top Microsoft To Open Source
.NET and Take It Cross-Platform
Visual Studio Express has been free to download and to use to develop products with for nearly a decade. That series is a fully usable IDE for developing
.NET applications. Yes, the Standard, Professional, etc. line added more features like extensions and ALM integration, but they were definitely market features.
This is just the next step in the race to the bottom. Microsoft intends to make money via the Azure path, but it'll be through ease-of-use or ease-of-transition to use Azure features in Visual Studio for the whole world of
.Net developers out there. I very very very much doubt they'd do it via the explicit extortion scheme you're talking about.
top Human Clinical Trials To Begin On Drug That Reverses Diabetes In Animal Models
Anecdotal evidence, not scientifically controlled. A company seeks & the FDA has approve a chemical for the treatment of a specific condition. If they find additional uses, there is a whole additional battery of analysis on dosing, side-effects, etc. that needs to be done. 8mg of asprin a day to help improve heart health for some folks, but 400mg every 4 hours to treat clotting conditions. Same drug, very different uses, separately validated & approved.
top Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop
I know this is flame-bait, but I'd love to get a headless / CLI-only version of Windows 9 for a discounted price. My company has a very small IT department and the whole company is Windows-based. We literally don't have the resources to learn & maintain Linux, especially since most of our vendors' hardware is also based on various flavors of Windows. Easily 30-40% of our Windows licenses are for headless devices controlling various bits of machinery, and it pains me to pay $100+ on a $500 computer for something we'll never hook a monitor to after the first day.
top DARPA Develops Non-GPS Navigation Chip
So when can I get these at digikey?
about a year and a half ago
top Crowdfunding Open Source Software Enhancements and Bug Fixes
Wait, like EA and their free-to-play games + in-game micro-transactions?
about a year and a half ago
top How Sequestration Will Affect Federal Research Agencies
The concept is to set up a painful BATNA - best alternative to negotiated agreement - so that if the parties *fail* to come to a compromise, then this ugly thing will happen. It builds a common ground and an incentive for all parties to NOT let negotiation fall through. The idea is that you'll all put your big boy pants on and it will never come to pass. But because of the myopic needs and wants of the electorate who put these jarheads in power, the Congress is playing chicken to serve primarily the needs of the few that elected them and not for the betterment of the entire country. Hell, we still manufacture bayonets for the army because it is some stupid pork for a congressman to placate his district with "jobs".
top NASA's Basement Nuclear Reactor
Nuclear energy was supposed to usher in an era where electricity was
too cheap to meter based on per capita consumption at the time. Not quite what happened, but use has exploded (http://ourfiniteworld.com/2012/03/12/world-energy-consumption-since-1820-in-charts/). Probably the same thing will happen if this approach ever takes off - people will continue to consume, either at home or via proxy in industry, transportation, and commerce, more and more energy to support 1st world lifestyles.
top Tuition Should Be Lower For Science Majors, Says Florida Task Force
Financial aid is "need-based" If you can't pay the tuition, they kick in to help you. This is NOT a factor of just household income - more of disposable income.
Point and case, I attended the 10 year reunion at my alma matter. The chancellor had a slide in his presentation showing the total $ of financial aid (vertical) by reported income (typically parents, on the horizontal). I was flabbergasted to see families making $300k+ annually getting aid, but
.... if they are sending 5 kids to college and have a mortgage that breaks them, then yeah, they have "need" too. Doesn't mean the rich get a free ride, but not everyone needs to be dirt poor to need a helping hand.
top U.S. Election Day In Progress: What's Been Your Experience?
I live in Oregon and registered voters were mailed ballots about two weeks ago, along with a nice booklet with candidate-, party-, and interested-party-provided information. I was able to read and research in depth each of the candidates and measures and make an informed decision for each of my choices. Best and easiest ballot experience of my life. I could have mailed it in, but decided to drop it off at the local library instead. No lines, no muss, no fuss, no hanging chads or mis-calibrated touch screens. No pressure to vote quickly.
top Facebook Shares Retreat Below IPO Price
A particular company is "worth" so much. That worth is usually defined by the vast majority of professional investors as the time-value of all future earnings (or some finite horizon, like 5 years) plus the market value of all assets including land, inventory, intellectual property, trademarks, etc. less actual (accounts payable) or expected (lawsuits) amounts due. Divide that over the number of shares outstanding and voila you have a stock price.
In FB's case, the future earnings may be pretty dang low, but think about their assets: the voluntarily provided demographic specifics several HUNDRED MILLION people. That's a marketer's wet-dream. That's a huge asset that would be almost impossible to (legally) obtain in any other way, making it an incredibly valuable resource. They just haven't figured out how to
/really/ tap into it without causing an uproar, thus expected earnings are low.
Love it or hate it (and I personally hate it), they do have some potential for big big earnings, even if they just hock their user list & details.
top Facebook Shares Retreat Below IPO Price
An IPO is where a company sells shares in order to raise money - ideally to fund expansion or let early investors cash in on profits. If the IPO price hasn't moved, it means that the finance nerds priced it EXACTLY where the market thinks the company is valued right now. Give those guys a bonus, as the investors didn't leave any money on the table.
top 2011 Was the 9th Hottest Year On Record
I think the global warming shills have quit denying the obvious (that "the Earth is getting hotter"), and have moved on to point #2: that the cause is man-made. The point #3 is "the human race can do something about it". As I understand it, it's this #3, which would (in their minds) invariable mean taxes, or an upset to the business/government status quo, that they largely want to avoid.
top How 3D Printing Could Help Keep the ISS In Orbit
Well, if you are shipping up a spool of feed material wire (a la MakerBot), or even powder cartriges, then they'll likely be able to better tolerate a brutal high-g launch than delicate, precision tuned parts manufactured on earth. Now you can use linear induction launch methods (rail gun launchers) and high-g launch systems to more cheaply get the raw materials into orbit, and transform them once they're up there. Plus, its very likely you'd save on packaging overhead (less padding & whatnot), lowering your overhead further.
top Japanese Use Wild Monkeys To Track Radiation
Am I the only one who is waiting for an xkcd comic to come from this?
top Site Offers History of Torrent Downloads By IP
TV? Bah - it's public domain. Someone, anyone, can convert that puppy to any format they want and copyright / DMCA be damned.
top Are Data Centers Finally Ready For DC Power?
As an aside, car manufacturers are also moving towards higher voltage because that gives them easier access to drive high-power systems like power steering. Currently most power steering is pneumatically driven, which comes with a hefty overhead cost in terms of manufacturing and maintenance. With a high-voltage bus to drive it, the complex machinery simplifies it to an electric motor and some gears.
top Messaging Apps, VoIP Already Eating Into Carrier Revenue
I live in Oregon / New Jersey you insensitive clod!
(FYI: Those states require, by law, that gas is pumped by an attendant.)
top Why Do So Many College Science Majors Drop Out?
Okay - how about they pull money from football so the Tide can smack 'em next year? I'm all for that
top Ask Slashdot: Image Recognition For Race Timing?
Why not put an RFID tracker on each car? They're relatively cheap and you can store some encrypted identifier in it. Pillar or mat sensors would pick up when the car crosses the line, though it might be a challenge finding sensors that'd pick up a car at 60mph...
top SpaceX Reveals Plans For Full Launch System Re-usability
Absolutely. *GETTING* to orbit, from a mass and technology point of view, isn't a huge hurdle any more. It's getting there
affordably. Elon stated a $50M Falcon has $200,000 worth of fuel, or 0.4% of the launch price. All the rest is split between building/refurbishing the rocket in the first place, launch prep (largely labor driven), fixed overheads (buildings) and profit. If you soft-land, theoretically you're "building" once, and doing a lot less "refurbishing" because there was no jolt from a parachute landing, or corrosive salt-water to clean up. SpaceX is hammering launch prep costs already by being able to setup and launch a rocket in days not weeks/months. By reducing these costs, you're able to sell cheaper and launch more frequently, which drives the overhead allocation to any one lauch down as well.
In summary, while you may get a lower mass fraction to orbit by having soft-landing lower stage, the amount of money/equipment lost per launch is less, making the whole setup cheaper. Drop some extra coin on fuel to get more into orbit, it's still cheaper than a smaller, higher mass-fraction throw-away rocket.
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