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Comment: Imagine we would find the Solaris lifeform (Score 1) 65

by Qbertino (#48034705) Attached to: Mysterious Feature Appears and Disappears In a Sea On Titan

Imagine we would find a lifeform like in Lems' Solaris. Not many species but one single one occuping a planet.
A Super-Amobea that won the evolutionary race some hundred million years ago or something.
Would it have a conscience? If yes, what kind of conscience?
Would scientists discuss, wether it is ethical to take a probe or not? Would we be hurting a being? Would be deem it ethical (or not) to send probes into it/down there? ...
Interesting questions.

But then again, I'd say it's probably just land exposed and covered by tides.
Meeeh. Boooooring.

Comment: Who makes the most FOSS friendls GFX HW? (Score 1) 189

by Qbertino (#48009513) Attached to: NVIDIA Begins Requiring Signed GPU Firmware Images

With all this hassle nowadays - I remember the times when nVidia was the only company supporting Linux and was something like the darly child of the FOSS community - which company actually *is* the most FOSS friendly today? Intel? AMD/ATI? Some other company?

Educated opinions on this needed.

Comment: Experienced C developer? Isn't that a no-brainer? (Score 1) 314

by Qbertino (#48008243) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

You're an experiecned C developer? Well, sorry, but that's a no-brainer then. Go for Objective-C. Anything else would be really really stupid. You'll have to change some C habits to actually 'get' Obj-C, but you'll live. Obj-C works on every plattform, so you wouldn't be tied to iOS/OS X either. Only upsides to that route for you.

I OTOH also am an experienced developer, but pampered by 15 years of modern scripting language usage. I would want to learn C++ or Objective-C (I've been trying to pick up C++ for the last 2 years but haven't put enough effort into it yet), especially because im a FOSS Linux Geek, but I hate having to deal with anachronistic shit - so for me actually using an easy-to-use lock-in language would actually make sense - especially if I know what I want to build on iOS exclusively, since I would only do something very product and project specific on iOS. And only if I'm paid for it.

Comment: There is no indignation. (Score 0) 236

by Qbertino (#48001067) Attached to: First Shellshock Botnet Attacking Akamai, US DoD Networks

... how the indignation at a major vulnerability like this (2nd in a few months) is so muted when the OS in question doesn't come from Microsoft.

Bugs happen. The bullshit and coverup that comes with many of them needn't happen.

When did shellshock come out? A week ago?
We already have testing routines, fixes, live reports on ongoing exploits, ad-hoc sidetracking fixes for commercial non-FOSS versions (Mac OS X), countless how-tos on how to close up holes, a lively worldwide debate among experts on how to prevent this class of exploit, the bash crew merging the fixes, existing updates for debian, etc.

Seriously, this is a *very* *bad* hole, and yet the cool with which I was able to approach it simply knowing that all my outward facing boxes run a type-a prime FOSS distribution like debian was something you will not see with a windows admin. apt-get upgrade, apt-get update ... bladibla blubdiblub packageA bash someOtherPackage ... bladibla continue? Fuck yeah. Hit Enter. Yawn. Go get some coffee, come back, paste the onliner test. Fixed.

Sorry pal, but even with a bug of this magnitude, the way the FOSS community deals with it is a whole different league than any other camp. Openness beats everything else in this line of work, every time.

My 2 cents.

Comment: The air is thin for PhDs (Score 1) 471

by Qbertino (#47978255) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

That reads both ways:
a) You've gotten the highest formal accreditation anyone in the field can have. That means you're able to get into jobs that others can't.
b) The flipside is, that, all-in-all, those jobs are wide and far between, at least on global scale.

Think of the PhD as the last cog to get the machine working. The other cogs still have to be there. You have to move in to an area where PhDs are sought after and where they have their place. The webshop in a 30000 people town is not where you want to put your rank to use - you have to leave that "comfort-zone" behind. If you haven't built a network yet, you better get starting now. Or maybe you *have* built a network, but aren't aware of it. What are your college buddies doing? Is there no vector there to get into a field?

Mix the C++ experience in when pointing out your PhD. I all honesty, you'd be stupid if you don't combine your pratical C++ skills with your academic PhD-stuff from here on out. There is tons of neat stuff all over the planet. Scientific work, embedded, big data, financial (obscene amounts of money to be made in those last two).

And if you don't know what you want to do and where you want to do it, go apply for an internship at Google or some other famous scary company. No joke. Go there. Who knows, maybe you're a team-lead in 6 months on some new Android lib they're cooking up. If they ask you why you want to intern with a PhD, say you don't know what you want but you'd like to find out. That's how I got my job in the gaming industry. I had my back against the wall and started applying for jobs all over the country. BAM - 4 weeks later inet gamedev paradise with a very neat project that went on for two years and was specifically designed to burn massive sums of money. Or at least so it felt. The reference I got out of that job is worth a masters degree and serves me till this very day.

Or maybe you want to get more into algorythms and DB stuff - go find a company or scientific project that deals with such problems and ask to join - if only as an intern for a few weeks.

And someone else pointed it out already too:
Get a professional company to write your resume and a recruiter or an agent to help you find a job. That, or just call and ask to talk to the PM of the job for hire because you "want to find out if it makes sense to apply". Your application will most likely end up in the stack or bin with all the others, only it will be on top, because your a PhD. ... People want to see and talk to the people they're supposed to work with - that goes especially if your not a designated expert in a field.

And last but not least - if you are an expert or want to become one, there's another two options:
Freelance or own company. Think about it.

Good luck.

Comment: HTC seemed to manage (Score 1) 408

by Qbertino (#47955075) Attached to: Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

HTC seemed to manage just fine building devices of the quality of Apple or even better. I've dropped my 3.5 year old HTC Desire (solid aluminum body) more times than I can count and it still works as it did the first day. My first tablet - an HTC Flyer, case by apparently the same design team - serves my every day aswell.

I've seen and held my share of iPhones, and IMHO HTCs devices are better.

As far as enclosures go, I'd even say the new iPhone 6 ripps one or two things from the HTC One M8.

Comment: My passion is as high as always ... (Score 3, Insightful) 275

by Qbertino (#47953779) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

My passion is as high as always, only the world has changed and I've become wiser. Mind you, I've still broken my personal record in job-switching in the last 2 years, despite being in my mid-40ies. If anything, with age I've become *more* nimble but less anoyingly eager - at least on the outside.

Here's some advice:
1.) Switch your job. Don't worry, you'll live. And if only it is to find out that you had the best job in the world. Ok them, *now* you know. Look for the next one like that. Sometimes a bit of jobhopping is required to find out what you want and what you don't want. Pratice job-hopping and interviewing. Not to make it a habit, but to get used to looking until you've found a place where you are valued. Going freelance is a variant to that. If you're scared of going freelance even though you'd like to: Go freelance! Again: You'll live. And you'll never look back at your old life with anything other than pitty.

2.) More experienced people in our field - like me - would rather do nothing than work with a shitty team unwilling to learn or toil away on something that can't work or only will work with extreme stress and effort, because someone in sales or PM wasn't listening and didn't do his homework. Contrary to my younger colleagues, I, like most other experienced in our field, smell a projekt doomed to fail from 10 miles away. They might think I'm not passionate or that I'm complacent. Until three weeks later they've wasted 50hrs trying to get something to work that simply can't under the given circumstances. When the project finally runs against the wall and the crew and the problem has everyones attention, the boss turns to me. I say: "We need A,B and C. Otherwise this won't work. End of Story." Optionally, depending on the situation, I add in ".... As I said 3 months ago.". Sidenote: I allways *did* say it 3 months ago, but sometimes it's wiser not to rub it in. Also a thing experieced devs have learned.

Then we get what we need - which usually is simply a phone number of someone who we need to talk to and the mandate to do freely as we will, as long it stays within budget and solves the problem. Then I fix the problem by working a few hours of overtime - which I do gladly, because I, at this point, don't have to deal with any bullshit and I feel like getting something done. Just happened again yesterday, btw. Stayed till half past eight and did all the scaffolding and on monday morning finally everybody is going to hush and listen how we're going to do the last fixes.

3.) There's life beyond computers. I ditched my internet connection at home. Capped mobile data and Inet caffees are enough for regular E-Mail or getting your surfing fix inbetween. I've got enough of that at work, and I try not to spend 12 hours at the keyboard each day as I used to. It's lost its exitement. Mind you, I still pick up new stuff each day and make technology decisions 5 times a week at a minimum - but I've gotten way better and faster at dropping ideas. I try not to run in circles on the web anymore. I'm slowly building my Idea Immune System, and try to avoid getting all worked up within minutes about every new tech-fad that comes along. I've also got other things to do before I grow old. When my joints start aching, then I can go back to surfing and trying new web-toolkits 24/7, until then I want to get better at things I'm not that good at yet. Meeting women, cooking (moving away from fast-food), martial arts, exercising, traveling, dancing and perhaps even going back to playing guitar.

You should think about stuff like that too.

My general advice on this is:
You should at least have one regular thing in your life that fulfills you with deep inner satisfaction that has nothing to do with your job or other parts of your life. That can be a religion, any form or art or some outdoor activity or something along those lines. It should be that you can say to yourself: OK, even if I lose my job tomorrow, go broke, have my wife running away and my house burn to the ground, there's still that thing I can do that is fun and gives my life true meaning.

Hope I could help.
Good luck.

Comment: What's the point? (Score 1) 287

by Qbertino (#47943653) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

What's the point? Eat's power, wastes my time, is noisy, etc.

I've got two 1TB USB HDDs for archive and longterm storage (USB powered, to avoid the hassle with powerbricks) and I regularly archive to one of those and then arsync to the other twice a year or so, so they're basically manually mirrored. I've got three smaller Timemachine/Incremental Backup drives (again USB, USB powered) for sequential backup and disaster recovery, should one of my laptops (MB Air & Lenovo Linux Thinkpad) or my Mac Mini crash its HDD/SDD.

I do not have a landline internet connection, but that's a different story. I find I use my time more usefully. I've got plenty of broadband at work and at Starbucks or Tenten. For private Inet sessions I go there for a few hours saturdays or sundays. When I'm of the grid I hang out with my daughter and her mom, go dancing, meet with friends or read a nice book. So no need for fiddling with oversized hardware on that side either.

Comment: Chromebook. Problem solved. (Score 1) 334

by Qbertino (#47934839) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

That's easy: Chromebook.

Looks flashy, neat little apps, apple style all around but without the premium costs, impervious to any malware not sanctioned by Google, starts in seconds and they'd have to put in a real expert effort to screw things up. And no hard feelings about having Google take care of them, since all Princes of Nigeria allready have their contacts, so this Problem can't get any worse anyway.

Set up their account and put the access data in an envelope for them and keep them handy for your self, so you can log on their account and clean up if things get messy or they want something deleted and are to overwelmed to handle it.

Unless, of course, their connection is too flaky for Chrome OS to be useful. Then you're screwed. Fiddling with custom Linux and all that stuff you mentioned would be to much of a hassle IMHO.

Comment: What I like ... errrm, respect about Apples Swift (Score 4, Insightful) 183

by Qbertino (#47915907) Attached to: Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

What I respect about Apples Swift (not to be mistaken for the other PL Swift) is that it/Apple doesn't claim Swift to be anything other than it actually is. An improvement on PLs already exisiting in Apples Ecosystem tailored *specifically* for developing in that ecosystem, catering to the preferences and addressing the pet peeves of their developer community. AFAICT with no downsides and measurable upsides if you intend to develop native iOS Apps exclusively.

*This* all IMHO is a new lock-in PL done right - as far as you can do those right.
contrary to all the lies, damn lies and hideous marketing bullshit that went into the .Net/C# mess.

Apple did it right again in the way that they actually let the engineers take care of the language, the designers layout a nice free iBook on it and basically kept marketing out of it. ... Not that Apples marketing is really that bad.

If I ever do native iOS development and embrace the golden cage, I might even look into it - the syntax does look less scary than that of the classic C family.

My 2 cents.

Comment: Bullshit. (Score 1) 937

by Qbertino (#47901217) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

WTF is this? Religious people not just claiming a factually facist souverenity of all things moral but now also claiming the same about passion, poetry and emotion? WTF, dudes?

Just because I believe in science and reason, in the scientific method and in moral values by what Dawkins calls "intelligent design" - i.e. debating, weighing and reasoning - doesn't mean I'm not passionate. I have a diploma in performing arts, love poetry and music, am pratically addicted to dancing tango (i.e. holding hot cuties in my arms while moving to passionate music ... you'd get addicted too, trust me ...) and indulge in stoic philosophy and mysticisim and enjoy studiing and debating religious philosophy and architecture.

I just don't like some religious facist telling me - or anybody else for that matter - what they are supposed to believe, think, advocate, pray, meditate, celebrate or otherwise do due to some invisible dictator in the sky or some ancient bronce-age myth written in a book most people are to dumb to interpret correctly anyway! Or telling others that they will burn in hell if they don't chop of certain parts of their penis or will go to heaven if they wear certain clothes of blow themselves up with some unbelievers!

If anything I'd say that my likes - I like to call them 'free thinkers' - are *more* passionate about most things than 'religious' people, who simply have found a sad and sorry reason to turn off their brains when it comes to difficult questions.

I'm starting to believe we need a more outspoken movement for reason and gotta go out into the street standing right next to the Salafist handing out free Qurans and the J-Wittnesses with their watchtowers and hand out free copies of Hitchens' 'God is not great' and copies of Seneca and Spinoza.

Religious factions made up of losers are starting to claim to much space in public attention, imho. This is getting out of hand and needs a little counter-action, don't you think?

Comment: And yet, is doing well (Score 1) 182

by Qbertino (#47901167) Attached to: The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

Yet works just fine. Why? They offer specific training to a specific field, they teach all around the world, they have scheduled online classes using videochat technology, a tight curriculum with deadlines, they have scheduled mentor sessions with the best exerts in the field and they have anual student meetups and regional group meetups.

What's the lesson?
Don't just throw a bunch of material online and expect magic to happen. You have to take care of your courses and student either way. The only thing that's different is that you can save considerable operation costs on buildings, facilities ans such and can inlcude students from all around the planet without them having to relocate to your school.

My 2 cents.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang