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NASA

+ - 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

Bug

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.

Biotech

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."
Microsoft

How Microsoft Beats GNU/Linux In Schools 476

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the doing-battle-like-an-insider dept.
twitter writes "Ever wonder why schools still use Windows? Boycott Novell has extracted the details from 2002 Microsoft email presented in the Comes vrs Microsoft case and other leaks. What emerges is Microsoft's desperate battle to 'never lose to Linux.' At stake for Microsoft is more than a billion dollars of annual revenue, vital user conditioning and governmental lock in that excludes competition, and software freedom for the rest of us. Education and Government Incentives [EDGI] and "Microsoft Unlimited Potential" are programs that allows vendors to sell Windows at zero cost. Microsoft's nightmare scenario has already been realized in Indiana and other places. Windows is not really competitive and schools that switch save tens of millions of dollars. Because software is about as expensive as the hardware in these deals, the world could save up to $500 million each year by dumping Microsoft. Now that the cat is out of the bag, it's hard to see what Microsoft can do other than what they did to Peter Quinn."

Comment: Which version of which distro? (Score 1) 963

by pschmied (#24637033) Attached to: Why Is Adobe Flash On Linux Still Broken?

Thoroughly testing one platform is hard enough. Testing against each and every current version of every popular distro is a lot of regression tests.

The situation with Linux isn't horrible for open source software--the load of testing all those system permutations is theoretically distributed across the teams of all those distros.

For commercial software (and open source if we were completely honest), testing on loads of platforms is just a lot of time and energy that companies like Adobe don't really have to dedicate to such a small percentage of their potential customer base.

Unix

+ - /etc

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

+ - 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
GNUStep

+ - 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
GNUStep

+ - 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."

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