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Comment: My andecdotal evidence (Score 2) 445

by ObjetDart (#45533117) Attached to: Female Software Engineers May Be Even Scarcer Than We Thought

I have been a professional software developer for 22 years. Over that time I've worked for 5 different companies, of varying sizes, the largest having maybe 100 employees.

Not once in all these years was there a single female software engineer working for any of those companies. Not a single one.

Anyway, from the single data point that is my personal experience, female software engineers seem to be about as common as unicorns. Even 12% seems way too high a figure.

I don't know why this is, but I think it's a shame.


Solar-Powered Shrub Car 47

Posted by samzenpus
from the none-more-green dept.
sparksfly writes "The Terrestrial Shrub Rover is a solar-powered vehicle that looks, as you may have guessed, exactly like a large shrub. According to designer Justin Shull, 'In the spirit of NASA and its forthcoming 2020 lunar expeditions in preparation for colonizing the moon, the Terrestrial Shrub Rover presents the opportunity to explore terrestrial and social environments back on Earth from within a manned, foliage bedecked, solar electric powered rover.'

Comment: Re:public insanity? (Score 2, Interesting) 111

by ObjetDart (#30565082) Attached to: Amazon Sells More Ebooks On Christmas Than Real Books

I guess I'll wade in here with a perspective. I'm someone who has been violently opposed to any DRM in my music files, and never bought a single track from iTunes in my life. I'm also a Kindle owner who happily buys DRM'd books from Amazon all the time. How can this be?

The difference I guess is how I want to consume the two different types of media. I want to be able to play my music again and again, now, and 20 years from now, in my car, on my media player, on my 4 different PCs, and on my living room stereo. DRM basically makes this impossible, or so convoluted as to be impractical.

OTOH, I only want to read a book once. The only place that I want to read my eBook is on my Kindle. I buy a Kindle book, I read it on the Kindle, and I'm done with it. That fact that it's DRM'd never affects me. I don't care that I can't loan it or resell it later, these are just not big concerns for me. I'm willing to give up those things in exchange for the convenience of a lightweight electronic reader.

I'm also aware that Amazon has no choice, just as Apple had no choice when they first introduced iTunes. The DRM requirement is being driven by the publishers. If Amazon wants to get the big publishers on board today, there must be some kind of copy protection in place to satisfy the dinosaurs. Over time, I suspect this will change, just as it did with iTunes.


Global Deforestation Demoed In Google Earth 207

Posted by kdawson
from the woodman-spare-that-tree dept.
eldavojohn writes "On Google's official blog, they claim a 'new technology prototype that enables online, global-scale observation and measurement of changes in the earth's forests.' Ars has more details on what Google unveiled at Copenhagen. If you have Google Earth installed, you can find a demonstration here. Many organizations and government agencies are on board with this initiative to put deforestation before the eyes of the public. If only satellite data of North America existed before the logging industry swept in!" It's interesting to contemplate the implications for intelligence gathering of Google's automated tools to compare satellite photos.

Herschel Spectroscopy of Future Supernova 21

Posted by Soulskill
from the that's-a-big-star dept.
davecl writes "ESA's Herschel Space Telescope has released its first spectroscopic results. These include observations of VYCMa, a star 50 times as massive as the sun and soon to become a supernova, as well as a nearby galaxy, more distant colliding starburst galaxies and a comet in our own solar system. The spectra show more lines than have ever been seen in these objects in the far-infrared and will allow astronomers to work out the detailed chemistry and physics behind star and planet formation as well as the last stages of stellar evolution before VYCMa's eventual collapse into a supernova. More coverage is available at the Herschel Mission Blog, which I run."

Comment: this is news? (Score 1) 698

by ObjetDart (#29986352) Attached to: Comcast's New Throttling Plan Uses Trigger Conditions, Not Silent Blocking

Didn't anyone notice the date on the article? It's 10 months old. So this throttling policy isn't "new" at all, it's supposedly been in effect already for almost a year.

I've been a Comcast customer the entire time. I frequently exceed the stated limits and have never noticed any throttling.

Comment: Re:4-Foot Drop = Rugged? (Score 2, Informative) 113

by ObjetDart (#27143047) Attached to: Dell's Rugged Laptop Doesn't Quite Pass 4-Foot Drop Test

The extreme fragility of ePaper displays is still somehow eInk's dirty little secret. They are WAY more fragile than typical laptop LCD screens. The Kindle forums are full of stories from people who have broken the screen while doing various benign things, like resting another book on top of it (while the Kindle was still inside its protective cover no less.) I personally cracked my Kindle screen simply by pressing on it lightly.

If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.