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Submission + - Highly-paid Developers As ScrumMasters? 1

An anonymous reader writes: At my company our mis-implementation of Agile includes the employment of some of our most highly-paid principal engineers as ScrumMasters. This has effectively resulted in a loss of those engineering functions as these engineers now dedicate their time to ScrumMastery. Furthermore, the ScrumMasters either cannot or do not separate their roles as Team Leads with those of ScrumMastery and--worse--seem to be completely unaware that this poor implementation of this facet of Agile development is harmful to our velocity. To date I have chalked this up to poor leadership, a general lack of understanding of Agile, and an inability to change from traditional roles left over from the waterfall development mode. In addition, I have contended that, for a given Scrum Team, the role of ScrumMaster should be filled by someone of lower impact, such as an intern brought in specifically for that purpose. But I would like to put the questions to Slashdotters as to whether they have seen these same transitional difficulties, what the results have been at their respective companies, or whether they just plain disagree with my assertion that principal engineers should not be relegated to the roles of ScrumMasters.

Submission + - Obama given taste of his own Web 2.0 medicine (nextgov.com)

sort of a coward writes: Some bloggers are using the social media tactics that President Obama has long promoted against him as they protest his proposed rule to overturn conscience protections for health care workers who refuse to participate in controversial medical procedures.

Submission + - CFLs causing utility woes (edn.com)

dacut writes: "We've seen compact fluorescent lamps start to take over shelf space at the local hardware store. Replacing a 60 watt incandescent with a 13 watt CFL seems like a great savings, though many consumers are disappointed with the slow warm-up times, lower-than-advertised lifetimes, and hassles of disposing the mercury-containing bulbs. Now EDN reports they may use more energy than claimed due to their poor power factor. Mike Grather, of Lumenaire Testing Laboratory, "checked the power factor for the CFLs and found they ranged from .45 to .50. Their 'real' load was about twice that implied by their wattage."

The good news: you're only billed for the 13 watts of real power used. The bad news: the utilities have to generate the equivalent of 28 watts (that is, 28 VA of apparent power for you EEs out there) to light that bulb.

Until they fix these issues, I'll hold on to my incandescents and carbon arc lamps, thanks."


Submission + - AMD RV790 Architecture to Change GPGPU Landscape

Vigile writes: To many observers, the success of the GPGPU landscape has really been pushed by NVIDIA and its line of Tesla and Quadro GPUs. While ATI was the first to offer support for consumer applications like Folding@Home, NVIDIA has since taken command of the market with its CUDA architecture and programs like Badaboom and others for the HPC world. PC Perspective has speculation that points to ATI addressing the shortcomings of its lineup with a revised GPU known as RV790 that would both dramatically increase gaming performance as well as more than triple the compute power on double precision floating point operations — one of the keys to HPC acceptance.

VirtualBox 2.1 Supports 64-Bit VM In 32-Bit Host 374

Stephen Birch writes "Following closely behind the mid-November 2.06 release of VirtualBox, Sun Microsystems has released version 2.1. This has a number of new features, but one of the most interesting is the ability to run a 64-bit VM inside a 32-bit host. Another useful feature is integrated host-based networking; no more fiddling around with network bridges. Sun is really giving VMWare a run for their money."

Chrome Complicates Mozilla/Google Love-In 307

Barence writes "Mozilla CEO John Lilly has admitted the Firefox maker's relationship with Google has become 'more complicated' since the company launched its own browser. Mozilla is dependent on Google for the vast majority of its revenue and has previously worked closely with the search king's engineers on the development of Firefox. But that relationship appears to have cooled since Google released Chrome in the summer. 'We have a fine and reasonable relationship, but I'd be lying if I said that things weren't more complicated than they used to be.'"

Scientists Build Neonatal Incubator From Car Parts 211

Peace Corps Online writes "The NYTimes ran a story this week about a group of scientists who have built a neonatal incubator out of automobile parts, including a pair of headlights as a heat source, a car door alarm to signal emergencies, and an auto air filter and fan to provide climate control. The creators of the car-parts incubator say that an incubator found in any neonatal intensive care unit in the US could cost around $40,000, but the incubator they have developed can be built for less than $1,000. One expert says as many as 1.8 million infants might be spared every year if they could spend just a week in the units, which help babies who are born early or at low birth weights regulate their body temperature until their organs fully develop. Experts say in developing countries where infant mortality is most common, high-tech machines donated by richer nations often conk out when the electricity fizzles or is restricted to conserve power. 'The future medical technologists in the developing world,' says Robert Malkin, director of Engineering World Health, 'are the current car mechanics, HVAC repairmen, bicycle shop repairmen. There is no other good source of technology-savvy individuals to take up the future of medical device repair and maintenance.'"

Down's Symptoms May Be Treatable In the Womb 170

missb writes "US researchers have found that prenatal treatment for Down syndrome works in mice. This raises the possibility that a pregnant woman who knows her unborn child has Down syndrome might be able to forestall some of the symptoms before giving birth. When fetal mouse pups that had a syndrome similar to Down's were treated with nerve-protecting chemicals, some of the developmental delays that are part of the condition — such as motor and sensory abilities — were removed."

Submission + - RAID for Grandma?

kbielefe writes: "After another hard drive crash at the most inopportune time, I finally set up my home desktop with a RAID-1, to hopefully make the next crash less disruptive. My wife absolutely loved the idea, despite the expense of an extra hard drive. That got me thinking. As the family computer geek, I get at least one call a year wondering if I can recover data from a crashed hard drive, and it seems like redundant disks could really help the "grandma" users, who are notorious for never backing up their data. I realize it's not immune to failure, but it does drastically reduce the risk. Have any of you ever tried this with the grandma users you support? Why don't OEMs regularly offer it to desktop customers?"

Submission + - Man almost arrested over a Transformers shirt (telegraph.co.uk)

hjf writes: "An unbelievably story: a man almost got arrested at Heathrow for wearing a Transformers shirt. He was forced to change and warned that he will be arrested if he tried to wear that T-shirt again. As we all know, you can't take a gun on a plane, but it seems that the definition of gun is broad enough to cover drawings of sci-fi guns as well."

Submission + - SPAM: Bacteria is found alive in 120000 years old ice

FiReaNGeL writes: "Scientists have discovered a new ultra-small species of bacteria that has survived for more than 120,000 years within the ice of a Greenland glacier at a depth of nearly two miles. The microorganism's ability to persist in this low-temperature, high-pressure, reduced-oxygen, and nutrient-poor habitat makes it particularly useful for studying how life, in general, can survive in a variety of extreme environments on Earth and possibly elsewhere in the solar system. This new species is among the ubiquitous, yet mysterious, ultra-small bacteria, which are so tiny that the cells are able to pass through microbiological filters. The ultra-small size of the new species could be one explanation for why it was able to survive for so long in the Greenland glacier. Called Chryseobacterium greenlandensis, the species is related genetically to certain bacteria found in fish, marine mud, and the roots of some plants. The organism is one of only about 10 scientifically described new species originating from polar ice and glaciers."
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The Courts

Submission + - GPL 3 Causing Lawyers Concern

Specter writes: The GPL version 3 is apparently getting some attention in legal circles, especially as it relates to its interaction with proprietary software and patents. Edmund J. Walsh penned an article for Law.com discussing the GPL v.3 and the risks it poses for hardware and software companies.

The clothes have no emperor. -- C.A.R. Hoare, commenting on ADA.