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Comment Only a "few" errors? (Score 2) 74

For a book with "Pro" in the title, I expect more than "...and there are only a few places where the code does not match the narrative, or the code is incorrect in some other way". I'm rather surprised that a book that is attempting to be a learning guide would let *major* errors such as that through. I suppose I'll go for my learning somewhere else.
Book Reviews

High Performance Web Sites 132

Michael J. Ross writes "Every Internet user's impressions of a Web site is greatly affected by how quickly that site's pages are presented to the user, relative to their expectations — regardless of whether they have a broadband or narrowband connection. Web developers often assume that most page-loading performance problems originate on the back-end, and thus the developers have little control over performance on the front-end, i.e., directly in the visitor's browser. But Steve Souders, head of site performance at Yahoo, argues otherwise in his book, High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Frontend Engineers." Read on for the rest of Michael's review.

Submission + - Management Information Systems.. a worthy degree?

biggyfred writes: After attending a career panel on MIS, I'm intrigued by the possibility of an MIS degree. They work very hard to point out that they aren't Computer Science, but that makes me a little nervous because my impression is that they're coders with the ability to proficiently code. I enjoy business and the aspects that surround management, which makes this hybrid-feeling major all the more intriguing. Do any /.ers have any insight on the MIS degree pertaining to marketability, field compentency, job satisfaction, or daily work experience?
The Internet

Submission + - Has Wikipedia Jumped the Shark? (

The Cunctator writes: "A comprehensive analysis of Wikipedia logs by Wikipedian Dragons flight shows that editing rates on Wikipedia have not only stopped their exponential growth, but started declining around the beginning of 2007. Article deletions, blocks, protections and uploads have all decreased in recent months. Is it the cumulative effect of the increasing restrictions on new article creation, the ossification of the adminship process, and the aggressive influence of those who prefer deletion of stubs to creation and those who prefer massive, Encarta-like articles to multiple discrete entries? Or maybe Wikipedia is complete!"

Submission + - Sonic Officially in Super Smash Bros.

Dr. Eggman writes: The latest news today on the Super Smash Bros. Brawl development blog is the one fans have been asking for. Sonic the Hedgehog is officially in the game. Cited as the most fan requested character since the original N64 Smash Bros. title, the developers have listened and brought him into the game. The addition may come at some cost, however according to Ars Technica, as the Japanese release date has been pushed back to January 24th with no solid announcements made regaurding the North American launch.

Submission + - Mozilla to Develop Mobile Firefox (

Kelson writes: "Mozilla has announced a new initiative to bring Mozilla to the mobile web, including a fully functional mobile version of Firefox (yes, with extensions). The focus will be part of Mozilla 2, the big revision coming after Gecko 1.9 and Firefox 3. Minimo, the previous attempt to port Mozilla to mobile platforms, is apparently dead, but "has already provided us with valuable information about how Gecko operates in mobile environments, has helped us reduce footprint, and has given us a platform for initial experimentation in user experience.""

Submission + - Enceladus's Jets Match Hot Spots on Surface

CheshireCatCO writes: "Cassini Imaging scientists have discovered that the jets coming off of the south pole of the moon Enceladus (which collectively form a plume that extends thousands of kilometers into space) are correlated with the "hot spots" found by the CIRS instrument during fly-bys of the south pole. The new analysis used images taken over two years from varying perspectives to trace the individual jets down to the surface. The resulting source locations not only match the hot spots on the surface, they also correspond closely to the fissures (sometimes called "tiger stripes") that cross the south polar region. Planetary scientists have suspected such a correlation since the plume was discovered two years ago, but demonstrating this has proven difficult. Since several competing models exist to describe the jets' origins, these findings may help scientists eliminate some models. The paper with the details of the work comes out in tomorrow's issue of Nature."

Submission + - City tries to cut energy bills with LEDs

AkumaKuruma writes: "Raleigh, N.C., wants to become LED City.

The city, which is in the center of the state's tech hub, is conducting experiments to see if it can cut energy consumption and maintenance costs by replacing conventional public light fixtures with ones based around light-emitting diodes.

In December, Raleigh — in conjunction with LED manufacturer Cree — replaced high-pressure sodium lights in a downtown parking garage with LED lights. Although the LED lamps cost substantially more than regular sodium lamps, they require less electricity and need to be replaced far less often.

Early projections indicate that the expense of retrofitting the garage's lighting system will get recovered in cost savings in two to three years, said Mayor Charles Meeker.

"We are saving over 40 percent of the energy we would otherwise use," said Meeker, who's currently on his third two-year term. "And the quality is better. With sodium lights, you get bugs in the cover, and the light is kind of yellowish."

Next, Raleigh will kick off a pilot program with LED streetlights and will also seek funds to convert the city's other parking garages. If all seven municipal parking lots in the city were retrofitted, it could save the city $100,000 a year in energy consumption and decreased maintenance, he said. The lights in stadiums, gyms, schools, parks and other public venues could be next.

If successful, the experiment could ultimately serve as a showcase for something several LED manufacturers are angling to accomplish: maneuvering LEDs into the commercial and residential lighting market. LEDs are used in flashlights and car headlights and taillights, but commercial and residential lighting represents a much larger opportunity. Approximately 22 percent of the electricity consumed in the United States goes toward lighting, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

LEDs can last 75,000 hours or longer and consume far less power than standard incandescent bulbs. Only about 5 percent of the energy that goes into conventional bulbs actually turns into light; the rest gets dissipated as heat. If 25 percent of the lightbulbs in the United States were converted to LEDs putting out 150 lumens (a measure of light output) per watt — higher than the most current models — the country as a whole could save $115 billion in utility costs cumulatively by 2025, according to University of California Santa Barbara professor Stephen DenBaars.

LEDs also have begun to outperform fluorescent bulbs in energy efficiency, said Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda. The company last year unveiled an LED that can put out about 70 lumens per watt. That's a bit better than many compact fluorescent bulbs — those cone-shaped things that fit into regular light fixtures — on the market, which often get 60 lumens per watt.

The problem up until now has been cost. Consumers and businesses can buy lighting fixtures based around LEDs now, but the price is high compared with other types of lights. While fluorescent manufacturers dispute many of the energy efficiency claims by the LED industry, they also note that their products cost far less.

The rising cost of electricity, combined with the declining prices of LEDs, however, is making diodes more attractive to manufacturers of lighting fixtures, Swoboda said. Over the next year, LED-based light fixtures for commercial buildings and signs will begin to increase in number, he said. The commercial market in many ways is inherently more attractive because they don't need to be replaced as often, which cuts down the number of times the maintenance crew has to put up a ladder.

Nonetheless, he added that LED lights would likely begin to appear in new homes in six months to a year. Contractors can absorb the cost in the overall price of the home.

Making an LED light fixture stronger or less bright is largely a matter of how the fixture is designed and the number of LEDs inside. A lawn light based around LEDs might have two of the diodes inside, said Swoboda; a light for a garage might have 84.

LEDs emit red, blue or green light on their own. To make white light, the light from blue LEDs passes through a yellowish phosphor."

Google Accused of Benefitting From Piracy 162

Clant writes "Google has been accused of benefiting from certain piracy websites because of the Adsense program, according to reports. Several major media companies have called on Google to properly screen their AdSense partners and stop supporting sites that are benefiting from piracy. 'Legal filings show that Google worked with and from 2003 to 2005, generating more than $1.1 million in revenue for the sites through the AdSense program. Google reportedly noticed the amount of traffic and advertising served by the two websites and assigned them an account representative to help optimize their efforts.'"

Submission + - 3D Hologram Movie Posters

An anonymous reader writes: The movie poster weblog reports that the company XYG Imaging has created technology to place eight seconds of video into a hologram movie poster: "The film industry is the first target for what XYZ RGB bills as the next-generation movie poster. The company can place a short clip right in the poster, giving people a chance to view a scene without going into the theatre."

GameStop Cracks Down on Underage Game Sales 105

Via GamePolitics, which has commentary of its own on the situation, a report on the Destructoid site pointing out a new, harsher penalty for GameStop employees that sell M-Rated games to minors. To be blunt: they're fired. Not only that but their managers are fired too, for failing to keep an eye on them. This new policy was set down last week in a conference call, which also warned that 'secret shopper' sub-17-year-olds would be trying to keep game store employees on their toes. The article quotes statistics from the ESRB saying that the M-rated policy has, in the past, only been enforced 65% of the time. I would imagine this will work to fix that.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Linux Wireless Summit II

liquidat writes: "Some days ago the Linux Wireless Summit II took place in London. Main topics were the new WLAN stack from Devicescape, the still hesitant Linux support by WLAN hardware vendors, the new website and the port of Intel's 3945 drivers resulting in a solution without a proprietary daemon. Stephen Hemminger and Daniel Drake wrote reports about the meeting.
In case the WLAN stack problems and discussions are unknwon to the reader, there is the short summary "WLAN in Linux — current state" which describes the situation almost a year ago."

Submission + - Robotic arm lends a hand after stroke

Roland Piquepaille writes: "In the U.S., stroke is a major cause of long-term disability which affects 700,000 people annually. Most of them are over 65 years old and some have difficulties grasping objects after their stroke. This is why Californian researchers have developed a robotic therapy which helps restore hand use after stroke. The Hand-Wrist Assisting Robotic Device (HoWARD) has successfully been tested on seven women and six men who had suffered a stroke at least three months before the study. These results, while encouraging, need to be balanced. There must be enough residual motor power in the arm and hand of stroke patients to initiate some movement for this robotic therapy to work. Read more for additional references and a diagram showing the design of the HoWARD robotic device."

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