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 Great Q&A very relevant answers (Score 4, Insightful) 102

I really enjoyed the straight forward answers and the precise thought that went into them.

1. The core solution being "dendrite" free plating of the anode and solid "not" liquid electrolyte

2. The problem of current batteries being the "highly" flammable organic electrolyte

3. The catastrophy being an exploit of dendrites discharging (due to a short circuit) so fast the electrolyte is "ignited"

4. The direct point about the new Patent lawyers "being" more competent than before, and "exclusive" licensing being deliberately "eliminated"

5. He did not bury the Sodium battery tech that will follow up two years [after] this hits the market.. which will be almost immediate.. its just a matter of ramp up

6. He was flat out honest that the [key] was new plating tech.. that did not exist.. before.. that is what made the breakthrough possible.. it wasn't some random insight.. they knew exactly what the problem was all along.. it was a materials science problem.

I was also taken by his generosity and personal interest in "changing the world" for the better.. without demonizing anything as it is currently done.. he is a spot on solid scientist first.. and a pretty dedicated one at that.

The comment on energy density [never] eclipsing that of fossil fuels was also very honest.. but nevertheless practical.. seeing as how its a lot easier to transport electromotive force over long distances than messy fossil fuels.. and to maintain machines that convert that potential into kinetic energy at high efficiencies "much much" easier.. than the "chemical manufacturing plants on wheels".

He deftly moved from topic to topic like a political "Wizard" unseen since Richard Feynman's days.

Comment H-1B Visas for Americans only ? (Score 1) 318

Why not try "importing" cheap labor from other parts of the US?

I mean sponsoring "immigrants" from lower paid workers from surrounding states.. paying them less than those already conditioned to the higher life style cost of living in California.

I think its pretty much the same solution as fixing wages for peoples incoming to the US or just moving around the US is.. about the same thing.

The H-1B visa unintentionally set a "fixed" Lower Maximum Wage.. the terms Wage contract meant if they needed to downsize they did not have to give the employee or make notice in the news or press.. two big benefits to companies seeking to control wages and headcount.

Comment Shelltop that's good enough and Right price point (Score 2) 126

I think for most people this will be an incredibly good deal.

The screen resolution is not great, but its good enough and will serve aging using and younger people ourside the Narrow 25-32 agre group quite well.

The point is your phone is a tether taxed, flash drive and quick access touch device. Its not a laptop.

The 'Shelltop' is a light weight cell phone "dongle" that is quick to setup, light weight, smaller than a Huge screen Retina Cinerama that weighs in like an MacBook Pro.. and it just more practical.

Its like 3.5 mm head phones, you don't have to worry about what it does and does not work with.. just plug in the USB-C or the now included USB-A full sized USB port and you instantly have a [wired and reliable] full screen display and multi-touch track pad.

You also don't have to worry about the App gap, which the MacOS, iOS, Windows and Linux continuum wannabe's try to say are not important. Their Walled gardens with payware and adware supported desktop apps.. simply the model is inverted and contained. If you want that adware supported stuff.. the app has in app purchases.. but its contained within the app.. app-walled.

Scaling is also something people forget about. Teamviewer and other web session tools will "Scale" a desktop over whatever you have.. same with this.. you can make it larger, or smaller to best ustilize your available pixels.

This is not for building a Gamers PC with a Wall of LCD monitors.. its for tanking those Hulktops that strain the straps on your undesized Backpack.

I for one would like to skip Scoliosis of the Spine.

Comment Re:Not making any sense to me (Score 1) 299

That is an interesting ideal.

Intereference patterns being a rotation out of phase with the observable universe.

Just as electric fields and magenetic fields oscillate in perpendicular directions to a line of travel.

An interference pattern could be another direction in which we know little about.

Comment Scan Tailor is Opensource, Fopydo for capture (Score 1) 122

On the path to essential we all take a few detours to learn things.. one of my favorite 'sayings'.

Scan Tailor fits your original description and price range.

There is a GitHub site for downloading the installer, works on Windows 7 for me, but I see no limitations to prevent it from working on OSX or Linux.

The documentation isn't great, but the software is very good, quite on par with most of the BookDrive or BookScanner types of programs.

Digital Book Collecting, or Scanning or Ripping depending on how you prefer to call the process; is basically two things:

1. Capture
2. Post processing

Capture is usually to a series of TIFF files, which are lossless compressed images files, sometimes people compile those direct into PDF files, but are usually not satisfied with the size or the results.

So the "gold standard" is direct to TIFF (although direct to large JPG is kind of becoming common)

You generally want to make sure the images are scanned at around 300x300 dpi, to make really good Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is possible. (Abby Fine reader has been the gold standard for OCR for years). Also an image is not indexable or "Searchable" which is what people start wanting when they need to search a document.

A PDF will hold multiple TIFF images and the results of an OCR scan in a single PDF file, and its a nice format in which you open and can use the built-in "Find" to skim the index and take you right to a page.

A PDF can also have a full functional Contents page and Index with clickable "hot links" to take you direct to a page.. this is also almost "expected" these days, but first you need software to OCR and index it, and usually someone to make the links for you.

A "Cross Document" searcher like FileCenter by Lucion will even index multiple PDF files in a catalog and let you search between them for references. FileCenter will also work direct with Fujitsu TWAIN scanners to let you capture and OCR everything that will fit in the scanner into arbitrary folders on your computer or home nas device.. its fairly inexpensive paperless office software (and it actually works, I use it a lot).

For Step #1 Capture you need some type of stable camera stand and a camera to snap a picture of a document/book, if it is a loose group of pages a Scanner can work, Fujitsu usually makes the best and still support TWAIN on their high end. They have Automatic Document Feeders (ADF) and flatbed models, and ADF+Flatbed all in ones. Fopydo makes some stiff plastic construction board type stands for very low cost that will support a book or documents and your cell phone for capturing images, and they are available on Amazon. Atiz makes very high end scanning "booths" which support professional DSLRs and flood lights to illumninate opposing sides of a 'V' shaped cradle with a plexiglass levitated platform for pressing the pages of a book flat before photography. They are somewhat combersome to use and require a permenant location dedicated to scanning. Atiz also former made a Canon Powershot model to take advantage of lesser expensive prosumer cameras for shooting images, but the Booksnap is no longer available. The Planetary or Overhead shooting tower that uses a Cell phone cam or a dedicated image sensor built-into the tower is becoming more popular, Fujitsu makes one one high quality, but it appears a bit slow and its still quite expensive.

For Step #2 you will want to break it down into Prep work before the OCR, then Post work after the OCR and finally Binding or Publishing the eBook to a format of your choice. Scan Tailor, BookDrive, and others are for Prep work before the OCR, they let you adjust contrast, tease out image artifacts or correct for under/overexposure and the "bleed through" bright lights and thin pages can bring out from the opposing side of the page that was imaged. OCR requires either the freebie copy of whatever a suite gave you (not usually a great bargain) or using a professional quality OCR like Abby Finereader, and then human proof reading the results of the OCR (if you care to.. but most people don't) then saving the images and OCR results into a single PDF file. Then you'll want to think about Binding or Publishing.. which could mean a lot of things.. to some it would mean.. using Adobe Acrobat to add accurate hyper links on Content pages and Index pages images in the PDF that immediately take you to those pages. Once all that is done.. you can simply save and use the PDF files.. or choose to reduce them to EPUB format, which is readable on most portable eBook readers and in many browsers natively.. although the Chrome Browser will read and display a PDF file just fine.

Comment Try a Neverware USB boot first (Score 2) 193

I've been wrestling with the same thing. Neverware is a USB boot Chromebook solution that works with older legacy hardware. You can try going Chrome without changing out their OS and still boot to the old OS by removing the USB stick if they need something that way. ChromeOS is updated automatically and has AntiVirus.. so it might be an option.

You might even think of transitioning to a Full Chromebook if they like the Chromebook and can live with Office 365 and Gdrive. My Mom regularly asks why her desktop doesn't sync everywhere.. Chromebook can do this. And at this point the only "apps" she really uses are Cloud Apps.. like Banking software or TurboTax.

The rest she either watches in a Browser Video player or goes to the DMV through a browser.. not much need to downloading a Windows 32 bit app anymore.

Right now she is using a Feature Phone, but I can see the day of a SmartPhone is coming.. If she likes ChromeOS.. a Nexus device without all that insane Vendor Add-on crap will make things really easy.. it will sync with her desktop. She'll also have a compaion to talk to (Google Now) a built-in GPS (Google Maps) and a Google Finder (Android Find my Device).

I thought iPhone.. but Apple has really gone nuts since Steve Jobs has left and catering more to fashion models and tweens.. which if the medium age of the country is drifting upwards.. really seems crazy for a company to do.

Comment The 120 yr Limit (Score 2, Interesting) 35

Interesting he passed at 76, for men aroun 75 seems to be the break even point where your 50/50 to living to the next year.

There are some fantastic developments in Brain Cancer treatments coming a just a few years, but they might not be effective once you get past 75 yr old.

They focus more on tagging the Cancer cells such that the bodies Immune system will focus on those cells and demolish them. The use of the Polio vaccine on 60 minutes comes to mind, but there have been others.

Several studies have focused on the seemingly mystical statistic that no one currently alive will live past 120 years old.. the simplist and most well thought out reason is the Immune system simply gives out, or shuts itself off. After that if Cancer doesn't kill you then something like Pneumonia will. Assuming of course you don't die of Little Debbies overdose or a Sugar induced Coronary... well I guess that's a psychological illness manefest physically... not breaking the carb addiction until its too late.. like smoking. Funny how lifes stressors and Seretonin levels can lead to additctions.. food or otherwise.. and ultimately to a shortened life span.

Slashdot Top Deals

Whom the gods would destroy, they first teach BASIC.