He co-founded Apple Computer, he's a programmer and engineer who invented the Apple I and Apple II computers, he's one of our most influential readers, he is known simply as Woz. To kick-off our 15th anniversary month, Woz has agreed to take some time to answer a few of your questions; as with other Slashdot interviews, you're invited to ask as many questions as you'd like, but please ask them in separate posts. We'll be running a number of other special interviews this month, so keep your eyes open.
Sign up for the Slashdot Daily Newsletter! DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. ×
crazy spinning pinwheel-type things on light poles that seemed to change speed, colors, and light patterns with each minor wind shift. You were seeing Whirlydoodles. Slashdot met Whirlydoodle creator Timothy Jones at the 2012 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire and shot a quick video of him and his colorful "micro-electric wind turbine" in action.
CowboyNeal writes: "Last week was a big week for gamers, with the release of both Borderlands 2 as well as Torchlight 2. I already shared my thoughts on the former last week, so I got to playing the latter over the weekend. Torchlight 2 is the follow-up to Torchlight, the 2009 point-and-click ARPG created by Runic Games. What's new that the first game didn't have? And, the big question, how does it stack up against Diablo 3? Click the link below to learn my impressions of the game."
CowboyNeal writes: "This week sees the release of Borderlands 2, the sequel to Gearbox Software's 2009 role-playing shooter Borderlands. Pandora is ready to be explored yet again, with a cast of new heroes, and a few familiar faces along the way. There's new and different guns, and also guns, and did I mention guns? Also, there's guns. Read on to learn about my experience in Borderlands 2, and the joys of Pandora's gun-based economy."
CowboyNeal writes: "It seems like the news on everyone's favorite most resilient BitTorrent site never ends, as we approach its ninth birthday in just a couple days. Google has even recently wiped TPB results from auto-complete searches. Last month Nick Bilton wrote a rather insightful piece in the NYT (also covered on Slashdot), about 'Why Internet Pirates Always Win.' Read on, as I examine not only why he's right, but how piracy could be further curbed already."
George Albercook says he got carried away talking with some third and fourth graders about space and asked them, "Would you like to go?" Except, of course, he couldn't send them beyond the atmosphere in person, so as a consolation he worked with them to send up a balloon that could carry experiments high enough that the sky is black 24 hours a day and the Earth's curvature is easy to see. This interview with George was at the 2012 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire. Click on the link just below, if you'd like to read the transcript.
This presentation was given by Joshua Corman at CodenomiCON 2012 in Las Vegas, an invitation-only security mini-conference sponsored by the pen-testing company Codenomicon that ran concurrently with Black Hat USA 2012. Josh is Director, Security Intelligence, for Akamai, and is one of the instigators of Rugged Software. He sympathizes with Anonymous more than with corporate or government forces that are determined to bring order to everything, including the Internet, on their terms. We have no transcript for this video since we only have permission to embed it, not to alter or add to it. But it's well worth watching, including the accompanying slides. And if Joshua Corman is speaking anywhere near you, it's well worth your time to go see him.
Frequent contributor Bennett Haselton writes: "The distributed-social-networking Diaspora Project recently announced that their software will be released as open source. I don't know if Diaspora specifically will be the Next Big Thing in social networking, but I hope that social networking moves to a decentralized model within the next few years, where anyone can set up and run a hub to administer profiles for themselves and their friends or clients, and where profiles can interact with each other in a distributed fashion instead of on a centralized system like Facebook." Read on for Bennett's thoughts on how that model could work.
Wiki Weapon Project and its idea of making guns with 3D printers has already been mentioned on Slashdot. It has also been written up on Forbes.com and a lot of other geek and non-geek sites. Note that when some Wiki Weapon proponents talk about making "guns" with 3D printers, they may be talking only about lower receivers or other static parts, not barrels, firing pins or other parts that must be machined to close tolerances and are subjected to a lot of stress when the gun fires. But low-cost 3D printing and low-cost CNC machining technologies are both advancing at a rapid rate, so thinking about the intersection of firearm manufacturing and open source is both worthwhile and timely. There's been a strong debate about this topic on Eric S. Raymond's Armed and Dangerous blog that's worth reading. Also recommended: The Home Gunsmith.com and CNC Gunsmithing. Astute Slashdot readers will, no doubt, recommend many more. Meanwhile, this video is about licensing, distribution, and legal matters, not the actual manufacture of firearms. There's a transcript (we're finally doing transcripts of selected videos) below the video for those who prefer to read instead of watch.
CowboyNeal writes "Controversial patent-holding company Intellectual Ventures has been covered on Slashdot before, but a recent CNET article takes a look inside the company, at how they work, and what they have planned for the future. Read below to find out if they are merely a patent-troll, or if their shrewd tactics belie a more noble master plan?"
TARDIS they hope to take to Burning Man. Others are college student roboteers, working on their entry in a regional IEEE robotics contest. They're cutting, shaping, drilling, soldering, programming, talking, and generally having a great time. Timothy says they're Texas-friendly, too, so go ahead and stop on by if you're in the neighborhood. They're open 24/7, too, so whenever you have an urge to make something, ATX Hackerspace is ready to help you satisfy that urge.
Jon Brodkin writes "There’s a new Super Mario Bros. game out for the 3DS handheld console. It’s called New Super Mario Bros. 2 and features Mario, Princess Peach, Bowser, and the same fun gameplay you’ve come to expect from Nintendo’s most iconic game series. But this latest adventure stands out by not standing out at all." Read below for the rest of Jon's review.
This past week, SCO filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which finally begins the end of a long saga that started over nine years ago. While their anti-IBM litigation has risen from the grave and still shambles onward, the company itself is nearly put to rest after nine years of choosing the wrong legal battle to get into. Even if it may be too early to dance on SCO's grave, join me as I look back over the long and bumpy road to nowhere of The SCO Group.
demonstrate at a political party convention in the next couple of weeks? Either way, you need to watch this video, shot by Timothy Lord and unknown_lamer at H.O.P.E. (Hackers on Planet Earth), which will teach you the rudiments of unhandcuffing yourself -- but on purpose leaves out the fine points. For those, you'll need to buy several pairs of handcuffs and practice on your own. At worst, you will probably embarrass yourself no more than Timothy does as he tries to shimmy his handcuffed hands from behind him to in front of him, starting at about 5:18.
Ad-hoc wireless mesh networking for the zombie apocalypse. It's also potentially useful for less-thrilling emergencies, such as floods, earthquakes, and political uprisings (or getting everyone at the office their /. fix when the network goes down). The latest version debuted at the HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth) conference in July, 2012. You can download your very own copy of Byzantium any time you like. Hopefully you will then burn a dozen or so CDs (it's compact enough that it doesn't need a DVD) for friends and neighbors, so that if you suddenly see zombies approaching and your regular ISP has already been overrun and isn't working, you can set up a wireless mesh network and coordinate your anti-zombie efforts. And you won't even need to use the command line. (slides and audio of their presentation)