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Submission + - Choose not to go to uni. Choose an apprenticeship.->

Linda Nall writes: "Natalie and Daniel Hofmann started their Hunter region carpentry and building business with partner Simon Frewin in February this year.

They had big plans to grow the business, particularly in the environmental building disciplines. This is a time of high risk for any new venture. Many fail in the early years due to poor management practices. Ideas, dreams and hopes can be dashed in this critical period.

Natalie admits she was just learning about business management. There's payroll and taxation and awards to come to grips with as well as planning for growth you hope will happen.

"We just couldn't have grown without help from MEGT Group Training," says Natalie. "We needed the extra hands to cope with the workload, so hunted around for an apprentice.

"When Dan first said to me we are going to take on an apprentice my first question was, how can we do that and afford to? MEGT came around and explained the process and what was involved. It was a new game for me because I am a new employer myself and I am just learning. It took the risk out of making a mistake when employing someone else.

"We found out that MEGT could take care of all the apprenticeships needs we had. They found the right person, organised the right training and monitored it. They look after his pay, his superannuation, WorkCover — all the details involved in the building and construction industry.

"That allowed our company to grow faster at this early stage of our business and not have to wait until we had a bigger infrastructure. As we grow further, so too, I know we will be able to put on new apprentices to cope with that growth.

"While my husband is a qualified carpenter, I am the office manager and do the invoices, the letters, the debtors and suppliers. I am the first point of contact for any administration needs.

"It's our dream to build an extremely successful business.

"We are going down the line of energy efficiency because it is something we have a passion for. We believe that homes in the future will have to be retro fitted with energy efficiencies and we will be in the right place for that.

"My advice to people who are a bit older is not to think you are too old to be an apprentice. It is only four years to qualify for something that you will do for the rest of your life. Four years can pass fairly quickly when you are going to use it to start your own business as we have.""

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Sun Microsystems

Submission + - SCO Fiasco Over for Linux, Starting For Solaris?-> 1

kripkenstein writes: "We have just heard that the SCO fiasco is finally going to end for Linux. But Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols at points out that the favorable result for Linux may cause unpleasant consequences for rival open-source operating system OpenSolaris:

At one time, Sun was an SCO supporter. [...] Sun's Jonathan Schwartz — then Sun VP of software and today Sun's president and CEO — said in 2003 that Sun had bought "rights equivalent to ownership" to Unix.

SCO agreed. In 2005, SCO CEO Darl McBride said that SCO had no problem with Sun open-sourcing Unix code in what would become OpenSolaris. "We have seen what Sun plans to do with OpenSolaris and we have no problem with it," McBride said. "What they're doing protects our Unix intellectual property rights."

Sun now has a little problem, which might become a giant one: SCO never had any Unix IP to sell. Therefore, it seems likely that Solaris and OpenSolaris contains Novell's Unix IP.
It should be noted that we have no idea if Sun doesn't already have an appropriate license from Novell (if they even need one at all). But, if not, we may see some messy business between Sun and Novell, and correspondingly OpenSolaris and Linux."

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Submission + - Why Ruby on Rails Succeeded

Esther Schindler writes: "Whatever you think of Ruby on Rails—even if you prefer another language or development framework—you do have to admit that Rails has gained huge acceptance in a short period of time. In this article Hal Fulton, author of The Ruby Way, explains what this programming community did right, and how others can learn from it."

Submission + - TSA Filtering Public Plane Crash Documentation?

Cutriss writes: AP is reporting allegations that the US Transportation Security Administration is reportedly screening documentation concerning the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in August 2006. The agency states that it has no role in the investigation of the crash itself, but apparently is concerned about sensitive information about airport operations becoming public. The documentation review has slowed the investigation process and also delayed the pending lawsuits filed by families of the victims, and when the documentation is finally released to the court, it will be given with redactions in place. The crash was determined to be caused by a variety of human errors contributing to the pilots' use of a runway too short to support the plane's takeoff, so the involvement of the TSA has raised eyebrows amongst some.

Feed NC State researchers uncover muscle mimicking fibers->

Filed under: Robots

While some researchers over in Raleigh are having fun tinkering with PlayStation 3 farms and dodging the RIAA, NC State's Drs. Tushar Ghosh and John Muth are occupied building prototypes with fibers they say "resemble human muscle and can exhibit muscle-like capabilities when electrical currents are applied." The duo sees the development as paving the way for "advancements and potential applications in robotics, smart textiles, prosthetics, and biomedicines," as they have reportedly found that polyurethane and silicone tube structures shaped like human muscle strands can be manipulated with electricity. It was noted, however, that the current models are using strands "roughly the size of a pencil lead," but the next step is to scale down the fibers and integrate them into a robotic Mr. and Mrs. Wuf.

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

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Feed Eurocom intros all-in-one LV190 / LV220 ViiVA systems->

Filed under: Desktops, Displays

They may not boast a name like the "F-Bomb," but Eurocom's new all-in-one LV190 and LV220 ViiVA systems look like they should be able to garner a fair bit of attention on their own. Boasting 19- and 22-inch widescreen displays, respectively, the systems can be configured with your choice of Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Extreme processors, NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 graphics, a max 4GB of RAM, up to two 500GB hard drives, and an internal TV tuner, among other options. Knocking things down a notch, however, is the somewhat lackluster 1680 x 1050 resolution on the 22-inch display, and an even lower 1440 x 900 on the 19-incher. If that's not a deal breaker for ya', you can get your order in now, with systems starting around $1,500 and going up considerably as you pack on the upgrades.

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

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Submission + - RooSIM: An Instant Messenger for OpenOffice suite?->

Anonymous Coward writes: "An Instant Messenger for the suite: RetroShare Messenger collaborates with OpenOffice for an Instant Messenger Component API. The Open Office Community awaited it long, next to all office applications one needed thing was still to communicate instant with coworkers and friends over one open office messenger application. An Instant Messenger to send OpenOffice documents or to schedule new meetings, to synchronise common files and to send messages to teleworking friends in another continent, which they get, if they awake, should due to the plans be done now with the option of an Instant Messenger in the OpenOffice suite. Retroshare Instant Messenger Developers and OpenOffice Managers informed in a forum the start of an project to create a development API to start a collaboration for an Instant Messenger Integration in OpenOffice as a component project. Retroshare (Homepagelink: is an open source and serverless Instant Messenger and does not relay on any prorietary serverbased messengers. Additional the Retroshare-Project maintains a few developers from the multimessenger, which are currently working on a integration of other messengerprotocols like AOL, ICQ, MSN, YAHOO and Jabber into a patch-menue-Tab for the RetroShare Instant Messsenger. OpenOffice (Homepage-Url: is the main open source bureau application suite with writer, calculator, presentation applications and more. Promising amalgamation of projects with the possible soon result of an API for the Retroshare Open Offfice Serverless Instant Messenger in OpenOffice — which the Community discusses in short as "RooSim". As well first Logo drafts have been submitted by the community members discussing this new project-collabotation of Retroshare with Open Office. Users can look them up here and vote for one of both: 3fl7.png and: 4eh7.png . Developers, which are interested to help to code an Instant Messenger for OpenOffice on the given RetroShare codebase are welcome to the RooSIM project. The forum of Retroshare Messenger and some local OpenOffcice forums and mailinglists as well discuss the new collaborative thread for an Open Office Instant Messenger: 751518&forum_id=618174 ."
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Feed Will the iPhone be undone by its keyboard?->

Filed under: Cellphones

For those in the audience enamored with the iPhone -- especially those willing to look past the lack of 3G and requisite 2-year service agreement -- there's really only one x-factor left: the touchscreen keyboard. We've all seen it done, but no one's ever seen it done right -- and Steve seems to think it's going to be off the chain. So why is Dvorak, noted tech pundit, and goader of Mac users and iPhone fans, reporting that he's got insider information that the iPhone's keyboard is complete crap and "people are going to return the phone in droves"? Well, that might have something to do with the fact that he's Dvorak (really, what else would he say?), but we did consult a well trusted and connected source who, as it turns out, has heard the very same thing from multiple iPhone users, and who noted that an accessory keyboard to go with the device may become necessary if the touchscreen keyboard doesn't cut the mustard. Of course, we can only reserve judgment until we wrap our paws on a real production model, but we hope it all turns out well -- even if only because we're sincerely frightened of an iPhone-incited fanboy riot in the streets.

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

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He's dead, Jim.