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Submission + - Gamifying the Workplace: Badges IRL with 3D Printing (

mtippett writes: The problem with the virtual badges is that they are too cheap to make (effectively free to create a new one) and only appear when you go to a users' homepage. Having played with 3d printing, I realized that you could make these badges in real life and bring a bit of physical interest to the work place, applying the same rules. With a few minutes on an online 3d modeling tool, online 3d printing services, and finally a magnet and some super glue, you can easily end up with full color sandstone badge.

Submission + - Web Based Plotting/Graphing for Large Data Sets 1

kumpfjn writes: I recently have taken on a project where we have to produce plots for sensor readings. These line plots can be over several years meaning one sensor's line plot could consist of 50,000+ points. We have been using the GD graphing in PHP (also jpGraph) but it is still pretty slow when the final rendering occurs. I've done quite a bit of searching and so far (for PHP at least) my results have been lest than favorable. Everything I have found ends up performing the same or slower than GD. I also did quite a bit of testing of every piece of my code and the database and queries are very well optimized. The bottleneck is at the final generation of the image for display. My next step was to pursue tools in Python but I wanted to know what the expert community of Slashdot users are using and/or would recommend for this type of project. We are using Linux/Unix servers but otherwise are pretty open to whatever performs the best. These plots need to be generated on the fly based on parameters (date ranges, sensor combinations, etc) so running batch jobs to generate images and selecting them would not be favorable for us although this may be fall back.

What Aspects of Open Source Projects Do You Avoid? 344

paulproteus writes "I'm a Debian developer and a part-time contributor to a few smaller projects. I do a lot of free software-y and open source-y things. Sometimes, though, I don't do them. I figure some other Slashdotters might have similar hang-ups — we contribute to a project, but there are parts that we really dread thinking about. So I wrote a post about having these hang-ups, and I made a place on the web to share how others can help your project. What are the parts that, in your projects, you would be relieved if someone else looked at for you?"

Submission + - 'Good Enough' Software QA trending us into Failure (

An anonymous reader writes: Faced with the inescapable conclusion that complex software can never be 100% tested, companies have been forced into a 'Good Enough' strategy. As complexity increases, the probability of unexpected bugs increases with it. At the same time, hardware vendors have been dramatically increasing the capability of embedded CPU hardware, and therefore much more can be done in software. So all our consumer products which contain embedded systems are trending on a death march toward unreliability, or unsustainable QA costs. In end will consumers simply continue to downgrade their expectations when it comes to product reliability, or will something have to change?

One picture is worth 128K words.