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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 27 declined, 3 accepted (30 total, 10.00% accepted)

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Submission + - Wanted: Test case manager plugin (

Bomarc writes: I’ve been working with software testing ... for a few years now. And there seems to be a serious lack of QA — Test Case Management (TCM) tools. The company that I’m working for needs a good test case manager. Currently JIRA is the tool of choice for other aspects of project management. I’m not asking to jump ship from JIRA, but the Atlassian TCM “Zephyr” has several problems, some of the key ones include: It does not have (any) matrix capabilities, no test case suite capabilities, if you change one test case (including assignments) the system changes all of the runs from that test case, the integration between the defect tracker and the TCM is archaic (at best), the number of actions to pass/fail a step (or test case) are annoying (way to many). Whoever designed it doesn’t use it. If you watch the “Introduction” for Zephyr – it is amusing to see how the person performing he demo skips over and fumbles when dealing with the flaws I’ve mentioned above.

I have use the product “TestLog” which is a well thought out product; has test matrix capabilities (and other good features) however it does not have any integration with JIRA. (Hint hint: Atlassian, this is what you need!).

In asking the /. community: Is there any company that makes a “plug-in” for JIRA with a similar features to TestLog – test case management that is well thought out, not just an afterthought?

Submission + - Drone operator caught flying between two news helicopters at above 1500 feet

Bomarc writes: KIRO TV news in Seattle, WA is reporting an incident where a person was flying a drone above 1,500 feet, and near (between) two news helicopters. There is video footage of the drone and of the person flying his drone above and between the two news helicopters (reporting on a local fire). The 10 minute video includes clear images of the drone, the operator recovering it.

Submission + - N Korea clam hack is 'attempt to frame us'; demand to work with US investigators (

Bomarc writes: CNN reports that "N. Korea blasts 'childish attempt to frame us' where N. Korea "Asks U.S. for joint investigation".

[T]he North Korean regime said both countries should work together. "While America has been criticized by its own public and continues to point the finger at us, we suggest mutual investigation with America on this case," KCNA said.
"If America refuses our proposal of mutual investigation, continues to link us to this case, and talk about actions in response, they (America) will be met with serious consequences."

Submission + - 16th-century manual shows 'rocket cat' weaponry 2

Bomarc writes: An article on KOMO website highlights the proposed use of a 'rocket cat' as weaponry. The — sometimes colorful illustrations that are coming to light illustrations (Digitized by the University of Pennsylvania) that are coming to light from a circa-1530 manual on artillery and siege warfare seem to show jet packs strapped to the backs of cats.

... looks like sharks with lasers have competition!

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Looking for RAID Calculator

Bomarc writes: I’m looking for "RAID calculator" — that will provide recommendations for optional settings based on hardware information data entry; a way to calculate or warn that the optional parameters of controller and/or OS to keep the drive from "thrashing". Here I define "thrashing" as a way to reduce or eliminate the need to read and re-write a sector(s) that has just been written to. Most of what I've found so far is a size calculator, and if you need one of these, I believe that you are in the wrong business.

Example: a hard drive as an example that I’m currently using is a WD red 2 TB Drive for NAS (WD20EFRX). This drive has a 64MB buffer; a sustained read/write speed off 147 MB/s; bytes per sector 512(logical) / 4096(physical) bytes per sector; 3,907,029,168 sectors; 2,000,398 MB space; connected (in this instance) to a Dell Perc 5 with 256MB RAM – that can be configured to a stripe size with data segments of 8, 16, 32, 64, and 128 Kbytes. Under the OS, the sector size includes 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K and 64K. The drive bays vary from 2 to 10 drives per array per system (2 drives as RAID 1; 4 as RAID 5, 6 or 10; 6, 8 and 10 drives as RAID 5 or 6)

In this example: The hard drive utilizes 4K bytes (physical) per sector; so with a 4 bay system (RAID 5 with 3 data drives; one parity drive) would result in a single stripe of 12K (with 16K of physical data that would include parity) data being written to the drive in one pass. Note however: That 12K does not go evenly into any of the stripe size, nor does it go evenly into the OS sector size. The result is "thrashing". The user will see a performance degradation (depending on where it occurs) as the controller reads a sector from the drive, merge the data with the outgoing RAID data, and re-writes the physical data to the drive for the sector(s) that are out — bound. If you are lucky to be writing large files, hopefully the logic in the controller will keep the “thrashing” process to a minimum. In an extreme example: you could have a stripe size of 8K and an OS sector size 128 k; with this configuration it could take 16 writes to get the data out — and we haven’t even dealt with hard drive sector size issues; that could bump the number up 128 writes for a medium sized RAID array!

So, back to the question: Has someone made available a "RAID calculator" out there that takes in these considerations — and shows or warns the user that there might be a problem, and/or hints the best configuration for a given hardware setup?

Submission + - 160,000 Soc. Security numbers exposed in Wa State court system hack ( 1

Bomarc writes: KOMO TV has reported up to 160,000 social security numbers and 1 million driver license numbers may have potentially been accessed. The information also includes other PII:
The vast majority of the site contains non-confidential, public information. No personal financial information, such as bank account numbers or credit card numbers, is stored on the site. However, other data stored on the server did include social security numbers, names, dates of birth, addresses, and driver license numbers that may have been accessed. Although there is no hard evidence confirming the information was in fact compromised, the data was still vulnerable and should be considered as potentially exposed.
The state has set up two web information pages here and here with more information and means to contact the state.

Submission + - How to deal with or perhaps replace Tivo?

Bomarc writes: "On Friday, Tivo release a patch with had a critical bug. The bug causes the ability to transfers any (ALL) recordings to fail. Last time I called TiVo support they (still) claims that the problem is with an update to Windows 7, which I know to be false, for these reasons: First — the system that I use for transferring files from TiVo uses Windows XP, and hasn’t been updated in two weeks. Direct transfer (also known as back-door or web transfer) also does not work. The bug has impacted both of my TiVo boxes (a ‘Series 2’ and a ‘HD box’).

A Google search of the error message returns another person that has the same problem, and no other relevant results. And a bit of history of TiVo: They will frequently release an update on Friday, and with an annoying degree of regularity, the update will have bugs. Sometimes the bugs are just annoying, sometimes the bugs will be critical.

So my question: can I get away from TiVo? I need a solution that is workable (regular and HD), allow me to record, to let my wife watch TV, and for me to record 3+ shows at a given point in time. I’m not trying to receive non-legal channels, but to watch and record and (optionally) keep the recordings that I’ve made. I don’t mind paying for the service. Most of my searches on this topic don’t end well. Does someone have a viable solution that – when implemented is legal and doesn’t require a masters degree in computer science to understand 'how to make it work'? Something that has the features of TiVo, without the headaches? (I can’t even find a media player to effectively replace the TiVo player’s abilities)

History and background: My wife is NOT a techie. She is still trying to figure out the “URL” vs. the “search box”. I’m a techie. I’ve been working with computers for many years now. Several years ago, I migrated to TiVo for two key reasons The first is that it is simple to use. Though TiVo can be annoying for me, my wife can use it and understand it. The second is its ability to transfer and save recordings to a standard format. Every morning I start my daily transfer of files from TiVo to a local hard drive. Expected usage: Recording and keeping about one TB per month, library of about 65 TB of video (at this time). I use Extreme Movie Manager to track and organize my video collection."

Submission + - What to do when an advised BIOS upgrade is bad?

Bomarc writes: "Twice now I've been advised to "flash the BIOS to the latest", once by a (major) hard drive controller maker (RAID); once by an OEM (who listed as "critical", and has removed older versions of the BIOS). Both times, the update has bricked an expensive piece of equipment. Both times, the response after the failed flash was "It's not our problem, it's out of warranty". Given that they recommended — advised that the unit be upgraded, shouldn't they shoulder the responsibility of BIOS upgrade failure? Also, if there design had sockets rather than soldering on parts, one could R/R the faulty part (BIOS chip), rather than going to eBay and praying. Am I the only one that has experienced this type of problem? Have you been advised to upgrade a BIOS (firmware); and the upgrade bricked the part or system — if so, what did you do? Should I name the companies?"

Submission + - Media Mail: How to fighting the USPO? (

Bomarc writes: "Sending items using media mail is a great way to save money. However, the government (USPS) is dragging its feet. I recently tried to send a 160GB SATA hard drive filled with movies to a relative. I invite readers to understand what Media Mail is, and what it was intended to do by reading the pamphlet on line "A Consumer's Guide to Mailing". The relevant text: "Small and large packages and thick envelopes can be sent using Media Mail. Contents are limited to books, manuscripts, sound recordings, recorded videotapes, and computer-readable media (not blank). Informally called "Book Rate," Media Mail cannot contain advertising, except eligible books may contain incidental announcements of books. Media Mail is usually less expensive than Parcel Post."

After several phone calls, I was able to reach a real person sent them the question by email:

Thank you for taking the time to listen to me.

Attached are several images to give perspective on the items involved.

{images of SATA drive, SATA to USB connection, and descripton removed for clarity}

Technical details:
The drive is plugged into the device outside of the computer, and the computers normal operation is not required by it's absence or presence. It's operation is the same as a "thumb drive", only physically larger. (And it is more equivalent to a DVD in that the DVD requires a DVD drive — this device requires the docking station as shown in the above image)

My Issue:
What I am shipping is the "hard drive" with video's copied on the drive. This is the (more) modern equivalent of a "DVD" in that it has movies/ videos (approximately 100 hrs). Supplemental hard ware is not shipped, nor are games (etc) included.

My contention is that if VHS tapes, DVD's and CD's are allowed, than this MUST be allowed under the same pretext. Current technology is such that the hard drives being released today are intended for this sole purpose — holding movies. This is the same as shipping a DVD or a 3 1/2 floppy — just more data.

The response from the USPS was:
"I wanted you to know the information I received says Media Mail prices are not available for computer related parts, accessories, flash/thumb devices, and storage devices such as a hard drive. Any kind of drive, whether it be thumb drive or hard drive, is not eligible." This indicates a fundamental lack of understanding of what current standards are for holding data — out side of the computer.

Anyone know how to proceed from here? The USPS doesn't know (or want to tell) how to escalate the issue. I'm concerned that my next course of action might be to go to Federal Court (not my idea of fun, since I can't afford it)."


Submission + - Tricks with your mind and a dummy's body (

Bomarc writes: "KOMO is reporting about a study from Stockholm's renowned Karolinska Institute. The story by the AP is using cameras setup to watch "you", from the perspective of a dummy. The system is set up so that as you perform activities with the dummy, you feel sensation. They start out with shaking hands with yourself. They have found out that most people (70-80%) tend to freak out the when the dummy is stabbed with a knife ("experience the illusion very strongly"). The entire article covers the perspective of both the study, and what the writer feels during the experience. Though this study was with short duration subjects, interest is raised with longer duration studies. "The questions is what happens if you did it much longer? If you were in there for days and weeks. Would it be like something out of Total Recall?" (Spence). I was intrigued with the possibility of VR in game simulation."

Submission + - Washington State: Is Blogging lobbying? (

Bomarc writes: "Washington State is asking — is blogging lobbying? As KOMO's website is reporting, if blogging is lobbying, then those who are doing the blogging are required to file public reports detailing their finances. This is another instance where 21st century and 1970s political reforms are clashing. Though media is excluded, this could have a chilling impact on private blogs (and websites)."
United States

Submission + - Fed judge ruled part of law terrorism vage (

Bomarc writes: "The Seattle PI is reporting a story by the AP where a Portland, Oregon Federal Judge has ruled against terrorism law: unconstitutionally vague.

He ruled a law prohibiting material support for terrorists is unconstitutional because it is too vague. The judge also ruled the law on the provision of "material support" to any group given the designation was unconstitutionally vague."


Submission + - Georgia men claim hairy, frozen corpse is Bigfoot (

Bomarc writes: "Two men claim to have shot Bigfoot, and placed him in a freezer. The announcement describes the creature as a 7-foot-7 male, weighing 550 pounds with 16-inch human-like feet and reddish hair. Three different tales so far offered three different tales so far about how they came to find the creature:
In one, the animal was shot by a former felon, and the men followed it into the woods. In a second version, they found a "family of Bigfoot" in North Georgia mountains. In the third, the two were hiking and stumbled upon the corpse with open wounds.
One interesting note is that this is being picked up by the mainstream media.
However — this rates up there with — Wow, we've found a new and wonderful creature. Let's kill it!"


Submission + - Paper posts names of those it says bought degrees (

Bomarc writes: "The Spokesman Review has published the names of nearly 10,000 people that have alleged to have purchased bogus college degrees from a Spokane diploma mill. The U.S. Department of Justice had refused to release to the public.
The list is available on Spokesman-Review's Web site. The newspaper did not say how it obtained the list.
A preliminary analysis by the newspaper, based on e-mail addresses, showed 135 individuals with ties to the military, 39 with links to educational institutions, and 17 employed by government agencies. But the numbers could be much higher if buyers used their personal e-mail accounts"

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