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Comment: There are two things I don't understand... (Score 1) 480

by GrantRobertson (#49569245) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

... about this "debate":

1) Why nerdy men/boys don't want to be around more women.
2) Why more women don't have the imagination to see that any/all engineering can be turned toward a socially conscious purpose.

Have all these nerdy men just gotten bitter and given up on ever "getting" a woman? Do they now not want to even be around women so they won't be reminded of what they can't have. Maybe, just maybe, if more women "went into" STEM then more would eventually "be _into_" STEM. Then they would appreciate the nerdy guy's interest in it.

When I was young, I was interested in tech mostly because it was interesting in and of itself. As I got older, and even more liberal, I came to see how tech could be used for the good of humankind. Perhaps it would be good for both women _and_ men to be introduced to all the ways tech can help humanity (and still be hugely profitable) rather than see it as either just a nerdy hobby you can get paid for or just a way to make lots of money.

Comment: Re: Lies, bullshit, and more lies ... (Score 2, Insightful) 442

And, when every single one of those job descriptions list "excellent communication skills" among the top priorities, there is one requirement that almost no foreign workers can meet. I used to have a pretty good eat for understanding foreign accents. But these days it takes two or three times as long to pry any meaning out of what a lot of these guys are saying. And they don't seem to be putting any effort into improving either.

Comment: Re: And the escalation continues (Score 1) 467

As a fellow victim of bullying, though mine was far more pervasive and ongoing, I would tend to agree with you, except for the possibility of doxing the wrong people. There are enough double-plus evil trolls out there who can hack someone else's account and use it to do their trolling that there is too high of a chance of retaliating against the wrong people. In schools that have adopted no tolerance rules against bullying, the truly evil have started accusing the innocent of bullying them, thus using the system to do the bullying for them. This is why a more measured response, with LOTS of due diligence is called for. It may not be as immediately gratifying, but it is part of the foundation that makes society civilized. Yes, even though our current legal system is a mess.

Comment: Determination (Score 1) 698

Determination is more important than talent. I always had a lot of natural talent so a lot of things were easy for me. I expected things to always be easy. They weren't. I got frustrated easily. Make sure she doesn't think she can glide through life on talent alone. Minimize the role of talent, emphasize determination.

Teach her to determine who she wants to be and then be determined to be that person regardless of critics, naysayers, or the status quo.

Teach her to determine who can help her reach her goals and then be determined to convince them to help her. Due to my natural talents, ALL of my teachers just assumed that I would be fine with no help. This left me clueless about anything that wasn't in a book. Now, I read a lot of books so I knew a lot of stuff, but there aren't books about how to get other project members to do their share our even what to do when they won't. No books about getting into grad school really tell you what you really need to know. She will need mentors. She should be determined to find them. Independence is great but help is better.

Finally, tell her not to be afraid to use your death to get the help she needs. She can say, "If my dad were still alive, he would help me with this. But he died last year, so can you help me with this?" If that's what it takes to get people to help her, she should do it. However, she should be determined to do all the actual work on her own. Guidance is good. Getting people to do her work for her is bad.

Comment: Re:Ummmm.... (Score 1) 319

by GrantRobertson (#49098569) Attached to: Java Vs. Node.js: Epic Battle For Dev Mindshare

this is not about applets, which have been dead for years already.

OK, please count this as a dumb question and not a troll question: Why, exactly ARE applets dead, and in what context? Are they dead simply because they never caught on an are simply unpopular? Are they dead because IF a user does not update their JVM then a malicious web-app can do very bad things? Is it dead because, regardless of which version of the JVM, the web-app itself is vulnerable to malformed data and can be used as an attack vector? But then is that vulnerability any worse than what could be created through sloppy JS code? Would applets be OK in a limited environment? I have worked at a company that used Oracle databases and used Java web-apps to access said databases. It seemed to work just fine for them (though they could have done a lot better with their UX).

I'm asking because I am thinking about getting back into programming but I only have so much time and energy. I don't think I can just "learn every language out there" like many hot-shot developers say one should do. I may end up doing some professional development but I am not looking to be the cream of the crop. I am more interested in finding my own small niche and settling in there. I know the world will change around me. I am fine with that for now.

Comment: Um, I have prior art for that ... (Score 1) 85

by GrantRobertson (#49078405) Attached to: Algorithmic Patenting

Back in 2009 I proposed a very similar system but for the purpose of generating prior art to thus invalidate as many troll patents as possible. I even posted it here on Slashdot. funny, I got no responses. Here's a link to my blog post about it:

Yes, I know. My method is not similar enough to invalidate their patent, which I am sure they will get despite their method being an algorithm. But this is Slashdot, the home of misleading headlines.

"Thank heaven for startups; without them we'd never have any advances." -- Seymour Cray