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Comment Re:Occhiolino - the GNU LIMS (Score 1) 27

It's great that GNU has a LIMS candidate, but it would be nice if one could "try it out" or at least see some some screen shots. I feel GNU has such a deep marketing/branding issue -- case and point, the tryton framework which seemingly should be a Drupal/Django competitor doesn't ever seem to come into the conversation. I'm not trolling, I'm a big fan, just pointing out that by not concentrating on the "people use the software" problem they might be accelerating their path to obsolescence in areas where there's not a huge community that is essentially captive, e.g., GCC.

Comment Argentina (Score 4, Interesting) 523

About 7 years ago, I moved from California to Argentina for work. I had a degree in CS and had worked professionally as a Java dev for three years. I couldn't get any work in the US so I decided to brush up on my spanish and see if I could find a job down there.

After arriving in Argentina, I translated my resume and started looking for work by finding the equivalent of Monster.com (bumeran.com). It took about 3 weeks, but I got interviews at both Sony and IBM. IBM wanted to send me to Canada for consulting because I spoke english :). Since that wasn't the goal, I went with Sony. Lots of the labor in these places is not actually employed by the large corporation, but by a "placement" service. This company paid me $600/month for full-time employment. I had been making around 70k in the US, but in argentina the 10x paycut was manageable. Indeed, I was making 1/2 of some of my coworkers - because I wasn't legally employed, the placement company paid me less, but paid me in cash.

The experience was fantastic. There, 9-5 actually meant 9-5 - very limited flexibility in terms of hours and what I could work on, but it was okay, I was doing it more for the concept. The engineers were all excellent and my American education didn't either disadvantage or help -- we all were pretty up on the lastest java techniques.

After about 4 months, I decided that this glimpse into the future was sufficient so I returned to the US to do a PhD.

Comment oracle and software (Score 2, Interesting) 589

First, as usual, the post makes an infirmed attempt at giving the user any help in actually understanding the issue. Second, oracle has really never been successful in giving end-users a reasonably effective piece of software. They make great software and horrible interfaces. Using open office, I think about how great it would be if shuttleworth got into it. It is not as good as word and i say that with regret.

Comment abstraction (Score 1) 677

I think the pdf was quite good, albeit repetitive. In any case, in the end, I think he makes an interesting point about abstraction:

On the surface this seems fairly innocuous; why not make some abbreviations so that things can be said more economically? The problem is that definitions matter. They come from aesthetic decisions about what distinctions you as an artist consider important. And they are problem-generated. To make a definition is to highlight and call attention to a feature or structural property.

Learning to make good abstraction when programming is a difficult challenge, the right choice can have huge downstream consequences. An educational system which allowed students to get comfortable with the exploration of different abstractions, as well as, the forestalling of notation and rigour until the right rigour was appropriate would be a huge win to reasoning across the board.

IT Job Market Is Tanking, But Not For Everyone 371

CWmike writes "Shortly after the COO of Automated HealthCare Solutions learned that Microsoft planned to cut 5,000 workers over the next 18 months, he and another employee of the medical services provider flew out to Redmond. AHCS now has more than 100 resumes, some of them from Microsoft employees, for about a dozen open positions. That's how the tech job market is these days: there's no doubt the market is tanking, but not for everyone. While numerous IT vendors are laying off workers, and corporate IT jobs are being lost as well, plenty of companies are still hiring. Microsoft's careers site lists more than 700 open jobs in the US, both technical and administrative positions. And IBM has about 3,200 jobs and internships listed worldwide, more than 550 of them in the US — even as it cuts thousands of workers in a move that it is describing not as a layoff, but an effort to 'match skills and resources with our client needs."
The Courts

Final Judgment — SCO Loses, Owes $3,506,526 265

Xenographic writes "SCO has finally lost to Novell, now that Judge Kimball has entered final judgment against SCO. Of course, this is SCO we're talking about. There's still the litigation in bankruptcy court, which allowed this case to resume so that they could figure out just how much SCO owes, which is $3,506,526, if I calculated the interest properly, $625,486.90 of which will go into a constructive trust. And then there's the possibility that SCO could seek to have the judgment overturned in the appeals courts, or even the Supreme Court when that fails. Of course, they need money to do that and they don't really have much of that any more. Remember how Enderle, O'Gara and company told us that SCO was sure to win? I wonder how many people have emailed them to say, 'I told you so.'"

Italian Judge Tells HP To Refund Pre-Installed XP 225

Paolo DF writes "An Italian user asked for a refund after buying a Compaq computer that came with Windows XP and Works 8 pre-installed. HP tried to avoid the EULA agreement which states, approximately: '[I]f the end user is not willing to abide by this EULA... he shall immediately contact the producer to get info for giving back the product and obtaining refunds.' The court ruled in favor of the user (Google translation from the Italian), who received back €90 for XP and €50 for Works. Here is the ruling (PDF, Italian)."

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