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Submission + - Where to find older physical tools' purpose? 1

An anonymous reader writes: My father-in-law died some time ago. He was a wonderful and masterful craftsman. From his garage "collection", I received a double-handful of older tools, some obvious, some obviously special-purpose. I was able to track one down to the 1946 (patent filed) — 1949 (patent granted) era, as an "advertising" (but useful!) tool. Sort of an early version of the "swiss army knife", but without having to fold things out. I have another one, a Vernier caliper with sub-millimetric accuract (0.001 meters). It has several capabilities: outside; inside; depth; probably walls, possibly height, and I'm not sure what else. It is marked only "Germany" and a name / abbreviation I haven't figured out yet. It's been neglected a bit, but is still accurate. I can only suppose it was used to measure "cupped" manufactured articles in quality control — pistons, cups, brake calipers, or something similar. I intend to continue to use it as a caliper. But, I would like to track down what it was originally used for. Can anyone point me to some sites that might help?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot:How to protect a text document 6

Jason1729 writes: I have been ordered by judge to release a large amount of material in "electronic format". Typically it's only available as paper copies which are sold on copy protected paper. Illegal copying of this material has become rampant and a group of lawyers obtained the court order by claiming it would be easier for them to access the material on a computer screen rather than hard copy. It is fairly clear they intend to print and share the single copy rather than paying for certified copies.

I'm looking for a technological solution that will allow me to distribute the documents (with word processing formatting in tact), in "electronic format", complying with the letter of the court order, but also make it impossible or as difficult as possible to print the documents or share the electronic version.

I'd rather not get into a discussion on the morality of copyright as the cost to produce the material was far greater than the single copy price and had I known I'd be facing this court order, I'd have refused to create it to begin with. Total demand is around 5 copies and getting 20% of that means losing a lot of money.

Submission + - Yale finds link between cell phone use during pregnancy and behavioral disorders (yale.edu)

fezzzz writes: Dr. Hugh S. Taylor performed a study on pregnant mice by placing a cell phone, with an active phone call on top of a cage and another cell phone, deactivated on top of the cage of the control group. He found that the mice exposed to cellphone radiation had reduced memory capacity and tended to be more hyperactive than the mice in the control group. This is not the first study to link cellphone radiation to a variety of problems, but the first I know of which were performed by Yale. Does anyone know if this study is remotely relevant to modern humans or not?

Submission + - NDAs to use software at the University

An anonymous reader writes: I'm studying a Master in System on Chip [1] at Lund University in Sweden and we need to accept the terms of a NDA, or like they call it, an "End User Agreement" in order to use software by Cadence in the labs. We can't do the labs if we don't accept it, or at least, none of the teachers seems to know the answer of that question. Is it ethical to let a private company to control who can receive an education in a public institution? Shouldn't Lund University take the responsibility of making an greement with Cadence instead of relying on the (good) (sic) will of the students? When I asked the teachers about this matter, all of them reacted badly and gave us no explanations futher than "it is like that and you need to accept it".

[1] http://soc.eit.lth.se/

Submission + - Vegetative state man "talks" by brain scan (bbc.co.uk)

c0lo writes: Severely brain-injured Scott Routley hasn’t spoken in 12 years. None of his physical assessments since then have shown any sign of awareness, or ability to communicate, thus being diagnosed as vegetative (vegetative patients emerge from a coma into a condition where they have periods awake, with their eyes open, but have no perception of themselves or the outside world).

Scott Routley was asked questions while having his brain activity scanned in an fMRI machine. British neuroscientist Prof Adrian Owen said Mr Routley was clearly not vegetative.
"Scott has been able to show he has a conscious, thinking mind. We have scanned him several times and his pattern of brain activity shows he is clearly choosing to answer our questions. We believe he knows who and where he is."

As a consequence, medical textbooks would need to be updated to include Prof Owen's techniques, because only observational assessments (as opposed to using mind-readers) of Mr Routley have continued to suggest he is vegetative.

The professor in an earlier interview functional MRI machines are expensive (up to $2 million), but it’s quite possible that a portable high-end EEG machine, costing about $75,000, can be used at a patient’s bedside.

Phillip K Dick's world is one step closer.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Geek tools to better organize my daily life?

An anonymous reader writes: Okay, so like most of Slashdot readers I spend pretty much every waking hour in front of the computer. Which means the rest of my life is in vast disarray, more so now that I'm a daddy. I forget when the car registration is due (they no longer mail out reminders in MA), I forget dentist appts, the bathroom looks like a frat house after a party, the laundry seems to never get done, car maintenance happens only when something prevents the car from getting from point A to B. A simple online calendar program isn't really enough because 1) I use Linux at home and Windows online and 2) I don't want my schedules and appts and life to be in the cloud (as it would be with a Google Cal) and 3) I don't even manage to write down a lot of what should be written in the calendar. Many calendars have the basic US holidays included, but is there anything out there that has other stuff as well? For example, car tune ups? Vaccuming/housework? Think "plugins" where someone who is a car buff could create a list of basic maintenance dates..."oil change every three months" "yearly tuneup" etc. And I could choose the ones that make sense and have a calendar that will really greatly help me organize my life...without me having to remember to put all these items in?

Submission + - A hero of Linux on his last leg of life - unless we help! (blogspot.com) 7

bastiji writes: "http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/2012/08/this-is-where-we-are.html

Ken Starks of HeliOS fame is down, but not out yet. His cancer is about to spread to a lethal condition, and only surgery can prevent it. Prevention is possible but due to the stupid healthcare system we have in this country, he can't afford it.

Read the link for the sordid details and do what you can to help someone who's helped thousands selflessly.

Here's another Slashdot link about him: https://linux.slashdot.org/story/08/12/10/001236/when-teachers-are-obstacles-to-linux-in-education"


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How to Sync a Local Copy of Wikipedia/Wikibooks? 8

jerquiaga writes: I'm working on a project with a rural school in Africa that has limited bandwidth through satellite. What we'd like to do is be able to setup a local copy of Wikipedia and Wikibooks on a server for them so the kids can use those resources but not cut into their bandwidth to get to it. I can find plenty of info on downloading database dumps and setting those up, but I'm wondering if any Slashdot readers have come up with a good way to sync only the changes that happen after the initial dump (again, to save bandwidth). What say you, Slashdot readers?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot:How to add new tech to old van? 1

Dslice_allstar writes: "I have a '77 GMC Van that I would like to take into the 21st century with some good tech. I have several large LCD monitors, and I want to hook at least one up for watching movies and doing some mild PC gaming. I am concerned about power, i.e. using an inverter and not frying the computer every time the van starts/stops, and I'm worried about whether the alternator will support a computer/monitor setup as well as LEDs and the like. Would a UPC backup be a good idea? I would also like to be able to play music over the sound system, preferably off the computer. Should I be thinking mini ITX HTPC, or would a netbook better serve my purposes? How would you all pimp out an old conversion van?"

Submission + - Youtube Identifies Birdsong As Copyrighted Music Owned By "Rumblefish" (google.com) 2

eeplox writes: I make nature videos for my Youtube channel, generally in remote wilderness away from any possible source of music. And I purposely avoid using a soundtrack in my videos because of all the horror stories I hear about Rumblefish filing claims against public domain music.

But when uploading my latest video, Youtube informed me that I was using rumblefish's copyrighted content, and so ads would be placed on my video, with the proceeds going to said company. This baffled me.

I disputed their claim with Youtube's system, and Rumblefish refuted my dispute and confirmed that:

"All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content:

Entity: rumblefish Content Type: Musical Composition"

So I asked some questions, and it appears that the birds singing in the background of my video are Rumblefish's exclusive intellectual property.

My only option at this point is to lawyer-up and fight it out in the courts, which of course isn't going to happen over a Youtube video that'll only be seen by a few hundred people. More likely I'll just end up deleting the video.


Submission + - Warner Bros sued for pirating Louis Vuitton tradem (blogspot.com) 2

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "You have to love a case where Warner Brothers, copyright maximalist extraordinaire, gets sued for "piracy", in this case for using a knock-off Luis Vuitton bag in a recent movie. This lawsuit has been described as "awkward" for Warner; I have to agree with that characterization. Louis Vuitton's 22-page complaint (PDF) alleges that Warner Bros. had knowledge that the bag was a knock-off, and went ahead, and used it, anyway. Apparently Warner Bros. takes IP rights seriously only when its Warner's IP rights that are involved."

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Cell phone and PC interaction for te

abell writes: Last year a young man I know had an accident which left him without the use of the four limbs. He only has very limited movement of one arm (but not of his hands).
In order for him to have some social interaction, not limited to visitors who drop by during visit hours, I was thinking of a way for him to use a cell phone: something along the ways of speakers and a mic and possibly a way to start and reply calls with voice commands or at most by pushing a single button, which would need to be installed in his bed by his side and not be so obtrusive as to hinder the nurses' job.
If he were also able in a near future to use a PC with internet connection I think his life quality would improve considerably.
Do you fellow slashdotters have any experience on such setups and any advice to share?
How could one avoid the audio feedback between the speakers and the mic, which would probably need to be in a fixed position at some distance?
Would the cell phone setup be possible to build with cheap off-the-shelf components?
How about a PC interface he might be able to use?
For any location-specific advice, I should specify that my friend is in Poland.

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