By EditorDavid from Slashdot's human-resources department
An anonymous reader quotes the CFO of Stripe:
As our global economy increasingly comes to run on technology-enabled rails and every company becomes a tech company, demand for high-quality software engineers is at an all-time high. A recent study from Stripe and Harris Poll found that 61 percent of C-suite executives believe access to developer talent is a threat to the success of their business. Perhaps more surprisingly -- as we mark a decade after the financial crisis -- this threat was even ranked above capital constraints.
And yet, despite being many corporations' most precious resource, developer talents are all too often squandered. Collectively, companies today lose upward of $300 billion a year paying down "technical debt," as developers pour time into maintaining legacy systems or dealing with the ramifications of bad software... When deployed correctly, developers can be economic multipliers -- coefficients that dramatically ratchet up the output of the teams and companies of which they're a part.
The article even ends with tips for managers about how to get the most out of their developers.
Consider very carefully the current and potential allocation of developer time.
Embrace the cloud, saving in-house developers to work on higher-impact projects.
Hire leaders who have technical backgrounds, so they can make better hiring and strategic decisions, and offer better management of developers.
But first managers have to decide if they agree with his initial premise.
Are software developers more valuable to companies than money?Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's take-me-out-with-the-cloud department
The Los Angeles Dodgers will try a high-tech giveaway for their September 21st game: "Digital Bobblehead Night." DevNull127 quotes the digital editor for the Los Angeles Dodgers:
While supplies last at guest's point of entry, the first 40,000 ticketed fans in attendance will receive a card with a unique code and directions to a website where a digital bobblehead can be unlocked and added to their Ethereum wallet. The player Crypto token received will be randomly selected, with approximately an equal number of Kershaw, Turner and Jansen codes distributed at the stadium gates.
"We're excited for our first-ever Crypto giveaway, and to explore an entirely new marketplace with our fanbase," said Lon Rosen, Dodger Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "We hope this piques the interest of Dodger fans, and will help launch a new age of digital collectibles and promotions."
That stadium already has another high-tech gimmick: Flippy the Burger-Flipping Robot, who reportedly was "called up to the Majors" to help feed hungry baseball fans by cooking up fried chicken tenders and tater tots.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's newer-kid-on-the-block department
InfoWorld described the move as a "breakthrough":
As expected, Python has climbed into the Top 3 of the Tiobe index of language popularity, achieving that milestone for the first time ever in the September 2018 edition of the index. With a rating of 7.653 percent, Python placed third behind first-place Java, which had a rating of 17.436 percent, and second-place C, rated at 15.447. Python displaced C++, which finished third last month and took fourth place this month, with a rating of 7.394 percent...
Python also has been scoring high in two other language rankings:
- The PyPL Popularity of Programming Language index, where it ranked No. 1 this month, as it has done before, and has had the most growth in the past five years.
- The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings, where Python again placed third.
Tiobe notes that Python's arrival in the top 3 "really took a long time," since it first entered their chart at the beginning of the 1990s. But today, "It is already the first choice at universities (for all kinds of subjects for which programming is demanded) and is now also conquering the industrial world." In February Tiobe also added a new programming language to their index: SQL. (Since "SQL appears to be Turing complete.")
"Other interesting moves this month are: Rust jumps from #36 to #31, Groovy from #44 to #34 and Julia from #50 to #39."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's commons-at-the-tragedy department
On Sunday haruchai (Slashdot user #17,472) wrote that a 200-year-old museum in Brazil "is burning to the ground and it's likely the entire collection of some 20 million artifacts will be lost." Now CNET reports:
The items in the Museu Nacional in Rio may be gone, but Wikipedia doesn't want them to be forgotten... "Did you take a photo of any of them? Help us preserve the memories of as many as we can and add them to @wikicommons," Wikipedia tweeted Tuesday, with an explanation on how to do so...
"The fire at the National Museum of Brazil has led to the devastating loss of 200 years of memory," Katherine Maher, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, said in a statement. "At Wikipedia, our community is hard at work every day curating a living record of our shared heritage," Maher said. "With this effort, we're asking people everywhere to join our global community and help the world recover from this collective tragedy."
Wikipedia's tweet included an image urging people to "Add your photo to the sum of all knowledge..."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's right-to-remain-silent department
An anonymous reader quotes the Tampa Bay Times:
In April last year, the Florida Department of Corrections struck a deal with JPay. The private company, spearheading a push to sell profit-driven multimedia tablets to incarcerated people across the country, would be allowed to bring the technology to every facility in the nation's third-largest prison system. But there was a catch. Inmates had already been purchasing electronic entertainment for the last seven years -- an MP3 player program run by a different company: Access Corrections. For around $100, Access sold various models of MP3 players that inmates could then use to download songs for $1.70 each, and keep them in their dorms.... More than 30,299 players were sold, and 6.7 million songs were downloaded over the life of the Access contract, according to the Department of Corrections. That's about $11.3 million worth of music.
Because of the tablets, inmates will have to return the players, and they can't transfer the music they already purchased onto their new devices... The Department of Corrections, meanwhile, has collected $1.4 million in commissions on each song downloaded and other related sales since July 2011... JPay already operates banking accounts and facilitates phone calls at the state-run prisons, charging inmates and their loved ones steep fees for the services. With the introduction of tablets, JPay will add a wide swath of new spending incentives for its incarcerated customers, offering purchases of music, emailing and other virtual fare.
As a compromise, prison officials offered to download the already-purchased music to a CD, and then mail that CD to someone outside the prison. For a $25 fee.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's interpreting-languages department
In 2017 this survey helped us do just that, by collecting data from over 20,000 developers to identify current and upcoming trends. This year, we're asking for your help once more to find out which libraries developers want to learn next, which have the best satisfaction ratings, and much more.
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's imposter-syndromes department
"Feeling like a hack is more common than you might think," writes CNET:
In fact, 58 percent of people with technology-focused careers suffer from Impostor Syndrome, according to a new informal study from workplace social media site Blind... Blind's user base includes 44,000 Microsoft employees, 29,000 from Amazon, 11,000 from Google, 8,000 from Uber, 7,000 from Facebook, and 6,000 from Apple, just to name a few. From Aug. 27, 2018 through Sept. 5, 2018, Blind asked its users one question in a survey -- "Do you suffer from Impostor Syndrome?" A total of 10,402 users on Blind responded.
Blind found that 57.55 percent surveyed experienced Impostor Syndrome. Seventy-two percent of Expedia employees say they experienced Impostor Syndrome, the highest among companies with at least 100 employee responses. On the lower end of the spectrum, only 44.45 percent of Apple employees experienced impostor syndrome.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's stripping-Chrome department
An anonymous reader quotes ITWire:
Google's move to strip out the www in domains typed into the address bar, beginning with version 69 of its Chrome browser, has drawn an enormous amount of criticism from developers who see the move as a bid to cement the company's dominance of the Web. The criticism comes a few days after Chrome's engineering manager Adrienne Porter Felt told the American website Wired that URLs need to be got rid of altogether. The change in Chrome version 69 means that if one types in a domain such as www.itwire.com into the browser search bar, the www portion is stripped out in the address bar when the page is displayed.
When asked about this change in a long discussion thread on a mailing list, a Google staffer wrote: "www is now considered a 'trivial' subdomain, and hiding trivial subdomains can be disabled in flags (will also disable hiding the URL scheme)..." A Google staffer attempted to justify the change, writing: "The subdomains reappear when editing the URL so people type the correct one. They disappear in the steady-state display case because this isn't information that most users need to concern themselves with in most cases..." But this drew an angry response from a poster who questioned the statement "this isn't information that most users need to concern themselves with in most cases" and asked: "According to who? This is simply an opinion stated as a fact...."
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By EditorDavid from Slashdot's talking-to-God department
Terrence Andrew Davis, sole creator and developer of TempleOS (née LoseThos), has passed away at age 48. Davis suffered from mental illness -- schizophrenia -- which had a severe impact on his life. He claimed he created his operating system after having spoken with and receiving instructions from god, and he was a controversial figure, also here on OSNews, for his incomprehensible rants and abrasive style towards OSNews readers and staff. We eventually had to ban him, but our then-editor Kroc Kamen worked with him in 2010 to publish an article about his operating system despite his ban.... I hope he found peace -- wherever he may be.
Davis spent 10 years building "an operating system to talk to God," according to a 2014 profile in Motherboard, which described its welcome screen as "a riot of 16-color, scrolling, blinking text" resembling early DOS-based GUIs. (Wikipedia describes its interface as "a mixture of DOS and Turbo C.") To build his operating system, Terry wrote 121,176 lines of code.
An anonymous reader writes:
Davis learned assembly language on a Commodore 64 before he'd graduated from high school. He eventually got a master's degree in electrical engineering from Arizona State University, and as an undergrad he worked briefly at Ticketmaster, programming operating systems. His later life included time in mental hospitals and some homelessness, as well as living at home with his parents after his schizophrenia was diagnosed and treated.
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By BeauHD from Slashdot's passed-costs-on-to-consumers department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Apple, the world's most valuable company, said proposed U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of products imported from China will raise prices for some of its popular consumer goods such as the Apple Watch and AirPods headphones. The Mac mini desktop computer, Apple Pencil stylus accessory for iPads, various chargers and adapters and tooling equipment used to manufacturer and design some products in the U.S. will also be affected, the Cupertino, California-based company told the Office of U.S. Trade Representative in a letter dated Sept 5.
The company said the tariffs would "show up as a tax on U.S. consumers" and "increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives." Beyond the core products, Apple said accessories like the HomePod speaker, some Beats speakers, AirPort and Time Capsule internet routers, the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, and leather cases for the iPhone, iPad, MacBook and Apple Pencil would be affected. It said some of the parts it relies on for product development, including processors and research equipment, would also be hit by the tariffs. On Friday, President Trump said he's prepared to impose tariffs on an additional $267 billion in Chinese imports, which would affect almost every category of consumer goods, according to analysts. He cites unfair trade practices as a reason for the tariffs.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's depends-on-how-you-look-at-it department
Blair Levin and Larry Downes report via Harvard Business Review: In 2010, Google rocked the $60 billion broadband industry by announcing plans to deploy fiber-based home internet service, offering connections up to a gigabit per second -- 100 times faster than average speeds at the time. Google Fiber, as the effort was named, entered the access market intending to prove the business case for ultra-high-speed internet. After deploying to six metro areas in six years, however, company management announced in late 2016 that it was "pausing" future deployments. In the Big Bang Disruption model, where innovations take off suddenly when markets are ready for them, Google Fiber could be seen as a failed early market experiment in gigabit internet access. But what if the company's goal was never to unleash the disrupter itself so much as to encourage incumbent broadband providers to do so, helping Google's expansion in adjacent markets such as video and emerging markets including smart homes?
Seen through that lens, Google Fiber succeeded wildly. It stimulated the incumbents to accelerate their own infrastructure investments by several years. New applications and new industries emerged, including virtual reality and the Internet of Things, proving the viability of an "if you build it, they will come" strategy for gigabit services. And in the process, local governments were mobilized to rethink restrictive and inefficient approaches to overseeing network installations. The story of Google Fiber provides valuable lessons for future network transformations, notably the on-going global race to deploy next-generation 5G mobile networks. It seems, then, a good time to review the story of how the effort came into being, what it achieved, and what it teaches investors, consumers, and community leaders eager to ensure continued private spending on internet infrastructure.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's beginning-of-an-era department
According to The New York Times, Alibaba's co-founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, is stepping down from the Chinese e-commerce giant on Monday (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source) to pursue philanthropy in education. From the report: A former English teacher, Mr. Ma started Alibaba in 1999 and built it into one of the world's most consequential e-commerce and digital payments companies, transforming how Chinese people shop and pay for things. That fueled his net worth to more than $40 billion, making him China's richest man. He is revered by many Chinese, some of whom have put his portrait in their homes to worship in the same way that they worship the God of Wealth.
In an interview, Mr. Ma said his retirement is not the end of an era but "the beginning of an era." He said he would be spending more of his time and fortune focused on education. "I love education," he said. Mr. Ma will remain on Alibaba's board of directors and continue to mentor the company's management. Mr. Ma turns 54 on Monday, which is also a holiday in China known as Teacher's Day. The retirement makes Mr. Ma one of the first founders among a generation of prominent Chinese internet entrepreneurs to step down from their companies.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's drastic-times-call-for-drastic-measures department
Housing in Silicon Valley is getting so expensive that the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) petitioned 6,000 faculty and staff members to consider offering students "a room in your home." The college's housing director David Keller wrote in a letter that there are "several hundred students" at the university who don't have "housing guarantees" and need support. Fortune reports: Silicon Valley is notorious for its high living costs. And, according to the report, Santa Cruz and its surrounding areas have far more single-family homes than affordable apartments. Worse yet, a senior at UCSC told the CBS affiliate that some "landlords are kind of jacking up the prices because they know about this." The student, Leon Pham, told CBS that he'll pay $1,100 per month for a small room in a shared house.
Still, there are potentially negative implications to schools asking for professors to rent rooms in their homes to students. Professors are still required to fairly judge student work, and a healthy separation between professors and students is usually what colleges want. The housing crunch, however, might have forced the university's hand. And a spokesperson from the school told CBS that the college has policies that govern "the conduct of students and professors."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cloud-based-quantum-computing department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Fast Company: Today the [Berkeley-based startup Rigetti] launched a project in the mold of Amazon Web Services (AWS) called Quantum Cloud Services. "What this platform achieves for the very first time is an integrated computing system that is the first quantum cloud services architecture," says Chad Rigetti, founder and CEO of his namesake company. The dozen initial users Rigetti has announced include biotech and chemistry companies harnessing quantum technology to study complex molecules in order to develop new drugs. The particular operations that the quantum end of the system can do, while still limited and error-prone, are nearly good enough to boost the performance of traditional computers beyond what they could do on their own -- a coming milestone called quantum advantage. "My guess is this could happen anytime from six to 36 months out," says Rigetti.
So-called hybrid algorithms leveraging both systems are able to spot and correct some errors. And even imperfect results from quantum computers can be good enough in many cases, either flat-out exceeding what traditional computer technology can do, or producing results faster or cheaper. Rigetti has been playing this angle, creating a software development kit called Forest (because it's an ecosystem, says Chad) that allows programmers to access hybrid systems. Like other companies such as IBM, Rigetti has been allowing developers to access small-scale quantum computers online to essentially start working out how to program for them. [...] Rigetti is now inviting customers to apply for free access to these systems, toward the goal of developing a real-world application that achieves quantum advantage. As an extra incentive, the first to make it wins a $1 million prize.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-and-shiny department
Microsoft and Google are holding hardware events next month for the Surface computers and Pixel smartphones, respectively. According to TechCrunch, Microsoft is expected to refresh some of its existing products, like the Surface Pro and Studio, on October 2 at 4:00 PM EST in New York City. It's possible we'll see some new additions to the Surface family, but Microsoft did recently announced the Surface Go a couple weeks ago, so it will be off the list. The event tagline is "a moment of your time," which may mean a Surface Watch could be unveiled at the event.
As for Google, they're expected to announce the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and possibly a new Pixelbook, which runs ChromeOS. The tagline for this event is "I [heart] NY," hinting at the Pixel 3 with the numeral in the heart emojicon. The event will be held at 8:00 AM PST on October 9 at Spring Studios. The Verge reports: The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are the third generation of the Google-branded Pixel line that was first introduced in 2016. In the past few weeks, hardware units of both devices have made their way into the world, giving us a very good idea of what to expect from the announcement. Both devices are expected to get some design tweaks, including a somewhat controversial large notch on the Pixel 3 XL and a glass back for wireless charging on both devices. Each of the Pixel devices will also have dual front-facing cameras and a single rear camera.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's read-the-fine-print department
AT&T is offering a new promotion for first responders and their families. Firefighters, paramedics, and police officers can opt for 25 percent off either of the unlimited plans AT&T announced back in June. But in the fine print, as The Verge points out, "AT&T admits it may throttle data speeds 'when the network is congested.'" The promotion comes soon after Verizon came under scrutiny for throttling firefighters' data as they fought wildfires in California. From the report: AT&T says that first responders looking for completely unlimited internet without data speed caps can use FirstNet, the network it recently began operating specifically for first responders. AT&T was contracted by the U.S. government to built out FirstNet, which offers features that specifically cater to first responders. The company says that it's actively promoting FirstNet, but at the same time, its promotion page doesn't make a mention of the superior plan at all. In an email, AT&T clarified that the promotional plans subject to throttling are for first responders' personal use and family plans. "We're offering first responders and their family members a discount on the consumer plans available today for their personal use," a spokesperson said. "These lines and devices are separate than the FirstNet lines purchased and issued by the first responder agencies, which do not have a data limit."
The deal allows first responders to choose between the AT&T Unlimited & More plan or the Unlimited & More Premium plan, which has more entertainment add-ons to choose from, including HBO, Showtime, and Amazon Music. With the ongoing promotion, a single line alone on Unlimited & More will cost $52.50 a month, while four lines on a plan would cost $30 a month per person. Unlimited & More Premium costs $60 a month for a single line, and $35.62 a month per person for four lines.Read Replies (0)