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Comment: The begining (Score 3, Insightful) 37

by coastwalker (#49755497) Attached to: Protons Collide At 13 TeV For the First Time At the LHC

IANA theoretical physicist but...

In six months or so we will know whether there is anything absolutely extraordinary to be learned from the LHC. It is only a hope that new physics will be found at 13TeV. We spent the money to find the Higgs and found it, in the next year or so we will know a lot more about it but the hope is that something of interest to the general public may come out of the energy boost. I would not hold your breath though, so far we have only seen exactly what we expected to see. The next big thing may be to search for the gravitational waves from the big bang to settle the question of whether inflation started the universe. No one is funding it until at least 2035.

Sadly I really think we need to keep our fingers crossed that a mere doubling of energy in the LHC will find anything startling.

Unfortunately we probably need to spend at least as much money on a different experiment to find another amazing thing.

Having said that it is already a triumph to have discovered the Higgs scalar field - something that was only a theory until the LHC came along and now it is in the text books because of it.

You may find that like the moon landing, a tremendous leap forward is followed by 50 years of disappointment once the political will has died. (At least we have transparent aluminum AlN now) :-)

Comment: Yes, but not for the sake of playing (Score 1) 138

by msobkow (#49753613) Attached to: Video Games: Gateway To a Programming Career?

Video games got me into computers because I decided I wanted to program a version of "Space Invaders" for the TRS-80 Model I, Level I.

I wrote an intro screen in BASIC, but it was too slow.

So I taught myself machine code and POKE'd it into memory, and got the intro screen working.

I never did finish writing the game, but I learned a lot about the basics of programming and how computers worked.

From that 14-year-old project, I was hooked; taking Computer Science in University became an obvious choice.

Comment: Re:I hate to tell you this (Score 1) 259

by msobkow (#49750317) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Career Advice For an Aging Perl Developer?

Well, one thing is for sure. Sitting on your arse for three years won't teach you ANYTHING of value for your next job.

Research the market. Pick something. With three years, pick several things. Try. Learn. Do.

The world isn't going to just hand you a career on a silver platter -- you have to take responsibility for your own life and develop your own skills. You have to make decisions, and take responsibility for them.

Comment: Re:I hate to tell you this (Score 1) 259

by msobkow (#49750271) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Career Advice For an Aging Perl Developer?

People who are confident in their own ability and who are willing to learn from their mistakes appreciate honesty.

It's only the pathetic little whining "everyone gets a trophy" kids who think it's "mean" or "cruel" to tell someone the truth.

If you want a trophy for mediocrity, go back to elementary school. This is the real world. You can fail; you WILL fail; and how you DEAL with failure is more a measure of your professionalism than your "'733T skillz."

Comment: Java is just a tool like any other language (Score 4, Interesting) 361

by msobkow (#49750165) Attached to: How Java Changed Programming Forever

No language is inherently good or evil in and of itself (save for PHP, which is evil incarnate.)

It is simply a tool for expressing logic. A means of structuring data.

Some are elegant for certain classes of problems, some are abused to fit problem sets they aren't suited for.

The sole benefit of Java to me is it's portability for core logic, even though I know that once you're dealing with user interfaces and heavy duty multi-threading, there are "write once, test everywhere" problems with the language.

Java isn't even predictable on my Linux box. It randomly crashes for no apparent reason while running code that has run cleanly thousands upon thousands of times in the past. Yet after years and years of successful runs of my pet project (, I had Java 7 on Ubuntu crash a couple weeks ago during a run. The compiler itself crashes on a regular basis; several times per week.

As to why all the Java articles lately? Oracle's "Java World" conference is coming up, so it's time to beat the drums, sacrifice the sheep, and burn the entrails on the altar of the language. The high priests are out in droves preaching the gospel.

+ - Samba user survey results - Improve the documentation !->

Submitted by Jeremy Allison - Sam
Jeremy Allison - Sam writes: Mark Muehlfeld of the Samba Team recently surveyed our user base and recently reported the results at the SambaXP conference in Germany.

They make fascinating reading, and include all the comments on Samba made by our users. Short answer — we must improve our documentation. Here are the full results:


                Jeremy Allison,
                Samba Team.

Link to Original Source

Air pollution is really making us pay through the nose.