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Comment: Re:Their own timetable (Score 1) 43

by Arthur Dent '99 (#47300357) Attached to: SpaceX Delays Falcon 9 Launch To Tuesday

They've now delayed the launch to at least the first week of July. Here's a statement from the SpaceX website:

SpaceX is taking a closer look at a potential issue identified while conducting pre-flight checkouts during yesterday's countdown. SpaceX will stand down Tuesday while our engineering teams evaluate further, which will also allow the Range to move forward with previously scheduled maintenance. We are currently targeting the first week of July and will work with the Range to confirm the next available launch opportunities.

I think it's good that they're cautious. It shows that they're being thorough rather than reckless. And I'm sure their customers who have a very expensive piece of hardware on the rocket also appreciate that too. After all, this IS rocket science.

Comment: Re:Freshmeat, Freecode, ... (Score 1) 62

by Arthur Dent '99 (#47285739) Attached to: Freecode Freezeup

I just checked out Ohloh for the first time. While it does look like it could be very useful, it's not really the same approach as Freecode.

I like that Ohloh actually downloads the source code of the projects that it indexes, and then allows you to search through all that source code on its site. In that respect, it does far more than Freecode ever did. (Although honestly, I'm not sure that I'd ever need to use that feature.)

But the thing that I really enjoyed about Freecode was more of the news aspect of things: keeping up with what projects were being changed, what new features were being added or what bugs were being fixed, and discovering applications that I never thought about before, simply because they appeared in the news feed. It was kind of like checking the pulse of the open source movement, and/or letting serendipity guide you into finding something cool. Ohloh really makes you dig if you want to find something, though (there's no predefined category tree that I can see, you just search by keywords), and you can't really see what projects changed today and what those changes were.

Wireshark fixed a security flaw? They'd post a brief description to Freecode. Now I know that I need to download the latest version. Somebody just released a program that teaches sorting methods through audiovisualization? I never thought about that before, but that's pretty cool, I'll check it out. That's the kind of thing that you can't currently find on Ohloh. I don't want to be notified about every single commit to every project I'm interested in; just when they release something important. When they did something important, they'd post a description of it to Freecode, and then we'd all know. It was cool. It was more about sharing, and less about searching. If that makes sense.

I hope another site can become the pulse of open source like Freecode was, and not merely just another searchable directory out there that nobody uses.

Comment: Logins disabled? Can't export followed projects! (Score 3, Informative) 62

by Arthur Dent '99 (#47264177) Attached to: Freecode Freezeup

I regularly visit Freecode to see the new open source projects and discover updates to the projects that I'm already using. I've built up quite a library of projects that I follow on Freecode. Now it seems that they've disabled logins, so there doesn't appear to be a way to at least write down the information on all of the projects that I have followed in the past. Any chance that they'll at least temporarily enable logins again, in order to "export" followed projects, or are we just hosed?

Comment: Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (Score 5, Informative) 234

by Arthur Dent '99 (#45415023) Attached to: Britain's Conservatives Scrub Speeches from the Internet

I apologize for my mistake. Until just a few minutes ago, I was unaware that the Internet Archive agrees to RETROACTIVELY honor a robots.txt file. So once a robots.txt file restricts access to content, they voluntarily remove access to previously archived content from the archive. Here's the related item from their FAQ:


Some sites are not available because of robots.txt or other exclusions. What does that mean?

The Internet Archive follows the Oakland Archive Policy for Managing Removal Requests And Preserving Archival Integrity

The Standard for Robot Exclusion (SRE) is a means by which web site owners can instruct automated systems not to crawl their sites. Web site owners can specify files or directories that are disallowed from a crawl, and they can even create specific rules for different automated crawlers. All of this information is contained in a file called robots.txt. While robots.txt has been adopted as the universal standard for robot exclusion, compliance with robots.txt is strictly voluntary. In fact most web sites do not have a robots.txt file, and many web crawlers are not programmed to obey the instructions anyway. However, Alexa Internet, the company that crawls the web for the Internet Archive, does respect robots.txt instructions, and even does so retroactively. If a web site owner decides he / she prefers not to have a web crawler visiting his / her files and sets up robots.txt on the site, the Alexa crawlers will stop visiting those files and will make unavailable all files previously gathered from that site. This means that sometimes, while using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, you may find a site that is unavailable due to robots.txt (you will see a "robots.txt query exclusion error" message). Sometimes a web site owner will contact us directly and ask us to stop crawling or archiving a site, and we endeavor to comply with these requests. When you come accross a "blocked site error" message, that means that a siteowner has made such a request and it has been honored.

Currently there is no way to exclude only a portion of a site, or to exclude archiving a site for a particular time period only.

When a URL has been excluded at direct owner request from being archived, that exclusion is retroactive and permanent.

Comment: Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (Score 1) 234

by Arthur Dent '99 (#45414757) Attached to: Britain's Conservatives Scrub Speeches from the Internet

The post is misleading. The Conservative website now has a "robots.txt" file which is designed to prevent search engines like the Internet Archive from archiving current and future content. They did not delete previously archived content from the Internet Archive.

Basically, the robots.txt convention is based on politeness. It merely lists directories and files which "honest" search engines agree to not search through. There's nothing actually stopping anyone from ignoring these requests and searching those "disallowed" directories anyway.

Techdirt: CISPA Passes The House, As 288 Representatives Don't Want To Protect Your Privac->

From feed by feedfeeder
This is not wholly surprising, but after some debate and some half-hearted attempts at pretending they care about the public's privacy rights, the House has passed CISPA, 288 votes against 127. The vote breakdown did not go fully along party lines, though it was clearly Republican driven. 196 Republicans voted for it, while just 29 voted against it (despite numerous conservative groups coming out against the bill). The Democrats split down the middle. 92 Dems voted for it and 98 against. If you compare this to last year, it looks like a lot more Democrats went from opposing to being in favor of trampling your privacy rights. Last year, 140 Dems voted against CISPA and only 42 for it. Either way, this seems like a pretty bi-partisan decision to shaft the American public on their privacy rights. That said, there is still the threat of a Presidential veto (though, with the vote today, the House is close to being able to override a veto). The bigger question is now the Senate, which couldn't agree on a cybersecurity bill last year, and has shown no signs of improvement this year. If you want to protect your privacy, it's time to focus on the Senate, and make sure they know not to pass a privacy-destroying bill like CISPA.

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Businesses

+ - Wikipedia COO was Convicted Felon

Submitted by Arthur Dent '99
Arthur Dent '99 (226844) writes "According to this AP story, Carolyn Bothwell Doran was COO for the Wikimedia Foundation for six months before it was discovered that she was a convicted felon with charges of theft, drunk driving, and shooting her boyfriend in the chest. Of interest to me is her apparent connection to the CIA; her father was a CIA official, and her late husband was a former CIA officer who drowned on their honeymoon in 1999 (providing plenty of good fodder for conspiracy theorists). The Wikimedia Foundation is now performing background checks on its officers."
Education

+ - One Lapdance Per Child

Submitted by Arthur Dent '99
Arthur Dent '99 (226844) writes "A reporter from the News Agency of Nigeria has discovered that several primary school children are downloading pornography on the laptops donated by the One Laptop Per Child project. AN OLPC official has stated that the laptops will now be fitted with filters.

I believe that children should indeed be protected from the seedier side of the Internet. My question regards how that filtering will be handled. Are the school districts who receive donated equipment responsible themselves to install and maintain filtering software, or is it the responsibility of the manufacturer to pre-install filtering software on laptops destined for schools? If so, does the school district itself have any way to add and/or remove blacklisted sites from the pre-installed filter?"
Announcements

+ - Jean Ichbiah, Chief Architect of Ada, Dies

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Jean Ichbiah, the chief architect of the Ada programming language, has died (http://www.adaic.org/news/ichbiah.html). Although Ada is not widely used today outside of DoD, the language introduced a generation of programmers to practical language constructs for what had until then been esoteric features such as overloading, exception handling, and multi-tasking."
Power

+ - Affordable Solar Manufacturing Breakthrough

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "International Automated Systems, Inc. (IAUS) has announced that they have set a new production record for solar panel manufacturing, both in speed and in cost. They claim to have manufactured nearly 1,000 Kilowatts of IAUS's solar panels in a short 24-hour run. The IAUS system consists of panels which serve as lenses to focus the sun's heat on a heat exchanger that then produce steam or other high-temperature fluid that is then passed through a simple, patented turbine which is connected to a generator to produce electricity. The company says that they have achieved the milestone of producing electricity via solar energy at a price below wholesale grid pricing."

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