Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Submission Summary: 1 pending, 1055 declined, 717 accepted (1773 total, 40.44% accepted)

For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

+ - Watching People Code Is Becoming An (Even Bigger) Thing->

itwbennett writes: Faithful Slashdot readers may recall the story of Adam Wulf, who spent two weeks live-streaming himself writing a mobile app. The phenomenon has quickly become thing, by which we mean a business. Twitch.TV, Watch People Code (which is an offshoot of the subreddit by the same name), Ludum Dare, and, of course, YouTube, are bursting with live or archived streams of lots of people writing lots of code for lots of different things. And just this week, Y Combinator-backed startup Livecoding.TV launched. The site has signed up 40,000 users since its beta went live in February, but unlike the other sites in this space what it doesn't have (and doesn't have plans for) is advertising. As co-founder Jamie Green told ITworld: 'We have some different ideas around monetisation in the pipeline, but for now we are just focussed on building a community around live education.'
Link to Original Source

+ - Why Isn't Anyone Talking About the Botched Apple Music Launch?->

itwbennett writes: When Apple Music launched yesterday, it only launched on iOS apps at the appointed time. Peter Smith writes this about the desktop experience:

The Apple Music site had a Try Now button up for desktop users all day, and clicking it opened iTunes. iTunes 2.1.2 if you were up to date. The problem was that Apple Music requires iTunes 2.2, and as late as 6 PM ET that wasn't available. If you clicked the Try Now button, iTunes would open and inform you that you needed iTunes 2.2 and offered an Upgrade button. That Upgrade button would take you to the web to download the old version of iTunes that didn't support Apple Music.

But nowhere in the tech press did you see mention of the botched launch. VentureBeat wanted to make sure you knew how not to get charged for Apple Music, as did Engadget and TheVerge. And TechCrunch thought things were "going pretty well so far" when, at 6:20 PM ET, some Mac users finally started getting the update ( seven hours after scheduled launch).
Link to Original Source

+ - Celebrating Workarounds, Kludges, and Hacks->

itwbennett writes: We all have some favorite workarounds that right a perceived wrong (like getting around the Wall Street Journal paywall) or make something work the way we think it ought to. From turning off annoying features in your Prius to getting around sanctions in Crimea and convincing your Android phone you're somewhere you're not, workarounds are a point of pride, showing off our ingenuity and resourcefulness. And sometimes artful workarounds can even keep businesses operating in times of crisis. Take, for example, the Sony employees, who, in the wake of the Great Hack of 2014 when the company's servers went down, dug out old company BlackBerrys that, while they had been abandoned, had never had their plans deactivated. Because BlackBerrys used RIM's email servers instead of Sony's, they could still communicate with one another, and employees with BlackBerrys became the company's lifeline as it slowly put itself back together.
Link to Original Source

+ - Mob Programming: When Is 5 Heads Really Better Than 1 (or 2)?->

itwbennett writes: Proponents of Mob programming, an offshoot of Pair programming in which the whole team works together on the same computer, say that it increases both quality and productivity, but also acknowledge that the productivity gains might not be readily apparent. 'If you measure by features or other classic development productivity metrics, Mobbing looks like it's achieving only 75 to 85 percent of individual or Pair output for, say, a team of six or seven working for a week,' says Paul Massey, whose company Bluefruit Software is a heavy user of the Mob approach. So, where does the productivity come from? Matthew Dodkins, a software architect at Bluefruit says the biggest gains are in code merges. 'In a day spent using traditional collaboration, you would have to first spend time agreeing on tasks, common goals, deciding who's doing what... and then going away to do that, write code, and come back and merge it, resolve problems,' says Dodkins. By bringing everyone into the same room, 'we try to merge frequently, and try to do almost continuous integration.' Matt Schartman, whose company Appfolio also uses Mobbing and wrote about his experience, gave Mobbing high marks for producing a quality product, but didn't find that it improved productivity in any measurable way.
Link to Original Source

+ - Foxconn CEO Backpedals On Planned Robot Takeover->

itwbennett writes: For years now, Foxconn has been talking up plans to replace pesky humans with robot workers in its factories. Back in February, CEO Terry Gou said he expected the automation to account for 70 percent of his company’s assembly line work in three years. But in the company's shareholder meeting Thursday, Gou said he had been misquoted and that 'it should be that in five years, the robots will take over 30 percent of the manpower.'
Link to Original Source

+ - Average Duration of Hiring Process for Software Engineers: 35 Days->

itwbennett writes: Despite the high demand for tech workers of pretty much all stripes, the hiring process is still rather drawn out, with the average time-to-hire for Software Engineers taking 35 days. That's one of the findings of a new study from career site Glassdoor. The study, led by Glassdoor's Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, analyzed over 340,000 interview reviews, covering 74,000 unique job titles, submitted to the site from February 2009 through February 2015. Glassdoor found that the average time-to-hire for all jobs has increased 80% (from 12.6 days to 22.9 days) since 2010. The biggest reason for this jump: The increased reliance on screening tests of various sorts, from background checks and skills tests to drug tests and personality tests, among others.
Link to Original Source

+ - The Next Java Update Could Make Yahoo Your Default Search Provider->

itwbennett writes: At the company's shareholder meeting on Wednesday, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced a partnership with Oracle that could result in Yahoo becoming your default browser. Starting this month, when users are prompted to update to the next version of Java, they'll be asked to make Yahoo their default search engine on Chrome (and Internet Explorer, for what it's worth). And, according to a Wall Street Journal report, the button will be checked by default, so if you aren't looking out for it, you might unwittingly find yourself a Yahoo user.
Link to Original Source

+ - The US Navy's Warfare Systems Command Just Paid Millions to Stay on Windows XP-> 1 1

itwbennett writes: 'The Navy relies on a number of legacy applications and programs that are reliant on legacy Windows products,' said Steven Davis, a spokesman for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego. And that reliance on obsolete technology is costing taxpayers a pretty penny. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, which runs the Navy’s communications and information networks, signed a $9.1 million contract earlier this month for continued access to security patches for Windows XP, Office 2003, Exchange 2003 and Windows Server 2003.
Link to Original Source

+ - Cyberattack Grounds Planes in Poland->

itwbennett writes: While alleged hacking of in-flight systems has been much discussed recently, 'there are many more areas of vulnerability to address in the aviation industry,' says Tim Erlin, director of security and product management at security firm Tripwire. 'Like most industries today, aviation relies on a wide variety of interconnected systems, from air traffic control to reservations systems.' Case in point: LOT Polish Airlines was forced to cancel 10 flights scheduled to depart from Warsaw’s Chopin airport on Sunday after hackers attacked its ground computer systems.
Link to Original Source

+ - Can GitHub Really Be Worth $2 Billion?->

itwbennett writes: GitHub, the most popular Git hosting site, is reportedly seeking $200 million in an upcoming private funding round that values the company as high as $2 billion. 'GitHub is an interesting company,' said analyst Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics. 'It is partly a hosting service for developers and partly a social media site.' And it's a great place to recruit developers. But company-specific factors aside, there’s also a lot of money in the market 'looking for homes,' said Rob Enderle, principal analyst with Enderle Group.
Link to Original Source

+ - Report: Open Source Components To Blame for Massively Buggy Software->

itwbennett writes: The problem isn't new, but a report released Tuesday by Sonatype, the company that manages one of the largest repositories of open-source Java components, sheds some light on poor inventory practices that are all-too-common in software development. To wit: 'Sonatype has determined that over 6 percent of the download requests from the Central Repository in 2014 were for component versions that included known vulnerabilities and the company’s review of over 1,500 applications showed that by the time they were developed and released each of them had an average of 24 severe or critical flaws inherited from their components.'
Link to Original Source

+ - So Long Voicemail, Give My Regards To the Fax Machine->

itwbennett writes: Yes, it was just a matter of time before voicemail, the old office relic, the technology The Guardian's Chitra Ramaswamy called “as pointless as a pigeon with a pager,” finally followed the fax machine into obscurity. Last week JPMorgan Chase announced it was turning off voicemail service for tens of thousands of workers (a move that CocaCola made last December). And if Bloomberg's Ramy Inocencio has the numbers right, the cost savings are significant: JPMorgan, for example, will save $3.2 million by cutting voicemail for about 136,000. As great as this sounds, David Lazarus, writing in the LA Times, warns that customer service will suffer.
Link to Original Source

+ - Xilinx and AMD: An Inevitable Match?->

itwbennett writes: Steve Casselman at Seeking Alpha was among the first to suggest that Xilinx should buy AMD because, among other reasons, it 'would let Xilinx get in on the x86 + FPGA fabric tsunami.' The trouble with this, however, is that 'AMD's server position is minuscule.... While x86 has 73% of the server market, Intel owns virtually all of it,' writes Andy Patrizio. At the same time, 'once Intel is in possession of the Altera product line, it will be able to cheaply produce the chip and drop the price, drastically undercutting Xilinx,' says Patrizio. And, he adds, buying AMD wouldn't give Xilinx the same sort of advantage 'since AMD is fabless.'
Link to Original Source

+ - Reactions To Apple's Announcement To Swift->

itwbennett writes: At Apple's WWDC 2015 event yesterday, Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, announced that the company planned to open source the Swift language. Reaction to this announcement so far has sounded more or less like this: Deafening applause with undertones of 'we'll see.' As a commenter on this Ars Technica story points out, 'Their [Apple's] previous open-source efforts (Darwin, WebKit, etc) have generally tended to be far more towards the Google style of closed development followed by a public source dump.' Simon Phipps, the former director of OSI, also expressed some reservations, telling ITworld's Swapnil Bhartiya, 'While every additional piece of open source software extends the opportunities for software freedom, the critical question for a programming language is less whether it is itself open source and more whether it's feasible to make open source software with it. Programming languages are glue for SDKs, APIs and libraries. The real value of Swift will be whether it can realistically be used anywhere but Apple's walled garden.'
Link to Original Source

Unix: Some say the learning curve is steep, but you only have to climb it once. -- Karl Lehenbauer