Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Submission + - Open Source Codec Encodes Voice Into Only 700 Bits Per Second (rowetel.com)

Bruce Perens writes: David Rowe VK5DGR has been working on ultra-low-bandwidth digital voice codecs for years, and his latest quest has been to come up with a digital codec that would compete well with single-sideband modulation used by ham contesters to score the longest-distance communications using HF radio. A new codec records clear, but not hi-fi, voice in 700 bits per second, that's 88 bytes per second. Connected to an already-existing Open Source digital modem, it might beat SSB.

Obviously there are other uses for recording voice at ultra-low-bandwidth. Many smartphones could record your voice for your entire life using their existing storage. A single IP packet could carry 15 seconds of speech. Ultra-low-bandwidth codecs don't help conventional VoIP, though. The payload size for low-latency voice is only a few bytes, and the packet overhead will be at least 10 times that size.

Comment Possible way to defuse Dongle-Angered lynch mobs: (Score 1) 675

Link the product registration of the new MacBook Pros so that each one can be associated with one iPhone/iPad (that uses Lightning)/iPad Pro serial number, and/or one MacBook Pro model serial number that has an SD Card slot. If you register your new MacBook Pro with a linked Lightning-using iDevice, you get the USB-C to Lightning dongle at no charge. If you register your new MacBook Pro with an older MacBook with an SD Card slot's serial number, you get a USB-C to SD Card dongle at no charge. Demonstrates Apple listens, and Apple cares about loyal customers who bought into its ecosystem.

Comment Re: Middle Ages preserved content (Score 1) 348

The difference is though, Muslim nations allowed freedom of religion long before Western nations even knew what that meant.

If you are speaking of the Caliphate, the largest and most influential Islamic power during that period, then it wasn't freedom of religion in any sense as we know it today. It was freedom of religion as long as you accepted literal, formal, socioeconomic second-class citizen status. This was still better than say, being burned at the stake, and it was certainly enlightened by the standards of that time period, but I want readers to fully understand the context.

Comment Does it offload work to the IMAP server yet? (Score 2) 38

I've got several Cyrus IMAP hosted mailboxes with tens of thousands of messages in them.

Last time I tried Mutt it could only do "slurp all mailbox contents to local machine" Can Mutt offload searches to the IMAP server, fetch only 1 page of data at a time (not download all headers) etc yet?

It'd be nice for there to be competition besides Alpine.

Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 1) 239

Inverters are typically warranted for 10-15 years, with the majority of the market's volume in the 10-12 year range. Enphase has a very controversial 25 year limited warranty on some of their inverters; user reports are all over the map on these units and the warranty claims service, so I wouldn't take them as any indication of what to expect on inverter life expectancies. Get rid of or mitigate the load handled by inverters in your solar power system design, and your inverter component cost goes down, but that is offset by the lack of selection in DC-based devices and for larger setups, the complexity of a safer DC power distribution design; there is no free lunch here going to straight DC, unfortunately. Definitely do not make your inverter installation permanent or even semi-permanent; it must be easily serviceable and removable.

Comment Re:Of course not. (Score 1) 307

I remember as a very young kid in the 70's hearing about the Lunar Laser Ranging experiment and wondering how they managed to aim and point the laser correctly and get it to return properly and all that. It still blows my mind today when I understand much more than I did back then, when I delve into even a cursory overview of the techniques the ongoing experiment uses to aim, point, and collect the photons to generate the experimental results.

Comment Re:And if they really want to make nice (Score 1) 229

If Tilak Mandadi (LinkedIn profile not updated yet to reflect his Disney CIO/Parks position) did not actually orchestrate the restructuring himself (perhaps he was instructed from further up the executive chain), then he certainly did himself no favors by how he executed it (at least the announcement if not the actual restructuring logistics itself), oversaw the execution of it, and responded to it. If he's being muzzled by Disney from getting out in front of this story now with some spin control, then it is possible Disney has done so to keep him in their back pocket to throw under the bus if the legal and/or financial blow back from the story gets too hot.

So even if you see a "direct the termination of the executive responsible", it is entirely possible that the real architect(s) of the in-all-but-name layoff remain untouched, and you are only seeing the sacking of a scapegoat, even if they have a "CIO" in their title (he's CIO of a large division, but not over all of Disney). If instead something happened along the lines of Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and HCL America (the contractors identified in the story) get their H1-B allotments catastrophically cut back (like 75-80%) with a maximum absolute cap set to the cut back level based on the 2014 allotment, for 7 years, then you would see very extreme avoidance of these kinds of restructurings in the future. Even if the H1-B program continues to exist, and even if American companies solicit for this kind of restructuring, there isn't a sales manager in the world who would allow that kind of deal through. Also effective would be to change the H1-B legislation so allotments become a granted privilege served at the pleasure of politics, not a protected right enjoying contractual legal protection, to nullify legal challenges to allotment changes, and let the executive (agency or President) or legislative branches alter the allotments by company. This would give the contracting companies a much greater incentive to solicit for more creatively value-added business, rather than extractive displacement-heavy business, as the political optics for any displacements (real or perceived) are just too much of a headache to deal with.

Comment Re:TFA (Score 1) 229

What I haven't seen commented upon is the combined form factor and upgradeable, maximum RAM capacity.

There isn't another laptop I'm aware of on the current market with similar physical dimensions and is upgradeable to 32 GB RAM. For those who run VMs on the road and want to cram as much as possible into a small footprint, the Librem is a unique solution in more ways than the free software/hardware aspects. It could be more free with respect to the BIOS, but incremental baby steps will get us there; we first need to convince manufacturers a viable market for freedom-oriented products exists.


De-escalating the Android Patent War 63

In 2011, a consortium formed from Microsoft, Apple, Sony, BlackBerry, and others spent $4.5 billion acquiring Nortel's patent portfolio, which contained a great deal of ammunition that could be used against Android. That threat has now been reduced. Today, 4,000 of the patents were purchased by a corporation called RPX, which has licensing agreements from Google, Cisco, and dozens more companies. [RPX is] a company that collects a bunch of patents with the goal of using those patents for member companies for defensive purposes. Even though RPX has generally been "good," the business model basically lives because of patent trolling. Its very existence is because of all the patent trolling and abuse out there. In this case, though, it's making sure that basically anyone can license these patents under FRAND (fair and reasonable, non-discriminatory) rates. The price being paid is approximately $900 million. While that article points out that this is considerably less than the $4.5 billion Microsoft and Apple paid originally, again, this is only 4,000 of the 6,000 patents, and you have to assume the 2,000 the other companies kept were the really valuable patents. In short, this is basically Google and Cisco (with some help from a few others) licensing these patents to stop the majority of the lawsuits -- while also making sure that others can pay in as well should they feel threatened. Of course, Microsoft, Apple and the others still have control over the really good patents they kept for themselves, rather than give to Rockstar. And the whole thing does nothing for innovation other than shift around some money.

Comment Smarthost out via SMTP.Comcast.net on 465 or 587 (Score 2) 405

You're being blocked because any mail leaving Comcast's IP spaces is expected to come from Comcast's mailservers only.

Configure your mailserver with a "smarthost" option, have it deliver using Authenticated SMTP (with your Comcast account's username and password hardcoded, yes) over SSL on 465, or if you can't do SSL, use 587.

Source: Am currently running Postfix on Comcast successfully delivering to Yahoo Mail with no spamfolder problem via this method. (Am using SPF, no DomainKeys yet.)

More from Comcast on this: http://corporate.comcast.com/c...

Comment Google & ISC have MeasurementLab.NET (Score 2) 294

The Network Diagnostic Test was able to see performance problems on my cablemodem connection that Ookla's speedtests did not.


Unfortunately, the number of ridiculous hoops you need to go through to let an unsigned Java applet run an arbitrary network I/O makes it much less useful.

Comment Re:Graphics appear to be closed/proprietary. (Score 2) 106

From the Matchstick SDK download agreement: (abridged)

4. Restrictions. You agree not to exploit ... content provided to you as a Registered Matchstick Developer, in any unauthorized way ... other than for authorized purposes. Copyright and other intellectual property laws protect ... content provided to you, and you agree to abide by and maintain all notices, license information, and restrictions contained therein. You may not decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, attempt to derive the source code of any software or software components of the Matchstick software including the Matchstick SDK software.

"Open Source Hardware" ?

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. — Inigo Montoya

Slashdot Top Deals

"Only a brain-damaged operating system would support task switching and not make the simple next step of supporting multitasking." -- George McFry