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Comment Which parts in the system are missing? (Score 1) 231

Um, I think we are forgetting something here. Throwing hardware at a problem - without understanding the problem - will not be as effective as hoped. Consider the context first - what is the environment, how much bio-diversity, is there a way to arrange things to increase fertility? Consider Haiti, a small country, where the dictator "Doc Duvalier" cut down all the trees. He didn't have to be worried about snipers in the tree tops; the unintended consequence was the arable land was washed into the ocean, beginning a cycle of poverty that continues to this day. Breaking the cycle of poverty takes insight, and small changes - composting, small bushes and shrubs to act as soil anchors, understanding how to make real wealth, and not something that is a photo op - only to rust unused.

Comment Why not both? (Score 1) 4

First, GAPP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) usually lists the NRE (Non-Recurring Engineering) as a Cost Centre. Sales is considered a Profit Centre. This is for tax reasons.

A well run company realizes that the real value is generated when both Sales and Engineering get along well. This can only happen if they understand each other's care-abouts. The Engineer's contribution is to generate wealth (and value). However, if nobody knows about it, their work is for nothing. In order to get that value to someone who needs it, you need sales. The person in sales is the face and character of the company. It is their responsibility to present that engineered value to the customer. They do that by identifying the features of the design, that would be of benefit to the customer.

This means that both Engineering and Sales (and Marketing) have to understand that an unused feature, or one having no benefit is a horrible waste of time and effort and leads to a schedule slip. Similarly, not understanding when a feature is clumsy or missing, and is a must-have means no sales.

The balance point is hard to discern, it takes a team to ask the right questions.

But this challenge is the art of engineering, and doing it right is one of the great pleasures of engineering. To Sales, having happy customers means possible future sales - and most importantly, being able to get real intelligence as to what is needed next to the engineering team- well before it is needed.

One quick word on skill sets: Project management and Sales are interrupt driven; Marketing and Engineering are insular activities -depending on uninterrupted effort. Accounting is there to reduce taxes and make the money flow at the right rate - not too slow (boredom, frustration) nor too fast (wasteful, insufficient planning)

C level executives are there to present the company to shareholders, and incidentally keep disasters small.

Personally I have flipped back and forth between design engineering, project management, and as a Field Applications Engineer.

I enjoyed each of these responsibilities; however each of them had their tedious dull spots.

Submission + - Social Intelligence: Why be an Enginerd? 4

EMB Numbers writes: Social Intelligence: Engineers design things that salesmen sell. Salesmen sell to each other in clubs, on golf courses, and over drinks. Engineers value competence in design. Salesmen value competence in clubs, golf courses, and drinking. College fraternities are surely the best possible training ground for salesmen. I should have joined a frat and studied clubs, golf, and beer :( Why does anybody study engineering? Why do engineers always end up working for salesmen? Is it because salesmen bring in the money and engineers are just a regrettably necessary cost of product development?

Comment This is effective, and efficient (Score 1) 301

Consider it this way, using the electric grid is the most effective use of energy transmission. By using large plants, we can use every trick that an engineer can conceive to wring the last watt out of fuel. So far, so good. But by combining the electrical storage potential of any hybrid, with a tuned engine for maximal efficiency gets the best of both worlds. It's easier to design to, also. It's an old trick called co-generation, used in pulp and paper plants. Now, if we can store the "waste heat" for our homes ... well, we just reduced the total energy demand. Any takers? JB

Comment Fiction or non Fiction? (Score 1) 363

Lots more non fiction then I voted. There are advantages in reading a lot of SF when I was a tad; 5 books in a weekend. Now that I'm older, I read tech books in sciences and math - and some of them take a page a day to digest; especially the math (combinatorics, abstract algebra, that sort of thing). And I'm tackling literature and languages, and those are slow going too. But I am having fun, but the to-learn list keeps getting longer the more I understand. Dang these short lifespans... JB

Comment staying together (Score 1) 404

while battling depression/anxiety. Who knew that they co-exist? Try to avoid that fate. However, I have managed to catch up on my non technical reading; I have an ever lengthening to-learn list; and am helping others through their own rough spots; and am still keeping up with my own discipline, EE. It hasn't been a total waste of time, but I am inpatient to get back into harness, so to speak. I think I'll find some hairy problem to apply myself to. Improving education comes to mind. Cheers, JB

Submission + - TuxDroid is dead ... please help us

adedommelin writes: Kysoh, the manufacturer of the TuxDroid went out of business in July. Since this day, wiki, packages and sources are not longer available.

TuxDroid is an OpenSource robot / smart companion working on GNU/Linux or Win32 platforms. With him, you can access to Internet services, WebRadios, and a lot of other things, you're just limited to what you can imagine.

We are currently working on setting up a new community website and a project on sourceforge to keep our beloved TuxDroid alive. If you have an offline copy of the wiki / documentation / packages / sources we would be very interested in getting them.
We really need your help if we want to keep this project alive

IRC channel is available on freenode #tuxdroid

Submission + - Obstruction of research on Mexican Gulf oil spill (npr.org)

indogiree writes: "Some scientists say they're being locked out of research on the oil spill because they refuse to sign confidentiality agreements."..."The only information or the facts that are allowed to be collected belong to the parties involved. That's BP and the U.S. government. And because both BP and the feds have a vital and monetary interest in the amount of oil still in the water and on the wetlands, you have to get past the lawyers first, before you can go on to public property and waterways.'..."Much of the information obtained from research and monitoring will be tied up in the courts rather than being made publicly available and scrutinized."...

Submission + - Enlightenment Foundation Libraries goes Alpha ! (enlightenment.org)

dvlhrns writes: Several core EFL libraries have now been released as alpha. !!!

Enlightenment is not just a window manager for Linux/X11 and others, but also a whole suite of libraries to help you create beautiful user interfaces with much less work than doing it the old fashioned way and fighting with traditional toolkits, not to mention a traditional window manager. It covers uses from small mobile devices like phones all the way to powerful multi-core desktops (which are the primary development environment).

Comment Ummm, this is slashdot (Score 1) 1

Now that may be enough for most readers, but this is, after all the slashdot crowd. Vitally important information is missing!

It mentions "running out of steam". Is there a safety hazard to said device? Possibility of nasty scalds requiring a trip to smirking emergency room staff? Does it require carbon based fuels, like stoking it with coal? Or, worse yet, a coal fired power generating station? Can I have a solar powered charging station, as an option? Wilderness trips, ya know...

It seems that it is dynamically imbalanced, on purpose. Will bits of the device shake off with extended use? What about the interior design? Can it survive international shock, shake and vibration standards? What about electrical safety? Does it pose a risk to public health and safety? Does it have a breath metering device so as to prevent impaired operation?

And most important, what kind of microcontroller does it use? Does it have an SDK? Which languages does it support? Can it be re-programmed? Will it run Linux? Is there a logging function that permits peak useage times and rates? Does it have WiFi?

Hope this helps spark a discussion.

Submission + - SPAM: Lelo Elise - Plum 1

An anonymous reader writes: The ELISE vibrator features sculptural simplicity and alluring tactile qualities define her essence.

Well in tune with the natural curves of the female body, the stem forms a soft arc for easy access to all those special places. The gentleness of the design is emphasized in tactility of the materials: an intimately pleasant begging-to-be-touched medical-grade silicone for the top and a silky-smooth double-coated rigid PC-ABS for the handle. Situated lengthwise are two vibrant pleasure points designated, solely or in harmony, to impart an array of toe-curling clitoral-, G-spot- or full-body rubdowns. The powerful vibrator assembly is engineered to maximize intensity whilst minimizing noise. An intuitive interface dial facilitates exact massage control and access to five dynamic pleasuring programs. As a matter of discretion the interface dial can be locked during travel and transportation. Like all LELO pleasure objects, ELISE is rechargeable and a 3-hour charge will provide up to 4 hours of bliss. To avoid running out of steam at the wrong moment, ELISE will indicate when the time has come to charge. ELISE comes presented in a discrete gift box, accessorised with charger, user manual, satin pouch and a 1-year LELO warranty.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Java Developer: Oracle-Google Spat About Ego

An anonymous reader writes: The father of Java programming language James A. Gosling has derided Oracle's lawsuit against Google, citing ego, money and power as underlying motivation. In a blog entry, James Gosling commented on Oracle's lawsuit saying, "Oracle finally filed a lawsuit against Google. Not a big surprise." He revealed that after Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems it grilled Sun employees over the patent issues between Sun and Google during the integration process. Gosling said he could see "the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle".

Submission + - German ascent ascribed to lack of copyright (spiegel.de)

An anonymous reader writes: In No Copyright Law, The Real Reason for Germany's Industrial Expansion, Frank Thadeusz presents the work of economic historian Eckhard Hoffner, who argues that Germany's ascent relative to other nascent industrial nations like England and France was due in large part to Germany's lack of copyright law.

The German proliferation of knowledge created a curious situation that hardly anyone is likely to have noticed at the time. Sigismund Hermbstädt, for example, a chemistry and pharmacy professor in Berlin, who has long since disappeared into the oblivion of history, earned more royalties for his "Principles of Leather Tanning" published in 1806 than British author Mary Shelley did for her horror novel "Frankenstein," which is still famous today.


Submission + - Teachers Union Boycotts LA Times Over Evaluations (newsweek.com)

Atypical Geek writes: According to Newsweek, the local teachers union is infuriated over the disclosure of teacher performance metrics.

Do parents have the right to know which of their kids' teachers are the most and least effective? That's the controversy roaring in California this week with the publication of an investigative series by the Los Angeles Times's Jason Song and Jason Felch, who used seven years of math and English test data to publicly identify the best and the worst third- to fifth-grade teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The newspaper's announcement of its plans to release data later this month on all 6,000 of the city's elementary-school teachers has prompted the local teachers' union to rally members to organize a boycott of the newspaper.

According to the linked Times article, United Teachers Los Angeles president A.J. Duffy said the database was "an irresponsible, offensive intrusion into your professional life that will do nothing to improve student learning."


Submission + - Parked Domains: Malware's Hidden Long Tail (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: They're the dusty corners of the Web: so-called "parked" domains. But these little trafficked sites are attracting the attention of security experts, who say that it's time for hosting firms and others that profit from them to clean up malware infections that may be exposing millions of Web users to attacks. The topic of what to do about the millions of parked domains was put back on the front burner this week after Web hosting firm Network Solutions acknowledged, on Monday, that unknown hackers had compromised a popular Web template it offered to customers, placing code in a widget to serve up malicious content from hundreds of thousands — perhaps millions of parked Web domains that the company manages. The company declined to say how long the sites had been serving the malicious content, but the mass compromise may go back more than eight months, to a breach that first came to light in January, 2010.

A spokesperson for Google said that the company has systems to help detect parked domains, and will often not show them in the company's search index. "If they do appear in the index, they are scanned with the same technology we use on other sites to help detect and flag malware and phishing attempts," the spokesman said.

Some are suggesting tougher approaches. Huang and other Armorize researchers have suggested that search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing stop crawling parked domains to reduce even the small amounts of traffic that make their way to the parked pages -especially since visitors to such mothballed pages will often not bother to report when are subject to an attack. Daswani notes that Web sites already face a still penalty for infection: black listing by Google and other search engines.

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It is masked but always present. I don't know who built to it. It came before the first kernel.