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Comment Django for the 80% solution (Score 2) 287

We've been building a suite of tools using Django that combine near-real-time event processing and offline analytics. It's been very useful and flexible; the data model abstraction is clean, and we can target different databases with a couple of lines of config file change. We're integrating some Javascript and other visualization tools in our UIs, and finding it pretty easy to support in the Django framework. Performance scales with resources fairly linearly, the overhead has been very manageable, and it integrates into almost any security framework. I've seen nothing to convince me we need to look at a different framework.

Comment Re:'cool' power users should like usability and ea (Score 1) 798

It's not the usability and ease of use - it's stupid crap like removing the ability to right-click and get a menu of things to do with that menu item, instead of just having it kicked off... it's burying the UI customization where it can't be found easily, and removing the easy tailoring options in favor of the "Unity" standard.

We just rolled back...

Comment Re:Let's see the issues. (Score 1) 111

Correct. Falcon 9 was designed to be man-rated, but SpaceX isn't spending the money to jump through NASA's hoops until they have more of a hope of a contract for human launch services. Man rating is a high enough hurdle that LM and Boeing have refrained from man rating the Delta IV or Atlas V on their own nickels.


Old Apple 1 Up For Auction, Expected To Go For $160,000+ 156

vanstinator was one of several readers to point out that Christie's is holding an auction for one of the original Apple 1 machines, complete with a manual, the original shipping box, and the letter from Steve Jobs to the owner. The invoice says the computer was purchased on December 7th, 1976, with an Apple cassette interface card, for a total price of $741.66. The auction house expects it to sell for over $160,000.

Submission + - Want to feel old even if you're not? Read this. (

crimeandpunishment writes: Phones with cords? What are those? E-mail? It's way too slow. The annual Beloit College Mindset List is out....showing what pop culture and technology items are ancient history to incoming college students. 75 items are on this year's list. Dirty Harry, Beavis & Butthead, and the hot potato over Dan Quayle's spelling gaffe? All were big deals....but not to this year's college freshman class.

Submission + - High School Students Build a 300 MPG Car ( 2

thecarchik writes: A group of high school students from the DeLaSalle School in Kansas City, Mo., have set out to build an electric car aimed at setting a new world record for efficiency. Working closely with engineers from Bridgestone Americas' Technical Center in Akron, Ohio, the students have just concluded tests on their electric car at the tire company’s Texas Proving Grounds and believe they have already set a new record. Test runs reported efficiency levels that would be the equivalent of more than 300 mpg and the team are now petitioning Guinness World Records to consider the accomplishments as a new world record.

Submission + - Chips that flow with probabilities, not bits (

holy_calamity writes: "Boston company Lyric Semiconductor has taken the wraps off a microchip designed for statistical calculations that eschews digital logic. It's still made from silicon transistors. But they are arranged gates that compute with analogue signals representing probabilities, not binary bits. That makes it easier to implement calculations of probabilities, says the company, which has a chip for correcting errors in flash memory claimed to be 30 times smaller than a digital logic-based equivalent."

Submission + - P != NP - or does it?

Coz writes: Vinay Deolalikar of HP published a "proof" last week that P != NP — one of the Holy Grails of computational theory. Since then, there have been several lively discussions on whether, and how, the proof holds up, and even the NY Times has weighted in — although their emphasis is on how fast the review has been, in the degree to which technologies have been employed to generate deeper insight and allow more people to examine such things faster.

Submission + - Rocket Thrusters Used to Treat Sewage (

Zothecula writes: Rocket engines are generally not thought of as being environmentally-friendly, but thanks to a newly-developed process, we may someday see them neutralizing the emissions from wastewater treatment plants. The same process would also see those plants generating their own power, thus meaning they would be both energy-neutral and emissions-free. Developed by two engineers at Stanford University, the system starts with the formation of nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane gas — something that treatment plants traditionally try to avoid.

Submission + - Bioware Bringing Mass Effect 2 to PS3 (

AndrewGOO9 writes: Today at Gamescom 2010, Bioware announced that they will in fact be bringing Mass Effect 2 to the Playstation 3. While Mass Effect was originally a Microsoft exclusive IP, this is nonetheless great news for Sony console owners the world over. Picking up where the first game left off, Commander Shepard is killed in an ambush by a mysterious alien species called the Collectors. Shepard is revived two years after the attack by an enigmatic organization called Cerberus, and is tasked with combating the Collectors menace. Mass Effect 2 arrives on the Playstation 3 early next year.

Submission + - Servers That Generate Their Own Electricity (

1sockchuck writes: What if your web server could generate its own power? A small New York company has developed prototypes of servers and switches that use waste heat from the devices to generate electricity using thermoelectric effects. A growing number of data center operators are finding ways to harness the heat generated by racks of servers, but most choose to use waste heat to warm nearby offices or other parts of the data center. Applied Methodologies Inc. has taken a different approach, seeking to convert the waste heat back into small amounts of electricity that can be aggregated to power equipment within the data center.

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.


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 :)

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Everything that can be invented has been invented. -- Charles Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899