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Submission + - What home security camera project would you use?

An anonymous reader writes: I live on a reasonably busy side street in a major city in the US. Recently I had a number of FedEx and UPS parcels stolen from my front porch and this has gotten me thinking about implementing a wired, NOT wireless, home security camera solution. I've searched Amazon and gone to Costco to look at what is out there in the ~$500 range and though there're plenty of options, they all have large and rather unsubtle cameras. Which in my mind would make my abode more visible to anybody who notices these things.

So. This got me thinking that I now may have a use for all those old USB cameras I have held on to over the years. They are small and have data and power supplied via the USB line. I know there are significant differences between these cameras and the 'real deal' but for my needs they will more than suffice. Combined with a desktop I believe I'd have all the hardware I'd need. But what software solution to use is the big question? I've already found lots via Google such as ZoneMinder, iSpy, and more. It appears that local recording, motion detection, email alerting, etc. are all standard features but what have you \.ers found to be the optimal solution?

Submission + - How Kentucky Built The Country's Best Obamacare Website

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Dylan Scott writes at TPM that Kentucky, with its deeply conservative congressional delegation, might seem like an unlikely place for Obamacare to find success but the state's online health insurance web sites has become one of the best marketplaces since its launch and shown that the marketplace concept can work in practice. Kentucky routinely ranks toward the bottom in overall health, and better health coverage is one step toward reversing that norm. Whatever the federal website seems to have failed to do to ensure its success on the Oct. 1 launch, Kentucky did. It started with the commitment to build the state's own website rather than default to the federal version. On July 17, 2012, a few weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear created the exchange via executive order, over the objections of a Republican-controlled state legislature, which sought other means — including an effort to prevent the exchange from finding office space — to block the site's creation. The recipe for success in Kentucky was: A pared-down website engineered to perform the basic functions well and a concerted effort to test it as frequently as possible to work out glitches before the Oct. 1 launch. Testing was undertaken throughout every step of the process, says Carrie Banahan, kynect's executive director, and it was crucial because it allowed state officials to identify problems early in the process. She laid out the timeline like this: From January 2013 to March, they developed the system; from April to June, they built it; from July to September, they tested it. From a design standpoint, Kentucky made the conscious choice to stick to the basics, rather than seeking to blow users away with a state-of-the-art consumer interface. It “doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that other states tried to incorporate,” like interactive features, says Jennifer Tolbert. “It’s very straightforward in allowing consumers to browse plans without first creating an account.” A big part of that was knowing their demographics: A simpler site would make it easer to access for people without broadband Internet access, and the content was written at a sixth-grade reading level so it would be as easy to understand as possible. "What we've found in Kentucky when we started talking with people was that there was a huge amount of misinformation and misunderstanding. People were very confused," says Beshear . "What I've been telling them is: Look, you don't have to like the president, and you don't have to like me. It's not about the president and it's not about me. It's about you, it's about your family, it's about your children."

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How will you replace iGoogle? 1

m.alessandrini writes: Hi, it seems Google did not change its mind on closing iGoogle, a homepage that has always been very useful to me, and I think to many other people. Now, this is only my personal opinion, but the "do no evil" company here seems to have no valid reasons to close it other than forcing you to use their browser, that, how you may have noticed, they try to install to your computer every time you close your eyes. So there is that warning "iGoogle will close in xx days, be sure to backup your data"... Instead I will be sure to replace my homepage, thank you. I already found some good replacements, but what are your other options?

Submission + - Self-assembling multi-copter demonstrates networked flight control (

cylonlover writes: Researchers at ETH Zurich have demonstrated an amazing capability for small robots to self-assemble and take to the air as a multi-rotor helicopter. Maximilian Kriegleder and Raymond Oung worked with Professor Raffaello D’Andrea at his research lab to develop the small hexagonal pods that assemble into flying rafts. The true accomplishment of this research is that there is not one robot in control – each unit in itself decides what actions to take to keep the group in the air in what's known as Distributed Flight Array.

Submission + - Former Apple engineer: Everything Apple does involving the Internet is a mess (

zacharye writes: Apple excels when it comes to product design, interface design, marketing and in a number of other areas but when Web services come into play, things go south fast. “Almost anything Apple does which involves the internet is a mess,” wrote former Apple engineer Patrick B. Gibson on his personal blog, pointing to a number of examples to support his claim. Among them are the fact that Apple can’t update its online store without taking it down, the fact that Notes requires an email address to sync, the fact that iTunes and the company’s App Stores are powered by “a mostly dead framework written almost 20 years ago,” and the unmitigated disasters that are MobileMe and Ping. Gibson also jokes that “iMessage for Mac lives in an alternate dimension in which time has no ordered sequence.”...

Submission + - Judge Saves Girl From Suspension For Refusing To Wear RFID Tag

An anonymous reader writes: A district court judge for Bexar County has granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ensure that Andrea Hernandez, a San Antonio high school student from John Jay High School’s Science and Engineering Academy, can continue her studies pending an upcoming trial. The Northside Independent School District (NISD) in Texas recently informed the sophomore student that she would be suspended for refusing to wear a “Smart” Student ID card embedded with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking chip.

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