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Comment Re:That's a relief (Score 1) 80

I work for CollabNet's engineering team for TeamForge -- CollabNet does provide a yum server for updates and current versions of subversion for TeamForge users. While CentOS (What our VMWare image uses) is at 5.x, we stay with that version so that companies get the benefits of having a stable release (as far as underlying software versions go) with security updates (through the upstream).

Feel free to email me and if you have any questions, or any additional feedback about our installer or the product in general, I'd love to have it.

Comment Re:Why not ask about human rights in China? (Score 2, Interesting) 515

I didn't say too big 'in China'. That they are not the most popular search there is not material to the situation. They are too big a global company that their issues with China can be ignored by other companies and governments. That is the point.

Comment Re:more reasons for a US-China split (Score 1) 515

If the Chinese sold THAT much of our debt at a huge discount, the US government would do well to just buy it back up. If you did some tax hikes and spending cuts to raise revenue the US could make out quite well. After all - the Chinese gave the US $x years ago, and then today the US is free of obligation by giving them $x/10. Even if we paid them back $x we'd still make out on time-value-of-money.

The only thing that it hurts is the ability to issue new debt at low rates - at least until the Chinese run out of bonds to sell.

Comment Re:Free trade of ideas, anyone? (Score 0, Flamebait) 687

How many have you met, out of 1.2 billion, that you can speak for the Chinese people? Have you met those in prisons or those who can't get jobs because of their political beliefs? What about those who can't practice their religion? What about those who censor their beliefs so they can keep their jobs? What about those in Tibet? In Xinjiang? What about those protesting against the government all over China, because their rights are ignored and trampled by a political establishment which has no responsibility to the people (because they can't be voted out of office)? Why must the Communist Party jail democracy advocates and censor the Internet, if their people don't want it?

Let me answer your self-righteous question with another self-righteous question. Of these trampled down masses that are protesting the government, how many have you met? Are they not capable for speaking for themselves? Hare dare you engage in the soft bigotry of ascribing your own motivations to the actions of the oppressed! /sarcasm

But seriously, are the Tibetans that yearn to be free of Beijing, yearning for a democracy, or merely the return to the theocratic feudal state and their god-king that ruled Tibet for millennia?

Are the religious minorities calling for elections, or are they merely wanting to be left alone?

Are the Uyghurs calling for elections, or the end of a government policy of encouraging the migration of Han from the populous east to the less populous west?

Are the Chinese government protests calling for democracy, or merely an end of corruption?

But the facts are overwhelming: Democracy and freedom are desires and values universal to humanity.

And yet authoritarianism is on the rise across the middle east. Do you truly believe that if the Saudi family were toppled today, and election was held, that anything like a Jeffersonian democracy would spring forth, or would it merely be another Iran or worse?

And speaking of Iran, here is a country that not only toppled one dictator, the Shah, but then sought to install a shill democracy, the Islamic Republic. Even now would the Ayatollahs be under threat if they just counted the votes? I think not. And if Ahmadinejad were somehow replaced, would the protest continue, or would they be diminished? An interesting question that neither of us can answer.

The people of South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, India, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and others, representing almost every other non-Western culture, have adopted it with great success. Only those who are forcibly repressed by their government are denied it. And all over the world, nearly 100% of the most prosperous, stable countries are democracies.

Account for Russia then? It's 6th in GDP by Purchasing Power Parity, yet is only nominally a democracy. Not only have they moved backwards from the joyous day in 1991, they have positively skipped happily back towards oligarchy and totalitarianism. Putin is wildly popular in that country, and yet he has done all he could to dismantle the democratic process.

Turkey is a country that has a history of military coups, including a plot this past year, and threatened one back in 2007. Hardly shining example.

To say the people of China lack the motivation or ability to seize it for themselves is patronizing and insulting.

Nice try.

Hardware Hacking

DIY USB Servo-Guided Water Gun 66

An anonymous reader writes "What better way is there to learn something than by making your own DIY gadget? Here's a new video showing how to use a common hobby servo, in conjunction with a small water pump, to create a USB controlled water gun! You can use your keyboard to aim and fire at an unsuspecting passerby. Both fun and educational, this project looks like a great DIY weekend project for any IT guy, wanting to make sure people think twice before asking a stupid question!"

Phoenix Mars Lander Declared Dead 154

SpuriousLogic sends in a sad note from the BBC: "NASA says its Phoenix lander on the surface of Mars has gone silent and is almost certainly dead. Engineers have not heard from the craft since Sunday 2 November when it made a brief communication with Earth. Phoenix, which landed on the planet's northern plains in May, had been struggling in the increasing cold and dark of an advancing winter. The US space agency says it will continue to try to contact the craft but does not expect to hear from it."

Slashdot's Disagree Mail Screenshot-sm 100

Ernest Hemingway's micro-story, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn," is one of my favorite examples of how less is sometimes more. Sometimes a few sentences say it all; you don't always need a hundred pages to convey an idea. Most of the mail I get is brief and to the point. Others are just brief. To be honest, I appreciate the short, crazy email more than the long rants, and they can be just as funny. Read below for this week's mail snippets.

AOL Opens Up the AIM Instant Messaging Network 209

AVIDJockey writes "In a pleasantly surprising move, AOL has changed its tune when it comes to third-party access to the company's chat network. America Online has recently launched a service called OpenAIM 2.0, which provides open, uninhibited access to services like Meebo, or all-in-one IM clients like Pidgin, allowing them to freely and easily use the AIM instant messaging network. 'At the moment, multi-platform IM desktop clients like Pidgin or Adium (the popular Mac client) generally rely on hacking and reverse engineering access to chat networks run by AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft and others. Not only is that bad for developers since it means more work, it also means that such clients often can't use all the features of a particular network.'"

Failed Avionics a Possible Cause of BA038 Crash 369

Muhammar writes "As you may have heard by now, both engines of the Boeing 777 aircraft flight BA038 suddenly cut off without warning at very low altitude and low speed during autopilot-assisted landing at Heathrow. A prompt reaction of the pilots prevented the stall and saved all lives aboard. The crash landing short of the runway tore off the landing gear on impact, and the fuselage plowed a long, deep gouge in the grass. With the investigation ongoing, the available information points to an electronic control problem as the most likely cause of the sudden engine power loss."

Afterlife Will Be Costly For Digital Films 395

Andy Updegrove writes "For a few years now we've been reading about the urgency of adopting open document formats to preserve written records. Now, a 74-page report from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences warns that digital films are as vulnerable to loss as digitized documents, but vastly more expensive to preserve — as much as $208,569 per year. The reasons are the same for video as for documents: magnetic media degrade quickly, and formats continue to be created and abandoned. If this sounds familiar and worrisome, it should. We are rushing pell-mell into a future where we only focus on the exciting benefits of new technologies without considering the qualities of older technologies that are equally important — such as ease of preservation — that may be lost or fatally compromised when we migrate to a new whiz-bang technology." Here's a registration-free link for the NYTimes article cited in Andy's post.

What's the Best Way to Recycle Old Tech in the US? 255

Tim Danhamn writes ", a green-focused Web site, has put up an article about the best way to recycle your old tech, including local recycling centers and reusing old technology in other ways. I'm about to upgrade to a new PC and I have a lot of old radios, MP3 players and other electronic goods lying around the house. The article though is mostly about solutions in the UK, so I want to know - what is the best way to recycle old tech in the US?"

Porsche: there simply is no substitute. -- Risky Business