Code Quality: Open Source vs. Proprietary
The report doesn't really go into an important measure.
What is the defect density of the new code that is being added to these projects?
Large projects and old projects in particular will demonstrate good scores in polishing - cleaning out old defects that are present. The new code that is being injected into the project is really where we should be looking... Coverity has the capability to do this, but it doesn't seem to be reported.
Next year it would be very interesting to see the "New code defect density" as a separate metric - currently it is "all code defect density" which may not reflect if Open Source is *producing* better code. The report shows that the collection of *existing* code is getting better each year.
Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?
That is different. My read of the GINA is that your health insurance provider is not allowed to use genetic screening to make coverage RISK decisions. As in, they can't force or require you to screen for cancer and then decide that you aren't coverable because of BRCA. Apparently life insurance is not covered by GINA, so that is another issue.
Also note that GINA is an American law. Not global.
The comment I made was about tuning treatment based on genetic information - which is very different. Rather than a cocktail of drugs to suppress and support different side effects and responses - you can more targeted doses to resolve your direct issue. Warfarin is a good example, too much doesn't help, too little doesn't help. Your genes help identify what your correct dose is.
Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?
As Genome Wide Association Studies begin to crack more of the genomic puzzle, there will be tighter and tighter direct correlation between medicine types & doses and the effectiveness of those drugs. As this efficacy increases, it is highly likely that the best insurance coverage will be based on genomic information.
Determining precise doses of a drug and which drug should be used is going to make for much better quality of medicine. I would expect that in a couple of decades people are going to look at the drug practices of today and laugh that we are pretty much throwing darts at the drug dartboard and choosing whatever it lands on.
Opting out of specific tests will be like not wanting X-Rays to see if a bone is broken.
The 3D Economy — What Happens When Everyone Prints Their Own Shoes?
Well for commodity items - I get your point. However, my personal experience is owning a house that has a really unusual shelf pegs. Unusual in that they are simply not available. I ended up modelling them and using shapeways to print them. What I made is up at https://www.shapeways.com/shop....
The cost, was about $2 per peg - which is about the same cost as low run retail products at home depot.
3D printers will make it affordable for extremely low run prints. For spare parts and out-of-production items it removes a lot of obsolescence.
Can Science Ever Be "Settled?"
A common definition of science is "knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study."
Science is never stable. There is always layer upon layer of detail that is waiting to be discovered. The "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants" is the underlying concept. Our level of scientific understanding is driven by our current understanding and our needs to go deeper. The knowledge can change and grow based on deeper systematic study.
In the middle ages, when transportation was limited to horse, cart and walking. The naivety of a geocentric university was sufficient for the time. And for the most part motion of planets was fairly accurately explained by epicycles. The "Science" of the age was sufficient. As travel and migration required more detailed knowledge, the science improved to explain what was seen. New models were formed, and tides, winds and so on became more accurate and combined into a deeper understanding.
The beauty of science is that as the foundations of one area is broken down and rebuilt, what replaces it must not only encompass what was there, but also link deeper into other areas that caused the original science to fail. It doesn't make the previous science and knowledge bad, just incorrect. One can't deny that a model that explained a known phenomena for that point in history was bad science.
In 40 years time*, we'll look back at the misguided fools at the start of 21st century and our futile and plain incorrect approaches to fusion. We may not be there, but we'll probably dealing with all sorts of funky and interesting materials on the way to get there.
Those of us who will have children should know that their science *will* be different in a lot of areas than our science. That is a good thing.
* Bonus points for replies that say why I chose the "40 years time".
Open Source Brings High-End Canon Camera Dynamic Range Closer To Nikon's
Alternate line exposure is not new, it is in a lot of current generation sensors. Omnivision, Sony and Toshiba all have sensors out with this capability.
The underlying issue is that when doing alternate line exposure you are getting only half the resolution for each range. DSP and image processing techniques can help smooth out the issues, but you are fundamentally dealing with a half-height dark and a half-height light image. Depending on the alternate-line approach, you also get other funky color fringing issues due to the underlying bayer pattern. As the article notes, there are color fringing issues
A good generalized approach is to output a 1/2 resolution image in both dimensions, otherwise you will get a vertical stretch if you keep the horizontal width at full resolution. So it means for a 16 MP camera, you will get only 4 MP HDR images. In a lot of cases this will be more than good enough... But it makes it really difficult to sell and explain to users.
There is usually a good reason that advanced features aren't release/published. A lot of the time it comes down to features be sub-optimal on what is supposed to be a highly polished product.
Good Engineering Managers Just "Don't Exist"
Both are leaders.
Managers are Organizational Leaders.
"Senior"/"Staff" Engineers/Architects are Technical Leaders.
Different focus, but similar soft leadership skills. They are peered, and should have a similar work load and a similar amount of hassle...
Good Engineering Managers Just "Don't Exist"
Firstly, I bow to your low 5 digit user number. You are an old hand...
I won't bite at all the points that are worth biting.
The mentoring part is the leadership part of management. When I have an engineer in my team go "wow, I've never done it that way" or "that was inspiring" it is all worth it. For reference, the two quotes were for "techniques for estimation" and "requirements analysis".
The managers role is to get the team as efficient and effective as possible. This means taking experience (from in the ranks) and finding ways to apply it to make their life easier and more effective.
Dead Reckoning For Your Car Eliminates GPS Dead Zones
Maybe. Let's break it down - Phones vs Cars...
Phones have Location Based Services (LBS) on a typical phone also uses wifi, GPS and Cell Tower location. A request to LBS expects should return a reasonable fix to the highest accuracy. In a dense urban environment, there is a lot of information from wifi/Cell to give a good fix - probably better than GPS. They have a magnetometer that is affected by materials around them and is not guaranteed to be aligned in a consistent way to the movement. In a dock, it is insulated somewhat and can be compensated.
Cars have wheels that are stuck to the ground and provide a good distance measuring tool - everyone has probably seen a dedicated GPS. They have a fixed magnetometer that is well protected from interference and is fixed relative to the vehicles direction of travel.
Both can align to roads on a map, so you have a correction factor in the roads. Any good nav system will lock onto the roads.
So Cars probably already have a higher probability of tracking reasonable well as is (I've never had the problem described except in hills under dense tree cover). Phones have some better LBS capability. Adding the sensors to the cars, and having a wifi/cell phone lookup capability (live or otherwise) would probably give cars a solid edge. This story seems to be more adware for eyeballs, but may have some merit.
Will Microsoft IIS Overtake Apache?
Exactly. A bit of sensationalism in the story.
All Sites (included millions of parked) are in 38%/%32 mix. Looking 600 pixels down and you see the active (non parked sites). The percentage is 52% vs 11%. The big drop in for MS in 2009 was probably a nail in the coffin...
The Moderately Enthusiastic Programmer
Some comments and views here... Some people won't like, :). Some management theory thrown into the mix too.
First, performance is driven by a mixture of ability and motivation (google two-factor performance). The ability is (relatively easily) measured and difficult to fake. Motivation is intensely personal and very hard to measure, motivation is very easy to fake. When interviewing or selecting staff, you look for people who have an overt demonstration about the motivation. The want for passion is a call for an overt demonstration of motivation.
Second, the barriers to entry for the software world is very low, professional accreditation isn't needed and generally isn't need to be renewed. This leads to a very inconsistent and bumpy collection of development skill. How do you sift through this? You look for the developers that show a strong and overt interest. They should at least be average, if not strong. If anyone could be a building architect, you would look for people either with a name and a track record, or you would look for someone that is always building models.
Third, the software world has a lot of contributors, but few leaders (either management or technical leaders). With few anointed or emergent leaders, you don't have the basis for leading teams. The emergent leaders are hard to spot initially. So again you look for overt passion and opinions. These will be uneven leaders (tech depth, not necessarily mentoring, no best practices).
These three represent the primary gaps in the industry that I see that makes the fallback position is to look for people who show passion. The theory is that passion has to be present and you can shape other deficiencies. Of course the paradox is that these people typically have such a strong opinion that the shaping is difficult or impossible.
Soft skills are fun ! :).
RAF Fighter Flies On Printed Parts
Take a look at http://eandt.theiet.org/news/2013/oct/metal-3d-printing.cfm
One of the many engineering triangles (design for cost, manufacturability, performance) is slowly getting turned on its head. The manufacturability aspect historically has held back performance and held back cost. With 3d printing, in particular with metals, the cost is volumetric - not complexity or volume driven, and the manufacturability is greatly simplified (needs to be defined in 3d space). This allows the designer of a part to minimize the compromises that they need to take.
It may reduce tolerances due to manufacturability, but as the above link shows, you end up with a part which supports the specifications that are needed.
My personal experiences are in trying to find a out-of-production part for a cupboard ( http://use-cases.org/2013/07/10/3d-printing-shelf-pegs/ ), 3 hours with a modeling tool saved a further 3 hours going through drawers at the hardware store or 3 hours on the internet searching for them. 3d printing solved my problem, and solved problems for a lot of other people (there have been about 150 orders on shapeways for this part).
In Three Years, Nearly 45% of All the Servers Will Ship To Cloud Providers
There are two items at play here...
1) Server consolidation - when I was at AMD a few years ago, I saw a series of roadmaps showing the predicted consolidation based on hypervisors 300 servers to 30. The immediate thought that went through my mind is "the cost of enterprise CPUs" need to go up otherwise there will be blood in chip market. Servers were the cash cow for the market.
2) Migration to cloud - this is really consolidation mk II. Move to the cloud and rely on focused efforts to migrate, load balance, spin up and spin down services. All with the economy of scale that large datacenters provide. This has hit the OEM manufacturers (HP, Dell, etc) since the larger players in the market can go direct to China with the volumes they need and
Ultimately it is a question of reducing unused capacity. According to some stats (google "datacenter utilization"), 1st party utilization is around 5-10%, cloud utilization is around 20-30%. The two items above really deliver a 1-2 punch to the Server and Chip industry.
Google Halts Sales of HP's USB-Charging Chromebook 11 Over Overheating
Not quite a normal off-the-shelf. It is a high power adapter - 40W (~8A at 5.25V). Most high-end phone chargers max out at 10W (2A at 5V).
The difference in higher power is probably taken by the higher draw that the screen would have vs a phone. Likewise the larger battery would need a higher draw to charge within reasonable times.
I also note that the comment is "plugged in while in use". This hits the higher draw for the battery charging + higher run-time draw. Most likely the current limiting is not working properly on the power supply which is causing too much heat.
Building an 'Invisibility Cloak' With Electromagnetic Fields
Yet another link to an internal slashdot.org story under the datacenter topic... http://slashdot.org/topic/datacenter/invisibility-using-force-field-not-cloak/
Looks like slashdot is trying to be theverge or engadget...
Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)
The amount of content (text) to mostly irrelevant Pictures (fluff) went bad pretty quickly. If they are stock photos or Logos, why bother making it larger and apparently more relevant than the article?
If it is an image from the relevant article, i'm not so against it.
Ask Slashdot: Is There a Good Device Holster?
This is a true scene from the early 2000's when I was involved in some Linux conferences as a speaker...
Imagine if you will a white male, late teens/early twenties. Full length leather jacking swaying as he walks the floor. His sunglasses obscuring where he is looking. He is clearly carrying something under the leather jacket, but you can't quite see what it is...
Something catches his attention from across the floor. Quickly he moves across the aisle, his jacket and whatever is underneath following a split second later, the inertia of something heavy slowing it down. He walks across to a booth, and nervously asks a question or two. He looks agitated and frustrated. He adjusts his glasses reaches under his jacket and pulls out... His laptop.
I think it was LinuxWorld in 2000. There was a guy that had all his gadgets attached to cables under a full length Morpheus-style jacket. I swear, everything up above is true (well maybe not the agitated and frustrated part).
I can't quite recall if his sunglasses where nose-clip glasses...
Ask Slashdot: Hardware Accelerated Multi-Monitor Support In Linux?
3 head ati cards are easy to come by.
In 2009, we did 24 displays on on PC. Each 3x2 quadrant is randr based. That is what you want.
Ask Slashdot: What Should a Non-Profit Look For In a Web Host?
+1 for option 4, +0.5 for option 3.
Vetting and getting a good engineer who can troubleshoot isn't easy.
But I would almost guarantee you'll have problems transitioning to a new provider, and there will be a different set of problems with the new provider. The cost benefit of staying/debugging vs moving/restabilizing are something you'll need to make.
Ask Slashdot: What Should a Non-Profit Look For In a Web Host?
If the vendor isn't helping or finding a root cause, then it may be better for you to hire an external engineer to look into the problem for you. As mentioned elsewhere there are no details on the application... But as per the HTTP standard 503 is a generic "server unavailable". This could be caused by load or a transient application failure or simply a real repeatable bug that is triggered periodically.
My recommendation would be to contract a developer (how is left as a problem for the OP), and have them debug the problem on behalf of your organization, make the SOW a root cause analysis for the issue.
Assuming you are using a web application of some description, you will most likely run into a similar problem when you move to a new provider. A rule of thumb that I use is that when making drastic changes to a deployment/infrastructure/application/software/etc. You will be invariably swapping a set of painful intractible problems that you know and understand and work around, for a set of new intractible problems that will take time for you to know and understand and work around.
The art is in known whether the unknown intractable problem is going to be better or worse than the previous ones. I am sure most of the SW people on slashdot have seen far too many "Our new system is going to solve all our problems". Only to get given something that is different, but just as bad - but cost a hell of a lot more to put together than the workarounds for the old system...