Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:WTF is wrong with you? (Score 3) 193

Actually, the parent's post is not funny at all, considering that graphene based solar technology has reached over 15% efficiency in recent efforts, and I would bet environmentally friendly solutions will continue to double in efficiency over a given time period. After all, we're chasing the benchmarks established by plants.

As far as roads go, here's an opportunity to leverage a massive area of square footage that is guaranteed to be clear of plants or other obstructions, that would benefit from power and data networking, and if leveraged correctly, can be improved to save many lives.

Why anyone would choose to use this as an opportunity for ridicule is beyond me. Certainly the technology isn't ready yet, but I can see a clear pathway from idea to eventual perfection, given our penchant for achieving economics with scale. The resulting solution might not look anything like the original concept, but the idea of turning our roadways into an intelligent grid, featuring solar power generation, optics, data, and even thermal regulation is brilliant.

Comment Benefits of Uber (Score 1, Interesting) 417

- Both driver and rider can view each other's history / ratings. If a rider doesn't like the driver, they can choose a different car.
- Both driver and rider can see each other's location, in real time, up to the point of pickup.
- Both driver and rider can contact each other either by phone or SMS (I've moved location, I've forgotten a bag / phone, I can't find you).
- Both driver and rider can rate each other after the experience.
- No need for carrying cash, or dealing with post drive transactions -- just hop out, it's all handled.
- Several levels of quality, ranging from eco, black car, and suburban / limo.

Uber provides a safer experience for both driver and rider, with accountability and communication.
If you've never ridden Uber (or similar), it's a vastly superior experience to old fashioned cabs.

When you've been disrupted like this, it's either evolution or extinction.

Comment Radiation... (Score 5, Insightful) 216

If I were planning a trip to Mars, solar and cosmic radiation would be one of my main concerns. And to date, I have not seen designs for a delivery system that would adequately protect crew members from what could be a catastrophic situation. We do not want to lose the first expedition to something like this. However, the shielding required dramatically alters the economics of the mission (lead's not cheap to shoot into orbit, let alone Mars). And that's just getting there. If we want to enjoy any duration of exploration or colonization, we should be looking for caves. Without a magnetosphere, it's going to be tough.

Radiation Rules Exploration

Comment Self-Fulfilling (Score 1) 394

Oracle and Redhat are great examples of how *not* to run an open source team:
  • - Constrain a project to prevent it from having more advanced features than your "enterprise" mirror
  • - Cherry pick the best "community" developers moving them to the "enterprise" staff, leading to brain / experience drain
  • - Cherry pick the best features from the "community" APIs, moving them to "enterprise"
  • - Fail to enforce rigorous standards on code commenting, documentation, unit / build acceptance / integration tests
  • - Allow conflicting APIs or features into the development process

Then, throw up your hands in disgust at the result, and blame the very concept of F/OSS. That's why, but for limited exceptions, I avoid the "community" products of Oracle and Redhat. And when the open source community provides much better alternatives, I avoid their "enterprise" products as well.

Comment Consider Apple... (Score 1) 149

Apple with Steve Jobs vs Apple without Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was one of the most hands on CEO's I've ever heard about. He was in the trenches, interfacing directly with developers and anyone else along the production chain that proved to be a critical path to deployment. He came up with seemingly impossible ideas that no one else would have the guts to suggest. And then he rode point on the entire organization to ensure that it happened. That's what a good CEO can do, and what will almost never happen by democracy.

That is not to say that the paychecks of most of the CEOs out there are warranted. Quite the opposite. There's no reason why a CEO, on average, should be making more than 5 times the salary of the average employee. But to discount the role that can be played by someone with the talent, drive, and innovation of someone like Steve Jobs is to misunderstand the dynamics of a corporation.

Comment Working on the road... (Score 1) 365

You'll find that working mobile has amazing rewards, and can be very productive. However, I personally found that my schedule became very organic. I might put in 10 hours in a day, but they were spread out over 2 - 3 hour blocks. In between was hiking / exploring, surfing, laying on the beach... Setting expectations with your client / employer is key. Here are a few tips:

* Ensure you take some habitation time off when traveling to a new location, perhaps even just a day or two, to give yourself time to explore your new area, ensure you have good connectivity, find backup wifi hotspots should your mobile connection die, and have fun.

* Research the area beforehand, as best you can. Know numbers for local rangers or police, fire, legal, mechanic, and medical. If you're going international, having banking / financial workflow sorted.

* Cell, if you're going international, can be outrageously expensive if you plan on keeping your US carrier. Get an intermediate number, like from Skype, and have calls forwarded. If you plan on keeping a smart phone, make sure you pay double to get it unlocked. You can get SIM chips from local providers. Otherwise, just buy a cheap phone in country and pay as you go. Either way, your number will change, but with Skype (or similar provider), everyone back home will use a local number to reach you. If you plan on using VOIP, make sure you test it out before an important call when in a new location.

* Have a 2nd laptop, and external drive for file system images. Be disciplined about making backups. Should you be away from civilization and something goes wrong, this will save your bacon.

* Make sure you know how to cook. Learn to make recipies from scratch, like bread & pastries (if you have an oven), sauces, etc. Good food can be hard to come by on the road, and the last thing you want to do is live out of cans or boxes if avoidable.

* If you go international, and like to legally download movies, make sure your providers don't discriminate based on origin of IP regardless of your account. ITunes doesn't appear to, but Vudu, Netflix, and Hulu do -- as do most networks. To get around this, set up a VPN account with a provider in the source country.

It's an amazing world out there -- enjoy it!

Comment It's The Architecture... (Score 1) 105

A large part of Instagram's value exists in the experience and strategies that allowed an initial three employees to manage a scalable, distributed application serving 10s of millions of customers. If Facebook is able to successfully incorporate Instagram's knowhow into their current stack, they could see significant savings in operations and management. That, alone, is worth billions of dollars.

More on Instagram's architecture...

Comment Re:Ignore nothing, SOAP is awful (Score 1) 101

No, it's really not useful. It's overhead. It takes more effort to maintain such a formal interface than to have people simply consume JSON as they will. And often the parts of the system that are supposed to process those formal definitions fail. All around just a horrible block to getting things working the way you like.

Couldn't disagree more. Frameworks and protocols are meant to make life easier. What I see with many implementations based on REST are frameworks that, through the lack of a published schema, encourage half-baked, undocumented APIs that often result in developer headaches and lost time. Personally, I think we can do much better.

Comment Re:WordStar? (Score 1, Interesting) 101

Ignore all concerns but scalability, and REST becomes far more preferrable than SOAP. The overhead of XML -- usually an order of magnitude in data size -- can be a huge, undesirable impact. That said, there's one aspect of SOAP that popular REST specs are missing: a definition language. With the help of the WSDL, SOAP gained cross-platform client generation and type safety. REST protocols would do well to leverage this concept, at least for invocation parameter definitions. In most cases, REST result messages are encoded in JSON, where a Javascript interpreter for parsing and object model translation can be leveraged. But even then, having a documented result schema would be a huge improvement over forcing developers to inspect result sets at runtime to divine structure and content.

But, back on topic, having evaluated OAuth 2.0, I agree with Hammer's assessment. It's not a protocol, and the inability of this team to produce a viable solution will only lead to fragmentation and the failure of OAuth.

Slashdot Top Deals

The bogosity meter just pegged.