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Comment Re:Rosetta Project/Long Now (Score 1) 277

As they store the data as images, there is no limit to what can be archived. I guess they just chose languages as the most important starting place, as presumably in the far flung future one might have decoded English, but be in possession of a treasure trove of documents written in Kanji that are utterly indecipherable without some sort of reference.

Comment Start simple (Score 2) 274

Probably the worst thing you can do is start with some complex clustered architectural design.

Just start on a single server with technologies that are scalable, and design with future scalability in mind. Also design in the ability to capture detailed performance metrics of every tier. When, and if your application usage grows, scale the parts of it that need scaling.

The biggest issue with scaling is usually the database, and for applications where you are just using the database as a simple persistence store for user settings and simple small data sets, you are probably best to go with one of the many scalable "NoSQL" type solutions such as MongoDB, as they've got scalability baked in for free. If you're trying to run heavy duty analytics that join and aggregate massive datasets, there are single DB clustering solutions, but they aren't cheap. You can always scale out SQL databases horizontally, but then you've got issues cloning and replicating, though there are a lot of products in that space, both free and commercial. A cheap place to start would be with PostgreSQL, which appears to have multiple open source replication products.

I don't think there is anything inherently limiting to sticking with Java. It's what you know, and the toolsets are deep and rich. No, it's not the hot new thing, but sometimes that can be a good thing.

Comment Good ole days. (Score 1) 238

I remember those heady days well. But over time slashdot's lost relevance to me. I stopped posting long ago as the quality of the discourse dropped, and I started linking directly to most of the sites slashdot regularly references. I also became unable (or unwilling) to comprehend the complicated comment filtering crud several years back (really, what's up with that?)

I do have slashdot to thank for helping me discover arstechnica - which has mostly replaced slashdot for my tech news discussion forum needs.

But still, I check slashdot daily.

Have fun Rob, enjoy your family, and find something new and interesting to do.

Comment Radio broadcast (Score 1) 266

Just have the darned black box broadcast all of its data once every millisecond. Put receivers on satellites and on grounds stations or even on other planes. Give the transmitter a range of several thousand miles, and come up with some scheme to avoid broadcast collisions (either time or code division multiplexing).

If a plane goes down go back to the recorded transmissions, of which there should be multiple copies.

Comment Re:hmm .... (Score 2, Insightful) 776

The reason you are experiencing pain is that one side of the thick wedges of foam in your shoe has lost it's spring, turning your shoe into a crappy little ramp that actually accentuates whatever that wedge was meant to correct.

The proper corrective for poor form is not a running shoe. It's either running barefoot, or running in a shoe with a thin rubber sole that serves as protection only. Try if for a month, but build your miles slowly. All the muscles, tendons and ligaments that your current shoes have allowed to atrophy will build up, and eventually you will be running like nature intended, with nearly perfect form.

Comment Re:Hmm, no... (Score 1) 776

You can protect your feet without slapping an inch thick slab of foam rubber under them.

I run in thin soled canvas shoes and have never had an injury from stepping on something. In fact I've had fewer ankle turn injuries as I can actually feel the surface and react if I've stepped on something that might cause my foot to slip or roll.


Math Prof Uncovers Secret Chord 177

chebucto writes "The opening chord to A Hard Day's Night is famous because for 40 years, no one quite knew exactly what chord Harrison was playing. Musicians, scholars and amateur guitar players alike had all come up with their own theories, but it took a Dalhousie mathematician to figure out the exact formula. Dr. Brown used Fourier transforms to find the notes in the chord, and deduced that another George — George Martin, the Beatles producer — also played on the chord, adding a piano chord that included an F note impossible to play with the other notes on the guitar."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Infrared radiation: The other wireless technology

StonyandCher writes: Although the recent auctioning of the 700MHz wireless spectrum bands have garnered great interest in the media (not to mention the billions of dollars being thrown around to own some of this), it's not the be-all and end-all answer to our wireless hunger.

New research is starting to be conducted in the area of infrared radiation. Cheap to develop infrastructure for, super fast and with huge amounts of spectrum available (literally many terahertz), is this the unlicensed answer to the dearth of wireless spectrum? This article delves deeper into the world of IR and looks at its pros and foibles.

Submission + - Start an IT career at age 40? 2

An anonymous reader writes: How viable is it to start an IT career at age 40? I have heard there is a lot of age bias in the IT industry. I have a science degree and programming experience, and I think IT would be more interesting and higher paying. Anybody have any hints on getting your foot in the door? How bad is the age bias and will it make a career too difficult to maintain? (I have heard of 40-year-olds losing their job and taking years to get a new one in the IT industry)

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