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Open Source

Submission + - Arduino based high powered LED lights over WiFi (youtube.com)

Gibbs-Duhem writes: This awesome video was produced by some MIT Engineers recently. They've started a fully open-source, open-hardware high power LED lighting project that they designed to be modular enough to control with the Arduino (or any other control system)! Using their open-source firmware, you can set up the Arduino to connect to WiFi and receive Open Sound Control packets. Then, they went further and released open-source software for PureData and Python to do music analysis and make the lights flash brilliantly in time with the music! A full Instructable was also posted in addition to the existing documentation for design and assembly on their website, http://saikoled.com

Comment Re:Need an adult (Score 2, Informative) 145

Ageist much? Do you really think that a CEO like Zuckerberg wrote, demanded or even approved something as simple as a "spice up the login error page" project?

Anyway, the guy is 26. He can buy booze, fight for his country and successfully run a multi-million dollar company. Most of slashdot, even adult slashdot, cannot claim all three.

Finally, I really don't know what all the commotion is about, I just logged out of Facebook and tried logging back in with my email address and a bad password; I got the standard "bad email or password" error.

Comment Re:The Great Thing About Android (Score 1) 415

“It’s different from phone to phone and operator to operator,” says Keith Nowak, spokesman for HTC. “But in general, the apps are put there to meet the operator’s business and revenue needs.”

So in essence, carriers are doing with Android phones what they've been doing with other phones for ages, installing stuff that makes them money with minimal added utility for the user. Color me surprised.

Consequently, the solutions are what they've always been: modify the phone in some non-supported way, or buy a non-carrier-branded, non-contract phone for loads more than what you'd pay otherwise. And like most of everything else on /., this becomes non-news.

Comment Re:NOT DSLR!! (Score 1) 172

This horribly wrong use of technical terms really should not be showing up on the site that proclaims itself as "news for nerds, stuff that matters".

Have you been living under a rock? Fodder like this has been the vast majority of slashdot for years, it feels. Being about an Apple product just means it got to the front page even quicker.

Comment Re:So we let the trolls win? (Score 1) 117

Ok, so we suddenly now have a way to make really reliable online polls? I don't know about you, but I wouldn't trust a party with no real platform and outsourcing all policy decisions to whoever has the best poll-spamming software.

This is worse than the current system, in which only the richest people are able to influence policy? At least this lowers the bar, anyone with a $300 computer and a $20 internet connection can spam votes.

Comment Also in the article (Score 1) 147

A 2006 investigation by the Discover America Partnership found that tourism to America had sunk due to “a climate of fear and frustration that is turning away foreign business and leisure travelers from visiting the United States and damaging America’s image abroad.” No less than a third of tourists vowed never to return to America after experiencing the treatment of Homeland Security officials at ports of entry.

Indeed, it's bad enough as a citizen; I can't begin to imagine how it is as a foreigner. On returning from vacation from Montreal (flew as I live in the midwest), I couldn't believe the amount of grief the woman at border patrol was giving me. I'm an American citizen, I'm innocent until proven guilty and I certainly can't be compelled to incriminate myself, so stop treating me like a criminal. Of course, if I were to mention any of that, I'd immediately be further probed, so I was polite and answered her questions. Some beacon-of-freedom country this is, and electing the so-called man and party of change to power hasn't seemed to help.
Anyway, it was bad for me, as an American citizen. I completely understand when friends abroad hesitate to come to the US.

Comment Re:Some financial insiutuion are already using thi (Score 1) 261

They can't just do it the way, say, PayPal, does it and make a very small debit (or deposit) with a unique authentication key in the memo line? I've done this with a couple of different companies, and I really can't imagine doing it the way you describe, it just seems silly. Just accounting for all the different ways a bank could do an HTML login process (mine will ask you a series of personal questions if you haven't authenticated with the same computer recently and told it to remember the computer) would be a nightmare.

Granted, they way PayPal now does the above process reeks of dung, as they process a small debit with the key and when you authenticate they credit that amount to your PayPal account instead of sending it back to your bank, but that's just an implementation detail.

Comment Re:Did I miss something (Score 3, Insightful) 594

but I'm not eligible due to a stupid law.

This pretty well sums up the entire program. It looks like more of an Obama government PR stunt, being able to claim "hey, we paid $4,500 of your new ride!". Of course it will have little real benefit in the long term, just as Bush's stimulus check to every house didn't make an ounce of difference. And hell, I voted for the man (although buyer's remorse has long ago kicked in).

And honestly, the fact you can even buy an SUV or light truck with this money is insane. A 2 mpg increase is nearly statistically insignificant, and one or two extra MPG on a 30 gallon tank is 30 or 60 miles. You're still using a lot more gas (and petroleum) to get you, your spouse and your 2.2 kids around town than you would with a nice Camry. Hey Obama government, if you want to use tax dollars to fund our automobile addiction, at least try to legislate some morality into it. The soccer mom SUV is a pinnacle of the self-centered, sedentary American lifestyle.


Submission + - IBM executive to head up U.S. patent office (networkworld.com)

jbrodkin writes: "Nobody has dominated the annual list of new U.S. patents like IBM. Now Big Blue may put one of its own officials at the top of the government office that oversees patents in America. David Kappos, vice president and assistant general counsel for intellectual property at IBM, was nominated by President Obama for the post last month and went through a confirmation hearing Wednesday. If confirmed, he will become the new Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Kappos would be charged with reforming an office that suffers from a backlog of 770,000 patent applications. IBM is also one of the key contributors to the patent backlog, having been awarded the most patents of any company for 16 consecutive years. IBM set a record in 2008 with 4,000 new patents, and could benefit substantially from a patent office equipped to more speedily approve applications."

Submission + - VistA: The VA's Open-Source Health Record Software (washingtonmonthly.com)

Artifice_Eternity writes: "VistA — the open-source electronic health records system developed by the U.S. Veterans Administration — is widely acknowledged as one of the best EHR platforms in the country. Washington Monthly's Philip Longman writes, "The VA's evolving code also has been adapted by providers in many other countries, including Germany, Finland, Malaysia, Brazil, India, and, most recently, Jordan. To date, more than eighty-five countries have sent delegations to study how the VA uses the program, with four to five more coming every week." WorldVistA.org is a hub for extending and improving the VistA system for use outside the VA. Meanwhile, proprietary private systems cost more, can't be improved by users, and are often clunkier and buggier. Longman argues that the $20 billion for EHR systems included in the stimulus bill may end up being wasted on bad products, and should be frozen until a thorough study of VistA's potential is completed next year."

Comment On the contrary (Score 1) 168

Microsoft's Zune is nearly impossible to control without looking at it. About all the touchpad is good for is games and library searching, and those both require looking.

Even then, clicking often works better. It's lazy, but if you've got a long way to go, you don't want to have to keep flicking your thumb.

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