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Comment Re:What is the Google Strategy? (Score 1) 80

It makes some sense to me. What I wager they are hoping to see is substantially improved economic activity in those areas, as well as rising property values, directly attributable to the availability of cheap bandwidth.

If that happens then Google will be able to begin making a case to the public, the FCC, and politicians that the state of U.S. broadband is terrible, and that the country needs to get its act together to improve the situation. If they can point toward the economic uplift of a downtrodden area they are then pushing the right buttons to get all sorts of politicians to agree that increasing bandwidth is a good and necessary thing. The FCC may begin mandating/encouraging higher speeds, and the politicians may even pry open the taxpayer's wallet to help make it happen.

Increasing the amount of data coursing through the Internet is a plus for Google, as the contents/attributes of that data can then be used for advertising, research, product development, and the like. They can only stand to gain from there being more data circulating.

Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 1) 354

GSM already standardizes on 112 (even in North America - obviously you can also dial your local emergency number too, so 911 works here)

Have you tried it? It certainly doesn't work universally if at all in North America.

Two years ago I attempted to call from my GSM cellular phone to report a drunk driver. Wondering if "112" actually worked like I knew it should for GSM, I tried that number first, however the call didn't go through. I then reverted to 911 and as expected that call went through just fine.

Comment Re:Step back, Stop, and Re-Assess (Score 4, Informative) 379

What rueger said.

I've been there before as a new board member of a non-profit, and rueger is completely correct that it takes at least a year to understand how an organization works and why things are the way they are. More importantly in your case, it takes that long to suss out the nature of the personalities involved, and know what is important or not to each director so that you know how best to advance your goals and make it a positive thing for everyone involved, but most importantly the organization itself.

More than any of that though, you really need to study what the appropriate and necessary roles of a director are. Start Googling and reading on the subject -- there's lots of good stuff out there. As a director you are entrusted with serious legal responsibility for governance and oversight of the organization and accomplishing its stated mission. Everything you do must serve those ends and must be evaluated in light of them. This is your primary role and duty -- everything else is secondary.

Your legal duty and responsibility is to the organization. Not to the board. Certainly not to Bob. So first you need to identify how the current situation is holding back the board from any or all of its responsibilities for governance, oversight, or accomplishing the organization's mission. Once you understand that you can use it as a basis of a discussion with the board so that the board can decide whether they want to solve the problem. If they decide as an entire board through an adopted motion that they want to solve the problem, then you can work with the stakeholders such as Bob to figure out the "how" part of solving the problem (unless Bob already agrees that it needs fixing, in which case the two of you may be able to work together to approach the board together with a presentation of the problem and a proposed solution). See how that works? Identify the core duty/responsibility, address the problem in achieving that duty/responsibility, determine a course of action through the board's official decisions, then implement that decision while maneuvering in the zone of the personalities involved.

How does this then apply to your situation? In order for the board to perform its oversight and governance functions, as well as preserve business continuity in achieving it's mission, it is important that they have reliable access to all documents which they need. The degree to which it is easy to locate those documents impacts how effective the board members can be at carrying out those duties. And for the important documents reuger mentioned (minutes, budgets, etc), it is extremely critical to have a solid paper trail, particularly if for some reason your secretary of state, the IRS, or J. Random Attorney With Aggrieved Client comes knocking. Maintaining these records is part of your legal "duty of care", and you need to make sure it is done, and done wetech.slashdot.orgt SuperBanana mentioned further above: Once you've identified the weakness that your board is responsible for fixing, operate within the correct procedures of the board to address the issue. Get the item on the agenda. Let Bob present on how he would like to fix it, or have the board discuss how they would like it fixed. As part of this the board should create and vote on motions that direct the next steps that should be taken (e.g. further research, funding for implementing a solution, etc). At this point it doesn't matter any longer if Bob is on board with the approved motions or not -- though hopefully he is and a plan that he's happy with has been adopted. In any case at this point the board's decision is as good as law for the organization: if any director cannot faithfully support and help execute the adopted motion, whether or not they were in favor of the motion in the first place, that director needs to resign. If the director works to undermine the board's decision and doesn't resign, the board needs to remove them post-haste.

This doesn't have to be as heartless in practice as it sounds in words, but always remember that your first responsibility is to the governance and oversight of the organization, and toward achieving its mission. Use that principle as your guidepost and the rest will come into focus for any and all issues you deal with as a director.


Submission + - In time for Halloween: 9 new tarantula species discovered (

Damien1972 writes: If you suffer from acute arachnophobia, this is the perfect Halloween discovery for you: a spider expert has discovered nine new species of arboreal tarantulas in the Brazil. Although tarantula diversity is highest in the Amazon rainforest, the new species are all found in lesser-known Brazilian ecosystems like the Atlantic Forest and the cerrado.

Submission + - NASA teams to build gyroscopes 1,000X more sensitive than current systems ( 3

coondoggie writes: "NASA today said it would work with a team of researchers on a three-year, $1.8 project to build gyroscope systems that are more than 1,000 times as sensitive as those in use today. The Fast Light Optical Gyroscope project will marry researchers from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center; the US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center and Northwestern University to develop gyroscopes that could find their way into complex spacecraft, aircraft, commercial vehicles or ships in the future."

Comment Green Cows (Score 3, Informative) 590

This is why:

There simply isn't enough solar power delivered to the surface of the aircraft, even at 100% conversion efficiency, to move people and luggage using only available sunlight.

Google tells me direct illumination to a surface perpendicular to incoming full intensity sunlight is about 1.4 kW per square meter. Google also tells me that the wing surface area of a 747 is around 5500 square feet. Only half of the 747 wing is directly illuminated by sunlight at any given moment, but the surface of the fuselage could be covered with photocells as well, so 5500 square feet overall is probably a decent estimate for the directly illuminated surface area of the aircraft as a whole. And for hand-wavy purposes lets assume that the entire surface of the 747 is perpendicular to the incoming sunlight (i.e. a planar plane... pun totally intended). And that we have perfectly efficient photocells giving us 100% conversion efficiency. Running the math, this gives us around 715kW under bright direct sunlight, or about 959 horsepower -- the equivalent of 1.5 2012 Ford Shelby GT500's.

Each engine of a 747 generates around 15,000 horsepower at cruise, and around 30,000 at takeoff, and a 747 has four engines. So you need around 125 times the power generated by a perfectly efficient perfectly illuminated solar-powered 747 to get said plane off the ground, and around 65 times the power for cruising. And then you could only fly it in the middle of the day near the equator.

Comment Why? (Score 1) 136

No disrespect to the font designer, but as far as I can tell this is a long-solved solved problem.

Perhaps I'm a font curmudgeon, however I've not found anything that bests Schumacher Clean for everyday console and editor use. I've used it for about 15 years, and I've can't think of a single thing I don't like about it, other than it's a pain to make it and other bitmap fonts available under Ubuntu. It's been a standard part of X distributions for ages and thus it's widely available.

Schumacher Clean just makes me feel all warm and wubbly inside.

Comment Re:Level of risk (Score 3, Insightful) 335

Why don't you get the directions beforehand and memorize the route? Have people really become so lazy and mentally dull that they can't do this any more?

This doesn't work so well when any of the following are true:
1. You have several unfamiliar stops to make.
2. Your destination changes mid-course (think sports team manager changing dining plans mid-route).
3. There is road construction on any unfamiliar route.
4. Your destination is not known a priori (think taxi driver).

Comment Re:Bourne Shell (Score 1) 477

100% totally completely agree. People, most importantly distro engineers, need to remember that bash != ash != dash != ksh != sh.

My most recent frustration with this situation was with dash, which has become Ubuntu's default /bin/sh. I was working on getting an in-house SCM tool operating with Ubuntu, and found that there was a non-POSIX sh/ksh/bash-ism in it, the "-p" switch, which dash definitely didn't support. Upon investigation I realized that while it was a good thing to have in the script in question if available, it wasn't strictly necessary.

I thought I'd perform a run time check to determine which shell was in use, and pass the "-p" switch except when running dash. However there was one huge problem -- dash provides *NO* reliable way whatsoever to identify itself. There's no "-v" or "--version", no pre-set environment variable, not even anything useful in running strings(1) against the binary. All you can do is poke at some end-case behaviors to try to differentiate it from other sh variants, and unfortunately I cannot trust those end-case behaviors will be consistent between versions.

I solved the problem by requiring bash as a prereq in the .deb and .rpm, then depending which operating system (not distro, but OS) is detected at runtime, trying hard to find any shell that supports "-p" before falling back to /bin/sh and hoping for the best. Frustrating.

Comment Re:Hold on a second. (Score 5, Insightful) 158

The way to achieve what you say Linus wants is for him to reject/postpone changes that fall outside RC criteria. "Sorry, the train has left the station. There's another one due to leave at 3.6." When developers learn that the development phase criteria are enforced they will adjust their behavior to fall in line, but contrapositively they will not adjust their behavior if the criteria are not enforced.

My sympathy is miniscule -- if RC-appropriate changes are what he wants then he should reject/postpone the changes in question as falling outside RC criteria instead of kvetching about them. It's a self-made and self-perpetuated problem; developers will abuse largesse only as long as they are allowed to.

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