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Comment: Ask and decide if it is best to donate them. (Score 1) 360

by xerx (#37043364) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What OS For a Donated Computer?
Ask the charity what they want if anything on the machines according to their policies on receiving donated PCs. A charity which intends to setup and maintain donated PCs for kids must have someone knowledgeable in charge of this. If they do not have anyone in charge of setup and maintenance, do not donate the PCs, sell them and give them the money.

Comment: Florida Everglades has similar problem (Score 4, Informative) 278

by xerx (#33896472) Attached to: Denver Airport Overrun by Car-Eating Rabbits
In this case it is black vultures who eat the soft rubber door seals and whipper blades. One of the main tourist attractions near the south west entrance of the national park has a roust of them close to the parking lot. I have witnessed them tearing chunks of rubber from cars. At times there are dozens of birds in the parking lot and hundreds in nearby trees.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/state/meals-on-wheels-vultures-in-everglades-feast-on-529072.html

Comment: Re:Big science plot hole (Score 1) 387

by xerx (#33372662) Attached to: First Review of <em>Avatar</em> Special Edition

As for Chemical Weapons...

Sending ships from Earth to another star system would be very expensive and even with the best technology it is likely a better idea to manufacture as much as possible there than to bring it all with you.

Robotic ships first arriving, processing raw materials into simple modular facilities, creating vehicles and weapons which use the abundant chemicals and materials present on the planet.

Years later humans eventually arrive and begin to destroy the rest of the planet.

Earth

Officials Sue Couple Who Removed Their Lawn 819

Posted by kdawson
from the revenge-of-the-lawn dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that Orange County officials are locked in a legal battle with a couple accused of violating city ordinances for replacing the grass on their lawn with wood chips and drought-tolerant plants, reducing their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009. The dispute began two years ago, when Quan and Angelina Ha tore out the grass in their front yard. In drought-plagued Southern California, the couple said, the lush grass had been soaking up tens of thousands of gallons of water — and hundreds of dollars — each year. 'We've got a newborn, so we want to start worrying about her future,' said Quan Ha, an information technology manager for Kelley Blue Book. But city officials told the Has they were violating several city laws that require that 40% of residential yards to be landscaped predominantly with live plants. Last summer, the couple tried to appease the city by building a fence around the yard and planting drought-tolerant greenery — lavender, rosemary, horsetail, and pittosporum, among others. But according to the city, their landscaping still did not comply with city standards. At the end of January, the Has received a letter saying they had been charged with a misdemeanor violation and must appear in court. The couple could face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for their grass-free, eco-friendly landscaping scheme. 'It's just funny that we pay our taxes to the city and the city is now prosecuting us with our own money,' says Quan Ha."
Science

First Black Hole For Light Created On Earth 244

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the better-wear-a-hard-hat dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An electromagnetic 'black hole' that sucks in surrounding light has been built for the first time. The device, which works at microwave frequencies, may soon be extended to trap visible light, leading to an entirely new way of harvesting solar energy to generate electricity. A theoretical design for a table-top black hole to trap light was proposed in a paper published earlier this year by Evgenii Narimanov and Alexander Kildishev of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Their idea was to mimic the properties of a cosmological black hole, whose intense gravity bends the surrounding space-time, causing any nearby matter or radiation to follow the warped space-time and spiral inwards."
Image

Want to Eat Chocolate Every Day For a Year? 158

Posted by samzenpus
from the dental-nightmare dept.
Scientists from the University of East Anglia are studying the potential health benefits of dark chocolate, and need 40 female volunteers who would like to eat chocolate every day for a year. The chocolate loving 40 must be post-menopausal and have type 2 diabetes so it can be determined if the flavonoid compounds in chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease. Dr Peter Curtis, of the UEA's School of Medicine, said, "Our first volunteers are about to return for their final visit to see if the markers of heart health - such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels — have changed. A successful outcome could be the first step in developing new ways to improve the lives of people at increased risk of heart disease."

Comment: Keep things simple and redundant (Score 1) 229

by xerx (#28014135) Attached to: What OS and Software For a Mobile Documentary Crew?

Talk with your crew you are going to support.

Gather up the apps and OSs they presently using.

Choose an OS that supports their apps.

You should be as self reliant as your budget can allow.

Make sure equipment can do all tasks, even if one is more optimized for it. If something goes down another machine on hand can be used. If possible make them exactly the same and carry an extra cloned drive. Carry an extra of common items most likely to beak, be stolen or left behind. Have a plan in place for a catastrophic failure or theft of equipment and have a process in place to be able to quickly ship a replacement while you make due. Never assume anything can be obtained locally, and even if it can, if you can carry on for while, often shipping is better and you get exactly what you need. Backup like crazy and have multiple crew carry a copy and never ever store it with the equipment.

Good luck and have fun!

Programming

What Do You Call People Who "Do HTML"? 586

Posted by timothy
from the onion-belters dept.
gilgongo writes "It's more than 10 years since people started making a living writing web page markup, yet the job title (and role) has yet to settle down. Not only that, but there are different types of people who write markup: those that approach the craft as essentially an integration task, and those that see it as part of UI design overall. The situation is further complicated by the existence of other roles in the workplace such as graphic designer and information architect. This is making recruitment for this role a real headache. So, how do you describe people who 'do HTML' (and CSS and maybe a bit of JavaScript and graphics manipulation)? Some job titles I've seen include: Design Technologist, Web Developer, Front-end Developer, HTML/CSS Developer, Client-side Developer and UI Engineer. Do you have any favourite job titles for this role?"
Technology

Low-Budget Home Weather Stations? 34

Posted by Cliff
from the who-needs-weathermen-anyways dept.
Toby Truman asks: "Working at the Fenwick Island Weather Station, I already have access to million-dollar meteorology equipment. However, some tinkerlusting college friends have been asking me about home weather stations, a subject I don't have a lot of experience with. Have any Slashdot users experimented with DIY weather stations, and if so, what do they recommend?"

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