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Submission + - $40 NanoPi K2 Board Competes with ODROID-C2, Raspberry Pi 3

DeathByLlama writes: The single board computer market, broken wide-open just a few years ago by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, continues to flourish today as FriendELEC releases their $40 NanoPi K2 board. This SBC packs a 1.5 GHz 64-bit quad core Amlogic S905 processor, and paired with 2 GB of DDR3 RAM and the Mali450 GPU, it is able to stream 4K at 60 FPS. Add in gigabit ethernet, onboard WiFi, Bluetooth, IR (and a remote!), eMMC compatibility, a familiar GPIO header, and a $40 price tag, and you end up with some stiff competition for other market leaders like Hardkernel's Odroid-C2 and Raspberry Pi's flagship Pi 3. The release is clearly in early phases with Ubuntu images and house-sold eMMC modules still on their way.
It's amazing to see such strong competition in this market — and with so many sub-$100, incredibly capable SBC options, which will choose?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Which Router Firmware for Bandwidth Management? 1

DeathByLlama writes: Years ago I made the switch from DD-WRT to Tomato firmware for my Linksys router. I lost a couple features, but gained one of the best QoS and bandwidth management systems I have seen on a router to date. Admins can see graphs of current and historical bandwidth usage by IP, set minimum and maximum bandwidth limits by IP range, setup QoS rules, and see and filter graphs and lists of current connections by usage, class or source/destination — all from an elegantly designed GUI. This has allowed me to easily and intelligently allocate and adjust my network's bandwidth; when there is a problem, I can see where it's coming from and create rules around it. I'm currently using the Toastman's VPN Tomato firmware, which has about everything that I would want, except for one key thing: support for ARM-based routers (only Broadcom is supported). I have seen other firmware projects being actively developed in the last few years, so in picking a new 802.11ac router, I need to decide whether Tomato support is a deal-breaker. With solid bandwidth management as a priority, what firmware would you recommend? Stock Asuswrt? Asuswrt-Merlin? OpenWRT? DD-WRT? Tomato? _____?

Submission + - Seattle May Have to Wait a Few Bits Longer for Fast, Cheap Internet

Kyle Jacoby writes: In 2010, after Google Fiber's success in Kansas City, Google looked for another city to test its infrastructure. Seattle jumped at the opportunity to woo the internet giant, hoping to fuel the growing needs of its increasingly tech-centric city, but lost the bid to Austin in the end. Impatient, Seattle partnered with Gigabit Squared to deliver gigabit service using some of the city's own unused fiber. Originally slated to begin service in Fall of 2013, the project was delayed until "first quarter 2014," but there still appears to be no signs of life. Recent probing by GeekWire suggests that the project has stalled again and, in fact, may never have been moving to begin with. "When you dug into [it]... there wasn’t any money there, and there wasn’t any clear path to the money other than this general notion that if you got enough people moving in the same direction, money would show up." The Gigabit Squared toll-free phone number was even removed from their site after being disabled, and the project's prime proponent, Mayor McGinn, admits that he's "very concerned it’s not going to work." Without this project, and without motivation from the new mayor-elect, there may be no competition for the Comcast monopoly, whose current minimum price for internet-only is $49.95/mo ($64.95/mo for speeds over 6 mbps). This sharply contrasts Gigabit Seattle's announced plans for $10/mo for 5 mbps, $45 for 100 mbps, and $80 for true gigabit.

Submission + - Amazon increases its free shipping minimum order from $25 to $35

Kyle Jacoby writes: Perhaps you've already felt the cruel sting at checkout from Amazon already...

Just ahead of the holiday shopping season, online retailer giant has increased the minimum dollar value of orders which qualify for free shipping by 40%, from $25 to $35. In the first half of this year, Amazon said about 30% of its sales increase in North America came partly from free shipping offers. Will these customers be willing to up their orders by 40% to save a few dollars on shipping, or will Amazon simply be losing out on customers looking for free shipping on their smaller orders? Or has Amazon hooked enough loyal customers that are willing to opt for the $79/yr prime account to get their free shipping? Perhaps Amazon's years of free Prime trials and reduced memberships for students will finally pay off.

Comment Operational costs of an SLP (Score 1) 189

Nearly every occupation has operational costs. This is yours. A thousand dollars a year is only ~1.5% of the income of an speech and language pathologist... I'm not crying for you, Argentina. If you're really strapped for cash, go use a library, that's what they're for. If you want the luxury of sitting at home and sipping your coffee while you browse the latest and greatest published in Science, then pay up. I'm a recent ex-*student* (not a 80k/yr salaried SLP), and I have yet to find an article that I can't find free access to. At worst, you can sign up for your alumni association and get access to their library proxy and get articles that way (for $40/yr, or $400/lifetime or so).

Comment Getting around an employer firewall, anyone? (Score 1) 140

Some employers who let you use firefox/chrome plugins at will might have a problem keeping their sheep in the pen with this one. Of course, they probably already do, but this would just make it easy for you to connect through your "friend" (ie home) and circumnavigate the firewall.

Submission + - Google Wants to Help You Tiptoe Around the NSA & The Great Firewall of China

Kyle Jacoby writes: The NSA was right when it postulated that the mere knowledge of the existence of their program could weaken its ability to function. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), which serve to mask the source and destination of data by routing it through a 3rd party server, have been a popular method for maintaining internet anonymity for the paranoid and prudent. However, the all-but-silent fall of secure email server Lavabit, and VPN provider CryptoSeal, have shown us just how pervasive the government's eye on our communications is. These companies chose to fold rather than to divulge customer data entrusted to them, which begs the million-dollar question: how many have chosen to remain open and silently hand over the keys to your data?

Google has decided to put the private back in VPN by supporting uProxy, a project developed at the University of Washington with help from Brave New Software. Still using a VPN schema, their aim is to keep the VPN amongst friends (literally). Of course, you'll need a friend who is willing to let you route your net through their tubes. Their simple integration into Firefox and Chrome will lower the barrier creating a decentralized VPN architecture would make sweeping pen register orders more difficult, and would also make blocking VPNs a rather difficult task for countries like China, who block citizens' access to numerous websites.

On a related note, when will the public finally demand that communications which pass through a third party, encrypted, still retain an reasonable expectation of privacy (rendering them pen register order-resistant)?

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PL/I -- "the fatal disease" -- belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5