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+ - ITER won't be ready until 2027->

Taco Cowboy writes: Started back in 1985, the ITER, (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project has suffered repeated delays and cost overruns, so much so that the first plasma originally scheduled for 2019 is "clearly not feasible", according to Dr. Bernard Bigot, the newly appointed director general

Part of the reason for the slow progress is down to the way the project is structured. The European Union, as host party, will contribute up to about 50% of the costs and the other parties 10% each. However, technical decisions require consensus and because those relating to the design of components will inevitably impact some parties more than others, it is difficult to reach. In one case discussions dragged on for six years without a definitive answer. Without that decision work did not progress

Dr. Bigot decides that ITER must gear up to take a more decisive role in the project. “What was plaguing the project before is that there was confusion between the best technical solution and sharing of the cost," said Bigot. “Now I want just the best technical decision. The cost will be covered according to the share of the parties, reflecting the spirit of the ITER agreement"

Dr. Bigot's current aim is to accomplish the deuterium-tritium plasma (previously planned for March 2027), to a more realistic date. “We are now considering the best way to move on from the first plasma and rush as much as possible to the DT plasma, which will please the scientific community," Bigot said

ITER intends to step up to the plate whenever some parties face difficulties complying with the schedule for delivery of equipment by putting the interests of the project first, and redistribute tasks. For example, the organization has already taken charge of procurement of some components on behalf of domestic agencies, although they still remain responsible for the costs

Dr. Bigot stresses that the project is too far advanced for design changes, with more than €7 billion of procurement contracts in place and over 1000 companies at work

“You could not just change [the scope] in the middle...you have to go, or stop." He concluded: "The time has come for the ITER Organization to demonstrate it is serious. The biggest risk is that we lose trust of the political leaders and public opinion, then the project would be dead"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Weak-minded officials == corruption (Score 1) 226 226

Weak-minded government officials are an example of government corruption.

Anyone who accepted the idea, "not allowing parking lots was to push people into not having cars", was weak-minded. The idea was always to save the builders money, and have residents use the surrounding streets instead. The resulting lack of parking reduced the values of surrounding houses, because, for example, house owners could not have parties if their guests could not find a place to park.

+ - Ask Slashdot: For What Are You Using 3-D Printing?

An anonymous reader writes: I've been thinking about getting a 3-D printer for a while: the quality is rising, the software is better, STL files really do seem a sufficiently good standard ("sufficiently standard," that is — I'm not worried that printers are going to stop supporting it anytime soon), and prices have dropped quite a bit. Importantly to me, it also seems like less of a jumping-off-a-cliff decision, since I can get a completely assembled one from places as wild and crazy as ... the Home Depot (not that I plan to). However, even practical things I can think of to print can't truly justify, and that's OK — I hope not to require enough replacement knobs and chess pieces to necessarily *need* one, and playing around with it is the main likely upshot, which I'm OK with. But still, I'd like to hear what uses you have been putting your 3-D printer to, including printers that aren't yours but belong to a hackerspace, public library, eccentric neighbor, etc. What actually practical / useful tasks have you been using 3-D printing for, and with what printer technology? It's OK if you just keep printing out those chess pieces and teapots, but I'm curious about less obvious reasons to have one around. (And I might just use the local Tech Shop's anyhow, but the question still applies.)

Comment: Fire dishonest CEOs. (Score 1) 328 328

It's amazing to me how much Slashdot readers hate discussing business management. Discussing business management is often painful, but I think we should accept the pain and get the job done. For example:

Marissa Meyer is not competent, in my opinion. A dishonest or sneaky CEO should be fired. This is the 2nd recent nasty manipulation Meyer has arranged. This is the first:

Has Firefox been Embraced and Extended with the intention of Extinguishing it by Microsoft? Mozilla Foundation now gets most of its money from Microsoft. Microsoft pays Yahoo. Yahoo pays Mozilla Foundation to make "Yahoo search" (actually Microsoft Bing search) the default search engine in Firefox. Most people don't have the technical knowledge to know how they've been manipulated, or how to restore the default search engine to Google search. Marissa Meyer's sneakiness is damaging Firefox's reputation.

The Thunderbird and SeaMonkey Composer GUIs have been damaged, apparently deliberately. Every time you do a file save, the newer versions of both ask for a new file name, and don't suggest the last file name chosen. The damage was reported several months ago, but has not been fixed. Is that another example of Embrace, Extend, Extinguish? People who feel forced away from Thunderbird may choose Microsoft software to replace it. Is that what Microsoft is trying to accomplish?

Change in subject: It's amazing how fast computer programming languages die. Pascal died in 2 years. Java is almost dead because the U.S. government issued a very negative warning.

Comment: Autopatcher helps avoid abusive updates. (Score 1) 96 96

"Blocked that as well, you never know what they spam you with..."

At present, the best way to update Windows 7 is to use Autopatcher. The Autopatcher group helps everyone avoid Microsoft's anti-customer "updates".

Microsoft's updates are usually poorly described. The business rules Microsoft has made for itself do not include being honest or complete in describing the control Microsoft wants over computers.

Comment: Other views: (Score 0) 277 277

Other views of the same issues:

1) Backwards compatibility on Xbox One. That is better described as a "business practice" that reverses the extremely destructive previous intentions. Anything else would have killed the Xbox.

2) A change to the subscription business model. Microsoft and Adobe and other companies are testing how much customers can be abused. Now, instead of selling a product, they are trying to take additional control by only renting it. Eventually that abusive business model will collapse. Yes, until then it may be profitable.

3) To the cloud! The "cloud" is based on cloudy thinking. Many managers who don't have sufficient technical knowledge believe using another company's computers will save money. Instead, over several years they will create vendor lock-in. Using another company's computers may be a good way to provide a backup in case of widespread failure at a primary site. It is not a good sole method. Also, anyone wanting to use another's company's computers would contract with Amazon or Google. Microsoft has a long history of wacky management. (See my earlier comment.)

See the InfoWorld article: In a cloud outage, no one can hear you scream.

4) .NET goes open source. It is impossible to know whether that will increase Microsoft's income. It may just lower the rate of decrease of income.

Comment: Underneath: Typical Microsoft abuse??? (Score 0, Offtopic) 277 277

One effect of "upgrading" to Windows 10: Windows Media Center will be deleted.

Another loss in Windows 10: Windows Updates will be forced, in some versions. What other sneaky methods will Microsoft use? Will there be other lost features? Will Microsoft extend its control over Windows in other hidden or complicated ways? At present, the best way to update Windows 7 is to use Autopatcher, because Microsoft's anti-customer "updates" are avoided.

Firefox: Embraced, "Extended", soon to be Extinguished? Mozilla Foundation now gets most of its money from Microsoft. How? Microsoft pays Yahoo. Yahoo pays Mozilla Foundation to make "Yahoo search" (actually Microsoft Bing search) the default search engine in Firefox. Most people don't have the technical knowledge to know how they've been manipulated, or how to restore the default search engine to Google search.

Thunderbird and SeaMonkey Composer GUIs: Damaged, apparently deliberately. Every time you do a file save, the newer versions of both ask for a new file name, and don't suggest the last one chosen. The damage was reported several months ago, but has not been fixed. Is that another example of Embrace, Extend, Extinguish? People who feel forced away from Thunderbird may choose Microsoft software to replace it. Is that what Microsoft is trying to accomplish?

Microsoft is amazingly badly managed. The company apparently survives only because of having an unregulated virtual monopoly that allows it to charge full price for each new version, and to alternate good and bad versions, so customers pay twice for new versions. (Windows XP, good. Windows Vista, bad. Windows 7, good. Windows 8, so bad the next version, Windows 10 is "free".)

"Monkey Boy" The cover of the January 16, 2013 issue of BusinessWeek magazine has a large photo of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (now replaced) with the headline calling him "Monkey Boy". See the BusinessWeek cover in this article: Steve Ballmer Is No Longer A Monkey Boy, Says Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The BusinessWeek cover says "No More" and "Mr.", but that doesn't take much away from the fact that the magazine called Ballmer Monkey Boy -- on its cover.

Worst CEO: Quote from an article in Forbes Magazine about Steve Ballmer: "Without a doubt, Mr. Ballmer is the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company today."

Another quote: "The reach of his bad leadership has extended far beyond Microsoft when it comes to destroying shareholder value -- and jobs." (May 12, 2012)

+ - Microsoft stealthily backs away from free Windows 10 promise->

ourlovecanlastforeve writes: On Friday, Microsoft described a way for anyone to get Windows 10 for free: activated, genuine, and updated forever. Since Friday, the blog post describing the changes to the Windows Insider preview program has been silently updated. Previously it said that signed up members of the Insider Program running a preview version would "receive the Windows 10 final release build and remain activated." Now it says only that they will "receive the Windows 10 final release build." The activation wording has been removed. The company has also added a "clarifying" sentence: "It's important to note that only people running Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 10 as part of the free upgrade offer." This is in contrast to what the company said on Friday, when Microsoft's Gabe Aul confirmed that upgraded preview copies would be Genuine.
Link to Original Source

+ - Fwknop on OpenWrt and Android

Jonathan P. Bennett writes: Fwknop is a great way to maintain remote access into a network without leaving ports open, and now there are tools that make it much easier to use. We've put together a demonstration of how the newly released android client, fwknop2 (also on F-droid), can import encryption and HMAC keys using QR codes via the phone's camera, and provide nat access back into other devices on the internal network.
More information can be found on the Cipherdyne site or in my blog post on the matter.

+ - SPAM: How A 14-Year-Old Hacked The Human Arm

Phan1943 writes: With a pile of Legos, a spool of fishing line, some electrical wires and a smattering of plastic jointers and small motors, 14-year-old Easton LaChappelle created a robotic hand. By the time this genius inventor turned 19, he had figured out a way to produce this hand by 3D printing, and have the whole motion system controlled by our brains. This groundbreaking solution for prostheses doesn’t cost the usual tens of thousands of dollars per limb (the average is $60,000); instead, this invention costs a mere $350. Moreover, at this year’s CES, LaChappelle announced he’d be releasing all of the designs to the world as open-source software for free.
Link to Original Source

Comment: More than just incompetence: Extreme incompetence. (Score 2) 121 121

"... actual incompetence plays a large factor..."

You are not the only one who thinks that.

The cover of the January 16, 2013 issue of BusinessWeek magazine has a large photo of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer with the headline calling him "Monkey Boy". See the BusinessWeek cover in this article: Steve Ballmer Is No Longer A Monkey Boy, Says Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The BusinessWeek cover says "No More" and "Mr.", but that doesn't take much away from the fact that the magazine called him Monkey Boy -- on its cover.

Worst CEO: Quote from an article in Forbes Magazine about Steve Ballmer: "Without a doubt, Mr. Ballmer is the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company today."

Another quote: "The reach of his bad leadership has extended far beyond Microsoft when it comes to destroying shareholder value -- and jobs." (May 12, 2012)

It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.

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