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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 9 declined, 1 accepted (10 total, 10.00% accepted)

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Wireless Networking

Submission + - Remote temperature monitoring solutions for a lab?

datapharmer writes: I handle IT for a small research laboratory that has quite a few incubators. As anyone who has worked in a lab knows, the temperature displays on even expensive incubators just can't be trusted. As a result a lab technician must manually check the temperature of each incubator twice daily to make sure we are meeting our regulatory requirements. Since I know temperature, humidity, etc is measured in datacenters and server environments I was hoping fellow slashdotters could suggest a cost effective remote monitoring solution. The requirements are accuracy within .1 degree C, must not interfere with the incubator (so wireless is a plus but a remote probe is fine too), must record the temperatures over time in a central location, and must alert someone remotely if it goes out of a preset range (an email or sms would be fine). So slashdotters, any ideas that won't break the bank?

Submission + - Google's self driving car crashes (jalopnik.com)

datapharmer writes: "We've all read previous stories on slashdot about Google's driverless car, and some have even pondered if a crash would bring the end to robotic cars. For better or for worse, we will all find out soon, as the inevitable has occurred. The question remains — who is to blame. A Google spokesperson told business insider that "Safety is our top priority. One of our goals is to prevent fender-benders like this one, which occurred while a person was manually driving the car.""

Submission + - Google gives users a holiday gift (google.com)

datapharmer writes: Google has decided to donate $20 million USD to charities this holiday season since "charities are experiencing their toughest year in decades". The gift is said to be to "everyone" from Google and was distributed as an e-mail message to gmail users that states in part "As we near the end of the year, we wanted to take a moment to thank you for the time, energy, commitment, and trust you've shared with us in 2009.

With sharing in mind, this year we've decided to do something a little different. We hope you'll find it fits the spirit of the holiday season." The email links to a happy holidays from google website that explains what they are doing for the holidays and why. Adblock users take note, you will need to disable your blocker to view the message.

The list of intended recipients includes:
        * Feeding America
        * Boys and Girls Clubs
        * Smile Train
        * CARE, Mothers Matter
        * World Wildlife Fund, Natural Capital Project
        * Mobile Creches
        * Prajwala
        * HEAL Africa
        * African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

        * The Mango Tree
        * National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
        * Harlem Children's Zone
        * Save the Children, Latin America focus
        * Reporters Without Borders
        * Witness
        * Loud Against Nazis
        * Global Voices

        * Ushahidi
        * Save the Children, Middle East and Eurasia focus
        * Grupo Cultural Afro Reaggae
        * Ashesi University College, Ghana
        * Pratham
        * Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience
        * Shin Shin Educational Foundation
        * Tzu Chi Foundation


Submission + - UF Emergency message system hacked

datapharmer writes: According the The Independent Florida Alligator a "Mystery Message" was sent by text message to University of Florida students and employees last night around 8:45PM EST. The message read "The Monkey is out of the Cage." and was apparently sent through the Mobile Campus text system that was setup to send out emergency alerts.

While the motivation behind the message is unclear, some speculate that the message might have referred to President Barack Obama since the message was received during the inaugural ball. Gainesville Police are in the process of investigation the source of the message and the Mobile Campus system has been shutdown during until the source can be identified.
The Internet

Submission + - Award Winning vlogger murdered (aliveinbaghdad.org)

datapharmer writes: Award winning vlogger Ali Shafeya Al-Moussawi was shot 31 times Late Friday night in Iraq. he was 23 years old.
For those of you who haven't heard of Ali, he was part of the Alive in Baghdad project, which swept the awards at the first vloggies with 6 awards including best vlog. Their videos have been featured on the BBC, CNN, Sky News, Fox, ABC, PBS and many other networks. Most recently they won the international weblog awards.
Details of Ali's death are still a bit unclear at this point, but at 11:30pm Baghdad time Friday, Iraqi National Guard forces raided the street where Ali's house is, one of the neighbors heard a gun firing after 15 minutes from the arrival of the Iraqi National Guard convoy to the street, the force left at 3:00am. His neighbors kept calling Ali's phone and it was switched off all the time, so they called his cousin Amar because he lives one block away from where Ali lives.
Amar arrived in Ali's house and found Ali shoot dead in the living room, Amar called the Iraqi Police and told them the story as he heard it from Ali's neighbors. At 8:30 am Baghdad time the Iraqi Police took Ali's body to the morgue, his two uncles received the body at 10:00am and they headed to Najaf to bury him.
Amar said the neighbor who lives in the front of his house was shot dead too during that raid, the guy's name is Hussein and he is 26 years old. He was in his place along with his brother and nephew. The brother and the nephew disappeared after the convoy left.
The morgue report says that Ali took 31 bullets between the chest and the head and died immediately. He will be missed and remembered. His two brothers were killed in the Firdos Square bombing in 2005. He is survived by his mother and sister. Alive in Baghdad is collecting donations for his family to help pay for the funeral.


Submission + - Google News Doesn't Censor

datapharmer writes: I went to read google news today and was greeted by a penis. Yes, a penis. Apparently google doesn't believe in censorship (except in China). The story is on STDs. I can understand that it relates to genitals. I don't need a visual to remind me. I understand that censorship is bad, but couldn't they at least use a default filter like they do on their websearches? After all — think of the children!
A screen capture of the offending image in context can be seen below.

Note: the following link may not be work safe!
screen capture.

Submission + - Google Click2Call Gone! (google.com)

datapharmer writes: Using Google Local today I had a disappointing discovery: Click2Call was gone! For those of you who don't use google local, click2call allowed you to enter your phone number and have google call you and connect you to a business for free. It is great for those of us living without unlimited long distance. I use it quite a bit to check on internet orders from smaller businesses, and even locally instead of dialing the number manually.

Hopefully this is temporary and has not been completely scrapped by google. Perhaps there is a connection between this and their acquisition of GrandCentral?


Submission + - How do I deal with a client that won't pay?

datapharmer writes: In February I did a network installation for a bookstore that is part of a very large chain. The work was subcontracted out to me by contingent.net under the terms net 60. This was mutually agreed upon and I have dealt with these terms before without problem. Unfortunately contingent is the exception, and after sending multiple invoices and making several calls which have gone unreturned I am out of patience. My next step is to go to court, but I would prefer to avoid this if possible. Slashdotters — have you ever had an out of state client that wouldn't pay? What did you do?
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - Apple LED Screens Matte finish only

datapharmer writes: Apparently Apple's press release and specs are a little misleading. In a recent conversation with an "Apple Expert" I was informed that only the Matte version of the 15" Macbook Pro is LED the Glossy finish is still CCFL! This will likely upset many of those who rushed out to buy a new Macbook Pro hoping to get better battery-life from the new LED screen. This may also explain the pricing glitches that were occurring after the announcement that showed savings of $150 (or $135 for the education store) when a glossy screen was selected. The glitch only occurred when selecting options and the confirmation screen reflected the standard pricing.

According to Apple's Website:

"The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is better for the environment, thanks to its new mercury-free display. Backlit by light emitting diodes (LEDs), the display weighs less and is more power efficient than the cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) which most notebooks employ, and provides full brightness immediately after the system is turned on."

This is very different from what I was told by an "Apple Expert" (excerpt from conversation):

Apple Expert: Are you considering the MacBook Pro?

Me: yes

Me: The 15"

Apple Expert: I recommend the new LED display 15" MacBook Pro.

Apple Expert: It is matte finish, however, the advantages are significant.

Apple Expert: The new 15-inch MacBook Pro models feature a brand-new, power-efficient LED-backlit display and are the first of Apple's notebooks to transition to LED backlighting as part of the company's effort to eliminate the use of mercury in its products.

Me: so the glossy 15" isn't LED?

Apple Expert: Also...

Apple Expert: It's lighter, brighter, draws less power, and is instantly full brightness when Me power up.

Me: so the LED is only matte finish?

Apple Expert: I am really sorry for keeping Me waiting, I'll be just another moment.

Me: no problem

Apple Expert: The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is better for the environment, thanks to its new mercury-free display. Backlit by light emitting diodes (LEDs), the display weighs less and is more power efficient than the cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) which most notebooks employ, and provides full brightness immediately after the system is turned on.

Apple Expert: Yes, the LED backlit is in matte only.

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