Bridge Over Troubled Waters; Romanian Villagers Build Bridge Without Permission

Romanian villagers, in Suceava, who build their own bridge because
they were tired of of waiting for authorities to replace a bridge
swept away last July by floods have been taken to court. The problem
was that they didn’t have a permit. So now they are under criminal
investigation.
 
Prosecutor Viorel Damu said Friday that police are trying to identify
those who worked on the bridge, which was built in a single day, Feb.
6. The guilty parties could be jailed for three years or fined up to
70,000 lei ($20,800), he said.
 
The mayor of Marginea called that “absurd.” He said villagers tested
the bridge and limited the allowable weight to 2.5 tons. And they’ll
tear it down again, too, he said — just as soon as authorities find
time build a new one.
 
Marginea was cut in half when the river overflowed seven months ago,
making it difficult to get from one part of the village to the other.
Police may be investigating, but on Thursday the prime minister
commended the villagers’ “solidarity.”
 
And even the prosecutor seemed to relent. He said the villagers could
escape punishment if an investigation concludes they acted out of a
“state of necessity.”

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The UK Government to Accelerate the Use of Open Source Software in Public Services

The UK government has said it will accelerate the use of open source
software in public services. Tom Watson MP, minister for digital
engagement, said open source software would be on a level playing
field with proprietary software such as Windows.
 
Steve Shine, European vice president of Ingres, an open source support
vendor, said the government’s action plan had “more teeth” than
policies being adopted in other countries because the plan was tied
into policies regarding how IT managers procure new software.
 
He said the move had partly been driven by a series of high-profile IT
failures in recent years that had relied on proprietary software.
 
Announcing an open source and open standards action plan, the
government said it would:
 

  • ensure that the government adopts open standards and uses these to communicate with the citizens and businesses that have adopted open source solutions
  • ensure that open source solutions are considered properly and, where they deliver best value for money are selected for government business solutions
  • strengthen the skills, experience and capabilities within government and in its suppliers to use open source to greatest advantage
  • embed an open source culture of sharing, re-use and collaborative development across government and its suppliers
  • ensure that systems integrators and proprietary software suppliers demonstrate the same flexibility and ability to re-use their solutions and products as is inherent in open source.

 

Read more here: UK government backs open source

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Launch of thebigreference.com, video-podcasts of what is happening on the net

I have just launched thebigreference.com a video-podcast site with
news and reviews about what is happening on the net.
 
The first video is a review of the posterous.com blogging service:
 
http://thebigreference.com/review-of-posterous-posterousc
 
And the next video is about Apple’s Safari 4 web browser which was
released as a beta yesterday.
 
http://thebigreference.com/overview-of-apples-safari-4-we
 
I hope you like it!

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My “entertaining video animation” gets mentioned by DistroWatch

DistroWatch have picked up on my FreeNAS interview movie that I made
with Xtranormal. It is mentioned in DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 291, 23
February 2009 about half way through the “Miscellaneous News” section.
 
http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20090223
 
Many thanks DistroWatch… Here is a snippet:
 
Still on the subject of BSDs, but switching to FreeNAS, a minimalist,
FreeBSD-based operating system for building network-attached storage
devices. All that is nice to know, but this definition sounds rather
technical, so what does it mean in terms of practical use? Can it help
with our everyday computing tasks? If so, how? Gary Sims, author of
the book called Learning FreeNAS, has created an entertaining video
animation that should make the purpose of FreeNAS more clear: “I have
put together an interview on Xtranormal. In the interview, set in a TV
studio, the guest talks about FreeNAS, what it can do and where you
can find out more information.” Xtranormal is an interesting site
which enables users to create video using text: “Our revolutionary
approach to movie-making builds on an almost universally held skill –
typing. You type something; we turn it into a movie. On the web and on
the desktop.” If you’re interested in building your own storage
network then take a look!

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More catholic churches than casinos in Las Vegas

This may come as a surprise to those of you not living in Las Vegas,
but there are more catholic churches than casinos. Not surprisingly,
some worshipers at Sunday services will give casino chips rather than
cash when the basket is passed. Since they get chips from many
different casinos, the churches have devised a method to collect the
offerings. The churches send all their collected chips to a nearby
Franciscan monastery for sorting and then the chips are taken to the
casinos of origin and cashed in.
 
 
This is done by the chip monks.
 
You didn’t even see it coming did you? Gotcha!

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Most laws condemn the soul and pronounce sentence…

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. Thestatutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.  — Psalm 19:7 (NIV) Most laws condemn the soul and pronounce sentence. Theresult of the law of my God is perfect. It condemns butforgives. It restores–more than abundantly–what it takesaway.  … Jim Elliot (1927-1956)

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