Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
Alfred Poor's website is called HDTV Almanac. That's where he talks about the latest HDTV industry news and changes. He also writes about HDTVs and monitors for a variety of industry publications and does some marketing consulting for manufacturers in the field. In this 17 minute video, Alfred tells us what features we should look for in our next TV buy and which ones aren't worth spending extra money on. He also says that for a variety of non-technical reasons, you might want to consider buying your next TV between now and June -- and says you should think about getting a 3D TV even if there aren't many 3D TV shows you want to watch right now.
This is a 15 minute video conversation with Andy Marken of Marken Communications, who has been working in technology public relations long enough to know what's what -- and then some. We had a pleasant conversation via Skype, and afterwords he sent along some excellent additional advice about how to handle do-it-yourself tech industry PR.
In this video, Brian Alspach tells you how Gamestar Mechanic helps turn kids from game players into game authors, which helps them learn a lot about programming and how computers work in easy steps while having a good time. If you're a parent, you'll especially want to read this page on their site, which will help reassure you that these folks know what they're doing, and might even (hint hint) give you the idea of suggesting that your local school should subscribe to Gamestar Mechanic, which several thousand schools already do. The price varies between free and $6 per month, which is a great deal for something that can engage children for many hours every day -- and just might keep a parent or grandparent interested, too.
Intrepid correspondent Timothy Lord writes, "I talked at SXSW with Kari Hale of League For Gamers, an organization started just a few months ago by Red 5 Studios founder CEO Mark Kern. (Kern was also team lead for World of Warcraft.) League for Gamers shares some of the goals of groups like the EFF and EPIC, but — as you might guess from the name — is tightly focused on the world of gaming. The group owes its existence to SOPA; the money used to start it up had initially been budgeted for Red 5 Studios' appearance at the most recent E3, but E3 sponsor's Entertainment Software Association's support for SOPA led Kern to withdraw from the show. Kari gave a quick rundown of the origins of the League, what it hopes to accomplish, and what sorts of efforts it's so far undertaken."
On March 2, 2012, Timothy wrote about University of Michigan Professor J. Alex Halderman and his contention that there is no way to have secure voting over the Internet using current technology. In this video, Alex explains what he meant and tells us about an experiment (that some might call a prank) he and his students did back in 2010, when they (legally) hacked a Washington D.C. online voting pilot project. This is, of course, a "professional driver on closed course; do not attempt" kind of thing. If you mess with voting software without permission, you might suddenly find the FBI coming through your door at 4 a.m., so please don't do it.
Derek Deville is a rocket hobbyist. A lot of us have messed with Estes Model Rockets, which start at about $13 for a pre-assembled rocket that can go 800 feet straight up. Derek's rockets are on a whole different level. His personal rocket altitude record is closer to 33 miles, which is about 150 times as high as the entry-level Estes rocket -- and takes more than 150 times as much effort to build and launch. Derek's employer, Syntheon LLC, helps him out a lot with tools and materials. Lots of other people help him, too. Derek has been mentioned on Slashdot before. This video is a chance to get to know him a bit better. And anyone who shoots rockets to the top of the Stratosphere for fun is worth knowing, right?
A new company called NuCaptcha provides animated video captchas it says are much harder for OCR-based programs to crack than static captchas, but lots easier for humans to figure out. While at the 2012 RSA conference, Timothy Lord pointed his camcorder at NuCaptcha CTO Christopher Bailey, and had him explain how video captchas work and how the company makes money. The video includes demos of the video captchas so you can see what they look like (and the company's website has lots more video captcha examples).
Timothy asked Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) International Outreach Coordinator Maira Sutton that very question. Watch the video for her answer. It turns out that the EFF has lots of friends among RSA ("the most comprehensive forum in information security") attendees, and has some very good reasons to be there, in the midst of companies and government agencies that Timothy thinks might not only violate your privacy once in a while, but (gasp!) might even enjoy it.
Pwnie Express is a cute name for this tiny (and easily hidden) group of Pen Test devices. Their website says, 'Our initial hardware offering, the Pwn Plug, is the first-to-market commercial penetration testing drop box platform. This low-cost plug-and-play device is designed for remote security testing of corporate facilities, including branch offices and retail locations. A security professional or service provider can ship this device to a corporate facility and conduct a security test over the Internet without travel expenses.' Hardware buffs will recognize this unit as a SheevaPlug, but the value-add is that it's preloaded with Ubuntu Linux and and a rich suite of intrusion/testing tools. The company's 'Founder and CEO and everything else' is Dave Porcello. The video is an interview with Dave, in which he shows off and demonstrates some Pwnie Express products.
In an exclusive Transatlantic Skype conversation with Slashdot editor Timothy Lord recorded on Feb. 22, Raspberry Pi project leader Eben Upton talks about the state of Raspberry Pi, and tells us that yes -- finally -- they now have distributors in the U.S. and other countries instead trying to ship every unit from the U.K. Even better, instead of buying a batch of boards, selling them, and only then ordering another batch, the new distribution agreements mean they can keep a steady flow of orders coming in and going out. One slight downer is that people who have donated to the project may not get their Pi(s) right away; the distributors have spoken for all of the current order. Eben talks about this, and about how Raspberry Pi is going to take care of contributors, starting at about 4:15 in the video. You can also look at an in-person interview Tim did with Eben in January -- or wait until the end of today's video for a list of other Raspberry Pi videos.
People who hear about the Seattle Pinball Museum tend to say things like, "Seems like a must-visit destination in Seattle," and, "Why did no one tell me about this place!??!" Timothy Lord, Slashdot Editor and Video Host, agrees. Watch the video to see a huge grin on Timothy's face. And if you ever get to the Seattle Pinball Museum yourself, you'll probably have a smile on your face, too.
Metrix Create:Space is full of people busily making electronic gadgets. And shot glasses. And everything in between. Some of them saw the street-level sign and stopped in out of curiosity, while others are long-time createspace scenesters. It doesn't matter which you are, says Metrix founder Matt Westervelt. Come in and make something. Need new skills? They have workshops. And lots of great tools.
If you have a startup idea kicking around in your head, you don't necessarily need to head for California, New York or Massachusetts to find venture capital. In today's video, Timothy Lord visits a venture capital firm called Detroit Venture Partners. (Yes, it's in Detroit.) This not an intimidating company, even though it has some big bucks and big names (including Magic Johnson) behind it. But this doesn't mean you need to rush to Detroit to fund your million-dollar idea. There are lots of local venture capital companies in the U.S. -- and chances are, wherever you are, there's one near you that's panting to invest in your can't-miss business opportunity.
Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "Tunisia's high court will decide on Wednesday whether to allow censoring of websites containing pornography or 'calls to violence.' It's disappointing that censorship continues in post-revolutionary Tunisia, but it's enough of an improvement over the old regime, that anti-censorship cyber-activism efforts would probably best be spent on helping other countries." Read on for Bennett's analysis.
Timothy Lord is exactly the kind of person for whom the SCOTTEVEST Ultimate Hoodie Microfleece was designed; He's on the go all the time, needs to travel light, and wants to carry lots of stuff on his person to avoid checking luggage when he's flying. Yes, we know; before long half the people waiting to board airliners will be bulked out to double their normal width. Meanwhile, Timothy managed to jam an amazing amount of stuff into his new hoodie. Or jacket, as he prefers to call it.