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Comment On the other hand... (Score 4, Interesting) 365

A study on anonymous hiring practices in France showed that anonymization resulted in fewer minority candidates getting hired. Their explanation is essentially that the companies who care enough about diversity to participate in this sort of study are already subtly biased in favor of minority candidates, and anonymization put a stop to it. Considering the amount of focus big tech companies are putting on diversity, there's a fair chance the same thing is happening here too.

Comment Not relevant to the web site (Score 3, Interesting) 118

Most of the Affordable Care Act has nothing to do with the web site. The site didn't have to implement those "2.8 million words of Obamacare regulations" as code: it only had to match patients up with insurance plans, which means interacting with dozens (hundreds?) of government and industry databases.

Some states, like California, managed to implement their sites without any of the problems of the federal exchange. The federal exchange mainly suffered from (1) being rushed, and (2) having to deal with a larger number of external systems than any single state exchange.

Comment Re:Post bigotry here (Score 5, Informative) 1113

There is NO DIFFERENCE between the "two" parties.

Except, you know, when it comes to issues like health care, reproductive rights, or Social Security.

Anyone who says there's no difference between the two parties is either (1) totally uninformed, (2) obsessed with fringe issues and apathetic about everything that the rest of us care about, or (3) trying to convince you to stay out of the election so their vote will count more.


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How to ask college to change Intro to Computing? 3

taz346 writes: I got a Bachelor's degree 30 years ago, but I recently started back to college to get an Associate's degree. Most of the core courses are already covered by my B.A. but one that I didn't take way back when was Introduction to Computing. I am taking that now but have been very disappointed to find that it is really just Introduction to Microsoft Office 2010. That's actually the name of the (very expensive) textbook. It is mindless, boring and pretty useless for someone who's used PCs for about 20 years. But beyond that, why does it have to be all about MS Office and nothing else? Couldn't they just teach people to create documents, etc., and let them use any office software, like Libre Office? It seems to me that would be more useful; students would learn how to actually create things on their computers, not just follow step-by-step commands from a dumbed-down book about one piece of increasingly expensive software. I know doing it the way they do now is easy for the college, but it's not really teaching students much about what they can do with computers. So when the class is over, I plan to write a letter to the college asking them to change the course as I suggested above. I'm not real hopeful, but what the heck. Do folks out there have any good suggestions as to what might be the most persuasive arguments I can make?

Submission + - Google News Turns 10 (

hypnosec writes: Google News, which was launched on September 22, 2002 has turned 10 today. Started as a means to suffice the need of serving news to the internet community after the 9/11 attacks, Google News has become one of the primary source of news on the internet. As pointed out by Google in a blog post, Google News currently has 72 editions in 30 languages and extracts news from a whopping 50,000 news sources and gets around 1 billion unique users a week.

Submission + - Has Apple Peaked? 2

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Joe Nocerna writes in the NY Times that Steve Jobs was a perfectionist with no tolerance for corner-cutting or mediocre products. The last time Apple released a truly substandard product — MobileMe, in 2008 — Jobs gathered the team into an auditorium, berated them mercilessly and then got rid of the team leader in front of everybody. But when Apple replaced Google’s map application with its own, vastly inferior, application, infuriating its customers, it may turn out to be the canary in the coal mine for Apple's future. Part of the reason is that Jobs isn’t there anymore but there is also a less obvious — yet possibly more important — reason that Apple’s best days may soon be behind it. "When Jobs returned to the company in 1997, after 12 years in exile, Apple was in deep trouble. It could afford to take big risks and, indeed, to search for a new business model, because it had nothing to lose." writes Nocerna adding that less than 15 years ago Microsoft appeared to be invincible but once its Windows operating system and Office applications became giant moneymakers, Microsoft’s entire strategy became geared toward protecting its two cash cows. Now it is Apple’s turn to be king of the hill — and, not surprisingly, it has begun to behave in a very similar fashion. "I would be surprised if [Apple] ever gives us another product as transformative as the iPhone or the iPad," concludes Nocera. "It is the nature of capitalism that big companies become defensive, while newer rivals emerge with better, smarter ideas.""

Submission + - Project X the Netherlands, riots in a small town. (

An anonymous reader writes: In the small town of Haren with less then 20.000 inhabitants a girl put up an invite for her birthday-party on facebook. Little did she know that because she set it to public it would become viral. Somewhere between 3000 and 5000 people visited the small community. Which ended in riots, fights with the police, injuries and lots of damaged stores and property.

Submission + - Intel talks Cloud Gaming (

An anonymous reader writes: Intel researcher Daniel Pohl (also known from projects like Wolfenstein Ray Traced) talked at the Cloud Gaming USA conference about three challenges in cloud gaming today. First cloud games are just the same as their PC and console versions and don't make use of a potential, more powerful cloud to enable more features and higher quality rendering. Second the topic of latency, not only regarding internet, but along the full way from user input to the screen is analyzed in detail. Last an outlook discusses the huge increase in screen resolutions over the next years and therefore the challenge regarding bandwidth and compute. Both slides and a video of the talk are available.

Submission + - Sir Patrick Stewart defeated by the cable company ( 1

whoever57 writes: While in his role portraying Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek series he was able to defeat opponents across the galaxy, but in real life he was defeated by a much more mundane foe — a foe that many here at /. are familiar with — the cable company. Venting his frustration via twitter, he tweeted that he had lost the will to live after attempting to get a new account with Time Warner Cable in New York City New York City.

Submission + - What Causes Spaghetti Code? (Not the GOTO)

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Michael O'Church writes that spaghetti code is an especially virulent but specific kind of bad code related to the dreaded and mostly archaic goto statement, a simple and powerful control flow mechanism that makes it difficult to reason about code, because if control can bounce about a program, one cannot make guarantees about what state a program is in when it executes a specific piece of code. Goto statements were once the leading cause of spaghetti code, but goto has fallen so far out of favor that it’s a non-concern. "Now the culprit is something else entirely: the modern bastardization of object-oriented programming," writes O'Church adding that inheritance is an especially bad culprit, and so is premature abstraction: using a parameterized generic with only one use case in mind, or adding unnecessary parameters. Object-oriented programming, originally designed to prevent spaghetti code, has become one of the worst sources of it (through a “design pattern” ridden misunderstanding of it). An “object” can mix code and data freely and conform to any number of interfaces, while a class can be subclassed freely about the program. "There’s a lot of power in object-oriented programming, and when used with discipline, it can be very effective. But most programmers don’t handle it well, and it seems to turn to spaghetti over time," concludes O'Church. "I recognize that this claim – that OOP as practiced is spaghetti code – is not a viewpoint without controversy. Nor was it without controversy, at one time, that goto was considered harmful.""

Submission + - The Apple iPhone 5 Has Reportedly Been Jailbroken

An anonymous reader writes: Just hours after the new Apple iPhone 5 was released, it has already been jailbroken. While iOS 6 has been jailbroken on other devices, this development means hackers have already found and exploited security holes to run custom code on the sixth-generation iPhone, which is the first device to actually ship with iOS 6.

Submission + - Apple patents idea of using similar batteries in different things (

walterbyrd writes: "Here's an absolutely brilliant idea from Apple: imagine if you had a bunch of different gadgets, and imagine if they could all somehow be powered by batteries that were rechargeable and all interchangeable with one another. How awesome would that be? Super awesome! If only we'd thought of it a long time ago."

Submission + - Meet the Mozilla OS Developer Phone (

An anonymous reader writes: It’s no secret that Mozilla has been working on a mobile OS. Previously codenmed Boot2Gecko, the project focused on a purely HTML5 based system that worked in many ways like current mobile devices. As the project grew into Mozilla OS, the company has laid out a partnership with ZTE that will have real world devices in certain markets early next year. Testing for this OS had previously consisted of a compiled ROM that would be flashed over a handful of Android devices. Now, Mozilla has moved into full fledged product evaluation mode with their own custom developer phone.

Comment Re:Christ. (Score 1) 102

I thought that the inclusion of (usually optional) parental control settings was part of parenting, deciding whether your kids are ready for whatever's behind the lock.

Covering up the parts of the world that make you uncomfortable is not parenting. Your kids will be exposed to that stuff whether you like it or not, so your job as a parent is to give them the knowledge and skills they need to understand it in context.


Apple Patents Portrait-Landscape Flipping 354

theodp writes "On Tuesday, the USPTO granted a patent to Apple for Portrait-landscape rotation heuristics for a portable multifunction device (USPTO), which covers 'displaying information on the touch screen display in a portrait view or a landscape view based on an analysis of data received from the one or more accelerometers.' Perhaps the USPTO Examiners didn't get a chance to review the circa-1991 Computer Chronicles video of the Radius Pivot monitor before deeming Apple's invention patentable. Or check out the winning touchArcade trivia contest entry, which noted the circa-1982 Corvus Concept sported a 15-inch, high-resolution, bit-mapped display screen that also flipped between portrait and landscape views when rotated, like our friend the iPhone. Hey, everything old is new again, right?"

Real computer scientists like having a computer on their desk, else how could they read their mail?