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Math

Physicists Say Graphene Could Create Mass 184

Posted by kdawson
from the boson-walks-into-a-church dept.
eldavojohn writes "Graphene has gotten a lot of press lately. The Nobel prize-winning, fastest-spinning, nanobubble-enhanced silicon replacement is theorized to have a new, more outlandish property. As reported by Technology Review's Physics Blog, graphene should be able to create mass inside properly formed nanotubes. According to Abdulaziz Alhaidari's calculations, if one were to roll up graphene into a nanotube, this could compactifiy dimensions (from the sheet's two down to the tube's one), and thus 'the massless equations that describe the behavior of electrons and holes will change to include a term for mass. In effect, compactifying dimensions creates mass.' What once would require a massive high-energy particle accelerator can now be tested with carbon, electricity, and wires, according to the recent paper."
Image

Girl Quits On Dry Erase Board a Hoax 147

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-this-job-and-shove-it dept.
suraj.sun writes "It's the same old story: young woman quits, uses dry erase board and series of pictures to let entire office know the boss is a sexist pig, exposes his love of playing FarmVille during work hours." Story seem too good to be true? It probably is, at least according to writer Peter Kafka. Even so, Jay Leno and Good Morning America have already reached out to "Jenny."
Ubuntu

Ubuntu Will Switch To Base-10 File Size Units In Future Release 984

Posted by Soulskill
from the stay-above-the-belt dept.
CyberDragon777 writes "Ubuntu's future 10.10 operating system is going to make a small, but contentious change to how file sizes are represented. Like most other operating systems using binary prefixes, Ubuntu currently represents 1 kB (kilobyte) as 1024 bytes (base-2). But starting with 10.10, a switch to SI prefixes (base-10) will denote 1 kB as 1000 bytes, 1 MB as 1000 kB, 1 GB as 1000 MB, and so on."

Comment: Re:Translation: (Score 3, Interesting) 292

by SenFo (#30674824) Attached to: Microsoft Wants To Participate In SVG Development

Which is the sole reason I dont use NetFlix. Or watch videos on Microsoft's site.

I've seen this response many times, yet I have never seen a reasonable explanation for the boycott. Do you hate Silverlight because it's Microsoft or is there something wrong with the technology that has made you stay away?

I have limited exposure to the Bing Video site, but with that limited exposure, I have had nothing but positive experiences. I've experienced no problem streaming HD content, for example. YouTube, on the other hand, struggled badly to stream 720P content through my FiOS connection running at 25 Mb/sec (both up and down).

From an architectural / security standpoint, Silverlight runs in a Sandbox, among other things, which greatly improve security (this most certainly isn't another Active X). Additionally, as a developer, I feel that C# is a better language than AS 3. I don't know any designers that have worked in Expression Blend, so I can't comment on their vantage point. I welcome their comments, however.

Comment: Re:Transferability (Score 1) 398

by SenFo (#30283164) Attached to: Harvard Says Computers Don't Save Hospitals Money

Exactly...it's the same thing I've seen over and over, again. I've worked on a number of projects, from commercial contracts, to government and health care projects. By far, the ones that have been the most difficult to work with are the clients that have strict bureaucracies (read government and health care). I'm sure hospitals are very similar, in this sense. It's incredibly difficult to convince streamlining a workflow with people that have become accustomed to a strict bureaucratic process. In many peoples eyes, the process is gospel: ye shall not challenge thy process. As such, when software replaces antiquated systems, they implement the same failed processes that existed before they got there.

In order for a new system to be successful, people need to learn to accept change.

Comment: Re:bad design (Score 1) 381

by SenFo (#30044484) Attached to: The NoSQL Ecosystem
Just out of curiosity, are there any modern file systems that are better at this? For example, rather than storing the entire content of a message in the database, what if sites like Facebook stored only a pointer to a file in the database and then saved the actual message content on disk? That way, the database can stay lean. Furthermore, it is my understanding (though I have no personal experience) that distributed file systems scale fairly well.

Comment: Re:How hard is it? (Score 1) 275

by SenFo (#29586835) Attached to: Cracking Open the SharePoint Fortress

It's not that CAML and XML are beyond our understanding or ability to understand, it's that it adds undo complexity to a problem that can be solved far easier with other platforms.

Years ago (just out of high school), I developed a CMS that provided List-like functionality. The difference is that my design centered around creating database tables for each List. The columns were strongly typed and allowed for real-time calculations. SharePoint, on the other hand, stores all of the lists in a single database table as XML. The SharePoint schema is interesting in that sense, but it's so complicated that even MS failed to implement real-time calculations on data (calculated fields are calculated at the time the record is saved). Additionally, this hinders performance, greatly (list performance degrades substantially after 3-4k records, depending on schema complexity).

With the next release of SharePoint, I understand that each list will be stored in its own table. Under the covers, I'm not sure whether or not the tables will also be strongly typed --we'll have to wait and see. But at this point, SharePoint is so bad that it would require a substantial rewrite before my opinion would change.

Comment: Re:bah, sharepoint. (Score 1) 275

by SenFo (#29586235) Attached to: Cracking Open the SharePoint Fortress

They focus their energy entirely on common CMS features, such as how easy it is to enable search and create a new page.

Right. The rest of us out here, who aren't developers, web designers, or software engineers, we call those features "doing work". The point of the software is to make it easier for the workers to do their jobs. Not to make it easier for the IT staff to interface with.

I completely understand your point of view. I would never suggest that SharePoint is a blad platform because it makes somebody's life easier. The fact of the matter is, there are tons of search engines out there (many are free). But SharePoint, as a platform, is very difficult to extend (don't believe the marketing hype that would suggest otherwise). If a platform becomes more of a hindrance than a problem solving technology, it's time to look elsewhere. Unfortunately, technology leaders see how easy it is to activate one simple feature (like search) and assume everything else is just as easy. It's a dangerous mindset and leads to unrealistic expectations.

Comment: Re:How hard is it? (Score 1) 275

by SenFo (#29580811) Attached to: Cracking Open the SharePoint Fortress

But, per the fanbois, it's a Microsoft product, therefore it is inherently evil and must be destroyed. The truth is that SharePoint is a fabulous product. I use it at work and at home with a variety of document types and have no issues. Those documents are even search-able if a filter is available.

I could care less who made SharePoint. It's a horrible platform and that's the end of the story. On the other hand, I actually love the .NET platform. ASP.NET has been great, for years and I have had the privilege of working on some really great projects that made use of the platform. With the recent release of ASP.NET MVC, I am even more inclined to stick with .NET as my development platform of choice for most organizations.

The reason I dislike SharePoint so much is because it's almost always more cost effective and easier to build something from scratch. Developers and technology leaders should choose a technology platform that is cost-effective and extensible. SharePoint is neither. 100% of the estimates that I (along with many, many other developers) have put together have significantly more development hours associated with them.

Comment: Re:How hard is it? (Score 2, Insightful) 275

by SenFo (#29580673) Attached to: Cracking Open the SharePoint Fortress

Everything in SharePoint is a list in the database. A calendar is just a list of events with start and end times. A address book is a list of contacts. All you need is some basic SQL, and your information is free.

Complete nonsense. Sure, SharePoint stores List content inside of a database, but it's stored as XML, making parsing a royal pain, not to mention it makes referential integrity among Lists impossible. Lookup lists have very loosely been implemented. Nobody in their right mind would work with SharePoint directly at the database level. Nor is it supported by MS. This is why a public API has been exposed.

Comment: Re:bah, sharepoint. (Score 5, Interesting) 275

by SenFo (#29580555) Attached to: Cracking Open the SharePoint Fortress

A good web designer and a good SharePoint developer are apparently almost never the same human being (hell, our SP "developer" gets lost in an Event Log... how am I supposed to help explain the basics of CSS to the guy?)

PS: The search function is pure hell to get working right, if at all. The consultant who put ours together actually knew what he was doing, and SP search still works only half-assed, so don't feel too badly about it.

You couldn't have been more accurate. 49 out of every 50 SharePoint "developers" I have talked to or interviewed are far from designers or software engineers. It's as if they were attracted to SharePoint because they were unable to make it in the real software development world. Not that this would necessarily be a problem, but SharePoint is one of the most difficult platforms I have ever had the unfortunate experience to program against. While these "developers" are busy building InfoPath forms and exposing tons of meaningless columns to interface with the workflow engine (they often use WF to overcome the fact that InfoPath is NOT a development platform), it's my job to interface the pile of mess with other COTS products by building convoluted ETL processes. The unfortunate truth of the whole situation is that the senior technical staff (e.g., CTO) fails to see the flaws that SharePoint brings. They focus their energy entirely on common CMS features, such as how easy it is to enable search and create a new page. If you dare suggest an alternative, you'll find yourself amongst the other outcasts --lonely, frustrated and unheard.

SharePoint is, by far, the most hideous platform I know of. It makes me long for the days of hacking HTML to make it render correctly in IE6.

All the simple programs have been written.

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