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Submission + - Version Control for Writers? (

dylan_k writes: I'm interested in using version control software to help writers, editors, publishers, scholars and archivists. In my efforts to figure this out, I've been introduced to Git, and to Flashbake, and to Git-Annex Assistant. These powerful tools are great! Because I'm a web developer in my day job, I'm sure I'll be able to learn them quickly enough and put them to work. The trouble is, most of the people I work on writing with are not so skilled with computers. They may not want to use the command line, and they probably prefer a word processor over a text editor. Since most of this stuff is open source, I'm looking for ways to make these tools a little more user friendly, for the average writer, editor, etc.

Here is a link to a blog post where I detailed some of my early thoughts on the subject.

I would be grateful for any thoughts, comments, advice, etc. that any of you might be able to provide.

Comment Force behavioral change (Score 1) 173

The whole idea of SDDC and Cloud Computing is to basically end up with "IT as a Service". The rest are just marketing words. The goal is to have a service pretty much like electricity: you don't necessarily care where it comes from or how it's delivered to your premises. All you care is that it's there, it's reliable, it's consistent and you know exactly how much you are paying for.

The problem I've seen in the 10 years I've been in this particular industry, is that very few large companies are doing chargeback from IT to their internal customers or business units. IT has been historically seen as a shared cost for the company which adds tremendous pressure every year to cut more and more and try to leverage economies of scale whenever possible. Once you implement chargeback (even if it starts as a showback only) you can effectively pass that cost to the internal customer so you end up shaping their behavior depending on their own funds allocation, not IT's.

The next step is to have accurate forecasting so you know exactly how much infrastructure to have available, particularly if you implement service tiering. This doesn't mean that IT will have a free ride, and it will still be expected to be competitive with external cloud providers, but at least is something more manageable than the status quo.

Comment Use it as a starting point (Score 2) 27

OpenStack has the potential to become the ultimate IaaS multi-vendor glue API, and now that the Foundation is established and a number of large players are committing resources and actual code (VMware, HP, IBM, Rackspace, etc, etc), things are taking shape at an amazing rate.

I'd say yes, embrace the AWS API as a baseline, just to make sure developers can port their applications as seamlessly as possible from AWS to OpenStack and viceversa. Just don't think this has to be all or nothing. Since not every use case can be fulfilled by AWS, I see absolutely nothing wrong with creating brand new APIs and operational models to address the needs of whomever is implementing OpenStack out there, as long as it's clear that using them would make your application incompatible with AWS. For many use cases, that's irrelevant.

Kudos to AWS to having come out with that model, but innovation cannot stop for fear of incompatibilities.

Comment Re:There must be something better to do with that (Score 4, Insightful) 214

Come on dude! It's so easy to be dismissive when you don't have a clue what are you talking about. Let me break your bubble: there are geeks that are hipsters, foodies and that just love the hedonistic pleasures of life. We all converge in this site at some point and share things that matter to all of us, but this is by no means all we are in life.

I've had to learn to appreciate our differences with fellow geeks and nerds that have completely opposite political views for example without demonizing them, and in the process I've learned a thing or two. Don't fall in the "us" and "them" rhetoric and learn to respect people that care about different things.

Submission + - Peru to Provide Free Solar Power to its 2 Million Poorest Citizens (

An anonymous reader writes: Peru is looking to provide free electricity to over 2 million of its poorest citizens by harvesting energy from the sun. Energy and Mining Minister Jorge Merino said that the National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program will provide electricity to poor households through the installation of photovoltaic panels.

Submission + - British Scientists Charge Samsung Smartphone With Urine (

coolnumbr12 writes: If you knew your own pee could charge it enough to make just one call, send a some texts or even check Google Maps briefly, would you do it?
This may soon be possible. Researchers from Bristol Robotics Laboratory, a collaboration between the University of the West of England and the University of Bristol, were able to pee on microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to create enough electricity to charge a Samsung phone.
So far, MFCs have only been used to generate small amounts of electricity for short charge and discharge cycles. This if the first time enough energy has been captured to directly charge a battery.

Submission + - Strict new anti-spam regulations in Canada ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: David Reese (who is not me) provides an interesting analysis of just how far Canada's new anti-spam legislation goes, and its implications for business. This may provide a valuable template for citizens of other countries, and may also encourage Canadians to prepare for the inevitable push-back from spammers. It is not clear from this analysis whether the legislation would affect telemarketing, but even if it does not it provides a useful precedent for future regulation in that area.

Submission + - BitTorrent Launches Sync Beta For Windows, Mac, Linux, And Android

An anonymous reader writes: BitTorrent today announced the open beta release of its file synchronization tool Sync, and the debut of an Android app. You can download the latest version now for Windows, Mac, and Linux over at as well as for Android from Google Play.

The biggest addition in the beta is an archive capability for retrieving previous versions of synced files. Called SyncArchive, the feature is basic versioning brought to the BitTorrent world: the tool now includes a folder where you can see (and search for) all previous versions of your files.

Comment Re:VPN (Score 0) 264

I'm using iVPN with multihop to avoid traffic analysis. Excellent service. All my personal browsing is done from inside a VM which gets cleared at shutdown. For banking and other services that require to see your actual IP, I have a clean "banking VM" only for that purpose.

Comment No data on devices (Score 1) 186

When are all these organizations going to learn that NO DATA should ever be on a mobile device? All access should be done through virtual desktops from secured, managed devices using strong authentication and mandatory access controls, period. This is not rocket science and the technology has been available for years. They only have themselves to blame.

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