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Comment Re:Birdstrikes don't always leave blood or feather (Score 1) 78

It's not just the large birds that one has to worry about. All of the European Barn Swallows have migrated down here, and 3 million of them choose to roost at Mount Moreland -- which is around 2.5 km from and directly in line with RWY 06 at Durban's airport.

The airport authorities are well aware of the potential danger and have installed a specialized radar system solely to keep an eye on the birds during the late evening swarm. If the swarm poses a danger to aircraft, ATC will pick it up and can then delay departures and/or put arrivals in a holding pattern as needed. The swarm, from my own observations when last I was in the area, only lasts around 10-15 minutes.

The local residents have now developed this into a small tourist attraction, which is popular with both bird and plane spotters.

Comment Re:I've never been able to wrap my head around thi (Score 1) 313

Another fun story to add to the list: my mother has been visiting us in Cape Town and had a flight back to Durban (2 hours flying time). She misread her ticket: what she thought was her departure time was actually the arrival time in Durban. I realized her error too late, and we made it just as the baggage drop counter closed. Online check-in didn't save her since she had bags that needed to have been put in the hold; it would have saved her if she had carry-on luggage only (though, this is my mother -- she travels with the kitchen sink!).

It was also the last flight for that day, but the airline was very understanding -- they gave her a standby ticket for the next day at virtually no charge. We took her back the next morning, and she pretty much camped by the standby counter. Thankfully, there was a no-show on the early morning flight, so she managed to get on that.

Comment Re:Explaining the Windows 10 branching (Score 1) 150

How the hell do you get LTSB edition for Enterprise? Is it a unique SKU or some configuration preference applied to vanilla Enterprise?

Volume licensing channels or MSDN. Enterprise and Enterprise LTSB have different SKUs -- you can't reconfigure vanilla Enterprise to act as LTSB (not that I'm aware of, anyway).

Comment Explaining the Windows 10 branching (Score 5, Informative) 150

TFA mentions Current Branch and Current Branch for Business, without explaining them too much. I doubt that many folks here are aware of them and the differences, so...

If you're on CB, you get major feature updates (e.g. the Anniversary Edition) pushed to you as soon as it's made generally available. Folks on CBB will still get those updates pushed to them, but a while later (MS says around four months delay), and with all the fixes made in that time.

Now, if you have the Pro or Enterprise editions (sorry Home users, you guys are stuck on CB only), you can quite easily switch between the two by means of checking (or unchecking) the "Defer upgrades" option that's somewhere in the Windows Update options. Want to live on MS's cutting edge? Leave it off. Want to use those Home peasants as your beta testers? Switch it on.

Then, there's the LTSB edition of Enterprise, which is basically RTM that just receives security patches and the like (MS will make newer versions available -- I believe there's a 2016 update to LTSB coming later this year -- but, as far as I'm aware, there's no obligation to upgrade to a newer LTSB version, and MS claims that they'll support each version for ~10 years anyway). Because MS doesn't want too many things in this edition to change, things like Edge, Cortana and the Windows Store are stripped out of it. MS's intended usage scenarios for this edition are things like POS machines and the like.

You can actually compare this to Ubuntu upgrades. If you're on CB, you're like the Ubuntu user who upgrades between point releases as soon as the new one becomes available. If you're on CBB, you're like the Ubuntu user who upgrades between point releases as soon as the old one is about to become unsupported. If you're on LTSB, then you're the Ubuntu user who only ever uses the LTS releases.

Submission + - The case against non-technical managers (memeburn.com)

Kelerei writes: Lorraine Steyn, owner of a small software development company in Cape Town, has published an opinion piece that may hit too close to home for some: making a case against non-technical managers. She writes about the all too common disconnect between IT staff and the boardroom table and states that "one of the ways to solve this, is to bring managers closer to the coal face. Technical training programmes are critical for your development team to keep apace with change, and investing the time for IT management to do the training too can pay dividends... [if a manager feels he doesn't] have enough time to get that close to the detail of what your department does, think about whether you would appoint a non-financial manager to handle your money".

Comment Even if correlation != causation, it's plausible. (Score 1) 118

As someone who grew up in KZN, I find the correlation interesting. Bilharzia is a significant issue (don't even think about swimming in the rivers unless you're in the Drakensberg mountains -- particularly in northern KZN where one also has the possibility of crocodiles deciding that you'll be a tasty morsel), and KZN is also the province with South Africa's highest HIV infection rate. Obviously, the correlation does not imply causation, but from the information presented in TFA, it's certainly plausible and, in my opinion, worth researching further.

I'm going to back those that have already posted that it's worth treating bilharzia in it's own right. If it contributes to a reduction in the HIV infection rate, so much the better.

Submission + - Ubuntu 13.10 'Saucy Salamander' Final has been released!

donadony writes: Finally, the most expected distribution in Linux World, Ubuntu 13.10 ‘Saucy Salamander’ final has been released, there is no official release announcement yet, but the download page of Saucyhas been updated with the final packages. Just like most of you, We also expected it very long. This awesome distribution has come with plenty of new features and improvements.

Submission + - Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today (techcrunch.com)

Kelerei writes: TechCrunch is reporting that Windows 8.1 will start rolling out on Thursday at 4 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (that's 11:00 UTC). However, it won't be available to everyone at that time, as the article states: "However, as this is a staged rollout, not everyone will see the code at 4 am Pacific tomorrow. The new operating system will pop up as an update in the Windows Store at various times, depending on your location. All you have to do is have a fine sleep, and when you wake up, the operating system will either be ready for you to snag, or on the way." The upgrade is optional (and free) for existing Windows 8 users, though if one looks at the changes, it's hard to imagine why those already on it wouldn't upgrade.

Comment Cape Town: 254ms (Score 2) 558

Ping averages:

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 100, Received = 100, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 253ms, Maximum = 259ms, Average = 254ms

Traceroute (route goes from Cape Town to London and thence across the "pond"):

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms
2 9 ms 9 ms 9 ms 196-210-170-129.dynamic.isadsl.co.za []
3 11 ms 11 ms 10 ms cdsl1-ctn-vl2173.ip.isnet.net []
4 10 ms 11 ms 11 ms
5 11 ms 11 ms 10 ms core2b-ctn-gi0-1.ip.isnet.net []
6 163 ms 163 ms 162 ms
7 161 ms 162 ms 207 ms
8 161 ms 161 ms 161 ms vl-3602-ve-226.csw2.London1.Level3.net []
9 192 ms 221 ms 203 ms ae-22-52.car2.London1.Level3.net []
10 161 ms 162 ms 161 ms bcr1-ge-6-1-0.londonlnx.savvis.net []
11 167 ms 162 ms 162 ms cr1-te-0-0-5-0.uk1.savvis.net []
12 254 ms 254 ms 253 ms cr1-te-0-6-0-0.chd.savvis.net []
13 254 ms 254 ms 253 ms hr1-te-12-0-1.elkgrovech3.savvis.net []
14 254 ms 254 ms 254 ms das5-v3030.ch3.savvis.net []
15 257 ms 254 ms 266 ms
16 254 ms 254 ms 254 ms slashdot.org []

Submission + - How NASA brought the Saturn-V F1 rocket engine back to life (arstechnica.com) 3

Martin S. writes: How NASA Engineers have reverse engineered the F1 engine of a Saturn V launcher, because: every scrap of documentation produced during Project Apollo, including the design documents for the Saturn V and the F-1 engines, remains on file. If re-creating the F-1 engine were simply a matter of cribbing from some 1960s blueprints, NASA would have already done so. A typical design document for something like the F-1, though, was produced under intense deadline pressure and lacked even the barest forms of computerized design aids. Such a document simply cannot tell the entire story of the hardware. Each F-1 engine was uniquely built by hand, and each has its own undocumented quirks. In addition, the design process used in the 1960s was necessarily iterative: engineers would design a component, fabricate it, test it, and see how it performed. Then they would modify the design, build the new version, and test it again. This would continue until the design was "good enough."

Submission + - Should universities offer Cobol classes? (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: Only about one in four schools offer Cobol classes, and then mostly as an elective, according to a recent survey by Micro Focus. For most students, this means the odds are high that they will attend a school that does not offer Cobol. There are strong opinions about this trend. "I think there are a lot of people who want to put a stake in its heart and kill it and I don't know why," said David Dischiave, an associate professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. Syracuse has two required Cobol courses. But other schools says the demand for Cobol doesn't justify offering a class.

Submission + - Google rumoured to be negotiating for Whatsapp purchase (digitaltrends.com)

Kelerei writes: The rumour mill has it that Google is in negotiations to acquire the Whatsapp mobile messaging application. Many have suspected that a messaging app would be "the next billion dollar acquisition deal" following Facebook's acquisition of Instagram last year. Acquiring Whatsapp could be regarded as a no-brainer, as messaging has been described as "a huge, gaping hole in Google's mobile strategy". Whatsapp is reportedly asking for a $1 billion acquisition price.

Submission + - Failure To Negotiate Salary Costs IT Pros $4,300 (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: A survey by the job search website Dice.com finds that most IT pros accept the first salary offered without negotiating — and it costs them. According to the survey, new hires stand to receive an initial increase of 5% when they negotiate. If you consider that the average national salary for tech professionals is $85,619, not negotiating costs $4,300 in year one.

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