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Slashback: Pliancy, Antennae, Gobe 232

Slashback tonight with more words on printable, organic transistors; the off-screen saving-Farscape saga, wireless schools, Gobe Productive, and 802.11 antennae to extend you connection. Read on for the details.

Go be something! Simon Gauvin writes "As a follow up to your article on Gobe Productive, is setting up a donation site to allow people to donate for the purchase of the source to make it open. You can check out the comments here. And our announcement on our main page."

Thinner is better. Factomatic writes "The The New York Times reports that a new polymer by Xerox can be used to make organic transistors on a plastic substrate, which can then be used to inexpensively make light, flexible flat-panel displays for computers, laptops and mobile phones. The material, polythiophene, has achieved performance on electronics benchmarks that is an order of magnitude greater than current polymer materials. It would be used in a new manufacturing process that Xerox is experimenting with to imprint circuits using inkjets." You may remember this story about a company called Rolltronics' research into printable circuitry.

What about reviving The A-Team? Julio Ojeda-Zapata points to his Update: 12/10 01:25 GMT by T : [Errr, not "her" -- sorry about that.] "in-depth article on the Save Farscape movement. Though I have an obvious bias, I believe this is the most comprehensive article on the subject you'll find anywhere. Predictably, I've been deluged by mail from Scapers. I can't say I wasn't warned about that :-)"

Soon, every Thomas Aquinas, Dickinson and Harvard will have one of their own ... Amadaeus writes with news of another all-campus wireless blanketing. "The new University of Ontario Institute of Technology is offering new students an IBM laptop, included with tuition, that is wired with 802.11b access. The reason behind that is the entire campus (read: cafeterias, stairwells, washrooms, "special areas") is covered with the university wireless network hubs. In fact, the university campus itself is designed with charging outlets for every seat in the classroom and ergonomic seating for computer usage for all students.

Either they're trying to improve wireless education or promote in-class LAN parties and all-night wireless hack-o-thons, UOIT is on the right track to some sort of wireless educational future."

Wireless Weapons: A mini-Howitzer or a Liberator. We've run several stories on 802.11 antenna projects that require more time, more esoteric parts, or a bigger budget, and some that don't take much at all. Daniel Marsh writes with another one in this last category: "If you thought Pringles were fun, check out the Cookie Cantenna. Several have been built and tested by Seattle Wireless members and they blow Pringles cans out of the water, as well as taste better."

On the other hand, if convenience is more importance than raw power, you might find this commercialized alternative attractive. The Cantenna is inexpensive (19.95 by itself, plus the cost of a pigtail) and means you don't have to touch a soldering iron, glue, or anything besides a shipping container.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Pliancy, Antennae, Gobe

Comments Filter:
  • by kaxman ( 466911 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:04PM (#4848934) Journal
    Is a 50-inch monitor I can Scotch-tape to my wall. Mmmmm.
  • by SweetAndSourJesus ( 555410 ) <> on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:04PM (#4848939)
    Ten years ago a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team [].

  • by walterfb ( 9138 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:05PM (#4848942)
    An electrical antenna is pluralized "antennas".
  • wireless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by chunkwhite86 ( 593696 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:05PM (#4848943)
    Glad to see a college catering to the students in the internet accessibility department. I've read too many stories lately about colleges that are in bed with the MPAA and RIAA and are trying to limit students 'net usage. Glad to see a school giving students MORE 'net options. Hopefully this school isn't one of the ones blocking P2P ports and confiscating PC's though...
    • Re:wireless (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sabalon ( 1684 ) on Tuesday December 10, 2002 @12:42AM (#4851305)
      We are not so concerned with the RIAA and MPAA as we are with reality. We have limited pipes to the net, and when legitimate (ie. work and academic related) traffic can not get through becuase 500 students are downloading MP3's and MPG's, where do you suggest we cut? X11 traffic (0.001%), ssh traffic (1%), http (20%), p2p (70%), misc (9%)?

      It'd be nice not to have limitations. As is, netpd and the annoying letters from the MPAA are just jokes, but the upstream pipe we have is a reality that needs to be managed.
  • Dangerous! (Score:5, Funny)

    by unterderbrucke ( 628741 ) <> on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:07PM (#4848961)
    "an IBM laptop, included with tuition, that is wired with 802.11b access"

    But then you would be aiding and abetting terrorism (per FBI)! []
  • by x136 ( 513282 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:09PM (#4848980) Homepage
    "The The New York Times reports that a new polymer by Xerox can be used to make organic transistors on a plastic substrate, which can then be used to inexpensively make light, flexible flat-panel displays for computers, laptops and mobile phones."
    Laptops screens? Pfft. I'm thinking wallpaper. Just jack the wallpaper into your computer, and load up iTunes, Geiss, Milkdrop, Quake III, RtCW...
    • and load up iTunes, Geiss, Milkdrop, Quake III, RtCW

      Sweet Jesus, I didnt think of it till you said that but can you imagine quake3 wrapped around your entire room...or at least one wall. That and some surround sound speakers.........
    • by jonbrewer ( 11894 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @10:21PM (#4850130) Homepage
      I'm thinking wallpaper. Just jack the wallpaper into your computer, and load up iTunes, Geiss, Milkdrop, Quake III, RtCW...

      Think about your audience here... were the typical /. reader to paper their room with such a screen, they would be loading something other than iTunes and jacking something other than their computer!
    • Think Bigger (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Waffle Iron ( 339739 )
      If a semiconductor can emit light, then the reverse is usually possible: solar cells.

      My pick for renewable energy is plastic solar cells. Preferrably, cheap ones rolled out like those tarps that cover baseball fields.

      The U.S. currently uses about 100 exajoules of energy per year (combined total of oil, gas, nuclear, coal, hydro, etc); that's approximately a continuous 10KW for each person. The good news is that the sun provides 1KW per square meter energy, but the bad news is you'd be doing good to get a 1% overall efficiency delivered to the end user (due to cell efficency, solar system geometry, weather, storage and conversion losses.) Assuming 1%, you'd need 1000 square meters of cheap plastic seimiconductors for each person to provide for 100% of our energy needs.

      To get to 1% overall efficiency, plastic solar collector efficiency will have to be significantly improved to be near the 20% raw efficiency currently achieved by good silicon solar cells. To me, that's a lot more intersting goal than a cheap display.

    • I'm thinking animated billboards. Animated movie and music posters plastered over the walls around construction sites. Animated incentive posters put up by you boss at work. Animated beer + girl posters in dorm rooms. Animated "lost dog" and "lose weight fast" posters made by people in their office... Yike!

  • wirelss everywhere (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Maskirovka ( 255712 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:09PM (#4848985)
    My school [] has had campus wide wireless for almost three years. They also allow students to check out wireless cards and dell laptops freely for varying periods of time.

    What's even better is that anyone with airsnort and a laptop or ipaq can get free wireless access nearly anywhere in town with Costco selling $100 basestations. heheh

    • by Myriad ( 89793 ) <myriad.thebsod@com> on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:43PM (#4849308) Homepage
      My school [] has had campus wide wireless for almost three years. They also allow students to check out wireless cards and dell laptops freely for varying periods of time.

      You're in Alaska! Slap a single 802.11b Linksys Router on the network and the entire town is set!

      I don't think that's a fair comparison...


      • Actually, it's just the opposite. In alaska, they build OUT, with plenty of space in-between. Just as broadband is easier to provide in dense urban countries, it would be much harder to wire some VERY suburban place like Alaska. Of course, in all likelyhood this doesn't matter, as the college there is, probably, just like that of any other state.

        Alaska is about the size of half of the contiguous 48 states, while being occupied by about as many people as can be shoved into a volkswagen.
  • Julio Ojeda-Zapata points to her

    Um, are you guys sure Julio isn't a guy?
  • by nufsaid ( 230318 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:12PM (#4849008)
    My favorite line from the description:

    "1 - chasis mount female N connector, preferably the type that mounts with a single large nut."

    I know I should just grow up and get over it, but that kind of talk just excites me!

  • That would be a HIM, not her... I now cuase he interviewed me two years ago for an article about PDAs.
  • Great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:14PM (#4849033) Journal
    We are talking about Xerox. You know, the company that could come up with a pill that cured cancer,improved your sex life, and made you perfect looking then sell it for 5 dollars yet get no one to buy it because they can not market anything well.

    "which can then be used to inexpensively make light, flexible flat-panel displays for computers, laptops and mobile phones. The material, polythiophene, has achieved performance on electronics benchmarks that is an order of magnitude greater than current polymer materials."
  • For over a year now, UC Berkeley has been rolling out its own campus-wide wireless access system, dubbed AirBears [], based on 802.11b technology. Coverage is still limited to a handful of buildings around campus, however.

    I'm still waiting for my free laptop. :)

    • UCSD has a lot of 802.11 clouds. The CSE building has its own network. The rest of campus is nearly completely "unwired". Hell, even the coffee cart outside the arts building has an AP. Double hell: even one of the shuttle buses [] has 802.11 access (suck that, CMU).


      • head -1 /dev/urandom | cut -b -120 > ~/.sig
        your sig wastes a process...

        dd if=/dev/urandom of=$HOME/.sig -bs=120 -count=1

        Hmm, is your sig opensource? Hmm, I may have that to license that as LGPL...
  • Farscapers... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MacAndrew ( 463832 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:17PM (#4849055) Homepage
    The new new cult! Shave your head, say "frell" three times, and send $5 to...

    Seriously, we will only be taken seriously if we come up with a better handle than "Scapers" -- which sounds like something halfway between scapies and scalpers. Seriously. :)

    Even Trekkies or, for those with savoir-faire, Trekkers, was better.

    I am very impressed by the Farscape insurgency. You didn't see this when they took "Three's Company" off the air. Stand up for what you believe in, even if it is only frelling television.
    • How about the name 'Farsci'?

      Hereforth thou shalt be known as the Far-sci, pronounced 'Far-see' and therefore a clever pun on Sci-Fi, far sightedness, Farscape, and of course the Persian language of Farsi
    • Re:Farscapers... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Khomar ( 529552 )

      And Farscape is not the only show that may be leaving for good. There is also talk of cancelling Firefly [] on FOX. I find it somewhat depressing that we finally get two creative and innovative sci-fi shows, and both are squashed. Both actions are blaimed on "lack of ratings", but what do you expect when putting a show on on a Friday night. Only nerds have time on Friday... er, oh right. I'm posting this on Slashdot...

      Anyway, I wish more people knew about these two shows because they are far more intelligently written and produced than 90% of the junk that's on TV the rest of the week. Are these shows too intelligent for the average viewer, or is it the sci-fi image that pushes people away? Or is it simply the strange times that these shows are offered (anyone remember Babylon 5 at 11:30 pm if you were lucky)? When will sci-fi get its fair share of good time slots? Will sci-fi ever be considered as or more valuable than the rehashed sitcoms we have today?

      • So it's not just me -- Friday is just not a night I think of to watch TV, and I was annoyed to have to remember Farscape, to watch or to tape. SciFi argues in its FAQ, in a circular way, that there was nothing wrong with a Friday 10pm slot because Stargate led into it and other factors, but to me that meant (1) Farscape's audience would always be smaller and (2) other people who did not watch either show would not be introduced to Farscape unless they went looking for it -- they wouldn't stumble across it flipping the obsolete figurative dial.

        No, sci-fi, except maybe Star Trek, is not considered mainstream.

        Oh wait ... Three's Company is coming on ... gotta run.
      • Are these shows too intelligent for the average viewer, or is it the sci-fi image that pushes people away?

        Both are incorrect. It is the sci-fi image that shoves people away. Shoving is the answer. I am the pusher robot. PAK CHOOIE UNF.
    • Re:Farscapers... (Score:2, Interesting)

      Stand up for what you believe in

      Huh? what you believe in? Are you kidding? read a book, volunteer at the local library, run for office, join a club -- for god's sake man, disengange yourself, and your opinions/thoughts/beliefs/whatever from your ENTERTAINMENT.

      'campaigning' to save a television show is the new low in USAmerican culture - 30% vote (or some sad #) -- but they all have an opinion on Josh and Sally's relationship on Friends.

      jesus f'ing christ.

      • I do all of the above.

        (OK, I didn't run for office, but that's for the best.)

        You should branch out a little, and accept that entertainment is a valid part of our lives. Why should I be passive about it if I am not passive in all the rest?

        Before you pseudo-intellectually pontificate more, why don't you at least get your spelling and punctuation under control. And you credulously fail to understand that "stand up for what you believe in" in tongue-in-cheek when it comes to TV. You're making those of us who watch a little TV look pretty darn literate. And who are Josh and Sally, anyway? :)
    • Seriously, we will only be taken seriously if we come up with a better handle than "Scapers" -- which sounds like something halfway between scapies and scalpers. Seriously. :)

      Gee, when I hear "Scaper", I think of the edged tool with which I can remove ice from a car's windshield.

    • I find it scary that a large group of people is willing to spend their own money in order to promote shows (and even buy them?) for commercial broadcast/cable/satellite networks.

      These people are not charities, you know. Sooner or later, they're going to start secretly writing in "the fan factor" when they pitch new series proposals ("I think we can get most of series 3's production paid for if we put it on hiatus midway through season 2, after this hug three-episode story, and get the fans to send us money").

      As long as you're going to be sending your money to a tv network, why not petition PBS stations to show an episode? You might only be able to get them to agree to show it in the event that Sci-Fi or Fox terminates their contracts, but if those networks see that fans are trying to buy the series away, they might reconsider.

      Then again, I don't know how big of an expense it would be to buy the national broadcast rights and split it up per station, especially since any station can opt out. But someone should at least punch the numbers up and see if it's a possibility.
      • You know, we already do pay for our episodes by subjecting ourselves to ads, and more significantly a lot of people are willing to pay a premium for digestible programming -- think "Six Feet Under," "Band of Brothers," "Sex in the City," "The Sopranos," various Chris Rock specials, all on HBO which i don't get because I'm too cheap. :) (I'll rent them by and by.)

        So would I pay a buck an episode for Farscape? Definitely. How much more? I don't know. But the idea of paying is not per se irrational.

        Being rational, if "we" did buy an episode (I'm assuming it's inconceivable, but then I also assumed this kind of rebellion would never happen) I would damn well want to know who'd get the rights on the episode (and the answer had better be "those who paid for it"). We can't go from hating the SciFi network to giving them bribes and Christmas presents. Who knows, this could be a good investment opportunity -- an offer you can't refuse. (You did say we scared you. :)

        As for PBS -- I think they're great, though I don't watch them as often as I'd like. NOVA and Frontline were old favorites. But I don't think they'll pick up Farscape! They're already afraid of being laughed at by their sworn enemies who would cut funding, and they don't do the low-brow stuff, yet. Oh wait, TNN has it locked up, between Star Trek reruns, wrestlemania, and that show where they blow up the little toy cars....

        More seriously, PBS should stick to things commercial interests might not air, or might contaminate with their influence. Neat idea, though -- it could go from being the Public Broadcasting Service to the Peopl's Broadcasting Service. Oh wait, that sounds communist ... here come those funding-cutters over the ridge.....

        I think Farscape has serious revenue-generating possibilities -- especially if they throw in a decent movie adaptation -- but they're not there yet. That's only reason to cancel the series for the short-sighted, visionless, myopic television programming dweebazoids.
    • Seriously, we will only be taken seriously if we come up with a better handle than "Scapers"

      Scapees? (Or the online version - escapees)
  • Cantenna (Score:5, Funny)

    by ocie ( 6659 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:19PM (#4849074) Homepage
    Looks like any other bong I've seen, but what is the LED for?
  • by caseydk ( 203763 )
    Starting the fall of '95 my college Rose-Hulman [] started requiring everyone to buy their laptop freshman year. It sounds like a great idea until you get to be a junior or senior...
    • by dlur ( 518696 ) <dlur&iw,net> on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:31PM (#4849191) Homepage Journal

      I also went to Rose-Hulman the same year you started. The laptop was great for MUDding in class, but after dropping out due to poor grades from being up all night MUDding and drinking beer and not going to class (bed time), it sure made for an expensive year.

      Those things were pretty crappy notebooks that they made us buy anyways. AMS Soundwaves 486DX4100 with 400MB HDs and 12" LCDs. The specs weren't bad, it's just that they fell apart if you looked at them wrong. I'm all for colleges pushing technology, and I hate to say that the notebook was one of the factors I considered when I chose Rose-Hulman, and it turned out to be nothing good for me at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:24PM (#4849123)
    When toilet rolls will have multimedia advertisements, and no, you will not be able to "use" it until your padllium enabled toilet has checked to see if its digitally signed, you will pay $29.95 for every sheet you use, and you must agree to the EULA every time.
  • by pXgray ( 464284 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:25PM (#4849130) Homepage
    Step 1: Blanket campus with awe-inspiring wireless coverage.
    Step 2: ...
    Step 3: Learn!
  • The A-Team (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Corby911 ( 250281 )
    The A-team is still aired on TV-Land. Or at least it was as of around 6 months ago - I haven't watched much TV since then.
  • by dghcasp ( 459766 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:31PM (#4849182)
    This whole thing with 802.11 antennas is getting way out of hand... I mean, really, all these people investing time and (not much) money into building things with their own two hands instead of throwing money at corporations! The very idea! And recycling things like cookie or potato chip cans instead of dumping them in landfills where they belong!

    Fortunatly, people are now realizing that only terrorists use 802.11 [], so soon the police will start profiling people seen with cans of pringles and shipping them off to prison.

    I know I'll feel much safer... But what will then these terror-hackers be doing? How long until we see a frontpage slashdot story on How I built an 802.11 network using three frozen chickens and a '57 chevy?!?

  • they've been rolling out a wireless network for a while now, but it has been wildly unsuccessful for a variety of reasons:
    1) low on-campus residency rate. There are too many commuters here, and if your laptop isn't in your dormroom then you're probably going to leave it at home when you commute to school.
    2) stupid, incomplete coverage. Some FLOORS of some buildings are covered while other floors are not. The network extends down the central mall (outside) but not into the buildings fronting it, and only covers part of the first floor of the library.
    I think this kind of thing can only be useful if it exists as part of a real project to cover the entire campus.
    • Didn't you read the article?? It clearly states that performance may be inhibited by six dots:

      Cantenna makes no guarantee of actual performance as several factors including but not limited to .......may inhibit the Cantennas effectiveness.

      So, there ya go. There are probably five dots in the way on those floors. A little cleaning may help.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The network extends down the central mall (outside) but not into the buildings fronting it...

      You mean you have to go outside to access the network? In Hawaii?

      The horror!

  • by ekrout ( 139379 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:35PM (#4849222) Journal
    Results 1 - 10 of about 46,800. Search took 0.10 seconds.

    Save Farscape [] has moved to
    You will be redirected in 3 seconds.
    Description: Headquarters of a fan-based effort to save the show. Includes news and contact information.
    Category: Arts>Television>...>ScienceFictionandFantasy>F>Far scape [] - 1k - Cached [] - Similar pages []

    Save Farscape []
    ... Sci-Fi Network vs. Scapers 12-08-02 - Save Farscape Campaign in the St. Paul Pioneer
    Press, ... The Save Farscape TV Spot Fan funded, fan produced, TV history. ... - 12k - Dec. 9, 2002 - Cached [] - Similar pages []

    ... Update: The Save Farscape Petition is now the first link in the Featured Petitions
    section of's homepage. Thanks,! ... SAVE FARSCAPE! ... - 28k - Dec. 9, 2002 - Cached [] - Similar pages [] []
    This is the home for #farscape's Save Farscape, Never Say
    Die, Cracker's Do Matter, Scapers Unite Not Fight. ... - 2k - Cached [] - Similar pages []

    Help Save Farscape! - Farscape World []
    FARSCAPE NEWS] Click here to read Sci Fi's Cancellation FAQ. ... - 27k - Dec. 9, 2002 - Cached [] - Similar pages []

    FarscapeWeekly Farscape CANCELLED []
    ... [19:47] <Barbarella> also they'd like an address to write to to try to Save Farscape
    [19:47] <FrooniumRicky> We have ideas and stuff, sure, but right now we're ... - 50k - Cached [] - Similar pages []

    Save Farscape! []
    ... Read the Original Chat Transcript here. How to Save Farscape! (thanks ... We
    have a home at SFX --the Save Farscape fan table!!! We ... .html - 52k - Cached [] - Similar pages []

    Save Our Show: Save []
    Save Our Show - Save Farscape - links - petitions, information on how to save
    our show. This page uses frames, but your browser doesn't support them. - 2k - Cached [] - Similar pages []

    Save Farscape! []
    ... Scapers Sanctuary > Save Farscape!! ... Save Farscape Cyber Party: From November 11-17th
    there will be an on-line convention hosted on the SciFi Farscape BBoard! ... - 15k - Cached [] - Similar pages []

    : RevolutionSF - Save Farscape! : Feature []
    : Search RevSF. : Save Farscape Well? What are you waiting for? ... WTF? What it's
    all about. : Merchandise Scare your neighbors! Save Farscape! © RevolutionSF. ... - 26k - Cached [] - Similar pages []

  • by Eric_Cartman_South_P ( 594330 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:36PM (#4849241)
    female N connector, preferably the type that mounts with a single large nut.

    How many females do you know that would mount something with one large nut?

    Oh, and I'm building this cantena tomorrow. Kewl.

  • Ironic... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by angst_ridden_hipster ( 23104 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:45PM (#4849337) Homepage Journal
    The LA Unified School district can't afford books for all its kids, but they just spent a million dollars to roll out fiber optic drops to one of the Junior High schools. As far as I know, they are wiring all the schools.

    network != education


    • But now all of these poverty stricken students can cruise the net on their laptops while they walk down the hallway seemlessly migrating through an extensive...oh wait your right. Maybe Adobe can get these kids some eBooks to go with their cool network?
      • Well, it's frustrating.

        Some bureaucrat wants to show how he's helping bring kids into the 21st century by bringing technology to the schools. No question, that's important! But there needs to be a foundation to build on.

        I wish I knew the solution. It seems like the deck is now heavily stacked against the LAUSD by years of corruption, sudden directional changes in the world of education, tax cuts, etc. It's really too bad. That's our future.
    • The LA Unified School district can't afford books for all its kids, but they just spent a million dollars to roll out fiber optic drops to one of the Junior High schools. As far as I know, they are wiring all the schools.

      Hopefully expensive schoolbooks will be a thing of the past in the near future. See Open CourseWare [] for details. Sometimes things just need to be done differently.

      By the time I have kids of school-age (maybe 2015?) I expect they won't be using printed texts for much besides reading literature.
  • by yack0 ( 2832 ) <> on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:45PM (#4849338) Homepage
    I used Andrew Clapps designasa starting point for my 'improved collector'802.11b PVC antenna. And unlike the pringles can, this one is weather-tight.

    It's at this link [].

    Blatant self promotion over.
  • I wonder if this means I'll finally be able to get a T-Shirt with a changing message. That way I could use some sort of scanning system to detect when people walk by. When a RIAA lawyer walks by, my shirt changes to the EFF logo, when CowboyNeal walks by, my shirt changes to a picture of Tux... wait, no, that'd be a bad idea. That shirt'd get dirty within minutes of CowboyNeal coming near.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 09, 2002 @08:52PM (#4849399)
    Here in the states the school would now be catagorized a terrorist training camp and shut down.
  • (For the record I'm a Toronto kid in my first year of McGill ECE, finishing high school with a B+ average from a Toronto-area private school)

    Am I the only one that sees this whole UOIT thing as a waste of money? No, not the idea of laptops (seems nice to me), but the whole concept of a new University in Ontario is stupid and shortsighted. In the past few years we've had enough spors at the major Universities for everyone, but they need money to continue to grow and develop new programs.

    Based on the timing of this thing, it looks like it's designed to accept the double cohort kids (when two grades come out of high school in the same year, a once-in-a-lifetime thing) - so it will be full for a few years because kids can't go anywhere else, and then we'll have a sinkhole of money in Oshawa...I mean really, who wants to go to school in Oshawa. Kids who want to go to a high-end school will apply to the same places they have always applied - U of T, Queen's, McGill, Western - and kids who don't want something that's offered at one of those schools have plenty of choices as-is.

    <RANT>Bottom line is that the sixty million the province is spending on this could be used in a myriad of better places: high-schools, polution cleanup, OHIP...the list goes on. What we DON'T need is another second-rate school in the middle of nowhere. </RANT>
  • by LM741N ( 258038 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @09:09PM (#4849551)
    Ray Cross has an exellent program for designing helix antennas, using a spreadsheet for generating the segments, and then the ASAP antenna simulator for seeing the resulting pattern. His website is at []
    If you are really into this stuff, check out the Python ASAP code on my site. Rob.
  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Monday December 09, 2002 @09:11PM (#4849572) Homepage Journal
    Farscape was removed from the air so they can afford Taken. You can spend all the money you like, but if Taken is a hit, there will be no Farscape.
    Now I know what your thinking, they could air both, unfortuantly do to the half ass way sci-fi does there financing, they just can't afford to run both. They would hzve to renegotiate with all there advetisers for more money.

    Perhaps if some avertiser said, sure you can charge us twice the amount we contracted for, then it would happen. that ain't going to happen.

    Now how are you being used? if taken fails, then farscape will be back, and the execs will spin it that they are just swell people who listen to there viewers.

    OTOH, if you can get a campaign to stop people from wating taken, Farscape might be back.

    the good news is, you can still go to sci-fi to watch some guys "speak with the dead".
  • Has anyone ever though to start a project to secure 802.11 rather than hack it? Any open source projects for Windows in that arena?

  • by atomicdragon ( 619181 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @09:37PM (#4849812)
    I've seen several articles now on how to use Pringles or other food cans as an antenna. But the one question that I have not found an answer to is which flavor gets the strongest signal?
    • which flavor gets the strongest signal?

      According to this site [] it seems to be Cheese & Chives "a little too strong", followed by CheezeUms "Very strong", and Barbecue "strong".

      Note that Salt & Vinegar is Currently Untested.

  • by Newer Guy ( 520108 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @09:47PM (#4849892)
    I think that Cantenna is a registered trademark of The Heath Company, a former maker of electronic kits. The Cantenna was (is) a 50 ohm resistor in a black colored 1 gallon paint can that you filled with mineral oil. It then became a 1 kW load that you could test your ham radio into. I'm sure that many ham radio operators remember it.
    • A trademark search for "cantenna" comes up empty, so either it's abandoned, or perhaps Heathkit never bothered to register it, but for anyone exposed to ham radio back in the pre-PC days, a cantenna will always be that dummy load made from a paint can filled with oil and a 50 ohm resistor.
  • by Adam Wiggins ( 349 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @10:51PM (#4850365) Homepage
    A thought that has occured to me before but seems to be most demonstrated by the Farscape situation: does this indicate a failing of the content-distribution system we call TV? Or is this just an odd example, a deviation from the norm. Consider: what other industry has a company which choses to get rid of their #2 most popular product completely, despite huge support from a large fanbase?

    Of course this is because they aren't selling the show directly; unlike a movie you aren't buying tickets to watch the thing. This reminds me of web services (Yahoo etc) - which also represent (to me) a failed approach, in terms of business model, to distributing content.

    Just a random thought.
    • I've been wondering for some time why the Save Farscape lobby isn't pushing for a straight-to-DVD release on season 5. I'd put up a lot of money in advance for that (but I won't spend a lot just to subsidise some huge TV company to make it when they'll end up raking in the profits..).

      If the TV networks won't carry it, try a different distribution channel!


  • by ReelOddeeo ( 115880 ) on Tuesday December 10, 2002 @11:27AM (#4854584)
    Xerox needs to invite engineers from IBM and AMD over to show them the new technology. The higher up's should direct Xerox engineers to answer any and all questions that the visiting engineers might have about the technology.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes