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Education

Submission + - Setting Up a Computer Lab in a Developing Country

levanjm writes: "Hi all, I am looking for some advice. I am a mathematician at a small liberal arts school (Transylvania University) who has dabbled in Linux for a number of years. I have had the chance to teach a few courses and summer camps about Linux to college and high school students. Recently I made a trip to Guatemala and visited a school in Labor de Falla. While there I was talking with people associated with the school about how great it would be to be able to set up a computer lab for the kids. To make a long story short, I approached my school about finding a way to make this happen and to get my students involved in volunteering. I have received notification that my school has given me an in house grant to try to get this project rolling. They have also donated six computers to get things started. While I have been making plans in case the funding came through, I wanted to open this up to as many eyes as possible because I am sure there are plenty of concerns I have not considered. What are your thoughts on how to best implement the lab setting? I am a firm believer in the Open Source philosophy so proprietary software is not on my radar. The PC's donated are a little old (4 or so years old), but would run Edubuntu without any issues. I originally thought about how awesome a Raspberry Pi lab would be to set up. I am also wondering if there are any Kickstarter type of foundations that might be used to help solicit donations to purchase additional equipment and help cover costs of getting the equipment to the school. It would be amazing to get enough funding to give computers to the teachers in addition to a lab. I am sure there are other issues I have not even considered yet, so any thoughts you have to share would be wonderful."
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - 2012 Free Software Award Winners Announced->

jrepin writes: "Free Software Foundation president Richard M. Stallman announced the winners of the FSF's annual Free Software Awards at a ceremony held during the LibrePlanet 2013 conference. The Award for the Advancement of Free Software is given annually to an individual who has made a great contribution to the progress and development of free software, through activities that accord with the spirit of free software. This year, it was given to Dr. Fernando Perez, the creator of IPython, a rich architecture for interactive computing. The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to the project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life. This award stresses the use of free software in the service of humanity. This year, the award went to OpenMRS, a free software medical record system for developing countries."
Link to Original Source
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - GCC 4.8.0 Release Marks Completion of C++ Migration

hypnosec writes: GCC 4.8 has been released and with it the developers of the GNU Compiler Collection have switched to C++ as the implementation language for which the developers have been working for years. Licensed under the GPLv3 or later, version 4.8 of the GCC not only brings with it performance improvements but also adds memory error detector AddressSanitizer; and race condition detection tool the ThreadSanitizer. Developers wanting to build their own version of GCC should have at their disposal a C++ compiler that understands C++ 2003.

Comment Re:The solution to offshoring profits to tax haven (Score 5, Informative) 592

paid Irish taxes of about $4.64 million on its entire non-U.S. profits of $1.344 billion

The problem here is that Ireland offers ridiculously low tax rates to attract investment and employment.

This isn't due to a ridiculously low corporate tax rate in Ireland (it's 10% or more according to wikipedia, depending). The country with ridiculously low corporate tax is Cayman Islands (no corporate tax). Ireland's subsidiary pays licensing fees to the subsidiary in Cayman Islands, so that on paper the Ireland profit becomes miniscule, and thus the tax sums are low too.

Comment Re:Facts! Don't talk to me about facts! (Score 1) 663

Correct about downloading being theft (of sorts).

But how bad of an issue it is? I recently saw a comparison here from someone who said that as crimes go, downloading content could be considered about the same as jaywalking. Jaywalking is also wrong, but people don't get confined to their home or get huge fines for it. The reaction should be proportional to the severity of the issue. Because of that, the impact to the sales is a relevant point.

Comment Re:Nokia fired 4000 last month (Score 3, Interesting) 371

As far as I am aware, there will be no more Nokia phone manufacturing in Finland in the future, only "tailoring" (my choice of word). I do not know how long the transition period is while manufacturing will still go on, but probably no longer than a year (my personal guess only).

That doesn't mean that Nokia won't pay attention to the manufacturing workers' conditions, as well as the materials supply chain. I'm biased, but I feel pretty good about the phones manufacturing. These are difficult issues to solve, but at least I see Nokia as trying to make changes for the better, industry-wide. It's the kind of things that usually don't make any sort of news ever - and also, which take persistence and a long time to come to fruition. Of course, there might be similar initiatives going on in other companies, and I wouldn't know about those.

Disclaimer: I work for Nokia, although my work has nothing to do with the manufacturing or such.

Comment Motion detection UI already exists for Nokia N9 (Score 1) 49

This is not the first such UI, there's already an existing gesture UI for Nokia's N9 phone. Relatively simple and experimental, but still.
http://store.ovi.com/content/214364
I have not tried it myself.

Full disclosure: I work for Nokia, even though I've not had anything to do with this particular software.

Comment Re:Moderation system (Score 1) 763

> The moderation system seriously needs thinking and redone.

Any suggestions?

I don't know if this idea is new or old (likely anything I can think of has been thought of before), but how about allowing multiple axis of scoring in the moderation? One of them could be "agree - disagree". That would give people the way to vent about not agreeing with what someone says, and it wouldn't then impact the "quality" evaluation.

The browsing score preferences could then be set for both/each axis separately. If you don't want to read posts which most people did not agree to, you could.

Comment Re:Some perspective? (Score 2) 111

Nokia has over 130,000 employees.

I don't think it's that many. There's a graph in an Finnish online news article, and while the text is in Finnish, the graph should be pretty clear. The figure was about 120,000 employees in 2010 according to the graph. It probably ends before any of the current wave of layoffs have been included.

In the graph, the big jump around 2006 is probably when Nokia-Siemens Networks was created. If so, including the NSN employees is a bit misleading because generally NSN is thought of as a separate entity, and they have their own layoffs etc. which don't impact the phone manufacturing. Also, in 2007 Navteq was bought. So that's maybe about 60,000 "non-Nokia" people, with "Nokia proper" having about 60,000-70,000.

I haven't kept count, but by now the total reduction is about 10,000 if not even more. So that's 10,000 out of the 60,000, not 10,000 out of the 120,000.

Comment Lengthwise-split pipe (Score 1) 374

I was just recently organizing the cables in the back of my entertainment media setup in the living room, and ended up using flexible plastic pipe that I cut open lengthwise. I picked about 1 inch diameter pipe, but it's easy and fairly cheap to find any diameter that's needed. Supposedly it's possible to find ready-split pipe too, but I couldn't locate any where I live.

Using the split pipe keeps the cables nicely together and avoids dust collecting between them. It also adds a bit of extra insulation (distance) so that power cables don't create interference to signal cables where they are running close to each other. Doing this was probably a bit more work than using velcro straps (splitting the pipe using scissors, getting the cables into the pipe), but IMO works well for those places where cables run on the floor and are likely to attract dust.

This method is not an universal solution by any means. For instance, it's not that good for cables hanging in the air, or going short distances. My recommendation is to use velcro instead for those situations.

365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer. = 1 Lite-year

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