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Comment: Estimates are not the problem... it just sucks (Score 1) 167

by martiniturbide (#49141995) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates
Is this real or maybe my english reading skills are not good enough to understand it.

Incorrect estimates are the problem. When non-experience people estimate, or when management force to under-estimate that is the real issue.

Estimates are necessary in software development, but of course that "estimating" sucks just like "deadlines", "taxes", "death", "breaking up with your girlfriend in person", "no wifi", "cancer", "divorce" and many other things.

I have a solution, why don't you go to your boss and say "Estimating sucks, and I would not do that because I don't want to compromise any time. So you can "Estimate" my monthly salary according to whatever deadline we will never accomplish".... that sounds fair.

Comment: Death to the MLC (Score 1) 164

by martiniturbide (#48818871) Attached to: The Mainframe Is Dead! Long Live the Mainframe!
I had been out of (what I used to know) the mainframe scene for a long while. The zOS was great an everybody loved the mainframe with the exception of the financial department. It was because of the "Monthly License Charge" that some Mainframe models used to have, the software was never licensed to you, it was "rented", so if you didn't pay the MLC you must disconnect the mainframe. Is the MLC over? Does anybody knows?

+ - Google aims to be your universal translator->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "The latest Google Translate uses your phone's camera to read foreign street signs — even when off line.

Google is beaming a bit closer to Star Trek's universal translator with the newest edition of its Translate app.

Rolling out over the next few days for iOS and Android users, the latest version of Google Translate offers two key features — the ability to instantly converse with someone speaking in a different language and the capability to translate street signs and other images into your native language.

Both features have been available in the Android app to some extent. For example, Google Translate for Android has long offered real-time translation of conversations. But Google's goal behind the latest version of the app is to enhance and simplify the features so they work more quickly and fluidly without any lag time.

The latest version of Google Translate aims to change that. To converse with someone speaking in a different language, a user chooses his language and that of the other speaker. He then taps the microphone icon in the app, starts speaking in his native or selected language, and then taps the mic icon again. The app will recognize which of the two languages is being spoken, and then the two speakers can carry on their conversation without having to keep tapping the mic.

In a test of the app's instant translation, The New York Times said it did prove to be a step forward; though, it's not science fiction just yet. The app fared best with short sentences that didn't include jargon, and it worked better when the users paused between each translation.

Google also has beefed up the app's ability to translate street signs. Previously, you'd have to take a photo of the foreign text to get a translation of it. Now, you simply point your camera at the sign and the translated text appears overlaid on your screen — even if you're not connected to the Internet. This feature is made possible courtesy of Quest Visual's Word Lens app for iOS and Android, which Google acquired when it purchased the company last May.

This feature supports English translated to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Google says it's working to add more languages."

Link to Original Source

+ - Man Saves Wife's Sight by 3D Printing Her Tumor->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Michael Balzer, a former software engineer and Air Force technical instructor, found himself unsatisfied with a doctor's diagnosis of a small tumor behind his wife's left eye. Balzer had recently become proficient at creating 3D models, so he asked the doctor for the raw medical imaging data and took a look himself. In addition to correcting a later misdiagnosis, Balzer 3D printed models of his wife's cranium and helped neurosurgeons plan a procedure to remove the tumor, instead of waiting to see how it developed, like previous doctors had recommended. During the procedure, surgeons found the tumor was beginning to entangle her optic nerve, and even a six-month wait would have had dire consequences for her eyesight.

Medical researchers like Dr. Michael Patton believe this sort of prototyping will become "the new normal" in a very short time. "What you can now do through 3D printing is like what you’re able to do in the software world: Rapid iteration, fail fast, get something to market quickly. You can print the prototypes, and then you can print out model organs on which to test the products. You can potentially obviate the need for some animal studies, and you can do this proof of concept before extensive patient trials are conducted."

Link to Original Source

+ - Ammonia Leak Alarm on the ISS Forces Evacuation of US Side, Crew Safe

Submitted by BabelBuilder
BabelBuilder (3984043) writes "A possible ammonia leak aboard the ISS this morning caused the crew to evacuate the US side of the station. All crew aboard the station is safe. According to Universe Today, "NASA says that an alarm sounded in the US segment at about 4 a.m. EST. indicating a possible ammonia leak. As a result, all six Expedition 42 astronauts and cosmonauts evacuated the US segment." NASA thinks the alarm triggered by the ammonia leak might be a false alarm, but is going over their data."

+ - Bliss-box launches a "Kick Starter" campaign-> 2

Submitted by martiniturbide
martiniturbide (1203660) writes "The dream of every emulator enthusiast is to be able to connect all the game consoles classic controllers into the USB port of the PC (and other platforms) to play games. Bliss-box had been discussing some prototypes on how to do that since 2007 on emulation forums. Now Bliss-box launched a kick starter campaign to raise money to turn the Bliss-box 4-play product into a reality, this is an "almost circular" 4 USB ports adapter that with a set of cables with allow you to connect almost any kind of gamepad/joystick to your PC."
Link to Original Source

+ - Peter Sunde: The Pirate Bay Should Stay Down->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We are on the second day since The Pirate Bay was raided by Swedish police. While it's still unclear how hard the site was hit, not everyone is mourning its troubles. "The Pirate Bay has been raided, again. That happened over 8 years ago last time. That time, a lot of people went out to protest and rally in the streets. Today few seem to care. And I'm one of them", writes Peter Sunde, one of the well-known founders of TPB. He paints a rather crusty picture: "The site was ugly, full of bugs, old code and old designs. It never changed except for one thing – the ads. More and more ads were filling the site, and somehow when it felt unimaginable to make these ads more distasteful, they somehow ended up even worse." Adding to that, the plan had always been to pull the plug after 10 years, so others could take over. However, when that day came last year the site remained online. The big question that remains right now is whether The Pirate Bay will make another comeback, or if this is indeed the end. Peter seems to believe that the latter may be the case, but that others will fill the gap."
Link to Original Source

+ - Apple, IBM Partnership Yields First Results: 10 Mobile Apps->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "IBM and Apple have unveiled the first results of the enterprise IT partnership they announced in July: 10 mobile applications aimed at businesses in six industries as well as government users. One of the apps, for example, allows a flight crew to personalize a passenger's in-flight experience. An app targeted at the banking industry allows a financial advisor to remotely access and manage a client's portfolio. And police officers can use iPhones to view video feeds from crime scenes with an app for law enforcement."
Link to Original Source

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