Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - How to introduce Linux to your kid?-> 2

Submitted by TroysBucket
TroysBucket (1748662) writes "Hypothetical: Let's say you are a Linux nerd (I know... big stretch) and you want to introduce Linux, and Open Source, to your kid at as young of an age as possible. How do you do it? How do you get your little one excited (even as young as 2 or 3 years old) and help them to use it? This article covers a few ideas, but I'd love to hear more thoughts from you."
Link to Original Source

+ - Over 90 Pianists Collaborate to Record and Release 100% of Chopin's Music->

Submitted by aarondunn
aarondunn (2710233) writes "Musopen, which previously raised $70,000 to hire an orchestra and release public domain music recordings, has started a Kickstarter to hire a group of notable pianists to record and release the life's work of Frederic Chopin.

His music will be made available via an API powered by Musopen so anyone can come up with ways to explore and present Chopin's life."

Link to Original Source

+ - OpenShot Video Editor Achieves $35k on Kickstarter, Final Goal in Reach!-> 5

Submitted by JonOomph
JonOomph (1922630) writes "The popular open source video editor, OpenShot, has less than 39 hours remaining on popular crowd-funding site, The lead developer, Jonathan Thomas, has proposed a revolutionary new feature, which would allow users to offload CPU, memory, and disk cache to a local server (or multiple local servers), dramatically increasing the speed of previewing and rendering. The more servers added to the pool, the faster the video editing engine becomes (with the primary limitation being network bandwidth). If the final goal of $40k is reached in the remaining hours, this feature will be added to the next version of OpenShot."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Answer isn't less cattle, but more. (Score 3, Insightful) 94

by rewarp (#43305211) Attached to: To Prevent Deforestation, Brazilian Supermarkets Ban Amazon Meat

It's the "deserts are evil" mentality that is at fault here with the Savory talk - and with much of the support behind it. Deserts have their own unique ecosystem supporting their own unique niche of animal life. "Repairing" an ecosystem that doesn't need repairing is one of the most destructive practices I have ever come across because of a misunderstanding that somehow desert ecosystems are a waste of land unless you can get cattle to graze on it, and remove much of the niches to substitute them for those more beneficial to ranching.

Comment: Re:Answer isn't less cattle, but more. (Score 3, Informative) 94

by rewarp (#43302125) Attached to: To Prevent Deforestation, Brazilian Supermarkets Ban Amazon Meat

Pseudoscience alert! From KCET's Chris Clarke

Savory's talk is full of red flags, and to document and rebut each one would take more time than is really wise to spend on the talk. But three stand out as especially egregious.

The notion that bare, unvegetated soil in the American desert is an evil to be avoided flies in the face of everything we know about desert soil science. Bare soil in the desert includes desert pavement, a self-regulating system that controls air pollution. It includes alkaline crusts and dry lake beds, both homes to unique assemblages of organisms. Seemingly bare soil may hold seed banks of diverse assemblages of annual plants, some of which are limited enough in extent that covering the soil with grassland -- even if you could do so -- would push them toward extinction. And sparsely vegetated soil is crucial for the survival of many animal species, including desert tortoises, fringe-toed and horned lizards, and other animals that actually belong in the desert far more than do cattle.

The idea that grasses must be eaten by livestock to perform a valuable ecological function is similarly absurd. Grasses provide food, shelter, and even construction material for hundreds of desert animals ranging from jackrabbits to tiny insects, each of which is eaten in turn by other animals. Send in a wave of cattle to crop those grasses and we've diverted that ecological productivity to our own ends, depriving the local wildlife of food and habitat. Bunchgrasses can live for centuries if untrampled, providing year after year of ecological benefit to hundreds of generations of wildlife. Savory, like many grazing advocates, seems to regard such ancient bunchgrasses as decadent: In Lynn Jacobs' 1991 book "Waste of The West," Jacobs says "Savory claims like most ranchers that old growth range plants are 'useless' and 'decadent.'" But, adds Jacobs, "like tree snags in forests, standing dead range plant material is itself an important, natural environmental component."

Lastly, Savory's contention that the "algal crust" he shows developing on arid land soil is "the cancer of desertification" is unscientific in the extreme. He makes the statement at 4:00 into the TED video, but it's one he's made for years. Lynn Jacobs wrote in 1991 that students of (what was then being called) HRM learned from Savory that "Cryptogams are a prime indicator of a deteriorating environment." (To underscore his postulation, commonly Savory scuffs apart the cryptogamic layer while walking on Rangeland.)

This is, of course, completely false. Cryptobiotic soil crusts are a crucial underpinning of old-growth desert habitats across North America, and indeed throughout much of the world.

Savory has been around for a very long time preaching the same fallacious grazing gospel, and his name raises curled lips among land management scientists the way Velikovsky's name raises the ire of astronomers. He's merely the latest practitioner of a tradition a couple centuries long of land management mythologies based on wishful thinking that don't turn out to work. A century ago land speculation boosters in the American West claimed that "rain follows the plow"; Savory has merely updated that to "grass follows the cow."

The next person to mention spaghetti stacks to me is going to have his head knocked off. -- Bill Conrad