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Comment: I miss Firefox in this regard (Score 0) 102

by DeadSea (#42251723) Attached to: Google Sync Clobbers Chrome Browsers
Firefox bookmarks sync is much better than Chrome bookmarks sync. Firefox stored your bookmarks locally and updated them periodically from the cloud. Chrome appears to have to download everything when I start the browser. I get a blank bookmarks bar for a few seconds when the internet is slow and I open Chrome. This is one place where Firefox got the design right and Chrome has it wrong.

Comment: As soon as the automated tests pass (Score 4, Interesting) 182

by DeadSea (#41621401) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Often Do You Push To Production?

Push to production as soon as the (many) automated tests that you have pass. This means you should have comprehensive unit tests and tests that run in the browser, probably written in Selenium. You'll also want to script your release so that you can do it with the push of a button. Once the tests pass, and the mechanics of a release are trivial, there is little reason to hold up a release.

I worked for a top 500 website (East coast) for 7 years that did weekly releases. Since I left, they decided that wasn't fast enough and now release multiple times per week. I'm now self-employed on my own website and release within an hour of finishing development of a feature.

I started my development career writing firmware for laser printers. When you are shipping code on a physical product, the cost of bugs can be quite high. Especially when it leads to returns or recalls because customers are not satisfied. Our release cycles there were 6 months+. Quite appropriately, IMO.

On the web, the cost of bugs is much lower. In most cases it is the only cost of another release. Sometimes it could cost more because of downtime, but good automated test coverage mitigates that risk pretty well (especially if there is load testing involved). The worst case would be data-corruption, but I've never actually seen that in practice from a release, that has only been related to hardware failure or accidents in my experience.

Comment: Re:Real name policy to blame? (Score 2) 456

by DeadSea (#40039933) Attached to: Online Loneliness At Google+

Facebook has a real name policy as well. It hasn't hindered their growth. The problem is that Google+ has a real name policy, but doesn't require mutual friendship. This leads to a duplicate one way friendship problem.

Here is the use case: you want to add a friend who isn't on the network but you have their email address.
Facebook: You add the user by email. It goes to "friendship requested" status.
Google: You add the user by email. That email address is added to your circles
Then later, the user signs up for the social network, but not using the email address you supplied then friends you.
Facebook: You are friends!
Google: You are friends, plus you have a zombie email address friend in your circles. FAIL!

That and Google+ is full of bugs. For example you open a Google+ account at your own email address. Then you sign up for gmail. This changes the email address of your Google account to your new gmail address with NO WAY TO CHANGE IT BACK. The people in your circles are associated with your old email address. Google has DELETED all the friends from your circles. You then have to re-add all of them.

Comment: Re:Aha! (Score 1) 120

by DeadSea (#30696064) Attached to: Using a Toy Train To Calibrate a Reactor
The IT department here used on of those "perpetual motion" drinking birds to test the video conference system. A week before the big meeting, they set up the link between our Boston office and our London office, put a drinking bird in front of the camera, and made sure that the connection remained stable enough that it wasn't going to drop during the three hours that we really needed it.
Bug

+ - Thunderbird devours your mail - forever losing it.

Submitted by niekvs
niekvs (1031964) writes "Ever since Thunderbird's latest update (1.5.0.8) was released a few weeks ago, a very nasty bug was introduced - and sadly enough the Mozilla team isn't hurrying to release a patch, leaving millions of users exposed. I noticed this problem by accident, when i realized that Thunderbird was downloading far more mails than were showing up in my inbox. The first few days i wasn't paying much attention to it, because sometimes 70% of my mail is automatically redirected to my spam box anyway, but at some point i started actually counting the mails by hand and found out that a large portion of mails just didn't show up, even though they were downloaded. I then followed Mozilla's recommended practice of compacting my mailboxes, to no avail. Desperate, i searched Google for help, and found out that a lot more users were experiencing similar issues (1) (2) with the latest update. The bad thing: compacting actually permanently deletes the missing messages (that are likely mostly spam, but can also be legit). If you haven't done this yet, you should downgrade back to the previous version, 1.5.0.7, exposing yourself to some security issues, but at least having peace of mind that you receive all your mail, and won't receive any angry mails from friends or colleagues asking why you haven't returned their important questions yet. Please read the comments in the bug report for more information. This issue seriously broke my confidence in this program, especially considering that Mozilla appears in no rush to release an update, and are still distributing the buggy version weeks after discovery. In my opinion, this is a much more serious problem than whatever obscure security bug they were trying to fix in this version. Most people probably won't even realize something is wrong, because the mails simply never show up..."
Hardware Hacking

+ - Make's Open Source Gift Guide Needs Your Help

Submitted by
bjepson
bjepson writes "The Make Magazine Open Source Gift Guide is off to a great start, but we need your help. We've put together our picks of interesting open source hardware projects, open source software, services, and things that have the Maker-spirit of open source. And we're not done, post in the comments on what you think should be in the Open source gift guide and we'll add it! Just stick to the same format we did: name, link, and a couple sentences."
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft Will Hand Over Docs To EU

Submitted by Kagura
Kagura (843695) writes "Reuters reports that Microsoft has handed over technical documents to the EU in order to enable the competition to make interoperable software. So far, the EU has imposed fines of 497 M and 280 M onto Microsoft for abuse of its monopoly. The deadline for this documentation was today. According to Microsoft, the documentation is over 8500 pages."
Google

Gaia Project Agrees To Google Cease and Desist 323

Posted by Zonk
from the quieting-that-particular-deity dept.
Dreben writes "Gaia, an opensource project to develop a 3D API to Google Earth, has decided to comply with a request from Google. The search giant's Chief Technologist, Michael Jones, contacted the project with a request to cease and desist from all past, present and future development of the Gaia project. Amongst other things, they cited 'improper usage of licensed data,' which Google licenses from assorted third party vendors. They are going so far as to request anyone who has ever downloaded any aspect of Gaia to purge all related files. From the post to the freegis-l mail list: 'We understand and respect Google's position on the case, so we've removed all downloads from this page and we ask everybody who have ever downloaded gaia 0.1.0 and prior versions to delete all files concerned with the project, which include source code, binary files and image cache (~/.gaia).' How does such a request, likely to have turned into a demand, affect fair usage? While the API is intended to interface with the the Google Earth service, Google Earth is nothing without the data. Yet at the same time, Google openly publishes their own API which uses the same data in the same manner."
Mozilla

+ - ThunderBird 1.5.0.8 fails to show, deletes, e-mail

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "ThunderBird, the open source e-mail application, contains a mail handling issue (BugZilla, please change your referrers) which is causing some e-mails to fail to display. The e-mails have been received, but as they are invisible they may as well not have been. In addition, the recommended practice of compacting folders will cause the invisible e-mails to actually be deleted permanently. The issue, which was discovered well over 2 weeks ago, has been patched for the 1.8.0 branch of ThunderBird — but there has been no word of an official new release or patch before the regularly scheduled December release of version 1.5.0.9."
Emulation (Games)

+ - US Copyright Office grants abandonware rights

Submitted by reagor
reagor (1015901) writes "http://www.joystiq.com/2006/11/23/us-copyright-off ice-grants-abandonware-rights/ joystic.com Here's something abandonware enthusiasts can be thankful for: the Library of Congress yesterday approved six exemptions to US copyright. The one most pertinent to gamers is that, for archival purposes, copy protection on software no longer being sold or supported by its copyright holder can be cracked."
Google

+ - Google pressures google earth client offline

Submitted by cycoj
cycoj (1010923) writes "Recently some some Russian developers reverse engineered the Google Earth protocol and released an open source client. As of today the source code is not available anymore and the page states the following:

"25 November 2006, we've got the letter from Michael Jones, the Chief Technologist of Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Local search, requesting us to cease reverse engineering and improper usage of licensed data that Google Earth use. We understand and respect Google's position on the case, so we've removed all downloads from this page and we ask everybody who have ever downloaded gaia 0.1.0 and prior versions to delete all files concerned with the project, which include source code, binary files and image cache (~/.gaia)." Is Google starting to "do evil"?"
Hardware Hacking

+ - Open Source Gift Guide

Submitted by
Jason Striegel
Jason Striegel writes "MAKE Magazine put together a huge list of open source hardware and software gift ideas. It's a great start for spreading a little open source cheer this season, and I'm betting the Slashdot community could contribute a little to the list.

From the article:
There are hundreds of gift guides this holiday season filled with junk you can buy — but a lot of the time you actually don't own it, you can't improve upon it, you can't share it or make it better, you certainly can't post the plans, schematics and source code either. We want to change that, we've put together our picks of interesting open source hardware projects, open source software, services and things that have the Maker-spirit of open source.
There's everything from MP3 player project kits to Linux based GSM phones.

It begs the question: what are you getting your favorite alpha geek this year?"

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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