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Comment Re:Flip the question. (Score 1) 108

Someone should be auditing Apache and Linux, and it had better be the vendors making the cash off it. If Red Hat and the others aren't reviewing the code base regularly, I want to know what my support contract's paying for. I should receive an assurance that the system has been audited for most known vulnerabilities, and every patch should have eyes on it (besides the maintainer's) that look for obvious things (buffer overflows, SQL injection vulnerabilities) and oddness (the nightmare of a multi-patch Easter Egg full of badness from a malicious source).

That last bit is one of the things I have to fight most when recommending Open Source to non-techies. I've had them talk about the Jurassic Park scenario, where someone embeds lots of littls things in the code and then they know how to trigger a catastrophic reaction. The easy security vulnerabilities are treatable with monitoring and audits - it's an order of magnitude harder to audit a whole change trail.

Earth

Yellowstone Supervolcano Larger Than First Thought 451

drewtheman writes "New studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. University of Utah research professor of geophysics Robert Smith led four separate studies that verify a plume of hot and molten rock at least 410 miles deep that rises at an angle from the northwest."

Comment Re:Didn't need a book to know this (Score 1) 140

YOU may not need a book to know this. but there are intelligent-in-their-area bean-counters who get sold on these things at major companies every year. THEY need this book, and as responsible techies, it's our job to make sure they have it. Remember, if it's in a book, it's not just OUR opinion - it's Official :)

Comment Re:Synergy, leverage, low hanging fruit, etc.. (Score 1) 345

Amen.

One of the things that the metrics can hide, though, is the effect of institutionalizing reviews. If you're on a long project with the same team, everyone begins to perform to a certain level and the code reviews seem to lose their importance. It's ironic, it is.

If you have new folks join the team, though, it usually only takes a few code reviews for them to "get it" and figure out the level of expertise expected.

On my favorite project so far, we had full code reviews for the first phase, and dialed them back to "peer reviews" requiring only 2-3 folks to do online review of the code units. Critical units were also reviewed by the lead developer and systems engineer responsible for that component. It was very much worth it.

Comment Re:Irresponsible headline, summary (Score 1) 911

"On the other hand, the flight computer has the experience of every simulated and real emergency any plane has ever been through"

No, it doesn't. The flight computer has the control laws of the airplane. It's not an AI - it doesn't learn, although it can be updated. Avionics and airframe manufacturers are always learning more about their planes, and these lead to tweaks in fly-by-wire systems, but the plane doesn't "learn" or gain "experience".

You seem ignorant of the degree to which professional commercial pilots get torture-tested in simulators. FlightSafety International does a multi-million dollar business every year training corporate pilots in handling emergencies, and each of the major airlines in the US and Europe operates their own simulation centers where pilots have to be re-certified every six months or so. They may not live through actual emergencies often, but they go through simulated ones in fully accurate cockpits on motion bases with good graphics outside. Check out http://www.flightsafety.com/fs_service_simulation_systems.php to see what they can do.

Comment Re:private pilot (Score 1) 408

There are a lot of flying clubs in the US; most mid-sized airports have at least one. Plus, used airplanes for VFR flying are getting pretty cheap these days, and if you can deal with old avionics you can fly most of the country.

That said, I'd upgrade to a Mode S transponder and a moving-map GPS first thing if I had to fly around any of the complex airspace around here (DC, NY, LA, Chicago). And carry a good handheld radio in case the plane's decides to quit.

Intel

Submission + - Intel launches Montvale Itanium chip

Sobaz writes: Intel announced today its line of Itanium products for high-end computing servers. Codename Montvale, originally due in 2006, the launch of Montvale has been held up until now. Like Montecito, the new Itanium chip is based on a manufacturing process with circuitry dimensions of 90 nanometers, ships in seven iterations consisting of six dual-core chips and a single-core chip. There are 3 new features over the current Itanium line.

1. Core level lock-step- improves the data integrity by eliminating undetected errors in the core 2. A power management feature known as demand based switching (DBS) 3. An increase in the front side bus (FSB) performance by up to 667MHz
Java

Submission + - Lost faith in unit testing...

An anonymous reader writes: I am currently working in a small team of 4 developpers (including myself) and we are developping a transactionnal web application using JSF and EJBs. For a few months now, we've been trying to integrate unit testing in our development cycle, but my faith in unit teting is growing smaller every day. I know its a good thing, but maybe its just not well suited for our kind of development. At first, we were doing the whole packang, including mocking every know and then for ejbs, even database (using hsqldb in memory replication of the real db). Now we focus more on testing the JSF backing beans, but I'm feeling we invest way too much in writing unit tests for what we get in return. The fact that most of the team is junior is also hurting us a lot, since writing good unit tests is directly related to programming experience in my opinion. Any thoughts? Experiences in similar projects with unit testing? Please convince me back that unit testing is a good thing!
Sci-Fi

Submission + - British army tests invisible invisble tank

SK writes: "The Ministry of Defense has unveiled a new technology that can make tanks invisible. They carried out secret trials recently and have stated that the invisible tank would be ready for service by 2012.The technology involves using cameras and projectors to beam images of the surrounding landscape onto a tank. As a result, anyone looking in the direction of the vehicle only sees what is beyond it and not the tank itself."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Games that should be remastered

Lumiras writes: "Pseudo-sequels, Crappy "re-imaginings", drastic story changes...this is what usually happens when a game is remade. Therefore, most gamers are tepid about remaking the classics like Starcraft or the King's Quest series. But, what if the games could be "Remastered" much like classic movies? This article on Bit-Tech discusses some potential candidates for remastering treatment.

From the article:
"There are some games that just shouldn't be messed with. You know the ones — the kind that you play through with a visceral zeal. Maybe they got you into gaming. Maybe they happened to be found along the way. Whether they confounded you, challenged you, or made you cry "Mommy!", some games just stick in the subconscious...and even as we look at our mighty 185W graphics cards and our quad-core CPUs, we dream of playing them again.""
Yahoo!

Submission + - Solar power eliminates utility bills in U.S. home

skyhawker writes: "Yahoo! News is running an interesting article about a New Jersey home that uses solar power to provide 100% of its energy needs, including fuel for the owner's hydrogen fuel cell powered automobile. The power system is provided by Renewable Energy International, which has one of the weirdest web sites I've ever seen — the links seem to work only in IE."
Security

Submission + - Anti Rootkit Author releases Undetectable Rootkit

Anonymous Coward writes: "From http://www.antirootkit.com/blog/2007/01/18/rootkit -unhooker-author-to-release-new-undetectable-rootk it/ The anti rootkit software author who goes by the name of EP_X0FF has released information recently about a new rootkit that he has created. EP_X0FF is the author of Rootkit Unhooker one of the best antirootkit scanners at the moment. The rootkit he has created is undetectable by all anti rootkit software. The new rootkit is to be called Unreal Test Rootkit."
Space

Submission + - Pluto Probe Snaps Jupiter Pictures

sighted writes: "The New Horizons probe, on its way to Pluto and beyond, is now speeding toward Jupiter. Today the team released some of the early data and pictures, which are the first close-range shots of the giant planet since the robotic Cassini spacecraft passed that way in 2001."

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