. This would allow drivers to drive into any gas station that offered this service and swap out your dead or dying battery pack for a new, fully charged pack. This would function just like it does for propane tanks. You simply swap the tank/battery pack out and pay only the cost of the electricity. The station would "own" the battery packs and would charge them for their customers. Heck, in some places they could use wind or solar to provide the electricity for this and it would be very profitable (after start up costs). Also, this would remove the scary idea that maybe these battery packs have a limited lifespan and I as a consumer would have to pay for a new pack. In this scenario, the station would take care of that.

I don't think this is all that far fetched. And, if standardized, this could even be automated to the point where you just drive your car over a machine which removed the batteries from the bottom of your car and puts in a new one. You swipe your credit card and you're back on the road.

Food for thought. :)

Comment: Re:NEVER bill hourly! (Score 3, Insightful) 438

by vw_bob (#26026517) Attached to: Freelance Web Developer Best Practices?

Oh my god, this is the worst advice I've ever read.

It's extremely hard to estimate the level of effor it takes to build software. Thus you are virtually guaranteed that if you bid fixed rate you will get burnt. And, even if you're good at estimating, maintaining change orders for each little request is killer. And what happens when you estimate something (like say printing in Flex/Flash/Air to be a 40 hour project and it turns in to something like 120? - not that that's happened to anyone, or anything.) My point is, neither you nor your client know how much effort it will take to build software. Read my comment above to see how I recommend estimating, billing, and collecting.

Besides, I'd rather get paid for every hour I work. That's both honest, as I'm not getting paid for work I didn't do, and fair, as in I'm only billing for work I did.

I know a LOT of people who have been burnt bad by agreeing to fixed fee work. Software ALWAYS has bugs and your clients can easily say that something that doesn't work they way they feel it should is a bug and threaten legal action if you don't fix it for free. If you bill hourly for every hour of work you're covered.

Decaffeinated coffee? Just Say No.