beezzie writes "Last week, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered a pay cut, to minimum wage of $6.55/hr, for 200,000 state workers — because a state budget hadn't been approved yet. The state controller, who has opposed the pay cut on principle and legal grounds, now says the pay cut isn't even feasible because the state's payroll systems are so antiquated. He says it would take six months to go to minimum wage, and nine months more to restore salaries once a budget is passed. The system is based on COBOL, according to the Sacramento Bee, and the state hasn't yet found the funds or resources, in ten years of trying, to upgrade it." The article quotes a consultant on how hard it is to find COBOL programmers; he says you usually have to draw them out of retirement. Problem is, if there were any such folks on the employment rolls in California, Gov. Schwarzenegger fired them all last week, too.
An anonymous reader writes "From the MySQL User's Conference, Sun has announced, and former CEO Marten Mickos has confirmed, that Sun will be close sourcing sections of the MySQL code base. Sun will begin with close sourcing the backup solutions to MySQL, and will continue with more advanced features. With Oracle owning Innodb, and it being GPL, does this mean that MySQL will be removing it to introduce these features? Sun has had a very poor history of actually open sourcing anything."
Bobcat writes "Ars Technica has a 'first look' at Safari for Windows, which is interesting because it's written from the perspective of someone new to Safari. It was tested against Firefox 2 and IE7 and aside from the slightly faster page loading, Ars didn't find much to recommend it to Windows users. 'The modest increase in rendering performance is hardly worth the deficiencies, and Safari's user interface simply doesn't provide the usability or flexibility of competing products. If the folks at Apple think that providing Windows users with a taste of Mac OS X through Safari is going to entice them to buy a Mac, it's going to take a better effort than the Safari 3 beta. Even if the final release is more polished and completely bug-free, it still won't be as powerful or feature-loaded as Opera or Firefox.'"
simon_kehler writes "The Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is a Java AJAX framework that provides an easy to use programming paradigm for web developers using the Java programming language. It is one of the more recent entrants into this field, but has been gaining a lot of traction and popularity. GWT Java AJAX Programming authored by Prabhakar Chaganti and published by Packt Publishing addresses the use of GWT to build ajaxified user interfaces. The author gently introduces the reader to GWT and then leads the reader through a series of tasks, each of which shows how to perform an useful action with GWT." Read below for Simon's review.
rjrjr writes "There's a new kid on the block of Java dependency injection, Google's Guice (pronounced "juice"). Eric Burke wrote up this comparison of Guice and Spring. Here's a choice quote:
"At the end of the day, I compared my modules — written in Java — to my Spring XML files. The modules are significantly smaller and easier to read. Then I realized about 3/4 of the code in my modules was unnecessary, so I stripped it out. They were reduced to just a few lines of code each.
Bob Lee writes "We're pleased to announce the open source release of Google's internal Java dependency injection framework Guice. Guice wholly embraces annotations and generics, thereby enabling you to wire together and test objects with less effort than ever before. Annotations finally free you from error-prone, refactoring-adverse string identifiers."
ToiletDuck writes "Wikipedia co-founder Jimbo Wales appears to have changed his mind concerning Essjay, the administrator who was caught lying about his academic credentials. Wales issued a statement today on his User Talk page requesting that EssJay voluntarily step down. Wales defended his earlier comment about EssJay, claiming 'I only learned this morning that EssJay used his false credentials in content disputes ... I want to make it perfectly clear that my past support of EssJay in this matter was fully based on a lack of knowledge about what has been going on.' Wales did not comment on whether EssJay would continue to serve in his paid position at Wikia, the for-profit cousin of Wikipedia."
Ashraf Al Shafaki writes "The word 'tags' is the one in common use on the Web today and is one of the distinctive features of Web 2.0. Ever since Gmail came out, Google has decided to use the term 'label' instead of the term 'tag' despite they are basically the exact same thing and have the exact same function. Why is Google using inconsistent terminology in its products for such an important term? Is there a real difference between a tag and a label?"
El Lobo writes with a sobering account of how Javalobby dropped off the face of Google last month. The site had been attacked by forum spammers and Google indexed some of their spew before the Javalobby guys could remove it. According to a post in Rich Skrenta's blog, Google is now the de-facto front page for the Internet, accounting for anywhere from 70% to 78% of the search market. The power this conveys is hard to overstate. From the Javalobby saga: "We had completely disappeared from Google's main index! If you run a website, then you know how serious a problem this is. On any given day over 10,000 visitors arrive at Javalobby as a result of Google searches, and suddenly they stopped coming! ... Suddenly we no longer existed in the eyes of Google."
rochlin writes "We know that Steve Jobs has said the iPhone won't accept third-party apps. The iPhone looks to be running on a Samsung provided ARM core processor. That means it's not running on an Intel (or PPC) core. That means it's not running OS X in any meaningful sense (Apple can brand toilet paper as running OS X if they like). Darwin, the BSD based operating system that underlies what Apple has previously been calling OS X, does not run on ARM processors. The Darwin / Apple Public Source licensing agreement says the source would have to be made available if it is modified and sold (paraphrased; read it yourself). A Cingular rep has said the iPhone version of the OS source will not be made available. It will be closed, like the iPod OS and not like Darwin. So if it ain't Darwin, it ain't OS X (in any meaningful way). An InfoWorld article on an FBR Research report breaks down iPhone component providers and lists Samsung as the chip maker for the main application / video cpu. So, that leaves the question... What OS is this phone really running? Not Linux or the source would need to be open."
The "smart people" are often, in hindsight, horrifyingly incorrect. Look into the history of eugenics and phrenology at some point.
Andy Updegrove writes "Far too much attention has been paid to whether or not the Wikipedia is accurate enough. The greater significance of the Wikipedia today, and even more for those in the future, is its reality as the most detailed, comprehensive, concise, culturally-sensitive record of how humanity understands itself at any precise moment in time. Moreover, with its multiple language versions, it also demonstrates how different cultures understand the same facts, historical events and trends at the same time. Today, archaeologists are doing digs to understand how people lived only 150 years ago, making guesses based on the random bits and pieces of peoples' lives that they find. In the future, that won't be necessary, as archaeologists are replaced by anthropologists that mine this treasure-trove for data."