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Ask Slashdot: Node.js vs. JEE/C/C++/.NET In the Enterprise?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '13 at 01:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-with-the-trendy-option department:
theshowmecanuck writes "I'm working at a small- to medium-sized company that creates software for mobile devices, but came from a 'large enterprise' world before. I see node.js being used increasingly in smaller companies (including ours) or in web/mobile related software. Meanwhile we see languages like Java/JEE, C/C++, and .NET continue to be used for medium-to-large enterprise corporate software. Compared to the status quo in the enterprise (JEE/C/C++/.NET ... and yes, maybe even COBOL) maybe Slashdotters can chime in on how they see Node.js in this role. I'm thinking of things like complexity of business logic (dependencies, workflows, linear processes, etc), transaction support (for processes in general and database support), messaging services, etc. Also, what is the state of Node.js in terms of paradigms like application containers, where much of the 'plumbing' is already set up for you (one of the main benefits of JEE application containers)? But there is also the question of maintainability, deployment, and ongoing operations. What say you, Slashdot?"

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big.LITTLE: ARM's Strategy For Efficient Computing
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '13 at 12:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-see-what-you-did-there department:
MojoKid writes "big.LITTLE is ARM's solution to a particularly nasty problem: smaller and smaller process nodes no longer deliver the kind of overall power consumption improvements they did years ago. Before 90nm technology, semiconductor firms could count on new chips being smaller, faster, and drawing less power at a given frequency. Eventually, that stopped being true. Tighter process geometries still pack more transistors per square millimeter, but the improvements to power consumption and maximum frequency have been falling with each smaller node. Rising defect densities have created a situation where — for the first time ever — 20nm wafers won't be cheaper than the 28nm processors they're supposed to replace. This is a critical problem for the mobile market, where low power consumption is absolutely vital. big.LITTLE is ARM's answer to this problem. The strategy requires manufacturers to implement two sets of cores — the Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A15 are the current match-up. The idea is for the little cores to handle the bulk of the device's work, with the big cores used for occasional heavy lifting. ARM's argument is that this approach is superior to dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) because it's impossible for a single CPU architecture to retain a linear performance/power curve across its entire frequency range. This is the same argument Nvidia made when it built the Companion Core in Tegra 3."

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French Parliament Votes To Give Priority To Free Software
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 10:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's with-liberty-and-justice-for-all department:
An anonymous reader writes "The French Parliament just wrote into law the first instance of Free Software priority in a public service, by adopting the Bill on Higher Education and Research. [Advocacy association April], after extensively contributing to the debate, especially welcomes this vote and congratulates Deputies and Senators for recognizing the importance of Free Software in the Public Service for Higher Education, since it alone can ensure equal access to the future public service. April hopes that this first step will be followed by other legislation in favor of Free Software. It also thanks all the persons who mobilized and contacted the Parliament Members."

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MAKE's MOOC (Massively Online Open Camp) Is Underway
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 09:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-forget-to-bring-bug-spray department:
theodp writes "Last July, Inside Higher Ed presciently predicted that 2013 would be the year of the Massively Open Online Camp. GeekWire's Blair Hanley Frank reports that O'Reilly-spinoff MAKE Magazine is partnering with Google to run Maker Camp, a 30-day online summer camp for kids who love DIY projects and learning about how things are made. Camp started Monday, but it's not too late to join the fun."

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House Democrats Propose National Park On the Moon
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 08:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's taking-volunteers-for-space-rangers department:
MarkWhittington writes "Two House Democrats, Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), have proposed a bill called Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, H.R. 2617 (PDF), that would establish the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park at all the Apollo lunar landing sites, according to a story in The Hill. 'The park would be comprised of all artifacts left on the surface of the moon from the Apollo 11 through 17 missions. The bill says these sites need to be protected because of the anticipated increase in commercial moon landings in the future.'"

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Arduino Enables a Low-Cost Space Revolution
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 07:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ever-smaller-ever-cheaper department:
RocketAcademy writes "Arduino, the popular open-source microcontroller board, is powering a revolution in low-cost space-mission design. San Francisco-based Planet Labs, a spinoff of NASA's PhoneSat project, has raised $13 million to launch a flock of 28 Arduino-based nanosatellites for remote sensing. Planet Labs launched two test satellites this spring; Flock-1 is scheduled to launch on an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket in 2014. NanoSatisifi, also based in San Francisco-based company, is developing the Arduino-based ArduSat, which carries a variety of sensors. NanoSatisifi plans to rent time on ArduSats to citizen scientists and experimenters, who will be able upload their own programs to the satellites. The first ArduSat is scheduled for launch August 4 on a Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle carrying supplies to the International Space Station. The cost of orbital launches remains a limiting factor, however. As a result, Infinity Aerospace has developed the Arduino-based ArduLab experiment platform, which is compatible with new low-cost suborbital spacecraft as well as higher-end systems such as the International Space Station. The non-profit Citizens in Space has purchased 10 flights on the XCOR Lynx spacecraft, which will be made available to the citizen-science community. Citizens in Space is looking for 100 citizen-science experiments and 10 citizen astronauts to fly as payload operators. To help spread the word, it is holding a Space Hacker Workshop in Dallas, Texas on July 20-21. Infinity Aerospace will be on hand to teach Arduino hardware and software."

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France Revokes Ability To Disconnect Convicted File-Sharers From the Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 06:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's good-thing-they-went-to-all-that-effort-to-implement-it department:
New submitter Nicolas Jondet writes "French courts will not be able to disconnect convicted file-sharers from the Internet anymore. On Tuesday, the French Culture minister issued a decree modifying the graduated response scheme and removing the disconnection penalty. 'The report says that instead of simply disconnecting users, those suspected of copyright could be fined if they did not reply to warnings, with a relatively low fine (€60) to begin, and the size of the fine would increase depending on the number of infractions. French anti-piracy will now their focus – instead of handing heavy punishments to individual users, the government is looking towards penalizing "commercial piracy" and "sites that profit from pirated material," according to an official spokesperson.'"

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Florida Law May Accidentally Ban Computers and Smartphones
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 04:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's language-should-not-be-wielded-like-a-blunt-instrument department:
GrueMaster writes "Did Florida ban computers and smartphones? They tried banning Internet Cafes, but the wording in the law is overly broad. '... it's the wording that's problematic, as it defines a slot machine as "any machine or device or system or network of devices" that can be used in games of chance. Turns out the Internet is full of gambling sites, which is where the definition runs into some problems. Consuelo Zapata, owner of the Miami-Dade county Internet cafe Incredible Investments, LLC, is suing the state (PDF) to overturn the ban, saying that definition is too broad and could be applied to any number of electronic devices. "

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Google Chrome 28 Is Out: Rich Notifications For Apps, Extensions
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's extending-its-lead-on-firefox's-version-number department:
An anonymous reader writes "Google today released Chrome version 28 for Windows and Mac. The new version features a notification center, although it's only available on Windows (in addition to Chrome OS of course). You can update to the latest release now using the browser's built-in silent updater, or download it directly from google.com/chrome. This is also the first release of Chrome that ships with Blink instead of WebKit. You can check the Blink ID yourself tag by navigating to chrome://version/."

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Fighting Street Gangs With Military Counter-Insurgency Software
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 04:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's one-of-the-tracking-hydra's-new-heads department:
An anonymous reader writes "After every major war, technology developed for a conflict gets applied to civilian life. The BBC recently reported that Army researchers have adapted advanced social network analysis software used for counter-insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan to help law enforcement analyze the behavior of street gangs. With the growing problem of gang violence in major U.S. cities, this may provide a fresh perspective. 'Orca can figure out the likely affiliations of individuals who will not admit to being members of any specific gang, as well as the sub-structure of gangs – the gang ecosystem – and the identities of those who tend to dictate the behaviour of others. ... Having some knowledge of the links and affiliations between different gangs can highlight dangers that call for more focused policing. If a gang perpetrates some violent action on a rival gang, police will often monitor the rival gang more closely because of the likelihood of retaliation. But gangs know this, and so the rivals might instead ask an allied gang to carry out a reprisal. Understanding such alliances helps the police stay a step ahead.' The question is: will it work?"

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Volkswagen Concept Car Averages 262 MPG
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's but-can-it-fly department:
coolnumbr12 writes "The Volkswagen XL1 averages an amazing 262 mpg, and although it may never hit streets in the United States, the technology behind the car could impact future Volkswagen vehicles. The keys to the incredible mileage in the Volkswagen XL1 were reducing the weight of the vehicle and eliminating wind resistance. The XL1 only weighs 1,753 pounds — that's more than a thousand pounds lighter than the Toyota Prius, which weighs in at 2,921 pounds. The wheels on the Volkswagen XL1 are as thin as road bike's and wrapped in custom Michelin rubber. The XL1 chassis is a single piece of molded carbon-fiber, and has a drag coefficient of only 0.189 – similar to a bumblebee."

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The Air Force's Love For Fighter Pilots Is Too Big To Fail
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's people-aren't-as-expensive-as-robots department:
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Just look at what's been going on throughout the Air Force. It's as if drones pose such a threat to traditional means of aerial warfare that the flying service's historically kneejerk resistance to anything too closely aligned with sweeping technological change finds it bristling today at prospective gamechangers of the unmanned sort. Nevermind that the AF's active remotely-piloted combat aircraft outnumber its active manned bomber inventory by about 2-to-1. For perspective, as Lt. Col. Lawrence Spinetta writes in the July issue of the Air & Space Power Journal, an official USAF publication, consider that 'RPA [remotely-piloted aircraft] personnel enjoy one wing command' while fighter pilots control 26. In other words, 'the ratio of wing-command opportunities for RPA pilots versus those who fly manned combat aircraft is a staggering 1-to-26.' Such personnel policies that seemingly favor manned standbys are part and parcel of deep-rooted, institutional stigmas. In a 2008 speech, General Norton Schwarz, who served as AF chief from 2008 to 2012, did not mince words when he said that this systemic obsession with all-things manned has turned the Air Force's swelling drone ranks into a 'leper colony.'"

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Lead Developer of Yum Killed In Hit-and-run
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's rest-in-peace department:
An anonymous reader writes "Seth Vidal, a lead developer of Yum, was killed in a hit-and-run accident while riding his bicycle in Durham, NC last night."
The Fedora Project posted a statement. Quoting: "Seth was a lead developer of yum and the update repository system, and a contributor to the CentOS project as well as the original Fedora Extras system. He worked tirelessly on the infrastructure for the Fedora Project to make all systems work well and consistently for our contributors around the world. He was a gifted speaker, a brilliant thinker, a clever wit, a humble and genuinely funny person, and a good friend. The Fedora community owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Seth's dedication to Fedora and other free software projects, his commitment to community values, and his passion for excellence in his work. To say he will be missed is an understatement."

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New Atomic Clock Could Redefine the Second
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's about-time department:
bmahersciwriter writes "The new type of clock, called an optical lattice clock could replace the cesium fountain clocks used as the standard for time keeping. Indeed, it could redefine the second. The cesium fountain is predicted to keep time within one second over 100 million years. While other atomic clocks are better than that, researchers suspect the optical lattice is better still and could one day replace the standard."

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Apple and Amazon End Lawsuit Over the Term 'App Store'
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's our-world-just-got-a-bit-less-silly department:
An anonymous reader writes "After months of back and forth legal filings, Amazon and Apple have finally ended their ongoing dispute centering on Amazon's use of the term 'App Store.' As part of the agreement, Apple agreed to drop the suit and Amazon promised not to counter-sue Apple in the future. Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said that 'we no longer see a need to pursue our case. With more than 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads, customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps.' Apple initially sued Amazon back in March of 2011 alleging that the online retailer's use of the phrase 'App Store' in its mobile software developer program constituted trademark infringement. Apple expressed that allowing Amazon to continue to use the phrase 'App Store' would ultimately confuse consumers who associate the phrase with Apple's app store for iOS apps."

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Confessions of a Cyber Warrior
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's he-hacked-the-last-donut department:
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Roger Grimes interviews a longtime friend and cyber warrior under contract with the U.S. government, offering a fascinating glimpse of the front lines in the ever-escalating and completely clandestine cyber war. From the interview: 'They didn't seem to care that I had hacked our own government years ago or that I smoked pot. I wasn't sure I was going to take the job, but then they showed me the work environment and introduced me to a few future co-workers. I was impressed. ... We have tens of thousands of ready-to-use bugs in single applications, single operating systems. ... It's all zero-days. Literally, if you can name the software or the controller, we have ways to exploit it. There is no software that isn't easily crackable. In the last few years, every publicly known and patched bug makes almost no impact on us. They aren't scratching the surface.'"

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NASA's Polar Robotic Ranger Passes Test In One of Earth's Harshest Places
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's call-me-when-it-survives-detroit-after-dark department:
Zothecula writes "NASA scientists have unleashed a new robot on the arctic terrain of Greenland to demonstrate that its ability to operate with complete autonomy in one of Earth's harshest environments. Named GROVER, which stands for both Greenland Rover and Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research, the polar robotic ranger carries ground-penetrating radar for analysis of snow and ice, and an autonomous system that is operated over an Iridium satellite connection. All of that is placed between two solar panels and two snowmobile tracks."

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Obamacare Software Glitch Will Limit Penalties Charged To Smokers
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's software-engineers-1,-democracy-0 department:
turbosaab writes "The Obama administration has quietly notified insurers that a computer system glitch will limit penalties that companies may charge smokers under the new healthcare law. The underlying reason for the limitation is another provision in the health care law that says insurers can't charge older customers more than three times what they charge the youngest adults in the pool. The government's computer system has been unable to accommodate the two. So younger smokers and older smokers must be charged the same penalty, or the system will kick it out. A fix will take at least a year to put in place."

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China Environment Ministry Calls Itself One of Four Worst Departments In World
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's america-disappointed-in-its-inability-to-sweep-the-series department:
hackingbear writes
"According to the Telegraph, 'Zhou Shengxian was quoted by state media as saying: "I've heard that there are four major embarrassing departments in the world and that China's ministry of environmental protection is one of them." Mr Zhou, an economist and veteran Communist Party member, blamed his ministry's malfunctions on "overlapping" remits, which confused the agency's role in handling issues such as carbon emissions and water monitoring. The minister made no mention of the other three most embarrassing departments but Chinese micro-bloggers were quick to weigh in with their suggestions.' Those suggestions including the navy of China's landlocked neighbour, Mongolia, Taiwan's foreign ministry, and China's petitioning department where officials are tasked with hearing and acting on the grievances of ordinary Chinese but can't handle/solve anything. Perhaps Zhou's department should be applauded for its honesty. What are your list of the other three most embarrassing departments in our world?"

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HTTP 2.0 Will Be a Binary Protocol
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '13 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's cram-your-stuff-in-this-box department:
earlzdotnet writes "A working copy of the HTTP 2.0 spec has been released. Unlike previous versions of the HTTP protocol, this version will be a binary format, for better or worse. However, this protocol is also completely optional: 'This document is an alternative to, but does not obsolete the HTTP/1.1 message format or protocol. HTTP's existing semantics remain unchanged.'"

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