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Programming

Submission + - Are you proud of your code? 6

An anonymous reader writes: I have a problem and I am hoping /. group therapy is the cure, so get on with the +5 comments, post haste! I am downright embarrassed by the quality of my work; specifically, my code. It is buggy, slow, fragile, and a nightmare to maintain. Documentation, requirements, automated tests? Does not exist. Do you feel the same way? If so, then what is holding you back from realizing your full potential? More importantly, what if anything are you planning to do about it? This picture, which many of you have already seen, captures several project failure modes. It would be humorous if it weren't so depressingly true. I enjoy programming and have from a young age (cut my teeth on BASIC on an Apple IIe). I have worked for companies large and small in a variety of languages and platforms. Sadly the one constant in my career is that I am assigned to projects that drift, seemingly aimlessly, from inception to a point where the client runs out of funding and the project is abandoned. Like many young and idealistic university graduates I hoped to spend my life programming passionately, but ten years later I look in the mirror and see a whore. I'm just doing it for the money. Have any developers here successfully lobbied their company to stop or cut back on 'cowboy coding' and adopt best practices? I'm not talking about the methodology-of-the-week, I'm referring to good old fashioned advice like keeping SQL out of the UI layer. For the big prize: has anyone convinced their superiors that the customer isn't always right and saying no once in awhile is the best course of action? Thanks in advance for your helpful advice.
Censorship

Censoring a Number 1046

Rudd-O writes "Months after successful discovery of the HD-DVD processing key, an unprecedented campaign of censorship, in the form of DMCA takedown notices by the MPAA, has hit the Net. For example Spooky Action at a Distance was killed. More disturbingly, my story got Dugg twice, with the second wave hitting 15,500 votes, and today I found out it had simply disappeared from Digg. How long until the long arm of the MPAA gets to my own site (run in Ecuador) and the rest of them holding the processing key? How long will we let rampant censorship go on, in the name of economic interest?" How long before the magic 16-hex-pairs number shows up in a comment here?
Space

Sunspots Reach 1000-Year Peak 695

rlp writes "Researchers at the Institute for Astronomy in Zurich are reporting that solar sunspot activity is at a 1000-year peak. Records of sunspots have been kept since 1610. The period between 1645 and 1715 (known as the Maunder Minimum) was a period of very few sunspots. Researchers extended the record by measuring isotopes of beryllium (created by cosmic rays) in Greenland ice cores. Based on both observations and ice core records, we are now at a sunspot peak exceeding solar activity for any time in the past thousand years."
Microsoft

Microsoft Vista, IE7 Banned By U.S. DOT 410

An anonymous reader writes "According to a memo being reported on by Information week, the US Department of Transportation has issued a moratorium on upgrading Microsoft products. Concerns over costs and compatability issues has lead the federal agency to prevent upgrades from XP to Vista, as well as to stop users from moving to IE 7 and Office 2007. As the article says, 'In a memo to his staff, DOT chief information officer Daniel Mintz says he has placed "an indefinite moratorium" on the upgrades as "there appears to be no compelling technical or business case for upgrading to these new Microsoft software products. Furthermore, there appears to be specific reasons not to upgrade."'"
Quake

Submission + - Quake Ported to Nintendo DS

Croakyvoice writes: Simon Hall has ported the classic First Person Shooter Quake over to the Nintendo DS

the program, working state and game data have been squeezed into the four megabytes of main memory it requires either shareware or commercial pak files, Amiga and PC paks have been successfully used total conversions and mods should work, assuming they respect the tiny memory size networking currently has been removed, but will return at a later date.
Graphics

Submission + - New Blender.org Website and Blender 2.43 Released

Jasonlan writes: "The http://www.blender.org/ website has been fully remade and the New Blender 2.43 Released.
Matt Ebb(Elephants Dream) and Bart Veldhuizen(BlenderNation) have been busy creating the new Blender.org Website.

"The 2.43 release could be nicked the "Multi" version; with multi-resolution Meshes, multi-level UV, multi-layer images and multi-pass rendering, to name some highlights."

Blender 3D 2.43 Sports a new Sculpted Mesh, by Giuseppe Canino
Modifier stack upgrades, new modifiers: Edgesplit and Displace and UV Project
Sculpt Modeling, Multiresolution Mesh, Retopo, editing Mesh topology, Fluid Dynamics supporting animated Objects, Multiple UV's and vertex colors, Image Painting and Face Duplicators.

Animation has improved Walk Cycle Modifiers, Proxy Objects, for local control over referenced data from Libraries.

Render features: alpha masks, node shader speedup, tangents and normal maps, Irregular Shadow Buffers, Shadow buffer, Halfway average, Render Baking, Render Passes

Compositing has improved UV Map, Index Mask and Z-Combine, Defocus, Matte Nodes.

Multi-layer images, Sequence images, flipbooks added.

New physics examples including constraints and compound objects.

All in All another GREAT Release!"
Software

Submission + - Smart iWeb Publishing with iWebFlinger

Anonymous Cow-Ward writes: http://www.shullian.com/iWebFlinger/iWebFlinger.ht ml
iWebFlinger allows an iWeb user to choose a site to upload, an ftp server to upload to, and to optionally insert a favicon and your own html code. Best of all, your ftp passwords are secured via OS X's Keychain.
        Whats more, once you set up the source folder (which is the folder you publish your site to), and ftp server, the iWebFlinger daemon automatically checks for changes to the source folder. Then it finds only those files which have actually changed (not just their creation/modification times since iWeb changes them all), and uploads them.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft blasts IBM in open letter

carlmenezes writes: Arstechnica has an article on Microsoft's open letter to IBM that adds fresh ammunition to the battle of words between those who support Microsoft's Open XML and OpenOffice.org's OpenDocument file formats. Microsoft has strong words for IBM, which it accuses of deliberately trying to sabotage Microsoft's attempt to get Open XML certified as a standard by the ECMA. In the letter, general managers Tom Robertson and Jean Paol write: "When ODF was under consideration, Microsoft made no effort to slow down the process because we recognized customers' interest in the standardization of document formats." In contrast, the authors charge that IBM "led a global campaign" urging that governments and other organizations demand that International Standards Organization (ISO) reject Open XML outright.
Could MS actually be getting a taste of their own medicine?
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Possible 25 million year old frog found

dispatch writes: A frog was found that researchers in Mexico City are saying could be 25 million years old! According to the article, "The chunk of amber containing the 0.4-inch frog was uncovered by a miner in southern Chiapas states in 2005 and was bought by a private collector, who lent it to scientists for study." Unfortunately, it doesn't seem as though the scientists will be allowed to drill into the rock at the owner's request which means we're going to have to wait a while longer before we can make Jurassic Park a reality...
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Female Gamers have More Sex

An anonymous reader writes: A Belgian research firm found that girls who never play computer games have less sex than girls who do play games on their PC or gaming consoles. Breeze says the girls who do play games have sex 4.3 times a week, while the girls who never play games only go to bed 3.2 times a week.
Security

"Very Severe Hole" In Vista UAC Design 813

Cuts and bruises writes "Hacker Joanna Rutkowska has flagged a "very severe hole" in the design of Windows Vista's User Account Controls (UAC) feature. The issue is that Vista automatically assumes that all setup programs (application installers) should be run with administrator privileges — and gives the user no option to let them run without elevated privileges. This means that a freeware Tetris installer would be allowed to load kernel drivers. Microsoft's Mark Russinovich acknowledges the risk factor but says it was a 'design choice' to balance security with ease of use."

Managing Money With Linux Apps 142

lisah writes, "As part of a series of special reports this week, Linux.com is reviewing several ways to manage your money using Linux apps. First up is a review of GnuCash 2.0, a personal and small business accounting package. Though it has a bit of a learning curve, the reviewer says the application is 'stable and robust' and an upgrade from previous versions is well worth it for the program's new features and improved online banking support." Linux.com and Slashdot are both part of OSTG.

Foundation Commissions $50 Million Online Study 70

PreacherTom writes, "It's not a stretch to say that kids use the Internet to play World of Warcraft and to tweak their MySpace pages. Still, the MacArthur Foundation doesn't think that is quite specific enough. The private, grant-making institution is commissioning a $50 million, five-year study to investigate precisely how and why young people use the Net. $10 million in grants is going to to individuals and organizations to work on projects that stimulate research in digital media. Sign me up."

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