Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Arguments for Various Creation Viewpoints (Score 1) 528

by northerner (#42807333) Attached to: Ask Dr. Robert Bakker About Dinosaurs and Merging Science and Religion

There are different views on creation held by Christians. For each viewpoint, there are some good arguments for holding that belief and some less rational ones.

Some viewpoints include: Pure Evolution, Theistic Evolution, Intelligent Design, Old-Earth Creationism with old life, Old-Earth Creationism with young life, Young-Earth Creationism

Question: Can you suggest some good resources with some of the better arguments for some of these viewpoints (whether or not you hold that position)?

I would be interested in books, articles, lectures/debates (audio or videos), or web sites.

If any Slashdotters can provide some resources with a quick comment on whether they think they provided good arguments (whether or not they agree with them), please do so.

Comment: Re:Windows 8 Is Failing on It's Own (Score 1) 610

by northerner (#42495891) Attached to: 'Gorilla Arm' Will Keep Touch Screens From Taking Over

Microsoft's problem is probably that they have too many customer who expect different things from user interface.

They also have too many customers who expect different things from the underlying OS.

There are many customers who still need WinXP or Win7 for various reasons (e.g. embedded WinXP devices).

Microsoft is throwing away revenue by not supporting those older Windows versions. Instead they should have a WinXP division that competes against the Win7 division which competes against the Win8 division. Many WinXP customers would like to continue using WinXP but still get improvements, and are willing to pay. When any older version is almost entire migrated to newer platforms, that version can then be dissolved without pushing users into the competitor's camp.

Comment: Re:Fantastic-Proper Disclosure (Score 1) 100

by northerner (#41932931) Attached to: Canada's Supreme Court Tosses Viagra Patent For Vagueness
One problem with software patents is that they are vague and applied too widely for litigation.

The lawyer speak used for patent applications obscures the technology details.

Proper disclosure for all patents should be sufficient technical detail that the invention can be reproduced. For software patents, source code demonstrating the invention should be supplied.

Comment: Re:Chicken::egg. (Score 1) 328

by northerner (#41649241) Attached to: Galileo: Europe's Version of GPS Reaches Key Phase
There are already chipsets that use multiple positioning constellations simultaneously. It won't be long until consumer gear has this as a standard feature.

The chips can receive some or all of GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, COMPASS (AKA China's Beidou or Big Dipper), QZSS (Japan) and SBAS augmentation services.

For hardware hackers, companies have put the chips into easier to use modules. Two examples are the Telit Jupiter SL869 and the uBlox NEO-7, which are even footprint compatible with each other.

Comment: Re:Are 'smart' meters mandatory? (Score 1) 96

by northerner (#41483853) Attached to: Smart-Grid Control Software Maker Hacked
Smart meters are a lot less safety critical than the SCADA control systems. Networking smart meters makes a lot of sense. It's desirable to do it right, but if the billing is messed up, it can be corrected. The ability to change the operation of the system needs to very secure in comparison.

Comment: Facebook Follies Documentary (Score 1) 625

by northerner (#40810823) Attached to: Facebook Abstainers Could Be Labeled Suspicious

There are many good reasons for not having a Facebook account. Many people don't understand the risks associated with Facebook.

"Facebook Follies is a one-hour documentary that takes a look at the unexpected consequences of people sharing their personal information on social media."

http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/episode/facebook-follies.html

Sorry, the full episode is available for online viewing only from Canada.

Comment: Jack Ganssle has Great Resources (Score 1) 446

by northerner (#38890477) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Transitioning From 'Hacker' To 'Engineer'?
Software and embedded firmware engineering are different than hacking because they build on established practices for writing and testing code.

Here are some suggestions to becoming a proficient software engineer:

1. Learn to work your way up the capability maturity model (and help your company to do so). See item 6 in the following article.

Learn to avoid the "7 Habits of Highly Dysfunctional Developers". http://www.ganssle.com/articles/7habits.htm

2. Jack Ganssle's articles are great reading for programmers wanting to build reliable systems. They are helpful for both embedded programmers and people working on other platforms.

http://www.ganssle.com/articles.htm

3. Here is Jack's recommended reading list.

http://www.ganssle.com/bkreviews.htm

I have found his own books to be useful.

http://www.ganssle.com/book.htm

4. Jack's articles in Embedded Systems Programming magazine contain lots of programming wisdom.

http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-blogs/21/Break-Points?Ecosystem=embedded

Comment: Re:What computer DOES come as a kit? (Score 1) 240

by northerner (#38889927) Attached to: Why the Raspberry Pi Won't Ship In Kit Form
You can build your own microcontroller kit. Many of them have more memory and power than the early PCs.

Plans, bare boards, or complete parts kits are available for many types of micros.

Some options are:

Buy a PCB and add parts: http://kornakprotoblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/introducing-avr-3u-dev-board-for.html

Build it on StripBoard: http://www.xappsoftware.com/wordpress/2011/12/16/build-your-own-arduino-for-under-10/

Build it on a BreadBoard: http://gargiullo.com/2010/10/build-your-own-arduino/

AVRs and PICs are popular because they are available as easy to solder thru-hole parts. The newer Arm-Cortex chips offer much more memory, peripherals, and horsepower but are almost all SMT parts.

Comment: Real Canadian Fusion Company (Score 1) 556

by northerner (#38708278) Attached to: Can NASA Warm Cold Fusion?
Has anyone looked into this company that is working on "more conventional" fusion reactors (i.e. not cold fusion)?

What do you think of their approach? They is a mechanical-acoustic means of compressing the plasma.

http://www.generalfusion.com/

From their web site: General Fusion is a Canadian venture capital-backed company led by a team of experienced physicists and technology development experts. We are working with government, institutional and industrial partners and consultants to develop a full-scale proof-of-concept fusion generator to demonstrate a net gain in energy within four years – something that traditional approaches have never achieved. Commercialization would take place before the end of the decade. Image of a Plasma Injector

“The closest to a potential reactor scheme is what General Fusion is proposing.” —R. Kirkpatrick, Los Alamos National Laboratory [Popular Science, January 2009]

Comment: Re:It still works. (Score 1) 879

by northerner (#38584428) Attached to: What's Keeping You On XP?
Running a highly reliable RTOS like QNX on nuclear reactor controllers is quite reassuring to me.
Finding out that other control systems use embedded NT or XP is not reassuring, especially when they are networked.

The requirements for a safety critical system are much different than for general purpose computing.
Stuxnet should not have been possible on factory controllers.

Comment: What's a good ERP Alternative (Score 1) 359

by northerner (#38382764) Attached to: Oracle Sued For 'Extortion, Lies' By Montclair State University
Who is using moderate priced ERP software that they like?

What is a good choice of ERP software for a small company that will grow into a medium sized company ($5million to $20million)?

I would like to avoid the experience Montclair State University had, and work with a good software package that doesn't need a lot of expensive consulting to customize it for my company.

Old programmers never die, they just branch to a new address.

Working...