I know a thing or two about these guys. Here is my story of rats attack.
Around 2005, I got a message on my cell phone at night, from a monitoring server, that one of the app servers is down. I tried to login remotely without success, ping didn't go through. I dragged myself up and went to the server room. A colleague who received the same message got there at the same time. From the terminal, we saw that the server was running just fine. We checked the network cable, it was cut, and looked like it's bitten by something. Other cables were also bitten to lesser degree. Some little animal was grinding its teeth, we guessed. We replaced the cable, and went back to sleep.
The next day, I passed by a co-worker's desk, saw he had a web cam. I borrowed it, and set it up in the server room, near the machine whose cable was bitten, and wrote a cron to snap images during the night.
We received another message the second night, another server went down. We went to the server room again, sure enough, another bitten network cable. Not only the network cable, the head of my Philips cell phone charger was completely bitten off. I was working in the server room the day before, and had my cell phone charged there, and forgot to bring the charger back to my desk. I was pissed. We check the photos snapped by the web cam... ah, here it was, a small rat, the size of the fist of a small boy. I told myself I'd take care of that pest.
The third day, we checked around, and found a small hole in the elevated floor in a corner. We guessed it must come out from there. We surrounded with whatever we could find in the office, put an old IBM machine that had been replaced and was laying around, connected the web cam to that machine and set up to snap photos again. My colleague went to the grocery store to buy a mouse trap, and put it there. We hoped that the mouse trap would catch it right there.
The third night went without any incident. In the morning, we went to check again. Oh, it was awful. The rat was lying there, its hairs all messy, and we still could smell something. The power cord of the machine was half bitten. We put the photos together into a slide show, and saw that as it was biting into the cable, there was sparks coming out, and the rat was obviously electrocuted on the spot. We showed that to the colleagues in the office and had a good laugh, some of them thought it was really gross, and that we were cruel, and that we had really mistreated animals.
Only a great mind like dmr can create a compiler able to compile the following:
That's racist stereotyping. The early wave of Chinese immigrants are poor, and they went to other countries mostly as cheap labor, e.g. railway construction workers in North America. Added the racist social environment at the time towards the Chinese, providing these kinds of services (small restaurants, dry cleaning, etc) was probably the only few options for them. That's not by choice. That's not in their gene either. Their descendant moved up the social ladder quickly too, and are now among the elites.
The new wave of Chinese immigrants (starting at the end of the 1990s) are wealthy people, which millions and millions worth of asset. They emigrate to other countries (mostly Australia, Canada, US, some western European countries) to have comfortable life, and have full protection of their assets. They buy up lands, assets, huge houses, etc. They can live there until the end of their life without working a single day again.
And sorry to break it to you, at the rate the western economy is degrading, you might be the one who would deliver cheap take-out and do dry-cleaning. And the Chinese don't like to give out tips. And they don't speak English, and don't bother to learn.
Linux could have dominated, if there was some sort of stable API for third-party developers. Developing for the Linux platform quickly becomes an experience of insanity, when you start doing compatibility test, and the test matrix just explodes.
I'd say, if it was too hard to keep API stable across all versions of Linux, maybe we should at least have API stable for all minor versions, say, 2.6.x?
I know all the arguments for moving faster, for keeping a cleaner code base, etc. But hell, what good is a shiny kernel if the apps can't keep up with?
Just venting, from my experiences working with kernel module.
I am not sure if that's worth it. I have an HTC Touch Pro, I love the keyboard, it's only 3 years old, but I don't feel like abandoning it yet. So I grabbed the xdandroid code, and built a custom bundle to run on it, spent a lot of time making it work the way it is now (but still a lot of crashes), so I think it would be probably better off to work on something else to earn the money and buy a new phone. But what a waste to give it up, the hardware is perfectly fine, just that the software/platform has been abandoned.
So I am really wary about locked-down phone. I looked at the new Moto Droid 3, really like the hardware, but I don't think I'll get a phone that is so tightly locked down. The manufacturers and the service providers conspire to obsolete the phone every two years, so that we are on a spending treadmill. And the problem is, there is not a real open phone. OpenMoko is pretty much dead. After my N900 was stolen, I am back to my TP, and I think I'm going to use it until I find something open enough, and with a nice hardware keyboard. Not that TP is an open platform either.
Short answer: No.
Longer answer: Usually no. It has been blocked a couple of times in the last few years, but that usually only lasted one day, or half a day. The fact that
that someday, we will have real news for nerds, things that matter, instead of every fart from Jobs and Apple.
Science and technology are advancing at an amazing pace, there are so much interesting things out there, and there are so many interesting topics regarding society too. And there are no lack of submissions either, but instead, we must be all these junks about Apple. It seems like Slashdot has become a propaganda machine for Apple or something, you really have to wonder how much kickback timothy and the gang get from their overlord.
The annoying thing is that there's no way to filter out idiotic topics like that. The only way is to take it personal, and exclude topics by the poster. A real shame, especially for a site that had the ball the label itself a forum for geeks and nerds. No wonder, the interesting topics have less and less participation from the geeks, and the tabloid-like topics are crowded.
It's nice and all to provide stipends to students, have a mentor to tutor them and give them a chance to work on something cool.
But if the space agency is serious about open source space-related software, and would like to tap into a vaster pool of programming talents, I have a better idea to propose. Why not make it accessible to all professional programmers? I sure there are lot of programmers, myself included, who would happily work on space-related open source software in their spare time, no stipend required, if they had access to the resources and have a chance to work on it.
All space agencies have collected a ton of data, from different asteroids, from the space probes, from satellite, from the telescope, etc, etc. Put up a few clusters of servers, make them more accessible to programmers, and let them hack away. If you have specific needs, and don't have the bandwidth to work on, just put the description of the requirements, what you would like to achieve, etc, on the web, and let volunteers all over the world help out. Since you are willing to have mentors available to the students, these mentors can help to explain and clarify things online, from time to time, and help the programmers to get a better idea of what needs to be done.
For each project, there will be more than one group working on it, and you can choose the one with the most potential, and probably back it up with some more resources later. And if the software needs to interact with any hardware, pick one with the most potential and invite the main developers and give them access to your cool hardware. That would be an honour for most programmers, and would happily accept to take up the challenge.
Likewise for some quality control works. The space agency have their very strict, very controlled software quality process. Why not open it up and share it with the people outside too? You know, for the open source projects, maybe have someone internal leading the work, and have your test plans and test cases, processes, clearly spelled out, and tap into the professionals all over the world to help with too. Some people might not be a good-enough programmer to code, but they might be interested enough in space exploration that they would chip in their time to help with QA, at least.
There are enough programmers idling away their time and spare brain cycle on
How about that, ESA, NASA, anyone?
We the People, the owners of the government,...
What kind of weed have you been smoking? Mind to share it a bit? I'd like to get into that euphoric state from time to time too.
I know, I'm getting too cynical now. But with the current trends of development on the political scene all over the world, it's hard to not be cynical.
Some people had already said it, it depends on the area you are in. But if you are in Asia, especially in China, get as many degrees and certificates as possible. A lot of people, including well-known people (such as a former GM of Microsoft China), had posed as expert in certain fields by showing a piece of paper from a degree mill. You would be amazed how people attach so much importance to a piece of paper, regardless of your experiences, and regardless of your previous achievements.
ps: My password on