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Comment Re:Only management is fooled (Score 4, Insightful) 344

It isn't shoddy products. The products work fine, which is why we haven't paid to have them upgraded to the latest greatest. They work fine for the environment they were originally purchased for, and do exactly what they are supposed to do.

Shoddy products don't work, these products work fine. Just not with XP or Win 7.

And for your info, I manage somewhere around 600 computers, plus all the networking equipment, printers, and servers, mostly by myself (Network Analyst) and one (sometimes 2) Tech. How many techs do you have for supporting your user base?

Yeah, I do, no lie.

Comment Re:Mathematicians just need to shutup. (Score 1) 572

Far too many people think they aren't allowed to have any weaknesses (and we all do in some area or another) so they talk a big game, and when push comes to shove, they will actively block people who actually know more than they do about the subject at hand.

In my experience, the size of the game they talk is inversely proportional to the amount of real knowledge they have. In response to the title of the thread, George Boole - Mathematician.

Comment Re:An opinion by a PhD and sustainable farmer (Score 3, Interesting) 766

They say in one part: "The most fundamental point to bear in mind from the outset is that a sample size of 10 for biochemical parameters measured two times in 90 days is largely insufficient to ensure an acceptable degree of power to the statistical analysis performed and presented by Monsanto. " They say that because they think Monsanto shouldn't say the corn is safe - but then they (these researchers) are using that same "Insufficient" data to say it's unsafe. That's the way this whole paper is- it just doesn't jive together.

You might want to re-read your statistics textbook. They say that the power of the Monsanto analysis is low. That implies that if Monsanto does not see a significant result, they cannot conclude that no effect exists. However, the authors of this study see significant results nevertheless. Thus, even though power was low, the effect was large enough to show up.

In a nutshell: To demonstrate that there is a problem, all you have to do is find the problem in some instance. To demonstrate that there is no problem, you have to demonstrate that you looked very hard and yet could not find a problem. What the authors are saying is: "Monsanto didn't look very hard, and yet there is evidence of problems."

Comment All your marines... (Score 1) 361

So, the victorious orbital forces would have to bring in a transport ship chock full of Space Marines and drop them all at once in little capsules (little because they can only be so big for the atmosphere to effectively brake them, and because you don't want all your Marines perishing in some unfortunate incident

Ah, so I suppose a few of them perishing would be acceptable.


AT&T Moves Closer To Usage-Based Fees For Data 441

CWmike writes "AT&T has moved closer to charging special usage fees to heavy data users, including those with iPhones and other smartphones. Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, came close on Wednesday to warning about some kind of use-based pricing while speaking at a UBS conference. 'The first thing we need to do is educate customers about what represents a megabyte of data and...we're improving systems to give them real-time information about their data usage,' he said. 'Longer term, there's got to be some sort of pricing scheme that addresses the [heavy] users.' AT&T has found that only 3% of its smartphone users — primarily iPhone owners — are responsible for 40% of total data usage, largely for video and audio, de la Vega said. Educating that group about how much they are using could change that, as AT&T has found by informing wired Internet customers of such patterns. De la Vega's comments on data use were previewed in a keynote he gave in October at the CTIA, but he went beyond those comments on Wednesday: 'We are going to make sure incentives are in place to reduce or modify [data]uses so they don't crowd out others in the same cell sites.' Focus groups have been formed at AT&T to figure out how to proceed."

Submission + - Lego gun at brings in the SWAT team (

srussia writes: A partner at a downtown Toronto user-experience design firm, had ordered the gun from the online retailer BrickGun, which sells realistic Lego replicas of firearms. Just how realistic, Jeremy would soon find out in an encounter with the friendly neighbourhood SWAT team, thanks to a tip from an alert neighbor.
The Media

Submission + - It's The Headline That Kills You

theodp writes: When a handler told Jimmy Carter that an interview didn’t go so badly, the media-savvy Carter reportedly replied, "It's the editing that kills you". Jim Davis of software vendor SAS found that the attention grabbing headline can kill you too, after being surprised by an otherwise-balanced NY Times story on SAS that carried the headline At a Software Powerhouse, the Good Life is Under Siege, referring to IBM's deep-pocketed efforts to move from pretender into contender in the high-end analytics and data mining space occupied by SAS.

Submission + - Is Web 2.0 a curse on marriages?

An anonymous reader writes: The Inquisitr claims that Web 2.0 kills happy marriages. "For years I’ve seen people I’ve known in the broader internet/ web 2.0 space ending up getting divorced. Without naming names, some include people I’d regard as my friends, others include those I’ve gotten to know or worked beside." And "Simply: those who start startups share mostly similar traits: an obsession to succeed, long hours (often at the behest of family,) sometimes difficult financial situations (where the startup isn’t making money) and a broader lack of understandingor passion in the partner for what is trying to be achieved." Have you seen the same?

Submission + - When did code become a dirty word? 1

CexpTretical writes: SOA has be heralded as a panacea. Why? So we can avoid changing code or the need to write code?

In SOAs, using the service interface pattern to achieve loose coupling merely moves the logic for determining which implementation of a service or component of code is used during any given invocation of such interfaces from code to system configurations, contracts, protocol definitions, UDDI registries, standards definitions, metadata dictionaries, etc, etc. not to mention compliance and monitoring because at some point in a system, logic must be exercised to determine the routing of method calls to concrete implementations. SOA is supposed to make it so that implementations can be changed by manipulating these SOA elements without changing code.

If code became a dirty word because it was decided that changing code is too expensive and/or time consuming then why would you replace it with something that is even more complex, expensive and time consuming such as aforementioned SOA elements?
Also, the last time I checked the specialties needed as far as personnel in SOA systems like SO Architects, system architects, etc. and those needed to maintain monitoring and compliance are much more expensive than software engineers.

If all of the time and money that has been spent on SOA were to have been spent on concrete components and systems such as AspectJ that allow instrumentation at the code level and other capabilities that serve as glue or connectors at the code level or technologies that allow easy linking of applications across computer language boundaries, then software and systems engineering would be in a far better state.

Even though the links in a system really do define it, as is often the case, they are either completely ignored or not even recognized as entities in and of themselves. Links are instead seen as constraints or guides but not as essential parts themselves. In steel fabrication the links in the system are the welds. They are treated as special entities that require special attention to the point of using x-rays when the welds must be without defect to some high tolerance. In the area of search, Google has recognized the significance of links as a part of their page ranking system and treated them with special attention. It is time for software and system engineering to stop "defining" the links between applications and start building the links as efficient hard technologies not abstract protocols and frameworks. These technologies are of necessity built anyway but it is done in such a way as to create a concrete representation of protocols or frameworks instead of with an eye toward efficiency and optimization to the task at hand. Or else they are created as part of a vendor's application or SOA stack that is only optimized in the context of the rest of said vendor's stack. In the end, if you want to change the behavior of a system you must change something in the system or in its environment. When changing the environment becomes more complex and expensive than just changing the system, then just change the system, just change the code.

Submission + - Watering Down Science and Mathematics? 2

An anonymous reader writes: I may be in a position to teach high school Physics next year in the state of Texas. In preparing for this, I was reviewing the "Texas Essential Knowledge Skills" appropriate for Physics, which represent the minimum requirements for instruction in the course. I was saddened to find out that the minimum requirements are, to me, rather low. Furthermore, there are no science or mathematics pre-requisite courses for Physics any longer. There is merely a suggestion of having the first year of Algebra as a pre-requisite or co-requisite.

I believe we are now setting the bar even lower than I thought we were. A viewing of the TEKS for Physics (section 112.39) will show how watered down this course has become, especially compared to the old requirements listed in the same document, section 112.47. The suggested pre-requisite or co-requisite can be found in (section 111.32).

To be fair, these are the minimum requirements for instruction in the course, and some teaches will undoubtedly do a good job of giving additional instruction. However, we do know that in any field, there will be those who take the easy way out an do the bare minimum.

Given that I may receive some of the students who have had just the bare minimum in their suggested pre-requisite (or not had it at all), I would like to know what Slashdot readers would suggest for me once I hit the classroom. I want to give a good quality of Physics instruction and cover more concepts, or at least in more depth, than the minimum requirements, but I am unsure how I might accomplish this if my students don't have the necessary background for it. What would you do?

Submission + - Polycasso v1.0.0 released (

SF:dbrosius writes: Polycasso is a image generation program that uses randomly placed semi-transparent polygons to draw cubism-style artwork. It attempts to produce increasingly realistic work through a training feedback method and hillclimbing. A webstart link is available at Version 1.0.0 has been released and is available at

Submission + - DARPA Network Challenge lasts all of 9 hours (

stillnotelf writes: A team based at MIT has won the DARPA Network Challenge. DARPA notes:

“The Challenge has captured the imagination of people around the world, is rich with scientific intrigue, and, we hope, is part of a growing 'renaissance of wonder' throughout the nation," said DARPA director, Dr. Regina E. Dugan. “DARPA salutes the MIT team for successfully completing this complex task less than 9 hours after balloon launch.”

PDF with (scant) details at Hit the subject link for a map with the locations. How many did your team find?

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