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+ - Africa makers get energy from pee->

Submitted by aglider
aglider (2435074) writes "A few sources is reporting about this technology breakthrough.
A group of African students built a small generator where with

1 Liter of urine gives you 6 hours of electricity.

It's not 100% clear how much energy you can get out of that liter (you insensitive Imperial clod) though.
It's also not 100% clear whether the main aim of the setup is to purify water or to generate energy thanks to electrolysis.
In any case either aim would be a great thing in a continent like Africa. And the whole world as well."

Link to Original Source

Networking

+ - OpenWRT finally presents its lates brew: Attitude Adjustment (aka 12.09)->

Submitted by aglider
aglider (2435074) writes "OpenWrt has been delivering in the lastes 8+ years alternative, opensource firmware for a rather large (and growing) number of devices, not just routers, like Linksys, NetGear and TP-Link just to name a few. The latest version, like in the past 5 years, has been code-named after an alcoholic beverage, the attitude adjustment drink. From the original announcement:

The OpenWrt Team is happy to announce the beta release of Attitude Adjustment (12.09). This release is sligthly overdue, but it is now ready for testing.
General improvements:
* Improved LuCI interface
* Switch to the netifd infrastructure for better network configuration support
* Fixed Imagebuilder, relocatable SDK
* Full (?) eglibc support
* Release support for bridge firewalling
* Vastly improved ath9k driver stability and performance
* Dependency fixes for packages
* More iptables addons, improved netfilter performance
* Experimental support for 5 and 10MHz channels in ath5k and ath9k
* Support for 6RD configuration
* Experimental crashlog feature to track kernel oopses
* Reduced space requirements and improved squashfs/kernel compression
* Various package improvements and updates.

OpenWrt is a project based on a consensus decision model amongst the core team developers. With over 1000 binary packages, the Attitude Adjustment release is the biggest to date.
These 1000+ packages have the inherent problem that they need to be maintained. As the name of the release already suggests things are in a process of adjusting. The main change is that the developer group has arrived at the mutual agreement, that the packages feed is too much bloat for the project to carry around. This massive set of packages causes the developers not to have enough time for the core of OpenWrt.
The result is: The package feed is not being maintained in a way that ensures the required quality.

A couple of warnings are due here. First, your warranty can be voided by loading those firmware into your device.
Second, it can be tricky to do so, up to needing to solder a serial console adapter into your device PCB.
Third, you won't use your stock firmware any more!"

Link to Original Source

Linux

+ - Razor-Qt: A New Qt-Based Desktop Environment?->

Submitted by aglider
aglider (2435074) writes "Phoronix has an interesting piece of news about a new emerging desktop environment. And it's Qt based!
From the project home page:

Razor-qt is an advanced, easy-to-use, and fast desktop environment based on Qt technologies. It has been tailored for users who value simplicity, speed, and an intuitive interface. Unlike most desktop environments, Razor-Qt also works fine with weak machines.

Someone has already tagged Razor-Qt as

a KDE ripoff

What we have so far is version 0.4 as announced on a blog and, very important, a number of easy ways to install and test it on a few main Linux distributions. Maybe time has come for something really new in the desktop environment arena almost completely occupied by GNOME and KDE."
Link to Original Source

Unix

+ - Dennis Ritchie: The Shoulders Steve Jobs Stood On->

Submitted by aglider
aglider (2435074) writes "A few days ago Wired put some focus on the two deaths that plagued the world, not just the IT one.
The tributes to Dennis Ritchie won't match the river of praise that spilled out over the web after the death of Steve Jobs. But they should.
Again from the article:

Pretty much everything on the web uses those two things: C and UNIX, Pike tells Wired. The browsers are written in C. The UNIX kernel, that pretty much the entire Internet runs on, is written in C. Web servers are written in C, and if they're not, they're written in Java or C++, which are C derivatives, or Python or Ruby, which are implemented in C. And all of the network hardware running these programs I can almost guarantee were written in C.

And later:

Jobs genius is that he builds these products that people really like to use because he has taste and can build things that people really find compelling. Ritchie built things that technologists were able to use to build core infrastructure that people don't necessarily see much anymore, but they use everyday.

And before the flame war starts, I'd suggest to go for a complete read of this article. Even if the words "Unix" and "C language" don't make much sense to you."
Link to Original Source

NASA

+ - Hubble shots the movie of star births

Submitted by
aglider
aglider writes "A number of different scientific sources is giving big echo to one of the latest announce made by the NASA and the Hubblesite.ORG. Quoting from Hubblesite.ORG:

A team of scientists [headed by Rice astronomer Patrick Hartigan] has collected enough high-resolution Hubble Space Telescope images over a 14-year period to stitch together time-lapse movies of powerful jets ejected from three young stars. The jets, a byproduct of gas accretion around newly forming stars, shoot off at supersonic speeds in opposite directions through space.

The report is also accompanied by a number of photos and, of course, astounding small movies.
The complete scientific study, that dates back to 2011.07.20, has been published on the Astrophysical Journal (subscription needed) but also on European Space Agency's Space Telescope and Cornell University Library's arXiv."

The universe is all a spin-off of the Big Bang.

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