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Comment: Re:Easy (Score 1) 460

by FienX (#41309477) Attached to: Why Are Operating System Version Names So Absurd?

Sigh, the two oldes systems at my (current) company (mainframes actually) are called Yoda and Vega. Then we moved to very arbitrary names like xyzapp201 (xyz being company name), and xyzVTapp201 for virtual systems. of course no one could tell you what exactly application was on app201. Now they're a little better about naming them after the system (xyzSQL05 is a sql server boxen), but - and get this - you only get 3 characters for your app name, because - according to our server guys - the maximum length of a host name is *8* characters.... Err... wha? And believe it or not, this apparently is being caused by the linux (RH) servers we're starting to buy. I have long since given up on arguing with them on it.

Comment: Re:This happens in other disciplines. (Score 3, Informative) 317

by FienX (#38695166) Attached to: Code Cleanup Culls LibreOffice Cruft

I've worked on enterprise asset management systems in a number of different industries including electrical utilities, natural gas pipelines, and military. In almost every company they've had some variant of an "abandoned in place" asset status. In cases like power plants, trying to remove a single cable from a series of cable trays or raceways is rarely, if ever, worth the effort and risk. Some cable trays have dozens of cables (and I'm not talking cat5) in them, sometimes half of which are "dead" but removing those from the middle of a stack of hot cables in a working power plant doesn't have much of an ROI.

Power

Batteries To Store Wind Energy 275

Posted by Soulskill
from the charging-at-wind-mills dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "Scientific American reports that Xcel Energy, a Minneapolis-based utility company, has started to test a new technology to store wind energy in batteries. The company is currently trying it in a 1,100 megawatt facility of wind turbines in Southern Minnesota. The company started this effort because 'the wind doesn't always blow and, even worse, it often blows strongest when people aren't using much electricity, like late at night.' It has received a $1 million grant from Minnesota's Renewable Development Fund and the energy plant should be operational (PDF) in the first quarter of 2009. If this project is successful, the utility expects to deploy many more energy plants before 2020 to avoid more polluting energy sources."
Hardware Hacking

Hobbyists Create GPLed DIY Super TV Antenna 185

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the what-open-source-can-do dept.
Freshly Exhumed writes "Retired and hobbyist antenna engineers working together in the Digital Home forums have taken an obscure 1950s UHF TV antenna called the Hoverman [PDF] and subjected the design to modern software-based computer modeling in hopes of optimizing its middling performance. The result: the new Gray-Hoverman antenna is more powerful than similar commercially manufactured consumer antennas in every category, sometimes by whopping amounts. Best thing yet: they've released the design, diagrams, and schematics under the GPLv3 so that we can roll our own! Quoth one of the testers, a former U.S. Government antenna engineer: 'Boy, this antenna is hot... This antenna is a vast, and I mean REALLY VAST improvement over anything I have used.' The home thread of the Gray-Hoverman development gives the background of their great work."
The Courts

A Look at The RIAA's War Against College Students 159

Posted by Soulskill
from the tomb-of-the-anonymous-peer dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "p2pnet.net has put together a fascinating retrospective on the RIAA's war against college students, commenced February 28, 2007. The campaign is described as one to 'force "consumers" to buy what they're told to buy — corporate "content," as the Big 4 call their formulaic outpourings.' In a scathing indictment not only of the major record labels, but of those schools, administrators, and educators who have yet to take a stand against it, Jon Newton reviews a number of landmark moments in the 11-month old 'reign of terror'. They include the announcement of the bizarre 'early settlement' sale, the sudden withdrawal of a case in which a 17 year old Texas high school student had been subpoenaed while in class during school hours to attend a deposition the very next day during his taking of a standardized test, the call by Harvard law professors for the university to fight back when and if attacked, and the differing reactions by other schools."
The Internet

+ - Wikia Search to Launch From Iowa Data Bunker->

Submitted by
miller60
miller60 writes "The new Wikia Search, which launches tomorrow, is being hosted in an underground data bunker in Iowa, far from the traditional Internet hosting hubs in Silicon Valley or northern Virginia. The open source search engine has been in the works since Wikia acquired Grub last July, and is being led by Jabber developer Jeremie Miller. Wikia Search becomes the latest project to opt for ultra-secure hosting in nuke-proof subterranean data centers, often housed in former mines or old military communications facilities or missile silos. While its back-end servers are in central Iowa, Wikia Search will use content delivery networks to support N an expected surge of traffic upon its launch."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft apologizes for Office 2003 SP3 muck-up->

Submitted by
dotancohen
dotancohen writes "Microsoft Corp. apologized yesterday for saying its file format posed a security risk and issued new tools to let users of Office 2003 SP3 unblock a host of barred file types. In a posting to his own blog, David LeBlanc, a senior software development engineer with the Microsoft Office team, admitted the company's mistake in blaming insecure file formats."
Link to Original Source
Robotics

i-Snake, a New Robotic Surgeon 58

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the probably-picks-up-chicks-in-bars-all-weekend-too dept.
Roland Piquepaille noted coverage of the iSnake Robotic Surgeon which is basically a super flexible robot that can travel through blood vessels and repair the heart. Of course the article isn't exactly clear on what happens if they gain control of the city's sewage system and take over.

Comment: Re:Lead in CFL Bulbs (Score 1) 1106

by FienX (#21805484) Attached to: US To Extinguish (Most) Incandescent Bulb Sales By 2012
Google around and you will find that while CFLs do contain a small amount of Mercury in them it is far, far less than would be released into the public (water, air) by current power plants if they were running an incandescent bulb(s) for the equivalent life span. Try a few sites like snopes and wikipedia have good starting info.
Privacy

RCMP Won't Go After Personal Filesharers 405

Posted by kdawson
from the sigh-of-relief-eh dept.
mlauzon writes "The RCMP announced that it will stop targeting people who download copyrighted material for personal use (Google translation). Their priority will be to focus on organized crime and copyright theft that affects the health and safety of consumers, such as copyright violations related to medicine and electrical appliances, instead of the cash flow of large corporations. Around the same time that the CRIA successfully took Demonoid offline, the RCMP made clear that Demonoid's users don't have to worry about getting prosecuted, at least not in Canada. 'Piracy for personal use is no longer targeted,' Noël St-Hilaire, head of copyright theft investigations of the RCMP, said in an interview. 'It is too easy to copy these days and we do not know how to stop it.'"
Mandriva

Nigerian Government Nixes Microsoft's Mandriva Block 327

Posted by Zonk
from the money-well-spent dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After trying to bribe a local supplier with a $400,000 marketing contract, Microsoft has still apparently lost out in trying to woo Nigeria's government to use Windows over Linux. Microsoft threw the money at the supplier after it chose Mandriva Linux for 17,000 laptops for school children across Nigeria. The supplier took the bait and agreed to wipe Mandriva off the machines, but now Nigeria's government has stepped in to stop the dirty deal."
The Courts

Record Company Collusion a Defense to RIAA Case? 275

Posted by samzenpus
from the fight-the-power dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Is collusion by the record companies a defense to an RIAA case? We're about to find out, because the RIAA has made a motion to strike the affirmative defense of Marie Lindor, who alleged that "the plaintiffs, who are competitors, are a cartel acting collusively in violation of the antitrust laws and of public policy, by tying their copyrights to each other, collusively litigating and settling all cases together, and by entering into an unlawful agreement among themselves to prosecute and to dispose of all cases in accordance with a uniform agreement, and through common lawyers, thus overreaching the bounds and scope of whatever copyrights they might have" in UMG v. Lindor."
Windows

PC Magazine Editor Throws in the Towel on Vista 816

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the windows-dreams-dying-or-dead dept.
MacNN caught this incredible defection and loss of faith by a former Vista booster, PC Magazine editor-in-chief Jim Louderback, as he steps down from his position. "I've been a big proponent of the new OS over the past few months, even going so far as loading it onto most of my computers and spending hours tweaking and optimizing it. So why, nine months after launch, am I so frustrated? The litany of what doesn't work and what still frustrates me stretches on endlessly. The upshot is that even after nine months, Vista just ain't cutting it. I definitely gave Microsoft too much of a free pass on this operating system: I expected it to get the kinks worked out more quickly. Boy, was I fooled! If Microsoft can't get Vista working, I might just do the unthinkable: I might move to Linux."
The Internet

The $200 Billion Broadband Rip-Off 464

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the where's-my-dsl-dangit dept.
Jamie noted that Cringley has a piece about the US Broadband situation. He talks about where we were and where we are: 'not very fast, not very cheap Internet service that is hurting our ability to compete economically with the rest of the world' and about the $200B the phone companies got to make it that way.
Privacy

ACLU Protests Police Scanning License Plates 821

Posted by kdawson
from the drift-net-fishing-expedition dept.
dustman81 writes "The ACLU is objecting to the practice of police in Springdale, Ohio using an automated license-plate scanner on patrol cars to locate stolen vehicles or those whose owners are wanted on felony warrants. The scanner can read 900 license plates an hour traveling at highway speeds. So far, the scanner has located 95 stolen cars and helped locate 111 wanted felons. The locations of the license plates scanned are tagged with GPS data. All matches are stored (with no expiration date given) and can be brought up later and cross-referenced on a map. If the plate is wanted, the times and locations of where it was scanned can be referenced. The Springdale police department hopes to begin using the system soon to locate misdemeanor suspects. This system is also in use in British Columbia."

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