Ask Slashdot: With Grants Drying Up, How Is a Tech Non-Profit To Survive? 178

helios17 writes "Non-Profits like this have traditionally gotten started from the money grants provide. Most grants award vehicles, computers, and even pay for organization rental and utility costs. The problem fledgling and even established non-profits are encountering is the dwindling number of grants allowing for Operating or General Support costs. What good is a vehicle received via grant if you can't afford to put fuel in it? With the number of Operating or General Support grants shrinking and those available funds competed for heavily, should we be looking on line for help? Can efforts like this be a better way to approach it?"

Beer Fridge Caught Interfering With Cellular Network 231

aesoteric writes "A man's backyard beer fridge in Australia has been busted interfering with the cellular network of major carrier Telstra. Engineers used an internally-developed software 'robot' to crawl log files from the network and sent a field team out to pinpoint the cause of the interference."

Own the Controversy! Blackbird DDWFTTW Up For Auction! 266

Alsee writes "Center of flaming controversy across the Internet and here on Slashdot for claiming to travel 'Directly Downwind Faster Than The Wind, Powered Only By The Wind, Steady State' (DDWFTTW), the Blackbird is now up for auction on Ebay. It has been certified by the North American Land Sailing Association and Guinness World Records to have reached 2.8 times wind speed directly downwind and was subsequently modded to also achieve more than double windspeed directly upwind. It has been the subject of an MIT physics paper and was included as a model problem in the International Physics Olympiad, yet many still argue it would violate the laws of physics. Let the bidding (and debate) commence!"

GIS Community Blocks Esri's Geospatial 'Open Standard' REST API 53

Bismillah writes "The developer of ArcGIS, Esri, has dropped its bid to have the GeoServices REST API recognized as an open standard by the Open Geospatial Consortium, after a community backlash against 'providing a vendor with significant market advantage, erring on the creation of a state-sanctioned monopoly.'"

Proxima Centauri To Bend Starlight For Planet Hunt 23

astroengine writes "In October 2014 and again February 2016 Proxima Centauri, the closest star system to our Solar System, will pass in front of two distant stars allowing astronomers a rare opportunity to use Einstein's General Relativity to potentially detect hidden exoplanets around the star system. As Proxima Centauri blocks the distant starlight from our perspective, the gravitational field will bend the distant light to create a microlensing event. The transient brightening can then be analyzed and the gravitational presence of any worlds may be revealed. The research, announced Monday at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Indianapolis, has been submitted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal."

Mozilla, Foxconn Confirm Firefox OS Partnership 65

hypnosec writes "Mozilla has confirmed reports that indicated a probable collaboration with Foxconn for development of Firefox OS based devices. Announcing the 'wide ranging partnership' with Foxconn, Mozilla's SVP of Mobile Devices noted in a blog post that collaboration between the two companies 'demonstrates the full potential of Firefox OS,' and it would not only enable the smartphone 'but also a wide range of mobile devices.'"

IBM Uses Roomba Robots To Plot Data Center Heat 57

judgecorp writes "IBM is using robots based on iRobot Create, a customizable version of the Roomba vacuum cleaner, to measure temperature and humidity in data centers. The robot looks for cold zones (where cold air may be going to waste instead of being directed to the servers) and hotspots (where the air circulation may be breaking down. IBM is putting the robots to commercial use at partners — while EMC is at an early stage on a strikingly similar project."

CRTC Unveils New Wireless Code To Protect Canadian Customers 230

FuzzNugget writes "The CRTC has unveiled a code of conduct that brings many positive changes for Canadian wireless customers, most notably:
1.) Carriers must provide the option to unlock a cell phone after 3 months for subsidized phones within the contract period, or immediately if the device was purchased outright.
2.) Contracts are now capped at two years, and cancellation fees are limited to the amount of the subsidy.
3.) Carriers can no longer charge outrageous data overage and international roaming charges. Without explicit consent from the a customer, such charges are capped at $50 and $100 per month, respectively."

Book Review: Creating Mobile Apps With JQuery Mobile 91

sagecreek writes "You can judge this book, at least in part, by the lengthy tagline on its cover: 'Learn to make practical, unique, real-world sites that span a variety of industries and technologies with the world's most popular mobile development library.' jQuery might not be your favorite framework on the long, long list of JavaScript possibilities. But Shane Gliser unabashedly describes himself as a jQuery 'fanboy...if it's officially jQuery, I love it.' Gliser is an experienced mobile developer and blogger who operates Roughly Brilliant Digital Studios. He also has some background in mobile UX (user experience), and both qualities show in this smoothly written, well-illustrated, 234-page how-to book that focuses on jQuery Mobile, a 'touch-optimized' web framework for smartphones and tablets." Read below for the rest of sagecreek's review.

Will Users Get a Slice of the "Big Data" Pie? 123

curtwoodward writes "Better healthcare, more efficient government, cheaper goods and services — it's all possible in the age of 'big data.' According to the big companies hoping to make a killing off all that information, anyway. But will the people generating that valuable data — Joe and Jane Consumer — ever get a piece of the action? A few startups are trying to establish first-party marketplaces for personal data, compensating users directly for contributing high-quality information about themselves. The World Economic Forum is also involved, hoping that one day, 'a person's data would be equivalent to their money ... controlled, managed, exchanged and accounted for just like personal banking services operate today.' But some entrepreneurs think it might be too late in the developed world, where a consumer's data fingerprint is already very well documented."

Ask Slashdot: How To Begin Simple Robotics As a Hobby? 166

First time accepted submitter nedko.m writes "I would describe myself as more of a 'software guy' rather than somebody who likes to play with hardware much, but I've wanted to start doing basic robotics projects as a hobby for quite a while now. However, I was never sure where to start from and what the very first steps should be in order to get more familiar with the hardware aspects of robotics. For instance, I would like to start off with a simple soccer robot. Any suggestions on what low-budget parts should I obtain, which would provide me, subsequently, extensibility to a bit more elaborate projects?"

Managing an Elite eSport Team 163

An anonymous reader writes "Ever wondered what it takes to run a world class stable of pro-gamers? In a new profile, 4Kings general manager Jason Potter takes the time to explain his duties — they're remarkably like what's required of other sports managers. It's up to Potter to manage a team of FPS gamers scattered across the continent, getting them to events, arranging sponsorship, and even making sure they play nice together. 'It's a 24 hour job,' Potter says. 'If there is something that needs to be done, you do it.'"

Vine Launches On Android 33

Dawn Kawamoto writes "Twitter's free social media video app Vine is now on Android. But while the app rocked on the iOS platform, especially among teens, its move to Android has...dare I say...been a bit of a tangled mess. It launched on Google play without the capability for the two apps to sync, nor does it have such features as front-facing camera, search, mentions and hashtags. Another biggie is it doesn't yet allow users to post their six-second videos to Facebook. Vine says it's working on these features and all should be good soon. For now, however, a swing on the vine may not be a robust experience."

How Unity3D Became a Game-Development Beast 115

Nerval's Lobster writes "In the early 2000s, three young programmers without much money gathered in a basement and started coding what would become one of the most widely used pieces of software in the video game industry. 'Nobody really remembers how we survived in that period except we probably didn't eat much,' said David Helgason, the CEO and co-founder of Unity Technologies, maker of the Unity3D game engine. A decade later, untold numbers of developers have used Unity3D to make thousands of video games for mobile devices, consoles, browsers, PCs, Macs, and even Linux. The existence of Unity3D and similar products (such as the Unreal Engine and CryEngine) helped democratize game development, making the kinds of tools used by the world's largest game companies available to developers at little or no cost. This has helped developers focus less on creating a video game's underlying technology and more on the artistic and creative processes that actually make games fun to play. In this article, Helgason talks about how Final Cut Pro helped inspire his team during the initial building stages, how it's possible to create a game in Unity without actually writing code, and how he hopes to make the software more of a presence on traditional consoles despite Unity3D being several years late to supporting the PS3 and Xbox 360."

Genetic Switches Behind 'Love' Identified In Prairie Voles 102

ananyo writes "Researchers have shown for the first time that the act of mating induces permanent chemical modifications in the chromosomes (epigenetic changes), affecting the expression of genes that regulate sexual and monogamous behavior in prairie voles. Prairie voles have long been of interest to neuroscientists and endocrinologists who study the social behavior of animals, in part because this species forms monogamous pair bonds — essentially mating for life. The voles' pair bonding, sharing of parental roles and egalitarian nest building in couples makes them a good model for understanding the biology of monogamy and mating in humans (abstract)."

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