Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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 Timex Sinclar 2068 (Score 1) 857

Though since the Timex Sinclar 2068 was borrowed and easily confused (try nesting 5 for loops) I am not sure it really counts as my first home computer, especially since it could not connect to anything other that the tape player and cartridges I had.

The first one I bought was a Tandy Computer 2, with a multi-pack interface, dot matrix printer and an external dual floppy, used of course. OS/9 was a pretty cool compared to DOS and Deskmate was a neat interface. I used this to program, connect to BBS systems (where I met many people) and university computers at 300 baud. I had a basic word processor on this for papers, and handed it down to my parents who wrote an unpublished book on it.

The next one was a Tandy 1000 TL, a 286SX (that's right half the bus) with a blazing 1200 baud modem, 3.5 inch floppy and a 40 MB hard drive, monitor and a Dot Matrix Printer for $3500 new. I expanded the RAM to 786K to give video more space, and bought my first online purchase for this the 80287 math co-processor. Found a guy online selling them, I mailed him a check, he mailed me the chip. Real trust there. I used the modem to transfer the book off of the COCO2 to this computer and imported it into Word Perfect. Connected to the university computers to do coding assignments and play games, downloaded stuff as well as uploaded my first shareware (now freeware) to reset the Tandy Graphics to normal mode. Most third party developers did not know the assembly required to get out of Tandy graphics properly, so I got the system manual with all the details and created a program you could run in a batch after you exit programs like Fractint to reset the graphics, if you didn't reset, they were all weird when you opened something like Word Perfect. I wrote my own password based access system on this, preventing my roommate from playing games on the PC while I was at work and insisting he gets time to use it for homework when I got home. I sold this whole system online to a collector. He ended up playing for 90% of the shipping, I lost 10% of the shipping in the deal. Used 3.5 inch floppy to transfer my parent's book to a Windows PC and convert to Word, it is still unpublished, not for the lack of trying.

Comment Re:password safe (Score 1) 415

Me too. There are Windows, IOS and Mac versions so I can use 1 passwordsafe database across all 6 devices that need it. I have my parents using it, as well as my in-laws.
Every site gets a random password that meets their criteria. Once you get used to not knowing your passwords, the stress goes away. Often used ones get memorized even if they are random.

Comment Imagine airline use! (Score 1) 385

The flight attendants will have to start checking that you have a wire to your headphones more than they do now.
For those that buy the iPhone 7, you're out of luck for listening while flying, unless there is an adapter.

I was considering getting the last one with a headphone jack and trying to wait it out until the jack is returned.
Maybe I'll have to go Android to get the usage model I want. I fly weekly, and noise cancelling headphones are my standard attire, they require a jack.

Submission + - Canadian Man Invented A Wheel That Can Make Cars Move Sideways (

An anonymous reader writes: Canadian man William Liddiard invented a wheel that allows vehicles to move sideways. "True all-way drive for anything with wheels," Liddiard says in an online writeup for his successful prototype of "omni-directional" wheels. They consist of a specialized roller-equipped rim that can move horizontally and a tire that is rounded like a donut. "This is a world first bolt-on application for anything with wheels," wrote Liddiard. "Now you can drive in all directions, and turn on the spot, when needed." His demo video titled "you've never seen a car do this...," has received more than 1.1 million views since it was uploaded on May 10th. The wheels are a "proof of concept" prototype right now, but Liddiard says the design would allow them to be made as durable and safe as standard automotive wheels. Omni-directional wheels are nothing new, though they are typically only used in wheelchairs, robotics and other small-scale applications. Honda Motor Co. debuted an omni-directional wheel at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, but it wasn't for a full-sized car — it was for a Segway-style mobility device. "My wheel can hold ten times more than the other [wheels], while maintaining speed," Liddiard told Postmedia in an interview earlier this year. He's currently trying to sell his invention to a major tire or automotive company.

Comment Too bad the article was wrong... (Score 2) 500

The Guardian reporting on tech seems not to be good. They reported that Windows 10 installed automatically, when actually it was an update to an installation of Windows 10 that already existed.

The Twitch stream clearly shows that he had Windows 10 installed already.
It then shows him looking for a way to delay the upgrade...

Comment vetting is and always was BS, then? (Score 2) 85

Due to their original design and the use of Objective C, yes.

Their screening process consists of scanning code for using "undocumented" system calls that are restricted for Apple's use only.
Obfuscate those system call strings and you have now bypassed the screening process (ala: XcodeGhost)
Too bad they can't stop it, until they move every app to Swift (now you know why they created a new language).
Even if they could crack every system call string alteration an app could do, the app could request the system call string from a server, and execute it on the fly and get around the scan.

There is probably more to the screening process, but I am doubting there is much more to it.

Comment Re:Kickstarter (Score 1) 47

If the statement "first successful collision attack" were true, then I would put money into that Kickstarter.

But, if you follow the links, you'll find that they only partially succeeded on the collision in just the compression section of SHA-1. There's a lot more work to be done to make this into an actual SHA-1 collision. Their estimate of a full collision by the end of the year is overly optimistic.

The Kickstarter would have some cash, that would be quickly drained without a full collision in sight. So, I'll have to pass on giving it any of my cash.

Comment Re:Mobile Ads (Score 1) 46

The Adblock Browser on IOS makes Slashdot readable on iPhones (and I assume Android).

They just released it last week. I stopped reading on mobile for the same reason. Now I can do it again.

Be sure to search for "Adblock Browser" in Apple's horrendous search for their app store.

Comment 2012 gaming rig (Score 1) 558

Main PC for the house. Office apps, Backup host for all other PCs, Skype, Music, Photo library, Video Editing, Gaming

Windows 7 x64
HP Pavilion Tower
2nd Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3930K six-core processor [3.2GHz, Shared 12MB Cache]
256GB Solid state drive
1TB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive
3GB AMD Radeon HD 7950 [Dual Bracket, DVI, HDMI, 2x mini-DP]
Liquid Cooling Solution
Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner
Wireless-N LAN card (1x1)
15-in-1 memory card reader, 4 x USB 2.0 (front), 2 x USB 3.0 (top)
HP 2711x 27 inch Diagonal LED Monitor
HP HD-4110 Webcam
Bose Companion 2.0 Speakers
Razer Naga Mouse
Razer Black Widow Ultimate Keyboard
Logitech Mouse
Logitech Wireless Headset H800
Belkin Nostromo Speedpad n52

Submission + - The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper 1

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Joel Werner writes in Slate that when Citicorp Center was built in 1977 it was, at 59 stories, the seventh-tallest building in the world but no one figured out until after it was built that although the chief structural engineer, William LeMessurier, had properly accounted for perpendicular winds, the building was particularly vulnerable to quartering winds — in part due to cost-saving changes made to the original plan by the contractor. "According to LeMessurier, in 1978 an undergraduate architecture student contacted him with a bold claim about LeMessurier’s building: that Citicorp Center could blow over in the wind," writes Werner. "LeMessurier realized that a major storm could cause a blackout and render the tuned mass damper inoperable. Without the tuned mass damper, LeMessurier calculated that a storm powerful enough to take out the building hit New York every 16 years." In other words, for every year Citicorp Center was standing, there was about a 1-in-16 chance that it would collapse.

LeMessurier and his team worked with Citicorp to coordinate emergency repairs. With the help of the NYPD, they worked out an evacuation plan spanning a 10-block radius. They had 2,500 Red Cross volunteers on standby, and three different weather services employed 24/7 to keep an eye on potential windstorms. Work began immediately, and continued around the clock for three months. Welders worked all night and quit at daybreak, just as the building occupants returned to work. But all of this happened in secret, even as Hurricane Ella, the strongest hurricane on record in Canadian waters, was racing up the eastern seaboard. The hurricane became stationary for about 24 hours, and later turned to the northeast away from the coast. Hurricane Ella never made landfall. And so the public—including the building’s occupants—were never notified.

Until his death in 2007, LeMessurier talked about the summer of 1978 to his classes at Harvard. The tale, as he told it, is by turns painful, self-deprecating, and self-dramatizing--an engineer who did the right thing. But it also speaks to the larger question of how professional people should behave. "You have a social obligation," LeMessurier reminded his students. "In return for getting a license and being regarded with respect, you're supposed to be self-sacrificing and look beyond the interests of yourself and your client to society as a whole."

Slashdot Top Deals

Nothing succeeds like excess. -- Oscar Wilde