Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time
Lots of other companies manage to produce a great UI without telemetry. It's pretty sad that a company of Microsoft's depth needs telemetry data to break the management deadlocks that are contributing to the 'designed by committee' feeling of Windows 8. Talent and balls seem to be absent in these decisions.
Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015
This proves Windows 9 will have no likeable features - so they're 'saving' the start button for Windows 9 to balance the scales. Or at least, that's what a hater would say :-)
One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983
My college, in 1980, was running a Honeywell Level 2 GCOS mainframe. It had 208k of memory, and could run up to four concurrent tasks. The workstation I'm writing this post on has about 82,000 times the memory as that old beast, which physically approximated a large fridge laying on its side. The removable disk drives were sized like washing machines, had five 14-inch platters, and held 80k.
I took some Cobol courses, using keypunch machines and Hollerith punch cards. When assignments were due, you'd often see students lined up at the card reader, waiting to read in their programs. The first six columns of a punch card for Cobol programs was reserved for an optional sequence number, equivalent to a Line Number today. Nobody filled those in - not even our instructors. If you had to re-order your program, you really wanted to avoid having to re-type cards with new sequence numbers.
However, at the end of the last semester, minutes before the final assignment was due, my fellow student Peggy came running in to the data center with her purse and coat in one hand, and a six-inch deck of Cobol cards in the other, tripped in her haste to the card reader queue, and scattered 2000+ cards across the data center floor. And on the final day of the final semester, we learned why its sometimes good to put sequence numbers on your punch cards.
And btw, nearing the end of each semester, it ALWAYS took 24 hours to get a compile back.
Fishing Line As Artificial "Muscle"
News Alert: Fishing supply stores across the world are being mobbed by crowds of fidgety nerds buying up all the fishing line their moms' will let them buy.
Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!
And I wasn't at the first round-table :-)
HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers
Now that I'm no longer an OpenVMS customer, it's kinda fun watching the owner who mistreated it sitting on its own nuts, wondering why it hurts.
Coming Up Next: HP develops unexpected limp after whacking itself in the knee with a ball peen hammer.
Oracle Attacks Open Source; Says Community-Developed Code Is Inferior
Oracle would do better by not mimicking Microsoft of 10 years ago, and instead simply state the REAL value of corporate software development for government use: Built-in back-doors for the NSA.
Researchers Report Super-Powered Battery Breakthrough
... WITHIN logical...
would be more concise :-)
How Viable Is Large Scale Wind Energy?
Is anyone going to study what happens when you suck a bazillion joules of energy out of the the wind? Why don't we convert the entire gulf stream to energy? We don't need that pesky gulf stream that bad, do we?
Ask Slashdot: Is Outsourcing Development a Good Idea?
We work with development partners. We use GitHub as a shared repository - works good, and separate repositories can ensure nothing goes to production without you pushing it. Manage permissions correctly to prevent them from going places you don't want them.
On the merits of outsourcing in general, in our case it makes sense. I can't make sense of your case.
New Study Suggests Wind Farms Can Cause Climate Change
I think this almost falls into the 'no shit, Sherlock' camp. I'm glad someone with credentials is finally saying it. Please pass it along to the geo-thermal guys, who seem to think that sucking energy from the inside of this planet will never have an effect. Oh, and the wave-power-generation guys need to know too - they'll be disturbing ecologies and water flow patterns for miles around - who knows how far those effects will cascade? Scale counts - oil consumption wasn't a problem until we scaled it out - the same fate awaits any terrestrial energy source we scale.
There are only two places to get energy: 1. Earth, 2. Not Earth. Given a choice, I'll choose 2.
Windows Admins Need To Prepare For GUI-Less Server
GUI vs. Command Line. I lived through that argument in the 80's and 90's. With a GUI, syntax problems go away - IF you can figure out how to find/launch the GUI. On the command line, all commands are available in one spot, but the syntax can be challenging. We really just traded one problem for another.
But for those of us who run production shops, a GUI isn't scriptable and is therefore not testable. Command line scripts can be tested in an offline environment, emailed around, put under version control, and printed out for enjoyable bathroom reading. Who doesn't love command line scripts???
Ex-Board Member Says HP Is Committing 'Corporate Suicide'
John Stewart had an author on a few weeks ago that claimed a disproportionate percentage of CEOs were sociopaths - i.e. those for whom guilt and conscience have little meaning.
Sciencey Heroes For Young Children?
Couldn't agree more. He was my science-hero when I was a kid. Besides, he threw LIGHTNING BOLTS!
The Science of Battlestar Galactica
99% Fi and 1% Sci does not a sci-fi make. Wake the fuck up sci-fi writers! It's the heretofore unthought-of gizmos, and the unique ways they're used to get out of mind-blowing situations (replete with explosions and such) that makes a sci-fi. The crap you guys have been writing lately (I'm looking at you, SG Universe and Caprica!) got you your commercially-viable mainstream audience, but you alienated (ha ha) us real sci-fi fans. You suck, go away. And hence forth, be known as Fi-Sci writers, correctly leading with the ratio of drivel, to cool.
BSG Prequel Series Caprica Canceled
I've been watching Caprica, and Stargate Universe. Both suffer from the same disease that infected BSG from the start: Tooooo much 'Fi', and not enough 'Sci'. Do we really have to sit through 57 minutes of character/story-building crap to get 3 minutes of the science-y part? Cripes, these new sci-FI's are more like soap operas than anything else - a total fucking snooze-fest. These writers better get over themselves and figure out what makes a sci-fi show cool to watch. Hint: If it could happen in a western or a soap opera, cut it from the script.
Ray Ozzie's Departing Memo a Warning To Microsoft
What he's saying about all these devices about to happen probably rings true for most /. readers, including me. The problem is that visionaries have been saying it for years. Legal chafing between content providers, carriers, patent holders. et. al. has slowed the roll-out of super-toys to a crawl. He who can predict how fast the lawyers will move is the true visionary.
West Virginia Is Geothermically Active
How much heat can we suck out of the earth before we start noticing effects? When we first sipped from oil deposits we thought the supply was unlimmited - so we built billions oil-fueled cars and painted ourselves into a corner. Would someone with real credentials please stand up and say what needs to be said: Geo-thermal is a finite supply - and at some level of human consumption mining it will destabilize our planet.
Why NASA's New Video Game Misses the Point
I lasted 15 mins max in this game. Woke up when my head hit the keyboard.
Better Development Through Competition?
Given that, in the majority of cases, solution #1 will be no better than 10% better than solution #2, is paying 200% worth it? What guarantee do you have that the succeeding project (of a slightly differing nature) would be better executed by the team winning the first? Life is fraught with such complications, rendering generalizations of this sort moot.
World's first Open Source Clustering Code - Soon by Sun
No Support for Linux users says Time-Warner NYC
I called Time-Warner for the 4th time about this months-long problem of my high-speed internet connection cutting out four or five times a day (for a minute or so). They told me to connect my Windows box directly to the Internet - bypassing my Linksys router. No way I said - it may get compromised (it's a fully-patched Win 2K box). I offered to connect my Linux box (a fresh Slackware 10.2 install) directly, and they said "no way". I went round & round with the guy, even asking, at one point, if he realized this conversation was being recorded. He wouldn't even run some of the tests to help ME diagnose the problem.
If you don't use Windows, Time-Warner's Tier-3 "National Help Desk" - and I suspect the lower level tiers - will refused to support you. Why isn't Linux supported? Makes me wonder if they support Apple. Also makes me wonder if Microsoft has some weird corporate toe-lock on Time-Warner - somehow encouraging their Road Runner support group to drag their saggy corporate asses on Linux support.
Is It Too Late to Want to Work at Google?
FRACKED-UP Battlestart Gallactica Details?
I've written applications in both - and here's a difference no one talks about. When you open up MS's ASP environment, all that great GUI stuff is there and it's pretty easy to get going. Then as often happens in a development environment, you need a quick script to munge a long list of field names. Is ASP your first choice? It wasn't mine, because I couldn't find a way to get input into/out of it from the command line. So I whipped up a temporary web page with a text box to do it. More overhead than I wanted to spend for what should be a 2 minute job given an editor with macro key abilities.
Then a couple of years later I built my first app in PHP. The first thing I noticed was how easy it was to script from the command line. Since I'm not a perl junkie, it was real useful for small scripting jobs. I'd use a shell language for this, but fankly, I'd rather poke a fork in my eyes.
The next thing I noticed in PHP was I needed an modern editor (the free download doesn't come with an IDE), so I bought one from zend.com for a couple of hundred bucks. It's getting better, but like ASP, it too has no macro key ability (maybe I'm wrong and someone will tell me?), and other nits I'd pick given the chance.
But the big discovery in PHP was that all my ASP data-type problems magically went away. Hours and freaking hours I spent debugging situations where an int was returned from a DLL and ASP string'ed it, or vice versa. There were byref/byval issues I recall as well. We had to build test local harnesses for all our middle tier ASP components because these problems rendered ASP too lame for a debugging platform.
But my original point is really that PHP is useful along a continium of the problem space. Need a quick script? Need a nightly job that cleans up your app? Need web pages? PHP works well for all. ASP, from my experience, hits one for three.
I'm not sure why jounal entries on Slashdot are good for me. Perhaps making one will make visible the benenits.