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The White House Listed On Real Estate Website 123

Forget visiting the White House, if you have $10 million you can own it. At least that is the price for the president's home on the real estate website Redfin. From the article: "Obviously this is an error. It looks like Redfin software pulled an example listing from the website Owners.com by mistake. That example listing was the White House. We have e-mailed Redfin for comment." I know it's historic but it still looks a bit on the high side according to the comparables in the area.
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NASA Tests Flying Airbag 118

coondoggie writes "NASA is looking to reduce the deadly impact of helicopter crashes on their pilots and passengers with what the agency calls a high-tech honeycomb airbag known as a deployable energy absorber. So in order to test out its technology NASA dropped a small helicopter from a height of 35 feet to see whether its deployable energy absorber, made up of an expandable honeycomb cushion, could handle the stress. The test crash hit the ground at about 54MPH at a 33 degree angle, what NASA called a relatively severe helicopter crash."
Games

Pirates as a Marketplace 214

John Riccitiello, the CEO of Electronic Arts, made some revealing comments in an interview with Kotaku about how the company's attitudes are shifting with regard to software piracy. Quoting: "Some of the people buying this DLC are not people who bought the game in a new shrink-wrapped box. That could be seen as a dark cloud, a mass of gamers who play a game without contributing a penny to EA. But around that cloud Riccitiello identified a silver lining: 'There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace,' he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it. The EA boss would prefer people bought their games, of course. 'I don't think anybody should pirate anything,' he said. 'I believe in the artistry of the people who build [the games industry.] I profoundly believe that. And when you steal from us, you steal from them. Having said that, there's a lot of people who do.' So encourage those pirates to pay for something, he figures. Riccitiello explained that EA's download services aren't perfect at distinguishing between used copies of games and pirated copies. As a result, he suggested, EA sells DLC to both communities of gamers. And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer."
Games

The Struggle For Private Game Servers 125

A story at the BBC takes a look at the use of private game servers for games that tend not to allow them. While most gamers are happy to let companies like Blizzard and NCSoft administer the servers that host their MMORPGs, others want different rules, a cheaper way to play, or the technical challenge of setting up their own. A South African player called Hendrick put up his own WoW server because the game "wasn't available in the country at the time." A 21-year-old Swede created a server called Epilogue, which "had strict codes of conduct and rules, as well as a high degree of customized content (such as new currency, methods of earning experience, the ability to construct buildings and hire non-player characters, plus 'permanent' player death) unavailable in the retail version of the game." The game companies make an effort to quash these servers when they can, though it's frequently more trouble that it's worth. An NCSoft representative referenced the "growing menace" of IP theft, and a Blizzard spokesperson said,"We also have a responsibility to our players to ensure the integrity and reliability of their World of Warcraft gaming experience and that responsibility compels us to protect our rights."

Comment Why not team up with Russia? (Score 3, Insightful) 200

Not to diminish China's achievement, but Russia is definitely way ahead of them or anyone else. Plus AFAIK China's space technology is mostly licensed from Russia. Is politics getting in the way? Well then doesn't it make even more sense to team with Russia since they are now significantly "less communist" than China (even if mass media may not reflect that)?

Comment Formatted original post (Score 1) 301

[I am a project manager on software development project]

Definitely do weekly status reports and release notes (if you have software releases - I do).

You will achieve 2 goals doing status reports and release notes:

1) communicate what you do to other people

2) improve your visibility and justify your necessity to your company.

Both should be a list of items accomplished within last week (or implemented in latest release). Separate user-facing and back-end changes in 2 separate groups - non-technical people will only be interested in user-facing changes, so if they are separate and in the first group - there is more chance people will actually pay attention.

To make it easier to do each week I recommend using some bug/issue tracking software (I use Axosoft Ontime) and if you do any coding - source control system (I use Subversion).

When including item in the list also put the number of item in your bug tracking system at the end of the line. Subversion can be configured to required comments before commit and send email notifications to interested parties after commit. I force my developers to always put descriptive comments and related bug # (if applicable). This makes it easier for me to do weekly status reports/release notes - I just go through these emails at the end of the week.

Send these not only to your boss but to other team members as well.

To find out if someone actually reads these put somewhere in the middle of the list "17) If you are reading this please reply to me with "the eagle has landed" in the subject line". Don't let the fact that only 10% (at best) will respond to discourage you - these maybe the only people that count.

Comment Weekly status reports and software release notes (Score 1) 301

[I am a project manager on software development project] Definitely do weekly status reports and release notes (if you have software releases - I do). You will achieve 2 goals doing status reports and release notes: 1) communicate what you do to other people 2) improve your visibility and justify your necessity to your company. Both should be a list of items accomplished within last week (or implemented in latest release). Separate user-facing and back-end changes in 2 separate groups - non-technical people will only be interested in user-facing changes, so if they are separate and in the first group - there is more chance people will actually pay attention. To make it easier to do each week I recommend using some bug/issue tracking software (I use Axosoft Ontime) and if you do any coding - source control system (I use Subversion). When including item in the list also put the number of item in your bug tracking system at the end of the line. Subversion can be configured to required comments before commit and send email notifications to interested parties after commit. I force my developers to always put descriptive comments and related bug # (if applicable). This makes it easier for me to do weekly status reports/release notes - I just go through these emails at the end of the week. Send these not only to your boss but to other team members as well. To find out if someone actually reads these put somewhere in the middle of the list "17) If you are reading this please reply to me with "the eagle has landed" in the subject line". Don't let the fact that only 10% (at best) will respond to discourage you - this maybe the only people that count.

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