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Comment SMB + S-Video + VLC (Score 1) 516

My setup includes:

65" Rear Projection CRT with Component, Composite, and S-Video

Desktop computer with some kind of old ATI All In Wonder card with s-video hooked up to the tv.

All of the videos reside on an ubuntu smb share. Playback with vlc.

The tv and the computer are at right angles on an inside corner so watching tv from the computer chair sucks. It's set up so we can watch broadcast tv on the computer, tv or both. Video from the server can be watched on the tv, computer, or both.

Works great for everything except hd due to a) old playback computer, b) old tv, c) network lag (permanently installed cable limited to 10 mbps, permanently means in concrete)

Lack of hd notwithstanding, it's fine. I never jumped on the hd bandwagon, and besides, what is hd going to do for Family Guy, Futurama, and Southpark anyway?

Comment Use Visual Basic Scripting (Score 1) 426

Use VBS... it was designed to replace batch files and it can do all of the same stuff. Even more, I recon.

After all, 100 million script kiddies can't be wrong. Just make sure the user has the ability to tell the printer to STOP printing test pages and that the vbs doesn't automatically copy itself to all other attached computers on the network...


Submission + - Italian researcher says Spiderman suit possible (

lovesinghal writes: "Italian Professor Nicola Pugno says that "Spiderman-like suits that allow the wearer to scale vertical walls are possible". From the article, "Pugno's formula for such a Spiderman suit uses a nanofabricated version of the natural form of adhesion used by spiders and geckos. Sticky synthetic suits, according to Pugno, could likewise harness capillary and van der Waals forces, as well as custom designed nanoscale forces strong enough to suspend a person on a wall or even hang them from a ceiling." What will you do with it once you get one?"

Submission + - Reversing Casimir force for levitation (

quixote9 writes: "We live in interesting times. From the (UK) Telegraph:

Professor Ulf Leonhardt and Dr Thomas Philbin, from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, have worked out a way of reversing this pheneomenon, known as the Casimir force, so that it repels instead of attracts. Their discovery could ultimately lead to frictionless micro-machines with moving parts that levitate. But they say that, in principle at least, the same effect could be used to levitate bigger objects too, even a person.
More at Dr. Ulf Leonhardt's page on this research."


Submission + - Is it possible to 'spam' a text message poll?

David Sudweeks writes: "First let me say that I would like to discuss the technical aspect of this question; not the political.
After Wednesday night's republican presidential candidates' debate on Fox, a text-message poll opened to determine who was thought to be the winner. As it was in progress, the news commentators suggested that the poll was being 'spammed' by supporters of the candidate who was winning it. Several of those supporters have spoken up recently to say that it wasn't possible to vote more than once. My question is about the possibility, and to a lesser extent, the plausibility of such an occurrence.
Wednesday night "dialing and redialing"
Automated reply to a multiple vote attempt o#5106934267659776466
Thursday "won overwhelmingly"
It may also interest you to know that the results of this poll have not been published to the web as the previous one was. Instead, if you search Google for "new hampshire debate fox poll results" the top result takes you to the South Carolina poll results. The words 'new hampshire' don't appear on the page. And this in spite of the fact that the page description under the link reads: '...Who Won the New Hampshire Republican Debate on the FOX News Channel?'"
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Species for Sale! (

Evolt's RonL. writes: "On 20-Sep-2007, less than two weeks from today, the 'naming rights' to ten new marine species will be auctioned off in Monaco. 'Melanotaenia TacoBellii' anyone? Or how about 'Pseudochromis QuickenLoansorus'? 'Dogfish MichaelVickii'? Okay. I made that last one up. But there *IS* a shark available. 'Hemiscyllium Laser-Headii' anyone? Unfortunately for me, opening bids are all expected to be northwards of $45k. ;-(

Here are the lots being auctioned off"


Submission + - Toshiba has Vista-specific BIOSes for some models

BUL2294 writes: Toshiba has started providing Vista-specific BIOS firmware upgrades that cause problems with Windows XP. Frankly, I think this is very wrong because now a machine is tied to a specific operating system ONLY. According to the article, if you run the Vista v5.00 BIOS with XP, Fn+F1 thru Fn+F9 stop working... What, that couldn't be fixed with a keyboard driver???

For certain models, Toshiba has both XP and Vista BIOSes, but how long before PC manufacturers like Toshiba only put out Vista-specific BIOSes??? Frankly, I have no idea if M$ has a hand in this but would it really surprise anyone? This might explain some peoples' difficulties in getting XP to run on a PC bought with Vista (beyond the basic lack of drivers)...

And what about anyone wanting to run Linux? What about someone who needs to dual-boot between Vista and XP?

Anyway, Toshiba's support document ID# is 98082330. There's no direct link to this support article because the site uses session IDs, but you can get there by going to ome.jsp then click on the 4th article in the "support updates" section called "Fn key combinations may stop working with BIOS version 5.00 or higher, and Windows XP".

(I can also send you a PDF copy of the support article if Slashdot wants to host it... My real e-mail address is in my profile but please don't post it should you post the article...)

Submission + - Did D-Wave really demonstrate a quantum computer?

Qubert writes: Was D-Wave's quantum computer demo last week the real thing? Ars Technica takes a look inside the cold, black box and concludes that whatever was in there, it probably wasn't a 'pure' quantum computer: 'Jumping off the fence, we will say that we think D-Wave demonstrated a real device; however, we think their device is going to set off a debate in the physics community over where the boundary between classical and quantum computation is. At present, quantum computers are "globally phase coherent," which means that every qubit's state is entangled (and therefore correlated) with every other qubit... The D-wave system, however, is certainly not globally phase coherent, which raises the question of whether it is a quantum computer.'

Submission + - Cuba Online

ambanmba writes: The Sydney Morning Herald is running an interesting story about an all-Cuban search engine which among other things lets you trawl through all of Fidel Castro's speeches. The article also has some interesting stats on Internet connectivity on the island. Apparently the island's only link is a "costly satellite channel with only 65 megabytes per second (mbps) for upload and 124 mbps for for download" so please go easy on it.

Submission + - CompUSA Gives Customer 4+ Month Run-around

Andy writes: "I've had an ongoing...adventure...with CompUSA's repair and customer service departments for the last four months, the short version of which is that — two years in a row — they damaged my laptop while repairing it (this second time more than once!) and are dragging their feet in responding to me and replacing the computer their service center damaged. I've tried to handle it privately for four months, but at this point, I'm running out of options and hope that Slashdot can help bring some attention to my troubles and turn the heat up on CompUSA a bit so they'll do the right thing!

In October 2005 I brought my Sony laptop to them for service, and it came back with all the case screws in the wrong places, causing physical damage to the case and a big loose gap in the front edge. Then, a year later, they again returned my laptop to me with incorrect screws, and with a wad of tape wedged between the keyboard and the cooling fan!

That started a saga, still ongoing, with more missing screws, a heat-related video problem, a damaged hinge cover, missing protective covers for the LCD's screws, and four months of broken promises, abysmal customer disservice, and lack of returned calls on all levels from the local store's tech services manager, operations manager, and GM up to the corporate manager of customer service and chief of escalation.

I've posted my story on my blog at (posts are in reverse order, since it's a blog!)

Please help me spread my story, and hold CompUSA responsible for mistreating their customers like this!

— Andy

P.S.-For futher episodes of CompUSA being involved in grossly mishandling repairs, see 5"

Submission + - Journalist arrested for taking photo of CT Governo

reub2000 writes: Journalist Ken Krayeske was arrested for taking a photograph of Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell during a parade. Krayeske a pacifist, was on a list of "potential troublemakers" and his photo had been sent to cops on the parade route.

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Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.