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+ - Which Requirements Management Tool?

Submitted by nemesiswish
nemesiswish (1357543) writes "Hi, I am working for a digital agency and my team and I are currently considering the user of a requirements management tool to improve our processes.
We are working with a mix of waterfall and agile projects and usually use Excel during our initial requirements gathering phase, then evolve the requirements into specification or user stories (as required), which we then may store in Confluence and or JIRA.

Let me explain how we work:
1. Gather (solution neutral) business / user requirements
2. Translate them into feature (options)
3. Agree on features with client
4. Express these features into specification / User Stories to be used by implementation team

Now, this process works and is not under discussion, and works well from step 2 to 4. Basically most developer focused tool such as JIRA, or other Agile deliver suppoert tools will do that.

Where we struggle is a tool that supports the initial stages and ties them in a traceable way to the later stages: I would like the ability to document, structure and express in various hierarchy business / user requirements, and then link them upwards to objectives and downwards to features which we deliver against. There are a number of reasons behind this: ROI / justification, traceability, etc

At the moment I cannot see a reasonable tool that supports this.
What are your experiences, thoughts?

Two final notes:
- I am aware of dinosaur applications such as HP Quality Centre which are sometimes used for this: doesn't work, people hat working with them and they force process into their internal working
- You might argue, that if we worked properly Agile we woudn't need this. While I think you would be wrong in saying this, our situation is a bit different, as due to our realtionships with most client and the way we work (very analysis / design driven) we do require an upfront analysis phase which requires rigor when working with requirements, and can only go orthodox agile at later stages on the project (think about it this way: we are not a startup evolving a product, clients come to us with massive we estates they already have and want re-designed. There is no way to go back to an MVP and even if we did internal iterations, due to the high complexity of some of these areas and our approach to user experience we do need a hollistic up-front analysis and solution design phase)

Greatly appreciated

+ - South Australia Hits 33% Renewal Energy Target 6 Years Early

Submitted by (1935296) writes "South Australia has hit its target of 33% renewable energy by 2020 6 years earlier than expected, delivering clean power to the state through investment in wind, solar and geothermal energy — mothballing one coal-fired power station in the process.

Not resting on their laurels though, the SA government has now announced a new "stretch" target of 50% by 2025.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill declared that despite initial upfront costs to renewable energy generators such as wind farms, the 50 per cent target will not add one extra dollar to energy prices."

+ - Mangalyaan's main engine test fired for 4 seconds.

Submitted by William Robinson
William Robinson (875390) writes "Before the spacecraft is scheduled to enter Mars orbit, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) scientists reignited the Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft's main engine for four seconds as a trial. The liquid apogee motor (LAM) engine has been idle for about 300 days since the spacecraft left the Earth's orbit on a Martian trajectory on December 1, 2013. The short-duration test was to ensure that the engine is in good shape for the 24-minute crucial manoeuvre on Wednesday."

+ - Drone-Based Businesses: Growing In Canada, Grounded In the US->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "As small drones become more affordable and clever people have ideas on how to use them, we've been hearing about more and more ideas for drone-based business. In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration was quick to shut down such ideas in order to give them time to regulate the nascent industry. Not so, in Canada. Thanks to a simple permit system, anyone wanting to use a drone for commercial purposes can do so in Canada by simply applying and waiting a few weeks. Around 1,500 of these permits have been granted already, and Canada's private drone industry is flourishing as a result. Drones have been used for agriculture analysis, TV production, real estate photography, law enforcement, and many other tasks."
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+ - German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "If you send an email to, Google's German support address, you'll receive an automatic reply informing you that Google will not respond to or even read your message, due to the large number of emails received at that address. Now a German court has ruled that this is an unacceptable response, based on a German law saying that companies must provide a means for customers to communicate with them."
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+ - SPAM: gas credit card application

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The following applications allow for a person to submit their personal information in order for a gas company to check their credit. If approved, he or she will be granted a monthly credit line of gas purchases to be done at the selected stations."
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+ - How Astrophysicists Hope To Turn The Entire Moon Into A Cosmic Ray Detector

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "One of the great mysteries in astrophysics surrounds the origin of ultra-high energy cosmic rays, which can have energies of 10^20 electron volts and beyond. To put that in context, that’s a single proton with the same energy as a baseball flying at 100 kilometres per hour. Nobody knows where ultra-high energy cosmic rays come from or how they get their enormous energies. That's largely because they are so rare--physicists detect them on Earth at a rate of less than one particle per square kilometre per century. So astronomers have come up with a plan to see vastly more ultra high energy cosmic rays by using the Moon as a giant cosmic ray detector. When these particles hit the lunar surface, they generate brief bursts of radio waves that a highly sensitive radio telescope can pick up. No radio telescope on Earth is currently capable of this but astronomers are about to start work on a new one that will be able to pick up these signals for the first time. That should help them finally tease apart the origins of these most energetic particles in the Universe ."

+ - Space Station's 'Cubesat Cannon' has Gone Rogue->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "Last night (Thursday), two more of Planet Lab’s shoebox-sized Earth imaging satellites launched themselves from aboard the International Space Station, the latest in a series of technical mysteries involving a commercially owned CubeSat deployer located outside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. Station commander Steve Swanson was storing some blood samples in one of the station’s freezers Friday morning when he noticed that the doors on NanoRack’s cubesat deployer were open, said NASA mission commentator Pat Ryan. Flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston determined that two CubeSats had been inadvertently released. “No crew members or ground controllers saw the deployment. They reviewed all the camera footage and there was no views of it there either,” Ryan said."
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+ - Mushroom-Like Organism May Be New Branch of Life

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "During a scientific cruise in 1986, scientists collected organisms at water depths of 400m and 1,000m on the south-east Australian continental slope, near Tasmania. But the two types of mushroom-shaped organisms were recognized only recently, after sorting of the bulk samples collected during the expedition. A team of scientists at the University of Copenhagen says the tiny organism does not fit into any of the known subdivisions of the animal kingdom. The organisms are described in the academic journal Plos One. The authors of the paper recognise two new species of mushroom-shaped animal: Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides. Measuring only a few millimetres in size, the animals consist of a flattened disc and a stalk with a mouth on the end. One way to resolve the question surrounding Dendrogramma's affinities would be to examine its DNA, but new specimens will need to be found. The team's paper calls for researchers around the world to keep an eye out for other examples."

+ - Straight-up operant conditioning->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "When the University of Victoria in Canada opened a new campus bike centre in the parkade located under the University Centre last November, motion-activated doors were installed to discourage swallows from nesting in the new facility. But when the swallows returned to their familiar nest sites a few weeks ago, they were undeterred by this peculiar impediment: they quickly learned how to open the doors by flying in front of the infrared motion detector, as you see in this video:"
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Comment: Re:It is Canada's fault! (Score 1) 130

Modded Informative?

This guy is informative:

You'll note that "The law also includes a three-year transition period that ensures that as long as an organization already has implied consent, it has until 2017 to upgrade to an express consent"

+ - Should Billionaire-Backed Pay Its Interns?

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "'s Corporate and Founding Donors page reads like a Who's Who of the world's wealthiest corporations and individuals. But a job posting entitled Marketing / Communications Intern (Seattle only, part-time, unpaid, Sept-Dec) (screenshot) makes it clear that no portion of the tax-deductible donations will trickle down to the successful candidate, who will be required to put in an unpaid 10-20 hours/week "under pressure" in a "fast-paced environment" for four months "assisting marketing efforts for December’s global Hour of Code campaign, coordinating prize packages, managing partner commitments and events in databases and researching media prospects." So, does this count as one of the "high-paying jobs" provided by the computing revolution that supporters told California Governor Jerry Brown about last May in a letter touting the Hour of Code? Perhaps is just trying to be frugal — after all, it's requiring K-12 teachers from school districts in Chicago, New York City, Boston, and Seattle to report to the presumably rent-free offices of Corporate Donors Google, Microsoft, and Amazon to be re-educated on how Computer Science should be taught."

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.