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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - NASA picks 5 firms for private launch to LEO-> 1

Submitted by Gary W. Longsine
Gary W. Longsine (124661) writes "Five contracts have been awarded by NASA today, to firms exploring different aspects of the effort to develop a private launch industry for people to low earth orbit. Today's winners include:

Will the forecast $6 Billion allocation over five years be enough to inspire private industry to develop not one, but two human rated launch systems (a capsule, and the lifting body Dream Chaser)? NASA clearly wants competition in the private market, so they seek more than one vendor. Will the losers in this competition be able to survive today's announcement, which makes them "distant third" candidates to provide these services?"
Link to Original Source


Woz Cites "Scary" Prius Acceleration Software Problem 749

Posted by Soulskill
from the bad-news-for-half-of-california dept.
theodp writes "Speaking at Discovery Forum 2010, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak went off topic and spoke about a 'very scary' problem with his 2010 Toyota Prius. 'I don't get upset and teed off at things in life, except computers that don't work right,' said Woz, who went on to explain he'd been trying to get through to Toyota and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration for three months, but could not get anyone to explore an alleged software-related acceleration problem. 'I have a new model that didn't get recalled,' Steve said. 'This new model has an accelerator that goes wild but only under certain conditions of cruise control. And I can repeat it over and over and over again — safely.' Toyota said it investigates all complaints. 'We're in the business of investigating complaints, assessing problems and finding remedies,' said Toyota's John Hanson. 'After man-years of exhaustive testing we have not found any evidence of an electronic [software] problem that would have led to unwanted acceleration.'" We recently discussed other problems Toyota has had with electronic acceleration systems.

Comment: Re:Perfect price setting requires perfect informat (Score 1) 836

by pschmied (#30107454) Attached to: Are You a Blue-Collar Or White-Collar Developer?

For him, having someone who could code and also write coherent sentences and speak somewhat intelligently with people who might be inclined to invest in the company.

Edit: For him, it was important to have someone who could code and also write coherent sentences and speak somewhat intelligently with people who might be inclined to invest in the company.

Jeez, talk about an ironic lapse in grammar.

Comment: Perfect price setting requires perfect information (Score 1) 836

by pschmied (#30107286) Attached to: Are You a Blue-Collar Or White-Collar Developer?

In a free market, we would expect better coders to make more money than less good coders. The problem is that this is predicated on having perfect information (i.e. being able to actually rank coders by quality). In the marketplace, it's actually quite hard to know how good coders are relative to their peers. Sure, you could test everyone, but then that assumes your test is correct and that you have the time and money to administer it.

Therefore, employers look for discriminators. One of those discriminators is a four year degree. Though we anecdotally hear about impractical academic CS majors who can't code, most four year CS grads have a modicum of understanding.

Additionally, a friend of mine was recently in the position to hire. I asked him about the four year degree issue because my friend usually belongs to the school of "put up or shut up." His opinion was that a four year degree was important not just because of coding chops, but *because* of all the other classes that are typically required in a four year program. For him, having someone who could code and also write coherent sentences and speak somewhat intelligently with people who might be inclined to invest in the company.


Father of Green Revolution, Norman Borlaug, Dies at 95 227

Posted by timothy
from the a-billion-here-a-billion-there dept.
countincognito writes "Norman Borlaug, a genuinely remarkable man and the father of the Green Revolution in agriculture, has died of cancer at his Dallas home aged 95. His life's work on developing high-yield, disease-resistant crops has been credited with having saved an estimated one billion people from famine, and one billion hectares of forest and rainforest from being cleared for agricultural production."

+ - /etc

Submitted by pschmied
pschmied (5648) writes "slash ee-tee-cee slash et cetera slash et-cee slash et-sizzle-cowboy-neal-era"

+ - Security expert: F/OSS taking over in every niche->

Submitted by pschmied
pschmied (5648) writes "From the article: 'For me, when I'm able to sell the concept of open source, it's because I convince them that the total cost of ownership is the lowest. It's not just that sticker price. You can go out and buy commercial products from IBM and Microsoft, but the open source product works just as well, and chances are, you can find more people familiar and skilled with the open source tools than you are going to find with skills for a particular proprietary product. In the end, this is what has driven TCO down. It used to be an argument that you would have a hard time finding employees with open source skills. Now that's an easier proposition than finding the other.'"
Link to Original Source

+ - Etoile Project releases Mac-like environment->

Submitted by pschmied
pschmied (5648) writes "Today the Étoilé Project released v0.2 of its Desktop Environment. Not only does Étoilé share user interface similarities with Mac OS X, Étoilé enjoys some source-level compatibility with Mac OS X as well. Many Slashdotters undoubtedly remember NeXT, the revolutionary computer / development environment that gave rise to the first web browser and later became the foundation of Mac OS X. Étoilé uses the FSF's own implementation of the NeXT development environment, GNUStep, making this a close technological relative of OS X. Screenshots and a source tarball are available."
Link to Original Source

+ - Etoile project release version 0.2

Submitted by
Nicolas Roard
Nicolas Roard writes "The Etoile project is pleased to announce the release of version 0.2 of the Etoile User Environment for UNIX-like systems. The Etoile project aims to produce a user environment for desktop and small form-factor devices, with tight integration between components. The 0.2 release is primarily targeted at developers interested in a GNUstep-based environment. This release includes improvements to the Camaelon theme engine, providing a clean and modern appearance to GNUstep-based applications. This is combined with the Etoile Menu Server, providing a horizontal menu bar similar to that found in Mac OS, and making this the first Etoile release with enough features in place to be usable on a daily basis. Screenshots are here."

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.