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Businesses

How Do I Manage Seasoned Programmers? 551

An anonymous reader writes "I have a technology background and worked as a programmer for a few years before slipping over to the dark side. I am now on the business side and have been given responsibility for a small team of Java programmers. While the technology aspect of what my team works on doesn't scare me, I need ideas to make sure the team stays motivated while reporting to me, a business-oriented guy. Perhaps I should mention I am in my early 30s while the majority of the team constitute an older, wiser generation. What advice should I follow to avoid turning into yet another Bill Lumbergh?"
Image

Fundraiser For "White Male" Illness Dropped Screenshot-sm 241

gubachwa writes "The student association at Carleton University in Canada recently voted that Cystic Fibrosis was a charity unworthy of receiving money raised during orientation week fund-raising activities. The reason behind the decision, as given in the motion on which the student association voted, is that Cystic Fibrosis 'has been recently revealed to only affect white people, and primarily men.'" I'm speechless.

Comment Warehousing Costs (Score 3, Informative) 366

Warehousing costs are an indicator not a base cause. If you have 1000 units sitting in a warehouse for six months depreciating, it's because no one's buying them. Which means you're losing money from a failed projection. Something this seemingly slow moving would likely need a different supply chain, say direct from manufacture, JIT. Also, the margins on such might just not be there. Hardly worth the effort since IBM is not a non-profit.

Privacy

Anonymous Anger Rampant On the Web 399

the4thdimension writes "In a story that may bring out the 'duh' in you, CNN has a story about how anonymous anger is rampant on the Internet. Citing various reasons, it attempts to explain why sites like MyBiggestComplaint and Just Rage exist and why anger via the web seems to be everywhere. Various reasons include: anonymity, lack of rules, and lack of immediate consequences. Whatever the reason, they describe that online anger has resulted in real-life violence and suggest methods for parents and teens to cope with e-aggression and to learn to be aware of it." I can't figure out what makes me angrier: my habit of anonymously trolling web forums, or my video game playing.
Medicine

Researchers Developing Cancer-Fighting Beer 283

CWmike writes "Ever picked up a cold, frosty beer on a hot summer's day and thought that it simply couldn't get any better? Well, think again. A team of researchers at Rice University in Houston is working on helping Joe Six Pack fight aging and cancer with every swill of beer." Thank you science! Now we just need cigarettes that cure baldness.
Hardware Hacking

Where to Find Axles, Gears For Kinetic Sculpture? 267

sneakyimp writes "My brother is an architect and sculptor and wants to create kinetic sculptures powered by wind, steam, and sun. He wants to avoid electrical systems and keep this mechanical. He's prepared to cast metals for custom parts if necessary, but is hoping to find a cheap source of gears, axles, and bearings for the internal mechanical workings of these contraptions. We'll need things like miter/bevel/spur/helical gears, standard and thrust bearings, and axles." Read on below for more on the details of what sneakyimp is looking for — dismembered Capsela units won't do it.
GNU is Not Unix

Bringing OSS Into a Closed Source Organization? 427

Piranhaa writes "At the major corporation I work for, there is currently a single person who decides what software to approve and disapprove within the organization. I've noticed that requests from users for open source Windows programs get denied, nearly instantaneously, on a regular basis. Anything from Gimp, to Firefox, even to Vim don't make the cut due to the simple fact that they are open source. Closed source programs from unknown vendors have a much better chance at approval than Firefox does. The whole mentality here is that anybody can change the source of a project, submit it, and you never know what kind of compiled binary you're going to get. I'm a firm believer in open source code, but I also know closed source has its place. So what would be the best way for me to argue, with all the facts, to allow these people to come to their own conclusion that open source is actually good? Would presenting examples of other big companies moving to open source work, and if so what are some good examples? Or can you suggest any other good approaches?"
The Almighty Buck

Fuel Efficiency and Slow Driving? 1114

vile8 writes "With the high gas prices and ongoing gas gouging in my hometown many people are trying to find a reasonable way to save gas. One of the things I've noticed is people driving exceptionally slow, 30mph in 45mph zones, etc. So I had to take a quick look and find out if driving slow is helpful in getting better mileage. I know horsepower increases substantially with wind resistance, but with charts like this one from truckandbarter.com it appears mileage is actually about the same between 27mph and 58mph or so. So I'm curious what all the drivers out there with the cool efficiency computers are getting ... of specific interest would be the hemis with MDS; how do those do with the cylinder shutoff mode at different speeds?" Related: are there any practical hypermiling techniques that you've found for people not ready to purchase a new car, nor give up driving generally?
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Reflectivity Reaches a New Low

sporkme writes: "A new nanocoating material developed by a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has the lowest level of reflectivity ever seen, or not seen in this case. The amount of light reflected by the composite of silica nanorods and aluminum nitride is almost the same amount reflected by air. From the article:

Schubert and his coworkers have created a material with a refractive index of 1.05, which is extremely close to the refractive index of air and the lowest ever reported. Window glass, for comparison, has a refractive index of about 1.45.
. . .
Using a technique called oblique angle deposition, the researchers deposited silica nanorods at an angle of precisely 45 degrees on top of a thin film of aluminum nitride, which is a semiconducting material used in advanced light-emitting diodes (LEDs). From the side, the films look much like the cross section of a piece of lawn turf with the blades slightly flattened.
Suggested applications include increased efficiency in solar cells, more energy-efficient lighting and advances in quantum mechanics. No word yet on invisibility cloaks."
Software

Submission + - Software tweak could boost your car's gas mileage

coondoggie writes: "Think it's possible to improve your car's gas mileage just by downloading a new piece of software? Seems to be the case according to a Dutch scientist who this week said most modern cars could reduce fuel consumption by almost 3% by downloading software he and Ford worked to develop. John Kessels' software shuts on or off the car's alternator, which charges the car battery, when it is particularly inefficient for the engine to power it, thus improving the overall efficiency of the engine. A similar technique is used for hybrid cars. The software is not proprietary to Ford and can be used in any vehicle with an engine computer, which includes the vast majority of cars sold today, Kessel says. http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1195 6"
Power

Submission + - Thorium the Key to Non-Prolfieration?

P3NIS_CLEAVER writes: Nuclear energy has been proposed as an alternative to coal power plants that generating carbon dioxide and emit mercury. As we are seeing now in Iran, the desire for nuclear energy has created a gray area that places peaceful civilian power generation at odds with nuclear non-proliferation. An article at Resource Investor claims that thorium reactors can be used to replace existing reactors without creating isotopes that may be used in nuclear weapons.
Music

Submission + - RIAA slams FAIR USE Act

Tyler Too writes: The RIAA has weighed in on the just-introduced FAIR USE Act, and to no one's surprise, they're not at all happy with it. 'The FAIR USE Act "would repeal the DMCA and legalize hacking," says the RIAA. "It would reverse the Supreme Court's decision in Grokster and allow electronics companies to induce others to break the law for their own profit."' Looks like the CEA's lobbyists and the RIAA's lobbyists will be battling it out on Capitol Hill.
Databases

Submission + - Free global virtual scientific library

An anonymous reader writes: More than 20,000 signatures, including several Nobel prize winners and 750 education, research, and cultural organisations from around the world came together to support free access to government funded research, "to create a freely available virtual scientific library available to the entire globe. The European Commission responded by committing more than $100m (£51m) towards facilitating greater open access through support for open access journals and for the building of the infrastructure needed to house institutional repositories that can store the millions of academic articles written each year. From the BBC article: "Last month five leading European research institutions launched a petition that called on the European Commission to establish a new policy that would require all government-funded research to be made available to the public shortly after publication. That requirement — called an open access principle — would leverage widespread internet connectivity with low-cost electronic publication to create a freely available virtual scientific library available to the entire globe." Isn't this the way its suppose to be?
Patents

Submission + - Watermark system scours the net for infringement

Almond Cookie writes: What if all copyrighted material contained watermarks, and software could scan videos and images online for those watermarks in order to report back to the content maker? A new patent filing shows plans for such a system to crawl sites like YouTube and MySpace for images or video that's copyrighted, which seems to focus more on casual piracy than that being done on P2P networks. Will it really work though? From the article:

For the system to work, players at multiple levels would need to get involved. Broadcasters would need to add identifying watermarks to their broadcast, in cooperation with copyright holders, and both parties would need to register their watermarks with the system. Then, in the event that a user capped a broadcast and uploaded it online, the scanner system would eventually find it and report its location online. [...] Generally we've laughed off most watermarking solutions because they seemed like solutions in search of a problem. Now that Google has learned the hard way that content owners want to be paid when their content shows up on YouTube, we may see more of these "solutions" in the future.

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