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Comment: Dead wrong (Score 1) 710

by chstwnd (#47325451) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy
The majority of engineers value getting the job done and extra pay, not merely working longer hours. The companies that employ them often egregiously take advantage of these particular aspect of the work ethic and draw them into working longer hours to the point that it becomes commonplace. This is a big reason for the current trend towards wholesale contract workforces. and there is an ebb and flow to it that will reverse soon enough. companies will realize that they're paying the contract workforce much higher then they would directs and they're not all that much more disposable because it now takes up 75-80% of their total headcount. So they'll try to pull in more to directs at lower rates, arguably more perks and the illusion of increased stability. If you've been talking into believing that simply working a longer day is at the heart of a strong work ethic, you're clearly not thinking for yourself. and, with that, you're probably not truly an engineer (applies hard sciences vs. "sales engineer", "social media engineer" or any of the drivel). I still remember a remark one of my professors made about an intrinsic characteristic of engineers: we're lazy. we're always trying to find simpler, better ways to do mundane, time consuming tasks LONG TERM and we're willing to put in 100 hours now if we anticipate it saving us and a million other people 1000 hours of work down the road. benefits always have to outweigh the risks and costs.

Comment: Re:Yeah, no... (Score 1) 323

Actually, I would argue that it will be considerably easier to bio-engineer unicorns before the....er, highly improbable bioprinting function. And even if you were able to "print" living, functioning beings with immediate, intact knowledge so they could be productive starting on day 1.....why in the hell would you make them HUMAN? We're fragile, ephemeral, generally quite stupid and inefficient.

Comment: make them depend on it (Score 1) 366

by chstwnd (#42668899) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Convince a Team To Write Good Code?
well, I think a relatively straightforward approach would be to have them tag-team assignments. not the resource you're talking about, but individual subroutines/functions. if you can afford the individuals' downtime, have them rewrite the code from scratch. have pairs work on one subroutine, but not simultaneously. half way through the initial writing phase, force them to hand off to their partner without the benefit of a handoff or status briefing. when they realize that they're taking more time to interpret the code than to finish it because it has obscure variables or function calls or zero commenting, they'll start doing it on their own. it would speed up the process if you made inputs from the individual coders fold into an annual review.

Comment: Re:Field dependent requirement (Score 1) 1086

by chstwnd (#40938755) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Many of You Actually Use Math?
in programming, integrals are calculated using the rough form of an integral. that is, the solution to an integral is the sum of f(x) dx. typically, you evaluate the function at x in a DO/WHILE/FOR loop in a function or subroutine and pass the value back to main to add to the previous delta value. since integrals are done over a range (or ranges, with double integrals), you just create a loop with the appropriate beginning and ending indices or the appropriate number of iterations and you only have to figure out how to code the equation once. programming in such a way is often done concurrently with studying beginning calculus. really once you understand limits, sums, and series, you're pretty much good to go. But you have to understand them first to know what they're telling you and, ultimately, what you're looking for. I can't speak for game programming exactly, since you can really arbitrarily define rules in any game world, but games are looking more and more like technical simulations with the incorporation of PhysX and Havok, and the more something in a 3D game responds the way you would expect it to in real life (like the trajectory of a bullet, including gravitational, wind effects, deceleration, elapsed time, etc.), the deeper the immersion. For that you need not just math, but physics with advanced math. for the record, fortran is much better for number crunching than C/C++. and use of float variables, even double precision ones, is not strange.

Comment: Re:Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Score 1) 283

by chstwnd (#37813298) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Enter Private Space Industry As an Engineer?
you're delusional. WPI is NOT right beneath MIT in terms of "highly regarded schools". On top of that, it would be out-of-state tuition for him. OP, take a look at this list and pick the best compromise between cost/rank. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-engineering-schools/eng-rankings/page+2 Looks like you're going to be paying high tuition if you pick off that list, but there are reasons that colleges make those lists. And, more than the people you go to school with, the school's name on your degree will help with your career. Well....maybe. I got my degree from UT Austin (#8 on the list above), and got a job at NASA after graduation. I got it through connections, so those are important, but not "sell yourself into slavery for life because of student loans" important. Engineering is different from most other careers; engineers are largely pragmatic, skeptical and antisocial. So, the rules of thumb that apply to things like business and marketing and other no-value-added careers don't tend to apply. Now onto the more editorial portion of my reply. You might want to consider going ME instead of ASE, because the degree itself (assuming you only want undergrad) could be a limiting factor on your career. Aerospace is one of the most volatile career fields to get into. It's blown by every wind of political change you can imagine, and, in the private sector, everything is so highly marginalized that the top companies usually resort to massive layoffs in order to make their bottom lines look better when projects start getting into cost overruns. If you'd like, I can continue this more later, after dinner.

Comment: there's already something superior to this (Score 1) 108

by chstwnd (#37127994) Attached to: UCLA Engineers Create Energy-Generating LCD Screen
saw a video from a tradeshow (thought it was CES, but can't find the video right off the bat) about two years ago of a transparent overlay for any media screen. the demo showed a VERY rigged version of the product over an iphone and coupled to a multimeter displaying its active voltage as the reporter checking it out moved it with respect to a light source. and it was completely transparent. does anyone remember this??

Comment: Re:What freedom are you interested in? (Score 2) 662

by chstwnd (#37104504) Attached to: Cop Seeks Wiretapping Charges For Woman Who Videotaped Beating
shot? what about tasered? tasers were supposed to be ONLY an alternative to deadly force (used in place of shooting an armed or otherwise deadly assailant), but cops use them regularly to "put people in their place". after they were introduced in that manner, authorities quickly put in place use of force guidelines that give them license to use them pretty much whenever they want to. a conversation with a cop should NEVER allow for the possibility of saying "but..." leading to a partial electrocution.

Comment: Re:2nd Price Increase in less than a year (Score 1) 722

by chstwnd (#36770006) Attached to: Netflix Deflects Rage Over Price Increase
I've been wondering about just that aspect of this whole thing. As Netflix tries to choke the DVD side of its business model to death (and, apparently, bidding good riddance to the loyal customers who allowed it to bloom into the business it is today), will ISPs choke Netflix to death with more stringent bandwidth caps or (more likely) port throttling?

Comment: Re:Of course (Score 1) 342

by chstwnd (#36172542) Attached to: <em>Fable III</em> Dev: Used Game Sales More Costly Than Piracy
except that the trade-in value for a used game is virtually negligible. Resale value never factors into my purchases. The biggest factor in my game purchases is "$50/60 is way too much for a game that I may finish in 20-30 hours and then never play again". after that, it's a question of quality - will it be so buggy that it annoys the crap out of me, and will it actually hold my attention for those 20-30 hours (minimum).

Comment: Re:True, but $5 are still worse... (Score 1) 399

by chstwnd (#36129624) Attached to: HDMI Brands Don't Matter
um, wrong. gold is an excellent electrical conductor. nickel is about three times worse than gold for conductivity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_resistivity_and_conductivity the only two metals that exceed it's low resistivity values are silver and copper. and by "non-corruptible", I have to assume you mean that they won't corrode. this is true, but gold has a much lower wear resistance than the steel used to actually make the connector sheathing underneath, and too many connections/disconnections would eventually wear through the gold. of course, the number of cycles to do that is in the hundreds or thousands depending on the plating thickness.

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