e-scetic writes: The Environment News Service reports that an MIT team has found a new catalyst which makes it considerably more feasible for homes to use solar power, by storing photovoltaic energy for later use, taking us giant leap closer to the off-grid dream.
From the article: "If the new process developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finds acceptance in the marketplace, electricity-by-wire from a central source could be a thing of the past."
e-scetic writes: Not only does the US now have an elite private army beyond the reach of the law (i.e. Blackwater, which in appeared in New Orleans after Katrina) but the Progressive now has an article up about Infragard, a secretive organization of elite citizens and businesses beyond the reach of public scrutiny which receives updates on domestic or foreign threats before the public because, well, they're special and you're not.
The ACLU and other groups also have concerns about how it would appear the government, through Infragard, is enlisting the aid of businesses to funnel private sector surveillance information to the authorities.
From the article:
"There is evidence that InfraGard may be closer to a corporate TIPS program, turning private-sector corporations-some of which may be in a position to observe the activities of millions of individual customers-into surrogate eyes and ears for the FBI,"
e-scetic writes: Yesterday a video was put on YouTube depicting an obviously frightened and non-threatening Polish man being tasered by police and dying within minutes. The incident actually happened a month ago but police had been holding onto the video. It was just released.
The incident is causing a diplomatic "spat" between the Canadian and Polish governments, Canadians are horrified and in an uproar over it, and the Canadian government is calling for a review of police use of tasers.
Some links can be found here, here and here. Probably better to Google it, though.
e-scetic writes: We've secured funding for building a new website to replace our current one. My direct managers, however, not being technically inclined, are seeking input from our Manager of IT. In response, he has set down a number of dictates that he wants us to follow. Here's the part that frightens me most:
4. You should avoid security issues for now and concentrate on multiple user access for maintenance and updates login issues.
5. You must not worry about performance. You need to concentrate on making a workable website first. You must keep it simple.
Some details: I wanted to create a development and production environment, with a development server using version control and pushing stable changes to the live production server. I wanted to isolate the databases to a separate database server, with each web server remote logging to the database server (using syslog-ng). As we'll be generating email newsletters to the tune of 60k emails per issue, I wanted a separate machine for that too (PostFix, most likely). And most importantly, I wanted to spend time early in the project hardening everything — mod_security, mod_evasive, firewalls, intrusion detection, chroot jails, OS lockdown, SSH, etc., the works, before we began development
But the IT Manager is saying to do this:
10. You must design everything on one server for simplicity and design it in such a way to split the application when you need to do so (when it goes on line). I mean your database, your website, and your email server can all be developed on the same simple prototype server hardware.
12. Leave purchasing the actual hardware are for close to the end of the project when it needs to go on line.
I don't believe this is good advice, given we have one year to complete the project I think my route is safest. Can the Slashdot community advise my non-technical managers as to which of us, me or the IT manager, is on the right track? Or Maybe give advice on how to deal with this IT Manager?