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."
from the less-math-more-social-science dept.
artemis67 writes "A man studying in London has taken a mathematical equation that predicts the possibility of alien life in the universe to explain why he can't find a girlfriend. Peter Backus, a native of Seattle and PhD candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, near London, in his paper, 'Why I don't have a girlfriend: An application of the Drake Equation to love in the UK,' used math to estimate the number of potential girlfriends in the UK. In describing the paper on the university Web site he wrote 'the results are not encouraging. The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.'"
JamJam writes "Air Canada has been told to create a special 'buffer zone' on flights for people who are allergic to nuts. The Canadian Transportation Agency has ruled that passengers who have nut allergies should be considered disabled and accommodated by the airline. Air Canada has a month to come up with an appropriate section of seats where passengers with nut allergies would be seated. The ruling involved a complaint from Sophia Huyer, who has a severe nut allergy and travels frequently. Ms. Huyer once spent 40 minutes in the washroom during a flight while snacks were being served."
Introspective writes: "Paul Hellyer, the 83 year old former Canadian defense minister is making demands for governments to release alien technology to cure climate change. Convinced that governments around the world are hoarding alien technology, he is calling for them to reveal it in order to save the planet — presumably for us all to start using alien energy sources to replace our dependency on fossil fuels. He states "We need to persuade governments to come clean on what they know. Some of us suspect they know quite a lot, and it might be enough to save our planet if applied quickly enough""
The 2.6 version of the process scheduler has been a mixed blessing from the beginning. This scheduler has the potential to fix the last(only?) significant regression incurred in the 2.4 to 2.6 transition.
cyber-dragon.net writes: "I have long been a staunch supporter of Apple and Macs, bordering on but not quite a fan boy. My recent experience with trying to bring them into my department at work has been dissapointing. We had a Mac Pro (the big quad processor monster) die after four days. Ok, it happens, everything else has worked flawlessly. I even delt with the inevitable teasing about the siny new Mac being a lemon.
Well after almost four hours dealing with Apple Care, three hours dropping off and picking up my computer at different stores as per thier instructions trying to get this done quickly... I am beginning to wonder if Apple really wants business customers to rely on these machines. Much as I may dislike Dell like the rest of you... when my Linux box died it was fixed in four hours and I spent maybe 20 mintes of my time setting up the repair. I have spent seven hours of my time so far on this Mac and it still will not power up. Is this just me or have other people lost critical business machines to the depths of Apple Care inefficiency and lack of business level support?"