Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Last Chance - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Submission + - Circadian Rhythm and its effect on Programmers (

Taco Cowboy writes: Circadian rhythm affects everyone, programmers included

Even top programmers admit that the quality of the code they produce vary from the time of day they were constructed

Most time we place blame on the bugs in our code with sleep deprivation, carelessness, and even on our own stupidity (what was I thinking???) but all it comes down is the time of day our brain work best

ots of us know we are sleep-deprived, but imagine if we could fix it with a fairly simple solution: getting up later

Tech companies which takes heed on the differences of the circadian clocks on their most productive workers will continue to reap benefits while those forcing their coders to keep on coding even when their brains don't function no more will find themselves in the bind — sooner or later

Contrary to popular believe, the practice of Agile computing does not raise the quality of code, nor on the structure of the program, and the root cause is not on the theory of Agile computing, rather, it's on the implementation — coders must turn up on the endless (and woefully meaningless) meetings regardless of their ability to focus at a given point of time

Describing the average sleep loss per night for different age groups, he says: “Between 14 and 24 it’s more than two hours. For [people aged between] 24 to about 30 or 35, it’s about an hour and a half. That can continue up until you’re about 55 when it’s in balance again. The 10-year-old and 55-year-old wake and sleep naturally at the same time”

This might be why, he adds, the traditional nine to five is so ingrained; it is maintained by bosses, many of them in their mid-50s and upwards, because “it is best for them”. So should workplaces have staggered starting times, too? Should those in their 50s and above come in at 8am, while those in their 30s start at 10am, and the teenage intern or apprentice be encouraged to turn up at 11am? Kelley says that synchronised hours could have “many positive consequences. The positive side of this is people’s performance, mood and health will improve. It’s very uplifting in a way, because it’s a solution that will make people less ill, and happier and better at what they do”

Submission + - SimCity's Empire Has Fallen and Skylines Is Picking Up the Pieces (

sarahnaomi writes: Mariina Hallikainen, CEO of small Finnish game developer Colossal Order, is having a good day. When I call her, it's only been a few hours since she learned that Colossal Order's SimCity-like game, Cities: Skylines, has sold more than half a million copies in its first week. The first 250,000 of those were sold in the first 24 hours, making it the fastest-selling game its publisher Paradox Interactive has ever released.

The irony here doesn't escape Hallikainen. Only a week before Skylines was released, game publisher Electronic Arts announced that it was shutting down SimCity developer Maxis' studio in Emeryville, which it acquired in 1997.

"I feel so bad about Maxis closing down," Hallikainen said. "The older SimCitys were really the inspiration for us to even consider making a city builder."

At the same time, Hallikainen admits SimCity's mistakes were Colossal Order's opportunity. "If SimCity was a huge success, which is what we expected, I don't know if Skylines would have ever happened," she said, explaining that it would have been a harder pitch to sell to Paradox if the new SimCity dominated the market.

Submission + - We must settle consumer fears about the Security of Things ( 1

irl_4795 writes: The Internet of Things (IoT) is already revolutionising consumers’ lives. Smart meters and thermostats are reducing energy bills, and wearable tech is helping to make us healthier. But for IoT to truly take off, Sean Lorenz at LogMeIn believes the industry needs to allay consumer fears about security.

Submission + - FBI Wants To Ban Hats and Sunglasses 1

An anonymous reader writes: You may not even think about wearing sunglasses and a hat when entering a bank, but the FBI sure is. One local agent wants to make it a new law in Washington state banning that attire. Hate and sunglasses are becoming one of the most common disguises for bank robbers. Many banks, like Washington Mutual, already asks customers to take them off before walking in. Asking doesn't seem to be working, so instead of bank policy the FBI says there should be a law. Footage of a bank robber who hit two Seattle banks on Wednesday shows a nice view of a hat and not much else. "Unfortunately from the camera placement we don't have a face shot. The cameras are placed way too high and all we see is the top of the construction helmet," said Larry Carr, FBI special agent. Bank bandits know they can evade the most elaborate surveillance system with a hat or hood or sunglasses. For instance, when the "nomad bandit" was finally arrested, he told the FBI he knew the cameras would never capture his face because he hid it with a hat. "The vast majority of bank disguises, that is their key disguise. That's their disguise," said Carr. Now the FBI will be working with the state legislature to make it illegal to conduct business in banks while wearing a hat, sunglasses or a hood pulled over your head. The logic is simple: If you are in a bank and you are hiding your identity, you're probably up to no good. "That's quite frightening to the employees, so we need to train ourselves to take that attire off," said Carr. Besides the no hats and sunglasses rule, the FBI suggests banks should also consider lowering their cameras to better capture faces. The law would not apply to customers who cover their head for religious or medical reasons

In 1750 Issac Newton became discouraged when he fell up a flight of stairs.