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Chinese Scientists Plan Solar Power Station In Space 172

Posted by samzenpus
from the or-you-know-stop-polluting-so-much dept.
knwny points out this lofty proposed power plan in China. "The battle to dispel smog, cut greenhouse gases and solve the energy crisis is moving to space. If news reports are to be believed, Chinese scientists are mulling the construction of a solar power station in a geosynchronous orbit 36,000 kilometres above ground. The electricity generated would be converted to microwaves or lasers and transmitted to a collector on Earth. If realized, it will surpass the scale of the Apollo project and the International Space Station and be the largest-ever space project."

Comment: Re:How much do LED bulbs cost? (Score 1) 159

by russotto (#49363635) Attached to: Graphene Light Bulbs Coming To Stores Soon

I just got a couple of Cree dimmable 60W equivalents for just under $10 a piece, and this is in NJ. So they're getting cheap. Still not happy with the light quality, but this is for a place that doesn't matter so much (and is replacing some crappy CFLs the previous owner had... one of which is burned out, which of course isn't supposed to happen)

Comment: Re:Disincentivized (Score 1) 400

by mrchaotica (#49357247) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

I would include all of those, except UTA, in the "and so on".

It's a bit disingenuous to list out the Ivys while only implying the public schools, considering that the point you were trying to make was that going to a good CS school is expensive and the schools you selectively omitted disprove it.

Georgia Tech has 8 tracks. Pretty much the only hirable ones are the "Devices" and "Systems & Architecture" track. If you too CS4210 and CS4220 as electives on the "Theory" track, you might also do OK. I typically don't mention it because of the low percentage of people who opt for these tracks, compared to the other tracks at this school, so you have to be picky.

I went to Georgia Tech just long enough ago that my degree plan predated the "threads" curriculum. However, I think you're being excessively narrow in your opinion of which ones are worthwhile. Specifically, 5 of the 8 threads (all except "People," "Media," and "Intelligence" require CS2200, which is a computer architecture course that uses C for the assignments and teaches not only memory management, but threaded programming too. "Intelligence" requires CS2110, which sounds from the course catalog description like it's a less-rigorous version of the same. "Media" requires CS 2261, which is also a low-level systems programming course, but is more focused on graphics and sound.

Most of those threads also have 3000- or 4000-level classes (other than 4210 and 4220) that reinforce low-level programming skills: CS3451 (Computer Graphics) uses C and OpenGL, many of the "Modeling and Simulation" classes (e.g. CS4225) surely focus on low-level stuff since that thread is really about high-performance computing, "Information-internetworks" people are probably going to take either CS4420 (database implementation) or CS4251 (computer networking 2) which are very likely low-level, and I'm sure almost everybody in the "Intelligence" thread is going to take some kind of robotics or computer vision class.

In fact, the only "thread" where people could escape without learning C is the "People" thread, and considering that you have to complete two threads to get a degree, you're going to have to learn C to graduate no matter what you do.

I'm not saying that you should hire somebody who picked the "Intelligence" and "People" threads and took the least-rigorous classes possible (and thus got a glorified psychology degree) to do embedded device programming, but I am saying that even that guy should be competent enough to understand pointers and therefore be employable by the vast majority of Silicon Valley companies that aren't actually writing OS kernel or firmware-level code.

Comment: Re:Good Luck (Score 4, Insightful) 328

by orasio (#49357197) Attached to: Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers

In any case, you would need Amazon to actually enforce it.
While they do have more money for legal fees, they would risk a big PR issue if they tried to prevent some guy from working at Walmart after quitting Amazon. Also, the first guy with such a problem wouldn't have a lot of trouble finding someone to help them with legal fees, if only for the publicity.

This is probably just a scare tactic, to discourage people from leaving them, it is unethical, but not really enforceable.

Comment: Re:Good code (Score 4, Interesting) 293

by orasio (#49356481) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

For newly written code, things like readability, testability, and maintainability all can come in to whether it is "good" or not

For legacy stuff, Good code is code that works. Who cares how easy it is to read or test as long as it works?

The second one should also include "immutable". If it's hard to understand it will evolve easily to non working, and time spent on improvements can start to creep up very fast.

I have worked in very clever, solid code, but not easy to read. It was then maintained and extended by average, but competent programmers down the road, and turned into a big mess, only because it was so hard to understand.

In my experience, good code is easy to read, above all. That will make it easy to extend it coherently, find bugs and stuff. Also, if it doesn't work OK, it's easy to find out why. The single metric that saves time, money, and improves quality down the road is readability. Eveything else should be suject to that.

And, about the last point in the "article", "efficient", it's nonsense. Premature optimization is the root of all evil. You should _always_ follow the second rule of optimization (see ).

Comment: Re:Not being PHP (Score 1) 293

by orasio (#49356379) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

PHP can be good or bad, like any other code. Lately it's getting better.
As an example, do you think this looks bad? Looks pretty good to me.

I have some awful, unreadable examples I could share in Java, PHP, Javascript and even C, but chosen language no longer forces you to write bad code. Maybe Perl, but I haven't seen it lately.

Comment: Re:Ageist much? (Score 1) 236

Not likely. The Millennials will become the Boomers. My generation is X, which has been shit upon by every other generation, most particularly including the Boomers, almost since we came into being. So if the Boomers get shit upon by younger generations, they're simply getting back what they dealt out.

(Gen X will not become as the Boomers because the generation is too small; we don't fit their shoes)

Comment: Re:Define "Qualified" (Score 1) 400

by mrchaotica (#49355301) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

I'm 30 and also consider myself to be among the oldest "millennials." I could have had a 5-digit UID, but lurked for a few years before joining.

(Back then, I was skeptical about joining web forums for some of the same reasons people don't like Facebook now. <hipster>I was a privacy nut before it was cool</hipster>)

Comment: Re:Disincentivized (Score 1) 400

by mrchaotica (#49355095) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

Sadly, You can no longer take a C++ class at most universities in the United States. You can take a "Databases using C++", and be expected to learn C++ on your own, but of course, that's much more likely to be "Databases using Java" these days.

If you're trying to learn pointers and memory management in a databases class, you're doing it wrong. An operating systems class is the right place to cover that topic.

Currently, ABET accreditation is "Outcome Based", a criterion which has been abandoned as hopelessly flawed in primary education for both math and reading:

General Criterion 3. Student Outcomes" ...

No where does it require proficiency in a programming language or other language, and in fact, it goes so far as to limit the requirement to reading about them - "exposure" - in section II:

Program Criteria for Computer Science and Simililarly Named Computing Programs ...
Student Outcomes ...

Students must have the following amounts of course work or equivalent educational experience:

a. Computer science: One and one-third years that must include: ...
2. An exposure to a variety of programming languages and systems. [CS]

WTF? The very next requirement after your quote says "3. Proficiency in at least one higher-level language. [CS] ."

The bad news is that there's only a handful of places that have these programs, such as Brown, Rice, Stanford, MIT, CMU, and so on.

The good news is that if you attend one of these handful of universities, AND you opt into the degree program that actually forces you to learn to use the tools, and use a computer as a tool, in more than a theoretical, abstract way, AND you do well, you are practically guaranteed a job at a top tier company, like Google, Facebook, Apple, etc.. The bad news is that these places tend to be a heck of a lot more expensive than a community college.

Bullshit. While there are some expensive good CS undergrad programs, there are also good (relatively) cheap ones at public state universities such as University of California - Berkeley, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and University of Texas - Austin (and those are just schools in the top 10 -- ranked above the Brown and Rice you mentioned!).

Comment: Re: finger pointing (Score 1) 400

by mrchaotica (#49354879) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

Ridiculous. Actually, part of the problem is that due to wealth transfers (Welfare and tax credits), government handouts to unions (especially federal union jobs), etc, have made it so that engineering take home pay gets held down through taxes, and some other jobs get paid more than they should.

Yes, I agree that wealth transfers (corporate tax credits, reducing the highest marginal tax rate from 84% (in 1950) to 40% (today), having a very low capital gains tax rate) have made it so that all salaried job take home pay gets held down through taxes, while owners make much more profit than they should.

Somebody's terminal is dropping bits. I found a pile of them over in the corner.