There's nothing magical about developing software without authoritarian relationships. If someone says: 'we need a website that lets everyone shop for the cheapest insurance', a developer without a spec would simply start asking questions. Where does the data come from? Who is allowed to register? How do we inform the insurance company? What are the policy options? How do we know the policies conform to regulation? Seriously, any small unmanaged team of rational programmers would ask these questions. If they pursue the answers, they'll build a more realistic specification and tractable project than any bureaucratic management branded-nonsense-process could ever provide. I'll admit, they would need to be motivated. And I don't mean 'more money'. I mean developers who think the project is important. But, for a project like this, how hard could that be?
Oregon produced an audit of the Oracle Debacle here: http://www.oregon.gov/DAS/docs... The audit answered the wrong questions. It accepted the magical notions and vapor roles of Oracle's corporate propaganda. For example, it focuses on the need for a 'systems integrator', as if every engineer should -not- be responsible for integration. The two big problems: 1) The computer industry's current authoritarian obsession with subdivided tasks, specialization, core competence, detailed requirements, 'no surprises' (meaning no good surprises, either), and dogmatic 'best practices' has created a generation of corporate slaves who aren't allowed to use their minds or take responsibility for anything important. 2) Which brings us to motivation. Oracle and other corporate oligarchs only want money. They have no responsibility to do anything else. Maximizing the bill is the sole priority. Three programmers, picked at random, who live in Oregon, and who have friends that need insurance, would have finished this job with FOSS, not proprietary software, in half the time a fraudulent Oracle and a corrupt State's office took to generate a broken system.
biolgeek writes "In recent years, HIV has been managed with a collection of therapies. However, the virus will likely evolve around these drugs, making it crucially important to get a better understanding of the virus itself. An important step in understanding the virus is to get a handle on its genetic blueprint. William Dampier of Drexler University is taking a novel approach to this research by crowdsourcing his problem. He is hosting a bioinformatics competition, which requires contestants to find markers in the HIV sequence that predict a change in the severity of the infection (as measured by viral load). So far the best entry comes from Fontanelles, an HIV research group, which has been able to predict a change in viral load with 66% accuracy."
mjhuot writes "Quite often is it claimed that pure open source projects can't survive, much less grow and create robust code. One counter example of this is OpenNMS, the world's first enterprise-grade network management application platform developed under the open source model. Registered on 30 March 2000 as project 4141 on Sourceforge, today the gang threw a little party, with members virtually attending from around the world. With the right business savvy and a great community, it is possible to both remain 100% free and open source while creating enough value to make a good living at it."
This project seems ignorant of current first-response medical practice. The soldier in the rendering would choke, injure neck vertebra, and exacerbate internal injuries by the time the MediTeddy brought him to safety. If they are going to automate the recovery of wounded, they need to immobilize the patient. This looks like low-end science-fiction mashed-up with an old hollywood war-movie.