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+ - MI6 credits Wikileaks with helping spark revolutio->

Submitted by
EnergyScholar
EnergyScholar writes "Former Intelligence Chief of MI6 credits Wikileaks with helping spark revolution in Middle East, in a (supposed to be) off the record speech. In previous stories about the Middle East revolution there were several conversation threads in which people asked for evidence that Wikileaks had helped spark the Middle East revolutions. This is my first story posted to slashdot, although it's safe to say there are more to come on this topic. This author is hoping for a Nobel Peace Prize for Wikileaks, and suggests interested readers check out "disruptive compliance"."
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United Kingdom

+ - UK union boss proposes email tax->

Submitted by Squiff
Squiff (1658137) writes "We've heard of initiatives like this before, but surely this one takes some beating: Hard left UK rail union leader Bob Crow has proposed a penny tax on every email in an effort to reduce the UK national debt. Despite his comments apparently being made on a comedy show, we understand that he was not joking. This may be a development of Mr Crow's proposal last year for a similar tax on SMS text messages (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/dec/19/bob-crow-rmt-tax-text-messages)- which was quickly shown to be inadequate to address the size of the deficit. Maybe someone should tell him about UK uncut (http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/)?"
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Books

+ - Book Review for "jBPM Developer Guide"->

Submitted by RickJWagner
RickJWagner (1297357) writes "jBPM is a mature, open source BPM solution. This book, written in a developer-centric manner, guides the reader through the framework and exposes many important considerations for production use.

BPM tools are used to define and execute business processes. They usually come with a graphical editor, which is used to drag and drop boxes onto a graph. The boxes represent activities performed by programs, activities performed by humans, and decision points. If this all sounds like 'graphical programming', it isn't. The picture does draw out the desired series of steps, but there's always configuration and maybe some programming involved as well.

Developers new to the scene will probably draw parallels between BPEL and BPM. While they both allow the designer to orchestrate a series of activities, BPEL uses web services exclusively. (BPM doesn't specify, and often uses Java classes to accomplish desired goals.) BPEL offers support for human-activities (from BPEL4People and WS-HumanTask), but BPM has offered human tasks from the early days, so probably is a better choice if you have lots of them.

The book is true to it's title, it's definitely a book for developers. In the early chapters the reader is guided through implementing their own mini-BPM engine. This is an interesting exercise and helps solidify in the reader's mind the core concepts behind jBPM. It also reinforces the notion that jBPM can be used in a lightweight manner-- it's just as easily embeddable in a standalone Java application as it is deployed in a JEE container.

Speaking of JEE containers, jBPM is a JBoss product, so it's natural that it makes use of available infrastructure like Hibernate, poolable data sources, and enterprise beans for enterprise use. These are all optional-- if you want to write a minimal application that sits outside of JBoss, that's fine. But if you have heavyweight needs, heavyweight infrastructure is readily available. The book covers these important options in detail, which will be useful for developers writing real-world applications.

jBPM is popular enough that it's mentioned in quite a few SOA books as an enabling technology for process management. Most of these books provide coverage of the minimal, embedded use of jBPM. This book differs in that it provides good explanations of the 'enterprise' use.

Normally I strongly prefer paper books to electronic versions, but in this case I'd recommend you might consider the eBook. I say that because the book is much more useful if it's used in conjunction with the source code found on the publisher's site. The book shows source code in each example, but it's just a snippet out of context. I found the content much easier to understand when it was viewed next to all the related artifacts, so you can understand how they relate. (By the way, the toolkit used includes Maven and Eclipse. The reader is given adequate instruction in the front part of the book on setting these up.)

There's not much fluff in the book. It runs about 350 pages. Heavy Developer-type stuff starts after about 40 pages and never really gets lighter after that. Screen shots and diagrams are given where necessary, but mostly it's code and text. Sometimes books are criticized for being light on technical content and overstuffed with pictures and basic diagrams. This criticism does not apply in this case.

A big part of jBPM development is in data handling-- how do you get data into your process instance, and how do you get data out? The author explains this well, and it is a necessary discussion.

You might wonder why you should be interested in this book, which covers jBPM 3.2.6. After all, jBPM 5 was just released. What about jBPM 4? I believe this book will be relevant for quite a while yet, as jBPM 4 is not going to be included in JBoss's support cycle. They'll stay with jBPM 3 (the current supported standard) and will eventually move on to jBPM 5 (after it's gone through the 'community trial by fire' on it's way to productization.) jBPM 5 is going to be a big change from the current landscape-- it's converging with the rules engine Drools. For these reasons, I expect there will be a lot of jBPM 3 development done for a while yet.

So, who would I recommend this book for? I'd say it's a good book for anyone supporting a jBPM 3 deployment, or anyone considering developing a process-centric application. jBPM is a good product, and this book can help a reasonably skilled Java developer get off the ground. I would not recommend the book for someone just out trolling for a technology book to pick up, or an analyst charged with developing the graphical process depictions. As the title says, this is a book for developers.

Overall rating: 7 out of 10.

The book can be found here: https://www.packtpub.com/jboss-business-process-management-jbpm-developer-guide/book"

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Youtube

+ - How major film studios manipulate YouTube users-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A year before the major movie companies were offered the chance by YouTube to 'block, monetize or track' uploaded copyrighted material, studios such as Disney were already commissioning PR companies to create bogus YouTube users — complete with authentically 'trendy' semi-literate user-profiles, on accounts that appeared to be set up by young and 'edgy' teenagers. These faux 'users' were able to post high-definition videos from copyrighted movies without being penalised or impeded by YouTube's Content ID algorithms, and their posts, deliberately crammed with piracy-related search terms and timed (even to the day, in one case) to coincide with related DVD and Blu-ray releases, sometimes accrue a million and a half hits or more, whilst those of genuine YouTube uploaders fall at the site's Content ID firewall.

This article looks at how the major studios have reacted to YouTube in the last four years, and also examines in-depth three such examples of apparent 'astroturfing' involving the theatrical or disc releases of 'Toy Story 2', 'Speed Racer' and 'Spider-Man 3'."

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Real Time Strategy (Games)

StarCraft II Closed Beta Begins 268

Posted by Soulskill
from the rush-starts-now dept.
Blizzard announced today that the multiplayer beta test for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is now underway. The client downloader is available through Battle.net for people who have received invites, and the system requirements have been posted as well. A list of known issues is up on the official forums. StarCraft II and the revamped Battle.net are planned for release "in the first half of 2010."
Image

Police Called Over 11-Year-Old's Science Project 687

Posted by samzenpus
from the duck-and-cover dept.
garg0yle writes "Police in San Diego were called to investigate an 11-year-old's science project, consisting of 'a motion detector made out of an empty Gatorade bottle and some electronics,' after the vice-principal came to the conclusion that it was a bomb. Charges aren't being laid against the youth, but it's being recommended that he and his family 'get counseling.' Apparently, the student violated school policies — I'm assuming these are policies against having any kind of independent thought?"

Comment: Re:If you are 23 and worried about 15 bucks then y (Score 0) 178

by Luc1fel (#28285703) Attached to: <em>Dungeons &amp; Dragons Online</em> Goes Free-To-Play
Some of us are in college with jobs every now and then. I see that you have the free time to play as much as you want, but I've got about 3-4 hours a week (during midterms and finals no free time at all) for gaming. Paying 15 bucks a month to play 15-20 hours on average per month is stupid.

Excuse me for being a student to busy to have a steady income and for treading under the shadow of hard-working folk such as you. May my "cheapo" insolence be excused.

Comment: Pay2play (Score 0) 178

by Luc1fel (#28278991) Attached to: <em>Dungeons &amp; Dragons Online</em> Goes Free-To-Play
I see a lot of people saying that free = bad, and paying = good because it raises the player quality. How so?

I'm 23 years old, with very little free time to spend on gaming. When I was younger, I had the time and the money to spend on games. Right now, I'm not ready to dish out any kind of monthly or similar subscription because I won't be getting my money's worth back. As I see it, most of the gaming population willing to pay subscriptions are the ones with the free time to spare and mostly pre-college/work pupils.

Also, as already pointed out, paying for the game does not prevent stupid players from accessing the game, but I agree that making a bad game free won't make it better.

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