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


Forgot your password?

Comment Teaching = best salary (Score 5, Interesting) 402

Hey, I spent some time in Nanjing last year trying to find a good job. Because I speak Mandarin fluently, I thought it wouldn't be a problem. I didn't want to teach because I still wanted to improve my Mandarin by speaking with colleagues. But the only jobs that were easy to find as a foreigner (even non native) were the English teaching jobs. And most of them are better paid than IT positions in Chinese companies! That's why Chinese people will assume that as a foreigner, you don't even want some other kind of job. That and the fact that English teaching is a big big industry there and they need every foreigner they can get. I finally only spent the time there improving my Chinese. If I ever wanted to find a job there again my new plan would be to find a multinational corporation to work in and then get myself sent to China to work there. That way, the salary is way better and you can still work in IT. Cheers, Murmel

Which Language To Learn? 897

LordStormes writes "I've been a Java/C++/PHP developer for about 6 years now. However, I'm seeing the jobs for these languages dry up, and Java in particular is worrisome with all the Oracle nonsense going on. I think it's time to pick up a new language or risk my skills fading into uselessness. I'm looking to do mostly Web-based back-end stuff. I've contemplated Perl, Python, Ruby, Erlang, Go, and several other languages, but I'll put it to you — what language makes the most sense now to get the jobs? I've deliberately omitted .NET — I have no desire to do the Microsoft languages."

Comment Re:Story. (Score 1) 385

*The games with good stories general can not compress a 20-40 hour experience into an hour thirty.

True! That's why they should start thinking about making SERIALS based on games and NOT MOVIES. It works well in China, Chinese Paladin (xian jian qi xia zhuan) was an awesome serial and very well received by the audience, they then also made a serial for the 3rd part of the game (they skipped the second one though as the story was rather lame, so now there's just xian jian 1 and 3).

You can't just squeeze all the story depth and character development of the games with a good story in a 2 hour movie.


Oil Leak Could Be Stopped With a Nuke Screenshot-sm 799

An anonymous reader writes "The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico could be stopped with an underground nuclear blast, a Russian newspaper reports. Komsomoloskaya Pravda, the best-selling Russian daily, reports that in Soviet times such leaks were plugged with controlled nuclear blasts underground. The idea is simple, KP writes: 'The underground explosion moves the rock, presses on it, and, in essence, squeezes the well's channel.' It's so simple, in fact, that the Soviet Union used this method five times to deal with petrocalamities, and it only didn't work once."

MIT Researchers Harness Viruses To Split Water 347

ByronScott writes "A team of researchers at MIT has just announced that they have successfully modified a virus to split apart molecules of water, paving the way for an efficient and non-energy-intensive method of producing hydrogen fuel. 'The team, led by Angela Belcher, the Germeshausen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering, engineered a common, harmless bacterial virus called M13 so that it would attract and bind with molecules of a catalyst (the team used iridium oxide) and a biological pigment (zinc porphyrins). The viruses became wire-like devices that could very efficiently split the oxygen from water molecules. Over time, however, the virus-wires would clump together and lose their effectiveness, so the researchers added an extra step: encapsulating them in a microgel matrix, so they maintained their uniform arrangement and kept their stability and efficiency.'"

Comment Re:China's next move (Score 1) 295

Well, even if they block it, there's still proxies to get access for the people who know how to use them, as well as the very big community of chinese speakers in foreign countries who don't lose google in their native language.

I think this whole move is more about preserving the service for the chinese "language community", not the chinese country (even if the country makes up most of the language community).

Comment There's a better book for Chinese (Score 1) 237

I actually started learning the Hanzi using "Learning Chinese Characters" (http://www.amazon.com/Tuttle-Learning-Chinese-Characters-Revolutionary/dp/080483816X/) and bought Heisig's book to compare them, but even if they are based on the same principles, the first one is way better.

Matthews & Matthews book not only teaches you the meaning, but also includes mnemonics for the pronounciation and the tone of each character. Maybe it's not that important for Japanese, but Chinese characters give you a lot of clues about their pronounciation using phonetical components, so learning their pronounciation at the same time actually saves you a lot of time. Why memorize "man + lord" = "to live somewhere" if you actually know that "lord" and "live" are both pronounced "zhu" and thus can easily memorize that "live" is something that has to do with "men" and is pronounced like "lord"?

Also, the book comes with drawings to help you remember the basic building blocks AND has awesome crosslinks between the entries everywhere and a very good index that enable you to find what you are looking for so much faster. Of course, it only teaches you the first 800 ones (+ their components) while Heisig already takes on 1500 in his first and 1500 in his second book, but I hope there will be another Matthews & Matthews book for HSK B soon.

Comment Use Colors + components + Anki (Score 4, Informative) 237

I started studying Chinese in September too and I'm trying a lot of techniques to memorize it quickly and efficiently.

As others have already mentioned, Anki (http://ichi2.net/anki/) is the way to go for memorizing vocabulary, as it uses a psychological algorithm that helps you repeating things as often as you need to. If you then install the pinyin toolkit plugin for learning chinese it's the best thing to learn chinese vocabulary as it imports all your translations, pinyin and even sounds automatically when you just enter the Hanzi.

This pinyin toolkit also uses a nice colour system for the tones. Basically, every character is displayed in a color depending on its tone: red = first tone orange = second tone green = third tone blue = fourth tone black = no tone

You can go even further and WRITE the characters in those colors when practicing. The tones of each character will stay in your memory WAY better!

Another tip when trying to memorize chinese characters: try to grasp the meaning of their components and learning to read and write them will be way more easy. You can use sites like nciku.com or archchinese.com where characters are split up in their components. However, you won't find everything there. There's also an extremely good book called "Learning Chinese Characters" (http://www.amazon.com/Tuttle-Learning-Chinese-Characters-Revolutionary/dp/080483816X/) - it teaches you the 800 most common chinese characters by telling you everything about their components and even giving you stories to remember the components of each character. It's by far the best book I've found for learning how to write chinese.

Memorizing Language / Spelling Techniques? 237

NotesSensei writes "My kids are learning Chinese in school. While the grammar is drop-dead simple, writing is a challenge since there is no relation between sound and shape of the characters. I would like to know any good techniques (using technology or not) to help memorize large amounts of information, especially Chinese characters. Most of the stuff I Googled only helps on learning speaking."
The Internet

Submission + - Facebook Sued For $40 Mil For Not Removing Groups (pcmag.com)

adeelarshad82 writes: A disbarred Florida lawyer, Jack Thompson, who has been vocal in his opposition to violent video games sued Facebook this week over comments on the social networking site that he considers to be a threat to his personal safety. Jack Thompson said that Facebook groups calling for users to smack him in the face for $50 or to hit him with an Atari game system have caused him great harm and distress, and he is seeking $40 million in damages from the social networking site.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - SPAM: Sony Prototype Sends Electricity Through the Air

itwbennett writes: Sony announced Friday that it has 'developed a prototype power system' based on magnetic resonance that can send 'a conventional 100 volt electricity supply over a distance of 50 centimeters to power a 22-inch LCD television.' Unfortunately, Sony's prototype wasted 1/5 of the power fed into it and additional losses 'occurred in circuitry connected to the secondary coil so the original 80 watts of power was cut by roughly a quarter to 60 watts once it had made its way through the system.'
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Google expunges Pirate Bay from search results (pcpro.co.uk) 7

Barence writes: Google has removed links to notorious file-sharing site The Pirate Bay in its search results. The move is a reaction to a takedown notice issued under the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), although it's unclear who filed the complaint. The ban isn't particularly effective: The top result is now The Pirate Bay's Wikipedia entry, which provides a prominent link to the site's homepage. It's also possible to search The Pirate Bay itself using Google, by typing "site:http://thepiratebay.org" into the search bar.

Radio-Controlled Cyborg Beetles Become Reality 150

holy_calamity writes "DARPA's plans to create brain chips for insects so they can be steered like an RC plane are bearing fruit. Videos show that a team at Berkeley can use radio signals to tell palm-sized African beetles to take off and land, and to lose altitude and steer left or right when in flight. They had to use the less-than-inconspicuous giant beetles because other species are too weak to take off with the weight of the necessary antenna and brain and muscle electrodes."

You've been Berkeley'ed!