KGBear writes: My friend has an old scuba tank that was filled by his father in Cuba, in the 60's. Now he's moving and, being tired of carrying the thing around with him, has given it to me, provided I find something of scientific interest to do with it. Certainly in the/. crowd there is someone who can put old Cuban air to good use?
KGBear writes: The last few years have seen a remarkable raise in legislation aimed at controlling what I can do on the Internet. From the grand daddy of them all, the DMCA to the unborn ACTA, the recent passage of the deBill in the UK and recenteffortsofallkinds. I think I understand the motivation behind the actions of Iranian, Chinese, and Venezuelan governments; but what of the so-called "free world?" Is it really just clueless politicians falling prey to Hollywood lobbyists or is there some hidden agenda? Maybe the sensible, logical and knowledgeable/. crowd will have some insights I've missed.
KGBear writes: The company I work for will soon force me to participate in Exchange, with calendaring being mandatory. Both my main machine and my laptop are Macs. All my other machines run Linux. I have not run Windows for anything serious since 1996. Currently I use Thunderbird with lots od add-ons for e-mail and iCal (with MobileMe) for calendaring. I profoundly dislike the Outlook look & feel. What are my options? Any suggestions, tips, stories to share?
KGBear writes: I recently decided to go back to my first geek love: electronics. It used to be my main hobby 20 years ago but I haven't done anything since (well, got married, had a child). In trying to go back I realized there are no more brick-and-mortar electronics stores. It's all web. I was used to browsing store aisles, picking what I wanted or seeing something that would give me an idea for a project. My question is: how do I get the supplies I need while not overpaying for shipping? It doesn't seem smart to design something, come up with a parts list and order just that, then pay for shipping all over again when I need parts for my next project. What would be your ideal parts inventory that can be re-supplied regularly?
KGBear writes: We're seeing paper after paper either converting to websites or just dying. Witness Rocky Mountain News and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. We all know why they are dying: we no longer need what they have to sell. What good is something that brings me yesterday's news once daily when I can get this minute's news every minute — and for free? This is how it should be. It should be like this also with music publishers and distributors. My question is this: why aren't newspapers lobbying congress to outlaw free news dissemination online? Or conversely, why is the music industry able to get away with it?
KGBear writes: Daniel Lyons, who has been covering the SCO lawsuits for Forbes.com, feels the need to write his "mea culpa". From the article: "I reported what they said. Turns out I was getting played (...) I got it wrong. The nerds got it right (...) Someday soon the SCO lawsuits will go away, and I will never have to write another article about SCO ever again. I can't wait."
KGBear writes: I've been participating in/. for about 10 years. Lately and more and more frequently I've been having this feeling that/. is becoming/has become irrelevant. Apple/Microsoft is good/bad, the recurringboringmetricationofAmerica, up to today's predictable take on IT people, make me wonder if/.'s era isn't over. In that spirit, what suggestions do/.'ers have for getting a high-quality fix of relevant, current, news for nerds?
Yuri writes: In a couple of months I'll be taking a vacation: from Denver to SF by train, from SF to LA and then Las Vegas by rental car. Besides the obvious Star Trek Experience at the Vegas Hilton,what's a geek to do in (and between) these destinations?