Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re: Sounds familiar (Score 2) 138

by CastrTroy (#49385489) Attached to: The End of College? Not So Fast
Exactly. If a course is free, then there's nothing to stop you from signing up. If it's an online sign up, then that makes it even easier. How many people here have visited a ruby/go/dart/coffeescript tutorial page and then failed to learn anything of value about the language. That's more what I would equate dropping out of a free MOOC with. You can't compare a free online course with a university class that students are paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to attend. Looking at it that way, it's amazing how high the drop-out rate is in universities.

What's also amazing though, is how long some students hold on at university, paying money for years, and never actually getting closer to their goal of getting a degree. I knew a girl in university who was taking psychology. But wait, that's not the worst part. When I was in second year, I took an introduction to psychology course, basically psychology 101, and found out that she was in the class, because she hadn't manage to pass it the previous 3 times she took it.

Comment: Re:"Little Brother" had this (Score 2) 82

by CastrTroy (#49380807) Attached to: Microsoft Considered Giving Away Original Xbox
Yeah, I thought of that too. In the book, Microsoft gave them away for free, thinking they were unhackable, and hoping to make their money back selling games. People found out how to hack them (surprise, surprise) and were able to run whatever they wanted to on them. This is why this concept of giving away the hardware for free is almost always a bad idea. If they really could build unhackable hardware, then I could see a business case for this, but making the hardware free makes the payoff for hacking it way too high.

Comment: Re:Cents as integer (Score 2) 197

t's called multiplying all your dollar/euro/pound amounts by 100 and using int (or long for big B2B transactions over 10 million dollars or so) to count cents.

. Which works fine until you run into Quebec and it's 9.975% sales tax rate. Or like you said, it's probably a good idea to always use long because $10 million isn't that big of a number.

Of course there's a money data type in Java

Looking around I don't see any reference to a standard Money data type in Java. Some people have created their own implementations using BigDecimal underneath, some of which require calling functions just to add numbers, but I don't see anything that comes standard with Java. Please point me to the documentation if I'm wrong.

Comment: Re:Same question as I had more than a decade ago (Score 2) 197

That's not half as bad as some other languages that I see. For the longest time Java didn't have built in functionality for making an HTTP request. Working with dates in Java is a huge mess. Most other languages have very little support for decimal data types, which is essential when making applications that deal with money. Lack of unicode support is rampant. Not being able to change the desktop background without reverting to Windows API (at least it's still possible) is the least of my concerns when choosing a programming language.

Comment: Re:Same question as I had more than a decade ago (Score 4, Informative) 197

As somebody who uses .Net for web development, I am actually very disappointed in the fully open source alternatives. Lack of Unicode support (very important on the web), lack of consistency in the language, The fact that they are interpreted languages (compiling the code catches huge classes of bugs that you don't even have to think about leaving your mind free to worry about other things). All of these are huge problem with all or most of the open source alternatives.

Comment: Re:Way to piss off customers, Apple. (Score 5, Insightful) 192

At a price of $350, it's hardly expensive for a watch. I'm sure that requiring the appointment is much more related to getting the thing set up with your iPhone to make sure the whole thing goes seamlessly I could seriously see quite a few people buying one and being disappointed when they couldn't get it to pair properly with their phone, or they don't even own an iPhone, and just expected it to work on it's own. I think they just want to ensure that people get a good experience with the watch. And letting random people buy it off the shelf is probably a sure way to lead to a lot of people who have no idea what the product is, and just giving it bad reviews.

Comment: Re:No it isn't (Score 2) 167

by CastrTroy (#49369675) Attached to: At the Track With Formula E, the First e-Racing Series
Which is why I think that car races will eventually be much more interesting when we have computers driving them. No more worrying about injuries or deaths, or how many g-forces you can pull before someone gets hurt. No holds barred robot racing. Although I think it would eventually (d)evolve into something like pod-racing with something dragging along the ground just so you can pretend you aren't flying. I think there has to be some rules. but as long as you disallow jet engines or require the cars to be propelled through the wheels, you could have a pretty interesting race. Maybe we could just move to remote control in the meantime until computers are smart enough to control cars in a race situation.

Comment: Re:Time to leave (Score 1) 237

Living In Ottawa (right on the border of Quebec) has given me a lot of insight into this. A lot of people try to move across the river because houses are cheaper and the have cheap child care. The reality is that most end up moving back a short time later. The high taxes pretty much eliminate any savings you get. The cheap child care options have very limited number of spots. Even if you're on the waiting list from the time you get pregnant, there's a good chance you'll still be on the waiting list after you're ready to go back to work when the kid is 1 year old.

Comment: Re:Easy Solution (Score 0) 221

by CastrTroy (#49353837) Attached to: Broadband ISP Betrayal Forces Homeowner To Sell New House
So thousands of people could lose their jobs and livelihood over not hooking up a broadband line to some guy's house? While I'm sure they would comply before things got this far, I don't think it's in anybody's best interest for it to be possible for things to be escalated to this level. It's easy enough to say just shut the company down, but if we did this to every company who misbehaved in some way, it would be quite difficult on the people who worked for those companies who were low level enough that they couldn't fix the problems if they wanted to.

Comment: Re:Easy Solution (Score 1, Insightful) 221

by CastrTroy (#49353369) Attached to: Broadband ISP Betrayal Forces Homeowner To Sell New House
I guess it depends on what the fine is for not complying. For your above scenario to make sense, the fine itself would have to be more than the cost of installing the line. Otherwise, they would just pay the fine and forget about it. Also, there would need to be timelines for how long they can take to get the service working. If you have to live in the house a year without good internet before they get the service up and running then the law isn't very helpful. Also, what happens if you move in in December and they can't install the lines until March when the ground has thawed? Also, there's no law saying how much they are allowed to charge you, and they often don't charge the same fees for everybody. Once they've installed your lines, you're basically a slave to paying that provider's rates. If they want to jack up the rate 6 months down the road to recoup costs, there isn't much you can do about it, other than try to get some other provider to put in lines as well.

Comment: Re:Real porpose of the road (Score 1) 226

by CastrTroy (#49343939) Attached to: Russian Official Proposes Road That Could Connect London To NYC
Why would you drive from Moscow to Vladivostok? Wouldn't it make much more sense to fly to Japan or South Korea and then take another place to Vladivostok? Or even fly directly between the two cities? Nobody drives between Los Angeles and Anchorage, except as a road trip just to say they did it. There is absolutely no point in building a road like this.

Comment: Re:Hack your coffee cup ... (Score 2) 494

by CastrTroy (#49327973) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds
Stop using Keurig. I had one, and while I really liked the ease with which I could make a coffee, I decided it was too expensive for the quality of coffee produced. Also, I'm not a big fan of the amount of waste it produces. I got an Aeropress and I'm very happy with my coffee now. It's cheap, tastes good, and produces no garbage. I can use any coffee I want. Clean up is a little more time consuming than with Keurig, but it doesn't really take that much effort.

Comment: Re:Good only if the work is there (Score 1) 149

by CastrTroy (#49321745) Attached to: Obama To Announce $240M In New Pledges For STEM Education
I think that this kind of stuff will take longer than most people think, simply because of the amount of push-back you get when even trying to streamline things a little bit. Nobody is interested in changing their process to make things more efficient because it means they might be out of a job in six months. Make things 20% computerized, and 1 in 5 employees will be out of a job. If you took the same people and guaranteed them that they would have a decent paycheck for life, and that they would only have to come in 4 days a week for the same pay because the computer was doing a big chunk of their work, they would work very hard to make sure the computer could easily replace them. But the current system doesn't incentivize people to help in the process of automating things.

Comment: Re:It has an acronym , so it will fail. (Score 1) 149

by CastrTroy (#49321335) Attached to: Obama To Announce $240M In New Pledges For STEM Education
I think that we should make schools integrate subjects more. This would get rid of a lot of problems as to the reasons why we have courses like analyzing English literature. Reading and writing are very important, and so we require that students take English every year. By the time they get to highschool, the only thing left to teach is analyzing literature. Why not do away with English class after the students have gotten to the point that they can write a good paper and require that students write more papers for other classes like science. There's probably a lot of other room to combine courses. Math and science should be tied together more to make the math more interesting for students. Solving derivatives and integrals is a lot more interesting when you're trying to solve actual real world science problems using the math.

Comment: Re:It has an acronym , so it will fail. (Score 1) 149

by CastrTroy (#49321241) Attached to: Obama To Announce $240M In New Pledges For STEM Education
It doesn't have to be that way. I'm from Ontario, and from the time kids start high school (grade 9), they get to pick university pass (Equivalent to US university or 3-4 year college with degree), college ( Equivalent to US 2-3 year community college or trade school), or just high school diploma. Based on the path they choose, they get vastly different level of courses starting in grade 9. When I was in school, university path included a whole extra year to get kids ready (they've since done away with this). Just because they group certain classes together and try to convince people to take them, does not mean that they have to make the courses easy enough for everybody. I'm not sure how things work in the US highschools, but there is no excuse for teaching the same material to all the students. People should just accept the fact that not everybody has the same potential, and should not be in the same class.

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.