joshamania writes: "My partner and I have just launched a Kickstarter project for our company HiQ automation. Our product, the HiQ iOpener, allows one to activate your existing garage door opener with your Android phone (and iPhone by Q3-Q4). What geeks might be interested in though is that you can activate anything carrying less than 1 amp of current. Our app is designed for garage doors, but Daisyworks has an OSS app that will work with the same chip we use to trigger the relay(s)."
joshamania writes: "Can we please stop flogging this dead horse? Microsoft made this exact same argument about linux about a decade ago and it was bollocks then and it's bollocks now. I've a startup with a partner and we're going to develop bluetooth enabled devices for android and iPhone. These journalista hacks keep regurgitating this tripe and I think it's about time that people who know what's what tell the truth. Fragmentation is a lie. It's FUD, pure and simple. We're smart people, we can figure out how to make this work, naysayers be damned."
joshamania writes: "A little over a year ago I ditched my 46" TheaterWide projection and went to 100% media consumption via my personal computer. I listen to music, watch TV, movies, game, etc, all on a 24" widescreen computer monitor. The monitor I have is fantastic and I've been considering getting a new one...this thing is about 4-5 years old now...and switching my 24" to be my crap 20" second monitor. The 24" has been great, but I want something bigger now. I've looked around the past few weeks and have seen some interesting products but I really don't know what the best solution is. Best Buy doesn't sell a single TV with a DVI connection. A local geek told me don't worry, there's HDMI, and perhaps I"m missing something, but I have DVI coming out of my video card, not HDMI. I would prefer native connections to having to convert something. Also I shouldn't forget that I'm an avid gamer. So what is the best monitor or TV to buy? It doesn't need to be huge, but at least 30". Do refresh rates made a difference? Are the 3D glasses setup worth it? I'd be satisfied with 1920x1080 but more is cool. And please nobody post the 30" computer monitors with the 700:1 contrast ratio. *wince*"
joshamania writes: "A few months ago I closed my company and switched careers. For four years I provided technical assistance to small businesses that could not afford or did not need a full time IT staff but did need someone who could handle everything a larger company takes for granted. The money was great, the hours were flexible, but in the end, the whole experience turned out to be unsatisfying. Just before I closed up shop a buddy of mine had told me about a job he got working in manufacturing and about using "robots that shoot fire". For weeks that vision stuck in my head until I decided it was a sign, closed up shop and moved to a more active manufacturing city. I pestered a small steel fabrication plant for a few months until they finally broke down and gave me a job making maybe a third of what I could easily be making in some corporate office-space hell...and I couldn't be happier.
These days I sleep like a stone at night, I cut steel like it's butter, my days at work literally disappear...hours go by in the blink of an eye. I cannot remember ever having this much fun getting paid, however little it may be now. I thought perhaps the sheen would wear off after a while but it hasn't and the job gets better every day. I'm now responsible for two robots, soon to add a third, as well as the computers and network of the company. It shall not be long before the pay bump comes, but that will only be gravy.
I want slashdotters to know that on-the-shop-floor manufacturing jobs are there to be had for people with good technical skill. Many of you may think that you are stuck in cubicle hell for the rest of your careers, but it doesn't have to be that way. Manufacturing companies are sorely lacking in skilled technical people. They have many folks that are skilled in material fabrication, shaping steel, plastic and ceramics into the products we use every day, but little in the way of in-depth computer knowledge. The folks they do have with computer knowledge generally stick to their computers and don't get directly involved directly in manufacturing.
In any decently sized industrial town there are probably dozens of small manufacturers that can really use the skills you have on the shop floor. If you're a person who likes to work with machines and who is looking for *something else* I highly recommend looking at factory work. There may be a dozen companies within about fifty miles of most of you readers that would love to buy modern robots and machine tools but cannot for lack of technicians to operate them, to maintain them and to make them work to their fullest potential. My current employer, if not for me, would lose months of manufacturing time on these new multi-thousand or multi-million dollar machine tools if they did not have me around to make them sing. It doesn't kill me that I'm learning a new skilled trade for free either.
How many other slashdotters out there have recently taken the plunge and ditched traditional IT work? Has it worked out as well for you as it has for me? The opportunities are out there you just have to go out and take them."