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Submission + - Berkeley Library RFP asks for Nuclear Free vendor (

beefsprocket writes: RFID tags are not new to libraries. Neither is 3M as one of the larger providers of the Checkpoint circulation and self-checkout system. What is new is a library discarding their current working system used for over 500,000 items because the vendor refuses to submit a required Nuclear Free Disclosure Form. The specific form is required for anyone wishing to do business with the City of Berkeley per the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act of 1986. This reverses a 2008 exemption that the Library applied for to be able to work with 3M. From the RFP which is available here (pdf only):

"The Berkeley Public Library is seeking a vendor to provide services, software and hardware related to the provision of a self-check technology system, staff assisted circulation functions (check-in and check-out), materials security and automated materials handling system to be implemented at all five locations.

Vendors are invited to submit a proposal for one or more of these services, software and equipment or a complete system that will replace the current Checkpoint/3M library system.

In 2008, 3M Library Systems became the exclusive reseller and maintenance provider for the CheckPoint — Intelligent Library System. Because 3M will not submit the required City of Berkeley — Nuclear Free Disclosure Form, the Library must seek an alternate vendor who is compliant with all City of Berkeley contract requirements. The Library has received a 2-year waiver from the City of Berkeley to continue working with 3M while seeking an alternative. In 2009, the Library began exploring options for continuing to maintain the existing system with a different vendor, but has not found this to be a viable option."


Submission + - CentOS 5.4 released (

beefsprocket writes: The CentOS-announce mailing list has a release announcement for CentOS-5.4. If 5.3 is anything to go by, this is sure to be a stellar release. You may recall CentOS was previously discussed on Slashdot when the main developer went AWOL However, the past few months' drama seems to have had little negative effect, with this new release following RedHat 5.4 by just over a month. The announcement reads:

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of CentOS-5.4 for i386 and x86_64 Architectures.

CentOS-5.4 is based on the upstream release EL 5.4.0, and includes packages from all variants including Server and Client. All upstream repositories have been combined into one, to make it easier for end users to work with. And the option to further enable external repositories at install time is now available in the installer.

This is just an announcement email, not the release notes. The Release Notes for CentOS-5.4 can be found on-line at : and everyone is encouraged to look through them once. Also worth browsing through at the CentOS FAQ's at"

Comment Re:No dream (Score 1) 290

I credit using Wordpress and Drupal with finding my current job, which is, you guessed it, supporting people who develop and run Drupal and Wordpress websites. Were it not for eating my own dogfood, I don't think I'd enjoy work nearly so much. Having a community built around each cms helps too. Not something you can really find in the guts of an api for facebook or twitter.

Comment No dream (Score 5, Interesting) 290

The dream is not dead, there never was one.. But what there is is a public, searchable record of things that people who have "abandoned" their blogs have magnanimously left online for all to search and see. As a system administrator, searching what Quenqua or Technorati deem abandoned has saved my ass more than a few times. Seems like a typical perspective on blogging that has been clouded by a few years of some major bloggers gaining commercial success. If you aren't a sell out, you aren't a blogger. No small timer's allowed. Come on, we don't all blog to get rich and famous, and I guess if that isn't in keeping with Technorati's business model (whatever that is) then bloggers are all failures in their eyes. I for one will keep searching and using blogs, however (in)frequently they might be updated.

Submission + - Patent Dispute Blocks Promising ALS Treatment (

klenwell writes: "The New York Times today is carrying a story about a family's desperate efforts to find a treatment for Joshua Thompson, a 34 year-old father of two, suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Once diagnosed, the best treatment Joshua's doctor could offer was a prescription for Rilutek, a drug which "typically prolongs life by a few months". Through online research, Joshua's mother discovered Iplex, another drug originally intended for helping childing with growth deficiencies that showed promising results for A.L.S. sufferers who had tried it. But the drug was initially unavailable due to a settlement arising from a patent dispute:

[T]he drug's maker, Insmed, lost a patent infringement lawsuit to a biotechnology firm that was already selling a drug for short stature that had similar properties. Iplex , however, was thought to be more potent for treating A.L.S. Insmed agreed to pull its drug off the market. Only the Italian Health Ministry, which had begun to distribute the drug to A.L.S. patients under a compassionate use program, could continue to buy it. Kathy dashed off a letter to the F.D.A.... But the agency could not weigh in until Insmed agreed to make the drug available. And Insmed's hands were tied by the settlement agreement.

Before lashing out at the drug companies involved, or the F.D.A. for standing in the way of experimental trials, make sure you read the whole article. In the end, an agreement between drug companies, and a reversal of course by the F.D.A., allowed Joshua to start treatment with Iplex as a "compassionate use" exception."


Submission + - Unix New Hampshire license plate turns 20 (

Anonymous Coward writes: "Local newspaper talks to Linux International's Jon "maddog" Hall, who lives in New Hampshire, and who since 1989 has had a "Live Free or Die" UNIX license plate — a real one, not a conference hand-out — on his Jeep. From the story: The day he installed the UNIX plates, he went early to work at DEC's office on Spit Brook Road in Nashua, to be sure to get the parking space right next to the door used by all the Unix engineers. He watched them come in and, one after another, do a double take at seeing the real-world version of the famous fake plate. "People would race in and yell, 'Who is it? Whose plate is it?!?' " Hall said. It was his then and it is his now. After 20 years, one suspects you will have to pry it from his cold, dead fingers."

Submission + - Canadian Govt Sends Takedowns Over Committee Video

An anonymous reader writes: In a disturbing case of censorship, the Canadian government has acknowledged that it sends cease and desist letters to YouTube to demand the removal of videos that contain Parliamentary committee hearings. Government lawyers argue that posting videos without permission violates copyright and could constitute "contempt of Parliament."

Submission + - Daydreaming is really complex problem solving

beefsprocket writes: ScienceDaily reports that "A new University of British Columbia study finds that our brains are much more active when we daydream than previously thought. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that activity in numerous brain regions increases when our minds wander. It also finds that brain areas associated with complex problem-solving — previously thought to go dormant when we daydream — are in fact highly active during these episodes. "Mind wandering is typically associated with negative things like laziness or inattentiveness," says lead author, Prof. Kalina Christoff, UBC Dept. of Psychology. "But this study shows our brains are very active when we daydream — much more active than when we focus on routine tasks."

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