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Hardware

+ - Who Stole 40 ton Bridge? Metal Theft on the Rise

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Time Magazine reports that police in North Beaver Township, Pa are searching for a missing steel bridge weighing 40-tons with an estimated value of $100,000. The most likely scenario is that the thieves used a blowtorch to cut apart the bridge and haul it away. "I thought that with the rain it got washed away," says New Castle Development spokesman Gary Bruce. The theft highlights the growing crime of metal theft caused by rapid industrialization in Asia that has inflated the international demand for scrap metals. Aluminum guardrails. Brass fittings. Bronze plaques. Aluminum siding. Sprinkler fittings. Catalytic converters on church vans. Bronze urns. Storm drain grates. Street signs. Copper downspouts. The US is the No. 1 exporter of scrap metal, and because of increasing demand, its annual exportation to developing nations tripled from 6 million to 18 million tons between 2002 and 2007. "Because of the massive amount of construction that's happening, there's a need for building supplies. Meanwhile the U.S. has been industrialized for quite some time, which allows our trash to become their gold, so to speak," says Brandon Kooi, a professor of criminal justice at Aurora University in Chicago. Scott Berinato believes frequent media reports of metal thefts also have contributed to the rise. "Thieves have caught on: There's metal everywhere and much of it is, understandably, unguarded," writes Berinato. "You don't notice how much metal there is for the taking until it starts getting taken.""
Music

Guitar Hero 5 To Allow Duplicate Instruments, Easy Switching 43

Posted by Soulskill
from the let-the-drum-battles-ensue dept.
Activision confirmed the existence of Guitar Hero 5 last week, and now they've released details about some of the game's new features. Quoting 1Up: "... the new Party Play mode allows players to swap instruments and difficulties on the fly — even in the middle of a performance. You'll also be able to play Guitar Hero 5 with any combination of instruments, be it four drum kits, two microphones and two guitars, or any other possible configuration of four players." They also listed a few of the songs, which include "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan and "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash. Meanwhile, their music-game rival Harmonix has revealed the full set list for Rock Band Unplugged, coming out early next month for the PSP.
Image

Tactical Camera 137

Posted by samzenpus
from the guns-make-everything-better dept.
An anonymous reader writes "What do you get when you mount a Nikon D200 with a standard rifle stock? Why a Tactical Camera of course! One that no reporter would be caught with in a war zone or covering any armed action anywhere. What started out as a tongue in cheek project for April Fools wound up being quite the successful demonstration of concept. It features a fully functional trigger; it has controls for operating the shutter and auto focus; and for the patient shots, it has a mounted bipod. Carry sling optional."

Comment: Back in College - GC/UI Courses (Score 1) 739

by tmontes (#27712395) Attached to: What Did You Do First With Linux?

My short (happy) start,

Back in 1993 or thereabouts I had one computer graphics course where we had to do a 3D project in PHIGS / SPHIGS (remember that?). The lab had about 20 NEC colour X Terminals - beautiful beasts, by the time - which, of course, were shared by many students; in short, the lab was always packed with people and it was not the most confortable environment to give the first steps in UNIX graphics programming - noisy and very often with no available seats.

A friend got hold of Linux in what were maybe 15-20 3.5" floppies -- that would be slackware, IIRC -- which we managed to install on a non-branded PC. I recall having trouble in getting X to work and fiddling with the modelines to acheive something like 800x600 with probably 8 bits per pixel! :)

In the end it was a great learning experience. We did most of the work at home and, from time to time, tested it at the lab.

Later (or maybe that was the initial trigger?) we had a different course where we had to program directly on top of the X API and also on top of Motif - we also used our home PCs (now that I mention it, I'm not really sure if we had Motif on Linux by then).

Well, there you go: that's my "how I started".

Since then it has been a very rich experience both using Linux and commercial UNIX solutions at a professional and personal level. The distance between what Linux was by then and what it is today is huge in every aspect, but it was already very useful and valuable by then.

Let's see what the future holds for it. :-)

Comment: Re:test -- NTP + Leap Second ? (Score 1) 480

by tmontes (#26293493) Attached to: Anyone Besides Zune Owners With New Year's Crashes?

Could this be a coincidence or was there some 2008/2009 rollover issue going on here?

set the system time back a few mins before the crash occured and see if your server crashes again... otherwise it's idle speculation

It might be difficult to reproduce if the system clock is NTP synched. Especially considering we had a leap second this year, where the clocks rolled from 23:59:59 to 23:59:60 to 00:00:00 GMT.
As someone else said: check your logs + try to reproduce.
--
Happy new Year

Comment: Re:Real-world use (Score 1) 376

by tmontes (#20211517) Attached to: Terabyte Hard Drive Put To the Test
As far as performance, it has been able to handle 4 simultaneous 24-bit / 96 kHz audio tracks playing back with no hiccups whatsoever.

...which is nothing by today's standards:

4 tracks, 24 bits @96KHz ---> 4 * 3 bytes * 96000 / second ---> 1152000 bytes / second ---> ~1 MiB/s !!!

Even if you'd go with stereo tracks, that would still be nothing.
Businesses

+ - IdeaStorm could be a disaster for Dell

Submitted by LinuxDude
LinuxDude (666) writes "According to ZDNet, IdeaStorm could be a huge PR disaster for Dell. The people have spoken, now Dell needs to respond, and that's the catch.

By creating a forum for feedback and now having that forum filled with customer "wishes", Dell is now in the uncomfortable position of having to respond. Silence won't work and neither will the marketing-speak filled "thanks but no thanks" response to every idea that Dell doesn't like or involves a cash outlay. IdeaStorm is now nothing more than a focal point for everything that is wrong with Dell, and the lack of any obvious moderation over at IdeaStorm is making the problem a lot worse.
"
PHP

+ - Suggestions for comment / collaboration software?

Submitted by
quixote9
quixote9 writes "I'm looking for an online way that a group of people can comment on each others' manuscripts. Ideally, the software would be a php script that runs in any browser. I'd like it to show the original ms in one pane, say on the left, and the comments, if any, in a right side pane. Comment position in the right pane would be fixed relative to the paragraph it relates to in the original ms. Multiple comments about the same original point would appear on separate lines, as close to the correct position as feasible. Comments could be collapsed completely, show just the first line, or be expanded to full length temporarily. The original could be saved with all the added comments, if desired.

For my purposes, this would be a system for collaborative review, not for a top-down, boss-worker, teacher-student type of situation. There's no need for grading, for someone's comments to have priority, for some people to be unable to comment, and the like. Although if these things are there, it doesn't matter so long as they're optional.

Is there anything like this out there anywhere? Moodle courseware has a "workshop" module, but it's top-down, and the original and the comments aren't visible together. I see complicated php scripts on sourceforge, freshmeat & some php sites for "enterprise level workflow coordination" and simple ones to coordinate calendars. I don't even know how to search for what I'd like. No matter what terms I use, I wind up back in enterprise whiteboard chatspace.

If the reason I can't find it is because it doesn't exist, any suggestins for how a complete n00b should go about cobbling together a php script to do this?"

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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