What is the cause for the degradation of environment?
Capitalism, corruption, consuming society? - OVERPOPULATION!
Please, save the Planet - kill yourself...

Monday, March 28, 2011

About communities

There is an interesting post (google-English) about organisation of the community for the Open Source project. To my mind these thoughts are useful for every volunteer based project / community - not only to those dedicated to the software development.

The main ideas (some are in my interpretation):
  • The most of the community participants are passive.
  • The most active participants have to be rewarded by increasing their control over the project.
  • Community have to be organised and organisation have to be transparent.
  • At the beginning community needs a "magnanimous dictator" to unite the community and make project attractive for participants, but for the community and project survival in the long term it is necessary to develop democracy and try to reach the state of anarchy.
  • Project become more attractive when those, who are capable and willing, receive more important tasks.
  • In the beginning it is hard but essential to organise a proper feedback.
  • When community and project are grown and mature it is necessary to prevent its division (fork for the software) because splitting exsanguinates community and the project.
  • Community have to survive its founder so it is necessary to develop the democracy and move towards to anarchy and make decisions via consensus.
  • At the first stage of the democracy the "silent consensus" will prevail, and the silence will mean the agreement. Vote system have to be developed.
  • With the procedures became more complicated the need in providing newbies with the rules of participation will rise.
  • "Formalisation of the agreements helps to ensure that the community lives its own life and does not depend on anyone individually".
  • "The community can survive and flourish for as long as there is demand for the product produced."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rosatom maps: you dont need tsunami to waste a nuclear power plant ;-)

 ROSATOM has a web-site with the map of its objects (nuclear power plants) and the background radiation around them. I decided to check the nuclear power plant situated in the Leningrad region. Looks like the dump to me :-)

Local dump marked as the nuclear power plant)))

Sunday, March 20, 2011

openSUSE 11.4 - now I have it!

I've updated my openSUSE 11.3 to 11.4 version! It's awesome!!!

The last time I've tried to update 11.2 to 11.3 I failed and had to perform a clean installation, but this time it was Ok. Maybe because this time I've added new repos for additional software before updating, not just basic official repos. This update saved a great deal of time - I don't need to set up the environment and install needed software.

openSUSE 11.3 was more stable than 11.2 so I accepted it's performances issues (it worked little bit slower than Window7, which I have in dual boot, and some programs stuck from time to time). I don't know what was the reason for these minor issues. Now with 11.4 these issues are gone!

Of course there are some minor problems after update. PulseAudio is a default audio driver and as always it's a crap -  I can't stand so terrible sound. Disabling it didn't help so I deleted PulseAudio completely. Sound is Ok now. The second problem is broken VLC-player. I've reinstalled it several times but still every time I'm trying to open something it crashes with the segmentation fault and telling something about my locale (which I decided to change from RU to US before updating). This is not a tragedy, because M-Player works just fine. G-mail plasmoid started to work properly only after it was deleted and reinstalled. Amarok's play-lists were broken. Other issues aren't noticed so far.

One of the most delicious change in 11.4 version for me was clouds [updated everyday] added to the desktop map. [as a geographer] I've tuned one of the desktops (in KDE) which is used to work with GIS to show the world map with the night shadow, which shows where is night at this moment. It is interesting, that globe as desktop backgroundin KDE environment wasn't available for Fedora and Kubuntu when I used them last year. 

One of the my desktops with the night shadow moving across the world map.

Settings for the image above
Also the world map is available as interactive globe, Open Street Map, and if you're tired of Mother Earth just chose Moon instead.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Environmental monitoring Russian style

As I become aware of, about a year ago the St. Petersburg Committee for Nature Use Environmental Protection and Ecological Safety an airborne monitoring of the environment was launched. A helicopter with the representative of the committee followed the predefined route and took picture of the surface. The maps of the ecological issues were created, the fines were paid, etc. 

But after the six month of the successful work the project was closed. The problem was... you won't believe it - the monitoring was too successful! Some high-ranking bustard in the city administration (obviously he wanted to protect own business of business of his friends) ordered to stop fights. The criminals may sleep well now - thanks to the city administration!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Georeferencing of the maps with "weird" projections in QGIS

Beginners often have issues with georeferencing of rasters, especially if parallels and meridians .are presented by curves, not straight lines. Approaches described below can be used in other GIS software than QGIS, of course if it is capable for it.

I will demonstrate you the general approaches with one of the most complicated examples: as weird as rear - Bonne projection. The true case from gis-lab.info: one guy had a raster map in this projection and he needed very badly to work with it in MapInfo. The problem was, that it is impossible to define Bonne projection in MapInfo... oops, proprietary software fails...  Imagine yourself in his shoes! The situation is that you must utilise raster map (map is not georeferenced), which  projection is not supported by your GIS. What would you do?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mel's Ramos nacked chicks

I'm not a fan visual arts like pop-art, modern art, etc. What I like is realism. Not the realism as art division (I can't stand the most of its examples as I can't stand cubism), but realistic representation of the objects at the painting: the more object is detailed - the more I like it (even if I know that this object is just imagination of its author). 

But the other day a friend of mine send me a link to the site with pictures of the famous representative of the pop-art - Mel Ramos to check out naked chicks... I have to admit, I viewed all the pictures from the gallery. Women's bodies look very realistic. So I suggest you to take a look   ;-)