dominux (731134) writes "The story of Ashya King, a kid who's parents didn't like the radiotherapy on offer locally, has been widely reported recently. His parents wanted Proton Beam therapy from a clinic in the Czech Republic, and ended up taking Ashya out of hospital and being chased across Europe, arrested and put in prison for a few days. This is widely considered to be unusually harsh treatment for someone wanting to explore options beyond the NHS. Drama aside, proton beam therapy is possibly the geekiest healthcare intervention ever. It involves a substantial cyclotron (smaller than CERN, but still quite impressive) and the particle beam target is someone's head." Link to Original Source top
dominux (731134) writes "I get several emails a day from cronjobs and backup systems that I thought at the time would be useful, so I will know when something goes wrong so I can go fix it. In reality I set up rules to shove all that stuff in a folder that I never look at. If someone tells me there is a problem I can go and look at the emails — but this isn't the proactive setup I thought it would be. Now I could set up a proper monitoring system with Nagios, but I kind of like the simplicity of getting things to send emails when they are done. I couldn't find a way to set up mail filters based on the non-arrival of an email so I ended up writing a system to accept all those automated emails with rules about what it should expect to arrive. It then emails me if an exception happens, so the only emails I get are the ones I need to care about. It seemed useful enough that I made it into a website at exceptionalemails.com. Source is on github and it is AGPL3, I might end up charging a nominal fee for the hosted version at some point if you want lots of alerts. Does anyone have an alternative way to solve this kind of problem?" Link to Original Source top
dominux (731134) writes "With the UK getting ready for a General Election the political parties are figuring out the importance of the geek vote. As a result of the protests and general backlash against the Digital Economies bill (our DMCA equivalent) that was being shoved through at the last minute the Liberal Democrat party has dropped it's support for the bill and it will now probably fail. Voter initiatives such as Democracy Club and Vote Geek are making this the an election where technology policy makes a difference." Link to Original Source top
dominux writes "TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 001 PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS ISSUED AT 1804Z 29 SEP 2009
THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS...EXCEPT ALASKA...BRITISH COLUMBIA... WASHINGTON...OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.... A TSUNAMI WARNING AND WATCH ARE IN EFFECT...
A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR
AMERICAN SAMOA / SAMOA / NIUE / WALLIS-FUTUNA / TOKELAU /
COOK ISLANDS / TONGA / TUVALU / KIRIBATI / KERMADEC IS / FIJI /
HOWLAND-BAKER / JARVIS IS. / NEW ZEALAND / FR. POLYNESIA /
A TSUNAMI WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR
VANUATU / NAURU / MARSHALL IS. / SOLOMON IS. / JOHNSTON IS. /
NEW CALEDONIA / KOSRAE / PAPUA NEW GUINEA / HAWAII / POHNPEI /
WAKE IS. / PITCAIRN / MIDWAY IS.
FOR ALL OTHER AREAS COVERED BY THIS BULLETIN... IT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY AT THIS TIME.
THIS BULLETIN IS ISSUED AS ADVICE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. ONLY NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE DECISIONS REGARDING THE OFFICIAL STATE OF ALERT IN THEIR AREA AND ANY ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN IN RESPONSE.
AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS
ORIGIN TIME — 1748Z 29 SEP 2009
COORDINATES — 15.3 SOUTH 171.0 WEST
DEPTH — SHALLOWER THAN 100 KM
LOCATION — SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
MAGNITUDE — 7.9
IT IS NOT KNOWN THAT A TSUNAMI WAS GENERATED. THIS WARNING IS
BASED ONLY ON THE EARTHQUAKE EVALUATION. AN EARTHQUAKE OF THIS
SIZE HAS THE POTENTIAL TO GENERATE A DESTRUCTIVE TSUNAMI THAT CAN
STRIKE COASTLINES NEAR THE EPICENTER WITHIN MINUTES AND MORE
DISTANT COASTLINES WITHIN HOURS. AUTHORITIES SHOULD TAKE
APPROPRIATE ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS POSSIBILITY. THIS CENTER
WILL MONITOR SEA LEVEL DATA FROM GAUGES NEAR THE EARTHQUAKE TO
DETERMINE IF A TSUNAMI WAS GENERATED AND ESTIMATE THE SEVERITY OF
ESTIMATED INITIAL TSUNAMI WAVE ARRIVAL TIMES AT FORECAST POINTS WITHIN THE WARNING AND WATCH AREAS ARE GIVEN BELOW. ACTUAL ARRIVAL TIMES MAY DIFFER AND THE INITIAL WAVE MAY NOT BE THE LARGEST. A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE TIME BETWEEN SUCCESSIVE WAVES CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO ONE HOUR.
LOCATION FORECAST POINT COORDINATES ARRIVAL TIME
— ------------ ------------
AMERICAN SAMOA PAGO PAGO 14.3S 170.7W 1759Z 29 SEP
SAMOA APIA 13.8S 171.8W 1810Z 29 SEP
NIUE NIUE IS. 19.0S 170.0W 1822Z 29 SEP
WALLIS-FUTUNA WALLIS IS. 13.2S 176.2W 1835Z 29 SEP
TOKELAU NUKUNONU IS. 9.2S 171.8W 1844Z 29 SEP
COOK ISLANDS PUKAPUKA IS. 10.8S 165.9W 1846Z 29 SEP
RAROTONGA 21.2S 159.8W 1929Z 29 SEP
PENRYN IS. 8.9S 157.8W 1954Z 29 SEP
TONGA NUKUALOFA 21.0S 175.2W 1851Z 29 SEP
TUVALU FUNAFUTI IS. 7.9S 178.5E 1932Z 29 SEP
KIRIBATI KANTON IS. 2.8S 171.7W 1935Z 29 SEP
FLINT IS. 11.4S 151.8W 2025Z 29 SEP
MALDEN IS. 3.9S 154.9W 2037Z 29 SEP
CHRISTMAS IS. 2.0N 157.5W 2100Z 29 SEP
TARAWA IS. 1.5N 173.0E 2104Z 29 SEP
KERMADEC IS RAOUL IS. 29.2S 177.9W 1938Z 29 SEP
FIJI SUVA 18.1S 178.4E 2003Z 29 SEP
HOWLAND-BAKER HOWLAND IS. 0.6N 176.6W 2008Z 29 SEP
JARVIS IS. JARVIS IS. 0.4S 160.1W 2028Z 29 SEP
NEW ZEALAND EAST CAPE 37.7S 178.5E 2044Z 29 SEP
GISBORNE 38.7S 178.0E 2100Z 29 SEP
NORTH CAPE 34.4S 173.3E 2112Z 29 SEP
NAPIER 39.5S 176.9E 2140Z 29 SEP
WELLINGTON 41.3S 174.8E 2150Z 29 SEP
AUCKLAND(E) 36.7S 175.0E 2212Z 29 SEP
AUCKLAND(W) 37.1S 174.2E 2239Z 29 SEP
LYTTELTON 43.6S 172.7E 2255Z 29 SEP
NEW PLYMOUTH 39.1S 174.1E 2317Z 29 SEP
NELSON 41.3S 173.3E 2323Z 29 SEP
DUNEDIN 45.9S 170.5E 2331Z 29 SEP
MILFORD SOUND 44.6S 167.9E 2358Z 29 SEP
WESTPORT 41.8S 171.6E 2359Z 29 SEP
FR. POLYNESIA PAPEETE 17.5S 149.6W 2045Z 29 SEP
HIVA OA 10.0S 139.0W 2214Z 29 SEP
RIKITEA 23.1S 135.0W 2247Z 29 SEP
PALMYRA IS. PALMYRA IS. 6.3N 162.4W 2102Z 29 SEP
VANUATU ANATOM IS. 20.2S 169.9E 2117Z 29 SEP
ESPERITU SANTO 15.1S 167.3E 2123Z 29 SEP
NAURU NAURU 0.5S 166.9E 2138Z 29 SEP
MARSHALL IS. MAJURO 7.1N 171.4E 2147Z 29 SEP
KWAJALEIN 8.7N 167.7E 2220Z 29 SEP
ENIWETOK 11.4N 162.3E 2309Z 29 SEP
SOLOMON IS. KIRAKIRA 10.4S 161.9E 2155Z 29 SEP
GHATERE 7.8S 159.2E 2227Z 29 SEP
AUKI 8.8S 160.6E 2244Z 29 SEP
HONIARA 9.3S 160.0E 2244Z 29 SEP
PANGGOE 6.9S 157.2E 2245Z 29 SEP
MUNDA 8.4S 157.2E 2248Z 29 SEP
FALAMAE 7.4S 155.6E 2304Z 29 SEP
JOHNSTON IS. JOHNSTON IS. 16.7N 169.5W 2212Z 29 SEP
NEW CALEDONIA NOUMEA 22.3S 166.5E 2216Z 29 SEP
KOSRAE KOSRAE IS. 5.5N 163.0E 2233Z 29 SEP
PAPUA NEW GUINE KIETA 6.1S 155.6E 2303Z 29 SEP
AMUN 6.0S 154.7E 2323Z 29 SEP
RABAUL 4.2S 152.3E 2349Z 29 SEP
HAWAII NAWILIWILI 22.0N 159.4W 2311Z 29 SEP
HILO 19.7N 155.1W 2314Z 29 SEP
HONOLULU 21.3N 157.9W 2315Z 29 SEP
POHNPEI POHNPEI IS. 7.0N 158.2E 2318Z 29 SEP
WAKE IS. WAKE IS. 19.3N 166.6E 2322Z 29 SEP
PITCAIRN PITCAIRN IS. 25.1S 130.1W 2329Z 29 SEP
MIDWAY IS. MIDWAY IS. 28.2N 177.4W 2349Z 29 SEP
BULLETINS WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER IF CONDITIONS WARRANT. THE TSUNAMI WARNING AND WATCH WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
THE WEST COAST/ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER WILL ISSUE PRODUCTS FOR ALASKA...BRITISH COLUMBIA...WASHINGTON...OREGON...CALIFORNIA." Link to Original Source top
dominux writes "If you want to use a Free and Open Source operating system on a computer then it is rather objectionable to be forced to purchase a proprietary operating system bundled with the hardware you want. The Naked Computers site lists and promotes computer shops both online and in the real world that will sell a pure, unadulterated, stark naked computer, fresh as the day it was born waiting for you to install the operating system of your choice." Link to Original Source top
dominux writes "Good news!
When we first announced the Elonex webbook, you could only get the Ubuntu version by visiting one of Carphone Warehouse's bricks-and-mortar shops. Online they only had the old XP version listed.
Today that has changed. Now you can order a webbook, with Ubuntu pre-installed without having to go out at all!
Alan Bell has a bit more detail and comment over on the webbook blog, but if you simply can't wait and must go and order one right now, here's the page. Scroll down a bit to the box that says "Compare our top 10 offers" and check out the top three.
The T-Mobile deal looks pretty good to me:-)" Link to Original Source top
dominux writes "The Open Sourcerer has the scoop, results of the ballot on dis29500, otherwise known as Microsoft Office Open XML are in. It isn't good news, but it is as expected. Microsoft managed to flip enough countries to make it stick. 75% of the P members who didn't abstain voted for Microsoft (That is 58% of all the P members). 14% of all the P and O members voted to disapprove it, this includes all the new O members that joined just in time to cast their vote. Norway has asked that their vote be suspended due to voting irregularities, but it would take more than that to make a difference to the result. So why did it happen? Alex Brown thinks it is because the No campaign was not as professional and organised as the campaign against a local planning decision. So what happens next? Rick Jelliffe had this to say:
If DIS 29500 mark II has been accepted, then the narrowness of the victory needs to be something that Ecma and Microsoft take very seriously: standards maintenance needs to be a budgeted, normal cost of doing business. They should be aware that they are being thrown a lifeline, to some extent. If this becomes a one-off publicity stunt, as is the dire warning of MS' competitors (and therefore, their own publicity stunts!), and timely, real maintenance is not performed, I would expect OOXML would be de-standardized at ISO.
dominux writes "The Open Sourcerer reports on Martin Bryan handing over the baton at the end of his 3 year term as Convenor of ISO JTC1/SC34 WG1, the working group dealing with the
OOXML DIS29500 proposed standard.
The second half of 2007 has been an extremely trying time for WG1. I am more than a little glad my 3 year term is up, and must commiserate with my successor on taking over an almost impossible task.
WG1 has been struggling against the rules laid down ISO for a number of years, trying to prepare a complex multipart standard that needs to take account of work being done in OASIS, W3C and IETF within the extremely limited timescales laid down by ISO for completion of standards. While these rules make sense when you have a single standard, or sufficient members to multi-task, they make it impossible for a small group to produce a multipart standard. WG1 have frequently had to ask for extensions to our time limits, and must continue to do so while trying to produce an integrated suite of standards.
This year WG1 have had another major development that has made it almost impossible to continue with our work within ISO. The influx of P members whose only interest is the fast-tracking of ECMA 376 as ISO 29500 has led to the failure of a number of key ballots. Though P members are required to vote, 50% of our current members, and some 66% of our new members, blatantly ignore this rule despite weekly email reminders and reminders on our website. As ISO require at least 50% of P members to vote before they start to count the votes we have had to reballot standards that should have been passed and completed their publication stages at Kyoto. This delay will mean that these standards will appear on the list of WG1 standards that have not been produced within the time limits set by ISO, despite our best efforts.
Unless ISO tightens up on its rules, and removes or demotes, P members who do not vote as required by ISO rules I would recommend my successor that it is perhaps time to pass WG1's outstanding standards over to OASIS, where they can get approval in less than a year and then do a PAS submission to ISO, which will get a lot more attention and be approved much faster than standards currently can be within WG1. The disparity of rules for PAS, Fast-Track and ISO committee generated standards is fast making ISO a laughing stock in IT circles. The days of open standards development are fast disappearing. Instead we are getting "standardization by corporation", something I have been fighting against for the 20 years I have served on ISO committees. I am glad to be retiring before the situation becomes impossible. I wish my colleagues every success for their future efforts, which I sincerely hope will not prove to be as wasted as I fear they could be.
dominux writes "All 3489 comments on the OOXML proposed standard have been placed on the dis29500.org website for all to see and meta-comment upon. This is an open collaborative effort to reduce the comments down to a sensible list of unique issues of substance by the time of the Ballot Review Meeting in February. More volunteers are needed to help tag the dupes and find the really important issues that we don't want to get lost or swept off the table. The National Bodies have 30 days after the BRM to change their votes, so it is important they discuss all the most critical and insurmountable issues at the BRM." Link to Original Source