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4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."

Comment Trying to for small business (Score 1) 195

I have a small business and going all FOSS seems very difficult.

Linux on the desktop + Openoffice + GIMP has made life a lot better. Less Windows issues, less viruses. Particularly when an employee plugs in a USB device 'just to charge it'.

Zoneminder (newest version) on Ubuntu desktop works well for our needs (with AXIS cameras). Zoneminder is really a cost issue-- I've installed some of the commercial software for managing 40+ cameras on windows servers. Software was very expensive. But also a LOT easier to use, and easier to search and view. Using zoneminder takes probably twice as much time as good commercial software.

Wine: use it to run a very old windows application a vendor uses for ordering. Not perfect in implementation.

Windows: I have windows on an old laptop. Sometimes someone sends me a tricked out excel spreadsheet and nothing in FOSS works with it right. The application to talk to my Sharp cash register only works on windows.

I would love to use a linux based full POS system, but can't find one that makes sense. May go MerchantOS next year.

Accounting: I absolutely hate Quickbooks on the desktop. Constant data corruption issues when you have multiple users. That being said, we use Quickbooks Online. Not that expensive to do our own payroll and can write checks at work/home easily. Constant warnings "does not support Linux" but it's fine.

Comment Dogs Guns Zoneminder and Liberty (Score 1) 508

Zoneminder: I use Zoneminder on Ubuntu desktop with Axis IP cameras in a couple of installs (retail location too). New version is good. It's FSF. Downside is very good cameras are expensive, and Zoneminder is a CPU/memory hog with megapixel IP cameras. (Not a project you could Rasberry Pi) So while the software is free, some of the good Axis cameras are over $600 each. IMHO, if you are not interested in spending that much on cameras, just get a Costco system bundle for the time/cost savings. FYI: You MUST have motion capture/detection. There is simply too much data to go through otherwise.

Camera location: It's tempting to put cameras high to 'see more', but you need to have at least one closer to eye level to get a natural looking face picture. Too many people only have high cameras, and you can never clearly see the whole face. I choose a choke point like a doorway or hallway.

Dogs: Effective. But expensive over the long term and time consuming.

Guns: I'm a proponent, but it takes time to be able to shoot effectively. Chance you'll shoot a robber is low.

Safes: Get a better safe. If they ran off with your safe, it was certainly too cheap and small. Floor safes are fantastic when surrounded by concrete. And cheap.

Neighbors: Get to know your neighbors. Coffee and donuts are cheap.

Comment Re:My prediction (Score 1) 228

Self fulfilling prophesy?

The presence of police looking for crime in a neighborhood may lead naturally to more arrests. It's not uncommon for police patrolling a neighborhood to have a "quota" for contacts: pulling over vehicles with expired registration, traffic stops, loitering, etc. On any given street corner, in 30 minutes a police officer can almost always perform a couple traffic stops.

Comment Re:RV042 (Score 2) 206

I thought the RV042 was going to be the godsend product: relatively cheap for dual-wan support in small offices. Turns out it just sucks.

My *personal* suspicion is it is part of the constant Cisco screwups of everything Linksys, but that's a different conversation.

RV042's run HOT, break, don't auto-switch or auto-detect a network outage like they are supposed to. Installed a bunch in some offices and had to replace all of them.

DO NOT buy the RV042.

Peplink makes a good but expensive dual-wan router which does everything you want and more. It is a larger, more robust office size product with pricing to match. But very good.

Otherwise you are looking at a BSD/Linux roll your own solution. I haven't seen anything good and small with 3 ethernet ports embedded in.


US Embassy Categorizes Beijing Air Quality As 'Crazy Bad' 270

digitaldc writes "Pollution in Beijing was so bad Friday the US embassy, which has been independently monitoring air quality, ran out of conventional adjectives to describe it, at one point saying it was 'crazy bad.' The embassy later deleted the phrase, saying it was an 'incorrect' description and it would revise the language to use when the air quality index goes above 500, its highest point and a level considered hazardous for all people by US standards. The hazardous haze has forced schools to stop outdoor exercises, and health experts asked residents, especially those with respiratory problems, the elderly and children, to stay indoors."
The Military

Military Personnel Weigh In On Being Taliban In Medal of Honor 171

SSDNINJA writes "This is a feature from gamrFeed that interviews nine US service members about playing as the Taliban in the upcoming Medal of Honor. One soldier states that games like MoH and Call of Duty are 'profiteering from war.' Another says, 'Honestly, I don't really see what the whole fuss is about. It's a game, and just like in Call of Duty, you don't really care about what side you're taking, just as long as you win. I don't think anyone cares if you're part of the Rangers or Spetznaz, as long as you win.' An excellent and interesting read."
Classic Games (Games)

Researchers Reprogram Voting Machine To Run Pac-man 132

Philom writes "Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that electronic voting machines can be reprogrammed to steal votes, so when researchers Alex Halderman and Ari Feldman got their hands on a machine called the Sequoia AVC Edge, they decided to do something different: they reprogrammed it to run Pac-Man. As states move away from insecure electronic voting, there's a risk that discarded machines will clog our landfills. Fortunately, these results show that voting machines can be recycled to provide countless hours of entertainment."

Comment Re:I still remember the days I had 95% win vs Kore (Score 3, Interesting) 133

There's just not any infrastructure for pro games in the states like Korea has.

I think the problem your running into is culture. There's nothing physical preventing American's from forming pro-gaming leagues, but in fact we are saturated with all sorts of entertainment competing for every available time-slice available in our daily lives. I'm not so sure entertainment is so diverse in Korea (compared to America), which why such dedicated leagues are able to form.

Mod DigiShaman -1

Korea has *many* entertainment options, just like the USA or Japan. It exports movies, tv shows and music.

Korea's pro gaming leagues don't exist because of poor options! Korea has:

1. Initial strong results in international gaming--and gained a lot of headlines. Whenever a small country can beat Japan and the USA at something, people notice.

2. The PC Bang (computer game room) culture. Most games are played in competitive social gaming situations. It was the norm in Korea for a long time, and you could have consistent results planing on a LAN than laggy Battle.net

3. A youth with less chances for economic opportunity than the USA.

4. Some serious fast twitch gamer kids.

Comment Raiser's Edge was a nightmare (Score 1) 97

What do you call a MEDIUM size nonprofit? How many individual donations a year/people in the database?

For a while, from about 1999-2007, I was doing some IT consulting almost exclusively with nonprofits, and worked extensively with Raiser's Edge. Raiser's Edge is a deeply entrenched product in a unique niche marketplace. It always seemed like most of the big nonprofits used it in some fashion, and all the really small nonprofits just get along with a weird excel spreadsheet.

(It does seem like an organization could donate to money to start a serious FOSS CRM system for small to medium nonprofits... it's a huge need)

Raiser's Edge is a resource hog and it seemed like nobody at Blackbaud cared about helping to make things faster. Back in the Sybase database versions, nobody realized you could put different database files on different HD's to speed up queries. We also once had a hefty support contract and were down over 25 days because they wouldn't/couldn't fix the database... eventually we needed to Fedex them a copy of the database, which they Fedex'd to Sybase, Sybase back to Blackbaud, and Blackbaud back to us. I asked: I drive by the Sybase headquarters in Emeryville every day, can I just drop it off to make it faster? Answer: No.

Queries and exports can be super slow: put one in at 10am... check after lunch. Make some changes and check just before going home.

Raiser's seems to be the best alternative in a very small pool of candidates, and you're most likely to hire people who have experience with it.


Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi 428

Scyth3 writes "A man is suing his neighbor for not turning off his cell phone or wireless router. He claims it affects his 'electromagnetic allergies,' and has resorted to being homeless. So, why doesn't he check into a hotel? Because hotels typically have wireless internet for free. I wonder if a tinfoil hat would help his cause?"

Comment Used ONSSI and trying to get Zoneminder to work (Score 1) 112

I've used ONSSI's surveillance software for windows. About 40 cameras, all megapixel or above Axis cameras, recording on MPEG. One server on a $175 AMD cpu with a 16 channel Adaptec RAID card. (16-1TB 7200rpm SATA drives). Doing record on motion, the CPU is pegged at about 60% all the time.

I got ONSSI up and running quicker than I am using Zoneminder, although I have more windows IT experience than Linux.

Currently having some issues playing with Zoneminder/Ubuntu memory management, and I don't think the viewer interface is anywhere near as good as the ONSSI solution. ONSSI support is poor to average, and is really a windows only product that seems to break easily when malware screws with Explorer. (that's why I'm trying to move to Linux solution)\

Zoneminder is a LOT better than when I evaluated it 19 months ago. It wasn't a viable alternative then for us, but is now.

Never done more but contribute a little financially to open source, but looking for ways to help the project.

Comment NOT News . . . seen Bonobos (Score 5, Informative) 313

This behavior has been quite well documented in bonobos, which until recently were considered chimps or dwarf chimps. I'm not sure what makes this article newsworthy, except that we all like to read about meat and sex...

Try reading a copy of "The Hunting Ape" by Stanford... It's fascinating in covering hunting and culture in apes (including trading food for sex).

From what I've read, I'd also disagree with the article that meat is so valuable to their diet. They LOVE meat, but other research suggests that the amount of energy expended on hunting compared to what they gain in protein/food is a net negative. Hunting is also high risk and includes getting injured in the process.

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