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Comment Relationship to Agile Methodology (Score 1) 150

I think that Asimov's observations on the inhibitory effect of visibility and accountability are applicable to the smaller forms of creativity and risk taking like trying new tools and technologies.

I've seen this occur with SCRUM. We had dev team build a new product, burning down backlog through multiple sprints, with an overall results that were pedestrian. By which I mean functional, pretty interface; nothing to complain about really, code was reviewed, tests passed, etc. But you were left wondering there is a better fundamental approach to the problem.

Then they got a bit of down time and someone on the team prototyped a new architecture that would have halved the development effort. This exploration could have been done at the beginning and had been thought of by the person concerned, but the talented - and introverted - individual didn't advocate for it in the face of daily stand-up and burn-down visibility.

Wireless Networking

Submission + - LightSquared Satellite Disabled by Last Week's Solar Storm (

volts writes: Troubled LightSquared's primary Skyterra 1 satellite has been out of service since the solar storm on March 7. The company says it is 'working through the rebuild of the satellite tapping into the resources that were involved in the original program '. This development follows a stream of bad news including layoffs, default on payments, the resignation of CEO Sanjiv Ahuja and FCC rejection of a scheme to repurpose satellite frquencies for cellular data due to interference with GPS. Another kick in the teeth as company needs struggles to avoid bankruptcy.

Submission + - Why New Programming Languages Succeed Or Fail (

snydeq writes: "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister discusses the proliferation of programming languages and what separates the successful ones from obscurity. 'Some people say we don't need any more programming languages at all. I disagree. But it seems clear that the mainstream won't accept just any language. To be successful, a new language has to be both familiar and innovative — and it shouldn't try to bite off more than it can chew. ... At least part of the formula for success seems to be pure luck, like a band getting its big break. But it also seems much easier for a language to shoot itself in the foot than to skyrocket to stardom.'"

Comment Unlikely to happen, Really bad timing (Score 5, Insightful) 211

We just had a major shit-storm in Canada over a government bill (C-30) that would allow the police the right to identifying information without a warrant. The bill has been hustled off to committee for amendment as a result of public outrage. Government politician must be rolling their eyes at the timing of CIMA's demands.

Comment The War on General Purpose Computing (Score 2) 372

This is part of an emerging pattern in which consumers are sold restricted systems with enforced toll collection. Cory Doctorow refers to this as "the coming war on general-purpose computing". His analysis is thought provoking. It is disheartening to consider how may technologies with security benefits can also be used to restrict the rights of customers.


Submission + - Aging slowed in mice with supplement mix (

volts writes: CBC has a report that "It might be possible to cure aging, scientists found that lab mice get smarter and more agile as they age when fed a mix of nutritional supplements." includes the recipe and link to the paper.
Open Source

Submission + - New GPGPU standard will "kick Nvidia's ass" (

arcticstoat writes: Compiler maker PathScale says it's working on its own GPGPU programming model that CTO Christopher Bergström says will "kick Nvidia's ass." The developer hopes that the new model will make life easier for coders looking to offload work to the GPU, and Bergström says that it will compete directly with OpenCL and CUDA. Although it's working on the project with other developers, PathScale says that its own implementation of thew new programming model will be completely open source.

Comment TANSTAFL - this is the real world (Score 1) 184

Traffic management is necessary because bandwidth is less than infinite. Extreme consumers will impair service to others if there is no mechanism to prevent this. My company recently implemented bandwidth guarantees for VOIP traffic on the fiber between our buildings because file transfers were causing drop outs on phone calls. In other words our routers throttle file transfers to provide decent QOS for voice. I like the CRTC's approach because it provides transparency of ISPs QOS policies and creates an environment for competitive incentive to avoid abusive restrictions, with some fallback for adult supervision.

I'm a moderately heavy bittorent (Vuze) user. My ISP is Rogers Cable, whose internet service is available in a number of speeds/caps/pricing from $25 to $150 per month. Rogers has been reasonably open about its traffic management practices and is on record as throttling bittorrent on the upstream (from the house) because this is a scarce resource. Problems for me - nil; obscure torrents with few peers/seeds run slowly, popular torrents download like sh** through a goose; surfing and Skype work smoothly even in peak periods. I left Bell Sympatico when my experience was the opposite.


Submission + - I'm feeling wary... (

volts writes: The "I'm feeling wary button" on the front page of this week's leads an editorial saying that "The list of constituencies that hate or fear Google grows by the week." and "Pretending that, just because your founders are nice young men and you give away lots of services, society has no right to question your motives no longer seems sensible." There is also an interesting article about Google's business model and the pressures it will face.

Submission + - Blair Calls For Chinese Style Net Controls In UK (

QJimbo writes: Outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair has savaged online media today in a speech in which he declared war on the free press by hinting at new restrictions on internet journalism and suggested that the media should be brought more into line with the government.
Blair complained that the media was too "feral" (i.e. not tamed by the government) and referring to online journalism stated:
"In fact, the new forms can be even more pernicious, less balanced, more intent on the latest conspiracy theory multiplied by five."

The Courts

Submission + - Hans Reiser Assigned New Judge, Jury Delayed (

nz17 writes: "After being assigned to Alameda County Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman, Hans Reiser, main programmer and designer behind the Reiser File System (Reiser FS), has agreed to a delay on jury selection until August 28. His trial is most likely to begin in October or September. Reiser stands accused of the murder of his wife, Nina Reiser, from whom he is separated. The news article on KPIX TV has the history of the trial, news video segments about its events, and the official statement of the police department in this matter."

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Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984