nerdyalien writes "Agile software development is at the heart of the coalition government's plan to reform public sector IT. Universal Credit, the government's £2bn flagship welfare reform programme, was meant to prove it worked on major projects. But the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has ceased all agile software development on Universal Credit. Did the DWP ditch agile because it was not up to the job? Or was the DWP not up to agile?
Agile development experts say the problem was with the DWP. Universal Credit failed on agile, they say, because it was never really agile in the first place. A former principal agile consultant on Universal Credit, who asked not to be named, said the programme got off on the wrong foot. "The fundamental problem was procurement," he said. "Our hands were tied because of procurement. If you don't set up the contract properly, you are on a hiding to nothing." Universal Credit could never have been agile, he said, because of the way the DWP let £1.12bn of contracts with the programme's major suppliers, including HP, Accenture, Capgemini and IBM. "We were effectively on a waterfall project, because it was a waterfall contract," he said."Link to Original Source
nerdyalien writes "In the academic world, it’s publish or perish; getting papers accepted by the right journals can make or break a researcher’s career. But beyond a cushy tenured position, it's difficult to measure success. In 2005, physicist Jorge Hurst suggested the h-index, a quantitative way to measure the success of scientists via their publication record. This score takes into account both the number and the quality of papers a researcher has published, with quality measured as the number of times each paper has been cited in peer-reviewed journals. H-indices are commonly considered in tenure decisions, making this measure an important one, especially for scientists early in their career.
However, this index only measures the success a researcher achieved so far; it doesn’t predict their future career trajectory. Some scientists stall out after a few big papers; others become breakthrough stars after a slow start. So how we estimate what a scientist's career will look like several years down the road? A recent article in Nature suggests that we can predict scientific success, but that we need to take into account several attributes of the researcher (such as the breadth of their research)."Link to Original Source
nerdyalien writes "Directly quoting GIZMODO — Apparently some mad engineers called G.C. Johnson and J.W. Wilkey actually thought of sending pigs to space instead of monkeys or dogs. It was 1963. Imagine that. PIGS IN SPACE."Link to Original Source
nerdyalien writes "Being an alpha male is not easy. You have to fight with enemy, maintain many ladies, and be ahead of the pack all the time. These demands comes at the cost of high stress.
This study revolves around baboons and their fecal samples. Group of scientists analyse them and come to interesting conclusions such as: stress as the alpha male is same as being in a very low rank, high stress leads to poor health of alpha males, rank #2 reap more benefits including getting laid and less stress.
In an anthropological, evolutionary biological point of view, this is an excellent article. Once the comedy hat is put on, all the "fecal sample" study turns into comedy gold (see the comments section of the original article)"Link to Original Source
nerdyalien writes "What do around 16,000 Google employees stare at in the morning when theyve arrived at the office? They might be looking at Moma, the name for the Google intranet. The meaning of the name of Moma is a mystery even to some of the employees working on it, we heard, but Momas mission is prominently displayed on its footer: Organize Googles information and make it accessible and useful to Googlers."Link to Original Source