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Submission + - Is it time to seriously get into crypto-currency? And if so, which?

Qbertino writes: German officials recently suggested to make all transactions larger than 5000 Euros illegal in cash. It's only a proposal, but definitely some back-room grey-suits machiavellian attempt to introduce the concept of ultimate transaction tracking in the long term. We all know how this goes. With all this and the ever-looming cyberpunk future in close proximity, I'm starting to wonder if it isn't time to get myself familiar with crypto currency as a means of trade.
Bitcoin is all the hype, but the blockchain has flaws, in that it isn't as anonymous as one would hope for — you can track past transactions. Rumors of Bitcoin showing cracks are popping up and also there are quite a few alternatives out there. So I have some questions: Is getting into dealing with crypto currency worthwhile already? Is bitcoin a way to go or will it falter under wide use / become easyly trackable once NSA and the likes adopt their systems to doing exactly that?
What digital currency has the technical and mind-share potential to superceed bitcoin? Are there feasible cryptocurrencies that have the upsides of bitcoin (such as a mathematical limit to their amount) but are fully anonymous in transactions? What do the economists and digi-currency nerds here have to contribute on that? What are your experiences with handling and holding cryptocurrency? And does bitcoin own the market or is it still flexible enough for an technology upgrade? May the discussion begin ...

Submission + - How to include an entire team into a railroaded Git versioning pipeline?

Qbertino writes: Hoi Everybody. I've got this problem on my hands: I want to tie an entire team (aprox. 30 people) into a simple versioning pipeline based on Git. This is an agency that sells "Social Media Marketing", production of PowerPoint presentations (big market for this — no shit!) and other stuff along those lines.

Just about everybody can barely tell a client from a server and walks out of a talk that is "too complicated" simply because I've shown them a slide with 3 lines of simple HTML code thrown into a general knowlege presentation. (Yeah, I know. Please curb the remarks. Unexpectedly I absolutely love working here. Everybody on the team is great and the culture is amazing, despite just about the entire crew being abysmally ignorant of even the simplest IT basics. I'll take this team over any anti-social bunch of experts any time.)

The cluelessness and general fear of even the slightest thing with IT has my boss tell me that SourceTree — a neat free (beer) cross-plattform client — is "too complicated and confusing" for most of the team and "has too many buttons".

We run all our work of a single massive off-the-shelf NAS share and a regular admin would get horrid nightmares with our asset workflow. Most of the team versions manually with date-numbers added to filenames. ... Which, admittedly, does have the advantage of not requireing any sort of versioning software or client at all ... We do have regular backups and some disaster recovery — but it's all manually maintained via web interfaces and some not-so-super-pro linux admin work by me via SSH and some sorta IT-savy marketing guys on the online team. I do this on the side, my main job is dealing with web projects.

My idea is to have a central set of repos on a central server (already have that) on which everyone can push and pull and perhaps all of them offered up in project access based shares for direct access for those who don't want to touch a versioning client. However, I would love to have a client of some sort that offers up the simplest of GUIs and isn't ugly (this is important). "Commit & Push", "Pull", "Show Unversioned", "Show All", "Browse History", "Tag" would be the main set of buttons required. The ususal colored-icon highlight of unversioned changes would be helpfull too.

The accompaning views would need to show a prominent comment box upon commit and handle conflicts and errors without spartan dumps of Git output — these scare my mates and make them cry. No branches, merges hidded and some sort of automatic [stash,pull,stash-apply & push] if the user was not in the LAN for a few workdays and is off track with his master-branch. I would also want the history to hide merges in the view. Web releases would be done with conventioned tags — perhaps a button for something like that would be neat aswell. I want the introduction of the team with the basics of automated distributed versioning, history browsing and it's advantages to be as smoothly as possible and the stuff listed about would be just fine for what we do in our everyday work.

Are their any clients and perhaps accompaning pre-confectioned custom workflows you know of that offer this sort of thing? At this point I'd even be willing to abandon Git, although I think it's awesome and really wouldn't want to go back to SVN (*shudder*). I know of a neat looking commercial Git-compatible toolkit called "Plastic", but that's for big non-trivial projects. Git-Kraken looks neat, but it's a kitchen-sink solution aswell. Is there something like that on the other end of the spectrum? Clients would need to be scriptable in some hidden way and cross plattform (Win & Mac). Should I start getting my hands dirty in Xamarin/MonoDevelop and roll my own? Are there other systems out there that work and have GUI-clients that don't look like a Xenomorph to regular users? Any other ideas? Suggestions welcome. Thanks.

Submission + - MS open sources .Net (MIT and Apache 2 license), seeks porting to other OSes

Qbertino writes: On wednesday, the 12. of October 2014 Microsoft announced that they are releasing their .Net framework under the OSI certified MIT and Apache 2 open source licenses. Techcrunch reports that MS wants to work closely with the mono project and its 'business arm' Xamarin to spread .Net to other non-MS plattforms. The sourcecode is available here at the official MS Github account. In other news relyable sources from hell have reported temperatures of 20 centigrade below zero and the FAA has seen a spike in reports of flying pigs. And no, it's not April 1st.
Toys

Submission + - Microfluidic Chips made with Shrinky Dinks

SoyChemist writes: "When she started her job as a new professor at UC Merced, Michelle Khine was stuck without a clean room or semiconductor fabrication equipment, so she went MacGyver and started making Lab-on-a-Chip devices in her kitchen with Shrinky Dinks, a laser printer, and a toaster oven. She would print a negative image of the channels onto the polystyrene sheets and then make them smaller with heat. The miniaturized pattern served as a perfect mould for forming rounded, narrow channels in PDMS — a clear, synthetic rubber."
OS X

Submission + - Workplace Shell replacement for Mac OS X?

Qbertino writes: I'm proud owner of an older 12" G4 iBook (1,0 Ghz) from a few years ago, the one many geeks have and liked to use because of it's price/performance ratio for a subnotebook. Many people I met use it to run Debian Linux PPC or some other OSS operating system and do their programming on it. However I mostly do web developement where the OS hardly matter and I've come to like the benefits of running the native OS and the neat and frictionless hardware integration that comes with it. I do quite a lot of Flash developement aswell and need to be able to use the official Flash IDE from Adobe. The downside is that the desktop bogs down the systems performance which I'd like to use for other things by running a replacement of the Aqua Workplace Shell & desktop enviroment. There are quite a few wps replacements for windows — I've use Litestep with Windows 2000 — but I'm looking for one for OS X. What lightweigth WPS replacements are there for OS X and what other strategies are there to take some weight off an OS X desktop?

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