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Comment This can't be good (Score 1) 77

Meteorites are usually 10-20 percent very high purity nickel, a few points of other alloying metals, the rest very high purity iron. Nickel is not likely to impart any flavor, as it resists corrosion by acids. The iron will likely be passivated on its surface or etch a little due to the lactic acid, which will release iron oxides into the wine. I'd say the metallic taste of Fe3 would be kinda nasty.

Comment Re:Is that really their job? (Score 1) 99

I worked on one project that was exactly 7 years ahead of its time. Management laid us all off and said "this will be cool in 7 years, but right now its not feasible". Sure enough, exactly 7 years later I was playing HALO head to head with people across the country in real time on a broadband connection to my house. Some of our team got picked up by Microsoft to work on XBox Live fortunately. Xerox CAN make PARC profitable, but they actually have to make products out of research. Xerox is looking for more basic patents, like xerography. Basic patents are more and more difficult to come by. Perhaps the 'age of enlightenment' is over. Maybe bookface and smart phones are the best we can come up with.

Comment Dollars to donuts (Score 1) 29

The real motivation for all conferences is to make $$. Anyone who organizes a conference with any other purpose in mind is misleading himself. The goal is to get all the 'experts' and other loudmouths to show up so that everyone else thinks it's important to be there. It's just like a rave, sans MDMA.

Comment Re:Creative booby traps (Score 1) 514

6) Take out the internals of a dead laptop, replace with 10 solid fuel rocket engines, 9v battery and necessary fuses. Use the screen latch to complete the fuse circuit. Direct engines such that laptop flies away when screen is opened. 7) Make a dummy laptop with a 9v DIY siren in it. Once the screen is opened, the siren stays on until the battery dies. include extra batteries wired in series. 8) Seal a few thousand live fleas inside a dummy laptop such that when the screen is opened, the fleas are broadcast locally. Hungry fleas wake up and eat thief. Fleas can survive 9-10 months without food in most climates. Most of my ideas involve filling a dummy laptop with something unpleasant.

Comment Who are the users (Score 1) 325

I've open sourced projects to gain users. In this instance, it made sense because the market for selling services was just as big as the software market. And most companies that needed the software couldn't figure out how to set it up and run it without some training and consulting. At least not effectively. They COULD do it, but we could do it for them better, and much faster. It was very generalized software with a large audience and a wide user base. There was enough competition from Microsoft, Oracle and IBM that we knew we had a large market, and that going open source would increase the number of users and pace of development. So we had both commercial licensing and open source licensing, all using the same code. There was no reason to hide any of the code, it wasn't clever or original or better than anything else, it just performed well and was easy to use. And was cheaper to run than any of the competitors. I don't see any reason to open source the core functionality of your code. If you are having trouble getting customers, giving it away isn't going to improve that situation. You have to compete and win, that's all. Or at least win enough to be successful.

Comment Article lacks depth (Score 1) 653

The article is pure opinion, biased by a few limited experiences. I've been working for 7 years with two contracting firms based in India (not infosys). We also have a large development office in South America where the time zones line up with our global HQ. You can't really expect good results from contractors of any origin if you throw projects over the wall at them. It doesn't matter where the developers are from. This is just as big a problem with IT consultancies from the US. How many engineers have looked at contractor code and said "That is beautiful and extremely easy to maintain", rather than "we need to rewrite this ASAP"? I've never heard anything like that no matter who the contractors were or where they were from. I've worked with Anderson Consulting, Computer Associates, and Thoughtworks over the last 10 years or so. No full time developer wanted to keep any of the stuff the contractors produced without significant rewriting. We don't use our contractors and IT consultants this way now. Most of our offshore contractors can be expected to meet our coding standards after a few weeks of working in our codebase. Cost-wise, we don't spend less per developer for contractors, and we probably spend more in logistics and communication costs than we would for a full time hire. But we can size our workforce according to our needs on a year to year basis, and this is extremely beneficial to full time workers here in the US. We might not hire as many US workers as we could, but we also don't have massive layoffs.

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