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Comment Just call it "change tracking" (Score 0) 383

Many nontechnical users may be familiar with the "track changes" feature in Office apps like Word and Excel. The "track changes" feature is a basic form of version control . I would compare it to that or something similar. In my experience explaining technical concepts to nontechnical users, they tend to be receptive of comparisons with the familiar.

Comment Not surprising (Score 1) 468

Considering that prices have gone down a lot in the past couple of years (I've noticed no-contract prepaid plans with unlimited text + data as low as $25/month, with QWERTY phones $100 -- prices that were unheard of here in the U.S. a couple of years ago), and the fact that the selection of phones designed for messaging (e.g., those with keyboards and/or touch screens) has increased so much over the past couple of years.

Comment They're being eclipsed by cheap traditional PC's (Score 1) 349

You already included a link to $249 PC in your blurb, for example. $249 is dirt cheap when you look at how far prices have fallen over the past several years, and not far at all from the sub-$200 price point that you speak of. If the cost of a full-blown PC is already dirt-cheap, there will naturally be little economic incentive for a separate genre of thin client PC's.

Comment Re:Maybe. Maybe not. (Score 2, Insightful) 592

The problem is that 20-somethings are cheaper, and more likely to put in ridiculous unpaid overtime (both because they can handle it, and because they're cheaper). If you're in a front-line sort of job where you're competing with fresh BS grads, then you're going to face it.

Not true at any company with competent hiring managers, which would also be any company that makes good products and is actually capable of long-term survival.

Social Networks

The Sims 3 To Mesh With Social Networks 25

Electronic Arts has released a good bit of information about the online aspects of The Sims 3, which is due for release in early June. The game will have downloadable content available on launch day that includes a second, separate town called Riverview. They'll also be revamping the game's website to allow the sharing of content and integration with social media. In addition, EA mentioned that the game will make use of micro-transactions, which players can use to buy things like furniture, clothing, and other items.

The Economist On Television Over Broadband 220

zxjio recommends a pair of articles in The Economist discussing television over broadband, and the effects of DVR use. "Cable-television companies make money by selling packages of channels. The average American household pays $700 a year for over 100 channels of cable television but watches no more than 15. Most would welcome the chance to buy only those channels they want to watch, rather than pay for expensive packages of programming they are largely not interested in. They would prefer greater variety, too — something the internet offers in abundance. A surprising amount of video is available free from websites like Hulu and YouTube, or for a modest fee from iTunes, Netflix Watch Instantly and Amazon Video on Demand. ... Consumers' new-found freedom to choose has struck fear into the hearts of the cable companies. They have been trying to slow internet televisions steady march into the living room by rolling out DOCSIS 3 at a snails pace and then stinging customers for its services. Another favorite trick has been to cap the amount of data that can be downloaded, or to charge extortionately by the megabyte. Yet the measures to suffocate internet television being taken by the cable companies may already be too late. A torrent of innovative start-ups, not seen since the dot-com mania of a decade ago, is flooding the market with technology for supplying internet television to the living room." And from the second article on DVR usage patterns: "Families with DVRs seem to spend 15-20% of their viewing time watching pre-recorded shows, and skip only about half of all advertisements. This means only about 5% of television is time-shifted and less than 3% of all advertisements are skipped. Mitigating that loss, people with DVRs watch more television. ... Early adopters of DVRs used them a lot — not surprisingly, since they paid so much for them. Later adopters use them much less (about two-thirds less, according to a recent study)."

Comment Re:Are you deaf? (Score 4, Insightful) 372

Despite being an attempt at humor and being modded funny, this is actually really solid advice.

The field of health informatics is going to skyrocket in the next few years. It has become glaringly obvious, as of late, that the health care field overall is lagging behind other industries in leveraging IT to increase efficiency. Anyone who happens to be educated in both nursing and computer science will have skills that are at no less than a "critical" level of demand during the next several years at least.

Comment It depends what you want to work on (Score 2, Insightful) 569

What you need to do is really take a step back and ask yourself, "What sort of programming do I want to do ...what really excites me? Device driver development? Multimedia application development such as an MPEG encoder? Game Development? GUI Application Development? Web-based development? Firmware development? Engineering and scientific applications?"

The languages typically used are very different for each of the different programming focus areas listed above.

The most helpful thing to remember is that different programming languages are different tools that fit different types of jobs (especially when you're under time and other resource constraints in the real world), therefore you should be careful not to get too attached and/or biased towards a favorite language. However, it is okay to have a favorite, since being really good in one language makes it much easier to pick up other languages.

Comment Re:RTFA (Score 1) 328

You're essentially telling us you have a negative opinion of team-based projects. It behooves you to at least have a neutral opinion. Being able to work as effectively on a team as you do independently is an asset that would make you less likely to be replaced by outsourcing. The reality is, depending on the size and scope of the individual project, many projects do require contribution from an entire team in order to be successful.

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson