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The Internet

Submission + - Citizendium failing to gain traction?

An anonymous reader writes: Despite the two recent Slashdot articles about Larry Sanger's Citizendium, it appears that the site is having difficulty converting good publicity into new content. Although the project saw impressive spikes in the number of new user registrations on both occasions, neither of them resulted in a general increase in the number of edits made to the site; even the number of article edits for the last 24 hours are lower than pre-Slashdot levels. What does this mean for the budding Wikipedia competitor?
Announcements

Submission + - Jean Ichbiah, Chief Architect of Ada, Dies

An anonymous reader writes: Jean Ichbiah, the chief architect of the Ada programming language, has died (http://www.adaic.org/news/ichbiah.html). Although Ada is not widely used today outside of DoD, the language introduced a generation of programmers to practical language constructs for what had until then been esoteric features such as overloading, exception handling, and multi-tasking.

Database Bigwigs Lead Stealthy Open Source Startup 187

BobB writes "Michael Stonebraker, who cooked up the Ingres and Postgres database management systems, is back with a stealthy startup called Vertica. And not just him, he has recruited former Oracle bigwigs Ray Lane and Jerry Held to give the company a boost before its software leaves beta testing. The promise — a Linux-based system that handles queries 100 times faster than traditional relational database management systems."
Book Reviews

Windows Vista: the Missing Manual

John Suda writes " It's been over five years in the making and its nearly perfect. No, Im not referring to Microsofts vast new operating system named Windows Vista, but to the reference book Windows Vista: the Missing Manual, by author David Pogue. The book is the latest, and perhaps best, in the Missing Manual series published by Pogue Press/ OReilly Media, Inc. The Missing Manual series is the benchmark of quality for computer manuals. Unless youre a system administrator, programmer, or uber-geek, this is probably the only reference source you'll need to learn Microsofts Vista." Read below for the rest of John's review.

Windows Vista: the Missing Manual 220

John Suda writes "It's been over five years in the making and its nearly perfect. No, Im not referring to Microsoft's vast new operating system named Windows Vista, but to the reference book Windows Vista: the Missing Manual, by author David Pogue. The book is the latest, and perhaps best, in the Missing Manual series published by Pogue Press / O'Reilly Media, Inc. The Missing Manual series is the benchmark of quality for computer manuals. Unless youre a system administrator, programmer, or uber-geek, this is probably the only reference source you'll need to learn Microsofts Vista." Read below for the rest of John's review.
Google

Submission + - Turns Out Google Really Does Listen

SamThomp writes: "There's a perfect Google underdog story going on right now. It goes like this: A college student named Aaron Stanton has an idea he thinks Google will love. He tries to get in touch via phone, e-mail, and their web forms with no luck. Then, spurred by his father nearly dying of an embolism near Christmas, he takes a chance and flies to Mountain View, CA without an appointment, intending to sit in their lobby "like a spoiled child" until he gets a chance to meet with someone. He's been there about three days, now.

Here's where it gets interesting. He creates a website called CanGoogleHearMe.com, and uses Google Video to document his journey in hopes that it might be seen by someone at Google and they'll show pity. At first he's turned away (links to Google Video) at the door and doesn't get a chance to talk to anyone. Then, apparently someone in Google does notice the website and it spreads — word of mouth — inside of Google like wildfire; 600 people visit the site in two hours from inside of Google's headquarters at Mountain View.

Then, late last night — three days into his trip — the guy gets an e-mail with the subject line, "We can hear you :)" that says they're willing to listen to him. No meeting for sure yet, but a step in the right direction.

It's like "actual" reality TV. :) If you're looking for an interesting story to pay attention to for the week, it'll be interesting to see how this turns out. So far, Google seems to be living up to their image of being a large company that's open to ideas. As far as I'm concerned, best of luck to them both."
Supercomputing

Supercruncher Applications 58

starheight writes "Bill McColl has written an article contrasting traditional massively parallel supercomputing with a whole new generation of compute-intensive apps that require massively scalable architectures and can deliver both incredible throughput and real-time responsivenes when processing millions or billions of tasks."
The Internet

Could Open Source Lead to a Meritocratic Search Engine? 148

Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "When Jimmy Wales recently announced the Search Wikia project, an attempt to build an open-source search engine around the user-driven model that gave birth to Wikipedia, he said his goal was to create "the search engine that changes everything", as he underscored in a February 5 talk at New York University. I think it could, although not for the same main reasons that Wales has put forth -- I think that for a search engine to be truly meritocratic would be more of a revolution than for a search engine to be open-source, although both would be large steps forward. Indeed, if a search engine could be built that really returned results in order of average desirability to users, and resisted efforts by companies to "game" the system (even if everyone knew precisely how the ranking algorithm worked), it's hard to overstate how much that would change things both for businesses and consumers. The key question is whether such an algorithm could be created that wouldn't be vulnerable to non-merit-based manipulation. Regardless of what algorithms may be currently under consideration by thinkers within the Wikia company, I want to argue logically for some necessary properties that such an algorithm should have in order to be effective. Because if their search engine becomes popular, they will face such huge efforts from companies trying to manipulate the search results, that it will make Wikipedia vandalism look like a cakewalk." The rest of his essay follows.
Bug

Submission + - OpenBSD developers

paltemalte writes: "OpenBSD developers are worried that the new Free Linux Driver Development program will backfire on the BSD community by giving vendors a new excuse for why not to release full specifications of their hardware. As we all know this is a battle the OpenBSD camp especially have fought for a long time now. Is this new free-driver initiative really a threat? Many OpenBSD users and developers alike seem to think so. An open email to the people behind the free driver initiative was just sent."
Programming

Submission + - Breaking into the C++ software engineer field

An anonymous reader writes: I have been working for about 4 years (mostly with Microsoft SQL Server and some VB.NET) but it is my desire to get a job as a software engineer doing C++ or even C. The only interviews I seem to get are those for Microsoft Jobs, which of course do want to hire me. Once I did get an interview for a real software engineering job, when switching my last job, but by the time the company got back to me with a decision (over a month and a half) I had already accepted another job.

I have seen many posts saying specific language skills aren't important but it is important to get a candidate who can think. I have also seen that some interviewers will have candidates write sample code...but all of these assume you get the interview. How can I even get the interviews so that I will have a shot at proving my worth and being hired?

I do know both C and C++ very well (intermediate level), but since I have never worked at a job using them, recruiters and human resources do not seem to care. They only care about skills they read in the bulleted point of work experience. Also, I refuse to lie on my resume, so I will not say I did something for work experience when I did not.

Finally, I think that if I do want to be really good at development in C and C++, doing it in my own time (which is less and less) is nowhere near as effective as doing it in my daytime job for 8-10 hours a day.

So short of lying, how can I score the interview for C and C++ programming jobs (while most of them not only want work experience, they are citing 5+ years of C++ experience, plus usually other misc skills as well (XML, Oracle, Java, etc.). Most of the other misc skills (short of Oracle) are easy to learn (XML is relatively simple, Java is similar to C++/VB.NET [and I know an older version...so it is just learning the new stuff]). Oracle would take some doing, but SQL Server is somewhat similar (TSQL -> PL/SQL, SQL, relational database skills, PRO*C is just embedding SQL in the host program, etc.). I have seen some C/C++ jobs up for months, so it would make sense that the month or two I spend learning the additional technologies while putting a dent in the work they have to be done, is better than not filling the job and having the work undone, isn't it?
Security

Submission + - 10 Signs an Employee is About to Go Bad

ancientribe writes: Tomorrow is the two-year anniversary of ChoicePoint 'fessing up to its credit-card data exposure fiasco. A Dark Reading article today gives 10 warning signs that an employee is about to flip on you or give away the company jewels or other sensitive information — and what to do about it.

http://www.darkreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=117 323&WT.svl=news1_1
Programming

Submission + - The Next Big Programming Language

narramissic writes: "In a recent ITworld article, Sean McGrath muses on the future of software development, speculating that the next programming language may not be 'so much a language as a language for creating languages.' From the article:

... Outbreaks of this sort of thinking can be seen in the programming community, typically under the moniker of Domain Special Languages or DSLs. Programming languages are again starting to sprout DSL capabilities. Ruby and Fortress — of the two languages already mentioned — are examples.

I think the time is right for this sort of thinking to become mainstream. The industry is at the point where the irrational exuberance surrounding using XML as a DSL for programming languages has passed (thank goodness!). Something needs to take its place which is significantly — not just incrementally better. I think a DSL-enabling programming language will fit the bill.
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