Albanach writes: I'm sure I'm not alone in being asked to help friends and family with computer issues. These folk typically run Windows (everything from XP onward) or OS X (typically 10.4 onward). Naturally, desktop sharing is often much easier than trying to talk the other end through various steps. I've found free sites like join.me but they don't work with OS X 10.4, neither does the Chrome plugin. I'd also prefer not to compromise security by using a third party in the middle of the connection. Is there a good, free solution I can run on my linux box that supports old and new clients that run Windows, OS X and possibly linux? I'd love it if the users could simply bring their systems up to date, but that doesn't solve the third party issue and it's not easy when it requires a non-trivial RAM upgrade on a Mac Mini.
Albanach writes: Tornadoes have caused devastating loss of life in the United States this year. While I'm fortunate to be unaffected, I was wondering whether open source technology can help distribute severe weather warnings. While large companies can use commercial products to alert staff, tools like asterisk should allow small and medium businesses to send phone and text alerts to staff. The challenge is getting warnings in timely fashion. The National Weather Service provides XML data, however the update frequency of every few minutes could be too slow for an event like a tornado. The obvious source seems to be receiving alerts in real time from the NWS weather radio. Unfortunately I have been unable to find an open source solution that can process an audio stream, reading the SANE header and allowing for an automated response. Have any/. readers tackled this problem at work or at home?