Albanach writes "I'm sure I'm not alone in being asked to help friends and family with computer issues. These folk typically run Windows (everything from XP onward) or OS X (typically 10.4 onward). Naturally, desktop sharing is often much easier than trying to talk the other end through various steps. I've found free sites like join.me but they don't work with OS X 10.4, neither does the Chrome plugin. I'd also prefer not to compromise security by using a third party in the middle of the connection. Is there a good, free solution I can run on my linux box that supports old and new clients that run Windows, OS X and possibly linux? I'd love it if the users could simply bring their systems up to date, but that doesn't solve the third party issue and it's not easy when it requires a non-trivial RAM upgrade on a Mac Mini."
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gspec writes "I read less and less nowadays, but I realize I need to get back into my old reading habit. Would getting an ebook reader or a tablet help me to enjoy reading more? Would you recommend one over the other? A little relevant background about me: I probably can spare two hours a day to read. I do not travel a lot. I am not a fast reader; if I force myself, I could probably finish a standard length novel in a week. English is my second language, so a built-in dictionary would be nice. I enjoy Netflix, and I have bought many computer/technical eBooks from O'Reilly for reference. I have many technical reference PDFs. I have 300-400 bucks to spare for this. I'd like to hear opinions based on your knowledge and experience on reading using ebook readers/tablets."
kactusotp writes "I run a small indie game company, and since source code is kind of our lifeblood, I'm pretty paranoid about backups. Every system has a local copy, servers run from a RAID 5 NAS, we have complete offsite backups, backup to keyrings/mobile phones, and cloud backups in other countries as well. With all the talk about solar flares and other such near-extinction events lately, I've been wondering: is it actually possible to store or protect data in such a way that if such an event occurred, data survives and is recoverable in a useful form? Optical and magnetic media would probably be rendered useless by a large enough solar flare, and storing source code/graphics in paper format would be impractical to recover, so Slashdot, short of building a Faraday cage 100 km below the surface of the Moon, how could you protect data to survive a modern day Carrington event?"
metrix007 writes "I am a recent immigrant to the U.S. I am used to going to countries and paying a small amount, say, $30, for a simcard and using it with my unlocked phone. I can't seem to do that in the U.S., where the only options seem to be to buy a phone and buy minutes as I need them such as with Tracfone, or a contract where I pay an amount per month to pay off a phone and a certain amount of minutes. I have a Google Nexus One, which is better than any phone offered on the basic plans from all the cell providers. Is there any way I can use it as a cell phone in the U.S. for about $30-$50/month? It seems a shame to waste it and have to pay for a lesser phone."
spiffmastercow writes "After nearly a decade of professional software development, my desire to work on something more interesting than business applications has pushed me toward looking into going back to school. I'd like to go into a graduate program for Computer Science, but I need to weigh my options very carefully. Is a Ph.D. a near-guarantee of a spot in a skunkworks type of job (Microsoft Research and the like)? Is a M.S. just as good for this? How does the 'letter of recommendation' requirement work if you haven't kept in touch with your professors?"
New submitter tsakas writes: "I am an IT researcher from southern Europe looking for a good place to relocate. Markets are pulling the teeth out of the strong European countries by destroying the south. The U.S. is in debt and there is no way of telling how long this can go on. China and India are on the rise. Brazil and Australia are looking good. The question: Which city would you choose to go and start a family if you were to stay there for a) 5, b) 10 and c) 20 years?"
An anonymous reader writes "I have been assigned the task of finding a software package to automate the management of grades in a high school. It does not need to be a complete system, but rather just manage grading calculations and printing of report cards. The management of grades is currently done using spreadsheets. What are some open source options to handle this situation?"
New submitter hey_popey writes "I would like to piggyback on a previous Ask Slashdot question. Do you know of any realistic way to use a tape drive solution at home, not as a backup, but as a regular NAS? I would like, for example, to save the torrents of my Linux distributions on it, and at the same time, play the family videos on a computer. It would seem at a first glance that the transfer rates and capacity of Linear Tape-Open (1.5TB, 280MB/s in 2010) and the functionality of LTFS would allow me to do that, but I don't know the details, or whether this would be economically viable."
New submitter damitr asks: "What is the most ergonomic position if you are working with a laptop or a desktop (with or without wireless keyboard and mouse) for long hours at stretch? Is bean bag for sitting with a laptop a good option? What is the best way to use a desktop without causing tennis elbow and backache/neck problems?"
First time accepted submitter ahree writes "I'm starting up a restaurant with my wife and a few friends and, well, I'd like to support the OS community and hope that this is a way to do it. Simply put, we need to take care of bookkeeping, accounting & payroll and I'd rather not use QuickBooks. I've heard of some options that are open source (GnuCash), some that are cheaper & simpler (WaveAccounting), but I'm wondering what your experience with them (and others) has been like."
An anonymous reader writes "I know most people use backup services in the cloud now, off-site, but does anyone have good ideas on how to best protect data without it leaving the site? I'm a photographer and, I shoot 32GB to 64GB in a couple of hours. I've accumulated about 8TB of images over the past decade and just can't imagine paying to host them somewhere off-site. I don't make enough money as it is. Currently I just redundantly back them up to hard drives in different rooms of my house, but that's a total crapshoot — if there's a fire, I'd be out of luck. Does anyone keep a hard disk or NAS inside a fireproof safe? In a bunker in the cellar? In the detached garage? It's so much data that even doing routine backups bogs the system down for days. I'd love suggestions, especially from gamers or videographers who have TBs of data they need to back up, on what options there are with a limited budget to maximize protection."
An anonymous reader writes with a question that makes a good follow-on to the claim that mathematics requirements in U.S. schools unnecessarily limit students' educational choices: "I'm a high school student who is interested in a career in a computer science or game development related position. I've been told by teachers and parents that math classes are a must for any technology related career. I've been dabbling around Unity3D and OGRE for about two years now and have been programming for longer than that, but I've never had to use any math beyond trigonometry (which I took as a Freshman). This makes me wonder: will I actually use calculus and above, or is it just a popular idea that you need to be a mathematician in order to program? What are your experiences?"
First time accepted submitter Augury writes "I'm about to undertake a lengthy trip involving travel through dusty, damp and drop-inducing environments. When it comes to packing for such a trip, reading is a fundamental need, to help while away the inevitable hours spent in transit lounges, at bus stops and on beaches. The weight and bulk of the dead tree approach makes it impractical, so an e-book reader seems ideal — does anyone have any experience with ruggedising an e-book reader for such conditions?"
mvdwege writes "In the thread on the most depressing sci-fi, there were hundreds of posts but merely four mentions of John Brunner, dystopian writer par excellence. Now, given the normally U.S. libertarian bent of the Slashdot audience, it is understandable that an outright British Socialist writer like Brunner would get short shrift, but it got me thinking: what Sci-fi writers do you know that are, in your opinion, vastly underappreciated?"
50000BTU_barbecue writes "Usually sci-fi provides adventure with happy endings for everyone. But what story have you read that resonates years later because of some insight about human nature or society that's basically cynical or pessimistic? For me it's Fred Pohl's Jem, with its sharply divided resource-constrained future world driven by politics, and its conclusion that humans are just too destructive to handle contacting alien life, especially if humans have the technological upper hand. I'm wondering what other stories have stuck in people's minds. It can be a short story, a novel or an entire series of books."