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+ - Ebola outbreak continues to expand->

Submitted by symbolset
symbolset (646467) writes "In the realm of "stuff that matters", the current outbreak of the world's second deadliest disease continues to expand. 63 new cases are reported in the last week, and suspected cases far afield of the hot zone are reported.

Many reports of a lack of personal protective equipment and medical professionals abandoning their posts are in recent reports. The local populace is developing processes to prevent containment.

Ebola remains the second deadliest infection only because rabies victims have only one survivor reported after onset of symptoms, ever."

Link to Original Source

+ - SpaceX Releases Amazing Video of Falcon Rocket's Splashdown->

Submitted by cowdung
cowdung (702933) writes "In spite of Elon Musk's characterization of the landing as a KABOOM event. Judging by this video SpaceX has managed to land the first stage rocket booster nicely on the ocean after their Orbcomm launch on July 14th.

It seems we're one step closer to a landing on dry land. Both this and the previous landing seem to have gone well."

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Comment: Re:Anecdotes for the win! (Score 1) 956

by cowdung (#47513395) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Its true.. people are ruder online than they are in person.

Its like they feel the have a license to do or say whatever they want. A culture of lawlessness.

Also, the Internet gives the real creeps of the world more direct access to you. In the real world you wouldn't let them get close to you.. but on the Internet they can get into your face!

+ - Microsoft brings two open source tools to Azure->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Following through on promises from new CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft continues to add support for non-Microsoft technologies, allowing them to run well on the company’s Azure cloud hosting platform.

The company has partnered with two organizations that offer popular open source programs for managing cloud resources—Packer and OpenNebula. Microsoft is releasing drivers that will make it easy to use the programs on Azure, as well as with Microsoft server software for in-house deployments.

Packer is increasingly being used by system administrators to create and then manage the operations of virtual machine images. Running from any OS, Packer assembles and configures the necessary components for a virtual machine and can create identical copies to run on different platforms, such as Linux and Windows.

Packer can also work with popular open source configuration tools such as Chef and Puppet to automate the procedures of rolling out many virtual machines at once.

“Packer has been so popular lately that we heard from people that they want it see it on Azure,” Mahugh said.

Microsoft is also adding support for the OpenNebula cloud management software. OpenNebula could be a key technology for companies interested in running hybrid clouds, a model in which some operations run on a public cloud like Azure and others run in-house, perhaps on a private cloud."

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Comment: Math and Engineering (Score 1) 509

by cowdung (#47459877) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Get a job building things for the future.. If you can handle the math and learn to build things creatively that is a good basis for a ton of careers.

I told my daughter: get an undergrad degree in this.. if you don't like it later than get a Master's and change.. but getting an undergrad in something simplistic and simple later limits your options.

College is expensive.. learn hard things there.

Comment: Re:when you conflate value and money, you're lost (Score 1) 382

by cowdung (#47175499) Attached to: High Frequency Trading and Finance's Race To Irrelevance

It is that way because we let it be that way. But money doesn't need to be amoral.

Money is not a god that society needs to bow down to. It is a tool that society uses to distribute resources and create a form of justice. So it follows that society should regulate money to serve its ends.. not be a slave to it. Just as you wouldn't want to create an army of warlord soldiers that reign free over humans, you don't want to let money reign free over humans.

Presently economist and politicians have become too dogmatic about what should or should not be done with money. It serves only a small minority and eventually will bring upon ruin.

Comment: Got a mac (Score 1, Interesting) 1009

by cowdung (#45945805) Attached to: Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

I needed a new laptop.. but nobody would sell me one without Windows 8.

So I bought a MacBook Pro (fully loaded).

I'm very satisfied with it (now that the new version supports 16 gb though it still seems a bit low).

MS has done its utmost to drive me away.. I was tough to convince.. but eventually they succeeded.

First they tried with the Ribbon: I stuck to Office 2000 (still use it by the way)

Then they did the XP mess: I waited till Vista/Win7

But Win 8 was an impossible puzzle to solve.. so I got a Macbook and installed Win7 with Parallels. Phew..

I wonder if I'll be able to dodge their next salvo!

Comment: Re:The best language is your best language (Score 1) 232

by cowdung (#45884877) Attached to: "Clinical Trials" For Programming Languages?

I disagree. There are other factors. (Unless you are programming alone)

To choose a language I take into account:

1. Popularity and future: if nobody is using it, it is going to be costly to find people that have expertise. Sadly you cannot ignore trends.. Also your platform may be discontinued and people using other platforms may have more tooling at their disposal.

2. Technical merit: this is the point where people usually argue. However, if you've taken a computer languages course in College you probably know a bit about what a good language looks like and what a bad (messy) language is like. For example, people used to hail Pascal and dis BASIC while pragmatists went for C. Today you can find parallels (.. further comments censored to avoid flame wars...). But technical merit isn't everything or we'd all be using Smalltalk!

3. Familiarity / abilities of your team: it is important to know where your team is and what their limitations are in terms of technology because making a switch to something trendy may turn out to be costly as well.

4. Culture and process: will your team write unit tests for all classes or is that just a pipe dream that will never happen? Do you want the compiler to find trivial problems for you? How important is static error checking (Findbugs, PMD, etc..)? Are all your servers Windows servers (consider .Net)? Are all your servers Linux (don't consider .Net)? What is the valuation (from an investor's point of view) of an app written in FoxPro (considered obsolete) vs one written in Java (considered "Enterprise safe") vs one written in Go (considered "unproven")? Can your "source code" be visible to the end user?

5. The project you're working on: love Java? well good luck with that if your project is a iPhone app. Writing device drivers in Python? huh? Different projects require different tools.

Not all languages are the same. The results will not be the same.. And yes.. your project may succeed or fail based on your choices.

Comment: Peopleware (Score 1) 232

by cowdung (#45884807) Attached to: "Clinical Trials" For Programming Languages?

Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister's Peopleware book covers issues about productivity and is often quoted when people say that some developers are up to 10x more productive that others.
(see http://www.amazon.com/Peopleware-Productive-Projects-Teams-3rd-ebook/dp/B00DY5A8X2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389069388&sr=8-1&keywords=peopleware)

In summary the book looks into issues of programmer productivity. It explores the role of computer languages and concludes that for the most part which programming language is being used will not have a huge effect on productivity with the exception of Assembler. The jump to 3rd generation computer languages makes programmers MUCH more productive than Assembler, but between those languages and even the so-called 4gls there is not a great difference. (However, it would be interesting to see this study repeated with modern applications + languages, because writing web apps involves so many tools and third party tools that I would guess that there IS a difference between writing a web app in C vs Ruby on Rails)

The book then goes on to note that a far greater impact on productivity is the programmer's environment and the book fixates on the issue of a noise free environment and a door that closes. Interestingly a large part of the industry has forgotten the Peopleware lesson and has moved back to "open floor plans" or "cubicles" while the book cites studies showing that these increase the distraction rate and productivity of programmers.

A great book and and entertaining read.

Comment: Now your job is a reality show (Score 1) 397

by cowdung (#45786055) Attached to: Netflix: Non-'A' Players Unworthy of Jobs

Would you like to work at "Survivor" all the time?

So every week we "vote" someone out of the company?

What Netflix is missing is that employee loyalty comes with an implicit "employer" loyalty as well. People should feel that they have a future where they work and that they can invest in the place.

A nice severance is fine if you're 20 years old.. but if you're 50 and you get fired it may be your last job (don't think age isn't a factor).

As others have pointed out Microsoft tried out a similar strategy.. that didn't pan out so well for them.

A company needs to have a certain level of humanity and morality. Not everything is about money and performance metrics. There are people and families involved as well. As a company owner myself I firmly believe that I need to care about "my people" or otherwise why should they care about me?

Another factor here is that hiring is VERY EXPENSIVE.. and training as well. Also corporate know-how is in its people.

Netfilix may be ok.. but their UI is certainly not an A-game.. (I have quite a bit of trouble finding and browsing with it)
So their magic results are not a given in my opinion.

People are not pieces of machinery to play with and then discard. These people have forgotten their moral/human obligations toward their people. They think only stock holders matter. That is what is wrong with a lot of corporations these days.

Comment: Re: Yes. (Score 1) 1216

by cowdung (#45505765) Attached to: Should the US Copy Switzerland and Consider a 'Maximum Wage' Ratio?

people seem to equate "free market" with capitalism and regulation w socialism. No need to be so black and white. Before the free market dogma caught on there were plenty of regulated capitalistic economies. Putting the free market dogma to rest would help improve economies so that all people are benefitting from economic growth and not just a small group of nobles. This was largely the case in the US in the 1950s but today selfish policies are systematically eroding the middle class and the US will soon be like Latin America in the 50s where a small oligarchy takes over, dominates all while the land "of the free" languishes in poverty and oppression due to a shortsighted adherence to a free market policy that sacrifices the good of all for the ridiculous notion that "the market will correct itself." The way the economic values are setup these days there is no regard for the environment or justice. People need to wake up and realize that human regulation by elective representatives is necessary to protect the interests of society. That isn't socialism.. its life, liberty and the free pursuit of happiness!

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre

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