Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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: Do NZ's laws apply before passing customs? (Score 1) 200

by Kaptain Kruton (#49301807) Attached to: NZ Customs Wants Power To Require Passwords
Maybe I am way off base here, but I thought that when a person flies to another country,the traveler isn't considered to be in the country before clearing customs. If travelers do not get through the customs checks, they are prevented from entering the country. If this is the case, how can a person that has not cleared customs be sent to a New Zealand jail for 3 months for breaking NZ laws when they are not in NZ?

Comment: Re:Please be a viable Blackboard competitor (Score 2) 143

by Kaptain Kruton (#46940265) Attached to: Google Announces "Classroom"
Unless they implement things like attendance tracking, a gradebook, a solid method for it to interact with the school's SiS, and several other things, no school will consider it to be an LMS and Blackboard will have nothing to worry about. This will only be useful to individual teachers that want to use tech in their classes instead of their school's LMS (assuming it has one).

Comment: You don't have to work at a tech company to prgrm. (Score 1) 379

A lot of companies and businesses have programmers that do not fall under the 'tech company' category. Insurance companies, colleges, railroad companies, large store chains (eg: Walmart and Target), RV companies, and many other industries all have in-house programmers. All of these businesses and industries are scattered across the country. Unless you absolutely must work in a tech company in silicone valley, you should not limit your options. My first career oriented job was at a relatively small health insurance. A very large part of their software was developed in-house. They had some developers that were only in their twenties, but the majority of them were at least 40, if not in their 50s or early 60s and preparing to retire. Why? These companies see the software as just an in-house solution to a problem and not a product in itself. They do not need someone that can write in whatever the fashionable language of the day is. They need someone that has the skill and efficiency to maintain a system that was probably written some time ago in a language that fit their needs. A 20 year old that only knows C# is not going to be of any use to them when they need someone that can quickly adapt their in-house solution that was written in C or Fortran to fit new health insurance laws.

Some places higher young programmers because they are cheaper.... but some places purposely higher older, experience people. Consider all options, not just tech companies in Silicone Valley.

Comment: Re:Donald Knuth (Score 1) 197

by Kaptain Kruton (#46444381) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Online, Free Equivalent To a CompSci BS?

Discrete Math: Yes. I do not think I actually took a course labeled 'discrete math', but I know many of my CS classes used it.

Algebra & Calculus: It depends on what you plan on doing. Some careers related to CS may require it. However, most software development positions for businesses only require basic algebra when writing code.

Technical writing: No. In my experience, you just use common sense. You write for your intended audience and include information that is relevant. Upper management does not want to know what algorithms you use to complete something. Documentation created for other developers to maintain your code in the future does not need fluff or information that only applies to the initial implementation of the project (eg: budget and deadlines).

Other courses: Not necessary to CS. They are intended to give you a more well-rounded education and make you pay for more credit hours. Unless your career is closely related to one of these fields, they will be useless. If you were actually trying to get a B.S. degree, then take them. If you are just trying to learn the CS realted things you would get from the degree, don't bother with things like psych and business. They are of no use to most people.

Comment: Re:How? I'll tell you. (Score 1) 380

by Kaptain Kruton (#46237837) Attached to: Rand Paul Files Suit Against Obama Over NSA's Collection of Metadata

Why shouldn't the Senate be connected to the states? The House of Representatives is. Unless you are planning on getting rid of states completely (and all of the state-level laws, regulations, taxes, public representation, correctional facilities, etc.), you have to ensure Congress consists state representatives. Our entire country is built on the concept of different levels of government with different levels of authority. By removing state representation, you are essentially talking about a fundamental recreation of our government.

You say that it is insane that New York gets the same number of senators as North Dakota. Why is that insane? We have the House of Representatives to ensure that people are represented in terms of population. We have the senate to ensure the needs of the less populated states are not simply ignored. Because the Senate and House represent the population in different ways, different needs can be addressed, which forces compromise. The conflict between the Senate and House also will delay bills and limit heat-of-the-moment and knee-jerk bills from being passed to quickly... this does not always happen, but it does to an extent.

You want an automated system to create districts that ignore states. Well, even if you ignore the concept that our entire federal legislative system is built on the idea of state representation and such a change would mean a recreation of our country's government, how would you create such a system that was fair to all? It would obviously have to be dynamic to change as the population changes. But a change in the algorithm to create the states could have just as much of an affect as intentional gerrymandering. In many cases, large cities have very different needs than the rest of the state. If an automated system made a put a large city in a single district, then you have 1 district that will view things a certain way. If the automated system split the city into quadrants and included a little bit of area around the city, then you will have 4 districts that represent the city that will also override the needs of the areas surrounding the city. What type of automated algorithm can be created that is fair to all? Gerrymandering is typically done by parties. An automated system could potentially be far worse, IMO

Comment: Perhaps he ignores it for some tax or legal reason (Score 2) 231

by Kaptain Kruton (#46110245) Attached to: Would Linus Torvalds Please Collect His Bitcoin Tips?

I don't know much about tax laws and financial laws other than they can often be complex and confusing. I suspect the complexity grows substantially with non-profit organizations (such the Linux Foundation, in which Torvalds is a key person). Perhaps by accepting tips for what is essentially his job, he is opening up a can of worms that he doesn't want to touch.

That is just wild speculation, though.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky