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Comment: Re:Im all for human rights... (Score 1) 1482

by Guillermito (#46633303) Attached to: OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

So Communists believe in restricting economic freedom. Should we call for the boycott of companies that hire communist employees? Wait! That already happened. It was called McCarthyism.

You fight political ideas by convincing the majority of people that these ideas are wrong, not by trying to silence the proponents of the ideas you oppose.

Comment: CMMI utterly useless in my opinion (Score 4, Interesting) 228

by Guillermito (#45823777) Attached to: US Requirement For Software Dev Certification Raises Questions

I live in Argentina, where any software company getting a CMMI certification can apply for a tax cut. Because of that, CMMI was all the rage around eight years ago or so. Turns out CMMI was so utterly useless and cumbersome that at this point most companies prefer to forget about the tax cuts rather than bother with being CMMI certified. Only companies seeking government contracts continue doing so.

+ - A Javascript Editor That Doesn't Suck

Submitted by kreide33
kreide33 (41337) writes "Most code editors provide features such as syntax highlighting and auto completion, but the programmer still needs to mentally execute the code to understand how it will actually work. This blog entry describes a code editor that in addition to all the usual bells and whistles also visualizes the actual code execution, live while the user is editing. The implementation is done using Rhino and the article goes into detail on how the Rhino debugger API is used to single-step through the JavaScript code to simulate its execution and the result is then displayed side-by-side with the code."

Comment: Take the test yourself (Score 5, Informative) 263

by Guillermito (#45587419) Attached to: New Education Performance Data Published: Asia Dominates


You can take a sample test yourself. See how basic the questions are and feel appalled to see the % of students in your country that managed to pass each level.

For example, only 11% of students in my country (Argentina) were able to reach level 3 (identify the smallest value in a table). Highest rank for that question was Shanghai-China (89%). USA was 48%.

Comment: Re:Call me skeptical (Score 2) 215

by Guillermito (#43128477) Attached to: The Science of Hugo Chavez's Long Term Embalming

Ironically, in 2009 Chavez ordered to confiscate one of these body exhibitions that was on tour in Caracas, because he said it was immoral to put unsepulchered bodies on display.

In case you understand Spanish, you can hear it from the man himself:


+ - Winemaking Waste Could Become Biofuel Starter->

Submitted by Tator Tot
Tator Tot (1324235) writes "Grape pomace, the mashed up skins and stems left over from making wine and grape juice, could serve as a good starting point for ethanol production, according to a new study (from the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry).

Due to growing interest in biofuels, researchers have started looking for cheap and environmentally sustainable ways to produce such fuels, especially ethanol. Biological engineer Jean VanderGheynst at the University of California, Davis, turned to grape pomace, because winemakers in California alone produce over 100,000 tons of the fruit scraps each year, with much of it going to waste."

Link to Original Source

+ - Amazon founder Jeff Bezos calls for governments to end patent wars->

Submitted by
concealment writes "So-called patent wars have raged in the smartphone and tablet era, with Apple and Samsung most consistently at loggerheads over their products.

The tech giants have had mixed results in the courtroom, however, as Apple secured a significant legal victory in the US but Samsung won comparative cases in South Korea and Japan, with many more lawsuits not yet heard.

Mr Bezos told Metro that innovation and society itself was threatened by the patent lawsuit culture."

Link to Original Source

+ - New Proof That the Moon Was Created in a Massive Collision 2

Submitted by derekmead
derekmead (2466858) writes "New proof that the giant impact hypothesis is correct: A paper published today in Nature shares findings of a chemical analysis of Moon rocks that shows fractional differences between the makeup of the Earth and Moon that most likely were caused by the collision between Earth and a Mars-sized planet around 4.5 billion years ago.

Although the two are quite similar, it’s been previously shown that Moon rocks lack volatile elements, which suggests they may have evaporated during the incredibly intense heat and pressure created during an impact event. But if the hypothesis that light elements actually evaporated from Moon rocks during their formation is correct, you’d expect to find evidence of elements being layered by mass — heavier elements would condense first, and so on.

That process is known as isotopic fractionation — a concept central to carbon dating — and the Washington University team's results suggest they found exactly that. They compared the blend of zinc isotopes in Moon rocks and Earth samples, and found that the Moon rocks held slightly higher proportions of heavier zinc isotopes. If the Moon was indeed once part of Earth — which has been shown by extensive modeling — the difference in the balance of zinc profiles would most likely be explained by lighter zinc isotopes evaporating away following a collision."

+ - Ask Slashdot: What happens if you Open Source, and in doing so violate a Patent? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We have developed a fairly useful Video Processing algorithm that we are thinking of open sourcing in 2013. There is one snag however: There are hundreds of imaging and image/video processing Patents that have been granted over the years, and some (small) part of our algorithm may violate one or more of these patents accidentally. Checking our work against the mountain of imaging patents out there is unfeasible. It would take a team of 5 months to do that. It doesn't help that many of these patents use obscure mathematical notations and formulae that make it difficult to decipher quickly precisely what the patent holder has patented. Now suppose that we open source our algorithm, and it turns out that it violates one or more patents. Could we get sued for damages because we open sourced it, and hundreds or thousands of people are now using it for free? It could take the patent holder months or years to identify that their patent is being violated, by which time our algorithm may have thousands of users. To sum it up: If you open source something that — accidentally — violates somebodys patent somewhere, what happens to you? Do you get sued for damages or forced to pay a high license fee? Do you have to shut the Open Source project down and take all files offline? Has anyone been in such a situation before? Are there any legal mechanisms or protections that shield you in a case like this? Thanks for any advice!"

+ - Alpha Centauri has an Earth-sized planet

Submitted by
The Bad Astronomer
The Bad Astronomer writes "Astronomers have announced that the nearest star system in the sky — Alpha Centauri — has an Earth-sized planet orbiting one of its stars. Alpha Cen is technically a three-star system: a binary composed of two stars very much like the Sun, orbited by a third, a red dwarf, much farther out. Using the Doppler technique (looking for very small changes in the velocities of the stars) astronomers detected a planet orbiting the smaller of the two stars in the binary, Alpha Centauri B. The planet has a mass only 1.13 times that of the Earth, making it one of the smallest yet detected.However, it orbits the star only 6 million kilometers out, so it's far too hot to be habitable.

The signal from the planet is extremely weak but solidly detected, giving astronomers even greater hope of being able to find an Earth-like planet orbiting a star in its habitable zone."

+ - Conway's Game of Life Freed from the Pixel Grid->

Submitted by Guillermito
Guillermito (187510) writes "What happens when you take the well known Conway's Game of Life and modify the rules so they can be applied to a continuous world, instead of the original, pixel-based, discrete one? Well, that is the question the authors of the SmoothLife project are trying to answer: They have generalized Conway's Game of Life to a continuous domain. Rather than working with discrete square cell, the software works at the level of points in a continuous 2-D space. A cell lives or dies depending on how much of a small disk in its immediate neighbourhood is filled, and also the density of a ring surrounding the cell. You can see some amazing 2D and 3D animations created with this software that really resemble living cells under a microscope."
Link to Original Source

+ - AppDirect Acquires jBilling, World's Leading Open Source Billing Solution-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "AppDirect, the leading cloud service marketplace company, announced today that it has acquired jBilling, the global leader in open source billing solutions. With this strategic move, both companies will expand their reach while leveraging their global expertise in billing and marketplace solutions. Going forward, jBilling will continue to serve new and existing customers, while both companies are poised to create a new, differentiated distribution model that makes delivering web-based services faster, easier, and more seamless.

“Billing and payments are central not only to the AppDirect platform, but to the online distribution of software and services as a whole,” said Daniel Saks, president and co-CEO of AppDirect. “We see a lot of opportunity to change the way cloud service distribution works, and with jBilling’s flexible, open source platform, we’ve found the ideal solution to do just that. The technology makes billing better for providers, developers, and customers alike.”

Founded in 2002, jBilling powers the billing systems of a variety of trusted telecom providers, SaaS companies, public utilities, and others around the world, including Constant Contact, VeriFone, Sage Software, and more. jBilling is based in Ottawa, Canada, and has a distributed team of billing experts around the globe. The company’s leading technology, long-term experience, and industry expertise have enabled jBilling to become the world’s leading open source billing solution, with over 120,000 downloads across more than 150 countries, and greater than 10 million invoices processed each month.

“jBilling brings unparalleled simplicity to subscription and other types of complex billing, and the company has helped businesses in a range of industries make payments easier,” Saks said. “We’re excited to work with jBilling’s expert team to bring their powerful set of solutions to even more users worldwide.”

jBilling is a reliable, advanced open source solution built on Java technologies. With a flexible plug-in architecture, the software can be configured to accommodate a range of billing scenarios, including subscriptions, pre-payments with credit cards, complex pricing, and more. jBilling is available in several different editions tailored to meet specific business needs, including jBilling Telco Edition, a new solution being released today that offers both a SaaS version that can be used in the cloud, and a downloadable version that can be installed and configured on site. Users can also choose jBilling Community Edition, a version that can be downloaded for free.

“I’ve always appreciated our close working relationship with the AppDirect team, but I’m thrilled that jBilling is now an essential part of AppDirect,” said Emiliano Conde, jBilling’s founder and lead developer. “Our solutions are a natural complement to one another, and working together, we have limitless potential to transform the way that companies in a range of industries deliver and bill for their software and services.”

To learn more about jBilling, please visit:

About AppDirect
AppDirect is the leading cloud service marketplace company dedicated to revolutionizing the way businesses run. Its award-winning platform connects businesses, brands, and developers through a global network of partner marketplaces. Based in San Francisco, AppDirect powers the marketplaces of trusted companies around the globe—including Deutsche Telekom, Rackspace, Swisscom, Bell Canada, Appcelerator, and more—and has helped millions of businesses discover, buy, and manage the best cloud-based software and services."

Link to Original Source

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay