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Programming

+ - Oracle v Google A Programmer Reads the Patents ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "After much group discussion about the Oracle/Google trial, I suddenly realized that none of my colleagues had read the patents — neither had I and this meant we were all talking about something we didn't know anything about. So I decided to find out what the patents really cover by reading them from cover to cover — the results were interesting.
Do you think I found amazing ideas worthy of patent protection?"

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Facebook

+ - Facebook Admits It Doesn't Know How Mobile Works->

Submitted by deltaromeo
deltaromeo (821761) writes "As Facebook moves inexorably toward its much-anticipated initial public offering, attention has been focused on all kinds of things about the giant network with the $100 billion potential market valuation—including the earth-shattering fact that Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg insists on wearing a hoodie during his meetings with Wall Street bankers and analysts. But what investors should be more focused on is the problem Facebook highlights in the most recent amendment to its S-1 securities filing: namely, that its mobile business is noticeably light on advertising revenue and that the company isn’t exactly sure how (or whether) it can fix that."
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Education

+ - California Students Rank 47th In National Science Test->

Submitted by bonch
bonch (38532) writes "22 percent of California eighth-graders passed a national science test, ranking California among the worst in the U.S. according to the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress. The test measures knowledge in Earth and space sciences, biology, and basic physics. The states that fared worse than California were Mississippi, Alabama, and a tie between the District of Columbia and Hawaii."
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Comment: Re:A programmers approach (Score 1) 183

by liam193 (#34346526) Attached to: Homeland Security Drops Color-Coded Terror Alerts

If I recall correctly, the levels do serve a purpose (or at least were supposed to serve a purpose). The reason for the levels is so that funding can be tied to a specific level. For example, there may be funding to support a certain number of person hours at yellow and more hours to support more guards, etc. when you reach orange. The point is, without some kind of level that takes a subjective "bad stuff is more likely to happen/has happened" and changes it to "we are now at orange/red", it is nearly impossible to get approval for additional resources rolled out throughout government entities quickly enough to be of any benefit. If you take away the level's you end up with a scenario where they say, "we have a high probability of an attack in this area"; the leaders in the field say, "so does that mean we can bring in more resources?"; and the question doesn't through all the channels to get an answer until the threat has passed or the attack has occurred.

Comment: Colocation (Score 2, Interesting) 260

by liam193 (#31129908) Attached to: UPS Setup For a Small/Mid-Size Company?

With the current availability of fairly inexpensive bandwidth, why are you running servers at your location? There simply isn't much justification for any business not in the fortune 500 to go the route of "build your own" Catacenter. If it must be up, look at the option of renting rack space from a Telecom provider that takes care of generator power for you. Most of these will do a rack for a couple hundred a month that includes the generator backup. You may need to get a small UPS that handles the "blip" until the generator kicks in (they usually tell you that you need a few seconds of UPS), but it sounds like you already have units to put at the bottom of the rack that will handle that. You then have servers that will survive as long as the provider has fuel. Anything else is going to cost you far more. Most likely you can find one that will provide decent bandwidth from your location to theirs and provide you with an Internet connection at the Colo that is less expensive because it doesn't have the local loop to your facility. This probably would offset much of the cost for bandwidth that you will need from your office to your servers at the Colo.

Comment: Re:Languages not for everyone (Score 1) 752

by liam193 (#30507858) Attached to: The Environmental Impact of PHP Compared To C++ On Facebook

You have to be a PHP programmer to understand PHP code well enough to say that it's bad. So is your statement a lie or are you a bad programmer?

And I would submit that anyone who turns out bad PHP is not a good programmer in other languages either. The fact is that other languages may make it harder to turn out bad code, but if you program correctly, you shouldn't need the language ot make it hard. However, if you rely on the language to keep you out of trouble, you are going to eventually find a way around the language's protections.

Comment: Re:I beg to differ (Score 1) 508

by liam193 (#29499329) Attached to: MIT Project "Gaydar" Shakes Privacy Assumpitons

I think this is a great question. I would submit that many people who avoid facebook and other applications still have enough of this information in text or pictures that is posted by their friends. Regardless of whether you've ever joined facebook, it's likely that you are tagged in a bunch of photos or listed in a comment or two. The linkages of those tags could be used to do similar research. The point is that you can't stick your head in the sand. Social Networks exists.

Comment: Polish != Innovation (Score 1) 322

by liam193 (#28506229) Attached to: The Open Source Design Conundrum

This article has a crucial flaw. It merges the concepts of innovation and polish.

Much of the FOSS software is lacking in polish. The interface may not be pretty or there is a single feature that is a bit hard to set or whatever; however, that has nothing to do with innovation. Innovation is the moving forward into new features and capabilities. In that realm, FOSS is frequently the leader. Why? Because in many cases the proprietary systems look at what the majority of users will want and ignore the minority groups. When you do this, you end up with the worst of all worlds from a feature standpoint. It is a challenge to support the beginning user and the advanced user at the same time. It's a challenge to allow the business user to utilize the same product as the technical users or even home users. The place were FOSS most shines is in the fact that the products are open so that a developer can step in and say, "This product would be better for group X if we added this functionality so I'll add it." In some cases that developer is in group X.

I am an owner of an Ipod Touch. I absolutely love the thing. I can do about 80% of what I want on it. Why only 80%? Not because the capabilities I want are complicated or costly to employ. Because the manufacturer feels that my use of the device is a minority use so they never developed the features. For example: I heavily use my Ipod Touch as what it is (an Ipod ... read the term pod as in podcasting). I listen to multiple podcasts daily. I can now download podcasts directly over wifi; however, the feature is crippled by the fact that the Ipod Touch will not keep a list of your podcasts. The only way to keep a list of the podcasts you listen too on the device is to keep around an episode of the podcast. That combined with the fact that the device allows no feature for "download all new episodes of my podcasts" (which it couldn't do without the list or you would have to keep around old episodes for it to know what podcasts you listen too) make the device a pain to work with. As an alternative, it would be great to sync over wifi with my computer, but that's not possible either. So, a device that is meant to listen to podcasts on the go and has wifi support and the ability to download over the air makes it painful to do so without a frequently cabling. This is the exact place where a FOSS approach would shine. A developer would be able to add one or more of these features without having to get the original developers to "come around".

So, I can see that FOSS sometimes fails on the polish side and may not always produce the best interface, but the idea that it lacks in innovation simply put does not make any sense.

Comment: Cloud computing is better (Score 1) 189

by liam193 (#27955553) Attached to: Confirmed Gmail / Google App Outage

It's bad enough when I screw up a config and it takes down my mail, but what about when it happens to the entire globe at once?

I was reading this comment and it occurred to me that the latter is actually preferred. With the first option, your systems are messed up, but everyone else wants you to continue to conduct business. With the latter situation, your systems are down and so are the people who would normally be trying to reach you.

"Success covers a multitude of blunders." -- George Bernard Shaw

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