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Grinch Vulnerability Could Put a Hole In Your Linux Stocking

dominux I read the report and was perplexed (116 comments)

being an Ubuntu user I don't have a wheel group, but this seems to be related to the fact that local users don't need root to install packages from the repositories. If there is a bad package in a trusted repository, then an untrusted local user could install it and the bad package could give that user root access. This is expected behaviour, I don't think you can install local packages through this rule (if you can then there is a vulnerability, create your own deb package with an install script that gives you root, then install it) but the point of trusted repositories is that you trust them, so you can install updates and new packages without admin access. The report seemed more concerned about talking about wheels and grinches than actually explaining the vulnerability.

2 days ago
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

dominux Re:it can be air filled (198 comments)

fair point, I don't think putting humans in the Venus atmosphere is a massively good idea until it is a viable place for full time colonisation, which it could be. If we are going to colonise another planet it is better than Mars in terms of energy and resources. I think in the shorter term airship probes would be good, as well as solar powered fixed wing flyers.

3 days ago
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

dominux it can be air filled (198 comments)

earth atmosphere air is a lifting gas on Venus, the airship could be full of normal air, and the people live inside it, not slung under it in a gondola. The pressure inside would only be a little different to the pressure outside, so a small hole in the skin of the airship wouldn't be an explosively big problem, air would just mix with the corrosive and fairly nasty outside atmosphere. It would need fixing, but it is nothing like a hole with a vacuum outside. Venus is a fairly nice place overall, lots of solar, interesting chemicals in the atmosphere. The only problem is that the ground is too far down.

3 days ago
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Charity Promotes Covert Surveillance App For Suicide Prevention

dominux it is fine, but not a great idea (74 comments)

The privacy thing is utterly overblown, it is a tool for users to pick out interesting bits of the tweet streams they have access to, on criteria in this instance relating to depression. It could equally look for other sentiments and trends, analysing data available to you isn't a violation of anything in particular. It also isn't a particularly good idea. I know right now who would trigger it off for me. It would keep bleeping at several people I follow who are chronically depressed and possibly suicidal, who also live thousands of miles away and don't know me well enough for me to be in any way involved in any kind of productive intervention or words. We are not friends, we are not really acquaintances, I just follow them because they sometimes tweet interesting technical stuff and they seem like interesting people. This might kinda work for people who follow geographically close friends, maybe a school or university where you follow lots of people you actually know by sight, and have a decent chance of seeing. I am just not convinced that many people use twitter like that, and are going to be able to usefully support a friend with a problem that they wouldn't notice some other way.

about 1 month ago
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Adobe: Click-to-Play Would Have Avoided Flood of Java Zero-days

dominux advice from people who are wrong might be wrong (111 comments)

a zero day vulnerability http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z... does not become less zero dayish because you need to click to execute it. This is some executive who has misunderstood what his underlings actually do, and what they mean when they say they are dealing with a zero day issue.
He ends up being right, for all the wrong reasons, and he is just saying words he doesn't fully comprehend.

about 2 months ago
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UK Government Tax Disc Renewal Website Buckles Under Pressure

dominux I got my tax yesterday, no problem (145 comments)

the website was a bit screwed in the morning, and I had the wrong reference number with me (a SORN number doesn't work, you need the V5 number, or the renewal if you haven't SORNed it) it was for a car I don't use much and it failed the MOT last month, so I got it fixed and parked it off road to tax this month without the disc. I kinda thought it would be more exciting as one of the first cars without a disc, but if you have a taxed car you can now just throw away the disc, so my 16 year old Fiesta is not as exclusive and exciting as I thought it would be.

about 3 months ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

dominux wrong planet, try Venus. (549 comments)

Floating cities in the upper atmosphere of Venus would be much more inviting. Venus is a lovely planet, just the ground is a bit too low down. Loads of solar energy, air is a lifting gas, you could live in a bubble of regular air floating in the atmosphere (if the outer atmosphere doesn't melt your bubble due to being a bit sulphuric acidy) The sulphuric acid can be used for things, add copper oxide and you get copper sulphate plus water, it contains oxygen and you have loads of solar energy, so splitting things with electrolysis is viable. There are probably interesting resources on the surface (perhaps freed up nicely by all the acid rain) which robots could go down and extract.
I think it is the second best planet in the solar system.

about 3 months ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

dominux Re:it is all going to go horribly wrong (494 comments)

It is for Scotland to decide! They can apply for membership any time, just like Turkey, for instance.

sure, they can apply the day they become independent.

Errr... Ever heard of the Czech and the Slovaks?

Czechoslovakia split in two (peacefully) and both halves joined the EU right away, and were welcome with open arms, if memory serves well.

memory doesn't serve that well, they finalised the split in 1993 after the velvet revolution and then in 2004 both the Czech Republic and Slovakia joined the European Union.

I don't see why Scotland would be rejected, especially since the UK has been a pain in the arse ever since it joined the EU. As a matter of fact, many countries in the EU would welcome Scotland just to piss off the Brits. And even more so since the UK is set to vote on leaving the EU in a couple of years!

this is a reasonable point.

The Euro is not the EU, and vice-versa. There is a ton of countries that are EU members, but still have their national currencies. But don't take my word for it, click here instead

yeah, I know, but it is now the case that a commitment to joining the currency is a condition of joining the union.

You are not making any sense - again, the currency you use is totally independent from EU membership itself.

well we will find out in due course if there is a yes vote. I just can't see the rest of Europe being particularly excited about a region wanting to split out and join but not wanting to have the euro, pay it's debt or have it's own central bank. Right now Scotland is just looking like a smaller and more annoying version of the UK.

about 3 months ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

dominux Re:it is all going to go horribly wrong (494 comments)

you have to be an EU member to join the Euro, but to be an EU member you have to commit in advance to joining the Euro when you meet the criteria. You can't join and say you don't have a committed intention to join the currency. The UK has an opt-out negotiated some time ago. The yes campaign seems to think they can go independent and have the Bank of England as their central bank and have their share of the national debt underwritten by the UK treasury.
This is kinda like a teenager who lives at home and has free use of the family car pretty much whenever they want. Teenager decides they are leaving home, getting their own place and taking the car. That isn't the deal.

about 3 months ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

dominux it is all going to go horribly wrong (494 comments)

The yes campaign is telling people they can keep the pound and join Europe. Not gonna happen, it isn't for Scotland to decide. 28 countries have to decide they are totally cool with a bit of the UK splitting off and joining Europe. That means 28 countries have to want to set a precident for bits of themselves splitting off, declaring independence and joining Europe. They have to also decide that they are totally cool on Scotland having an opt out on the Euro that nobody else apart from the UK has and nobody else likes.
The rest of the UK doesn't particularly want a currency union with Scotland, and it wouldn't be popular with the Eurozone countries to have a more formal sterling zone (they don't care about the small overseas territories, but a second full size country in a currency union would be a big deal).
The No campaign says independence would be bad for Scotland and bad for the rest of the UK and everyone else.
The Yes campaign says independence would be good for Scotland and bad for the rest of the UK and everyone else.
They both agree that independence would be a massive pain in the arse for everyone outside of Scotland, and they are 50:50 on how much of a complete and utter pointless pain in the arse it will be within Scotland.

about 3 months ago
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Paypal Jumps Into Bitcoin With Both Feet

dominux Re:Can someone clarify the state of BitCoin? (134 comments)

I think the way to get bitcoin is to sell products or services that people want to purchase in bitcoin. Just like any other currency, you get it by doing stuff for people who have it. Not everyone in the real economy gets money by digging gold out of the ground to buy stuff with. The currency has to circulate to be of value. Mining and banking and currency conversions are niche edge activities and you have to be both buying and selling to be circulating (otherwise you are stockpiling or running out)

about 3 months ago
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UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

dominux Re:haven't watched it... (391 comments)

because the guy had a London accent, I imagine quite a lot of people want to see it to check it was nobody they recognise from school or whatever.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

dominux put the documentation in with the code (199 comments)

Hi Fabian o/

many of the modules have really really little documentation, just a fairly small description string in the __openerp__.py file. It is great that this is now in markdown format, but they are nowhere near long enough in the modules. I would like to see each and every module being like a chapter of a book. If you take it out of the __openerp__.py file and move it to a README.md in the module then it would also render on github I think, people could then use screenshots and so on in it. This would also separate documentation updates (easy and safe, nobody should be scared, can be done on github with the github markdown editor) from editing a .py file with potential for breakage.
In terms of how the documentation is written, some modules like CRM use the description string to sell the module to you, others use it to describe what it does, I don't really need the sales pitch, but I do need to know what problem it solves, and what kind of business situations that the author had in mind when it was written. Plus of course, what it does, how to use it and anything it conflicts with, any downsides to installing it.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

dominux Re:consider an open source ERP (209 comments)

maybe I should have said the business value of Software Freedom is huge rather than the business value of Free Software is huge. It is the freedom part that people don't value sufficiently.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

dominux Re:consider an open source ERP (209 comments)

it is designed around a product shifting business, yes. That shows sometimes, it sucks for custom make to order products even. You can sell services and there is also a rather powerful contract management module, a contract links to a project and consolidates timesheets and regular invoicing. It would work well for fairly significant sized projects, like a civil engineering contract. Not brilliant for managing small scale software development projects, but it can be done.

about 5 months ago
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How Facebook Sold You Krill Oil

dominux dear facebook (114 comments)

I have a problem with my fish oil sales, it tastes like shit, it does not outperform a placebo and costs twice as much as other competitors that also do nothing. Can you help?

Of course Facebook can help, that is exactly what social media is for.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

dominux consider an open source ERP (209 comments)

You can throw good money after bad, and you probably will.
If you want to have an alternative, you could do worse than look at Oodo (formerly OpenERP) it is a python based, AGPL licensed ERP package that is modular with a sensible API that is growing an even more sensible API. It is not without it's problems, I wouldn't sugar coat it, but if it is broken, you own all the pieces (http://odoo.com source at https://github.com/odoo/odoo) and that is priceless.
Depending on your specific requirements it might work great, or might be a bigger pain in the ass than your proprietary mess. Like I say, you will almost certainly take the path of throwing good money after bad, but for anyone else at the front end of a decision, the business value of Free Software is huge.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common?

dominux firewalls that shut closed doors are not helpful (348 comments)

There are firewalls and firewalls. If you have a box with port 80 listening and nothing else listening, and you install a firewall that blocks connections to ports that are not port 80, you haven't really added a whole heap of useful. If you have a firewall that allows port 80 from anywhere and ssh connections only from a particular subnet, then maybe the firewall is earning it's keep. If you have a firewall that warns you about outgoing connections from your server that might be to command and control botnet servers if it gets compromised, then maybe it is worth doing. If you have a stateful firewall that is doing traffic analysis and shutting down particular attacks on your server then great. Shutting closed doors just for the sake of buzzword compliance is not a useful function.

about 5 months ago
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New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

dominux actually not a bad idea (205 comments)

People in cars face forward, in the front I can hear the kids just fine, no problem at all. It really is quite difficult to hear forward facing people in the front from the back. Of course there is a further difference between hearing and listening, but this doesn't sound like the most crazy thing I have ever heard of.

about 4 months ago
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The Higgs Boson Should Have Crushed the Universe

dominux hmm that is interesting (188 comments)

interesting things herald good science. Uncertainty and a collection of speculative theories are a good thing.
"Hmm, that is interesting" > "Eureka!"

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Proton Beam therapy for removing unwanted stuff from brains

dominux dominux writes  |  about 3 months ago

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
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How to notice emails you don't get

dominux dominux writes  |  about a year ago

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?"

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UK election captures the Geek Vote

dominux dominux writes  |  more than 4 years ago

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
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tsunami off samoa

dominux dominux writes  |  more than 5 years ago

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 /
  PALMYRA IS.

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

EVALUATION

  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
  THE THREAT.

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
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Naked Computers

dominux dominux writes  |  more than 5 years ago

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
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Ubuntu preinstalled at Carphone Warehouse

dominux dominux writes  |  more than 6 years ago

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
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OOXML gets approval

dominux dominux writes  |  more than 6 years ago

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.
"

Link to Original Source
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Martin Bryan JTC1/SC34 WG1 Convener on his 3 year

dominux dominux writes  |  about 7 years ago

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.

Martin Bryan

Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 WG1
"

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See and clasify all the comments on OOXML

dominux dominux writes  |  more than 7 years ago

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."
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