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Comment: People who can think and learn (Score 1) 391

by spaceyhackerlady (#47922291) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

I'm guided by the experience of the airlines. While you must, obviously, have the right sort of pilot's license, they also want a four year university degree. Not because it necessarily enhances your flying, but because it shows you can learn and accomplish things. If you can learn and accomplish things, and know your way around computers, I'd love to talk to you.

The big problem at most places I've worked is getting promising resumes past HR people who only count buzzwords.

...laura

Comment: Let's be different (Score 2) 93

by spaceyhackerlady (#47920245) Attached to: New Release of MINIX 3 For x86 and ARM Is NetBSD Compatible

I've followed Minix development with interest. The internal architecture is different from most OSs out there. Not different for the sake of being different, but different to show different solutions to problems. The way we do things in Linux et al is powerful, but it's not the only way.

I haven't come up with a compelling reason to use it in my work (yet... :-), but I install each new release on a virtual machine and play with it.

...laura

Comment: independent support (Score 2) 129

by tverbeek (#47905425) Attached to: Chrome For Mac Drops 32-bit Build

Why would there be any question that Chromium could still be compiled for 32-bit CPUs? It it's open-source, it can be. The only question is whether anyone cares enough to do it.

The Firefox devs walked away from PPC processors some time ago, but there's enough interest in that platform that an independent fork of its code has been maintained.

Comment: Re:Scientific Consensus (Score 2, Insightful) 770

by tverbeek (#47852815) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

No, mathematics and logic are about provability. Real-world phenomena can't be proven; they can only be shown to have worked a certain way every time we've observed them so far. (I've dropped this rock 100,000 times, and every time it has fallen ... but I can't prove that it will next time.) If you want absolute proof you need to stick to theoretical phenomena. Or chuck it all and just believe something with absolute faith because it's written in an old book, like the other people who are afraid of their "truths" being subject to challenge.

Comment: "soft" science (Score 2) 770

by tverbeek (#47852727) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

The notion that climate science or economics can't repeat experiments is not entirely fair. While it's true that we can't conduct isolated double-blind experiments under identical conditions, we can conduct tests under analogous conditions to determine whether a given model is accurate or not, which is the real goal of such science. Given enough instances in which the accumulation of carbon compounds in the atmosphere leads to an overall increase in temperatures, or in which an increase in government spending or low-end wages stimulates economic activity in a market economy, we can make the inference of a correlation, and start looking for a mechanism of a causal connection.

Comment: Customers going postal (Score 1) 814

The quality of service no longer meets customer requirements, and customers are rebelling. The airlines and airports have done their best to remove any aspect of comfort or pleasure from air travel, and customers, the people who actually pay the bills, have had enough.

Entitled attitudes don't help. I ended up with bruised knees on a British Airways flight from the person ahead of me refusing to negotiate on seat reclining, with the flight attendants refusing to mediate. On a American flight the passenger next to me went ballistic and very loudly demanded to be reseated, because I was wearing perfume.

On my last long-haul flight (Vancouver to London) I did an on-the-spot upgrade to premium economy and had a good flight. I had cashed in credit card points for the ticket, so the extra $$$ was money well-spent.

I think diverting is a lousy way to handle customer disputes, but it scares me that the airlines may start accepting this as part of the cost of doing business...

...laura

Biotech

Scientists Sequence Coffee Genome, Ponder Genetic Modification 167

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-you-modify-it-so-it-doesn't-taste-like-coffee dept.
nbauman sends word that researchers have completed a project to sequence the genome of Coffea canephora, a species of plant responsible for roughly 30% of the world's coffee production. In the course of their genetic mapping, the researchers "pinpointed genetic attributes that could help in the development of new coffee varieties better able to endure drought, disease and pests, with the added benefit of enhancing flavor and caffeine levels." They also discovered a broad range of genes that contribute to the production of flavor-related compounds and caffeine. Plant genomist Victor Albert said, "For any agricultural plant, having a genome is a prerequisite for any sort of high technology breeding or molecular modification. Without a genome, we couldn't do any real advanced research on coffee that would allow us to improve it — not in this day and age."

Comment: N/A (Score 1) 231

by tverbeek (#47825209) Attached to: Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

We didn't have technology yet when I were a wee lad. I didn't even put my hands on a computer (terminal) until my junior year in high school. There was POTS, but I've never liked telephones. Electric typewriters, but no real fun to be had with those. Xerography, but at 10 cents each, who had that kind of money?

Cellphones

Why Phone Stores Should Stockpile Replacements 253

Posted by Soulskill
from the easier-than-having-mcdonalds-stock-replacements dept.
Bennett Haselton writes: I would be in favor of a regulation requiring cell phone stores to have replacement phones on hand, for any phone model covered by a customer's insurance policy. Then customers who have insurance protection on their phones could get the damaged phones replaced instantly, and the replacement phones that are normally mailed out by overnight mail to customers under their protection plan, could instead be mailed to the stores to replace the one they just gave out to the customer. Read on for the rest of Bennett's thoughts

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.

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