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UV Disinfection Reduces Byproducts

February 9th, 2009 No comments

Erlanger, KY – It is now nearly three years since Poughkeepsies’ Water Treatment Facility in New York state installed six Aquionics UV disinfection systems for drinking water treatment. In that time the closed chamber, medium pressure systems have been performing beyond expectations.

“We get approximately 5,000 hours of lamp life per UV system, but a few lamps have run for as long as 11,000 hours, which is excellent” commented Paul Lill, the facility’s plant manager. “This means we only have to change the lamps about once a year while also reducing our running costs – always an important consideration.”

Poughkeepsies’ Water Treatment Facility serves a community of nearly 80,000, drawing water from the Hudson River to meet an average daily demand of 10.5MGD. Prior to installing the Aquionics equipment in March of 2005, chlorination was used in open settling basins, followed by filtration. This process required substantial chemical usage and produced significant disinfection byproducts.

With the addition of the Aquionics UV treatment equipment the amount of chlorine required for primary disinfection was significantly reduced, with a corresponding lowering of disinfection byproducts by up to 20%. Secondary, residual disinfection is provided by chloramines. The resulting disinfection levels complied with the new guidelines of the Surface Water Treatment Rule issued by the EPA.

The six Aquionics UV systems are situated downstream of the filters and operate in parallel. The medium pressure, closed channel design disinfects with far fewer lamps and with a much smaller footprint than comparable low pressure systems. Each chamber is fitted with UV monitors to measure actual UV fluence and dose for record keeping. With the addition of an optional online transmittance monitor, real time transmittance values are used to automatically adjust the dose pacing of the UV system.

“We originally considered alternative disinfection technologies to meet our goals,” explained Lill. “The units’ lower relative cost, their compact size which fits into our existing facility and the technical merit were all deciding factors in choosing Aquionics equipment.”

To keep maintenance low, the systems are equipped with automatic cleaning mechanisms which keep the UV lamp sleeves free of organic deposits. When the lamps need replacing, it is a simple operation that is carried out by on-site staff.

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Open Source Software

February 9th, 2009 No comments

Over the past few years, I’ve become a huge fan of the open source software movement.  Recently, I became aware that many people aren’t aware of open source software and those that are aware don’t understand much about it.

What is Open Source Software?

Open source doesn’t just mean Free, however the first guideline set by the Open Source Initiative is that the software be freely distributed.  Open Source software has source code that is readable and editable by anyone.  Open source projects are posted in a public forum where a team of developers work to develop / improve the project.  Before a software application can be considered open-source it must conform to the guidelines set forth by the Open Source Inititative.  These guidelines are listed below and serve to protect the developers, users, and true essence of what it means to be open-source.

Open Source Definition

The Open Source Definition is used by the Open Source Initiative to determine whether or not a software license can be considered open source.  The definition was based on the Debian Free Software Guidelines, written and adapted primarily by Bruce Perens.


Open source doesn’t just mean access to the source code.
The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria:

1. Free Redistribution

The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.

2. Source Code

The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction cost preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge. The source code must be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program. Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed. Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator are not allowed.

3. Derived Works

The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.

4. Integrity of The Author’s Source Code

The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of “patch files” with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the original software.

5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.

6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

7. Distribution of License

The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.

8. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product

The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program’s being part of a particular software distribution. If the program is extracted from that distribution and used or distributed within the terms of the program’s license, all parties to whom the program is redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in conjunction with the original software distribution.

9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software

The license must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be open-source software.

10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral

No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual technology or style of interface.

Open Source Initiative,

How about quality?

One misconseption about open-source software is that is somehow subpar to traditional closed source software options.  Many closed source software development companies try to argue that open-source development projects don’t offer any guarrentees that the project will be supported and updated in the future.  The flaw in this arguement stems from the assumption that closed source “Pay for Software” companies will always be in business and support future releases of their products, and we all know that this is not the case.   So is there any truth in this statement?  It is true that some open-source projects never really get off the ground an don’t get the public support to make them a sucess.  However, many open-source projects recieve great attention, especially from the software development community.  In fact, many  sucessfull open-source projects receive updates and fixes quicker than their traditional software counterparts, due to the fact that the source code is available to anyone – the more people using the code, the quicker someone will develop improvements and fixes.

Free? – Where’s the Catch ? – How about Funding?

Given the fact that open-source software is given away for free, numerous alternative funding models, have emerged. Wikipedia points out, “Independent developers or companies may benefit from consultancy fees or charging for services related to the end use of the software, such as training. Several free OSS packages may have ‘professional’ versions which have enhanced capabilities and are sold commercially.”  Open source software has recently gained the respect and support of public and private companies, as well as governments agencies.  Some organizations have chosen to fund open source development companies for their software needs, rather than pay for commercial licenses. Many commercial open source applications are developed and distributed by companies as a combination of both open and closed source components. In this case, the company benefits from the availability of OSS, and thus in turn may end up funding OSS maintenance and upgrades when it benefits their application as a whole.

Where can I go to get Open Source Software?

Two great sources for open-source software are:

Links – To Learn More

Source Forge – a great place to find and download open source software

Open Source Initiative – is a non-profit corporation formed to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open-source community

Open Directory Project –  the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors.

OSDir – all things open

LXer- Linux News

FOSSPlanet – RSS Open-source feeds and more


Obama: Open Source President?

Do Obama’s strategies and  ideals support the philosophies of the open-source movement?  Watch and decide for yourself…..

written by: Christian Birch, Copyright 2009

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EveryTrail Uses the New Touring Feature in Google Earth

February 9th, 2009 No comments

EveryTrail (, the leading online GPS trip sharing community, today announced it has created content using the new Touring feature in Google Earth. An EveryTrail trip, including trip route, photos and trip notes, will now play in a 1-click, fly-through slideshow using Google Earth’s Touring feature. Seeing EveryTrail trips inside Google Earth is powerful, yet amazingly easy. Simply open Google Earth and activate the EveryTrail layer, fly to a destination and look for the EveryTrail icons.

EveryTrail is at the front of the pack when it comes to using Google Earth in innovative ways

With the new touring feature it will be easier than ever for the EveryTrail community to share their trips and stories with the Google Earth community, and I’m looking forward to following along on their tours.
Every trip belongs in EveryTrail.
EveryTrail is a community website where members upload GPS data and photos to create visual interactive trip reports of their travel experiences. Uploading trip information is easy with handheld GPS devices, the EveryTrail iPhone app and the recently launched EveryTrail Android app. The website’s 50,000 trips span more than 120 countries. This content is uniquely suitable for playback using Google Earth’s Touring feature. Content creators can now make 3D tours that deliver a 1-click viewing experience, without the need to manually navigate the content.

EveryTrail itself, and EveryTrail in Google Earth, offer a unique way to share a trip taken with friends, family and fellow adventurers instead of a traditional video or photo album. The introduction of Tours is a major step toward the geoweb becoming mainstream. Tours make Google Earth 3D content even more accessible to hundreds of millions of Google Earth users world-wide.

“EveryTrail is at the front of the pack when it comes to using Google Earth in innovative ways,” said Wei Luo, Senior Data Strategist, Google Earth. “With the new touring feature it will be easier than ever for the EveryTrail community to share their trips and stories with the Google Earth community, and I’m looking forward to following along on their tours.”

In December 2008, Google and EveryTrail announced that members’ trips are available as a content layer in Google Earth, allowing users to easily discover and view EveryTrail content in a 3D environment directly within Google Earth. EveryTrail now serves over 110,000 unique users per month and expects its strong growth to continue this year.

The expanding trip database provides a searchable geoweb resource for trip planning. Anyone can look for ideas and activities on the site by searching the 50,000 trip destinations in over 120 countries and through a wide variety of activities including hiking, biking, walking, driving, running, sailing or even hangliding and paragliding. There are plenty of good reasons why – as founder Joost Schreve likes to say – “Every trip belongs in EveryTrail.”

About EveryTrail
EveryTrail is a global web2.0 platform for geotagged user generated travel content that is changing the way millions of people share their travel experiences and plan their trips. EveryTrail users create valuable content, for themselves, their family and friends, and for the broader community, by uploading GPS data and photos in order to create visual interactive trip reports of their travel experiences. For more information, visit

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