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Businesses

Submission + - GE to buy 25,000 EVs, starting with the Chevy Volt (mobilesynergetics.com)

DeviceGuru writes: In what claimed as the largest-ever single electric vehicle commitment, GE plans to acquire 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015. The buying spree will initially involve 12,000 GM vehicles, beginning with GM's Chevy Volt in 2011. By converting most of its own 30,000-strong global fleet, and promoting EV adoption among its 65,000 global fleet customers, GE hopes to be in a strong position to help deploy the vehicles' supporting infrastructure, including charging stations, circuit protection equipment, and transformers. In contrast to the all-electric Nissan Leaf, the Volt implements a small gas engine, which can recharge the vehicle's battery to extend its range beyond the 100 mile limit of all-electric cars like the Leaf, leading some to question the Volt's EV credentials.
Games

Submission + - Gamers get rickets (thinq.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Game-playing kids, sat inside with their consoles while the real world goes on around them, risk getting the bone disease rickets, doctors say.

Professor Nicholas Clarke, from Southampton General Hospital, said he and his staff have examined more than 200 children for bone problems and found that more than 20 per cent of them had deficiencies that could prove dangerous.

"It is quite astonishing," a quite-astonished Clarke said. "This is a completely new occurrence that has evolved over the last 12 to 24 months.

IT

Submission + - Remaking everything IT in a small company 1

DiniZuli writes: "I've been imployed by a small company to remake their entire IT-infrastructure from scratch. I've worked in several diferent IT-departments and I have a Bachelor in Computer Science, so I know a bit about what I'm about to do, but I'm the only IT-guy in the company and before this I've only helped build or manage different parts of the infrastructure, I've never actually tried building the entire thing. The company is run by young people and it's very dynamic, it's an NGO, and anywhere between ten and thirty people may be working on any given day, mostly it's around fifteen though. Theese numbers will allways stay this low and there will not be a day with 50 or 100 employees. The company runs a new project every year, and thus most employees only work there for a year. Only two employees need machines to handle media (photo and video editing) — everybody else just needs office and web capabilities. There are guests nealy every day who needs to hook up to our network. So I would like to ask the /.-crowd and hear your opinions in theese matters:
Where to find advice and guidance? Are there any must have books, and do you know of websites with good and helpfull communities in this area?
New desktops: should it be laptops with dockingstations, regular desktop machines or thin clients? Dell, IBM, Mac or similar — or doesn't that matter? Ubuntu, Windows or? (I think I'll go with Ubuntu except on the media machines).
Rewireing: The company is housed in a 200m2 apartment shaped like a big L. The current wireing is a mess. Any good solutions or ideas would be appreciated.
Servers: We need an internal fileserver, an internal mediaserver (we have thousands of big image and videofiles, the archive grows bigger every year) and a webserver. Which hardware is good? Which setup, software and OS'es to use for this?
Network: What to use for router, firewall, network authentication, wireless. I've seen several different setups — everything from a Linksys router handling everything, to one machine for each thing to handle (one is router another is firewall, etc.). We have an good 48 port L3 Gigabit switch from HP. Normally the network traffic isn't big, but once a year the webserver will be used, during two weeks, by around 20000 people every day — used meaning creating accounts, logging in and out and writing new entries (using drupal for cms).
We have a FreePBX phone server to handle our IP-phone system, and I think I'll keep it as it is, unless you guys know of another brilliant solution.
Since we are remaking everything, this list is not exhaustive, so feel free to comment on anything important, not on the list (for example power and cooling for the servers and network gear, Virtualization, network monitoring...)."

Submission + - It's a hard drone world out there (diydrones.com)

An anonymous reader writes: DIYDrones recently admitted using open source code in their (closed source) drone control station. After initially complaining someone had reverse-engineered their source code and after realising the source was actually shipped with the .NET project due to a misconfiguration, DIYDrones and Wired Editor Chris Anderson initially threatened using a DMCA takedown notice to anyone using their 'leaked' code, before backtracking and admitting large parts of their code was actually 'borrowed' from Open Source project OpenPilot.org.

Despite no significant hardware deployment in the field, OpenPilot has managed to get an impressive momentum in the UAV community: by redesigning a complete UAV architecture from the ground up, it has inspired many: in particular, the object-oriented UAVTalk protocol has already spawned children such as 'MAVLink', whereas other less ethical commercial outfits have unfortunately started using artwork and source code from the OpenPilot Ground Control Station which is now becoming the absolute reference in the world of DIY UAVs. It's a harsh world out there!

Google

Submission + - New Google Instant is distorting Web Analytics (analyticscanvas.com)

JamesStanden writes: I thought maybe Google was interested in acquiring my startup because suddenly I saw lots of visits from "Google Inc." in my Google Analytics data, but it seems as if all those visits were actually coming from the new Google Instant feature.

All over the world right now, google analytics data is being distorted by visits and pageviews generated by the Google instant feature.

I wonder if Google is going to make changes, or is this the new normal?

United States

Submission + - DNA Tests Suggest Texas Executed an Innocent Man (texasobserver.org)

Hugh Pickens writes: "Claude Jones always claimed that he wasn't the man who walked into an East Texas liquor store in 1989 and shot the owner, professing his innocence right up until the moment he was executed on Dec. 7, 2000. His murder conviction was based on a single piece of forensic evidence recovered from the crime scene — a strand of hair that prosecutors claimed belonged to Jones. Now the Texas Observer reports that DNA tests completed this week show the hair didn't belong to Jones after all but belonged to the victim of the shooting, Allen Hilzendager, raising serious doubts about Jones guilt. "The DNA results prove that testimony about the hair sample on which this entire case rests was just wrong," says Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project. Claude Jones was no saint. Jones and an accomplice named Kerry Daniel Dixon pulled into Zell's liquor store and one of them remained in the pickup truck, while the other went inside and shot the store's owner three times. On December 6, 2000, the day before the execution, Jones’ attorneys filed a last-ditch motion for a stay—in district court and with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals—so they could submit the strand of hair for mitochondrial DNA testing. Both courts turned him down."
Privacy

Submission + - Panoramic Photography layer now in Google Earth (360cities.net)

An anonymous reader writes: People who complain about Google Streetview now have the masses to worry about. A new layer of photos, consisting solely of crowdsourced, high-resolution spherical panoramas, is now available as part of the new "default on" Photos Layer. This layer combines images from Panoramio, Google's own georeferenced photography service, and that of 360cities.net, an independent company specializing in the publication of spherical panoramic images, created by normal photographers. The density of geographic imagery on the planet might start accelerating even faster now.
The Internet

Submission + - The Term 'World Wide Web' is 20 Years Old Today (motherboard.tv)

MMBK writes: Before November 12, 1990, there was no WWW. But as fate would have it, on this date twenty years ago, Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau published a document called WorldWideWeb: Proposal for a HyperText Project coining the term and basic operations of the Web as we know it today.
The Internet

Submission + - The REAL connection speeds for Internet users (pingdom.com)

climenole writes: "real-world connection speeds for people in the top 50 countries on the Internet.This list of countries ranges from China at number 1 with 420 million Internet users, and Denmark at number 50 with 4.75 million Internet users. We’ve included this ranking within parenthesis next to each country in the charts below for those who want to know.These 50 countries together have more than 1.8 billion Internet users."

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