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Comment Hands Up App (Score 4, Informative) 509

The "Hands Up" app ( ) has just been released and is designed to deal with these issues. It's quite clever and records the your interaction with the police as usual, but also:
- Turns the screen blank but keeps recording;
- Automatically uploads geotagged video segments to Dropbox every few seconds, preserving the recording even if it's erased or the phone is destroyed; and,
- Sends a text message to your emergency contact notifying them of the recording's existence.

Comment Re:Easy grammar (Score 2) 626

Now, I'm off for a pint, you can go and enjoy your 0.568261 litres of fizzy beverage while you sit in the corner with your po-faced mates and discuss base 10 maths :-)

I invoke the insensitive clod clause.

Here we go off for a litre -- you can go and enjoy your 2.11338 pints of fizzy beverage (and btw, was that Imperial or US pints?). Also, discuss base 10 maths if you must, but base 16 may be more interesting and useful around here.

Also, this way we get more beer.

Comment Re:Monopoly (Score 1) 198

Yes. Here they call it Bureau en Gros, of course, but it's all very much of a muchness. My point is that whatever the sector, it turns out that there are several apparent retailers, but closer examination reveals that what's on offer is the same stuff, at nearly identical prices, and in fact has the same owners.

For that matter, many of the people here probably have (at least indirectly) small amounts of most of these companies in their 401Ks / IRAs / RRSPs / whatever.

Comment Re:Monopoly (Score 1) 198

True, but the monopoly happened in 2001 when Best Buy bought Future Shop to begin with. Since then, they've been taking advantage of a public that was given the mistaken impression that there was some competition, when in fact there was none.

So perhaps this will ultimately be good for competition, as customers pissed off with one won't cross the street and go into the other. Instead, they can go down the block to Office Depot...

Comment Re:And now why this can not be done in the USofA (Score 2) 317

Also, a big dam is a huge local environmental change, but that happens only once, and eventually wildlife and vegetation re-establish themselves in a new pattern. But thereafter, the dam keeps producing electricity for decades or centuries.

Quebec, for example, built the James Bay project (which covers an area the size of the state of New York) in the 1970s, and it continues to provide Quebec and much of New England with some of the cheapest power in the world. FWIW, Quebec has generated 99.8% of its power from renewables for decades -- the remainder comes from a few small diesel facilities to back up wind farms in remote regions.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Building a Home Media Center/Small Server in a Crawlspace 4

An anonymous reader writes: I've decided it's time for me to build a separate machine specifically for use as a Media Center/Small Home Server.
My wife and I haven't had cable TV in years, instead relying entirely on Netflix, other streaming sites, and hard copies we've bought over the years. Having just finished ripping our entire media collection (CDs, DVDs, and even our Vinyls and VHS with the help of a capture card and some sweet digital voodoo) to a couple HDDs, I'm feeling froggy. Up until now we've been using WDTV Live, and it's been pretty snazzy, but I want to upgrade to a dedicated media machine instead of piggybacking off of my office computer. It'll be a Windows based machine utilizing Plex, and it's going in the crawlspace of the house.

The crawlspace in question is unfinished, but I do have a dry concrete slab down there where I can put/mount/assemble something. Cooling won't be an issue obviously, and I am keeping a close eye on hardware specs with regards to moisture. It is still a crawlspace though...

My Question(s) being:
* What would be a good setup to to house the hardware? Priorities being to safeguard against moisture, vermin, and dirt.
          — Modified PC Tower?
          — Rack?
          — Build an enclosure?
          — Something I haven't considered?

Please assume I'm stubborn and absolutely dead-set on putting it in the crawlspace to avoid the discussion devolving into the "best" place to put a media machine. Any advice or ideas are very much appreciated, Thank you /.

Submission + - Silicon Valley Is the World's Innovation Capital Because of a Legal Technicality writes: Natalie Kitroeff writes at Bloomberg that a new study says the secret to Silicon Valley’s triumph as the global capital of innovation may lie in a quirk of California’s employment law that prohibits the legal enforcement of non-compete clauses. Unlike most states, California prohibits enforcement of non-compete clauses that force people who leave jobs to wait for a predetermined period before taking positions at rival companies. That puts California in the ideal position to rob other regions of their most prized inventors, “Policymakers who sanction the use of non-competes could be inadvertently creating regional disadvantage as far as retention of knowledge workers is concerned,” wrote the authors of the study "Regional disadvantage? Employee non-compete agreements and brain drain" (PDF). "Regions that choose to enforce employee non-compete agreements may therefore be subjecting themselves to a domestic brain drain not unlike that described in the literature on international emigration out of less developed countries."

The study, which looked at the behavior of people who had registered at least two patents from 1975 to 2005, focused on Michigan, which in 1985 reversed its longstanding prohibition of non-compete agreements. The authors found that after Michigan changed the rules, the rate of emigration among inventors was twice as a high as it was in states where non-competes remained illegal. Even worse for Michigan, its most talented inventors were also the most likely to flee. "Firms are going to be willing to relocate someone who is really good, as opposed to someone who is average," says Lee Fleming. For the inventors, it makes sense to take a risk on a place such as California, where they have more freedom. "If the job they relocate for doesn’t work out, then they can walk across the street because there are no non-competes

Submission + - 42 Artificial Intelligences Are Going Head to Head in 'Civilization V'

rossgneumann writes: The r/Civ subreddit is currently hosting a fascinating "Battle Royale" in the strategy game Civilization V, pitting 42 of the game's built-in, computer-controlled players against each other for world domination. The match is being played on the largest Earth-shaped map the game is capable of, with both civilizations that were included in the retail version of the game and custom, player-created civilizations that were modded into it after release.

Comment Try low, wide, non-progressive (Score 2) 464

After about ten years of struggling with this I've settled on two 27" 1920p monitors, using broad but low +1.5 glasses that I can peer over when I glance at anything else in the room. I can actually work with the monitors without the glasses as long as Chrome is set to 125% zoom, but it's slightly more comfortable with the glasses, since I can then use the default fonts for virtually everything.

Submission + - Nvidia Cracked ( 4

jones_supa writes: Another day, another corporate network intrusion. Nvidia has reportedly been breached in the first week of December with the attack compromising personal information of the employees. There is no indication that other data has been compromised. This is according to an email sent out by the company's privacy office and Nvidia's SVP and CIO Bob Worwall on December 17th. It took Nvidia a couple of weeks to pick up all the pieces and assess the incident. It appears that the issue was pinned down to an employee or several employees getting their personal data compromised outside of the company network. After that, the information was used to gain unauthorized access to the internal corporate network. Nvidia's IT team has taken extensive measures since then to enhance the security of the network against similar attacks in the future.

Comment Re:UPS (Score 1) 236

Yes. We use PowerChute everywhere; it's a good product.

But, at least in a production system, you still should be doing regular "real" failover tests to ensure that what is supposed to happen does really happen. For example, a common problem is a sequence like:

- Power fails, UPS predicts 20 minutes of runtime;
- Servers are set to shut themselves down when 5 minutes of runtime remains;
- Fifteen minutes later, the servers start their shutdown sequences;
- The increased CPU and disk activity from the shutdown increase the power draw, causing the battery to empty and all power to be cut 90 seconds earlier than expected.

Another issue is that software added during a system's lifetime can cause a server that took 180 seconds to shut down last year to now require 240 seconds.

Either issue can mean you wind up with servers that powered off with a 90% completed shutdown.

The only way you'll discover these kinds of problems is to actually simulate a real power fail once in a while.

Comment Re:UPS (Score 1) 236

Really, a $150 investment to protect your $500+ computer is more than worth it.

Don't forget to add the cost of replacing the UPS battery every year or two. Plus the time to setup and regularly test the fail-over and auto-shutdown.

FWIW I generally use a UPS on the servers and firewalls, but not on any of the clients.

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