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Submission + - More Spacious Beaches Created Along Seawall Galveston Capital Tourism and Market (

dawnhertz588 writes: GALVESTON –Beachgoers arriving at the Galveston seawall this weekend will find a far more spacious beach to relax on following the pumping of more than 1 million cubic yards of sand along 3.5 miles of badly eroded beach.

The $19.5 million effort to pump sand taken from a sand bar in the Houston Ship Channel ended March 27 as the last batch of sand slurry plopped onto the new beach near 61st Street, said Reuben Trevino, operations manager for the Galveston Park Board.

"Come on down and enjoy the beach," said Kelly de Schaun, executive director of the park board.

Beachgoers will see the formerly narrow strip of beach extended to about 300 feet from the seawall. The beach is designed to gradually erode and form a slope until it stabilizes at about 150 feet, Trevino said. He said the process should take about two weeks.

The project got underway more than two months ago after numerous delays but was completed well ahead of the May 13 deadline set by the park board. The contractor would have faced penalties of $1,500 for each day it went past the deadline.

The contractor began by extending more than 4 miles of pipe from a sand deposit known as Big Reef, putting much of it offshore to avoid beach that fronted private property east of the seawall.

East Beach and Stewart Beach, on the eastern end of the island, are in an area where sand is collecting, keeping the beaches healthy. However, the beaches roughly west of 12th Street are eroding all the way to the western end of the island.

The contractor, New Jersey-based Weeks Marine Inc., began pumping sand onto eroding beaches at about 12th Street and gradually extended the pipeline as new beach was created.

The pipeline eventually extended more than 7 miles from the sand bar in the Houston Ship Channel to the project's end point at 61st Street. The pipe is now being taken apart.

NEW RIDE: Trolley to roll into Galveston by mid-May
The new beach will help act as a barrier from storm surges and boost the Galveston economy by keeping the beach a prime tourist attraction, de Schaun said.

The park board plans to use sand from Army Corps of Engineers dredging operations to maintain its beaches. The new sections of beach would probably need maintenance in about five years.

The board hopes to get money set aside by BP for coastal restoration following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill that can be used for beach replenishment projects in 2018 and 2020, de Schaun said.

The two new projects would add to Babe's Beach west of 61st Street, built in 2015 in an area where erosion had wiped away all traces of beach more than 65 years earlier. The projects would shore up the existing Babe's Beach and extend it westward toward the end of the seawall.

JOYOUS MOMENT: Man proposes to girlfriend in Galveston Mardi Gras flash mob

The replenishment of the beach in front of the seawall is the third since 1995. The last beach renourishment was in 2009, when sand was hauled by truck to restore stretches chewed away by Hurricane Ike in September 2008.

The bulk of financing for the project has come from $15.5 million that originally was intended to help finance a $40 million beach restoration project for sections west of the seawall, the largest replenishment effort ever planned on the Texas Gulf Coast.
The project was scuttled after a Texas Supreme Court ruling in 2012 left in doubt whether the Texas Open Beaches Act applied to the west end of Galveston Island and raised the possibility that the beaches there were held by beachfront property owners. Then-Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson yanked the project, arguing that tax dollars could not be used to enhance private property.

The Land Office provided $2.7 million for the recently completed project and the Park Board and city of Galveston contributed $1.2 million.

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Submission + - Preventing code releases of code lacking user testing and acceptance

An anonymous reader writes: My office uses source control and bug tracking systems to develop on 6 week "sprints", on a system with 1 million+ lines of code, that has been in existence for 10+ years. In theory users report bugs, the developers "fix" the bugs, the users test and accept the fix, and finally the "fix" gets released to production as part of a larger change-set. In practice, the bug is reported, the developers implement "a fix", no one else tests it (accept for the developer(s) ), and the "fix" gets released with the larger code change set, to production.

We (the developers) don't want to release "fixes" that users haven't accepted but the code changes often include changes at all levels of the stack (database, DOAs, Business Rules, Webservices and multiple front-ends). Multiple code changes could be occurring in the same areas of code by different developers at the same time making merges of branches very complex and error prone. Many fingers are in the same pie.

Our team size, structure and locations prevent having a single gate keeper for code check-ins. Our development process requires code check-ins to include a "fix" in a test build for our users to test and accept the "fix".

What tools and procedures do you use to prevent un-approved fixes from being deployed to production as part of the larger code change sets?

Submission + - Meet the 22-year-old college dropout who wants to power every future self-drivin (

Vijayakumar Gopalakrishnan writes: "The 22-year-old college dropout has been sitting quietly for the last five years and watching as manufacturers rush to create cheaper versions of Lidar, a laser-based radar system that's a key component in self-driving cars since it allows cars to see the road"

Submission + - CMS - Drupal, Joomla, WordPress Recommendations 2

pipingguy writes: I've inherited a 2012 install of Joomla 1.5.26 that I'm about to update to 3.5 with SP Upgrade. Not being much of a CMS guy, it's proving to be interesting. I've built more than a few static websites (I use Sublime Text 3 or Atom, not some fancy-pants WYSIWYG doohickey) and am quite familiar with CSS, but databases not so much. I've been through lots of online documentation and am a bit bewildered but I'm following the recommendations regarding backups and the like.

What are Slashdot readers' latest opinions on the three most popular CMSes — Drupal, Joomla and WordPress?

Any tips for me before I accidentally blow away the existing site and have to rebuild everything and get yelled at?

Submission + - The Coming Internet Video Crash (

snydeq writes: "First, it was data caps on cellular, and now caps on wired broadband — welcome to the end of the rich Internet, writes Galen Gruman. 'People are still getting used to the notion that unlimited data plans are dead and gone for their smartphones. The option wasn't even offered for tablets. Now, we're beginning to see the eradication of the unlimited data plan in our broadband lines, such as cable and DSL connections. It's a dangerous trend that will threaten the budding Internet-based video business — whether from Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Windows Store, or Google Play — then jeopardize Internet services of all sorts. It's a complex issue, and though the villains are obvious — the telecom carriers and cable providers — the solutions are not. The result will be a metered Internet that discourages use of the services so valuable for work and play.'"

Submission + - SPAM: Samsung Galaxy S2 Cases

An anonymous reader writes: iPhone 4 cases, soft plastic case hard Cases covers Big range and low prices
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Unusual New Species of Dinosaur Identified (

cervesaebraciator writes: A new species of heterodontosaur, called Pegomastax, has been identified. Paul Sereno, a University of Chicago paleontologist, published a description of this species in a recent issue of ZooKeys. Although this diminutive (60 cm or less) species was herbivorous, it also possessed a set of sharp, stabbing canines in its parrot-shaped beak. Dr. Sereno holds that these canines where likely "for nipping and defending themselves, not for eating meat.” Perhaps the most imaginatively intriguing aspect of all, the body of the Pegomastix might have been covered in porcupine-like quills, making for perhaps the least attractive dinosaur of all time. You can almost hear Dieter Stark screaming 'Helvetes jävlar!'

Submission + - 570-Megapixel Camera to Shed Light on Dark Matter

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Either 75% of the universe exists in an exotic form, now called dark energy, that exhibits a gravitational force opposite to the attractive gravity of ordinary matter, or Einstein's General Relativity must be replaced by a new theory of gravity on cosmic scales. Now Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan reports that an international team of 120 scientists has unveiled the world’s most powerful digital camera, 10 years in the making, that may shed light on dark energy: the 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera, capable of recording light from galaxies 8 billion light years away. Over the next 525 nights of observation, the camera, containing 74 CCDs constructed specifically to be sensitive to the redshifted light from distant galaxies and stars, will capture a detailed 3-D map over 300 million galaxies as part of a massive international effort to explain the universe’s acceleration, called the Dark Energy Survey. Installed on a hilltop observatory in the Chilean Andes, where atmospheric conditions are ideal, the camera will be studying four types of phenomena: galaxy clusters, supernovae, the large-scale clumping of galaxies, and weak gravitational lensing. Each of those have been studied on their own, but for the first time, scientists will be able to cross-reference each type of element against the others, rendering a more precise understanding of their behaviors. "The results of this survey will bring us closer to understanding the mystery of dark energy (PDF)," says James Siegrist, associate director at the US Department of Energy. "And what it means for the universe.”"
Data Storage

Submission + - Most SSDs now under a dollar per gigabyte (

crookedvulture writes: "SSD prices continue plummeting. In just the past quarter, street prices have fallen by double-digit percentages for most models, with some slashed by 30% or more. We've reached the point where the majority of drives cost less than a dollar per gigabyte, and that's without the special coupon codes and mail-in rebates usually attached to weekly deals. Lower-capacity drives seem more resistant to deep price cuts, making 120-256GB offerings the best values right now. It's nice to see a new class of devices go from prohibitively expensive to eminently affordable in such a relatively short amount of time."

Comment Backup all files with BackupPC (Score 1) 440

BackupPC does deduplication. So if You take a backup from all your filesystems with BackupPC, You have identical files stored only once. BackupPC uses hard links to do the deduplication, so another copy of a file only takes a directory entry. You can then discard you current backups, if need be.

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