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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is the gap between data access speeds widening or narrowing?

DidgetMaster writes: Everyone knows that CPU registers are much faster than level1, level2, and level3 caches. Likewise, those caches are much faster than RAM; and RAM in turn is much faster than disk (even SSD). But the past 30 years have seen tremendous improvements in data access speeds at all these levels. RAM today is much, much faster than RAM 10, 20, or 30 years ago. Disk accesses are also tremendously faster than previously as steady improvements in hard drive technology and the even more impressive gains in flash memory have occurred. Is the "gap" between the fastest RAM and the fastest disks bigger or smaller now than the gap was 10 or 20 years ago? Are the gaps between all the various levels getting bigger or smaller? Anyone know of a definitive source that tracks these gaps over time?

Submission + - CompSci researchers: What Developers Call "Agile" Often Isn't (

Esther Schindler writes: "When sociological researchers studied the cultural effects of Agile methodologies on workforces, they made two unanticipated discoveries: 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. In “Agile” Often Isn’t, Scott Fulton delves deep into the findings. 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.

There's more. A bunch more."

Your Rights Online

Submission + - Assange wins another journalism award ( 1

Pav writes: Julian Assange has won a Walkley award, the equivalent of a Pulitzer in his native Australia. This is separate from the Martha Gellhorn prize won earlier this year. The story is reported on, a web magazine frequented by Australian journalists and political elites. Although the comments there will be waffling and long-winded perhaps they will also be interesting as an indicator of the mood in that world.

Submission + - Creepy Stalking App Explained by Author ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Creepy, a package described as a 'geolocation information aggregator,' is turning heads in privacy circles, but should people be worried? Yiannis Kakavas explains why he developed his scary stalking application.

Creepy is a software package for Linux or Windows — with a Mac OS X port in the works — that aims to gather public information on a targeted individual via social networking services in order to pinpoint their location. It's remarkably efficient at its job, even in its current early form, and certainly lives up to its name when you see it in use for the first time.


Slackware 13.1 Released 155

Several readers made sure we are aware that Slackware 13.1 release is out. Here's the list of mirrors. "Slackware 13.1 brings many updates and enhancements, among which you'll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.6.1, a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy-to-use desktop environment, and KDE 4.4.3, a recent stable release of the new 4.4.x series of the award-winning KDE desktop environment."

Comment Re:Supply and demand (Score 2, Insightful) 1138

Lets say you come home from work at a real job and it's your time to do whatever you want. Would you rather work even more for $1/hour or would you rather watch TV (or surf the web or spend time with your family - basically anything you would want to do that doesn't pay cash)? Clearly free time has more value than $1/hour, at least if you aren't destitute to the point of needing that dollar.

In fact the value of free time is a function of how well your material needs and wants are met along with how much free time you already have. If you're unemployed, you're more willing to give up 8 hours of your day for cash than if you were already working 8 hours a day and were asked to give up 8 more.

Comment Re:Cure? (Score 1) 363

So you're saying that the "Big Pharma's" should do the research? You're post is attacking the man more than the argument I think. I didn't read the article but I got the impression that the drug is cheap because it probably can't be patented for whatever reason. If that's the case I presume there would be nothing to stop another company immediately selling the drug on the back of the "Big Pharma's" research. So it's no surprise then that it's left to a charity to do the research.

Comment Re:Laws (Score 1) 698

Not the same thing. Roads take-up tons and tons of space. A hairthin fiber optic takes up virtually no space, so you can run 10-20 dedicated lines to every neighborhood and thereby provide 10-20 different cable TV providers.

Also if we followed your view to its logical conclusion, all the car companies should be merged into one single unit, to avoid wasting resources. But then of course you would have a car manufacturer monopoly, which is inherently anti-liberty and should be avoided at all costs. Same applies to TV monopolies like Comcast.

Comment Long Run (Score 1) 475

Considering the amount of fruit that is produced in a given year, even though the stickers are really cheap. This system will probably pay for itself fairly quickly just by removing the cost of putting the stickers on. I suspect that once the FDA approves it we will be seeing it all over the market more for this reason then for the consumers. I'm excited because all the people that litter and paste them on things won't be able to anymore.

Comment Re:PHP for mobile phones (Score 2, Interesting) 115

No, you do all of your scripts with PHP because you're too fucking stupid or ignorant to learn a proper language like Perl, Python or Ruby.

Says the one who's too fucking stupid or ignorant to learn a proper language like C or Assembly.

Once you've moved on as a developer, and learned some decent languages, you'd see how much of a fetal abortion PHP is. It's literally a stillborn programming language.

So what? If he's quicker with it, who are you to decide he shouldn't use it? You already established you don't care about performance.

Comment Re:Personally I'd rather you were honest with me (Score 1) 344

Ignorance is bliss? People constantly act in ignorance without suspiscion of what might be, because for those that are what they immediately seem, it would be rather a large insult. I for one do not appreciate being forced to prove I am what I say. That said, one who revealed the deception deserves a full interview, if only to give them a greater throwing out on their ass afterwards, if it is in fact deserved.

Comment Re:*readies his version of IDA* (Score 1, Insightful) 235

Why not simply use something else if you aren't willing to pay the going price? There seems to be an automatic reaction to ads - block them at all cost! Have you ever considered why ads are used? Yes, on some web pages its blatant cashing in, as many ads as possible and three lines of content, and those websites never see my custom at all. However, in a lot of cases the site or facility is worth having, and worth rewarding. I may never click on an advert, but I am more than willing to let them show me adverts in the offchance that one may catch my interest and send a few pennies their way.

Your approach is little more than theft - your immediate reaction is to see how you can take what is offered, but not at the offered price. So I ask you again, why not use something else?

Comment Re:Still looks like a big-ass gun to me... (Score 1) 746

This critique makes little sense. She was already _in_ the crowded restaurant. What were they supposed to do but surround her with people in body armor and give her a chance to put it down, in case she is innocent? She was treated as a suspect of a very dangerous crime, but got the benefit of being treated as a suspect.

Would you really prefer that someone ventilate her head with a sniper rifle as a first response, which would have contained the potential damage even more effectively? Instead, the innocent passersby were protected by people in body armor who isolated her and kept her away from them while they assessed the risk. This is what I want in a security scare: react strongly, but politely (as the police on the site did.)

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