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Comment Nope (Score 2) 49

Thanks, but no thanks. Honeywell (and others) have put a lot of R&D and solid engineering into their sensors (door, window, motion, glass-break, running water, etc) and there are already "convenient" standards like z-wave for home automation.
Honeywell systems like the L5100 are dead easy install, and very easy.

BUT they suffer from this cloud service business. Ulgh? No. Cloud functionality is fine, but not when used for lock in. The honeywell system has a great mobile phone app? But You Must Subscribe to their service at $10-$20/mo. No thanks.

What I would fund on kickstarter would be some kind of open interface or open firmware for these. Ideally the low level stuff we leave alone, because it works well, and just dress up the front-end. It needs to be open source.

No need to reinvent the wheel with modules and sensors at this stage. That comes later so we can have free hardware, also.

Anyone know of any open firmware replacements for anything like the L5100?

Comment Re:I do have a question about this ..... (Score 1) 372

I believe this is intel's "NGFF" or "Next Gen Form Factor" -- I think the trade name is now m.2 . This format which apparently is a hybrid pcie-e and sata form factor. I guess the electrical signals are there for sata? But these devices can operate at pci-e x2 or x4.

Look familiar?

Apple seems to have their own "extra long" variety (maybe) -- possibly to get at capacities around 1tb?


New Hardware Models Highlight Nintendo's No-Transfer Policy 116

An article at Wired discusses the difficulties involved in transferring games that were purchased and downloaded online when users replace their Wii or DSi. "Neither the Wii nor Nintendo’s portable DSi consoles have an upgrade path for downloadable content, since games are tied not to user accounts but to specific machines. It’s impossible for a user to copy content from an old console to a new one. Even some Wii owners whose machines have malfunctioned said it was difficult, or impossible, to get Nintendo to transfer the software licenses at its headquarters." One gamer, who bought the recently released black Wii console, explained that she got Nintendo to transfer her games, but needed to "mail both of her Wii consoles to Nintendo, and wait two weeks," hardly a convenient solution.

World's Smallest Superconductor Discovered 72

arcticstoat writes "One of the barriers to the development of nanoscale electronics has potentially been eliminated, as scientists have discovered the world's smallest superconductor. Made up of four pairs of molecules, and measuring just 0.87nm, the superconductor could potentially be used as a nanoscale interconnect in electronic devices, but without the heat and power dissipation problems associated with standard metal conductors."

Comment Re:Microsoft the tar-baby (Score 2, Interesting) 215

I once emailed RHovespain @ Novell because I saw a tremendous opportunity for Novell -- to be the SUSE/Ubuntu of the small business world. I was very excited about SLES / SLED and the possibilities for our small business customers (who typically use SBS2003 and now SBS2008). To have something like eBox/samba/ldap in one box with a well-maintained package repository.. seamless virtualization for legacy apps.. Their press releases were making me really excited with the possibilities. All the pieces exist independently, pretty much... All Novell has to do is put the pieces together.

The Novell website for potential enthusiasts like me was nigh impossible to navigate. I spent the better part of 2 days buring about 11 CDs (no DVD distribution was available) of SLES/SLED 10 and after that.. being thoroughly underwhelmed. I basically wanted SBS in a box (something for file serving, something for intranet, ldap, workstation management and exchange type functionality) and seemed to be advertised as such (with groupwise) but I just couldn't make it materialize after playing with it for a couple days. I lost interest after that.

The point is that Novell very much has missed the boat in terms of knowing what their would-be customers want.. While it would have been easy to anticipate the licensing snafu I don't think this would have been a real problem especially if this was prelude to tighter integration with microsoft stuff. That certainly would have been an easier pill for businesses to swallow, I think, if they could have their "business in a box" app.

I would like to see the Novell name on a such product that appeals to small businesses and certainly they could make this happen on a modest budget with the talent they still employ.


Science Unlocks The Mystery Of Belly Button Lint 161

After three years of research, including examining 503 pieces of fluff from his own belly button, Georg Steinhauser has discovered a type of body hair that traps stray pieces of lint and draws them into the navel. Dr Steinhauser's observations showed that "small pieces of fluff first form in the hair and then end up in the navel at the end of the day." Chemical analysis revealed the pieces of fluff were not just made up of cotton from clothing. Wrapped up in the lint were also flecks of dead skin, fat, sweat and dust. Unfortunately, further study has failed to yield a hair or fiber that would give Dr. Steinhauser the last three years of his life back.

Comment Not mentioned is 32 - 64 bit frustrations (Score 1, Interesting) 496

FTA: A testing of XP to Vista to Windows 7 on a custom-built desktop ... went smoothly.

This is a bit of a lie. They are keeping 32 bit versions the whole way through. There is NO upgrade migration path across major architecture boundaries as there was with Windows Old (tm) to Windows 386/3.1 to Windows 95 to Windows XP. To go from 32 bit to 64 bit is just not possible, and with a lot of oems STIL selling 32 bit Vista.. WTF.

I guess 32 bit makes sense with the whole netbook/reduced footprint PCs but for those of us with a "serious" workstation budget, that are spending money on IT, Windows is looking more like a toy/pretend OS than ever. We need a serious OS that does complicated things fast and without a lot of headache in a business enviornment. Businesses like us are probably driving the upper end of the market because We Have Things To Do that need the horsepower, but Microsoft I guess is focused on the low end now?

In retrospect it makes a bit of sense if you think of it like this: If you have a 75 year old grandma computer illiterate type (that has never used XP), with The Ultimate Rig, Windows Vista probably is great. It probably does everything they want, and this description certainly fits the description of those "Mohave" folks in the MS ads..

Unfortunately for those of us that depend on our PCs for our livelihood, and enjoy heavy lifting with our Rigs.. Vista is not the best choice for a variety of reasons I'm sure everyone already knows. Those of us in need of more than 4gb of ram-- hell! a reliable OS that can be up for more than a few days!-- are feeling a bit left in the cold with Vista. I don't think it is possible some theme tweaks and bundled programs would please both me and grandma (vista home vis a vis vista business)

We did (attempted) some test migrations from 64 bit vista to 64 bit seven and.. well.. the installer made no attempt to do anything upgrade-like. In fact it moved all profiles, windows folder and program files folders into windows.old and that is about it. It is likely they expect mass deployments in this type of enviornment... but it would be nice if they were up front about that sort of thing.

Incompatible drivers are just the tip of the iceberg. I don't think these people did anything with 64 bit windows. Maybe 64 bit is not meant for any home user?

Smart people should be working at Microsoft. This whole situation is astonishingly dumb. They are one of the few companies on earth with the resources and expertise to make driver problems like this a non-issue. How many hundred man-years of compatibility work for dos apps/older apps went into windows 95? This is no different now.

Who, that knew what they were doing, retired? (lol)

PC Games (Games)

Second GTA IV Patch Released, Early Look At DLC 41

IllusionMPN notes that a new patch has been issued for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV. It primarily contains bug fixes and optimization changes, though it's created an issue with some input devices. We're also starting to get hands-on previews of the upcoming downloadable "episodic content," The Lost and the Damned. Trailers and an achievement list are available as well. The original game's Niko Bellic won't have much of a role in the new content.

Comment Re:Slashdot == The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf (Score 1) 328

Thousands of our clients had another showstopping problem: Compatibility.

These are not home users.. these are business users. You'd be surprised how many small to smallish shops are running custom stuff, or 5 to 10 year old Line-of-Business software. Guess what? Compatibility still doesn't seem to be there in Windows 7. It seems in our beta testing Anyone who stuck with or downgraded from XP for compatibility reasons is going to continue to have the same compatibility issues.

For Clients who have wanted to invest time and effort into us working with vendors to get their apps working on vista 64-- A lot of grotesque crashes can be traced to stupid stuff. For example the SendTo folder is gone, moved somewhere else.. but there is some kind of quasi-folder in place of SendTo that some installers work with and others bomb out. Renaming the SendTo special folder and replacing it with a normal folder works just fine. If this were a linux-style hardlink the installer wouldn't crash. Instead it appears to be some sort of bastardized NTFS hardlink type abomination. Program compat. tab seems to have no effect on these "special" folders. (Special in the sense here as clinically retarded.)

So windows 7 doesn't seem to be much help in that regard in our testing, so far.

Do you know how much work went into dos compatibility in windows 95? How much pure compatibility testing? That is what needs to happen here, and certainly hasn't. There is a bug in SimCity for DOS to do with allocating freeing some ram, then immediately trying to read it. Early versions of '95 would reclaim the memory immediately, causing SimCity to crash... well, MS added a bit of code in there to check to see if it was SimCity and if so the memory was not reclaimed immediately.

Seems like there has been a shift inside MS from the pragmatists to the idealists.


How To Adopt 10 'Good' Unix Habits 360

An anonymous reader writes to mention an article at the IBM site from earlier this week, which purports to offer good Unix 'habits' to learn. The ten simple suggestions may be common sense to the seasoned admin, but users with less experience may find some helpful hints here. From the article: "Quote variables with caution - Always be careful with shell expansion and variable names. It is generally a good idea to enclose variable calls in double quotation marks, unless you have a good reason not to. Similarly, if you are directly following a variable name with alphanumeric text, be sure also to enclose the variable name in square brackets ([]) to distinguish it from the surrounding text. Otherwise, the shell interprets the trailing text as part of your variable name -- and most likely returns a null value."

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