Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×

Comment When Anyone's a Felon, Eveyone's a Felon (Score 1) 510

We've really hit rock bottom in an Orwellian sort of way. I agree with the original poster that actual crimes should be prosecuted by due process. But when the government can't seem to gather the requisite evidence, it uses broad charges like "Obstruction of Justice." The only thing that Dennis Hastert is **currently** guilty of (and that could and hopefully will change) is not having a lawyer present when he was questioned by the FBI goons. Never talk to law enforcement without one present.

Comment Re:Fired! (Score 2) 353

It's really simple. If you sign the front of the check, then you probably own your labor. If you sign the back of the check, someone else owns it. Be glad you get a paycheck and save up so that when you get your brilliant idea, you can create your own company and then your idea might be yours (or your investor's -- again, which side of the check do you sign?)

Comment A Necessary Evil (Score 1) 464

I am in my mid 50's, have been near-sighted since the 3rd grade, and work at the computer about 14 hours a day. I have the exact setup mentioned -- 2 x 19 inch monitors. I usually have about 20 - 30 apps/windows open at a time so just making the fonts bigger isn't really an option. I've been using progressives for about 20 years now. I have 3 separate pairs of glasses for different distance options (desktop/work, laptop/home, and mobile device/driving). I took precise measurements and worked with my optometrist for about 3 years before getting the right combination of distances for most applications. Unfortunately I'm also an avid amateur astronomer with significant astigmatism and I haven't found a good solution for that application. It's taken a lot of time to get used to progressives and optimize for my rather repetitive applications. I think like most anything else you get out of it what you put into it. There isn't a magic bullet when your eyesight is as bad as mine. The original poster doesn't fit that description so I would say they should give both traditional bifocals and progressives a 3 - 6 month try out. Buy cheap frames and put the money into the lenses including and especially into good AR coatings. That's made a huge difference for me, probably bigger than my choice of progressives vs. bifocals.

Comment R for Speed of Implementation, Python for Scale (Score 2) 143

There is a classical problem here. R is great for getting trained and productive VERY quickly. It has 4,600 packages that will do almost anything you need to and it does some very sophisticated statistical methods right out of the box. What can't be done out of the box (or from the core download since it's not really a boxed product) has likely been coded in a package -- even very complex biostatistical and bioinformatics methods. Also R has a lot of graphical data visualization functionality built in and extended by some awesome packages like ggplot2. Additionally, R does a great job with documentation as it can inject data, visualizations and code into markdown documents, which makes publication a whole lot easier. R's functional/imperative/quasi-object oriented approaches have their quirks (but then what language doesn't?). One thing to note however is that R is not in itself multithreaded and it requires that all the data it is working on reside in memory. For very large, very complex data sets that could be a bit of problem. So where R is great from a quick ramp up perspective, Python will probably scale better to huge datasets in the tera- and peta- byte range. It has come along way especially with scipy, numpy and other packages listed above. So if you anticipate having to scale in this way, then Python maybe a better long term toolset. I like them both and use them both. I choose which one I am going to use for a project (and stick with the toolset for the whole project) based on dataset size, statistical/visualization complexity and documentation requirements. R tends to win out a bit more often for me.

Comment Crunching Lots of Messy Data? Use R (Score 1) 466

R is made for cleaning and analyzing mounds of data (though R requires all that data to reside in memory so there are limits). Its interpreted, RStudio is an AWESOME free GUI, and there are libraries (AKA packages) for just about any data task you'd like to do. You can do sophisticated things quickly in the REPL and writing short analysis scripts is pretty easy. It is a functional language (mostly) and sort of OOP (not really) but it'll get the job done for data tasks.

Comment LGBT Thuggery Raises its Ugly Head (Score 1) 1116

Brenden invented Javascript and has remained very active in that community. He has DEMONSTRATED the ability to engender an active ecosystem which is what Mozilla requires. To weigh that against a political contribution 6 years ago is insanity and nonsense. The strident call for his resignation bodes very poorly for the validity of LGBT concerns and suggests an underlying coercion that is coming to the surface now that they consider themselves in the ascendant.

Comment Scope Creep and Scope Creeps (Score 1) 473

I've been a programmer/aka software engineer/aka web developer/aka IT Director for 39 years and the hardest thing that programmers have to deal with are changing expectations which manifest themselves in scope creep and scope creeps (i.e. users who don't really know what they want or need but they need it like yesterday). I think Agile techniques have helped to channel this quite a bit but that requires the right corporate culture to be successful. The truth is that computational tools are still "magic boxes" to users and it's a rare project manager/agile team that can bridge the gap between the effort required in implementation and the user's perception of what they really need.

Comment Adam Jensen Anyone? (Score 1) 129

Just a meme from a game? I think not. Aside from the vendor lock-in that you are imposing on your own body, you will be exponentially widening the gap between the have's and the havenot's. That always becomes pot that boils over and leads to blood shed. Purity First :-)

Comment This is not the first of its kind (Score 1) 35

I applaud the annoucement and access to so many scopes, but it's not a first. SLOOH is a service (i.e. you have to pay for it) that has access to some robotic scopes to do very short observing runs and capture some crude astrophotography. I'm sure that GLORIA will probably be much better but the question is, how are targets going to be prioritized. That's the problem with professionals getting time on scopes. Just imagine what a nightmare that will be for all us Amateurs.

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.