Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


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! ×

Comment Jump RDP (Score 1) 165

When I was working for a small IT shop, I was using Jump RDP to access clients' computers from my tablet when we already had them set up with RDP access. Now, the cool thing about Jump RDP is, for computers without a static IP address, it has a companion app which you install on the computer which uses your email address to negate the need for the static IP. Further, if you don't have RDP set up on a computer for whatever reason, it can install a VNC server, and Jump RDP will connect by that. When I bought it, it only cost me $1. I think there's a free preview version, and I'm not sure if the price of the paid one is the same now, but I've found it to be pretty useful and effective.

The big problem with most remote access solutions for tablets is the user experience. Jump covers this by having a little handle under the mouse cursor you can drag around, instead of having to poke-and-pray, given the imprecise nature of the finger tip.

Submission + - NSA Chief Admits "Only One Or Perhaps Two" Terror Plots Stopped By Spy Program (

schwit1 writes: The Obama administration’s credibility on intelligence suffered another blow Wednesday as the chief of the National Security Agency admitted that officials put out numbers that vastly overstated the counterterrorism successes of the government’s warrantless bulk collection of all Americans’ phone records.

Pressed by Pat Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at an oversight hearing, Gen. Keith B. Alexander admitted that the number of terrorist plots foiled by the NSA’s huge database of every phone call made in or to America was only one or perhaps two — far smaller than the 54 originally claimed by the administration.

Mr. Leahy and Rep. Sensenbrenner, author of the USA Patriot Act, which the government says allows bulk data collection, are working on a bill to roll back that authority.

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper denied that the number of plots foiled should be the sole metric by which the success of the program is measured. “I think there’s another metric here that’s very important. I would call it the ‘peace of mind’ metric.”

I would have more peace-of-mind knowing that perjuring sociopaths like Clapper could not have real-time access to my electronic communications.

Comment Re:It is a MakerBot after all (Score 2) 185

Because vendor support on their forums amounts to "if you're getting curling, your platform isn't leveled correctly". There are various warranty-voiding mods people have made to the Up Mini to make it a passable machine, such as glass build plates, and variable resistors introduced on the thermal sensors so you can TRICK it into going to the temperature you actually want. It seemed like too much work to put into a printer billed as the ultimate solution for someone who just wants to plug it in and go.

Comment Re:It is a MakerBot after all (Score 4, Informative) 185

I had the reverse problem. My Up Mini is virtually useless to me. Firstly, I'm not sure if the build plate is heating adequately, and I can't change that temperature. Secondly, I can't print in PLA to combat curling, since the PLA I can buy just burns in the nozzle and clogs it (and you can't adjust the extruder temperature, either. It has an ABS mode, calibrated for THEIR ABS, and a PLA mode, calibrated for THEIR PLA, which was not available. Both about 30 C higher than the competitors' filament). Thirdly, that damned nine point software levelling system is a pain, and if you get it slightly wrong, you lose your levelling the next time you go to tweak it. Some of my problems with curling and adhesion I can put down to humidity, because I see a lot of steam coming from my Up Mini, a puff of it every couple of seconds. I do live in the tropics, and have no control over the humidity in my house, so I'm resigned to that.

My Replicator 2, on the other hand, although I've only had it a week, I am amazed with it. Even on low quality, it outdoes the best I ever got out of my Up Mini in both speed and overall print quality. I noticed my platform wasn't quite level while I was printing (the raft was getting a little scuffed as the nozzle ran over it), so I tweaked the levelling knobs on the fly (probably shouldn't have, but it worked), twiddled the knobs at each level by feel until the faint tak-tak-tak of the extruder hitting plastic stopped, and the dragon came out fine at 0.2mm layer height. On the Up Mini, every time I screwed up the levelling, that involved cancelling the print, throwing out the wasted plastic, redoing the levelling from scratch, starting it again, and hoping the print sticks and doesn't curl this time. If I had the nozzle close enough to really get the plastic into the perfboard, it would scratch the previous layers on the next layer. If I had it at the right level, there was never enough adhesion on the platform. I just didn't have the patience for it.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: With grants drying up, how is a tech non profit to survive? 2

helios17 writes: Non Profits like this have traditionally gotten started from the money grants provide. Most grants award vehicles, computers and even pay for organization rental and utility costs. The problem fledgling and even established non profits are encountering is the dwindling number of grants allowing for Operating or General Support costs. What good is a vehicle received via grant if you can't afford to put fuel in it?

With the number of Operating or General Support grants shrinking and those available funds competed for heavily, should we be looking on line for help? Can efforts like this be a better way to approach it?"

efforts such as this

Comment Re:Joss Whedon's Star Wars (Score 3, Insightful) 816

No, Joss Whedon is the same as George Lucas: they both work well with supervision. Compare the Firefly comics with the series, so many things are just out of character and wrong in the comics, because Joss was unsupervised.

Compare the old trilogy to the new: When George Lucas was doing the old trilogy, he was a young upstart with a niche artsy film to his name (American Graffiti). He was surrounded by people who weren't afraid to say "No, George, that's a stupid idea". Flash forward to the turn of the century, and you have George Lucas surrounded by sycophants saying "Yes, Mr. Lucas, sir! You're a visionary!"

Joss Whedon's Star Wars would be a bigger disaster than three episodes about Jar Jar.

Comment Unfortunately (Score 3, Insightful) 194

Unfortunately, this has only agitated people who already were against automated copyright filtering and DRM. It's like telling eskimos snow is cold. No, we'll have to wait until the MTV music awards are knocked offline by copyright bots before anybody who didn't already know about them gets wind of it.

Comment Re:Condenced truth for the haters. (Score 1) 1184

Everything that made the first iPhone look distinctive, like the silver borders, prominent home button, the large screen, and the rounded edges, someone else had done first, in the days before prominent touch screens. All of the stylistic similarities of JUST THE HARDWARE between the original Samsung Galaxy S, and the iPhone 3GS were very common Samsung design decisions prior to the release of the iPhone. Everything that made the Samsung Galaxy look like an iPhone, Samsung did before there was an iPhone. About the only thing Samsung did to make the UI more iPhone-like was put more vibrant colours in the icons. The default Google ones were all washed out blue-grey tones.

If you deny this, you are a moron that lacks basic rational facilities, or perhaps never owned a phone before 2007.

Comment Were I dictator: (Score 2) 189

The way I would have the patent system work, were I in a position to change it, is thus:

A patent application would grant five years of exclusivity prior to implementation. If the company implemented the patented idea before the five years expired, this period would end.

The next phase would be a further five years of market protection. No company would be permitted to sell a product or service using this patent for a further five years from market launch of the patentor's idea, without paying appropriate royalties or licensing fees.

If the first period expires without a marketable product being released, nobody gets the market protection. This cuts down on patent-trolls who just store up patents for later weaponisation, and encourages constant innovation and development. Five years is a huge lead time to have on your competition in the market, huge, and to try and snag this five year lead, developers will always want to be the one to launch the next big thing.

Slashdot Top Deals

Too much of everything is just enough. -- Bob Wier