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Submission + - Over 10,000 Problems Fixed In Detroit Thanks To Cellphone App (

An anonymous reader writes: Six months ago, Detroit's city officials launched a smartphone app called "Improve Detroit." The idea was to give residents a way to easily inform city hall of problems that needed to be fixed. For example: potholes, abandoned vehicles, broken hydrants and traffic lights, water leaks, and more. Since that time, over 10,000 issues have been fixed thanks to reports from that app. "Residents have long complained about city hall ignoring litter and broken utilities. But the app has provided a more transparent and direct approach to fixing problems." Perhaps most significant is its effect on the water supply: running water has been shut off to almost a thousand abandoned structures, and over 500 water main breaks have been located with the app's help. Crowd-sourced city improvement — imagine if apps like this become ubiquitous.

Submission + - Redesign Puts Off Users 1

paradog1 writes: The popular food website rolled out a redesign a month ago. After a month-long beta period during which there were hundreds of complaints, the change appeared suddenly, and just as suddenly new content dropped precipitously. Most of the new content is in the Site Feedback area, not in areas related to food. Moderators are squelching posts criticizing the new design. There's an article in today's LA Times: , and one from a couple of weeks ago in the San Francisco area East Bay Express: . Many computer professionals using the site think it's a classic example of how badly-planned UX design can kill off a website.

Submission + - Debian dropping Linux Standard Base (

basscomm writes: For years (as seen on Slashdot) the Linux Standard Base has been developed as an attempt to reduce the differences between Linux distributions in an effort significant effort. However, Debian Linux has announced that they are dropping support for the Linux Standard Base due to a lack of interest.

If [Raboud's] initial comments about lack of interest in LSB were not evidence enough, a full three months then went by with no one offering any support for maintaining the LSB-compliance packages and two terse votes in favor of dropping them. Consequently, on September 17, Raboud announced that he had gutted the src:lsb package (leaving just lsb-base and lsb-release as described) and uploaded it to the "unstable" archive. That minimalist set of tools will allow an interested user to start up the next Debian release and query whether or not it is LSB-compliant—and the answer will be "no."

Submission + - Another EPA wastewater spill in Colorado

schwit1 writes: EPA workers have caused another wastewater spill in Colorado.

According to the Denver Post, an EPA mine crew working Thursday at the Standard Mine in the mountains near Crested Butte, triggered another spill of some 2,000 gallons of wastewater into a nearby mountain creek. Supporting Tipton's remarks to Watchdog Arena, the Denver Post report states that the EPA had failed to release a report about the incident at the time of its writing.

Unlike the Gold King Mine, where on Aug. 5, an EPA mine crew exploring possible clean-up options, blew out a structural plug in the mine releasing over 3 million gallons of toxic waste into the Animas River, the Standard Mine is an EPA-designated superfund site, where the federal agency has been directing ongoing clean-up efforts.

According to a the Washington Times regarding this latest spill, Tipton's spokesman, Josh Green, said that locals in the Crested Butte area confirmed the spill. Watchdog Arena spoke directly with Tipton Thursday afternoon who claimed, "They are reporting that the spill consisted of "gray water," and was not toxic. But the definition of gray water does not preclude the presence of possible toxic substances."

It doesn't matter that this spill is smaller and at a superfund site. If a private landowner screwed up like this, and didn't report it, as required by the EPA, the EPA would move in faster than the speed of light to take everything they owned and to put them in prison.

Comment And there's always nginx rewrite, too — mdoc (Score 2) 138

I might be subjective as I'm the author of it, but this somewhat remind me of my project, which is what I call a deterministic URL shortener, or, perhaps, better yet, a semantic URL provider.

The whole source code is an nginc.conf configuration file, and is just a bunch of regular expressions and `rewrite` and `location` rules, available under an BSD/ISC licence, of course -- that's the one that comes with "no strings attached", BTW!

Comment Twitter download private links? (Score 1) 80

If Twitter's behaviour for elongating the URLs in the public Tweets is any indication, their own bots actually download the contents of the links, allegedly trying to scan it for malware or whatnot.

I, personally, suffer because I never experience any URLs being shortened, they instead only get elongated by the service, reducing already constrained character space.

I mean, you don't have to go far to find a URL shorter than Even if you have a newly registered .com, it's still likely they'll only elongate it if you ever post a link to it.

And Twitter should really change the name of their subservice disservice to be more technically accurate.

The CEO of is especially annoyed (and rightly so) -- he can't even refer to his company without getting an elongation!

Comment Give me back my Zero Shutter Lag @ Galaxy Nexus! (Score 2) 117

Submission + - OpenBSD keyboard problems fixed by pms(4) and a forcible mouse port reset

ConstantineM writes: Theo de Raadt writes in on tech@ a fascinating story from the s2k15 hackathon in Brisbane about the reasons that the mice and keyboards were problematic on the new ThinkPad X1, specifically, having keyboard repeat and shutter during install, eventually being figured out to happen due to the large and extra sensitive touchpad. It all came down to the pms driver, or lack thereof, as it's missing only on the RAMDISK kernels used on the install media, and they were the only ones being visibly affected.

The solution is to forcibly reset the mouse port at attach., de Raadt proclaims. Some other keyboard issues, notably boot -c not working on some machines, were also determined to be caused by the mouse ports, too.

But the changes are risky, and require lots of testing prior to commit, due to the plethora of keyboard controller models, so, it didn't make the cut for the upcoming 5.7 release.

Comment Don't you love NETGEAR support? (Score 1) 57

Don't you love the professionalism and issue escalation of the NETGEAR support team? Shows that we, the mere mortals, are not alone here at all!

If even the security research guy can't get them to stop sitting on their arses, what the mere mortals without such pressing issues are left to do when they encounter the various bugs here and there?

Comment Re:When will Lactose make it to Nutrition Facts? (Score 1) 180

But most people in the US are not. Worldwide is meaningless.

Where did you get such information? Even if less than 50% of people in the US are lactose intolerant, the number is unlikely to be that far away from 50%. Most people aren't even aware they're lactose intolerant.

Comment Re:When will Lactose make it to Nutrition Facts? (Score 1) 180

Above and beyond that, even the strictest of severe allergies can be tamed by - guess what - controlled exposure to the substance in question. Give a nut-allergy sufferer sufficiently small injections of nuts and build it up gradually and the allergy ...

The above is complete BS that has no proof whatsoever with science.

On the contrary, science tells us that these things work the other way around:

Ten to 15 percent of people are immune to poison ivy and will never have a rash. Repeated contact however will not give you immunity, in fact just the opposite, Pell explains. “The rashes get worse and worse as your immune system gets better and better at recognizing urushiol.”

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.