Development/Quality Assurance (QA) Testing

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Do game designers burn out like rock stars?

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A Guardian Unlimited's Gamesblog asks if do game designers burn out like rock stars. The games industry is getting on a bit now, and so are many of its key 'superstars'. You may not think it, given the proliferation of sequels and movie tie-ins that clog up the charts like that sickly white glue in the veins of heavy smokers, but this is a creative business. No matter how many people are involved in the process, there must be a spark of inspiration somewhere at its core. So what happens when the spark falters, or goes out?

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"Regress" terminology and its proper grammar usage.

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I just read this interesting discussion/thread in comp.software.testing newsgroup about the terminology and the proper grammar usage of "regress".

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A co-creator, of Firefox browser, is a teen. What about YOU as a teenager?

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This was an interesting read. I wasn't aware there was a teenager as a co-founder for Firefox before I read Seattle Post-Intelligencer's article: "By age 10, Blake Ross was designing Web pages on America Online. By 14, after mastering complex programming languages such as C++, he was fixing bugs in Netscape's Web browser from home, a hobby that landed him a job offer."

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Durability of Usability Guidelines

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Useit.com's Durability of Usability Guidelines article says about 90% of usability guidelines from 1986 are still valid.

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Aqua OpenOffice.org v2.0 Canceled

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According to MacSlash's story, a recent post on OpenOffice.org said no Mac OS X work has been done since 2003 and that there are no longer any Aqua plans "due to various licensing, political, and fundamental engineering difficulties".

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Microsoft Anti-Spyware -- Sneak peek at code name: 'Atlanta'

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Broadband Reports mentions Neowin's sneak peek of Microsoft's upcoming anti-spyware software recently acquired community favorite Giant spyware, and has code-named their re-hashed version of that software "Atlanta". It is currently in an internal beta test. There are screenshots of the application in action.

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Buggy VoIP deployment prompts UK carrier employees to strike...

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This Broadband Reports' story mentions The Register's story about Wanadoo UK's VoIP deployment being so bad that hundreds of its employees went on strike.

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2005: The year of the security professional

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An effort to get more well qualified bums on techie seats... Despite the comparative good health of the security industry through the tech downturn and its 'sexier' image than other areas of IT, 2005 has been declared the year of the IT security professional in an attempt to attract more talent into the sector.

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The magic that makes Google tick...

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ZDNet Australia's article talks about the specifications on how Google works. Some facts:

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Deputy geek, reporting for duty, to fight cybercrime.

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This ZDNet article says British IT professionals could soon be asked to volunteer their services to police the Internet. The European Information Society Group (EURIM) is calling on the U.K.

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Half of U.S. I.T. Operations Jobs to Vanish

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A MacCentral article says Gartner, Inc. researchers believe that as many as 50 percent of the IT operational jobs in the U.S. could disappear over the next two decades because of improvements in data center technologies.

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"Pro-Ams" -- Amateurs who pursue a hobby or pastime to a professional standard.

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ZDNet UK News' article say coders, who give up their spare time to contribute to open source projects, are the virtual equivalent of lifeboat men. This is according to latest research from Demos Britain's open-source software developers make a valuable contribution to society and the British economy through the high quality of their work, according to Demos.

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A software developer's annoying musical resume/CV in Flash...

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A French computer programmer/software developer made an annoying resume/CV in Flash. It is musical (French) and has English subtitles. This is the incorrect way to find a job!

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Security professionals bemoan need for tactical focus...

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Computerworld has an article about more proactive initiatives falling by the wayside, conference attendees say.

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A funny doctored photograph about reporting bugs (not me!)...

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I saw this funny doctored photograph in a comp.software.testing newsgroup thread:

from PloneCollectorNG Web page. It's about reporting bugs and kittens...

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Death Knell Sounds for Nullsoft, Winamp

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BetaNews' article, titled Death Knell Sounds for Nullsoft, says:

The last members of the original Winamp team have said goodbye to AOL and the door has all but shut on the Nullsoft era, BetaNews has learned.

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The Quest for Test -- A text based adventure game.

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The Quest for Test is a text based adventure game (Infocom games like Zork, Enchanter, and Deadline) with a theme on Software Quality Assurance (SQA) testing. Here is what the author says:

"What I am presenting here is not really a game, per se. Rather it is an example of putting testing concepts into the format of game theory. I designed The Quest for Test specifically for a few reasons. Chief among them, however, was to present the thinking behind some testing concepts. Obviously solving the puzzles of such a game (or is that meta-game?) is not going to make someone a "good tester" nor will the ability to solve the game indicate if one is or is not a good tester. However, what the game does do is exercise certain cognitive faculties that are of use in the field of testing. Another reason for this was to allow testers to ... test the game! This game is being released as a "beta" version that players can test if they wish. Finally, I present the source code as well for those who are interested in the mechanics of such a game.

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User Education Is Not the Answer to Security Problems

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Jakob Nielsen's useit.com has a new Alertbox/column. He says, the Internet scams cannot be thwarted by placing the burden on users to defend themselves at all times. Beleaguered users need protection, and the technology must change to provide this... User education should not be the main approach to countering security problems for three reasons.

First, and most importantly, it doesn't work. Computer security is too complicated and the bad guys are too devious and inventive. It’s simply unrealistic to assume that average users can keep up with them. Yes, you can tell people not to click on attachments in email from strangers, but then attackers start sending email that apparently comes from your boss, your wife, or your best friends. In a modern office, you can't do your work without clicking on attachments.

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Open source lives on Mars with rover mission extension

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NewsForge has a story on how NASA's most sophisticated gear and the space agency using open source software heavily. This helped the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers to receive clearance for an extended tour of the Red Planet.

Jeff Norris, a senior computer scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who headed development of the rovers' open source-heavy Science Activity Planner (SAP), said the mission extension was a steal for taxpayers, whose space and research support has shrunk along with NASA budgets...

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What do developers want?

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This InfoWorld's article shows that this year's programming survey reveals developers' conservative side. Now that they've embraced Web development and picked their favorite tools, they're not budging. The watchword of IT today is to make the most of what you've got. Developers are no exception, according to the results of this year's InfoWorld Programming Survey...

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