A site devoted mostly to everything related to Information Technology under the sun - among other things.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Electing the Doge of Venice

This is an analysis of a 13-th Century protocol for the election of the Doge of Venice - sort of like a President-For-Life - of the Venetian Republic (1268-1797). Find it @ http://www.hpl.hp.com/techreports/2007/HPL-2007-28R1.pdf

Friday, June 27, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another Purported Shortage

Another purported shortage of IT skills:


And a contrary view on yet another purported shortage; this time in the field of analog design:


I personally cannot credit these reports; see the following item in this weblog:


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Physical One-Way Functions

In practical cryptography, a PUF or Physical Un-clonable Function is a function that is embodied in a physical structure, that is easy to evaluate but hard to characterize (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physically_Unclonable_Function)

Check out Raviknath Pappu's thesis on the construction and application of physical one-way functions for secure communications @ http://pubs.media.mit.edu/pubs/papers/01.03.pappuphd.powf.pdf

Web Site for Critical Thinking

Check out professor Tim van Gelder's critical thinking site @ http://www.austhink.org/critical/

Reverse-Engineering Life

Scientists have been able to reverse-engineer the poliovirus by assembling oligonucleotides of plus and minus strand polarity. See the report @ http://info.med.yale.edu/therarad/summers/cello.pdf

And commentaries @ http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/dec102003/1509.pdf, @ http://www7.nationalacademies.org/dsc/Wimmer_Presentation_Sci_Openness.pdf , and
@ http://www.thehastingscenter.org/pdf/publications/in_brief_nov_dec_2003.pdf

Clearly, the field of synthetic biology is opening vast new vistas of scientific and terminological development that may be used for good or for ill (given the fallen nature of man, I should think the latter is the more likely outcome.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Project Estimation With Use Case Points

Since use cases consist of the strategic goals and scenarios that provide value to a business domain, they can also provide insight into a project’s complexity and required resources. Learn more about project estimation with use case point below:

An introduction to project estimation with Use Case Points:

This article provides another introduction to the Use Case Points method:

Test effort estimation with Use Case Points may be found @ http://www.cognizant.com/html/content/cogcommunity/Test_Effort_Estimation.pdf

This article summarizes a suggested guideline that has been derived from real software specification cases by the software developer sd&m: http://www.sdm.at/web4archiv/objects/download/pdf/1/frohnhoff-ucpspezformate_english.pdf

The aim of this paper is to provide guidance for other organizations that want to improve their estimation process applying use cases: http://www.idi.ntnu.no/emner/tdt4290/docs/faglig/uml2001-anda.pdf

Improving Consistency of Use Case Points Estimates @ http://www.stsc.hill.af.mil/crosstalk/2008/03/0803Coe.html

There is also a shareware tool called UCPPal 1.0 which may be obtained from http://www.softrecipe.com/Business-Finance/Project-Management/ucppal.html

Free Access to Coverity Prevent

Coverity is giving free access to its Prevent tool @ http://scan.coverity.com/index.html. Check it out!

Glazed Lists

Glazed Lists is a list transformation libaray in Java. Learn more about it @ http://publicobject.com/glazedlists/


StringTemplate is a java template engine (with ports for C# and Python) for generating source code, web pages, emails, or any other formatted text output. Find it @ http://www.stringtemplate.org/


Hudson monitors executions of repeated jobs, such as building a software project or jobs run by cron. Among those things, current Hudson focuses on the following two jobs:
  1. Building/testing software projects continuously
  2. Monitoring executions of externally-run jobs

Find it @ http://hudson.gotdns.com/wiki/display/HUDSON/Meet+Hudson

3 Configuration Management Tools

BitKeeper is a distributed configuration management tool which enables distributed development teams easily keep their own local source repositories and while working with the central repository. It is available @ http://www.bitkeeper.com/

Git is another distributed configuration management tool created by Linus Torvalds, initially for the Linux kernel development. Git is available @ http://git.or.cz/

Mercurial is a cross-platform, distributed configuration management tool for software developers. It is written in Python, with a binary diff implementation written in C. Mercurial is primarily a command line program. All its commands begin with hg, a reference to the chemical symbol for mercury. Find it @ http://www.selenic.com/mercurial/wiki/


Ravenflow is a software tool for requirements elicitation and definition. It enables business analysts to quickly build stakeholder consensus on requirements, reduce the time required for stakeholders to approve specifications, reduce developer rework due to requirements errors, and seamlessly integrate requirements and testing.

Find it @ http://www.ravenflow.com/

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ice in Antarctica

Icebergs in the Antarctic area sometimes have stripes, formed by layers of snow that react to different
conditions. Blue stripes are often created when a crevice in the ice sheet fills up with melt-water and freezes so quickly that no bubbles form.

When an iceberg falls into the sea, a layer of salty seawater can freeze to the underside. If this is rich in algae, it can form a green stripe.

Brown, black and yellow lines are caused by sediment, picked up when the ice sheet grinds downhill towards the sea.

In Antarctica, where it is the coldest weather in decades, water freezes the instant it comes in contact with the air. The temperature of the water is already some degrees below freezing; i.e. it is super-cooled.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Desktop Ontology Management

The Sentient Suite of software integrates data, applications, databases, and instruments into one secure and compliant interoperable environment. The Sentient Knowledge Explorer module is a desktop application for ontology management, semantic data integration and knowledge visualisation.

It includes a proprietary RDF-based Knowledge Base, tools for Cross-Ontology Mapping and for mapping of data to ontologies, SPARQL Query, an integrated Thesaurus Manager for data classes and relationships and other features, such as network complexity reduction tools and the ability to handle and merge data from different semantic standards from files or directly via URIs into a common ontology.

Friday, June 6, 2008


OpenSim is a open source server-side application for running grids and single regions, and you will be able to connect to your region / grid via the Second Life client. So basically, you'll be able to host your own capable sandbox. And, no, OpenSim is not a client for Second Life!

Learn more about it @ http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Main_Page



Thursday, June 5, 2008

Resoures for Software Quality Assurance

Software Quality Profile www.sei.cmu.edu/publications/articles/quality-profile/index.html This article describes a way to use process measurements to assess product quality.

The Software Quality Page www.swquality.com/users/pustaver/index.shtml It contains links to areas including software quality and testing, software inspections and reviews, quality and process metrics, software quality assurance, and other standards, as well as provides helpful links to other software and quality organizations.

American Society for Quality www.asq.org/pub/sqp/ This site offers articles and discussion on basic concepts, quality tools, organization-wide approaches, people creating quality, using data, specific applications, and other software quality-related issues.

Software Q&A and Testing Resource Center www.softwareqatest.com This Web site breaks categories of questions and answers when it comes to software quality and assurance testing down into categories that include frequently asked questions, not-so-frequently asked questions, testing resources, test tools, site management tools, jobs, news, and more.

Why Software Quality Matters www.channelinsider.com/c/a/Solution-Builder/We-Did-Nothing-Wrong-Why-Software-Quality-Matters/ This intriguing article proposes innovative solutions to today’s emerging software quality issues.

Society for Software Quality www.ssq.org The Society for Software Quality (SSQ) is a membership organization for those interested in promoting quality as a universal goal for software. The SSQ promotes increased knowledge and interest in the technology associated with the development and maintenance of quality software.

Better Software Magazine www.stickyminds.com/bettersoftware/magazine.asp Better Software is the magazine for software professionals who care about quality. Better Software delivers in-depth articles on testing, tools, defect tracking, metrics, and management, and is the only commercial magazine exclusively dedicated to software professionals.

Software Test and Performance Magazine www.stpmag.com Software Test & Performance is written for software and application development managers, project managers, team leaders, and test and quality assurance managers. Articles in the magazine provide useful information to help those in the field understand trends and emerging technologies, come to grip with new and timeless challenges, adopt new best practices concepts, and ultimately make better decisions to improve software quality.

Handbook of Software Quality Assurance www.amazon.com/handbook-software-quality-assurance-3rd/dp/0130104701 This handbook capitalizes on the talents and skills of the experts who deal with the implementation of software quality assurance on a Measuring Defect Potentials and Defect Removal Efficiency

Monday, June 2, 2008

Panda Brood

I have come to loathe pandas; a species that seems intent on becoming extinct. Nevertheless, for your amusement, I am including these pictures from the Sichuan Wolong Panda Protection and Breeding Center where 16 pandas conceived through artificial insemination (need I say more about this species wanting to die out?) have been born with another 22 on the way.

The brood includes five sets of twins. The cubs are weighed and measured every five days. The heaviest tips the scale at just over 24 pounds, while the lightest weighs about 11 pounds.

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I am a senior software developer working for General Motors Corporation.. I am interested in intelligent computing and scientific computing. I am passionate about computers as enablers for human imagination. The contents of this site are not in any way, shape, or form endorsed, approved, or otherwise authorized by HP, its subsidiaries, or its officers and shareholders.

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