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Comment Re:All they need to do is everything (Score 5, Informative) 173

I think there's more trouble facing the early adopters. For example, even the hardware isn't all that good to start with. The "modern replacement" of SheevaPlug (mentioned in "hardware is being taken care of") isn't all that good. In fact, this new version, the GuruPlug, suffers greatly of an lack of thermal design. This causes the plug to overheat and start rebooting, until the embedded power supply fails (also because of heat dissipation problems). As a result, to use one of those, the user must also mod the hardware, which creates all sorts of trouble. The manufacturer doesn't even care about it, and keep selling it for those naive enough (like me) to think that the manufacturer should take care of those problems before even starting to sell a product.
Earth

100-Sq.-Mile Ice Island Breaks Off Greenland Glacier 323

suraj.sun sends word of a 100-sq.-mile (260-sq.-km) ice island that broke off of a Greenland glacier on Thursday. "The block of ice separated from the Petermann Glacier, on the north-west coast of Greenland. It is the largest Arctic iceberg to calve since 1962... The ice could become frozen in place over winter or escape into the waters between Greenland and Canada. ... [NASA satellite] images showed that Petermann Glacier lost about one-quarter of its 70-km-long (43-mile) floating ice shelf. There was enough fresh water locked up in the ice island to 'keep all US public tap water flowing for 120 days,' said Prof Muenchow." The Montreal Gazette has more details and implications for Canadian shipping and oil exploration, along with this telling detail: "the ice island’s thickness [is] more than 200 metres in some places... [or] half the height of the Empire State Building." The NY Times has a good satellite photo of the situation.

Comment Re:Kazkek (Score 1) 337

I looked at its specs. No way I'd buy that. With 10KS/s you can't even decode audio! The simplest audio files usually are 44kHz. It may be better to build one's own scope with an Arduino (which will get you more geek points), or buy a DSO Nano (with 1Msps 12Bits, and 8 times the sample storage). Minimum Voltage Range Accuracy of 37.5 mV also won't get you very far, specially if you try simple amplifier stuff (which very often can vary only a few millivolts or even only microvolts).

Comment Re:An old Tektronix is fine for a modern engineer (Score 1) 337

I agree that the Rigol DS1052E is pretty fine for most uses, specially if you have to ask such a question. I have one and it has done everything I needed so far. Even my college use scopes worse than those. If you need a logic analyzer to deal with digital stuff (I think you might, since you're compsci-oriented instead of a proper electronics engineer), you might take a look at the Open Logic Sniffer. It's even open-source, so you can hack it too. The only reason I think you might look for another one is if you deal with RF or something like that.
Google

Google and Verizon In Talks To Prioritize Traffic (Updated) 410

Nrbelex writes "Google and Verizon are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content's creators are willing to pay for the privilege. Any agreement between Verizon and Google could also upend the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to assert its authority over broadband service, which was severely restricted by a federal appeals court decision in April. People close to the negotiations who were not authorized to speak publicly about them said an agreement could be reached as soon as next week. If completed, Google, whose Android operating system powers many Verizon wireless phones, would agree not to challenge Verizon's ability to manage its broadband Internet network as it pleased." Update: 08/05 20:03 GMT by T : nr3a1 writes with this informative update excerpted from Engadget: "Google's Public Policy Twitter account just belted out a denial of these claims, straight-up saying that the New York Times 'is wrong.' Here's the full tweet, which certainly makes us feel a bit more at ease. For now. '@NYTimes is wrong. We've not had any convos with VZN about paying for carriage of our traffic. We remain committed to an open internet.' Verizon's now also issued a statement and, like Google, it's denying the claims in the original New York Times report."
Communications

Vonage Makes Free Facebook Phone Call App 115

crimeandpunishment writes "Vonage has developed a new application for the iPhone and Android that provides free phone calls between Facebook users. Vonage's CEO says 'Essentially, we've given Facebook a voice.' Users sign in, see a list of Facebook friends who also have the app, and if they tap on a name a call is placed ... and it will go through even if the app isn't running on the friend's phone. The calling, which works over cellular broadband and Wi-Fi, doesn't use calling minutes but will use up data."
Advertising

Tokyo Rail Billboards Scan Viewer's Age, Gender 235

eldavojohn writes "The AFP is reporting on digital billboards in Tokyo that scan for a viewer's age and gender to tailor the message to them. It's a Digital Signage Promotion Project that 11 railway companies are debuting. The head of the project said, 'The camera can distinguish a person's sex and approximate age, even if the person only walks by in front of the display, at least if he or she looks at the screen for a second.' Philip K. Dick's Minority Report draws closer every day."

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