New submitter Cinnamon Whirl writes "As a chemist, I work in a both lab and office enviroments, and need access to data in both, without causing undue clutter in either. My company has recently purchased two Win7 tablets for trial usage with electronic lab notebooks, propietry software, SAP, email etc. These are also useful for sharing in meetings, etc. As part of this project, I have been wondering whether we can use these tablets to detect other devices by proximity. Examples could include finding the nearest printer or monitor or, perhaps trickier, could two roaming devices find each other? Although lab technology is rarely cutting edge, I can see a day when all our sensors and probes will broadcast data (wireless thermocouples are already available), and positioning information will become much more important. What technologies exist to do this? How accurate can the detection be?"
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An anonymous reader writes "Now that all the large chain book stores have disappeared from the landscape, I visited my local independent book store. In the basement I found a dazzling array of amazing magazines from the UK and Germany. Not only were the magazines impressive, they included CDs and DVDs of material. Nearly every subject was there: Knitting, Photography, Music, Linux, and Fitness. I snapped up a magazine called 'Computer Music,' which had a whole issue dedicated to making house music, including a disc of extra content. I subscribe to U.S. magazines like Wired, 2600, & Make, but their quality seems to ebb and flow from issue to issue and I don't ever recall a bonus disc. Are the UK magazines really better? If yes, why and which of them do you subscribe to? The other interesting thing about them is they weren't filled with tons of those annoying subscription cards. What is the best way to subscribe?"
New submitter ThatGamerChick writes "I'm a stay-at-home mom, but I'd like to be a work-at-home mom. I've done a few writing gigs, but I'm not a really good writer and cannot charge the fees needed for it to be worth my time. I'm just looking for something that I can teach myself in a few months and start taking small projects and working my way up from there. I've found that PHP, HTML and CSS to be the most demanded skills on sites like Elance, but the talent pool is flooded with overseas workers and Americans with so much more experience than me. Even when I was offering writing and virtual admin services on Elance I was having a hard time against them. So I'm asking here, because I think most of you may have a good insight on this type of thing as an employer of freelancers or as the freelancer themselves." What success have you had, either working from home, or employing those who do?
Qa32 writes "I am getting married in a few months and being a hardcore techie I wanted to come up with some novel way of making my wedding invite that will truly have even my mom say, 'wow, that was cool.' Has anyone out there done anything similar, or have you thought of something similar you'd like to share? I already have a few: have QR codes, have some basic embedded circuit/plate with wire leads that maybe plays a song when you connect a battery, have a way to turn up a display LCD, etc."
bradley13 writes "There are lots of anonymous proxies out there, and anyone concerned about their privacy probably uses one for at least some of their web browsing. The Megaupload story highlights the fact that having servers in the USA is not a great idea. There are also other countries one may not want to trust. Oddly, very few proxy services mention where their equipment is located. What anonymous proxy services do you use? What criteria do you use to select them? How paranoid are you, and for what types of Internet usage?"
An anonymous reader writes "I'm interested in converting 2D video to Stereoscopic 3D video — the Red/Cyan Anaglyph type in particular (to ensure compatibility with cardboard Anaglyph glasses). Here's my questions: Which software(s) or algorithms can currently do this, and do it well? Also, are there any 3D TVs on the market that have a high quality 2D-to-3D realtime conversion function in them? And finally, if I were to try and roll my own 2D-to-3D conversion algorithm, where should I start? Which books, websites, blogs or papers should I look at?" I'd never even thought about this as a possibility; now I see there are some tutorials available; if you've done it, though, what sort of results did you get? And any tips for those using Linux?
Wednesday is here, and with it sites around the internet are going under temporary blackout to protest two pieces of legislation currently making their way through the U.S. Congress: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect-IP Act (PIPA). Wikipedia, reddit, the Free Software Foundation, Google, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, imgur, Mozilla, and many others have all made major changes to their sites or shut down altogether in protest. These sites, as well as technology experts (PDF) around the world and everyone here at Slashdot, think SOPA and PIPA pose unacceptable risks to freedom of speech and the uncensored nature of the internet. The purpose of the protests is to educate people — to let them know this legislation will damage websites you use and enjoy every day, despite being unrelated to the stated purpose of both bills. So, we ask you: what can you do to stop SOPA and PIPA? You may have heard the House has shelved SOPA, and that President Obama has pledged not to pass it as-is, but the MPAA and SOPA-sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX) are trying to brush off the protests as a stunt, and Smith has announced markup for the bill will resume in February. Meanwhile, PIPA is still present in the Senate, and it remains a threat. Read on for more about why these bills are bad news, and how to contact your representative to let them know it.
Note: This will be the last story we post today until 6pm EST in protest of SOPA.
Note: This will be the last story we post today until 6pm EST in protest of SOPA.
New submitter rnmartinez writes "As the Project Manager for a non-profit looking to implement a tech project, I am running into a few dilemmas, and as a casual Slashdotter I could really use some help. I'll start with a brief explanation of the project. We research issues in Canadian Immigrants, and found that there was a lack of recent, unaggregated information. As we dug further, we found that some data was available, but there was no central repository. Therefore, we are building a web based service to collect this data, with the intent of having it display in Google Maps and then be downloadable as a CSV file that is readable in GIS software such as ESRI Arcsoft, so that data may be visualized." The dilemma: "...It seems that MS SQL offers more functions with regards to geometry built in then MySQL, and my developers (good guys, but MS guys at heart) want me to switch to .net NUKE/MSSQL and ditch the open source stuff." Read on for further details.
First time accepted submitter SSG Booraem writes "I'm on the IT committee at my church. We've recently added wireless access points to our Family Life Center, but the committee chair isn't comfortable with allowing unrestricted access to our network. We host a lot of guests during the week for Upwards basketball practices and on Saturdays for games, so we want to restrict internet access to the Sunday school classes held in that building. Unfortunately, neither he, nor I, know anything about setting up a wireless catch-and-release like in hotels. If anyone could point me at good documentation, I would be very grateful."
First time accepted submitter xby2_arch writes "After spending over 12 years writing OLTP applications (Java EE/JDBC/ORMs), I decided to dabble in the OLAP world. I had decent DB skills, considering most of my previous projects had involved data modeling and coding using Stored Procs, etc. Yet I hadn't designed or implemented any dimensional databases. Luckily for me, I had enough relevant domain knowledge to land a developer job in a data warehousing project. The work was enjoyable enough that it motivated me to spend that extra time and effort I needed to cope with the different dynamics of coding in the OLAP realm. In my past life, data volumes weren't the primary concern (instead, transaction volumes were), here, everything was about data. ETL/Integrations present another set of problems you generally skirt in a typical web/app-tier developer role. All in all, it turned out to be a non-trivial, yet worthwhile transition. I am certain that there are plenty of seasoned developers out there who plan to make a similar move (or have made already), who see data as the next chapter in their careers evolving toward becoming Enterprise Architects. I want to hear what's holding them back, or what helped them move forward. What should be considered a prerequisite to make this switch, and what are the risks, etc.?"
AuMatar writes "I've been a professional programmer for 10 years. The startup I work for was recently bought, and while I was offered a full-time job, I opted to accept only a six-month contract. At my most recent job, I was lead developer for a platform that shipped tens of millions of units, leading a team that spanned up to three geographical areas I've done everything from maintenance to brand new apps. About the only thing I haven't done is been lead architect on a large system. What else is there to look for in the next job so it won't just feel like the same challenges all over again? I'm not interested in starting my own company, so I'm looking for suggestions assuming I'll be working for someone else."
Okian Warrior writes "An oft-repeated sentiment on Slashdot is that we should change the situation by voting in better officials. An opinion that appears in nearly every political thread is: 'we're to blame because we elected these people.' On the eve of the first primary (in New Hampshire), I have to wonder: how can we tell the candidates apart? Ron Paul is an obvious exception, and I am not discounting him, but otherwise it seems that no candidate has made a stand on any issue. Consider the candidates (all of them, of any party) as a set. What issue can I use to divide them into two groups, such that one group is 'for' something and the other is 'against'?"
First time accepted submitter capriguy84 writes "Six months ago I joined a small firm(~30) where I am pretty much the IT systems guy. I was immediately asked to work on couple of projects without much going through the documentation on what currently exists. So I created new wiki topics everywhere and whenever needed. I am now in a situation where information is scattered across multiple pages and there is lot of overlapping. So I have decided to start a project of re-organizing the wiki so that it makes sense to me and easily accessible for others. I am dealing with 2 disjoint sites, 4 data centers, managing all flavors of Unix, windows, networking, storage, VMware etc. Along with that I have HOWTO guides, cheatsheets, contracts, licensing, projects, proposals and other things that typically exist in a enterprise. Any tips with how to approach? Dos & Don'ts? Recommended reading?"
An anonymous reader writes "I live in Boston, and I have noticed the TSA performs random security checks at the Copley T (subway station) and other locations. I routinely travel with a laptop, iPhone, and other gadgetry. What are my rights when asked by one of the TSA agents to 'come over here'? Can I say no and proceed with my private business? What if a police officer says that I 'must go over there and cooperate'? Can I decline or ask for a warrant? Like the majority of the population, I turn into an absolute shrinking violet when pressured by intimidating authority, but I struggle with what I see to be blatant social devolution. Has anybody out there actually responded rationally, without complying? What were your experiences?"
jehan60188 writes "I want a camera that's better than my phone, but I don't have the technical knowledge to fully appreciate a DSLR. I think the MILC style will be a happy compromise, but I'm concerned that it might be all 'marketing' and no 'technology.' I don't have a lot of demands, but I do like taking macro shots of things from time to time. Also, my sister is going to China in a few months, so a telephoto lens would probably be good for sight seeing (since I could employ optical zoom instead of the imaginary 'digital zoom')."