Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment: Sounds like a translation error in the article (Score 5, Informative) 523

by magi (#48486325) Attached to: Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

This article could be a complete misconception, based on a translation error. The article says that Finnish children will only be taught "texting". In English, texting usually means writing SMS messages and such. The article refers to a Finnish article, where they talk about "tekstaus". In Finnish, "tekstaus" means writing block letters (or print writing) separate letters by hand. That's different from cursive, where the letters are joined.

According to Wikipedia, in English-speaking countries, children also learn block writing first and MAY learn cursive. It doesn't mention how common it is.

If so, this article is nonsense.

The currently taught Finnish cursive is not very different from "tekstaus" anyhow. I personally nowadays mainly use the older cursive, for the exact reason that it has become rare.

Comment: Ringing (Score 1) 367

by magi (#46600701) Attached to: More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

Perhaps they should study whether the main problem is talking in the phone or simply one ringing. Digging the annoyingly ringing phone out of your pocket could be a bigger risk than talking in it.

How to prevent that? Good question.

Handsfree devices are also rather useless, especially if you are driving with automatic gear, and often result in much more distraction than just holding the phone. Fumbling when you attach the phone in the holder and especially fumbling with an earphone can be really dangerous.

Comment: Microsoft isn't buying Nokia (Score 1) 105

by magi (#46326023) Attached to: Nokia Announces Nokia X Android Smartphone

Microsoft is not buying Nokia, only the Devices & Services division of Nokia, which includes its phone business. However, that might not prevent Nokia from setting up a new phones business. Perhaps it doesn't make much sense, as Microsoft does get the right to use Nokia brand for 10 years, so re-entering phone business would be rather confusing for Nokia.

Now, if the Android phone is made by the Devices & Services division, it will be transferred to Microsoft, and the Android products may be terminated at some point. It's hard to say - Microsoft could be trying to confuse the market somehow - with existing pantent licensing by Android phonemakers and the ongoing patent cases, Microsoft may try to shake Android markets with a cheaper device for which it has all the patent rights - it now can use all Nokia's phone patents as well, so making phones is almost patent-free, unlike for other Android phone makers who have to pay licensing fees to Microsoft for certain patents. So, making low-cost Android phones could be much cheaper for Microsoft than for others. And, as it doesn't use Google Play, it would bring no revenue to Google.

Comment: My hands-on experience (Score 1) 141

by magi (#45560207) Attached to: Jolla: Ex-Nokia Employees Launch Smartphone (MeeGo Resurrected)

I'm one of the guys who got the phone two days ago. You can read my quick review here.

To summarize: the user interface based on swiping works quite nicely, even if a bit confusing at first, and the phone works OK as a minimalistic smartphone. On Day 1, there still are quite many bugs and usability issues that need to be worked out.

Compared to Android or iOS, the visual simplicity of the user interface views is extreme, no buttons or decorations almost anywhere. When you open the phone app, you just see a very plain call log. In the email app, you just get a list of emails, and when you open an email, there's just a title followed by text. On the downside, views are often rather over-simplified, so that things are hidden too well, and workflows to get to what you want are often a bit complex and unintuitive. There's no status row that is always visible, system settings aren't accessible immediately everywhere, but you need to go to the start screen, etc.

Some critical features such as WiFi access point missing (or I just haven't found it after poking around 2 days).

Around 30 native apps; some Android apps work just fine, but many do not, and the selection is in practice very limited.

Comment: Gray hair? (Score 1) 472

by magi (#44107481) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Getting Hired As a Self-Taught Old Guy?

A pack of hair color costs something like $10 at your local store. One problem solved. (If someone has good tips for coloring beard, I'd like to know.)

My guess is that if you want to apply to an organization that uses formal screening process, you're off worse. Networking is the word of the day and if you have a lot of previous work experience, you might already have a professional network. Use it, and sidestep the screening. If not, build your network. Participate in groups, attend conferences, etc. Be active, social, and ambitious, in the right way. Create your own projects, team up, work hard. Target smaller companies that may be more flexible about their hiring practices.

Previous accomplishments are not necessarily a proof of anything, the problem is that everyone can boast about their accomplishments, so nobody pays attention to them if they don't know you, but school grades are official and considered "objective". So, your accomplishments only matter to people who know about them - mainly your network.

Of course, you must be able to develop yourself to the tip of your field. You need to show that you have experience about the field - perhaps write a professional blog, or something, be social. Younger people often have more ambition than us older guys, and you have to rebuild that ambition in yourself, even though I know it can be hard. Be proactive, smart, and develop something bright.

'nuf of pep talk. More booze, sleep.

Comment: Re:Dear God, why? (Score 1) 112

by magi (#42254783) Attached to: Book Review: Sams Teach Yourself Node.js In 24 Hours

Exactly so.

There's a much better alternative - Vaadin. It allows pure server-side Java development of Ajax web applications much the same way as you would develop desktop applications with Swing, etc. Vaadin renders the server-side UI in the browser with widgets and a JavaScript rendering engine. However, you can also develop client-code in Java. The Java code is compiled to JavaScript with the GWT Compiler, which is also included in Vaadin. In Vaadin 7, the Java objects are serialized transparently between the server-side and client-side, so you can essentially work with the same objects on both sides.

So, there is no real reason for node.js, unless you're really good at JavaScript and want to work with it instead of Java, or you have some JS code that you need to run on both sides. If you have already made a client-side JS library, you can integrate it with Vaadin quite easily.

Comment: Vaadin framework (Score 1) 409

by magi (#40201207) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Tips For Designing a Modern Web Application?

I'd really recommend taking a look at Vaadin. It's a server-side Java and Ajax web application development framework that lets you forget most of the web stuff. The Ajax and HTML rendering are all hidden and it's closer to desktop application development than traditional web development. The client-side is based on GWT, so if you want to make new components, you can do it with Java. In addition to the built-in components, there are some 250+ add-ons, so you can most likely find what you are looking for from those.

Comment: StoneGate (Score 1) 414

by magi (#31906974) Attached to: What Is the Future of Firewalls?

Check out StoneGate, it offers a GUI where you can drag&drop all kinds of stuff with a very powerful management system. The learning curve is a bit steep, but it's really meant for network admins who use it as a central part of their jobs. I think it has most of the features you're thinking about.

It's really ideal for large enterprise-level installations with multi-homing network connections, but works in smaller installations just as well (I used it also at home). It requires two servers: at least one firewall node (you can build clusters), and a management server (can be your desktop machine). You can do logging on yet another server, etc. They also offer IPS (intrusion prevention system) for detecting nasty behaviour.

Comment: Comparing with iPhone (Score 1) 484

by magi (#29225181) Attached to: Nokia Releases Linux Handset

I didn't find any good comparison, so I wrote a simple comparison table:

Looks like N900 wins iPhone easily on hardware specs, though iPhone does have a few advantages (slimmer, possibly better touchscreen). N900 wins on some very important software issues as well, such as Flash and Skype, though iPhone does have much more software (commercial), at least until old maemo software works in Maemo 5 (if it doesn't directly).

My guess is that iPhone will win in usability and responsiveness, but that's just a guess, Nokia has a chance to surprise us there. I'll be waiting for N900 eagerly and will possibly buy it at some point, although my E90 is just 2 years old and has much much better keyboard than even N900...

Oh, I really hate the three-row keyboard concept in N810, N97 and now N900. I've actually had real nightmares about using Nokia's bluetooth keyboard, which also has the numbers and qwerty row combined. That's definitely the worst thing in N900.

Comment: Trivial mathematical modeling (Score 1) 121

by magi (#29075945) Attached to: A Mathematical Model For a Spreading Zombie Infestation

Nothing scientifically interesting here. This is just basic 101 mathematical modeling, straight from the text book. They start with the most basic SIR model, building it from the elementary reactions and do the basic analysis: solve the equilibria and determine their stability with eigenvalues. They have just renamed the generic "infected" as "zombies". We did these calculations for dozens of different models as part of course exercises. For some reason, they don't do phase plane analysis, which is a very basic method, for any of the models, which is a bit strange.

I don't see why any scientific magazine would publish such basic text book stuff, except for fun. Sure, it's fun.


+ - New Kid On The RIA Block Brings X11 to Web-> 1

Submitted by
jole writes "With the X Window System, your user interface code runs on the server and the terminal is fairly dummy. Vaadin }> tries to bring back this programming paradigm for Java EE and RIA. Development is done in pure server-side Java — no Ajax-programming is needed. On the user side any modern web browser will do — no plugins are needed. As the framework is released with Apache license, it should get quite a lot of attention from commercial application developers."
Link to Original Source

There's no future in time travel.