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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

Recent /. Posts - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 4:13pm
An anonymous reader writes I use email to communicate with my folks overseas. Their ISP only allows dial-up access to their email account (there is no option of changing ISP), that can receive messages no larger than 1MB nor hold more than 15MB (no hope of changing that either). They are computer-illiterate, click on everything they receive, and take delight on sending their information to any Nigerian prince that contacts them, "just in case this one is true". Needless to say, their PC is always full of viruses and spyware. In my next yearly visit, instead of just cleaning it up, I'd like to gift them with some "hardened" PC to use for email only that would hopefully last the year before someone has to fix it. So far, these are the things I have in mind: Some kind of linux distro, or maybe even mac. Most viruses over there are windows only and propagate via Autorun.inf or by email attachments, not having Windows could prevent both. Some desktop environment that hides anything unrelated to connecting to the net and accessing their account (dial-up software, email client, web browser, exchanging files between their hard disk/email attachments and USB drives). By "hide", I just want the rest to be out of the way, but not entirely removed, so that if necessary, I can guide them over the phone. For this, Ubuntu's Unity seems like a particularly bad solution, but a Gnome desktop with non-removable desktop shortcuts (is this possible?) for the file manager, browser, email client and dial-up program could work. An android system is unlikely to work (they have no wifi, and they were utterly confused with Android's UI). This could be a life saver: some kind of extension to the email client that executes commands on specially formatted emails (e.g., signed with my private key), so that I can do some basic diagnostics or install extra software if I have to. This las point is important: they currently rely on acquaintances who may not be competent (they can't evaluate that) if something happens between my visits. They, most likely, wont know how to deal with anything non-windows, so all tech support would fall on me. (This is the reason I haven't moved them from windows yet.)Another very useful extension would be something to automatically re-assemble attachments split into several emails, to overcome the 1MB message limit. Does any of that exist? If I have to build that system myself (or parts of it), do you have other suggestions? For the inevitable and completely reasonable suggestion of getting someone competent for tech support: I've tried that too. The competent ones don't last beyond the third visit.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Airbnb To Start Collecting Hotel Tax On Rentals In San Francisco

Recent /. Posts - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 3:30pm
An anonymous reader writes Airbnb announced that it will begin collecting a 14% occupancy tax on behalf of its San Francisco hosts October 1. "This is the culmination of a long process that began earlier this year when we announced our intent to help collect and remit occupancy taxes in San Francisco," wrote Airbnb public policy leader David Owen. The company already collects taxes in Portland, and has discussed the possibility of collecting taxes in New York.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








The Diatomist

Ant's Vimeo Likes - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 3:25pm

THE DIATOMIST is a short documentary about Klaus Kemp, master of the Victorian art of diatom arrangement.

Diatoms are single cell algae that create jewel-like glass shells around themselves. Microscopists of the Victorian era would arrange them into complex patterns, invisible to the naked eye but spectacular when viewed under magnification.The best of these arrangements are stunning technical feats that reveal the hidden grandeur of some of the smallest organisms on Earth. Klaus Kemp has devoted his entire life to understanding and perfecting diatom arrangement and he is now acknowledged as the last great practitioner of this beautiful combination of art and science. THE DIATOMIST showcases his incredible work.

Soundtrack by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Bernard Herrmann and Cults Percussion Ensemble.

MATTHEW KILLIP is an English filmmaker living in New York. His documentaries have been broadcast on UK television and exhibited in festivals including Sundance and True/False.

Cast: Matthew Killip

Tags: Diatoms, Victorian, Nature, Naturalist, Art, Microscope, Microscopy, Documentary, Klaus Kemp, Matthew Killip, Bernard Herrmann, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Cults Percussion Ensmble

Glass Blowing | Jeremy Maxwel Wintrebert (Heart of Glass Documentary preamble)

Ant's Vimeo Likes - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 3:21pm

This film is the preamble of the documentary Heart of Glass.
Heart of Glass is a journey. A road trip through several countries on two continents in pursuit of a story.
The story of a young glass blower with a singular talent: Jeremy Maxwell Wintrebert.
The film follows him in his daily life--working in the studio and on the road.
Jeremy recounts growing up in Africa, where he drew inspiration for his first pieces. He speaks of his family of Franco-American origin, difficult events he faced, the challenges of returning to Europe. He speaks of his first encounter with glass at age 19. The first time he saw the hot glass moving at the end of a blow pipe was his seminal moment. The way the glass, fluid, delicate and mysterious, danced that day has forever changed him.
The film reveals how passion can undo a tragic fate.

Feel free to help the project with the Tip Jar ! :)

Directed
by
Jérôme de Gerlache

Images
Jérôme de Gerlache
Pascal Boudet

Music composed
by
Cyesm
"Blowing the wind"
Extract from "Score"
© Good citizen factory 2014

Produced by Marty

© Marty 2014

jeremyglass.com/
instagram.com/jeremy_maxwell_wintrebert
facebook.com/pages/Heart-Of-Glass/1439306046340207
cyesm.bandcamp.com/album/score
facebook.com/Cyesm.music
martyestuneentreprise.com/
jeromedegerlache.com/

Cast: Jérôme de Gerlache

Tags:

Christchurch From the Streets Spring 2014.

Ant's Vimeo Likes - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 3:16pm

**Starting 21st September. TVONE. Sunday 11.30am***

Gerard Smyth (award-winning Director of When a City Falls) has assembled a team who are uncovering Christchurch’s innovations through the lives of every day people living in extraordinary times.

Four years on from the first earthquakes we ask what could be- for our people, for our city. Building on the success of the first series, the second series of Christchurch: From the Streets, looks to the future. In a rebuild expected to cost 40-50 billion, change is what Christchurch people are collectively learning to embrace.

From the Streets sees Christchurch as the petri dish for the whole land. Innovations occurring in the city will affect all of New Zealand. At the same time the show gives Christchurch locals a voice in their own recovery and an understanding of the astonishing changes forming all around them.

From the back of an ageing Mercedes, presenters Rachel Morton and Lindon Puffin criss-cross the streets of Christchurch. They pick up a tour guide and along the way meet the dreamers, innovators and engineers who are creating the new city.

Cast: Gerard Smyth

Tags: Christchurch, From the Streets, Earthquake, TV ONE, Innovation and Change

ULA and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Announce Rocket Engine Partnership

Recent /. Posts - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 2:47pm
An anonymous reader writes During an event at the National Press Club, Bezos announced an agreement with Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance, the joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, to continue development of a new rocket engine for ULA's Atlas and Delta rocket lines. From the article: "Called BE-4, the engine has been in the works at Blue Origin for three years and is currently in testing at the company's West Texas facilities. ULA, founded in 2006, has supplied rockets to the US Department of Defense and NASA and will now co-fund the BE-4 project to accelerate its completion. The agreement is for a four-year development process with testing slated for 2016 and flight in 2019."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Are Matt's Robot Hexapods Creepy or Cute? (Video)

Recent /. Posts - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 2:03pm
University of Arizona grad student Matt Bunting doesn't come across as a mad scientist. That's a very good thing, because his robot hexapod creations are easy to imagine crawling across the USA in large hordes, devouring everything in their path and using all the electricity they come across to feed their Queen Hexapod, a 3-D printer mounted on a hexapod chassis that turns everything fed to it into more robots. Luckily, the real life Matt is an affable (self-described) "Roboticist, Electrical Engineer, Musician, and Rock Crawler" who freely admits that at this time his robotic creations have no practical application whatsoever. This is probably true, except for the fact that they can liven up a music video like mad, as you can see on YouTube in Pedals Music Video (featuring REAL robots) . Our little video is a lot simpler, of course. In it, we interview Matt and he tells us what he's up to with his robots, and gives some 'how to get started with robotics' advice for budding young engineers. (Alternate Video Link)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Use of Forced Labor "Systemic" In Malaysian IT Manufacturing

Recent /. Posts - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 1:18pm
itwbennett (1594911) writes "The use of forced labor is so prevalent in the Malaysian electronics manufacturing industry that there is hardly a major brand name that isn't touched by the illegal practice, according to a report funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and undertaken by Verité, a nonprofit organization focused on labor issues. The two-year study surveyed more than 500 migrant workers at around 200 companies in Malaysia's IT manufacturing sector and found one in three were working under conditions of forced labor."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








eBay Redirect Attack Puts Buyers' Credentials At Risk

Recent /. Posts - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 12:35pm
mrspoonsi points out this BBC story about an eBay breach that was directing users to a spoof site. "eBay has been compromised so that people who clicked on some of its links were automatically diverted to a site designed to steal their credentials. The spoof site had been set up to look like the online marketplace's welcome page. The firm was alerted to the hack on Wednesday night but removed the listings only after a follow-up call from the BBC more than 12 hours later. One security expert said he was surprised by the length of time taken. 'EBay is a large company and it should have a 24/7 response team to deal with this — and this case is unambiguously bad,' said Dr Steven Murdoch from University College London's Information Security Research Group. The security researcher was able to analyze the listing involved before eBay removed it. He said that the technique used was known as a cross-site scripting (XSS) attack."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








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