Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

A Conversation with Druva Co-Founder Jaspreet Singh (Video) 36

Posted by Roblimo
from the doo-wop-is-now-de-dupe dept.
This was originally going to be an interview about the state of enterprise-level backup software in an increasingly edge computing-focused world, but we rapidly drifted into talking about how Druva started in Pune (near Bangalore) and ended up moving to Silicon Valley. We hear plenty about American software companies moving to India, but not a lot about Indian software companies moving here. Druva had good reasons for the move, the chief one being a financing deal with Sequoia Capital. Aside from that, though, Jaspreet says the talent pool -- not just developers but software marketing people and other important staffers -- is more concentrated in Silicon Valley than almost anywhere else in the world. 'It's like Hollywood for geeks,' Jaspreet says. This doesn't mean business is necessarily easy in the USA: Jaspreet ended up laying off his entire staff. Twice. And he made other mistakes as a young, new CEO bringing a company to life in a crowded field.

Those mistakes, which Jaspreet shares freely with us, are like a business school 'Start-Up Pitfalls' class. You may never want to do your own startup, but if you're a developer or otherwise involved with the software industry, there's a good chance that you'll have a chance to work for one at some point. And if you have that chance, you'll be glad you watched this video (or read the transcript) before you take the startup plunge.

Comment: If that is true, OO-COBOL wil rule you all. (Score 1) 406

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49745365) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read
COBOL was designed to have readability as an end goal, more than even performance. Those days there were countless stories of computer wizards stealing fractions of pennies per transaction and committing million dollar frauds. It was designed to have "functional analysts" who define the business rules, laws to be obeyed and regulations to comply with and the "technical analysts" who will supervise the coding teams. The aim was for the legal and financial expert to read the code and approve.

When the object oriented craze took off in 1990s, we were joking, next thing you know you would have OO-COBOL. And next thing we knew we had OO-COBOL.

All of us know the staying power and entrenchment of that language designed specifically for readability.

Comment: Great! There goes the air gap. (Score 1) 77

So we could spread viruses worms and browser helper objects from internet connected network to the safe air gapped internal networks. And, since these internal networks assume they are safe, they are much less lax in security. Good! Great help you are Google for the malware developers.

Learn About The Technology Education And Literacy in Schools Program (Video #2) 11

Posted by Roblimo
from the how-can-you-be-in-four-places-at-once-when-you're-not-anywhere-at-all? dept.
Quoting our intro from yesterday's 'Part One' video: 'The Technology Education And Literacy in Schools program (TEALS to its friends), started with one volunteer, a Berkeley CS grad named Kevin Wang who taught high school for a while, then went to Microsoft for a much higher salary than he got from teaching. But before long, he was getting up early and teaching a first period computer science class at a Seattle-area high school that was (sort of) on his way to work.'

TEALS is now in 130 high schools and has 475 volunteers in multiple states but still has a long way to go (and needs to recruit many more volunteers) because, Kevin says, fewer than 1% of American high school students are exposed to computer science, even though "Computer science is now fundamental in these kids' lives." He doesn't expect everyone who takes a TEALS class to become a computer person any more than chemistry teachers expect all their students to become chemists. You might say that learning a little about how computers and networks work is like knowing how to change a car tire and cook a simple meal: skills that make life easier even for people who don't want to become mechanics or cooks.

Learn About The Technology Education And Literacy in Schools Program (Video) 17

Posted by Roblimo
from the computer-science-for-the-high-school-masses dept.
The Technology Education And Literacy in Schools program (TEALS to its friends) started with one volunteer, a Berkeley CS grad named Kevin Wang who taught high school for a while, then went to Microsoft for a much higher salary than he got from teaching. But before long, he was getting up early and teaching a first period computer science class at a Seattle-area high school that was (sort of) on his way to work. Then some other local high schools came to him and wanted similar programs. Kevin's a smart guy, but not smart enough to be in four places at once, so he recruited coworkers to join him as volunteer computer science educators. Today (as this is being written) TEALS is in 130 high schools and has 475 volunteers in multiple states. Kevin works full time on the program, sponsored by Microsoft, but 78% of the volunteers now come from other companies.

TEALS has stuck with Kevin's original 1st period (usually somewhere between 7:30 and 9:30) schedule not just because it's convenient for many of the volunteers, but because (contrary to teen-nerd stereotypes) 60% of their students are in after-school sports and 20% are in band. The program is growing steadily and they're looking for more volunteers. We'll have another video with Kevin tomorrow, and that's when the transcript of both videos will appear. Meanwhile, you can read the TEALS FAQ and see how you might fit in with this group or one of many other similar ones either as a volunteer, as a student or as a teacher or school administrator interested in giving your students at least a basic grounding in Computer Science. (Coincidentally, today's 'Ask Slashdot' is about tech skills for HS students -- an unintentional but excellent tie-in.)

Comment: Re:You're dying off (Score 3, Insightful) 284

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49717901) Attached to: The Auto Industry May Mimic the 1980s PC Industry

When I was 18 I drove a Camaro with a kick-ass sound system and it was good.

When I was 35, I drove a mini-van with many screens to distract the kids and it was good

When I was 45, I drove a Camaro again, because I wasn't good.

When I was 55, I drove a Mercedes and it was very good.

So pretty soon you will be riding the Cadillac, with a Landau roof and a slanted integral sign as decoration, eh?

Comment: Loss of cash cows for the auto industry... (Score 2) 284

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#49717837) Attached to: The Auto Industry May Mimic the 1980s PC Industry
There was a time auto makers would make their car radios in such a way after market car stereos would be too expensive and/or impossible to mount. Enjoyed nice profit margins there. Eventually the mounts and connectors were standardized and the automakers lost that segment. But they never lost that mentality. Build in a GPS system and demand 200$ or 300$ to upgrade the maps-DVD-ROM. Now a days I see a few four/five year old Benzes and BMWs with plastic iPad/smartphone holder on the dash. These auto companies are used to product cycles stretching into a decade and vendor lock on accessories.

Pretty soon nobody will buy a car if they can't swap in their own entertainment system, their own map/nav system. That profit center is gone, these auto makers have to wake up and realize it.

The auto makers are so averse to competition and openness. How old are wi-fi enabled standalone network file servers? Why didn't they build one in to the cars, as you drive into the garage it logs into the router, synchs playlists, music, pod casts, weather reports, map information and is ready to go out with the latest info saved in a had disk? They could have done it 10 years ago.

They hate electronics and hate electrical engineers. The petrol burning engineers seem to have a snooty attitude towards the electrical engineers. They could have removed the first gear ages ago. Just spruce up the starter motor to make it strong enough to move the car to 2 mph using amped up power from the alternator. Couple the wheels to the IC engine mechanically on the second gear. That would eliminate the low end torque requirement and they engine could be tuned differently for fuel economy, peak power at a different rpm etc etc. Much of the fuel economy of the Prius comes from having an IC engine that does not have to move the car from 0 mph.

Of course, I am talking with 20/20 hindsight. But I am not a professional auto engineer. It is their job to have thought about it ages ago. Railways were big in 1950s and 60s. General Electric made a killing replacing all the steam locomotives with diesel-electric locomotives in just one decade. So fast some of the gleaming steam locomotives made just one run, from Baldwin Loco Works, Philadelphia to the scrap yard. Seeing how the torque problem in the locomotives is solved using an electric motor they did not make the connection and try to replicate it in their automobiles. They only were interested in pissing contests involving the sizes of the engines. 4 liter engine, 5 liter, 6 liter. 8 cylinder, 12 cylinder... More and more complex transmissions, clutches, slip rings, torque converters... all pure mechanical systems. Could have been replaced by one clean electric motor. The diesel-engine-generator and electric motors in the locomotive are just torque converters. But no, they would not even think about it.

Comment: Re:Cost bigger issue than sonic boom (Score 1) 73

Thanks for the correction. I missed it by a factor 1000 in power estimate. But I also lowballed the area by orders magnitude. Plane at 6 miles altitude, sonic boom energy is spread over a conical surface of base radius 10 km, area of at least 300 sq km. Wind energy goes as the cube of velocity, (squared in the kinetic energy term, and linear in the mass flow rate term). So at most it will be compared to a breeze of 12 or 13 mph rather than 10. But that is about all.

Still feeling like a chump for missing the energy estimate by a factor of 1000.

Comment: Publicity stunt? (Score 0, Troll) 773

In some sense these Men's Rights Activists play an useful role. They openly state what many bigots believe without saying it loud. That gives the other side a chance to rebut the claims, question the assumptions etc. So to that extent they are useful. But calling for a boycott of some sequel of some B grade movie? One wonders if it is some sort of publicity stunt for the movie.

Comment: Cost bigger issue than sonic boom (Score 4, Informative) 73

To make supersonic flight possible over sea or over land, the cost must come down. Without reducing the cost it makes no sense to worry about sonic boom, or figuring out ways to show the pilot where it hits the ground and its intensity.

Also the sonic boom issue was more FUD by Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed than the real issue. Back in the 80s, before the oil crisis, these companies wanted to stop British Aerospace and Aerospatiale from establishing a bridgehead at the luxury travel sector using Corcorde and its derivatives. But thankfully the Arab oil shock stopped Concorde.

Think about it, the total energy of all the shock and sonic boom is equal to amount of jet fuel burnt. During cruise at Mach 2.05 each Olympus 593 was producing around 10,000 lb of thrust, equivalent to 36,000 horsepower per engine.[18] Two engines, 72000 HP. Or 54 kilowatt, or 54,0000 joules/sec. If all of it ends up as sonic boom, (neglecting skin friction) you are going to spread 54,0000 joules every second over several square miles. Compare this to peak solar radiation 1000 joules per square meter. OK that is purely thermal but this is mechanical. So let us take 10 mph wind. 16kmph. 4.44 m/s. Over 1 sq m cross section, mass flow rate is 4.44 * density of air/second. Air is 1 Kg/m^3. So it is 4.44 kg. 4.44 m/s velocity. Works out to kinetic power (power, not energy because we are using mass flow rate, not mass) of 0.5*mdot*v^2 = 22 joules/sec. This is per square meter. or 22 watts per square meter. 22 million watts per square kilometer. Let us round it up to a nice 100 million watts for several square kilometers. Compare that to 54 kilowatt, total maximum possible power output of those two turbojet engines. 100,000 kW for 10 mph wind vs 54 kW for Concorde. Our eardrums and instruments are sensitive enough to pick up the sonic boom over 10mph wind, but thats about it. Barely detectable. Sonic booms deafening people, cracking buildings and killing birds are all FUD.

But cost... That is no mean thing to solve. In supersonic flight the energy needed to overcome the drag created by the shock wave is so high, there is no easy way to reduce the energy consumption. Only way to bring down the cost is to bring down the cost of fuel. The only way to make fuel cheaper is for the world to switch to non-fossil fules in such a large scale the oil industry collapses and oil falls to something like 5 dollar a barrel ( 2015 dollar not 1978 dollar).

Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs. -- Kernighan