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An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man
Posted by News Fetcher on October 20 '14 at 09:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's that-trick's-not-so-weird department:
Any gathering of 65,000 people in the dessert is going to require some major infrastructure to maintain health and sanity. At Burning Man, some of that infrastructure is devoted to a supply chain for ice. Writes Bennett Haselton,

The lines for ice bags at Burning Man could be cut from an hour long at peak times, to about five minutes, by making one small... Well, read the description below of how they do things now, and see if the same suggested change occurs to you. I'm curious whether it's the kind of idea that is more obvious to students of computer science who think algorithmically, or if it's something that could occur to anyone.

Read on for the rest; Bennett's idea for better triage may bring to mind a lot of other queuing situations and ways that time spent waiting in line could be more efficiently employed.

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By timothy from Slashdot's money-goes-further-if-you-live-in-omaha department:
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes Software development and IT remain common jobs among those in the higher brackets, although not the topmost one, according to a new study (with graph) commissioned by NPR. Among those earning between $58,000 and $72,000, IT was the sixth-most-popular job, while software developers came in tenth place. In the next bracket up (earning between $72,000 and $103,000), IT rose to third, with software development just behind in fourth place. As incomes increased another level ($103,000 to $207,000), software developers did even better, coming in second behind managers, although IT dropped off the list entirely. In the top percentile ($207,000 and above), neither software developers nor IT staff managed to place; this is a segment chiefly occupied by physicians (in first place), managers, chief executives, lawyers, and salespeople who are really good at their jobs. In other words, it seems like a good time to be in IT, provided you have a particular skillset. If those high salaries are in Silicon Valley or New York, though, they might not seem as high as half the same rate would in Omaha, or Houston, or Raleigh.

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Reprolabels October Update
Posted by News Fetcher on October 20 '14 at 08:30 AM
By StayingInTheBox from TFW2005:
From the Reprolabels Facebook Page, we have the October update!

For unofficial products, in the update we get our first look at a highly requested set for MMC's Tigris, Unique Toys Salmoore and Splinter, and finally a superb set for MakeToys Trashtalk and Cogwheel!

Also included are sets for official product including sets for Generations Roadbuster, Legends Gears and Eclipse, and three massive sets for the Fall of Cybertron Seekers Starscream, Thundercracker, and Skywarp!

Wrapping up the update, Reprolabels also announced their latest free giveaway! With every $20 spent on Transformers stickers, you will receive a set of 48 "Nano Symbols." The symbols are so small, they can fit onto a Micromaster's shoulder! Use them on all your Nebulans, Mini-Cons and Cassettes!

Check out the full update after the jump.

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By timothy from Slashdot's sponsored-links-you-might-also-enjoy department:
mrspoonsi writes Google has announced changes to its search engine in an attempt to curb online piracy. The company has long been criticised for enabling people to find sites to download entertainment illegally. The entertainment industry has argued that illegal sites should be "demoted" in search results. The new measures, mostly welcomed by music trade group the BPI, will instead point users towards legal alternatives such as Spotify and Google Play. Google will now list these legal services in a box at the top of the search results, as well as in a box on the right-hand side of the page. Crucially, however, these will be adverts — meaning if legal sites want to appear there, they will need to pay Google for the placement.

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By SilverOptimus from TFW2005:
TFW2005 attended the Hasbro Third Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call live today.

The last financial quarter was very eventful for Hasbro. Not only the Hasbro-Discovery Hub Network was rebranded, the next Transformers Animated Series; Transformers: Robots In Disguise went to the Cartoon Network. Hasbro also appointed a new Brand President; Mr. John Frascotti. So, we joined the call unsure of what we might hear this time. Will it be good, bad or the usual? But we did not knew, that we were in for a treat as Hasbro made some important statements regarding the future of some of our beloved brands, including Transformers.

More than a year ago, TFW2005 revealed for the first time, a curious new Hasbro Trademark at the United States Patent & Trademark Office. The trademark is called AllSpark Pictures and it was only today that Hasbro revealed what it is. AllSpark Pictures is a new initiative by Hasbro where the Toy Company will produce Movies. Hasbro Studios will continue to provide content for the Television while AllSpark Pictures will cater the Live Action/Animated Movies.

The call contained:

The success of Transformers: Age Of Extinction

Transformers 5 Announced

AllSpark Pictures

Transformers: Robots In Disguise

You can find more information, after the jump.

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By timothy from Slashdot's they-just-didn't-like-it department:
An anonymous reader writes Michael Geist reports
that according to documents
recently obtained under the Access to Information Act, the Canadian
government quietly proposed a series
of reforms
to combat patent trolls including new prohibitions
on demand letters, powers to the courts to stop patent forum
shopping, and giving competition authorities the ability to deal
with patent troll anti-competitive activity. The problem? Business
lobby groups warned against the "unintended consequences" of patent

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6 Things That Make “AXIS” a Continuity Nightmare
Posted by News Fetcher on October 20 '14 at 06:45 AM
By from Panels on Pages:
After months of build-up, Avengers and X-Men: AXIS is upon us. Marvel's latest and greatest blockbuster event has all the big guns, and that's most of its problem.

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Ubuntu Turns 10
Posted by News Fetcher on October 20 '14 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ten-years-is-a-long-time department:
Scott James Remnant, now Technical Lead on ChromeOS, was a Debian developer before that. That's how he became involved from the beginning (becoming Developer Manager, and then serving on the Technical Board) on the little derivative distribution that Mark Shuttleworth decided to make of Debian Unstable, and for which the name Ubuntu was eventually chosen. On this date in 2004, Ubuntu 4.10 -- aka Warty Warthog, or just Warty -- was released, and Remnant has shared a detailed, nostalgic look back at the early days of the project that has (whatever else you think of it ) become one of the most influential in the world of open source and Free software. I was excited that Canonical sent out disks that I could pass around to friends and family that looked acceptably polished to them in a way that Sharpie-marked Knoppix CD-ROMs didn't, and that the polish extended to the installer, the desktop, and the included constellation of software, too.

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Age of Extinction Wave 3 Custom Kreons In-hand
Posted by News Fetcher on October 20 '14 at 06:15 AM
By StayingInTheBox from TFW2005:
Thanks to TFW2005 member daimchoc and Facebook member Jacquelyn Orenza for linking us to our first in-hand images of wave 3 of the Age of Extinction Custom Kreons - Grimlock, Strafe, Slug and Scorn. We have a really nice set of photos here, all showing off the chromed helmets and other features of the customizable Kreon figures. Make the jump too see all the photos!

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By timothy from Slashdot's funny-how-things-catch-on department:
SmartAboutThings writes The smartwatch market is still in its nascent form, but with Apple releasing its AppleWatch in early 2015, things are going to change. And Microsoft wants to make sure it's not late to the party, as it has been so many times in the past. That's why it plans on releasing its own smartwatch , which would be the first new category under CEO Nadella. The device could get launched with two specific features that could make it stand apart from other similar devices — much better battery life and cross-platform support for iOS and Android users. A release before this year's holiday season is in the cards, with no details on the pricing nor availability. (Also at Reuters and The Inquirer.)

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By timothy from Slashdot's watson-told-them-to department:
helix2301 writes with word that Big Blue has become slightly smaller: IBM will pay $1.5 billion to GlobalFoundries in order to shed its costly chip division. IBM will make payments to the chipmaker over three years, but it took a $4.7 billion charge for the third quarter when it reported earnings Monday. The company fell short of Wall Street profit expectations and revenue slid 4 percent, sending shares down 8 percent before the opening bell.

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By timothy from Slashdot's and-vice-versa department: writes Alastair Philip Wiper writes that at 194 feet wide and 1,312 feet long, the Matz Maersk Triple E is the largest ship ever built, capable of carrying 18,000 20-foot containers. Its propellers weigh 70 tons apiece and it is too big for the Panama Canal, though it can shimmy through the Suez. A U-shaped hull design allows more room below deck, providing capacity for 18,000 shipping containers arranged in 23 rows – enough space to transport 864 million bananas. The Triple-E is constructed from 425 pre-fabricated segments, making up 21 giant "megablock" cross sections. Most of the 955,250 liters of paint used on each ship is in the form of an anti- corrosive epoxy, pre-applied to each block. Finally, a polyurethane topcoat of the proprietary Maersk brand color "Hardtop AS-Blue 504" is sprayed on.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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By timothy from Slashdot's points-of-contact department:
New submitter iamacat writes I am thinking of canceling my regular voice plan and using an LTE hotspot for all my voice and data needs. One big draw is ability to easily use multiple devices without expensive additional lines or constantly swapping SIMs. So I can have an ultra compact Android phone and an iPod touch and operate whichever has the apps I feel like using. Or, if I anticipate needing more screen real estate, I can bring only a Nexus 7 or a laptop and still be able to make and receive VoIP calls. When I am home or at work, I would be within range of regular WiFi and not need to eat into the data plan or battery life of the hotspot.

Has anyone done something similar? Did the setup work well? Which devices and VoIP services did you end up using? How about software for automatic WiFi handoffs between the hotspot and regular home/work networks?

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Orb Hammer
Posted by News Fetcher on October 20 '14 at 01:15 AM
From XKCD:

Ok, but make sure to get lots of pieces of rock, because later we'll decide to stay in a room on our regular orb and watch hammers hold themselves and hit rocks for us, and they won't bring us very many rocks.

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By timothy from Slashdot's actually-my-grandmother-would-have-been-great-at-it-too department:
StartsWithABang writes We like to think of the Mercury 7 — the very first group of NASA astronauts — as the "best of the best," having been chosen from a pool of over 500 of the top military test pilots after three rounds of intense physical and mental tests. Yet when women were allowed to take the same tests, one of them clearly distinguished herself, outperforming practically all of the men. If NASA had really believed in merit, Jerrie Cobb would have been the first female in space, even before Valentina Tereshkova, more than 50 years ago. She still deserves to go.

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