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+ - Best alternative to HP TRIM Document Management for State Archiving->

sethawoolley writes: The Oregon Secretary of State has implemented the HP TRIM Records Management System for state archiving. I personally believe that Free/Libre Open Source Software should be required by all governments to manage their files because proprietary software locks in vendors to expensive government contracts and presents unacceptable risks to losing data, not protecting the privacy of citizen data, and not allowing proper transparency of government actions. Furthermore, the state wants to get other jurisdictions in Oregon switched to using this proprietary solution claiming "economies of scale". I'm working on a set of solutions for an "Open Source Government" and looked at Drupal and Alfresco as possible replacements for HP TRIM in a CMIS compliant setup, as even the White House uses Drupal, among other government agencies. Does the Slashdot community have any suggestions for a free software records management system for state and local agencies that can meet the needs of legal and policy compliance? Any ideas would be appreciated. Full Disclosure: I'm running against the incumbent Secretary as a Green and helped create the Oregon Pirate Party and hope to use the comments in my campaign.
Link to Original Source

Wind and Sun Beat Other Energy Alternatives 584 584

iandoh passes along the news that researchers at Stanford University have completed the first quantitative, scientific comparison of alternative energy solutions by assessing not only their potential for delivering energy for electricity and vehicles, but also their impacts on global warming, human health, energy security, water supply, space requirements, wildlife, water pollution, reliability, and sustainability. Based on their model, they found that the best sources of alternative energy are wind, concentrated solar, and geothermal energy. The worst are nuclear, clean coal, and ethanol-based fuels. In other words, "the options that are getting the most attention are between 25 to 1,000 times more polluting than the best available options."

+ - Slashdot User Running to Open Source Oregon's Vote-> 1 1

sethawoolley writes: "Now that ballots are out in Oregon, even though I expect they all read the Oregon Voters' Pamphlet anyways, Oregonian /. fans should know that one of their own is running for the second highest office, Secretary of State, in Oregon (United States Pacific Coast — California's Canada and Washington's Mexico according to Stephen Colbert). The Secretary of State administers elections and I, Seth Woolley, am running to open source and improve the voting methods (IRV, Range Voting, Open Source Voting, etc.) as well as to enforce campaign finance laws and open access to the ballot to independents. I'm on the official ballot as the Pacific Green candidate with no other third parties. Oregon has 100% vote-by-mail-and-paper, but its counting machines are all proprietary and statistical sampling is weak. Depending on how many votes I get, I will have power to exert to lobby for good governance rather than sham elections even when the election is over. If you're not in Oregon, you can still help by calling Oregon's TV stations asking why they haven't covered my candidacy (besides KOHD and KVAL who have)."
Link to Original Source
Media (Apple)

Software Update Makes iTunes Accessible To Blind Users 148 148

rickthewizkid writes "Recent updates to the iTunes software allow blind users to access the program without assistance. From the article: 'The new software — which transforms the written information on an iTunes-linked computer screen into speech or Braille — stemmed from an agreement between Apple, the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer company, the National Federation of the Blind and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.'" It's not just the actual iTunes app, though; the article notes that this update makes iTunes U useable as well.
Hardware Hacking

Fast-Booting OS for Usually-Off Appliance PCs? 523 523

An anonymous reader writes "I have some older computer equipment at work that I want to re-purpose as application appliances. The machines will sit, unpowered, until needed, then powered up. No way around the 'sitting powered off' — company directive. What is the quickest-booting OS I could use for them? I know about LinuxBIOS, but that would require new hardware, which does not go along which the re-purposing theme. Some of them do not need to be connected to a network, so an old version of Linux or Windows 98 are possible. DOS is too old to consider. So what are my options?"

Games and Music, the New Book Burning 218 218

It seems that a Newport News, VA pastor finally got around to reading Fahrenheit 451 and has decided that it was a good idea. Despite several studies claiming the contrary, Rev. Richard Patrick is blaming violent video games and music for crimes that he say has affected 90% of his congregation in one way or another.

Oregon Senate Candidate Steve Novick Answers Your Questions 393 393

Wow. More politicians (of all parties) need to be as open and thorough as Steve Novick is here. We selected 10 of the questions you submitted and sent them to him by email, and his responses... let's just say that if every candidate spoke out like Steve, we'd have a much clearer view of our choices and would be able to cast our votes a lot more rationally.

The Military

Israelis Sue Government For Laser Cannons 736 736

An anonymous reader writes "Residents of a southern Israeli town want a real-life laser cannon to protect them against Palestinian rocket attacks. And they're suing the national government, for failing to provide the ray gun defense. The U.S.-Israeli Tactical High Energy Laser project was widely considered to be the most successful energy weapon ever built. But the toxic chemicals needed to generate THEL's megawatts of power made the thing a logistical nightmare. It was scrapped. Now, the residents of Sderot want it back. And they're taking Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to court to make it happen."

Linus Denounces NDISWrapper, Denies It GPL Status 457 457

eldavojohn writes "On message boards, Linus Torvalds was explaining why NDISWrapper is not eligible to be released under the GPL even though the project claims to be. Linus remarked, "Ndiswrapper itself is *not* compatible with the GPL. Trying to claim that ndiswrapper somehow itself is GPL'd even though it then loads modules that aren't is stupid and pointless. Clearly it just re-exports those GPLONLY functions to code that is *not* GPL'd." This all sprung up with someone restricted NDISWrapper's access to GPL-only symbols thereby breaking the utility. Linus merely replied that "If it loads non-GPL modules, it shouldn't be able to use GPLONLY symbols." As you may know, NDISWrapper implements Windows kernel API and then loads Windows binaries for a number of devices and runs them natively to avoid the cost and complication of emulation."

Library of Congress's $3M Deal With Microsoft 297 297

Cory Doctorow sounds the alarm over a Library of Congress deal with Microsoft that will have collections locked up in Silverlight. I'll double the Microsoft deal and offer them $6M in perl scripts and an infinite value of free OS software if they let me (or Google or any other honest company) publish their collections in free formats. "This deal involves the donation of 'technology, services and funding' (e.g., mostly not money) with a purported value of $3M from Microsoft to the Library of Congress. The Library, in turn, agrees to put kiosks running Vista in the library and to use Microsoft Silverlight to 'help power the library's new Web site,'"

Netscape Finally Put Down 159 159

Stony Stevenson writes to point out that Netscape has finally reached end of line with the release of version A pop-up will offer users the choice of switching to Firefox, Flock, or remaining with the dead browser, but no new updates will be released. "Nearly 14 years after the once mighty browser made its first desktop appearance as Mosaic Netscape 0.9, its disappearance comes as little surprise. Although Netscape accounted for more than 80 per cent of the browser market in 1995, the arrival of Microsoft's Internet Explorer in the same year brought stiff competition and surpassed Netscape within three years."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Inventor to Launch Pop Bottle Rocket into Space 285 285

DrButts writes "An inventor in British Columbia wants to be the first to launch a pop bottle rocket into space. 'This could be impossible, but the CEO of AntiGravity Research already holds the altitude record for boosting an elongated plastic pop bottle — propelled by a bicycle pump, water and a bit of soap — into the air. Firing the ubiquitous, two-litre plastic container usually consigned to the recycle bin into space might create a whole new definition for space junk, but the dream keeps Schellenberg going.'"

FCC Will Test Internet Over TV Airwaves, Again 86 86

Weather Storm writes "According to, the FCC will try again to test prototypes on Jan. 24 for transmitting high-speed Internet service over unused television airwaves. The devices were developed by Microsoft and Motorola, among other corporate partners, and will be tested in laboratory and real-world conditions for three months. 'Last year, a high-technology coalition — which included Microsoft, Google Inc., Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp. among others — submitted prototypes they said could transmit broadband Internet service over unlicensed and unused TV spectrum, known as "white spaces." Television broadcasters and the wireless microphone industry say such devices could interfere with programming. The Initial prototype testing failed last July because the devices did not reliably detect and avoid TV programming signals and could have caused interference. If the tests are successful this time and the devices are approved, the coalition plans to introduce commercial devices for sale after the digital television transition in February 2009.'"

"Poor man... he was like an employee to me." -- The police commisioner on "Sledge Hammer" laments the death of his bodyguard