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Prison Program Aims To Turn Criminals Into Coders 305

Posted by Soulskill
from the hello-walls dept.
Press2ToContinue writes with news that San Quentin, a notorious California prison, has started a program to teach a class of inmates to write code. The first class will last for six months, and the inmates are learning about programming for eight hours a day. The hope is to give them the skills to find a good job after they leave prison, which in turn would reduce their chances of recidivism. Since the state's Dept. of Corrections prohibits internet access, the class only "pretends" to be online — they can't use internet-based resources, and nobody on the outside can see or use the software they create. One of the class's backers said, 'Almost every week there's epiphanies. And most of the guys in here, they've never touched a computer before. They are progressing beyond our expectations."

Comment: Re:Conversion (Score 1) 117

by eclectro (#49077155) Attached to: Another Star Passed Through Our Oort Cloud 70,000 Years Ago

Actually if Scholz's star had a planetary system, that would not make any meaningful difference for the larger numbers especially considering the low accuracy. E.g. using your thought, it might take 109 years instead of 110 to reach a planet orbiting Scholz's star using a nuclear engine. So the distance would not necessarily be a lot smaller. It does have a brown dwarf companion, but again it would not make much difference time wise. Being discovered in 2013, it is not known if it has any planets orbiting it. Another question is if it gravitationally captured anything in the Ort cloud.

According to the article, there will be a satellite launched that will be able to provide more information on stars passing close by both in the past and in the future.

Comment: Conversion (Score 1) 117

by eclectro (#49076339) Attached to: Another Star Passed Through Our Oort Cloud 70,000 Years Ago

For those that wonder, Voyager at 125 AU is about .002 light year distant. The star was 400 times further out. Likewise, if we to launch our currently fastest spacecraft New Horizons (that is reaching Pluto soon in July 2015 at 33.77 AU) towards the star (when it was closest), it would take about 14,000 years to reach that star. There have been a number of nuclear rockets proposed, with the latest version from NASA in 2011 (the Magneto-Inertial Fusion planned for Mars missions). If that rocket reached its technological goals (by 2030), it would take roughly 110 years to reach Scholz when it was at its closest. These numbers are merely back of the envelope two digit accuracy, and are not meant to be precise but give ballpark figures.

Comment: Re:I predicted this 30 years ago (Score 1) 294

by eclectro (#48996725) Attached to: Radioshack Declares Bankruptcy

They were able to stay in business longer because of cell phones, which hit a peak in the nineties. In fact, their stores that will stay open will be owned by a cell phone carrier and branded as such.

No matter what, they were myopic to their original business model and their employees. Otherwise, they could have been a Digikey or Mouser when it came to components. But I did know that this day was inevitable, if not predicted.

Comment: Re:This could be fun.... (Score 5, Informative) 164

by eclectro (#48812453) Attached to: Man Saves Wife's Sight By 3D Printing Her Tumor

I could see this as a growth industry for hospitals (hey, we need the money)

Not really, according to 60 minutes. Hospitals have no problem getting money. They're rolling in the dough and can afford to pay their CEOs millions of dollars. So called non-profit hospitals mark up prices many times. Really, don't fool yourself with a statement like that.

Comment: Re:Kind of disappointed in him. (Score 1) 681

by eclectro (#48692351) Attached to: Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

Except he never intended it to be flamebait.

This is quite disingenuous. The way he phrased his 'tweet' was purposeful. I personally don't care about what Tyson says or what other people think about what he says. I doubt that I am in the minority either. Even if thousands responded to him negatively (and was he that dumb that he thought that no one would? Really??) the reaction would still amount to a small minority of twitter users, which according to the company's last year numbers they had 232 million users.

Yes, it was flamebait.

The problem is the religious right is embracing a culture of victimhood to compete with the left

The bigger problem is people who are responsible for representing a scientific message not being culturally sensitive to have enough tact, even if they disagree with that culture. For example the importance of teaching people the science of climate change should lead to a degree of restraint in other not very related public arenas such as holidays.

Comment: Re:Herp a derp fast computers DEEERRRPPP (Score 4, Informative) 197

by eclectro (#48537525) Attached to: Orion Capsule Safely Recovered, Complete With 12-Year-Old Computer Guts

My guess is that they have a truckload in storage already made. It would not make sense for them to not make them available for sale in exotic applications. It's a proven design being (that can use a minimum of other expensive rad hardened parts) used in other proven designs so they can pull them off the shelf and have something ready to fly quickly. As parent poster noted, for many applications 64 bits can be overkill. They could also being used for repair for things like military aircraft that used them in their manufacture in that era and are still flying.


Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35? 376

Posted by timothy
from the your-cane-is-in-the-mail dept.
An anonymous reader writes "All my friends seem to be moving towards a managerial role, and I'm concerned about my increasing age in a business where, according to some, 30 might as well be 50. But I still feel young, and feel like I have so much to learn. So many interesting technical challenges cross my path, as I manage to move towards larger and more complex projects. I am in higher demand than ever, often with multiple headhunters contacting me in the same day. But will it last? Is age discrimination a myth? Are there statistics on how many IT people move into management? I know some older programmers who got bored with management and successfully resumed a tech-only career. Others started their own small business. What has been your experience? Do you/have you assumed a managerial role? Did you enjoy it? Have you managed to stay current and marketable long after 35?"

Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side. - Han Solo