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 + - Bringing Chemistry Back (kickstarter.com)

IcephishCR writes: The Kansas City store H.M.S. Beagle has a funded Kickstarter campaign to bring back an item I always wanted — but has remained unobtainable from before my youth: a Gilbert Chemistry set. The Benchmark set contains 64 chemicals that the near-useless set of today fail to include.

"Like many young scientists of the time, I received a Gilbert Chemistry set. This chemistry set provided me hours of great fun and learning as well as laying the foundation for my future as a research chemist. As I became an adult I wanted to share these types of experiences with my daughter, my nephews and nieces, and friends. But soon I became aware real chemistry sets were no longer available. Without real chemistry sets and opportunities for students to learn and explore, where would our future chemists come from? So .... I set out on a mission."

Comment Re:Ohh - maybe they could take it to the next step (Score 1) 271

I'm not married to USB CF or SD would work - something semi-portable would be for the best - as I would like to see the OS and OS only on the flash memory - maybe a couple gigs of that space wwould be writable for config files...

Think boot/OS disk...I'm all for speed, its just that USB is everywhere.

Comment Re:Ohh - maybe they could take it to the next step (Score 1) 271

Why would you need 4x16G for the OS - Vista doesn't even take up that much...I was thinking of starting with around 8G for Windows and uses a union FS to map Windows updates over the original files.

No user programs here - interface-wise I wouldn't care that much - USB is everywhere and slow, but drop in SD or compactflash and I'm ok. More of purchase an OS on flash drop it in and nothing can touch it - if I need to wipe no big deal just rebuild the config files and clean out user data, and no more friggin programs writing files into c:\windows...


Journal Journal: Who knew!

Oh my! I never knew I could reveal my innermost thoughts in a /. journal!

Comment Re:A tremendous opportunity (Score 1) 138

It depends on location - this for the spaces between TV broadcasters - areas with lots of TV stations will have less than areas with few.

The frequency band for TV covers several frequency bands:

-Channels 2-6
--59-88Mhz (88Mhz is where FM radio begins)
-Channels 7-13
--174Mhz to 216Mhz

--Channels 14 - 51 (52 and above are lost to the DTV transition)
470Mhz to 698Mhz

Each TV channel occupies 6Mhz of spectrum bandwidth (Digital or Analog) minus additional channels that broadcasts use between towers and from remote trucks to studio to transmit live - lets ASSUME they take an additional 3-5 channels for each station for off-site. Each "On Location" and studio to tower link would eat these up.

Remember that studios are not often near the broadcast towers (due to the towers needing to be at high elevations) so they often broadcast the signal to the tower and it is retransmitted on the true station for service.

Even with an average 9 TV stations per area this could easily equal 36 or so channels actually setup for use.

36*6=216Mhz taken just for TV use. That is most of the ~290Mhz that is available between VHF and UHF. WHitespace devices will most likely stay in the UHF potion which trims down the spectrum to allowing just around 12mhz for a moderately populated area.

In contrast Wifi has around 84Mhz available and many tech notes suggest only running 3 "channels" (1,6,11) so that the devices will not step on each other.

5.8Ghz has 125Mhz for use and there is 26Mhz of 900Mhz that may be used. Lower frequencies allows for greater range, but you give up data rates...

If you can't tell I'm not a fan - I'm not seeing the upside to these free "whitespaces".

Comment Not good (Score 1) 156

I know the general feeling of /.'s are very pleased at these results. Just remember this the next time you are watching TV and the reporter's wireless microphone drops out, or you are at a concert and the singer goes silent.

How is a whitespace device supposed to hear a 50-100milliwatt transmitter from 1/2 miles away?

It could be transmitting a few watts and is desensing the wirelesss microphone's front end or overpowering the channel.

Sure the Pro Audio industry will need to make some changes to adapt, but users such as singers and corporate CEOs tend to get awful angry when their mic doesn't work...

I suppose Lectrosonics will get some additional business as they have a slick frequency hopping TX/RX pair that will help some - but there will still be some dropouts.



Fraud Threat Halts Knuth's Hexadecimal-Dollar Checks 323

Barence writes "You may be aware of Donald Knuth, the creator of TeX and author of The Art of Computer Programming, who used to post checks to anyone who spotted an error in one of his books — one hexadecimal dollar, or $2.56. No one cashed them though. This blogger has two of them proudly on his wall, but the sad news is that modern day bank fraud has put a stop to Knuth's much-loved way of keeping his books free of errors." (Here's Knuth's own post about the sad change.)

Submission + - Hackers and Suits: 10 Tips for Managers to Bridge

Esther Schindler writes: "Managers and software developers live in two separate worlds. In Hackers and Suits: 10 Tips for Managers to Bridge the Gap Hal Fulton — who you probably know as the author of The Ruby Way — shares his advice to PHBs about how to motivate, communicate with and (maybe) understand these strange people who build the software solutions upon which they rely.

The average hacker has no business sense. He isn't even aware that he lacks one. His world is megabytes and milliseconds, not dollars and cents. He likely has never had a management course—perhaps has never had any kind of business course whatsoever. He evaluates things by their performance and their technical excellence. He may tend to overlook the user; usability and user-friendliness, good online help and good documentation are not usually highest on his list of priorities. Even farther over his horizon is "the bottom line" itself. He is buried so far in the internals that he is unaware of any positive or negative economic impact his actions have.

So here is Tip 1: Remind the developer that technical excellence is no guarantee of success.

Submission + - Military tanks get firewall for IP communications (networkworld.com)

jbrodkin writes: "A security vendor that helps protect U.S. military communications has adapted its firewall for use in tanks, Humvees and helicopters to prevent enemies from intercepting IP transmissions on the battlefield. Rapidly improving warfare technology is utilizing satellite imagery to determine the best tactical moves, and IP communications to relay instructions to soldiers, says Scott Montgomery, vice president of product management for Secure Computing. Protecting these communications is vital, as Israel learned last year when Hezbollah guerillas hacked into radio communications in southern Lebanon, allowing the guerillas to repel tank assaults. "This kind of real-time battlefield data has unbelievable tactical value to military organizations," Montgomery says. "If you're directing military traffic and saying 'shoot here' and the enemy has access to those communications, they're not going to be there when the rocket lands.""

Submission + - Crashed Spacecraft Yields Data on Solar Wind

Hugh Pickens writes: "After the Genesis mission spent 27 months in space gathering tiny samples from different types of solar wind, Hollywood stunt pilots swooped in with a helicopter to catch the falling capsule when it returned to earth. Unfortunately the spacecraft's parachute did not open, and the spacecraft ploughed a hole into the desert. Now scientists are starting to recover data from the salvageable pieces of Genesis. Nature Magazine reports that an analysis of isotopes of neon and argon shows that the elements of main interest to the researchers have the same isotopic signature in the solar wind as in the Sun itself. Because dirt contains relatively little neon and argon, the current Science study wasn't affected too much by contamination and the the team remains hopeful that they will be able to get results on oxygen and nitrogen isotopes from the mission."

Slashdot Top Deals

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin