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Wireless Networking

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How to wirelessly monitor my old analogue utility meters? 3

SoftwarePearls writes: Ever since our water company hit us with a shock water bill that was about five times the average, and completely inexplicable (by all adults in the household, hint) I've wanted to install a wireless monitoring system that would monitor our last century analogue water, gas and electricity meters so that I could run some software on my PC that would swiftly alert me when there's any sign of abnormal consumption. The monitoring would have to sample at least a few times per day, ideally every 5-10 minutes. Our utility meters are in a dark, humid, spiderweb-infested basement. Has any Slashdotter come up with a cheap, reliable mechanism? Do I need to become an Arduino wizard to achieve my simple goal?

Submission + - How to cheaply spy on your own utility meters? 1

SoftwarePearls writes: With all the talk and article inches focusing on why smart utility meters may be a privacy hazard, I would actually love to be able to monitor my ageing analog utility meters and turn them into "private smart" meters. Has anyone created a workable solution which produces at least daily measurements which can be monitored on your PC.. without having to dive into a dark, damp, scary cellar? ;-) I'm thinking of a really cheap webcam + light + controller + wireless solution, but am very open to alternatives.

Submission + - Millions of SSNs lifted from South Carolina database (

another random user writes: If you live in South Carolina, there's a very good chance that slipshod state government security has allowed an overseas computer criminal to acquire your Social Security number.

The South Carolina Department of Revenue acknowledged the massive electronic security breach today, saying an electronic intrusion led to 3.6 million Social Security numbers being stolen. The state's population is approximately 4.7 million.

"We are taking immediate steps to protect the taxpayers of South Carolina, including providing one year of credit monitoring and identity protection to those affected," Gov. Nikki Haley said in a statement.

Anyone who has filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998 — including former residents who have since moved out of the state — is being urged to call (866) 578-5422 to enroll in a consumer protection service and visit

Submission + - Terrestial hermit crabs learning social tricks, thanks to natural selection ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: When it comes to abandoned snail shells that hermit crabs expropriate as mobile homes, size matters, for room to grow, room for eggs, and protection from predators. UC Berkeley evolutionary biologist Mark Laidre found that terrestrial hermit crabs on the Pacific shore of Costa Rica congregate in aggressive swap meets where one crab is forced from a relatively large shell, whereupon the rest trade up (one loser and multiple winners, pretty good odds). The loser gets the smallest shell, which means likely doom. Laidre and his colleagues note that most hermit crabs live in the ocean, where there are usually enough abandoned shells to go around so most can live, well, hermit-like lives without much interaction with fellow crabs. Not so on land, at least in Costa Rica.

Submission + - Does Coding Style Matter?

theodp writes: Over at Smashing Magazine, Nicholas C. Zakas makes the case for Why Coding Style Matters. 'Coding style guides are an important part of writing code as a professional,' Zakas concludes. 'Whether you're writing JavaScript or CSS or any other language, deciding how your code should look is an important part of overall code quality. If you don't already have a style guide for your team or project, it's worth the time to start one.' So, how are coding style guidelines working (or not) in your world?

Comment Powerless, my backside (Score 2) 328

"Largely powerless to resist"... what a load of trash. Just let them try, and see what kind of "powerless resistance" comes back at them. These are fascist laws.. and here in Europe, we've learned a lesson or two on that subject which makes us less inclined to raise our right arm to the furher again.

Submission + - tool: CollectionSpy (

SoftwarePearls writes: It's not everyday Java sees a new profiler launched for it. CollectionSpy is a profiler that limits its focus to Java's Collections Framework containers. We've all run into problems with HashMaps, LinkedLists, HashSets and so on, so hopefully this tool helps us move beyond the painful primitiveness of having to use a plain debugger or profiler to tackle such bug scenarios. CollectionSpy features pretty impressive detection of hashing container corruption due to mutating keys, and the real-time animation of API accesses looks like nothing you've ever seen before in another profiler.

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