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Comment: In my experience, no ... (Score 3, Insightful) 289

I have twins with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (it's hard to narrow it down because it doesn't really fit any of the DSM4 categories.) I've not found that /formal/ social skills work is very helpful. What seems to work better is finding situations where they can have positive social engagement with people who "get it". As you observed, I've found that the particular training is much less relevant than whether the person "gets" people on the spectrum. A lot of people just don't understand how kids on the spectrum think, and they never will.

For us, our church was a great resource for an understanding, friendly group of people who knew us well enough to know that the twins needed special gentleness in social situations. But I don't think that would be true of every church.

Comment: Re:Don't do evil (Score 2) 56

by Jeff DeMaagd (#48828719) Attached to: Google Finally Quashes Month-Old Malvertising Campaign

Sometimes it helps to at least read the abstract. The complaint was about the speed.

"Since the middle of December... ...only now has Google itself managed to track down the villains and ban them from the service."

Another issue is Google's ad system being vulnerable to being bait and switched, even allowing advertisers any opportunity to do that seems a poor decision.

Comment: Re:cars (Score 1) 126

by Jeff DeMaagd (#48785429) Attached to: Radio, Not YouTube, Is Still King of Music Discovery

Yeah, I don't get it. Most of the commercial stations are Clear Channeled, even some "non commercial" stations are following the general model. Basically the same rotation of the same small pool of songs every day, If we're lucky, a song gets changed out in the pool once a month, and songs you'd think were played out from the incessant repetition are still playing a couple years later. I don't understand how people can stand that.

Comment: Re:It's paid for. (Score 1) 189

by Fished (#48780171) Attached to: UK Government Department Still Runs VME Operating System Installed In 1974

Nope, that's not what killed it. Ethernet was just as bad before hubs and then switching came along -- even with hubs, one bad ethernet card could take down the whole broadcast domain, and did with some frequency. And with thinnet wiring (coax to the younglings) all it took was one marginal connector, anywhere in the loop, to kill the whole network. Don't even get me started on thicknet.

What killed it was money. Ethernet became very cheap to implement. Once everything moved to a star topology (hubs, then switches) the advantages of Token Ring were not worth the additional cost. Ethernet benefitted from being able to advertise higher bandwidths (10mbps, then 100mbps, vs. TR's 4/16 then, too late, 100) -- the perception was, "why would I want 16mbps token ring when I could have 100Mbps ethernet for less money?" Ethernet wasn't really any faster, and was often slower due to collisions, but everybody just looked at the total bandwidth. Once switch ports got cheap, collisions were no longer an issue and Token Rings fate was sealed.

Of course, Arcnet had a star topology long before Ethernet or Token Ring. But it too suffered from low nominal bandwidth.

Comment: Re:It's paid for. (Score 2) 189

by Fished (#48766489) Attached to: UK Government Department Still Runs VME Operating System Installed In 1974

Listen up, Junior ...

In some ways, Token Ring was very much superior to Ethernet. A hospital I worked for in the late 90's had a huge (1000 nodes) 4Mbps TR, all as one big subnet, built long before switches came along. If you tried to do that with Ethernet, it would have crashed and burned in a week. This was, on the whole, pretty reliable (if slow). The downside was that if one card in the ring failed, the whole thing would generally die. So it was great until the 10 year old TR cards started failing regularly due to capacitors failing. We ended up replacing the whole thing with 100Mbps switched ethernet, which wasn't really noticeably faster despite a 25-fold increase in nominal bandwidth, and failed more often. :)

Comment: Re:Probably not (Score 3, Interesting) 197

Yes, the ruggedness is the main priority. Once a piece of hardware is certified and flight-tested, you have so much invested in the computer design that you don't want to just throw away the design because there are faster chips for sale.

And there's the question of whether the extra processing power is beneficial for the task at hand. Why pay more for extra processing power that isn't used anyway? There's likely a finer degree of control and timing now, but it's not like reentry physics has gotten more complicated in the past 12 years.

Comment: 42 years old here.. (Score 4, Interesting) 376

by Fished (#48490987) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35?

And still technical. 100% technical. There have been a few cases where I felt like I was denied a job because I was too old ... "not a good fit with company culture" and that sort of thing... but as others have said, those companies just disqualified themselves.

The reality is that I'm a better programmer now than when I was 25. I havre a much better understanding of "craftsmanship" -- things like testing, documentation, making sure my code is not "brittle" -- even though my ability to devour new technologies has slacked a bit.

Comment: Here's how (Score 1) 234

by IPFreely (#47939031) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?
I've gone through this. Here's how you do it.

Start gathering a few popular science books on subjects directly on and also near to your goal. Some people reject popular science books as too light weight, but it does have value. This exposes you to the variety of subjects in and around your interest. You might not have been aware of some aspects of your topic and you are introduced to them here without too much effort. You also learn to associate detailed technical topics to the wider areas where they are used.

Read the whole book. Books are better than random google searches and videos because they will guide you into areas you might not have considered relevant. Broadening your base knowledge will allow you to make a more informed decision about your favorite topics. Once you have a broader and more informed understanding of the topics and areas involved, you are better able to identify your interests, or even switch interests.

That is when you start going into a more detailed dive into your target topic. Follow through and read the whole thing. Again, pick one or more text books or deeper science books. The purpose again is to guide you into areas you might not have considered before.

This time, you will hit lots of technical subjects that you might not know. That is when you go searching for online information, wikipedia, online course videos, Youtube content or other textbooks. For these, you will only need to cover enough to support your primary interest, and you will have a fairly good idea how much that is.

You are not going to go professional with this, but it will be more than enough to keep your interest up and curiosity satisfied.

Comment: Philosophy Major here (Score 1) 392

by Fished (#47921533) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

I was a philosophy major as an undergrad, have a Masters in Theological Studies, and a PhD in New Testament, and pastored a couple of churches along the way (part time.)

I've been working in IT continuously since the mid 90's (part-time when I was working on the PhD), and am presently employed by a Major Telecommunications Company as a senior architect. I make very good money, and when I left another Major Telecom Company in March, after 15 years, I had 15 inquiries just by posting to Facebook. The other day, I had a recruiter from Amazon practically beg me to come interview (they lost out in March due to being too slow to arrange an on-site interview.)

The degree doesn't matter. The skills matter. If anything, my broad background sets me apart from the pack. But only because I've got the skills.

Comment: Automation? (Score 1) 133

by 8tim8 (#47705961) Attached to: FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

>The goal? To increase food production by automating as much of it as possible.

They believe that automation is the key to increasing food production? Are they serious? The key to increasing food production is to either get more acreage in production, or to increase the amount of food produced per acre. Most types of farming (like corn & wheat) don't take huge amounts of labor. Even if they could automate something like picking vegetables that still wouldn't make it so there's more food, just, maybe, cheaper food.

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

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