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


Forgot your password?

Comment: Titles are Meaningless (Score 1) 495

by bobsledbob (#32560528) Attached to: Getting Paid Fairly When Job Responsibilities Spiral?

It sounds like you are working for a relatively small company? If so, a little education is in order...

In general, when a company hires you, they are hiring _you_, not for the skills of the day, but for your potential in the future and your ability to extend into new roles. As an employee of a small firm, you are expected to wear different hats, grow with the job, be flexible, and fill in holes where they need to be filled.

You sadly view yourself, instead, as a commodity, a replaceable set of skills; a robot. Your company was hoping that they had hired an all-around joe who was able to handle multiple new responsibilities as they came up. Instead of firing you, they let go some other poor slobs, which should bolster your confidence that they like you and want to trust in your talents.

No employer is perfect when opening a new position, and the business landscape always changes. You should never expect to be doing the exact same tasks in which you were hired for. And if you do, you probably need to work for a large business or the government which can help you in your endeavor to be plugged in mindlessly to the cog.

Your employer has obviously made some tough decisions and now needs you to perform some other duties. How exactly does that necessitate a pay raise, or a new title? Just do the work that is asked of you. You do their work, you collect a paycheck. It's really that simple. Titles are stupid and meaningless. Your new set of responsibilities does not imply a pay raise.

So, work hard for your pay. Become irreplaceable. Grow in your talents. Demonstrate your continued loyalty and support of your company and its managers. And if the company is any good and values your contributions, you will be rewarded appropriately.

And if you can't do this, you can't get over taking on new responsibilities while not getting a new title or some additional pay, then good luck selling your set of wares to the next poor schlub that might decide to hire you.

From my experience, the best jobs are the ones _without_ titles. What exactly again does a title give you? Prove your worth, and a pay raise (and more) may very well come your way.

Comment: Necessity is the Mother of All Invention (Score 1) 393

by bobsledbob (#31876352) Attached to: Oracle Wants Proof That Open Source Is Profitable

It's really simple. If an open source project benefits Oracle's bottom line, it will have continued support. If it doesn't, then it won't get support.

The "greed is good" mantra comes into play here. Oracle's responsibility is to create revenue. If an open source project does not feed into that equation, it will not be supported. Oracle is not a charity nor any sort of non-profit corporation.

So, if Open Solaris doesn't actually make any money for Oracle, there's no reason to suggest that it will survive. Hopefully, though, if Oracle decides to drop support, it will do the right thing by passing the code to a true non-profit open source foundation, like the Apache Foundation. That would be a graceful way to get out of direct support for a project while still supporting the ideals of Free Software.

Emulation (Games)

Emulating New Super Mario Bros. Wii At 1080p 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the super-high-def-mario dept.
KingofGnG writes "An impressive confirmation of the Dolphin Wii emulator's capabilities comes from a YouTube video, which shows off recently-added video clips of New Super Mario Bros. Wii in full HD. It demonstrates the growing compatibility of Dolphin with the latest games published for the Nintendo console."

Large Hadron Collider Struggling 371

Posted by kdawson
from the trillion-here-a-trillion-there dept.
Writing in the NY Times, Dennis Overbye covers the birthing pangs and the prospects for CERN's Large Hadron Collider (which we have discussed numerous times). "The biggest, most expensive physics machine in the world is riddled with thousands of bad electrical connections. [And] many of the magnets meant to whiz high-energy subatomic particles around a 17-mile underground racetrack have mysteriously lost their ability to operate at high energies. Some physicists are deserting the European project, at least temporarily, to work at a smaller, rival machine [Fermilab's Tevatron] across the ocean. ... Technicians have spent most of the last year cleaning up and inspecting thousands of splices in the collider. About 5,000 will have to be redone... Retraining magnets is costly and time consuming, experts say, and it might not be worth the wait to get all the way to the original target energy [of 7 TeV]. Many physicists say they would be perfectly happy if the collider never got above five trillion electron volts. Dr. Myers said he thought the splices as they are could handle 4 [TeV]. 'We could be doing physics at the end of November,' he said in July, before new vacuum leaks pushed the schedule back a few additional weeks. 'It's not the design energy of the machine, but it's 4 times higher than the Tevatron,' he said."
The Internet

Bell Starts Hijacking NX Domain Queries 310

Posted by timothy
from the opendns-dot-org-is-a-nice-resource dept.
inject_hotmail.com writes "Bell Canada started hijacking non-existent domains (in the same manner as Rogers), redirecting NX-response queries to themselves, of course. Before opting-out, you get their wonderfully self-promoting and self-serving search page. When you 'opt-out,' your browser receives a cookie (isn't that nice) that tells them that you don't want the search page. It will still use their broken DNS server's non-NX response, but it will show a 'Domain Not Found' mock-up page that they (I surmise) tailor to your browser-agent string. During the opt-out process, they claim to be interested in feedback, but provide no method on that page (or any other page within the 'domainnotfound.ca' site) to contact them with complaints. They note that opting-in is 'recommended' (!), and that 'In order for opt-out to work properly, you need to accept a "cookie" indicating that you have opted out of this service. If you use a program that removes cookies, you will have to repeat this opt-out process when the cookie is deleted. The cookie placed on your computer will contain the site name: "www.domainnotfound.ca."' Unfortunately most Bell Internet users won't understand the difference between their true NX domain response, and Bell's injected NX response."

Open Source Software For Experimental Physics? 250

Posted by kdawson
from the open-like-science dept.
jmizrahi writes "I've recently started working in experimental physics. Quite a few programs are used in the lab for assorted purposes — Labview, Igor, Inventor, Eagle, to name just a few. They are all proprietary. This seems to be standard practice, which surprised me. Does anybody know of any open source software intended for scientific research? Does anybody work in a lab that makes an effort to use open source software?"
The Almighty Buck

Should You Get Paid While Your Computer Boots? 794

Posted by kdawson
from the define-work-and-give-two-examples dept.
An anonymous reader notes a posting up at a law blog with the provocative title Does Your Boss Have to Pay You While You Wait for Vista to Boot Up?. (Provocative because Vista doesn't boot more slowly than anything else, necessarily, as one commenter points out.) The National Law Journal article behind the post requires subscription. Quoting: "Lawyers are noting a new type of lawsuit, in which employees are suing over time spent booting [up] their computers. ... During the past year, several companies, including AT&T Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Cigna Corp., have been hit with lawsuits in which employees claimed that they were not paid for the 15- to 30-minute task of booting their computers at the start of each day and logging out at the end. Add those minutes up over a week, and hourly employees are losing some serious pay, argues plaintiffs' lawyer Mark Thierman, a Las Vegas solo practitioner who has filed a handful of computer-booting lawsuits in recent years. ... [A] management-side attorney... who is defending a half-dozen employers in computer-booting lawsuits... believes that, in most cases, computer booting does not warrant being called work."

Comment: Re:gratutitous complexification (Score 1) 432

by bobsledbob (#25474629) Attached to: Linux Kernel Surpasses 10 Million Lines of Code

I like your comment, because I was just reading from chapter 5 of Code Complete 2nd Edition [pdf], in which Steve McConnell writes:

Dijkstra pointed out that no one's skull is really big enough to contain a modern computer program (Dijkstra 1972), which means that we as software developers shouldn't try to cram whole programs into our skulls at once; we should try to organize our programs in such a way that we can safely focus on one part of it at a time. The goal is to minimize the amount of a program you have to think about at any one time. (pg 79)

The Linux kernel is the classic example of software which no one person can, or should, have complete knowledge of every line. The kernel has long ago grown beyond even the ability for Linus himself to keep track of everything. The point is, however, that by subdividing the code, one person doesn't need to understand every line of code.

So, I think frankly you are wrong. Or at least, you are likely the wrong person to decidedly state that "the Linux Kernel is in need of a significant refactoring effort."

There are no doubt dozens of kernel hackers that have a sound understanding of all the various subsystems and how they work together. So as for judging the kernel's supposed "complexity," that's all that matters and clearly the kernel is not so complex to justify your statement.


Baldness Gene Discovered — 1 In 7 Men "At Risk" 297

Posted by timothy
from the see-wikipedia-on-caucasian_race dept.
FiReaNGeL writes "Researchers conducted a genome-wide association study of 1,125 Caucasian men who had been assessed for male pattern baldness. They found two previously unknown genetic variants on chromosome 20 that substantially increased the risk of male pattern baldness. They then confirmed these findings in an additional 1,650 Caucasian men. 'If you have both the risk variants we discovered on chromosome 20 and the unrelated known variant on the X chromosome, your risk of becoming bald increases sevenfold. What's startling is that one in seven men have both of those risk variants.'" So maybe gene therapy will finally have a real purpose.

Hackers are just a migratory lifeform with a tropism for computers.