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Comment Re:Wake up (Score 1) 524

Fact is if he has got a module with bugs in it and he has paid the contractor then HE HAS PAID FOR BUGS. His issue seems to be that he now lost his leverage to get the bugs fixed. He ought to insist that all code comes with a complete set of tests that ensures the code complies fully with the spec. He can then verify/validate the tests, run them and only pay when the the code is "bug free". But that would bump up the price.

It may be better to pay 50% on delivery and 50% on UAT with the proviso that if the original contractor can't/won't fix it the second 50% will go to someone else who can.

Comment Re:Matter of time (Score 4, Interesting) 215

It's the other way round. Mathematics is just an abstract representation of the real world. No amount of physics, maths or theories of "everything" will cure cancer or invent the next IPhone. Patents are about (or at least should be about) the inventive step - i.e. the coming together of several elements to create something new.

Comment Re:Too many factors. (Score 2) 297

Construction has very real material costs -the beams and concrete you talk about - so every component is drawn and specified. In software development the material costs are virtually zero so you might as well build it twice, once to understand it and once to productionize it, it's the same as writing a detailed spec and then coding it.

Comment Re:Depends on... (Score 1) 246

I suspect that if you put up website such that it is publically accessable then there is every expectation that people will access it and by publishing the website you have granted them permission to do so. If, OTOH you put a password on the first page, then you have denied access and any attempt to bypass the password is a mis-use

Comment Aren't all tests timed to some degree? (Score 5, Interesting) 776

A lot of companies use coding tests as part of the interview process and pretty much there will be some time limit, whether stated or not. They are not going to let you sit there for two days to answer 20 questions or complete a 10 line routine.

As to the value of rigid timing, then that is a bit dubious.Do you want fast and sloppy or slow and accurate? Does this tell you something about the organisation and whether or not you want to work there? I feel it really depends on how they treat the results WRT the timing.

Comment Re:RepRap can't replicate itself (Score 2) 91

Actually I've wanted a 3d printer for a while, I've also wanted a Milling machine for longer. Having nearly gone off and bought the bits for a 3D printer I stopped and thought about it.

A milling machine with bigger overall capacity than most home-built 3D printers (i.e. about a cubic foot) can be had new for under £1000 which (all-in) is not much more than a large, rigid 3D printer kit would be. Add in a CNC set up (about another £300) and make an extruder (we now have a milling machine so making an accurate extruder should not be to difficult) and you have a milling machine and a 3D printer, for significantly less than the cost of both, and a much more capable set up.

So my current plan is to save up a bit more money and buy a milling mahine and then mod it to be a 3D printer.

Comment Re:Backronyms (Score 2) 158

In morse code there are a number of 3 letter "Q" codes for common phrases that operators use (e.g. QSL - acknowledge receipt). Q is presumably used because if it is not followed by a U in English then it must be a code and not a word. Equally X and Z are fairly uncommon letters and so may be used more commonly in abbreviations (TX/RX transmit/receive).

By focring everything to 5 letter groups means that there is some error checking in the message if the sriting is small, closely grouos, gets wet, etc. you know if letters or spaces are missing. So it is possible that this abbreviation idea is valid.


Submission + - Amputee with Bionic Leg Climbs 103 Story Skyscraper

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "AP reports that Zac Vawter, who lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident, put his mind-controlled prosthetic limb on public display for the first time climbing 103 stories up the 2,100 step staircase of Chicago's iconic Willis Tower, becoming the first person ever to complete the task wearing a bionic leg during an annual stair-climbing charity event called "SkyRise Chicago" hosted by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. "Everything went great," said Vawter at the event's end. "The prosthetic leg did its part, and I did my part." The robotic leg is designed to respond to electrical impulses from muscles in his hamstring. When Vawter thought about climbing the stairs, the motors, belts and chains in his leg synchronized the movements of its ankle and knee. Researchers spent months adjusting the technical aspects of the leg to ensure that it would respond to his thoughts and continue to refine steering of the leg. "We've come a long way, but we have a long way to go," says lead researcher Levi Hargrove adding that taking the leg to the market is still years away. "We need to make rock solid devices, more than a research prototype.""

Submission + - NASA rover finds no methane on Mars (

ananyo writes: "The question of methane on Mars isn’t dead yet, but NASA’s Curiosity rover has at least put a first nail in the coffin.
At a briefing on Friday, scientists on Curiosity announced that they had not detected methane with any confidence — though they left themselves some wiggle room for revision, saying that methane could be present at levels of less than 5 parts per billion.
On Earth, life is responsible for the vast majority of the planet’s atmospheric methane, which exists at levels of about 1,700 parts per billion. If methane were detected on Mars, microbes could thus be invoked as its source, though trace amounts could also be produced via comet impacts or chemical reactions underground involving rocks and hot water."

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