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+ - Even the "Idea Person" Should Learn How to Code

theodp writes: "A few months ago," writes Steph Rhee, "I was at a dinner of a dozen students and a 60-year-old entrepreneur who made himself a fortune on Wall Street. At the time, I was a junior at Yale and the only person at the table studying a computer-related major. We went around saying what our big dreams were. When I said that I’m studying computer science because I want to be a software engineer and hope to start my own company one day, he said, 'Why waste so many years learning how to code? Why not just pay someone else to build your idea?!' " But Rhee isn't buying into the idea of the look-Ma-no-tech-skills 'idea person.' "We must not neglect the merits of technical skills in the conception of the 'idea person,'" she argues. "What the 60-year old entrepreneur and others of his generation — the people in control of the education we receive — don’t realize is this: for college students dreaming of becoming unicorns in Silicon Valley, being an 'idea person' is not liberating at all. Being able to design and develop is liberating because that lets you make stuff. This should be a part of what we see in the 'idea person' today and what it means to be 'right' when designing an undergraduate curriculum."

+ - How much did your biggest "tech" mistake cost?

NotQuiteReal writes: What is the most expensive piece of hardware you broke (I fried a $2500 disk drive once, back when 400MB was $2500) or what software bug did you let slip that caused damage? (No comment on the details — but about $20K cost to a client.)

Did you lose your job over it?

If you worked on the Mars probe that crashed, please try not to be the First Post, that would scare off too many people!

+ - Soneone is Cutting Fiber Optic Cables in San Francisco writes: USA Today reports that the FBI is investigating at least 11 physical attacks on high-capacity Internet cables in California's San Francisco Bay Area dating back to at least July 6, 2014, including one early this week. "When it affects multiple companies and cities, it does become disturbing," says Special Agent Greg Wuthrich. "We definitely need the public's assistance." The pattern of attacks raises serious questions about the glaring vulnerability of critical Internet infrastructure, says JJ Thompson. "When it's situations that are scattered all in one geography, that raises the possibility that they are testing out capabilities, response times and impact," says Thompson. "That is a security person's nightmare."

Mark Peterson, a spokesman for Internet provider Wave Broadband, says an unspecified number of Sacramento-area customers were knocked offline by the latest attack. Peterson characterized the Tuesday attack as "coordinated" and said the company was working with Level 3 and Zayo to restore service. It’s possible the vandals were dressed as telecommunications workers to avoid arousing suspicion, say FBI officials. Backup systems help cushion consumers from the worst of the attacks, meaning people may notice slower email or videos not playing, but may not have service completely disrupted. But repairs are costly and penalties are not stiff enough to deter would-be vandals. "There are flags and signs indicating to somebody who wants to do damage: This is where it is folks," says Richard Doherty. "It's a terrible social crime that affects thousands and millions of people."

+ - Test Pilot Admits the F-35 Can't Dogfight->

schwit1 writes: A test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can't turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight or to dodge the enemy's own gunfire, the pilot reported following a day of mock air battles back in January.

And to add insult to injury, the JSF flier discovered he couldn't even comfortably move his head inside the radar-evading jet's cramped cockpit. "The helmet was too large for the space inside the canopy to adequately see behind the aircraft." That allowed the F-16 to sneak up on him.

The test pilot's report is the latest evidence of fundamental problems with the design of the F-35 — which, at a total program cost of more than a trillion dollars, is history's most expensive weapon.

Your tax dollars at work.

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Comment: Re:Why Not Java? (Score 1) 128 128

When I took it in 2002, it was C++ at the time. I think they switched to Java a year or two later.

You're close. I took the AP test the last year it was C++. I was also taking Java with the same instructor, same room, the next period, so I kind of had the best and worst of both worlds. But the instructor was top notch and is regionally well known - I'm very sure he was the primary factor in nearly all of his AP students both passing the AP test and having a job in the industry. Those two classes got me through my first two years of college and put me in a unique position for learning low/high level languages ever since.

That was 2003 when even the standard library was not nearly as defined and the boost/twisted libraries were still in their infancy. 2004 was the first year the AP comp. sci test was in Java and, IIRC, it was Java 1.4 when it was still reasonably fresh. These days I use primary Java and stumble through a handful of dynamic languages on an every day basis, but C++ still holds a special place in my heart - it's a shame I can't realistically use it in our production code; I really miss it.

Comment: Re:Kids don't understand sparse arrays (Score 1) 128 128

That wikipedia article is horrible.

You know the nice thing about Wikipedia? When you find poorly written or factually incorrect articles you can actually do something about it instead of just whining about it on an unrelated website.

The other nice thing about Wikipedia is that the original author can be notified via RSS/ATOM that someone has changed their factually incorrect page and they can revert it in moments. A lot of people whine about that on unrelated sites because they're done spending their own free time fighting over fiefdoms when they can say "screw it" and just not hire people that come to an interview armed with whatever they read on Wikipedia.

What I'm saying is, while your solution absolutely makes sense in theory, many have found it unsatisfactory in practice but the flip side is that it retains a positive value as a filter; for that we thank the people that insist on misinforming whomever believes that a wiki is an authoritative source.

Comment: Re:A/B Testing (Score 1) 142 142

Because I'm hard pressed to think of a single "product" (and since most of them are free betas that's debatable) which Google has never treated any differently. It's their service, you're just using it in whatever state they give it to you today.

You seem to be confused about their product. You are their product; the advertisers are their clients. That's the service they don't mess with. There's a reason that they don't understand why enterprise customers need Java in the browser or wish they'd stop crying wolf on every SSL cert - selling services to a business isn't their model or one that they really want.

Probably because those customer would say "we need Java to access SuperMicro's IPMI interface on our internal networks. That's the same reason we don't want to click three times every time we use a self-signed/vendor signed cert or a cert that uses older crypto. We're on our internal network. Stop breaking stuff for no reason and fix the outstanding bugs we have open."

+ - Is our universe ringing like a crystal glass?->

TaleSlinger writes: Two physicists at the University of Southern Mississippi – Lawrence Mead and Harry Ringermacher – announced that our universe might not only be expanding outward from the Big Bang, but also oscillating or “ringing” at the same time. The Astronomical Journal published their paper on this topic in April.

As many know, scientists today believe our universe – all space, time and matter – began with the Big Bang some 13 billion years ago. Since then, the universe has been expanding to the size it is today. Yet, the universe as a whole has self-gravity, which tries to pull all the matter – all the stars, gas, galaxies, and mysterious dark matter – back together. This internal gravitational pull slows down the universe’s expansion. Mead said in a statement from Southern Miss:

The new finding suggests that the universe has slowed down and speeded up, not just once, but 7 times in the last 13.8 billion years, on average emulating dark matter in the process.

The ringing has been decaying and is now very small – much like striking a crystal glass and hearing it ring down.

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+ - Does Windows slow down Windows?

blackest_k writes: I recently reinstalled windows7 home on a laptop a factory restore minus the shovel ware did all the windows updates and it was reasonably snappy. 4 weeks later its running like a slug and now 34 more updates to install. The system is clear of malware there are very few additional programs other than chrome browser.

It appears that windows slows down windows! Has anyone benchmarked windows7 as installed and then again as updated? Even better has anybody identified any windows update that put the slug into sluggish?

+ - IRS Deleted Hundreds of Back-up Tapes Containing Thousands of Lerner Emails

RoccamOccam writes: According to new information from the House Oversight Committee, the IRS deleted hundreds of backup tapes containing thousands of emails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the conservative-targeting scandal. The tapes were destroyed nine months after a congressional subpoena was issued to the agency demanding they be preserved and turned over.

+ - Interview: Ask Linus Torvalds a Question

samzenpus writes: Linus Torvalds, the man behind the development of the Linux kernel, needs no introduction to Slashdot readers. Recently, we talked about his opinion on C++, and he talked about the future of Linux when he's gone. It's been a while since we sat down with Linus to ask him questions, so he's agreed to do it again and answer any you may have. Ask as many questions as you'd like, but please keep them to one per post.

+ - Recycling is Dying 1 1 writes: Aaron C. Davis writes in the Washington Post that recycling, once a profitable business for cities and private employers alike, has become a money-sucking enterprise. Almost every recycling facility in the country is running in the red and recyclers say that more than 2,000 municipalities are paying to dispose of their recyclables instead of the other way around. “If people feel that recycling is important — and I think they do, increasingly — then we are talking about a nationwide crisis,” says David Steiner, chief executive of Waste Management, the nation’s largest recycler.

The problem with recylcing is that a storm of falling oil prices, a strong dollar and a weakened economy in China have sent prices for American recyclables plummeting worldwide. Trying to encourage conservation, progressive lawmakers and environmentalists have made matters worse. By pushing to increase recycling rates with bigger and bigger bins — while demanding almost no sorting by consumers — the recycling stream has become increasingly polluted and less valuable, imperiling the economics of the whole system. “We kind of got everyone thinking that recycling was free,” says Bill Moore. “It’s never really been free, and in fact, it’s getting more expensive.”

One big problem is that China doesn't want to buy our garbage anymore. In the past China had sent so many consumer goods to the United States that all the shipping containers were coming back empty. So US companies began stuffing the return-trip containers with recycled cardboard boxes, waste paper and other scrap. China could, in turn, harvest the raw materials. Everyone won. But China has launched "Operation Green Fence" — a policy to prohibit the import of unwashed post-consumer plastics and other "contaminated" waste shipments. In China, containerboard, a common packaging product from recycled American paper, is trading at just over $400 a metric ton, down from nearly $1,000 in 2010. China also needs less recycled newsprint; the last paper mill in Shanghai closed this year. "If the materials we are exporting are so contaminated that they are being rejected by those we sell to," says Valerie Androutsopoulos, "maybe it’s time to take another look at dual stream recycling."

+ - How fucked up Slashdot wanna be?->

An anonymous reader writes: Dice is killing Slashdot

Right now we can't even click and get the stories that we want to read

For example, when I left click the story of Wikileaks on Sony's documents
I got this

Motherfucking Dice can go eat shit and die !!

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He who steps on others to reach the top has good balance.