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Happy Birthday, Linus 376

Glyn Moody writes "Today is the birthday of Linus. Just under 19 years ago, on the first day the shops in Helsinki were open after the holidays, Linus rushed out and spent all his Christmas and birthday money on his first PC: a DX33 80386, with 4 Megs of RAM, no co-processor, and a 40 Megabyte hard disc. Today, the kernel he wrote on that system powers 90% of the fastest supercomputers, and is starting to find its way into more and more smartphones — not to mention everything in between. What would the world look like had he spent his money on something else?"

Comment Re:Other reason (Score 1) 1019

It is hard to say wether the boss is an idiot (...) Management is easier said than done. I would wish every geek to hold a management position at least once in his life (...) it would improve their view of the world and help them to cope with managers in the future.

I agree with the part that management is easier said than done. But so is coding, so is engineering... That doesn't change the fact that it was a terrible way to manage the situation.

Different people have different skills. Having all developers being managers for a day wouldn't help at all. Just as I'm expected to be a good developer, the manager is expected be a good manager. This is the type of decision taken by someone that has no idea what the real problem is. And not understanding the problems of your department is a sign of bad management...

Now, if this would classify most managers in the world as idiots, this is another discussion. Most developers in the world have absolutely no idea how code should be written, still, they are the majority.

Comment Re:Other reason (Score 1) 1019

I am pretty sure, that the official reason is not the real reason. My best guess is that other employees have complained about the privilege of the programmers (listening music while working).

I agree that this definitely happens in the office, but that doesn't change the fact that this is a terrible management decision. I could argue that the sales guy has the privilege of going out every day while I need to be at the office coding. To make things even, he must be denied the "privilege" to go out to clients, because it is technically possible to sell things by phone or using the internet.

I mean, you are right, these things happen. But the manager that handles this situation like this is an idiot. I had one like this before, and the department had a party when he was fired...

Comment Re:Programming without music? (Score 3, Insightful) 1019

Working without music is fine, as long as there isn't any noise to avert your concentration.

That may work for you, but not for me. I MUST listen to something when I'm doing something serious. And by that I mean that project I really enjoy working on, that code I want finish. Otherwise I can't concentrate. For regular boring work, I don't mind silence... but I tend to forget about the rest of the world easier when I don't hear the sound of phones, keyboards, people talking...And silence won't help. I tend to keep remembering guitar solos during the day that if I don't listen to then I guarantee I won't be able to focus enough to do something really good.

Different people focus in different ways. This manager is just crazy to think he will see any good outcome from this. The only thing that will happen is he will get a lot of unsatisfied employees and less work done.


Mars Express Captures Phobos and Deimos 84

westtxfun writes "The Mars Express Orbiter captured a very cool movie of Phobos and Deimos on Nov 5. Besides the 'wow factor,' the images will be used to refine models of the moons' orbits. The orbiter has also captured high resolution images of Phobos back in July. 'The images were acquired with the Super Resolution Channel (SRC) of the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). The camera took 130 images of the moons on 5 November at 9:14 CET in a span of 1.5 minutes at intervals of 1s, speeding up to 0.5-s intervals toward the end. The image resolution is 110 m/pixel for Phobos and 240 m/pixel for Deimos — Deimos was more than twice as far from the camera. '"

Comment Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (Score 2, Interesting) 294

Well, I'm sure your dad listened to a lot of other bands in his time. Maybe not as much as you do, but he surely did listen to more things.

What happens is that some music gets stuck in your mind, and as you grow old, the rest of the world changes and you can't find new music that you like anymore, so you stick with the ones you already like.

I bet in 40 years or so, you will be like this too, listening to the same old MP3 you have for 30+ years while your son and grandson make fun of how you listen only to that old crap and how the new format is much better because you can change the instruments while you listen, or change the singer... and you will wonder why the hell they care about that.

Comment Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (Score 1) 294

Frankly I dunno why people are still so enamored of pirating music when there is so much GOOD stuff out there that's 100% free, legal, and sanctioned by the artists that you could listen to new music every moment of your life without spending a dime.

Well, that is quite of an stupid argument if you think about. The reason is very simple: because people want to hear that specific person singing that specific song. I could open youtube and get 50 covers of pink floyd, but listening to Davig Gilmour and his feeling is much better.

I agree that there are good stuff out there for free, but that doesn't exclude the good paid stuff that is already out there too. Having the milk available doesn't stop people from wanting cookies.

Comment Re:It's yhy anti-piracy is a BAD thing... (Score 1) 294

I like the approach of the Gov't Mule ( They are a really great band, one of the best I have ever heard. And they allow people to record and publish their live performances for free (usually available at

So, they have the studio albums they sell, and don't allow people to distribute it. And people usually don't, because the live versions are available for free. And still, they have a huge fan base, enough to do about 20 shows every month. This probably works very well for them. Not everyone can do it, but it surely works as an alternative model for a lot of bands.
The Internet

Tim Berners-Lee Is Sorry About the Slashes 620

Stony Stevenson writes "A light has been shone on one of the great mysteries of the internet. What is the point of the two forward slashes that sit directly in front of the 'www' in every internet website address? The answer, according to Tim Berners-Lee, who had an important role in the creation of the web, is that there isn't one. Berners-Lee revisited that design decision during a recent talk with Paul Mohr of the NY Times when Mohr asked if he would do any differently, given the chance. 'Look at all the paper and trees, he said, that could have been saved if people had not had to write or type out those slashes on paper over the years — not to mention the human labor and time spent typing those two keystrokes countless millions of times in browser address boxes.'"

Harvard's Robotic Bees Generate High-Tech Buzz 105

coondoggie writes "Harvard researchers recently got a $10 million grant to create a colony of flying robotic bees, or RoboBees, to (among other things) spur innovation in ultra-low-power computing and electronic 'smart' sensors; and refine coordination algorithms to manage multiple, independent machines. The 5-year, National Science Foundation-funded RoboBee project could lead to a better understanding of how to mimic artificially the unique collective behavior and intelligence of a bee colony; foster novel methods for designing and building an electronic surrogate nervous system able to sense and adapt to changing environments; and advance work on the construction of small-scale flying mechanical devices, according to the Harvard RoboBee Web site."

Japan Plans $21B Space Power Plant 550

Mike writes "Japan has announced plans to send a $21 billion solar power generator into space that will be capable of producing one gigawatt of energy, or enough to power 294,000 homes. The project recently received support from Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and IHI Corp, who are now teaming up in the race to develop new technology within four years that can beam electricity back to Earth without the use of cables. Japan hopes to test a small solar satellite decked out with solar panels by the year 2015."

Comment Stereotypes won't go easily... (Score 1) 282

This is a problem that won't go away easily. This image is perpetuated every day by stupid people that for some reason hate open source.

The funny fact is that the same people that say that Linux or any other open source software is created by lonely nerds, at the same time see nothing wrong with wikipedia, tvtropes, blogs, twitter, facebook, etc.

So, the bottom line is: if a software is is created by individuals, it is a huge pile of crap done by lonely nerds that have nothing better to do in life. Anything else is actually a great experience that shows how powerful individual contributions are, and how they can change the world.

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