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Mixing Agile With Waterfall For Code Quality

Slashdot - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 14:33
jones_supa writes: The 2014 CAST Research on Application Software Health (CRASH) report states that enterprise software built using a mixture of agile and waterfall methods will result in more robust and secure applications than those built using either agile or waterfall methods alone. Data from CAST's Appmarq benchmarking repository was analyzed to discover global trends in the structural quality of business application software. The report explores the impact of factors such as development method, CMMI maturity level, outsourcing, and other practices on software quality characteristics that are based upon good architectural and coding practices. InfoQ interviewed Bill Curtis, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist at CAST, about the research done by CAST, structural quality factors, and mixing agile and waterfall methods.

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Samsung revamps its lower-end Chromebook with faux leather

Engadget - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 14:00
It's taken a while, but people finally seem to be embracing Chromebooks as the low-cost laptops that they were designed to be. Samsung's already earned our plaudits for this year's Chromebook 2, but what if you just don't have $400 to spend on a new...

An Air Traffic Control System For Drones

Slashdot - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 13:51
An anonymous reader writes: Personal drones are become more popular, and many companies are trying to figure out ways to incorporate them into their business. So what do we do in 10 years, when the skies are full of small, autonomous vehicles? NASA and a startup called Airware are working on a solution: air traffic control for drones. "The first prototype to be developed under NASA's project will be an Internet-based system. Drone operators will file flight plans for approval. The system will use what it knows about other drone flights, weather forecasts, and physical obstacles such as radio masts to give the go-ahead. Later phases of the project will build more sophisticated systems that can actively manage drone traffic by sending out commands to drones in flight. That could mean directing them to spread out when craft from multiple operators are flying in the same area, or taking action when something goes wrong, such as a drone losing contact with its operator, says Jonathan Downey, CEO of Airware. If a drone strayed out of its approved area, for example, the system might automatically send a command that made it return to its assigned area, or land immediately."

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Lockheed Martin thinks it can give the world unlimited clean energy in 20 years

Engadget - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 13:28
Remember back in the '50s, when official-sounding newsreels promised that we'd have new-kew-lur-powered cars by the '70s and no-one would ever be unhappy? Probably not, since we've probably gotten that skewed sense of history from watching too many...

As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

Slashdot - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 13:05
HughPickens.com writes After rising rapidly for decades, the number of people behind bars peaked at 1.62 Million in 2009, has been mostly falling ever since down, and many justice experts believe the incarceration rate will continue on a downward trajectory for many years. New York, for example, saw an 8.8% decline in federal and state inmates, and California, saw a 20.6% drop. Now the WSJ reports on an awkward byproduct of the declining U.S. inmate population: empty or under-utilized prisons and jails that must be cared for but can't be easily sold or repurposed. New York state has closed 17 prisons and juvenile-justice facilities since 2011, following the rollback of the 1970s-era Rockefeller drug laws, which mandated lengthy sentences for low-level offenders. So far, the state has found buyers for 10 of them, at prices that range from less than $250,000 to about $8 million for a facility in Staten Island, often a fraction of what they cost to build. "There's a prisoner shortage," says Mike Arismendez, city manager for Littlefield, Texas, home of an empty five-building complex that sleeps 383 inmates and comes with a gym, maintenence shed, armory, and parking lot . "Everybody finds it hard to believe." The incarceration rate is declining largely because crime has fallen significantly in the past generation. In addition, many states have relaxed harsh sentencing laws passed during the tough-on-crime 1980s and 1990s, and have backed rehabilitation programs, resulting in fewer low-level offenders being locked up. States from Michigan to New Jersey have changed parole processes, leading more prisoners to leave earlier. On a federal level, the Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder has pushed to reduce sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. Before 2010, the U.S. prison population increased every year for 30 years, from 307,276 in 1978 to a high of 1,615,487 in 2009. "This is the beginning of the end of mass incarceration," says Natasha Frost. "People don't care so much about crime, and it's less of a political focus."

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The FBI wants access to your encrypted phone data

Engadget - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 12:25
The FBI isn't happy with recent decisions by Apple and Google to secure communications by default, saying it could lead to "a very dark place." That was the gist of a recent talk by director James Comey, who expressed frustration at the inability of...

Where to buy Samsung's Galaxy Note 4

Engadget - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 11:20
A week later than Samsung had originally planned, the new Galaxy Note 4 has today officially landed on UK shores. As far as we're concerned, the 5.7-inch behemoth is the best big-screen phone you can get your hands on at the moment, with a gorgeous,...

Amazon's grocery service hits Brooklyn starting today

Engadget - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 11:18
Lately, Amazon's been playing a bit of back and forth with its services on either coast. What started with retail locations is now extending to its grocery delivery option, AmazonFresh. Folks living in Brooklyn, New York's Park Slope neighborhood...

Making Best Use of Data Center Space: Density Vs. Isolation

Slashdot - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 10:28
jfruh writes The ability to cram multiple virtual servers on a single physical computer is tempting — so tempting that many shops overlook the downsides of having so many important systems subject to a single point of physical failure. But how can you isolate your servers physically but still take up less room? Matthew Mobrea takes a look at the options, including new server platforms that offer what he calls "dense isolation."

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Twitter: Yes, you're all going to see tweets from people you don't follow

Engadget - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 10:24
Remember when tweets started appearing in your Twitter feed from people you weren't even following? Well, it's no longer an experiment. In a post outlining Twitter's "spirit of experimentation", the social network says it's happening across all...

Your eco-friendly LED lights are drawing an awful lot more moths

Engadget - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 09:42
Blue-light emitting LED bulbs have taken off with consumers because they have few downsides -- they're bright, use far less energy and last much longer than other types. In fact, the inventors just won a Nobel Prize, proving their huge benefit to...

Local multiplayer is coming to Android games

Engadget - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 08:31
Ever wish your favorite Android games had ambient multiplayer? You know, it's the feature that's at the heart of Nintendo's StreetPass system and enables you assemble all those puzzles and rescue your Mii on the 3DS simply by being in proximity to...

The Guardian Reveals That Whisper App Tracks "Anonymous" Users

Slashdot - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 08:02
New submitter qqod writes this story at The Guardian that raises privacy concerns over the Whisper app. "The company behind Whisper, the social media app that promises users anonymity and claims to be the “the safest place on the internet”, is tracking the location of its users, including some who have specifically asked not to be followed. The practice of monitoring the whereabouts of Whisper users – including those who have expressly opted out of geolocation services – will alarm users, who are encouraged to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives. Whisper is also sharing information with the US Department of Defense gleaned from smartphones it knows are used from military bases, and developing a version of its app to conform with Chinese censorship laws."

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Student upgrades a 1930s typewriter for modern-day messaging

Engadget - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 07:26
When people restore old typewriters, they mostly just make them (1) look new and (2) usable again. Joe Hounsham from Plymouth University in the UK, however, had other ideas in mind: he took one and added the appropriate upgrades to turn it a...

OpenStack Juno Released

Slashdot - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 06:39
darthcamaro writes The OpenStack Juno release is now generally available. This the 10th major release for the open-source cloud platform and introduces the Sahara Data Processing Service as the major new project. That's not the only new feature in Juno though, with 310 new features in total. The new features include cloud storage policy, improved IPv6 support, a rescue mode and improved multi-cloud federation capabilities."

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Audi's self-driving RS 7 hits the racetrack this weekend (video)

Engadget - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 06:20
Audi, who's long been toying with the idea of building self-driving cars, has upgraded one of its RS 7 sedans to build an autonomous concept vehicle for those who like to ride fast. The prototype looks pretty much like a production version RS 7,...

Trans-Pacific Partnership May Endanger World Health, Newly Leaked Chapter Shows

Slashdot - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 05:29
blottsie writes WikiLeaks has released an updated version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) chapter on intellectual property. The new version of the texts, dated May 2014, show that little improvement has been made to sections critics say would hurt free speech online. Further, some of the TPP's stipulations could have dire consequences for healthcare in developing nations. The Daily Dot reports: "Nearly all of the changes proposed by the U.S. advantage corporate entities by expanding monopolies on knowledge goods, such as drug patents, and impose restrictive copyright policies worldwide. If it came into force, TPP would even allow pharmaceutical companies to sue the U.S. whenever changes to regulatory standards or judicial decisions affected their profits. Professor Brook K. Baker of Northeastern U. School of Law [said] that the latest version of the TPP will do nothing less than lengthen, broaden, and strengthen patent monopolies on vital medications."

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'Whisper' app accused of not hiding whistleblowers

Engadget - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 05:13
Whisper lets you share secrets without the fear of it getting traced back to you. At least that's the pitch. Now, according to a Guardian report, the service is tracking the location of users that didn't want to be tracked. The report, which deep...

Google's new Chromecast is coming, but you won't notice a difference

Engadget - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 03:59
Last night an apparently refreshed model of Google's Chromecast streaming dongle popped up in FCC filings (as pointed out by Zatz Not Funny), just like the original did in March last year, but don't get too excited. Unfortunately, the documents don't...

The Big Picture: using a cellphone in this cathedral creates a laser show

Engadget - Fri, 17/10/2014 - 03:27
Next to a movie theater, we're going to say a church, temple or mosque are among the last places that using a mobile device is frowned upon. Unless you're in France's Saint-Eustache cathedral, that is, where your mobile-made thoughts translate into...