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Software

Michael Meeks Says OO.o Project is "Profoundly Sick" 676

unassimilatible writes "Michael Meeks, who works full time developing OpenOffice, writes in his blog that the project is 'profoundly sick.' 'In a healthy project we would expect to see a large number of volunteer developers involved, in addition — we would expect to see a large number of peer companies contributing to the common code pool; we do not see this in OpenOffice.org. Indeed, quite the opposite we appear to have the lowest number of active developers on OO.o since records began: 24, this contrasts negatively with Linux's recent low of 160+. Even spun in the most positive way, OO.o is at best stagnating from a development perspective.'"
The Media

Technocrat.net Shut Down 326

twitter writes "Bruce Perens has pulled the plug on Technocrat.net. 'The technocrat.net public discussion site is shut down. This has happened because the site never achieved the ability to financially sustain its editorial staff and system expenses with its revenues. When it became evident that Technocrat was un-viable as a business, I found that I did not wish to keep supporting the site as a hobby. Certain elements of the community that developed here, unfortunately, creep me out. At the end I faced the decision of asking for donations to keep the site running, or letting it die, and it became clear to me that I'd feel better if it would just die. I am very busy building a new software business, with some great new (and yet unannounced) Open Source software in development. I must focus on that for now. Best holiday wishes to you all.'"

Comment Re:How's about for Economics / Business / Marketin (Score 1) 517

That's the problem with marketing. A mass of soulless ghouls chasing little bits of paper and completely incapable of imagining a universe where every tangible object and intangible concept isn't stamped with a little yellow price tag.

Hold on right there mister!

We are not just talking about bean-counting here, we are talking about the workings of society. The fact that you mistake the study of enterprise and economy for advertising and accounting only speaks of you.

The very fact that you produce stuff independently that serves other people's needs makes you an entrepreneur by definition, even if you don't seek to maximize profits, or profits at all.

Perhaps you should look a bit more into it before flamin' away in teh intertubes, for right now you are in the unenviable position of being corrected by a lame CS undergrad.

Sun Microsystems

Toshiba To OEM Laptops With OpenSolaris 226

ruphus13 writes to tell us of Sun's latest attempt to drive OpenSolaris adoption. The company has inked a deal to pre-install OpenSolaris on Toshiba laptops. "Slowly but surely, major laptop vendors are taking to the idea of shipping systems with pre-loaded open source operating systems. The latest case in point is Toshiba — one of the longest-standing players in the market for portable computers — and its new plan to pre-install Sun Microsystems' OpenSolaris on its laptops. The machines are supposed to ship in early 2009."
Government

City In Georgia Planning Virtual World For Civic Interaction 39

GamePolitics reports that Decatur, Georgia is looking into the development of a virtual environment to "encourage community networking, improve civic engagement, and promote economic development in the city." They've put out a request for ideas (PDF) on how to adapt a blending of MMOs and social networking to suit a city's civic needs. "The virtual environment should mimic, though not necessarily mirror, the layout and visual aspects of the City within the defined geographic area." They also want it to be avatar-based, friendly to businesses, and have a "fun and intuitive interface."
It's funny.  Laugh.

If Programming Languages Were Religions 844

bshell writes "With Christmas around the corner I know we are all thinking about religion, or at least maybe wondering why this one religion dominates the rest for these few weeks. A fellow named Rodrigo Braz Monteiro (amz) posted this list comparing each programming language to a religion. Guaranteed to make you chuckle and generate a good long thread here on slashdot. Great way to pass the time as work winds down this week and we relate to our own programming faiths during this very special time of year. Merry PHPmas." Fortunately Pastafarianism is referenced.
Wireless Networking

Report Rips Government Wireless Network Effort 54

coondoggie writes with this excerpt from NetworkWorld: "Like a bunch of children in a sandbox unable and perhaps unwilling to share their toys, multiple key government agencies cannot or will not cooperate to build a collaborative wireless network. The Government Accountability Office report (PDF) issued today took aim at the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and the Treasury which had intended what's known as The Integrated Wireless Network (IWN) to be a joint radio communications system to improve communication among law enforcement agencies. However IWN, which has already cost millions of dollars, is no longer being pursued as a joint development project, the GAO said. By abandoning collaboration on a joint implementation, the departments risk duplication of effort and inefficient use of resources as they continue to invest significant resources in independent solutions. Further, these efforts will not ensure the interoperability needed to serve day-to-day law enforcement operations or a coordinated response to terrorist or other events, the GAO said."
Image

Musicians Protest Use Of Songs By US Jailers 210

The guy who wrote the Barney "I love you" song, and other musicians are banding together to protest the US military using their songs as weapons. The campaign has brought together groups including Massive Attack and musicians such as Tom Morello, who played with Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. It will feature minutes of silence during concerts and festivals, said Chloe Davies of the British law group Reprieve, which represents dozens of Guantanamo Bay detainees and is organizing the campaign.
Patents

Rewriting a Software Product After Quitting a Job? 604

hi_caramba_2008 writes "We are a bunch of good friends at a large software company. The product we work on is under-budgeted and over-hyped by the sales drones. The code quality sucks, and management keeps pulling in different direction. Discussing this among ourselves, we talked about leaving the company and rebuilding the code from scratch over a few months. We are not taking any code with us. We are not taking customer lists (we probably will aim at different customers anyway). The code architecture will also be different — hosted vs. stand-alone, different modules and APIs. But at the feature level, we will imitate this product. Can we be sued for IP infringement, theft, or whatever? Are workers allowed to imitate the product they were working on? We know we have to deal with the non-compete clause in our employment contracts, but in our state this clause has been very difficult to enforce. We are more concerned with other IP legal aspects."

Comment Re:Women don't want to do CS? (Score 1) 1563

Oh, yes, indeed the differing participation in Computer Science of women may be of a mostly biological origin. The point is, that we don't know if it actually is. We know that there are very good (and obvious) reasons why a job involving heavy lifting might be dominated by men.

Claiming to know that physiological differences are the origin of the vastly different enrollment rates in CS schools of men and women is an ass pull.

Comment Re:Why is gender 'equality' so important? (Score 1) 1563

And why aren't they interested? What you're saying is like decrying the study of gravity because you already know that things fall.

We know the what: that girls aren't interested in studying CS today in the US. In fact, their interest in pursuing a CS carer in contrast to men has sharply decreased over time since the nineties. What we don't really know is the why. And finding out the 'why' is, ahem, SCIENCE!

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