Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - Ask Slashdot: Have you experienced Fear Driven Development (FDD) ?-> 1

Submitted by nerdyalien
nerdyalien (1182659) writes "Few years back, I worked for a large-scale news-media related web development project in a South-East Asian country. Despite formally adopting Agile/Scrum as the SDLC, development was driven based on fear imposed by managers, and architects who were proficient in ADD — A**hole Driven Development. Project ran 4x over its initial estimation, and not to forget those horrendous 18 hours/day, 6 days/week shifts with pizza dinners. For better or worse, I was asked to leave half way thru the project due to a row with the manager; which followed with poor performance reviews and delayed promotion. Are FDD and ADD here to stay ?"
Link to Original Source

+ - College Students: Want To Earn More? Take A COBOL Class->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "With a lot of debate over the value of a college education, here's a data point students can use: at one Texas college, students who took an elective COBOL class earned on average $10,000 more a year upon graduation than classmates who hadn't. COBOL, dropped from many curricula years ago as an outdated language, is tenaciously holding on in the industry, as many universities are belatedly starting to realize."
Link to Original Source

+ - Digia Spins off Qt as Subsidiary->

Submitted by DeviceGuru
DeviceGuru (1136715) writes "Digia has spun off a subsidiary called The Qt Company to unify Qt's commercial and open source efforts, and debuted a low-cost plan for mobile developers. The Linux-oriented Qt cross-platform development framework has had a tumultuous career, having been passed around Scandinavia over the years from Trolltech to Nokia and then from Nokia to Digia. Yet, Qt keeps rolling along in both commercial and open source community versions, continually adding support for new platforms and technologies, and gaining extensive support from mobile developers. Now Qt is its own company, or at least a wholly owned subsidiary under Digia. Finland-based Digia has largely been involved with the commercial versions of Qt since it acquired the platform from Nokia in 2012, but it has also sponsored the community Qt Project as a relatively separate project. Now, both efforts are being unified under one roof at The Qt Company and the new QT.io website, says Digia. Meanwhile, Digia will focus on its larger enterprise software business."
Link to Original Source

+ - The FBI Just Finished Its Insane New Facial Recognition System->

Submitted by Advocatus Diaboli
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes ""After six years and over one billion dollars in development, the FBI has just announced that its new biometric facial recognition software system is finally complete. Meaning that, starting soon, photos of tens of millions of U.S. citizen's faces will be captured by the national system on a daily basis. The Next Generation Identification (NGI) program will logs all of those faces, and will reference them against its growing database in the event of a crime. It's not just faces, though. Thanks to the shared database dubbed the Interstate Photo System (IPS), everything from tattoos to scars to a person's irises could be enough to secure an ID. What's more, the FBI is estimating that NGI will include as many as 52 million individual faces by next year, collecting identified faces from mug shots and some job applications. So if you apply for any type of job that requires fingerprinting, for instance, those prints (which will now also likely be asked for along with a photo) will be sent off to the government for processing."

Here are two recent and related news items.

Boston police used facial recognition software on thousands of people at a music festival (http://theweek.com/speedreads/index/266552/speedreads-boston-police-used-facial-recognition-software-on-thousands-of-people-at-a-music-festival)

"Attendees of last year's Boston Calling music festival were — without their knowledge — test subjects for the Boston Police Department's new facial recognition software. The IBM program — which also analyzes each individual's build, clothes, and skin color — captured video of thousands of people, 50 hours of which is still intact."

and

General Motors May Be The First To Offer Cars That Detect Distracted Drivers (http://www.washingtonpost.com/cars/general-motors-may-be-the-first-to-offer-cars-that-detect-distracted-drivers/2014/09/02/d00b5bc4-32b9-11e4-9f4d-24103cb8b742_story.html)

"According to CNBC, the technology will come from an Australian firm called Seeing Machines. It will take the form of a series of cameras paired with facial recognition software — kind of like the software that Facebook uses to auto-tag your friends in photos, but in this case, it'll take note of things like the rotation of the driver's head and how often he/she blinks. That will help the system determine whether a driver is looking at the road, at a cell phone, or even nodding off. If the situation proves dire enough, the system could theoretically slow the vehicle and force the driver to pull over — not unlike a certain attention-powered car we've seen before.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Micron Releases 16nm Process SSDs With Dynamic Flash Programming->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Micron's newest client flash drive line, the M600, uses its first 16nm process technology and dynamic write acceleration firmware that allows the flash to be programmed as SLC or MLC instead of using overprovisioning or reserving a permanent pool of flash cache to accelerate writes. The ability to dynamically program the flash reduces power use and improves write performance as much as 2.8 times over models without the feature, according to Jon Tanguy, Micron's senior technical marketing engineer. The new lithography process technology also allowed Micron to reduce the price of the flash drive to 45 cents a gigabyte, meaning a 1TB 2.5-in SATA SSD now retails for $450."
Link to Original Source

+ - Apple tastefully edits iPhone 6's protruding camera out of official photos 2

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "If you've been browsing Apple's site, eagerly awaiting the iPhone 6 launch, you might've noticed something a little odd. Apple has edited the handset's protruding camera out of every single side-on view of the handset. (The camera is, necessarily, retained for images showing the back of the device.) The absence is particularly conspicuous given the number of side views Apple uses to emphasise the device's thin-ness; perhaps they felt that the camera was an unslightly blemish upon the device's clean, elegant lines."

+ - New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Reuters reports that plans for a major rewriting of international tax rules have been unveiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that could eliminate structures that have allowed companies like Google and Amazon to shave billions of dollars off their tax bills. For more than 50 years, the OECD’s work on international taxation has been focused on ensuring companies are not taxed twice on the same profits hampering trade and limit global growth. But companies have been using such treaties to ensure profits are not taxed anywhere. A Reuters investigation last year found that three quarters of the 50 biggest U.S. technology companies channelled revenues from European sales into low tax jurisdictions like Ireland and Switzerland, rather than reporting them nationally. For example, search giant Google takes advantage of tax treaties to channel more than $8 billion in untaxed profits out of Europe and Asia each year and into a subsidiary that is tax resident in Bermuda, which has no income tax. “We are putting an end to double non-taxation,” says OECD head of tax Pascal Saint-Amans.

For the recommendations to actually become binding countries will have to encode them in their domestic laws or amend their bilateral tax treaties. The OECD says that it plans to hold an international conference on amending the network of existing tax treaties. Sol Picciotto, an emeritus professor at Lancaster University in Britain, says the recommendations are at least five to 10 years from becoming law, and that the jury is still out on whether they will accomplish their stated goals. “These are just tweaks,” says Picciotto. “They’re trying to repair an old motorcar, but what they need is a new engine.”"

+ - Neuroscientists Working to Push the Boundaries of Perception Through Wearables->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A pair of neuroscientists from Houston, Texas, Dr. David Eagleman and his graduate student, Scott Novich, have teamed up to work on the ultimate test of pushing the boundaries of our sensory perceptions: giving deaf individuals the ability to 'hear' through their sense of touch. The two are experimenting with raising funds for the project through a crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter. At the moment, it looks like they have a working prototype developed along with some preliminary data. If the science works out, they plan to utilize the technology to provide atypical information streams to people, like Twitter feeds or stock market data."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ethical trap: robot paralysed by choice of who to save-> 1

Submitted by wabrandsma
wabrandsma (2551008) writes "From New Scientist:

Can a robot learn right from wrong? Attempts to imbue robots, self-driving cars and military machines with a sense of ethics reveal just how hard this is

In an experiment, Alan Winfield and his colleagues programmed a robot to prevent other automatons – acting as proxies for humans – from falling into a hole. This is a simplified version of Isaac Asimov's fictional First Law of Robotics – a robot must not allow a human being to come to harm.

At first, the robot was successful in its task. As a human proxy moved towards the hole, the robot rushed in to push it out of the path of danger. But when the team added a second human proxy rolling toward the hole at the same time, the robot was forced to choose. Sometimes, it managed to save one human while letting the other perish; a few times it even managed to save both. But in 14 out of 33 trials, the robot wasted so much time fretting over its decision that both humans fell into the hole.

Winfield describes his robot as an "ethical zombie" that has no choice but to behave as it does. Though it may save others according to a programmed code of conduct, it doesn't understand the reasoning behind its actions. Winfield admits he once thought it was not possible for a robot to make ethical choices for itself. Today, he says, "my answer is: I have no idea".

As robots integrate further into our everyday lives, this question will need to be answered. A self-driving car, for example, may one day have to weigh the safety of its passengers against the risk of harming other motorists or pedestrians. It may be very difficult to program robots with rules for such encounters."

Link to Original Source

+ - NASA to announce private space shuttle deal->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "NASA will make a "major announcement" later Tuesday about its plans to partner with the private sector to transport astronauts to the international space station.
The space agency said it will hold a news conference at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 4 p.m. ET to discuss "the return of human spaceflight launches to the United States," according to a brief statement on its website.

The agency is expected to award a contract to one or more private aerospace companies to shuttle astronauts back and forth to the space station.

The contract to be announced Tuesday will be difficult to compare with the current arrangement, since it will involve "additional capabilities," such as development and certification programs, as well as shuttle services, the spokeswoman said.

The leading contender is Boeing (BA), according to the Wall Street Journal. Other bidders include SpaceX, which is backed by Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, and Sierra Nevada Corp."

Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft goes cross-platform with a universal keyboard for Android and iOS

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft has released a new keyboard that is designed to work with all of your devices. The Universal Mobile Keyboard, as Microsoft calls it, works on Android, iPad, iPhone, and Windows. Microsoft is taking the "one experience for everything in your life" mantra quite seriously. The keyboard connects to devices via Bluetooth, and works with Windows 8 and higher; Windows RT; Apple iOS 6 and higher; and Android 4 or higher. It features an OS switch that lets you change from one operating system to another while maintaining a fully functional keyboard. The keyboard cover has an integrated stand that can easily be detached too. The keyboard hits retail in October for $79.95."

+ - Researchers' new app outs iPhone and Android phone energy hogs->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Researchers from the United States and Sweden have launched free iOS and Android smartphone/tablet software that singles out which apps take the biggest toll on your device batteries and also illustrates fragmentation of Apple and Android mobile OSes. The NODES research group at the University of Helsinki's Department of Computer Science has joined forced with the University of California at Berkeley to deliver the Carat app and has published live stats http://carat.cs.berkeley.edu/s... based on some 2 terabytes of data extracted from Carat, which has been downloaded by about 750,000 users who employ more than 300,000 apps."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Any Place for Liberal Arts Degrees in Tech?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "A new article in Fast Company suggests tech CEOs want employees with liberal arts degrees, because those graduates have critical thinking skills. Meanwhile, a new article on Dice (yes, yes, we know) posits that STEM degrees such as data science, IT admin, and electrical engineering are what science-and-tech companies are going to want for the foreseeable future. What do you think? What place do those with liberal arts degrees have in companies such as, say, Tesla or a biomedical engineering firm?"
Link to Original Source

+ - European Union: We don't want public input on TAFTA/TTIP or CETA->

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger (654585) writes "One of the most glaring problems with TAFTA/TTIP is the lack of input from the public in whose name it is being negotiated says TechDirt. One million signatures must be gathered within one year to force the EU to respond to a public petition. Additionally, in seven EU states a specific minimum of supporters must be achieved, e.g. 72,000 signatures in Germany, 55,500 in France, or 54,750 in the United Kingdom et cetera.

This comes from a new site set up by the Stop TTIP Alliance, a pan-EU coalition that aims to seek support for the following petition: We invite the European Commission to recommend to the Council to repeal the negotiating mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and not to conclude the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)."

Link to Original Source

Google News Sci Tech: Tim Cook says Apple doesn't read users' emails, insists iCloud 'wasn't hacked' -->

From feed by feedfeeder

ZDNet

Tim Cook says Apple doesn't read users' emails, insists iCloud 'wasn't hacked'
The Post-Standard - syracuse.com
Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the iPhone 6, privacy concerns and more during an interview with Charlie Rose on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. (Video still). Print Geoff Herbert | gherbert@syracuse.com By Geoff Herbert | gherbert@syracuse.com The Post-...
Tim Cook believes users have a right to privacyShiny Shiny
Tim Cook tells Apple customers that it isn't a 'treasure trove' for NSAMCV
Apple CEO Tim Cook: Unlike other companies, we don't want your data, just your ... The Independent

all 64 news articles

Link to Original Source

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

Working...