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Comment What about POI? (Score 1) 422

I guess I'm in a niche market then.

One thing that I've not seen discussed is a POI (Point of Interest) database. There are tons of these on the Internet that you can download and then upload to your GPS unit. As a Volunteer firefighter, I developed a POI database of every Fire Department in my state for use by the Fire Marshal's office. They are uploading them to their GPS units in the Investigator's vehicles. In addition, I'm developing a POI database of every fire hydrant in my department's jurisdiction in order to make water-supply location much easier. Then we will purchase a GPS unit for each fire apparatus and use the database regularly.

Just a couple weeks ago, we used GPS units in a very rural area with heavy tree cover to assist in finding a mentally handicapped person who had wandered away from home. With no reliable cell signal, and with dense forest, we would have been lucky to have been able to use a smartphone to track or log our movements. Once we layed out the search area and followed the GPS data, we were able to find him and return him to his family.

Along those same lines, we have landed the local aeromedial helicopter in rural areas using coordinates from our handheld GPS unit.

If you are only using your GPS for turn-by-turn directions, you are only scratching the surface. These units offer so much more. Oh, and did I mention that a GPS unit doesn't require a data plan?

Slashdot's Disagree Mail 100

Ernest Hemingway's micro-story, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn," is one of my favorite examples of how less is sometimes more. Sometimes a few sentences say it all; you don't always need a hundred pages to convey an idea. Most of the mail I get is brief and to the point. Others are just brief. To be honest, I appreciate the short, crazy email more than the long rants, and they can be just as funny. Read below for this week's mail snippets.
Sun Microsystems

Mainframe OpenSolaris Now Available 135

BBCWatcher writes "When Sun released Solaris to the open source community in the form of OpenSolaris, would anyone have guessed that it would soon wind up running on IBM System z mainframes? Amazingly, that milestone has now been achieved. Sine Nomine Associates is making its first release of OpenSolaris for System z available for free and public download. Source code is also available. OpenSolaris for System z requires a System z9 or z10 mainframe and z/VM, the hypervisor that's nearly universal to mainframe Linux installations. (The free, limited term z/VM Evaluation Edition is available for z10 machines.) Like Linux, OpenSolaris will run on reduced price IFL processors."

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