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Comment: Fear of the West? (Score 5, Interesting) 268

by (#49660585) Attached to: Russian Company Unveils Homegrown PC Chips
I know Russians who are busily working on all sorts of interesting technologies in-house (SCADA, DCS, etc) There seems to be a real fear that if sanctions increase they'll be cut off from technology they need to run their industrial systems. It seems to have sparked a renaissance in the local software community, hell-bent of forging a form of self-reliance. Interesting to see where all this leads.

Comment: Re:acceptance is the only fair outcome (Score 3, Informative) 301

There's been commentary from the paper's authors on this. Along the lines of "the peer reviewer did provide a detailed list of suggestions for how they could make it better". Hard to revise if the best advice is to able to run a mile as fast as a man.

Agreed, we don't know the quality of the research. It could have been shit. It could have just been bad science. But now the whole thing has been skewed by the ad hominem attack on the researchers themselves.

Comment: Re:This reveals a need for blind review (Score 1) 301

I'm surprised because every review process I've seen was blind. Papers are submitted with just an ID, authors are not disclosed until the paper is accepted (they are never disclosed if it is rejected, as far as I'm aware). PLoS One is reputable enough that I would've expected the same.

Yeah, I thought it was strange that the reviewer cited the researchers' web sites in the review, where their gender would have been apparent.

The study was conducted by only two authors, both of whom appear (judging by their webpages) to be evolutionary biologists at the post-doc level.

Comment: Re:Getting lost in the shuffle. (Score 1) 301

OP. Good point. From what I've read, there may have been problems with the paper as first submitted. But one complaint from the researchers was that instead of being directed to areas where their methodology needed addressing - or their paper being rejected on the basis of the quality of research - they were told to "get a man to read it" (which, incidentally they had already done, via male colleagues).

So yes, now it will be difficult to review the paper on its own merits. Sexism still manages to distort the playing field, even when its adherents are put to the task.

+ - Scientists have paper on gender bias rejected because they're both women->

Submitted by writes: A paper co-authored by researcher fellow Dr. Fiona Ingleby and evolutionary biologist Dr. Megan Head — on how gender differences affect the experiences that PhD students have when moving into post-doctoral work — was rejected by peer-reviewed PLoS One journal because they didn’t ask a man for help.

A (male) peer reviewer for the journal suggested that the scientists find male co-authors, to prevent “ideologically biased assumptions.” The same reviewer also provided his own ironically biased advice, when explaining that women may have fewer articles published because men's papers "are indeed of a better quality, on average", "just as, on average, male doctoral students can probably run a mile race a bit faster".

Link to Original Source

Comment: Mobile backup (Score 4, Funny) 446

OK, this is not a serious solution, but the way a company I worked for years ago managed this was hilarious. One of the managers put a server in the boot of his car and had it connect wirelessly to the file servers when it was parked in the office car park.

Because he had to reverse his car in to bring the wifi into range, the joke "I'm just backing up the data" got played every time he did it. Suffice it to say, the joke got old pretty quick.

Comment: Re:Don't (Score 3, Interesting) 315

by (#49443603) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce a 7-Year-Old To Programming?

Leave it be. They're just kids.

I'd concur. My kids have an on-again/off-again interest in programming, but the crazy shit they come up with using Redstone wiring in Minecraft is just unbelievable. Sure, I could push them towards C or Ruby, but when I see them building logic gates, adders, flip-flops and the like in Minecraft I just think "they'll work this stuff out on their own". And probably have a better understanding of the fundamentals as they go on.

MIT's Scratch system is probably a good start for a lot of nascent coders though. It's not just about the code - it's also the community around it, like a Github for little ones. Strongly recommend looking into that.

Comment: Re:bah (Score 1) 261

Because we're very smart in a very narrow domains? Sharp minds that are easily distracted by "shiny-shiny"? I think we're just lucky to be in an industry were the demand for labour outstrips supply. I haven't seen any real threat to this in the 20+ years I've worked in IT, but possibly this will change over time - and we'll eventually find "just give me a job, please" is the only perk we care about. Meh.

This. I've never understood why IT people in particular would be easily enticed by such pre-selected perks. They're supposedly smart individuals who know what they like. If anything, try not to get in the way.

Comment: Don't do it (Score 1) 343

by (#49076453) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Version Control For Non-Developers?
Seriously. I've been here. Imagine the worst kind of software developers - people who don't check in regularly and when they do they smash a huge delta into the repository. Imagine people who don't really understand version control and manage to screw up the tree with their own little "experiments" on how they think things should be run.

And best of all, imagine who they will come to when things go awry. Do you want to be that person?

Foisting sophisticated tools on technically unsophisticated folks will end in tears. Use an enterprise document management tool (Alfresco, Nuxeo, Sharepoint, etc) and lock down the workflow. Yes, there's still a learning curve - but expecting non-developers to grok development tools is a path to pain.

Comment: Re:The whole idea is crazy (Score 4, Funny) 288

by (#49024101) Attached to: Quantum Equation Suggests Universe Had No Beginning
Two experimentally physicists, with one shouting: "Oh God, shut if off! Shut it off!"

But seriously, as AC has posted, the question is meaningless if time "started" at the point of the Big Bang. Hard to get your head around maybe. I know my mother has problems with it, but she also poses strange questions like "why aren't apes having human babies now." It's like a hundred years of science has just slipped past her.

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955