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+ - Ask Slashdot: How to get mother back into programming after long maternity leave

An anonymous reader writes: My wife has been on a maternity leave for 3 years now. She is starting to think about refreshing her coding skills and looking for a job. Before, she worked as a Java developer for around 2 years doing mostly Java Enterprise stuff.
However she is not very eager to go back to coding. I think she has the right mental skills to be a developer but she is just not very passionate about coding or IT in general. On the other hand, it's relatively easier to find a job in IT than starting a new career.
We live in Spain and with the current economic situation the market for software developers is not great but it's definitely better than other jobs.
I there anything else she might do, ideally Java (but could be anything IT related) that would be easier and more fun than the typical Java Enterprise stuff, while also giving her a good change to find a decent job?
Btw: I'm a Java developer myself with many years of experience but mostly doing boring Java Enterprise stuff.

+ - MIT's automatic software bug repairing without access to source code

jan_jes writes: MIT researchers have presented a new system at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Programming Language Design and Implementation conference, that repairs the dangerous software bugs by automatically importing functionality from other, more secure applications. According to MIT, "The system, dubbed CodePhage, doesn’t require access to the source code of the applications. Instead, it analyzes the applications’ execution and characterizes the types of security checks they perform. As a consequence, it can import checks from applications written in programming languages other than the one in which the program it’s repairing was written."

+ - Bill Gates To Invest $2 Billion In Renewables->

An anonymous reader writes: Bill Gates has invested about a billion dollars in renewable energy, and now he's ready to double down. Gates announced he will increase his investment in renewable energy technologies to $2 billion in an attempt to "bend the curve" on limiting climate change. He is focusing on risky investments that favor "breakthrough" technologies because he thinks incremental improvements to existing tech won't be enough to meet energy needs while avoiding a climate catastrophe. "There’s no battery technology that’s even close to allowing us to take all of our energy from renewables and be able to use battery storage in order to deal not only with the 24-hour cycle but also with long periods of time where it’s cloudy and you don’t have sun or you don’t have wind. Power is about reliability. We need to get something that works reliably." At the same time, Gates rejected calls to divest himself and his charitable foundation of investments in fossil fuel companies.
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+ - Mob Programming: When Is 5 Heads Really Better Than 1 (or 2)?->

itwbennett writes: Proponents of Mob programming, an offshoot of Pair programming in which the whole team works together on the same computer, say that it increases both quality and productivity, but also acknowledge that the productivity gains might not be readily apparent. 'If you measure by features or other classic development productivity metrics, Mobbing looks like it's achieving only 75 to 85 percent of individual or Pair output for, say, a team of six or seven working for a week,' says Paul Massey, whose company Bluefruit Software is a heavy user of the Mob approach. So, where does the productivity come from? Matthew Dodkins, a software architect at Bluefruit says the biggest gains are in code merges. 'In a day spent using traditional collaboration, you would have to first spend time agreeing on tasks, common goals, deciding who's doing what... and then going away to do that, write code, and come back and merge it, resolve problems,' says Dodkins. By bringing everyone into the same room, 'we try to merge frequently, and try to do almost continuous integration.' Matt Schartman, whose company Appfolio also uses Mobbing and wrote about his experience, gave Mobbing high marks for producing a quality product, but didn't find that it improved productivity in any measurable way.
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+ - University Students Made a Working Model Hyperloop->

derekmead writes: Elon Musk's Hyperloop gets people excited. Promise the ability to travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles in less than an hour, and you're going to get people salivating. But for as much as we've heard about it, we've had scarcely little to see—until a team of students at the University of Illinois decided to build their very own miniature hyperloop.

Mechanical engineering students at the university built a functioning 1:24 scale model of the Hyperloop, a “fourth mode of transportation” that sends pods through a partially pressurized tube at very high speeds, as part of a senior design project. It was designed to test some of the key components of Musk's design, which was outlined in a much-read, open source white paper published in August of 2013. That said, there are several key differences, which keep this from truly being a proof-of-concept as to whether or not the Hyperloop will ultimately work.

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+ - U.S. Army developing 173mph hoverbike->

An anonymous reader writes: Since Return of the Jedi, the concept of a hoverbike has been undeniably cool, but the flying machines may also have many practical advantages over standard helicopters—they’re cheaper, quieter and safer. For some time now there has been speculation that they could be useful in search and rescue missions and first-responder emergency scenarios. This has piqued the interest of the U.S. Department of Defense, who have brought U.K. hoverbike pioneers Malloy Aeronautics to Maryland to develop Malloy’s high-flying, 173mph carbon fiber craft for the Army.
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+ - This Is What Happens When A State Seriously Invests In Clean Energy-> 2 2

mspohr writes: "Solar farms are blooming across California’s deserts, wind turbines are climbing the Sierra, photovoltaic roofs are shimmering over suburbs, and Teslas are the Silicon Valley elite’s new ride. A clean energy rush is transforming the Golden State so quickly that nearly a quarter of its electricity now comes from renewable sources, and new facilities, especially solar, are coming online at a rapid rate. Last year, California became the first state to get more than 5 percent of its electricity from the sun."
This is a big turnaround:
"It’s difficult to remember that just 15 years earlier the state was experiencing an energy meltdown. Electricity prices skyrocketed, supply crashed and blackouts rolled, due mainly to a disastrous deregulation attempt and unscrupulous market manipulation. "

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+ - Will Google buy ESRI

plopez writes: A blogger has presented the hypothesis that Google has bought ESRI. Previously Google has announced they were discontinuing their map engine effectively conceding to ESRI, a much smaller company. If this is true then this could be huge game changer; just add the number of applications in areas such as robotic vehicles, data analytics, resource management, Agriculture (which is driving toward robotics), IoT, commercial drones, and other buzz wordy things. Google would own a slice of each of these and be free to levy a "Google tax". ESRI is a much smaller company but has a mature API, an extensive developer network, and extensive background in all things GIS. If this not true is it plausible some other company would buy them soon? Go on, discuss.....

+ - Hackable IV Infusion Pump Workaround

swimforit writes: In a press release out today at http://www.whattolern.com/hack... , an Albuquerque inventor annouced a patented fix for vulnerability of IV infusion drug pumps. It's basically a mechanical pump that can be set to administer a constant calibrated dose throughout the dispensing process. Recent FDA warnings http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevi... about Hospira pumps make a strong argument for separating the pump from elecronic media altogether. It would make good safety sense to supply the user with the drug dosing library via a separate CD, with the pump operating inepndently.

+ - Monsanto Develops First Genetically Modified Strain of Marijuana->

schwit1 writes: Monsanto has announced it has patented the first genetically modified strain of marijuana. Global AgInvesting reports that the news has been welcomed by scientists and leaders of the agriculture business alike as a move forward towards the industrial use of marijuana and hemp products could bring a major shift towards marijuana policies in the U.S.A. and ultimately, to the world.

Under present U.S. federal law, it is illegal to possess, use, buy, sell, or cultivate marijuana, since the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, although it has been decriminalized to some extent in certain states, Monsanto's interest in the field has been interpreted by experts as the precursor to "a major shift in marijuana policy in the U.S." as it is believed the company would not have invested so much time and energy if it had not had "previous knowledge" of the Federal government's "openness" towards the future legalization of marijuana.

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+ - AskSlashdot: Company name snipers... What should I do? 1 1

PurdueThumbs writes: So... I decided to start my own business, "ArborLink." Somebody already had arborlink.com, so I grabbed arborlinkllc.com. Submitted my paperwork to the county to do business as "ArborLink" and checked state filings and registered for an EIN, all clear. Turns out the day I booked the domain in the TLD, somebody filed for the LLC the same day. The filings can be viewed here: (http://www2.dleg.state.mi.us/CORPORATIONS/htmldb/f?p=210:3:2782490864223865::NO:::). The ArborLink LLC filings are the other guy. I have had a website and e-mail presence up and have been conducting business as at the time there was no state registration. The registration itself from them was very bland, ie "we comply with llc" vs mine which is "Technology services and products". Any advise on how to stand my ground?

+ - Cuba's Answer to the Internet Fits in Your Pocket and Moves by Bus

HughPickens.com writes: Susan Crawford reports on "El Paquete" (the package), Cuba's answer to the internet, an informal but extraordinarily lucrative distribution chain where anyone in Cuba who can pay can watch telenovelas, first-run Hollywood movies, brand-new episodes of Game of Thrones, and even search for a romantic partner. The so-called "weekly package," which is normally distributed from house to house contains the latest foreign films a week, shows, TV series, documentaries, games, information, music, and more. The thumb drives make their way across the island from hand to hand, by bus, and by 1957 Chevy, their contents copied and the drive handed on. "El Paquete plays to Cuban strengths and needs," writes Crawford because Cubans are great at sharing. "And being paid to be part of the thumb-drive supply chain is a respectable job in an economy that is desperately short on employment opportunities." Sunday the "weekly package" of 1 terabyte is priced at $ 10, then $2 on Monday or Tuesday and $1 for the rest of the week.

The sneakernet is still in use today in other parts of the world including Bhutan where a sneakernet distributes offline educational resources, including Kiwix and Khan Academy on a Stick to hundreds of schools and other educational institutions. Google once used a sneaknet to transport 120 TB of data from the Hubble Space Telescope. "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of magnetic tapes hurtling down the highway".

+ - Philae's lost seven months were completely unnecessary

StartsWithABang writes: This past weekend, the Philae lander reawakened after seven dormant months, the best outcome that mission scientists could've hoped for with the way the mission unfolded. But the first probe to softly land on a comet ever would never have needed to hibernate at all if we had simply built it with the nuclear power capabilities it should've had. The seven months of lost data were completely unnecessary, and resulted solely from the world's nuclear fears.

+ - SpaceX Is Officially Building Elon Musk's Hyperloop

Jason Koebler writes: SpaceX is building a hyperloop, Elon Musk's fantastical, futuristic transport tube capable of moving people and freight at speeds of 760 miles per hour.
The company is building a one- to three-mile-long hyperloop test track outside its Hawthorne, California headquarters with plans to test the technology within a year. It's the first time that Musk, who conceived of the hyperloop, has been involved with any concrete plans to actually build it.

+ - US Teen Pleads Guilty To Teaching ISIS About Bitcoin Via Twitter->

jfruh writes: Ali Shukri Amin, a 17-year-old from Virginia, has pled guilty to charges that he aided ISIS by giving the group advice about using bitcoin. An odd and potentially troubling aspect of the charges is that this all took place in public — he Tweeted out links to an article on his blog about bitcoin and Darknet could help jihadi groups, making it difficult to say whether he was publishing information protected under free speech or was directly advising the terrorist organization.
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Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955

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