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The Internet

Ship Anchor, Not Sabotaging Divers, Possibly Responsible For Outage 43

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "This week, Egypt caught three men in the process of severing an undersea fiber-optic cable. But Telecom Egypt executive manager Mohammed el-Nawawi told the private TV network CBC that the reason for the region's slowdowns was not the alleged saboteurs — it was damage previously caused by a ship. On March 22, cable provider Seacom reported a cut in its Mediterranean cable connecting Southern and Eastern Africa, the Middle East and Asia to Europe; it later suggested that the most likely cause of the incident was a ship anchor, and that traffic was being routed around the cut, through other providers. But repairs to the cable took longer than expected, with the Seacom CEO announcing March 23 that the physical capability to connect additional capacity to services in Europe was "neither adequate nor stable enough," and that it was competing with other providers. The repairs continued through March 27, after faults were found on the restoration system; that same day, Seacom denied that the outage could have been the work of the Egyptian divers, but said that the true cause won't be known for weeks. 'We think it is unlikely that the damage to our system was caused by sabotage,' the CEO wrote in a statement. 'The reasons for this are the specific location, distance from shore, much greater depth, the presence of a large anchored vessel on the fault site which appears to be the cause of the damage and other characteristics of the event.'"
Mars

4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-a-look dept.
SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."
GNOME

GNOME 3.8 Released Featuring New "Classic" Mode 267

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the extend-freely dept.
Hot on the heels of the Gtk+ 3.8 release comes GNOME 3.8. There are a few general UI improvements, but the highlight for many is the new Classic mode that replaces fallback. Instead of using code based on the old GNOME panel, Classic emulates the feel of GNOME 2 through Shell extensions (just like Linux Mint's Cinnamon interface). From the release notes: "Classic mode is a new feature for those people who prefer a more traditional desktop experience. Built entirely from GNOME 3 technologies, it adds a number of features such as an application menu, a places menu and a window switcher along the bottom of the screen. Each of these features can be used individually or in combination with other GNOME extensions."

Comment: Re:Most common recycling programs (Score 1) 260

by Splat (#43196529) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Donate Older Computers to Charity?

The point is - you have to be dirt poor to not be able to save up $250 to buy a desktop computer or used laptop from the pawn shop. If you can't afford that, then you can't afford internet access or electricity or backup storage media to use a computer, of any kind, and you would get more done by simply getting a smartphone. If the donation thing just makes you feel good about yourself, buy a new computer and donate that.

You... don't really understand poverty much, do you? There are discount Internet connectivity programs (Comcast Internet Essentials) that can get you online for $10 if you are below certain income criteria. Even if you're having trouble paying your electric bill, you can get help with that too from most utility companies.

Comment: Re:This depends on the use and purpose (Score 1) 282

by Splat (#43196505) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Block Web Content?

Precisely.

There is no "proper", or "best practice" place. Your two questions are entirely dependent on your use-case scenarios. If you want to block flash scripts on your kids browsers, do it host level at the OS. If you are dealing with a gigantic 2000 employee office campus, then you'd want to probably handle that centrally on a giant honking appliance/router designed for it where you can centrally manage policy.

But ... you can flip both scenarios blocking mechanisms I just mentioned and they'd still work. "Proper" can be entirely subjective based on what you're trying to accomplish and other factors involved

Comment: Re:2006? (Score 1) 260

by Splat (#43172443) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Donate Older Computers to Charity?

A full, true, Raspberry pi setup that could replace a computer (including a case + power supply + sd card, etc) will run you around $85. There's not $85 of scrap value in an old P4 unfortunately.

ExtremeTech did an article on this:
http://www.extremetech.com/computing/148482-the-true-cost-of-a-raspberry-pi-is-more-than-you-think

There's been many valid points made here about the long term costs of power consumption versus the short term upfront costs of new hardware investment. Unfortunately the issue with most non-profits is they don't have the upfront capital to invest in say 50 Raspberry Pi systems, but they can easily spread out the power consumption over the long term of 50 P4's (as inefficient as they are - agreed!) through operating expenses.

Comment: Re:2006? (Score 4, Insightful) 260

by Splat (#43171665) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Donate Older Computers to Charity?

Your kind of thought process is exactly the problem. A P4 system is perfectly usable given the correct software configuration, and as timothy already stated they're working well enough running Lubuntu to be a basic word processing/information device. Just because it's not the newest technology doesn't mean it's trash. There are plenty of people out there who would be perfectly well served by a basic computer that can run a web browser to look up information, and type up emails on it.

Comment: Qualified to comment ... (Score 2) 425

by Splat (#42376113) Attached to: Has Lego Sold Out?

As a 30 year old guy who has gone back into his old childhood Lego sets recently, as well as recently bought himself some new ones I uh, feel sadly qualified to comment on this story. My recent purchases were one LOTR set, and a Lego City set. In response to the lack of "creativity" in these sets, it's not the sets that have gotten less creative. It's the engineering in the brick placement amongst everything that has gotten better.

If you compare the brick selection and design of say, a 2012 LOTR set vs my early 90's Pirate sets you can easily see this. The 2012 sets use a number of small, angular pieces from what I've noted, that fit together in creative ways that the early 90's sets could only dream of. The pieces in question in the 2012 sets did indeed exist in the early 90's set, so it's not a case of simply making "less flexible" pieces.

You can tell that the designers of these sets have gotten really, really good at their jobs, in no doubt likely as a result of the difference in computing power between the early 90's and now. To suggest that the sets have gotten less "creative" is asinine. Have we gained more themed and licensed sets? Absolutely. However, the pieces they are equipping these sets with are simply fitting together better and looking more streamlined. You've still got your 4x2 bricks, your 3x3 plates, there's just less usage of them as the primary shape of a vehicle/building, and they are enhanced by the smaller 1x2 45 angle bricks say that really help bring out the details in the design.

In the end, they're still freaking Lego you can put together any way you want. It's simply the brick selection has changed for the better.

Comment: Re:Actually closed-blob free? Re:Except that it's (Score 1) 152

by Splat (#42320187) Attached to: Open Hardware and Software Laptop

horseshit.... how many netbooks/tablets/convertibles/whatnot have a RPi header + many servo/motor PWM capable controllers?

I can count them on no fingers.

So you're going to do what with this, put your entire laptop onto an RC Plane? No, for that you'd use a Pi, Arduino, or any more appropriate form factors. Same on a RPi shield - are you going to cut a hole in your keyboard for the shield to stick out?

Comment: Easier then you think (Score 1) 368

by Splat (#42253779) Attached to: Degree Hack: Cobbling Together Credit Hours For Cheap

I've looked into this myself. I have an associates and have been slowly chipping away towards a Bachelors for years. http://www.degreeinfo.com/forum.php has a lot of good resources on this, but basically you can hack together credit from a combination of CLEP, DSST, among other equivalency testing, and then transfer them into one of the friendly-towards-this-kind-of-thing schools like Excelsior or Thomas Edison State college.

I was actually enrolled in Thomas Edison prior to knowing about this, slogging away at online courses. After learning about this "hack", and even figuring out a sure-fire way to a Bachelors degree in like 6 months, I didn't do it and I now haven't continued any further with Thomas Edison. For some, having a "BS" or "BA" in and of itself might be worth it, but for me the whole idea/thing just made the online degree seem like a joke if you can test your way out of an entire degree basically

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

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