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Comment: War and Peace was better than I expected (Score 1) 164

by beer_maker (#49098007) Attached to: How is your book reading divided between fiction and non-fiction?
I read W&P for a Russian History class I took a while ago, and found that after the first several chapters I got used to the author's style and it got much easier to read. Knowing it would end also helped in that regard, which is a feeling I did not get with the 'Wheel of Time'(tm). Treadmill of Time is more like it!

Comment: Why focus on coding? (Score 1) 175

by beer_maker (#48942829) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Engage 5th-8th Graders In Computing?
You already said they want to be hands on - why not start with the physical device and then go to the code. Disassemble a PC and explain the parts. Talk about similarities and differences between a PC and a digital watch or other embedded computing device. THEN start talking about code, and how the device and code interact. Leave the OS wars for later.

Comment: I know, anecdotes != data, but here's mine ... (Score 1) 108

by beer_maker (#47609609) Attached to: LinkedIn Busted In Wage Theft Investigation
Perhaps you are correct about the value of YOUR union, but in my own experience with two somewhat-non-technical unions (IATS&E, and another national one I won't name) I was treated as a disposable non-entity whose only purpose was the payment of dues, my verbal or written input was not solicited nor heard, and I never even SAW my union "representative" at the jobsite(s). Ever. NOT EVEN ONCE. I'm not bitter about it (much.) To this day I avoid all "Union Shops" because of those two jobs ...

Comment: What a smarmy p!$$artist of a "journalist" ... (Score -1, Flamebait) 530

by beer_maker (#44199883) Attached to: NSA Recruitment Drive Goes Horribly Wrong
What's your next scoop, attending a recruiting session for ADM and calling their recruiters for the practices of the CEO? Some bottom-level NSA workers get a chance to go to a major university and talk to people they were told wanted to hear about working for the NSA and they get ambushed by you and those toadying up to you. And wasn't it Oh-So-Very-Classy of you, jumping into a session by LYING ABOUT YOUR INTENT so you could call them out for the activities of their bosses. When the recruiters answer your question by pointing out that the Administration (President Obama and his folks, you may recall) sets the agenda for targeting of intelligence collection you played silly word games, ignoring the multi-colored truth for your own black-and-white world view. You are a fine example of the navel-gazing hypocrisy of what-passes-for J-school these days.

TL,DR: You think everybody should be like you, and you are wrong. Grow up, why doncha!

Comment: Re:Can we face the fact, People are Social Creatur (Score 1) 113

That's funny, people say that "surely these violent behaviors you watch MUST have a negative effect" yet every study finds no evidence for the claim. And now the corresponding viewing of "good | prosocial" behaviors ALSO shows no effect. Maybe we all are actually able to differentiate between inputs and choose to or not to model them.

Or to put it another way, "I do not think that behavior does what you think it does ..."

Comment: Spoken like a lawyer (Score 2, Interesting) 317

by beer_maker (#43516397) Attached to: I paid attention to news of the Marathon bomb ...
I agree that in a court of law that everyone is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty but IRL the person shot and killed evading the cops is looking pretty guilty already, and I expect the trial of his brother is going to produce more evidence than we have seen already. I am willing to wait and see how that shakes out, are you willing to admit the possibility that the dreaded authorities might have caught the right guys?

Comment: Agree - got to Grad School with what you have (Score 1) 504

Anecdotal but true: My wife went to UW-Madison and got her Masters in CS, and of her classmates only 30% reported having an IT undergrad degree. My favorite was the girl with the Forestry degree, who learned in the first 4 years she liked being inside more than she liked being out in the woods ...

Comment: What chokepoint? (Score 1) 183

by beer_maker (#37979480) Attached to: B&N Releases Nook Tablet To Rival Amazon Fire
Content is content ... get it where ever you want, the Nook is just a device for displaying it. Here's my anecdata: I get most of my videos off the web, converting them to the appropriate format with Handbrake directly onto an SD card which I then stick into the Nook. I get ebooks from a number of sites, reformat them (if necessary) via Calibre, and copy them over the same way. The device never has to connect to B&N or any particular network.

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