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GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - GNU C Library 2.17 Announced, Includes Support for 64-bit ARM (

hypnosec writes: A new version of GNU C Library (glibc) has been released and with this new version comes support for the upcoming 64-bit ARM architecture a.k.a. AArch64. Version 2.17 of glibc not only includes support for ARM, it also comes with better support for cross-compilation and testing; optimized versions of memcpy, memset, and memcmp for System z10 and zEnterprise z196; optimized version of string functions on top of some quite a few other performance improvements states the mailing list release announcement. Glibc v 2.17 can be used with a minimum Linux kernel version 2.6.16.

Submission + - Empty Times Square Building generates $23 Million a Year from Digital Ads (

dryriver writes: 'Advertising things at the right place is proving to be a cash cow, as electronic ads earn about $23mn each year for an empty building at One Times Square – the iconic tourist destination in the New York City. A 25-story Manhattan office building that has long been empty keeps on bringing in millions to its owner as a billboard. Michael Phillips, CEO of Atlanta-based Jamestown Properties, bought One Times Square through a fund in 1997 for $117 million, as the Wall Street Journal reports. Above 100mn pedestrians pass through the square each year, which is 90% more than 16 years ago, says the Times Square Alliance, a non-profit business improvement organization. And this is what makes a price tag for having a company’s name placed on the building the highest in the world, even above such crowded tourist destinations as Piccadilly Circus in London. Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. pays $3.6mn a year for a Dunkin' Donuts digital sign on the One Times Square building, with Anheuser-Busch InBev paying another $3.4mn a year for its advertisement. Sony and News America pay $4mn a year for a shared sign.'

Comment Re:No fancy gizmos please... (Score 1) 445

7 replies, and no one actually addressed the problem the OP mentioned: distractions. Maps distract you more and not less.

Failing to solve the problem is not cleverness. All of you think you're being snarky by being morons.

Um, maps are hardly distracting if used as described in the comment you're responding to: before going somewhere.

Comment Gloves (Score 1) 445

My rule is to wear gloves when test driving a car or shopping for a replacement radio. After all, 4-6 months of the year, I'll be wearing gloves when I climb into the car in the morning. Radio, heater, and all important controls need to be operable.

Unfortunately, there are almost no replacement radios that have real buttons and knobs. That's one area where the auto manufacturers get it right more often than the gizmo vendors.

Comment Re:Check out your State Bar. (Score 2) 153

That information has proven quite helpful in my home states (CO and NE).

Usually I'll vote against a judge if more than about 15% of attorneys recommend "Do Not Retain" (or 10%, if the the judge gets poor marks for impartiality). For borderline cases, first I'll look for mentions of the judge in news stories. If I'm still undecided, I'll vote against retention. Why? The vast majority of people vote to retain all of the judges, so even really bad judges stay in office. By voting against retention, I will amplify the votes of any voters who happen to know about a problem with the judge.

Comment Re:Also skeptical (Score 1) 133

Here's one reference in the literature about the technique (co-authored by the same guy featured in TFA):

Ehleringer, J.R., Bowen, G.J., Chesson, L.A., West, A.G., Podlesak, D.W., Cerling, T.E. (2008). From the Cover: Hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios in human hair are related to geography. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(8), 2788-2793. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0712228105 (geolocation based on oxygen isotopes in hair)

Notice that isotope analysis indicates that a person was or was not in a set of regions at a given time, as in "possibly Texas or Florida." So it's better at narrowing down a list of possibilities than at pinpointing someone's travels. Or as the NOVA story says, it's a "a starting point" for an investigation, not a smoking gun to show off at a trial. (At work, I get to play with some of this stuff, blasting microscopic objects with laser beams and analyzing the atoms that fly off. How fun is that?)


Submission + - Beyond Agile Myths: What the research shows

Esther Schindler writes: "Scott Fulton wrote two in-depth articles about the current state of Agile development, based on research from two computer scientists about what developers really do, rather than what the developers might like to think they do. And, as the newscasters teasers say, the results might surprise you. (Don't worry. Nobody is saying that Agile Sucks. This is more about how it's being used in the real world, and what successful Agile teams have in common.)

First, in “Agile” Often Isn’t, Scott looked at the cultural effects of Agile methodologies on workforces. The researchers made two unanticipated discoveries, he reports: One, companies adopting Agile actually struggle more to cope with the side-effects. Two, development teams that succeed in producing better products and pleasing customers aren’t exactly using Agile after all. For example:

Entitled “Agile Undercover,” the first report from Hoda and her colleagues demonstrated conclusively that Agile development teams were failing to communicate with their customers — not just occasionally, but mainly. And in order to ameliorate the impact of these failures, teams and their companies were making active, intentional efforts to keep customers in the dark about their development practices, including their schedules of deliverables. ...

“Teams are very keen on pleasing their customers, and it’s hard for them to bring up issues with customer collaboration,” Hoda tells me. So to keep the customer at bay and out of their hair, development teams hire or appoint a customer proxy. An ambassador, if you will. Or, to be more truthful, a sales associate.

The second article, Is Teamwork Dead? A Post-Agile Prognosis, looks more at the dichotomy of "team success." Culturally, when we "win," we tend to give credit to the team ("Gosh, it wasn't just me...") but when a project fails, there's an assumption it's one person's fault, even if we don't look for a scapegoat. Making a team more than a bunch of people in the same room is a special skill, and one that Agile methodologies rely on — remember the part about self-organizing teams? "Though they may not go about this process consciously or intentionally, individual group members employing Agile for the first time, Hoda’s team found, tend to adopt one of six roles," Scott reports, such as mentor, coordinator, and promoter.

See if the research agrees with your Agile experience."

Comment Re:Crony capitalism and security theatre (Score 2) 88

No, according to the cited article, 1,200 deaths per year (initially, then declining year to year) occurred because of more people driving rather than flying "attributable to the effect of 9/11."

"Two primary reasons explain the 9/11 effect on road fatalities. First, the 9/11 effect may capture the fear of flying. ... Second, the 9/11 effect may be attributable to the inconvenience of flying post-9/11" [page 9 of the paper]. The authors were unable to measure these two factors independently. I think it would be reasonable to say that for most people, the choice to drive rather than fly was due primarily to a fear of terrorism (for which security theater might arguably be a solution). Only for a small but savvy minority was the choice to drive due to the TSA itself.


Submission + - There is no Tablet Market, Only a iPad Market 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "James Kendrick writes that after Apple introduced the iPad, companies shifted gears to go after this undiscovered new tablet market but in spite of the number of players in tablets, no company has discovered the magic bullet to knock the iPad off the top of the tablet heap. "What's happening to the 7-inch tablet market is what happened to the PC market several times. Big name desktop PC OEMs, realizing that consumers didn't care about megahertz and megabytes — yes, that long ago — turned to a price war in order to keep sales buoyant," writes Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. "Price becomes the differentiating factor, and this in turns competition into a race to the bottom." Historically, when a race to the bottom is dictated by the market, it's more a sign of a lack of a market in general. If enough buyers aren't willing to pay enough for a product to make producers a profit, the market is just not sufficient. Price is a metric that most people know and understand because it's nowhere as ethereal or complicated as CPU power or screen resolution. Given a $199 tablet next to another for $299, the $100 difference in the price tag will catch the eye before anything else. But if price is such an important metric, why is the iPad — with its premium price tag — so popular? Simple, it was the first tablet to go mass market, and cumulative sales of around 85 million gives the iPad credibility in the eye on potential buyers. "So the problem with the Kindle Fire — and the Nexus 7 — is the same problem that's plagued the PC industry. Deep and extreme price cuts give the makers no wriggle room to innovate", writes Kingsley-Hughes. "By driving prices down to this level so rapidly, both Amazon and Google have irrevocably harmed the tablet market by creating unrealistic price expectations.""

Submission + - Optical Displays Made of Nothing But Air And Water (

An anonymous reader writes: Finnish scientists have developed a new optical display that works using using nothing more than air and water. Based out of Aalto University, the researchers took their inspiration from the superhydrophobic properties of the lotus leaf and fabricated a surface with structures in two size scales: microposts that have a size of ten micrometers and tiny nanofilaments that are grown on the posts. This two-level surface allowed the air layer to exist in two different shapes, or wetting states, while corresponding to the two size scales. The team also found that they could easily switch between the two states locally using a nozzle to create over- or under-pressure in the water

Submission + - MIT Researchs Ampilfy Invisible Detail in Video ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: MIT researchers have invented an algorithm which is able to amplify motion in video that is invisible to the naked eye — such as the motion of blood pulsing through a person's face, or the breathing of an infant. The algorithm — which was invented almost by accident — could find applications in safety, medicine, surveillance, and other areas.

Submission + - 40 Years of Tech Ads' Finest: '80 Mbytes of storage for under $12k!' (

CWmike writes: "After looking over four decades of Computerworld in print given the publication's 40th anniversary, we found some smokin' deals — and some really funny stuff: Guess which 80MB disk system costs less than $12k — and even better, 300MB for under $20k! What the heck is electronic mail? That's the question posed in this Honeywell ad, which explains: 'Simply put, it means high-speed information transportation.' What year do you think an advertisement would be using a model in hot pants? Headline hints: 'Univac 9700 Offers Compatibility, Price'; 'Technology Makes Move Out of Core City Feasible.'"

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