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Comment: Re:Wind? (Score 1, Interesting) 1108

by R15I23D05D14Y (#26768913) Attached to: Why Sustainable Power Is Unsustainable

Plants use solar, but very few natural things use wind or tidal power. Nature has had a very long time to try and fill these energy niches, so it is a safe guess that they can't produce enough energy to sustain a large population at a reasonable standard of living.

The productive renewable path is solar - and this article suggests we have quite a way to go for mass production there - or relying on difficult to access energy sources like coal or uranium, maybe geothermal - which the biosphere has difficulty getting to.

If tidal power was really an option, I would expect to see more coastal trees taking advantage of it. If wind was an option, there would be plants using it to survive. Both these things probably exist, but neither in the numbers to suggests they represent a better deal than solar power.

Comment: Re:I like KDE 4 (Score 4, Interesting) 378

by R15I23D05D14Y (#26318293) Attached to: Open Source Victories of 2008

>> they should probably scrap it and start over by porting KDE3 to Qt4.

I agree 100% that the KDE 4 lacks a horrible level of features for a release series, thus far. The 4.2 betas are more stable and usable for users than 4.0 and 4.1 combined (:P Literally if combining means combining bugs)

That said, since porting would involve re-reading and recoding the whole old codebase, and reimplementing would also involve re-reading and recoding the whole old codebase, I think that scrapping the _very nice_ desktop framework is a very poor suggestion.

Really the new Desktop model is better than the old. The current implementation sucks from lack of features - but it is a better start than a 3.x port. The underlying work are complete enough that a port is now simply beyond a waste of effort. KDE 4 is here to stay, and this is not a bad thing.

Programming

What Programming Language For Linux Development? 997

Posted by kdawson
from the let-slip-the-dogs dept.
k33l0r writes "Recently I've been thinking about developing (or learning to develop) for Linux. I'm an IT university student but my degree program focuses almost exclusively on Microsoft tools (Visual Studio, C#, ASP.NET, etc.) which is why I would like to expand my repertoire on my own. Personally I'm quite comfortable in a Linux environment, but have never programmed for it. Over the years I've developed a healthy fear of everything Java and I'm not too sure of what I think of Python's use of indentation to delimit blocks. The question that remains is: what language and tools should I be using?"
The Internet

French "Three Strikes" Law Gets New Life 193

Posted by kdawson
from the batter-batter-batter dept.
Kjella writes "A little over a week ago we discussed the EU's forbidding of disconnecting users from the Internet. But even after having passed with an 88% approval in the European Parliament, and passing through the European Commission, it was all undone last week. The European Council, led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, removed the amendment before passing the Telecom package. This means that there's now nothing stopping France's controversial 'three strikes' law from going into effect. What hope is there for a 'parliament' where near-unanimous agreement can be completely undone so easily?"
Math

Florence Nightingale, Statistical Graphics Pioneer 204

Posted by kdawson
from the graphical-display-of-quantitative-information dept.
Science News has a fascinating look at an under-appreciated corner of the career of Florence Nightingale — as an innovator in the use of statistical graphics to argue for social change. Nightingale returned from the Crimean War a heroine in the eyes of the British citizenry, for the soldiers' lives she had saved. But she came to appreciate that the way to save far more lives was to reform attitudes in the military about sanitation. Under the tutelage of William Farr, who had just invented the field of medical statistics, she compiled overwhelming evidence (in the form of an 830-page report) of the need for change. "As impressive as her statistics were, Nightingale worried that Queen Victoria's eyes would glaze over as she scanned the tables. So Nightingale devised clever ways of presenting the information in charts. Statistics had been presented using graphics only a few times previously, and perhaps never to persuade people of the need for social change."
Operating Systems

What Normal Users Can Expect From Ubuntu 8.10 511

Posted by timothy
from the abnormal-users-can-expect-whatever-they-want dept.
notthatwillsmith writes "With Ubuntu 8.10 due to be released in just a few days, Maximum PC pored through all the enhancements, updates, and new features that are bundled into the release of Intrepid Ibex and separated out the new features that are most exciting for Linux desktop users. Things to be excited about? With new versions of GNOME and X.Org, there's quite a bit, ranging from the context-sensitive Deskbar search to an audio and video compatible SIP client to the new Network Manager (manage wired, Wi-Fi, VPN, and cellular broadband connections in one place)."
Security

Reliable, Free Anti-Virus Software? 586

Posted by timothy
from the when's-it-positively-gotta-be-windows dept.
oahazmatt writes "Some time ago my wife was having severe issues on her laptop. (A Dell Inspiron, if that helps.) I eventually found the cause to be McAfee, which took about an hour to remove fully. I installed AVG on her system to replace McAfee, but we have since found that AVG is causing problems with her laptop's connection to our wireless network. She's not thrilled about a wired connection as the router is on the other end of the house. We're looking for some good, open-source or free personal editions of anti-virus software. So, who on Slashdot trusts what?" When school required a Windows laptop, I used Clam AV, and the machine seemed to do as well as most classmates'. What have you found that works?
Cellphones

Security Flaw In Android Web Browser 59

Posted by timothy
from the more-information-would-be-nice dept.
r writes "The New York Times reports on a security flaw discovered in the new Android phones. The article is light on details, but it hints at a security hole in the browser, allowing for trojans to install themselves in the same security partition as the browser: 'The risk in the Google design, according to Mr. Miller, who is a principal security analyst at Independent Security Evaluators in Baltimore, lies in the danger from within the Web browser partition in the phone. It would be possible, for example, for an intruder to install software that would capture keystrokes entered by the user when surfing to other Web sites. That would make it possible to steal identity information or passwords.'"
Biotech

Couch Potato Gene Identified In Fruit Flies 105

Posted by timothy
from the or-extract-it-straight-from-me dept.
Pickens writes "University of Pennsylvania biologists have discovered a mutation in fruit flies aptly named the 'couch potato' gene that allows them to simply chill out — entering a mild state of quasi-hibernation known as diapause, when winter arrives. 'It's not like they're bears sleeping in a cave,' says Paul Schmidt. 'They just look like they're a little bit more sluggish.' The couch potato gene, first discovered in the early 1990s, got its nickname because flies with mutations in the gene became really sluggish and behaved abnormally. Little is known about the underlying evolutionary genetic architecture, but in diapause, the slacking off is far less severe. The flies' bodily functions slow down, and they are better able to tolerate stress. The fruit fly gene may have implications for human health, as it can help biologists study the function of the nervous system and diseases such as epilepsy, refuting a recent statement by a political candidate that fruit fly research has 'little or nothing to do with the public good.'"
Businesses

How To Deploy a Game Console In the Office? 310

Posted by Soulskill
from the early-and-often dept.
SkydiverFL writes "Does anyone have an idea for a good solution for using a game console (Xbox 360, PS3, etc.) with a laptop and / or external monitor? I am planning to set up each of my developers at the office with a shiny new Xbox 360, surround headphones, and Gold memberships. The only catch is that I have to do it 'gracefully.' I would be grateful for any input on the technical setup and politics (how to get it in and how to work through the politics)." Read on for further details on the situation.
Cellphones

Cellphone Banking Helping To Fight Poverty In India 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the will-it-work-here-too? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Technology Review is running an in-depth story about the way cellphone banking is transforming the lives of many poor people in India. By enabling users to manage a legitimate bank account and finance micro-loans, cellphones are a major force of social and economic change. It's perhaps not surprising, given that despite widespread poverty, India has the world's fastest-growing cellphone market and the second largest number of cellphone users (after China). The article mentions one Indian start-up, mChek, that is thriving as a result. There's also an excellent video report."
Music

Record Label Infringes Own Copyright, Site Pulled 282

Posted by kdawson
from the wonder-who-filed-the-complaint dept.
AnonCow sends in a peculiar story from TorrentFreak, which describes the plight of a free-download music site that has been summarily evicted from the Internet for violating its own copyright. The problem seems to revolve around the host's insistence that proof of copyright be snail-mailed to them. Kind of difficult when your copyright takes the form of a Creative Commons license that cannot be verified unless its site is up. "The website of an Internet-based record label which offers completely free music downloads has been taken down by its host for copyright infringement, even though it only offers its own music. Quote Unquote Records calls itself 'The First Ever Donation Based Record Label,' but is currently homeless after its host pulled the plug."
The Internet

Opera Develops Search Engine For Web Developers 31

Posted by Soulskill
from the web-devs-need-love-too dept.
nk497 writes "The Metadata Analysis and Mining Application (MAMA) doesn't index content like a standard search engine, but looks at markup, style, scripting and the technology behind pages. Based on those existing MAMA-ed pages, 80.4 per cent of sites use cascading style sheets (CSS), while the average web page has 47 markup errors and 16,400 characters. Should you want to know which country is using the AJAX component XMLHttpRequest the most, MAMA can tell you that it's Norway, with 10.2 per cent of the data set." Additional coverage is available at Computerworld, and a deeper explanation is up at Opera's Dev site.

Comment: Re:How do you sort that? (Score 1) 285

by R15I23D05D14Y (#25278815) Attached to: Linux Turns 17 Today

But none of the linux systems in common use run on anything other than GNU. GNU runs on everything (Mac, Windows, Linux, *BSD, GNU Hurd). Most importantly, the GNU project does actually include it's own kernel, which was written before Linux, and is fully capable of independent existence. That is why the GNU people claim it is more fundamental, and make a big deal about the GNU/Linux thing.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.

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