Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


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 DIY Nest (Score 1) 183

I built a smart thermostat about 12-15 years ago.

It's really not that hard.

Get an RCS TR-16 thermostat.

Hook it up to a PC (or, today, a raspberry pi).

Read the specs on the protocol and write a small daemon to listen for requests and take appropriate action based on them. For good measure, add sanity-checking of request parameters (don't allow it be set to cool below, say, 65, or heat above 72).

Use netcat or telnet to talk to the port it listens on.

It's really not difficult at all.

These days it'd make sense to build yourself a simple gui for your phone/tablet.

Submission + - OpenBazaar is Open for Business (

llamalad writes: OpenBazaar is now released on the mainnet and is ready for real transactions. You can download the program on the OpenBazaar website.

If you're not familiar with OpenBazaar, it's a decentralized peer-to-peer network for trade that uses Bitcoin. That trade happens directly between buyers and sellers with no one in the middle — and no fees or restrictions on trade.

Comment Re:the kindles biggest competition (Score 1) 88

All of your questions, to the best of my knowledge, have unfavorable-to-kindle answers.

Recreational reading, though, is one place where I've traded in being a sensible, vigilant, responsible consumer for the pleasure of instant gratification and convenience of having everything I'm currently reading in one convenient device.

I do despise the new kindle software interface, thoughâ" especially the fact that I don't remember being asked for permission for it to be installed.

Yeah, you may have just talked me into going back to paper books.

Comment Hello, My Name Is Inigo Montoya... (Score 1) 826

I was in my seat on a plane, waiting to take off for NYC for a work event.

Had settled in and was reading my kindle when the Jet Blue stewardess tapped me on the shoulder. "Nice shirt," she said.

Thanks. It was a present from my brother.

"Are you coming back from a conference?"

Um... No. Flying out to one, in fact.

"Can you take it off?"

Uh... what? The shirt? Um... Of course I could. But... that'd be weird. I'm on a plane.

"That's from a movie, right?"


"I thought so. But can you take that sticker off of it?"

No, it's not a sticker. It's silk-screened or something like that.

"Some customers feel threatened by it."

Uggggghhhhhh. Now it all makes sense.

So I say "Sure, no problem" and start to get up to get a spare shirt out of my carry on to change into.

"Sir, the fasten seatbelt is lit!"

Um, you just asked me to change my shirt.

"You'll have to wait until we're in the air"

Really? We hadn't even left the departure terminal.

Time passes. Noise-cancelling headphones on, asleep, a tap on the shoulder. We're in the air and the seatbelt light is off.

"You can change your shirt now"

Having had time to think about it prior to dozing off, I'd decided this whole thing was ridiculous. "To whom on this plane do you report?"

Had to repeat that a few times, and it was all downhill from there. I was nothing but polite and civil, whereas this raving stewardess was just about foaming at the mouth. On her side, it got pretty heated. Passengers around me were seemingly all incredulous; comments ranged from "this is ridiculous" to "it's not worth getting arrested over".

With a heavy heart, I relented and said I was willing to change my shirt. I remained seated, though- she was blocking me from getting up as she continued to berate me for my fashion sense.

Finally I pointed out that I couldn't get up as long as she was standing where she was. She moved, I got up to grab my bag from the overhead bin and, spare shirt in hand, headed toward the back of the plane to change in the bathroom. Whoa, nutcase was back there. Went to the restroom in the front of the plane instead.

And who should I see up there? A new stewardess- one that doesn't look angry or insane!

"Excuse me, may I trouble you for your opinion on something?"

She readily agreed, so I described the situation. As I recounted the insane hassling about the shirt, the threats, etc, her jaw dropped. Her face went pale. People seated within earshot said things like "People need a sense of humor" and "This is completely absurd". She said "Sir, this is completely not a problem. You can just go back and have a seat, there's no problem at all." And then the maniac sprinted up to us and freaked out again. Sane stewardess roared her down.

I went back to my seat and had the most uncomfortable flight of my life with the lunatic stewardess looming and glaring. Haven't flied JetBlue since and have in fact gone to great lengths to avoid flying at all.

Comment Re:Medical... (Score 1) 727

My advice - go to a country with a real healthcare somewhere in EU or Canada or Asia and get some hearing aids there. It will come out cheaper even with a plane ticket.

This is good advice.

My mother has had hearing aids for most of her life. Last time she replaced them she found it was substantially cheaper to drive 15 minutes into Canada and buy them there (despite having good health insurance through her employer). She's still pretty happy with this latest set afaik, and she saved a ton.

Comment Re:Typical insurance company (Score 1) 406

First, let's not talk about my iPhone. It is not insured and never has been.

Second, the point of my post is that moral hazard is part of the game.

Third, which insurance company do you work for to get so fired up?

Oh, I see what you did there. You didn't read the article so you don't know that it states that the company in question rejects approximately 25% of claims.

Comment Typical insurance company (Score 4, Insightful) 406

As far as I can tell this is standard operating procedure for insurance companies.

They'll happily take your money in exchange for 'insurance' for X. They get your money, you get peace of mind, it's all hearts and flowers.

It's just that if at some point you want them to follow through on their end of the deal... Well, then you're obviously a cheating, swindling bastard bilking them out of their money. Any excuse to deny a claim; if they can't manage that often enough they'll lobby for changes in laws to make it easier to do in the future.

The nerve of some people, expecting insurance companies to pay up when they make a claim.

Moral hazard is part of the insurance business- hire some people who are better at math so you can price your insurance product accordingly.

Comment What's this line on my iPhone bill? (Score 5, Insightful) 441

Dear AT&T,

I could've sworn I remembered seeing something on my monthly iPhone bill... Ah, there it is.

" DATA PLAN IPHONE 12/02-01/01 30.00 30.00
    Data Unlimited 12/02-01/01 0.00 0.00
        DATA ACCESS "

See, AT&T? It's right where you printed it. Unlimited data for a predetermined cost.

Now, AT&T, if you would please GTFO of here with this talk about billing me based on usage or prepare for me to take advantage of change in ToS so I can get out of my contract without penalty.

Best regards,
A guy who's looking forward to his contract ending so he can get an Android on a network that hopefully sucks less.

Slashdot Top Deals

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell