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Submission + - The case against non-technical managers (

Kelerei writes: Lorraine Steyn, owner of a small software development company in Cape Town, has published an opinion piece that may hit too close to home for some: making a case against non-technical managers. She writes about the all too common disconnect between IT staff and the boardroom table and states that "one of the ways to solve this, is to bring managers closer to the coal face. Technical training programmes are critical for your development team to keep apace with change, and investing the time for IT management to do the training too can pay dividends... [if a manager feels he doesn't] have enough time to get that close to the detail of what your department does, think about whether you would appoint a non-financial manager to handle your money".

Comment Even if correlation != causation, it's plausible. (Score 1) 118

As someone who grew up in KZN, I find the correlation interesting. Bilharzia is a significant issue (don't even think about swimming in the rivers unless you're in the Drakensberg mountains -- particularly in northern KZN where one also has the possibility of crocodiles deciding that you'll be a tasty morsel), and KZN is also the province with South Africa's highest HIV infection rate. Obviously, the correlation does not imply causation, but from the information presented in TFA, it's certainly plausible and, in my opinion, worth researching further.

I'm going to back those that have already posted that it's worth treating bilharzia in it's own right. If it contributes to a reduction in the HIV infection rate, so much the better.

Submission + - Ubuntu 13.10 'Saucy Salamander' Final has been released!

donadony writes: Finally, the most expected distribution in Linux World, Ubuntu 13.10 ‘Saucy Salamander’ final has been released, there is no official release announcement yet, but the download page of Saucyhas been updated with the final packages. Just like most of you, We also expected it very long. This awesome distribution has come with plenty of new features and improvements.

Submission + - Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today (

Kelerei writes: TechCrunch is reporting that Windows 8.1 will start rolling out on Thursday at 4 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (that's 11:00 UTC). However, it won't be available to everyone at that time, as the article states: "However, as this is a staged rollout, not everyone will see the code at 4 am Pacific tomorrow. The new operating system will pop up as an update in the Windows Store at various times, depending on your location. All you have to do is have a fine sleep, and when you wake up, the operating system will either be ready for you to snag, or on the way." The upgrade is optional (and free) for existing Windows 8 users, though if one looks at the changes, it's hard to imagine why those already on it wouldn't upgrade.

Comment Cape Town: 254ms (Score 2) 558

Ping averages:

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 100, Received = 100, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 253ms, Maximum = 259ms, Average = 254ms

Traceroute (route goes from Cape Town to London and thence across the "pond"):

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms
2 9 ms 9 ms 9 ms []
3 11 ms 11 ms 10 ms []
4 10 ms 11 ms 11 ms
5 11 ms 11 ms 10 ms []
6 163 ms 163 ms 162 ms
7 161 ms 162 ms 207 ms
8 161 ms 161 ms 161 ms []
9 192 ms 221 ms 203 ms []
10 161 ms 162 ms 161 ms []
11 167 ms 162 ms 162 ms []
12 254 ms 254 ms 253 ms []
13 254 ms 254 ms 253 ms []
14 254 ms 254 ms 254 ms []
15 257 ms 254 ms 266 ms
16 254 ms 254 ms 254 ms []

Submission + - How NASA brought the Saturn-V F1 rocket engine back to life ( 3

Martin S. writes: How NASA Engineers have reverse engineered the F1 engine of a Saturn V launcher, because: every scrap of documentation produced during Project Apollo, including the design documents for the Saturn V and the F-1 engines, remains on file. If re-creating the F-1 engine were simply a matter of cribbing from some 1960s blueprints, NASA would have already done so. A typical design document for something like the F-1, though, was produced under intense deadline pressure and lacked even the barest forms of computerized design aids. Such a document simply cannot tell the entire story of the hardware. Each F-1 engine was uniquely built by hand, and each has its own undocumented quirks. In addition, the design process used in the 1960s was necessarily iterative: engineers would design a component, fabricate it, test it, and see how it performed. Then they would modify the design, build the new version, and test it again. This would continue until the design was "good enough."

Submission + - Should universities offer Cobol classes? (

dcblogs writes: Only about one in four schools offer Cobol classes, and then mostly as an elective, according to a recent survey by Micro Focus. For most students, this means the odds are high that they will attend a school that does not offer Cobol. There are strong opinions about this trend. "I think there are a lot of people who want to put a stake in its heart and kill it and I don't know why," said David Dischiave, an associate professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. Syracuse has two required Cobol courses. But other schools says the demand for Cobol doesn't justify offering a class.

Submission + - Google rumoured to be negotiating for Whatsapp purchase (

Kelerei writes: The rumour mill has it that Google is in negotiations to acquire the Whatsapp mobile messaging application. Many have suspected that a messaging app would be "the next billion dollar acquisition deal" following Facebook's acquisition of Instagram last year. Acquiring Whatsapp could be regarded as a no-brainer, as messaging has been described as "a huge, gaping hole in Google's mobile strategy". Whatsapp is reportedly asking for a $1 billion acquisition price.

Submission + - Failure To Negotiate Salary Costs IT Pros $4,300 (

itwbennett writes: A survey by the job search website finds that most IT pros accept the first salary offered without negotiating — and it costs them. According to the survey, new hires stand to receive an initial increase of 5% when they negotiate. If you consider that the average national salary for tech professionals is $85,619, not negotiating costs $4,300 in year one.

Submission + - Shades of Terminator as PETMAN Tests Hazmat Suit (

Zothecula writes: Back in late 2009 Boston Dynamics revealed it was working on a humanoid robot that would test protective clothing for the military. Having already amazed the world three years earlier with the lifelike balancing capabilities of its quadruped BigDog, this would be the company's first bipedal robot. It was an ambitious project, but it appears the work has paid off. The robot's eerily realistic body movements are made all the more convincing now that its mechanical nature is hidden by a chemical protection suit.

Submission + - The Rise of Everyday Hackers

An anonymous reader writes: Research suggests there will be a rise in everyday hackers. A simple Google search for “SQL injection hack” provides 1.74 million results, including videos with explicit instructions on how to exploit SQL injection vulnerabilities. The ready availability of this information makes it possible for less technically skilled hackers to take advantage of this common flaw. Although SQL injection flaws are easy to identify and fix, Veracode found that 32 percent of web applications are still affected by SQL injection vulnerabilities. As a result, as many as 30 percent of breaches in 2013 will be from SQL injection attacks. The research also concluded that the leading cause of security breaches and data loss for organizations is insecure software. The report found that 70 percent of software failed to comply with enterprise security policies on their first submission for security testing.

Submission + - There's a new bear in the clouds: OpenStack releases Grizzly (

carusoj writes: If you like open source in your cloud, you have to be happy that the OpenStack Foundation has just released the latest version of its popular open-source Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud, Grizzly. OpenStack, the so-called Linux of cloud computing, was founded by NASA and Rackspace software developers. Today, it's supported by numerous companies and organizations. With Grizzly, Rackspace no longer dominates code changes. Red Hat, IBM, Nebula, and HP are also now major contributors.

Submission + - Why Does Facebook Still Run Scam And Spam Ads? (

jfruh writes: The Facebook promise to invesors is that users' social graph will make it possible to target them with ads with unprecedented precision. Innovations like Facebook Home for Android will bring those ads to previously untouchable territory like users' phones' lock screens. But the real ads that appear on the site, like those for "0akley" knockoff sunglasses, tell a different story: either Facebook's ad serving system is so naive that it can't spot obvious fakes, or Facebook needs revenue so badly that it'll take the scammers' money.

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