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Comment It's a sad mess out there for the crews... (Score 5, Insightful) 247

As a former tower climber / tower climbing instructor and engineering manager in the wireless internet and cellular industries I can tell you that the big cellular companies do push hard to crank out new sites or upgrades to existing sites, but it's ultimately up to the climbers / installers and site foreman to insure that safety standards are followed and gear is inspected and used properly. It's hard to read about all these deaths and injuries knowing that - as with many things - these things can be avoided. When properly trained and equipped, tower climbing is remarkably safe, there are systems and backup systems to keep you on the tower should something go wrong. More often than not climbers will free climb or not utilize a 100% tie-off system, meaning even while moving, you're clipped in 100% of the time, even if it slows you down to move from one part of a tower to another. I was climbing up until September of last year and my climbing partner and I inspected everything we used and all the safety gear on the tower as we ascended. We also checked each other front and back to make sure we were not forgetting a strap or a ring or something before climbing.

One of the amazing things about the cellular industry that I noticed (I did cell networks for about 9 years all over the USA and 2 years of wireless business internet in the PacNW) is that the cell companies will outfit a million dollar site with radio gear and amplifiers and the latest and greatest connectivity they can get there, and then 6-12 months later come out and rip it all out and upgrade it again. They then resell the old gear to other providers here in the US or abroad, ie third world countries etc. This breakneck pace puts a lot of pressure on tower crews to crank out sites fast, adding to the safety issues. All to make a buck, the good ol' American way...


Nmap 5.20 Released 36

ruphus13 writes "Nmap has a new release out, and it's a major one. It includes a GUI front-end called Zenmap, and, according to the post, 'Network admins will no doubt be excited to learn that Nmap is now ready to identify Snow Leopard systems, Android Linux smartphones, and Chumbies, among other OSes that Nmap can now identify. This release also brings an additional 31 Nmap Scripting Engine scripts, bringing the total collection up to 80 pre-written scripts for Nmap. The scripts include X11 access checks to see if on a system allows remote access, a script to retrieve and print an SSL certificate, and a script designed to see whether a host is serving malware. Nmap also comes with netcat and Ndiff. Source code and binaries are available from the Nmap site, including RPMs for x86 and x86_64 systems, and binaries for Windows and Mac OS X. '"

Comment This is a great camera - just needs a nudge or two (Score 1) 117

I own the 5D Mark II and I love it, especially since Canon recently released the firmware to enable ISO, Aperature and Shutter Speed control in video mode. I work on indie film and professional video and I can tell you that even though this isn't a "video" camera, the full-frame sensor and the Canon line of lenses, especially the high-end primes, are a wonderful combination. Such shallow depth of field, such great color reproduction, and great low light sensitivity.

Most prosumer / consumer HD cameras can't touch the sensor and lens combo that this camera does, unless you get above 10K$ for your camera. Naturally, in indie film we want to get the best bang for the money, so this camera has been a godsend. A lot of companies like Redrock and Zacuto are now selling full rail systems with matte boxes and follow focus equipment for this and other DSLR's enabling a DP to utilize a DSLR like a traditional video or film motion picture camera.

One of the biggest issues with this third-party firmware is it has to be reinstalled every time you power down and power up the camera. I hope Canon sees what the community is doing and adds these features directly or at least supports the development of 3rd party firmware. We're still missing 24/25P, and a real Zebra function would be incredible.

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