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Comment: Re:STEM is the new liberal arts degree (Score 1) 169

by Trepidity (#47523277) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

theyre' all hot-shot python hackers but have no idea what the difference between a linked list and an array list is.

Actually I think this is precisely what a lot of non-STEM employers are looking for. When they say they want a computer programmer, what they mean is they want someone who can be the local Excel-macro whiz.

Comment: Re:~50% have no degree... (Score 1) 169

by Trepidity (#47523233) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

Real knowledge is in books and I hope people do not require a degree to read.

I think that's actually a big part of what many self-taught programmers are missing. It's not the lack of a degree that's the big problem, but the lack of having read any of the things that you would read when getting a degree. You could read them on your own, but many people don't.

Comment: Re:Risk of mutation to something worse? (Score 1) 167

by Trepidity (#47522941) Attached to: Ebola Outbreak Continues To Expand

Well incubation period is somewhat different. Also an issue, but not the same one as asymptomatic carriers. Some viruses have completely asymptomatic carriers, who can harbor it for years without themselves being significantly affected, which makes long-distance spread a lot easier. Ebola doesn't seem to have that.

Although Ebola does have a reservoir in rats, who carry it asymptomatically. No idea what the odds of it spreading via that route are.

Comment: kind of clever (Score 2) 50

by Trepidity (#47522349) Attached to: Empathy For Virtual Characters Studied With FMRI Brain Imaging

Really this is more about finding a way to collect proxy data for neuroscience, than about studying virtual worlds (despite the /. title). A problem with FMRi studies is that it's often hard to get people to both do what you want to study, and have them be hooked up to the FMRi at the same time. Videogames have the desirable property that people can do things in a "world" while conveniently keeping their head physically parked in the lab.

Comment: Re:Coming to a plane journey (Score 5, Informative) 167

by Trepidity (#47521603) Attached to: Ebola Outbreak Continues To Expand

It also doesn't transmit very easily. So far there are no known cases of it being transmitted in a plane or airport, despite several known Ebola cases having flown on planes. In each case everyone who had flown with them was monitored, but nobody developed the illness.

It helps that it doesn't travel by air or aerosols.

Comment: Re:And BD-Java is good how exactly? (Score 1) 94

by Trepidity (#47513817) Attached to: Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

Well the DRM isn't actually a useful feature, but having a player that supports BD-J, when BD-J is used for some kinds of DRM, is useful insofar as it lets you view the DRM'd discs.

If the question is whether BD-J being part of Blu Ray has added any useful features to Blu Ray, then I think the answer is no.

Comment: Re:Cubic Inches? (Score 2) 255

by Trepidity (#47513635) Attached to: Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

American engineering tends to use US-customary units. Scientific research mostly uses metric, but engineering uses mostly US-customary, somewhat varying by field (e.g. medical devices tend to use metric).

Interestingly it's so ingrained into a lot of aspects of North American production that even Canada, which has switched to using metric for engineering, has a lot of parts specified in a way that obviously refers to customary units, with things strangely coming in multiples of 25.4mm, 0.454kg, and the like.

Comment: weird choice (Score 3, Interesting) 156

by Trepidity (#47489511) Attached to: Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars

My impression is that, 10 or 15 years ago, electric vehicles and fuel-cell vehicles were perhaps equally good candidates for "future non-petroleum car technology", but that electric vehicles have been developing much faster, while fuel-cell vehicles have been going nowhere. Why now place a large bet on fuel cells?

Comment: Re:Not fungible (Score 4, Insightful) 528

If tech companies weren't shit at training they would be somewhat more fungible, though not perfectly so. Engineering companies are somewhat better at this: if a company is looking for chemical engineers and can't find someone with experience in exactly the process they're hiring for, they'll hire a chemical engineer with experience in a different process and get them up to speed. Tech companies seem incapable of doing that, and instead they have a big list of really specific background they want, "must have 7 years of experience in J2EE and 3 years experience using Joe Bob's Serialization Framework", then complain they can't find anyone so it must be a "programmer shortage".

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