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Submission + - Arduino in Spaaaaace! (

Lev Lafayette writes: New Scientist reports that ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X, which run Arduino, were launched to the International Space Station (ISS) last week. Each of these mini satellite, packed full of devices is just 10 centimetres cubed and should arrive at the ISS on August 9.

The launch in part funded by a Kickstarter campaign, with backers buying time slots to run experiments; at a good price too. Program controls on the satellites for three days cost $125, or for a week for $250.

Chris Wake of NanoSatisfi, the San Francisco company that builds and operates the satellites, hopes that this is the beginning of a experimental community. "Five years out, we'd love to see 100, 150 of these up in the air, reaching half a million students."

Comment Missing yacht near Australia, father says (Score 1) 156

Personally, I think he's being optimistic.

I would *like* to be optimistic.

- - -
The father of an 18-year-old on board the missing American schooner Nina believes it may be just days from making port in Australia.

Ricky Wright's daughter, Danielle Wright, is one of seven people on board the 84-year-old wooden vessel, which was on its way to Australia from Opua in the Bay of Islands.

The crew have not been heard from since June 4, when Nina was about 370 nautical miles west-northwest New Zealand.

Mr Wright told news website KATC that he estimated Nina was currently just four or five days from making port in Australia.

He based this on a satellite phone message from the vessel which had only recently been received because it took weeks for the US government to authorise its release due to privacy laws.

The message said Nina had passed through two storms in early June and had damaged sails from high winds but was still making headway at 4 knots per hour.

"My prediction is they are making 3 knots, and the storm pushed them north of where they thought they would be," Mr Wright said.

"The main search area was south of where they are."

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Comment Examine Prior Successeful Examples (Score 1) 66

By way of introduction, I am the current President of Linux Users of Victoria (Australia). We have two meetings a month, a main meeting with two talks (nominally intermediate and advanced) and a beginners workshop. We usually organise Software Freedom Day (do this!), and install-fests and miniconferences in regional areas - so far we have chapters in Ballarat, Geelong, Shepparton, and more coming. We've been around since the early 90s and have around 1500 members.

From my experience in LUV and many other community groups there are two key things that keep a group going.

a) Leadership.

Somebody has to be a leader. Better still you can have multiple leaders and distribute tasks between them. Leaders are the people who will ensure that the meetings happen, that events are advertised and so forth. They are the public face of the organisation and they must work to improve the organisation every day. Leaders also must be very, very attentive to their membership. A leader cannot exist without followers. Always listen to what others want to see happen. If someone has an enthusiastic proposal, delegate authority and action to them and help achieve their goal. Also, leaders don't give up.

b) Community

A society survives because it generates a culture at a community locale (real, virtual, or both). What is the core ethos of your society? From what you've described, you need to need to both interest and differentiate from the existing computing groups. If they other computing groups are into mobile web there's not much to be gained on replicating that. I would suggest a key feature of Linux that has broad popular and technical appeal is the notion of software freedom. Make that your driving and motivating force. Even if it is three people sitting around a coffee table discussing the latest version of Firefox, the fact that they have come together in the name of the LUG to discuss a matter of common interest means that you have a group.

Provide leadership and ensure you have a community and everything else is detail. Also, feel free to contact me lev at levlafayette dot com for any further advice.

Comment Re:No (Score 3, Insightful) 388

There is a degree that this comment is fair however. With FOSS if there is a problem, the admin can fix it even if it is poorly written. So if the admin *doesn't* fix it, or *can't*, yes, they do have to shoulder that responsibility. With proprietary software however, the admin can't make these changes. So if the software is bad, even if the user knows what is wrong there is little that they can do. Ultimately it *is* bad software, because software that you can't fix is a damaged good.

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