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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Java/algorithm knowledge is a proxy (Score 1) 323

I'm guilty of interviewing by asking (almost exclusively) language questions, CS theory, and programming small functions.

Knowing any language well correlates with a person who hones their craft and continually improves.

Solving problems with optimal algorithms correlates with with someone who can think through complex problems.

For me, asking about previous experience isn't as valuable because it can't be verified on the spot. So it boils down to: "show me your skills" vs "tell me about your skills".

Comment: Everybody should get reading glasses (Score 1) 464

by muhula (#48718763) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

The standard recommendation to reduce eye fatigue when using a computer screen is to stare off into the distance every so often. By using reading glasses, and with the right diopter, you can let your eyes focus as if looking into the distance while still focusing on your screen.

This has notably reduced eye fatigue for me.

If you wear contacts or don't need any correction, I recommend getting +1.5 diopter reading glasses if you sit a couple feet from your monitor, and less if you sit further. To test it out, go to a drugstore, pick some text that is the same distance as your monitor. Let your eyes relax as if staring off in the distance, and pick the diopter which gives the sharpest text

If you have glasses already, you can order a new pair and add 1.5 to your existing prescription. You can order online without a prescription (I used Zenni optical)

Comment: Re:Don't be passive, DO something (Score 4, Informative) 312

by muhula (#48533235) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Electronics-Induced Inattentiveness?

I stumbled upon a solution while taking an online course... watching the lecture at 2x speed helped me focus.

It turns out that watching a lecture in real time allows me to get bored and I end up doing a context switch. Perhaps distraction isn't the problem, but in this age, we've learned to process information more quickly.

Comment: Re:"free" solar energy (Score 3, Interesting) 107

by muhula (#47125941) Attached to: Scott Adams's Plan For Building Giant Energy-Generating Pyramids

(sorry, lost formatting)

Let's math:

Assuming that the miles high pyramid uses free sun power to melt sand and we only need PV to power lifting the glass blocks

The great pyramid of giza is 455' tall and has 10^12 joules of potential energy (http://what-if.xkcd.com/95/)
A 2 mile high pyramid with the same dimensions is about 12x taller
If you scale up the pyramid by 12, that's 12^4x more energy (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=428636)
12^4*10^12 joules=2e16 joules = 5e9 kWh
Wholesale price of electricity is 5 cents per kWh
5e9 kWh * .05 dollars/kWh = 250,000,000 dollars

This could easily triple depending on motor losses and other energy costs. So you could make your giant pyramid with "free" energy or you could sell the energy on the open market for almost a billion dollars

Comment: "free" solar energy (Score 1) 107

by muhula (#47125907) Attached to: Scott Adams's Plan For Building Giant Energy-Generating Pyramids
Let's math: Assuming that the miles high pyramid uses free sun power to melt sand and we only need PV to power lifting the glass blocks The great pyramid of giza is 455' tall and has 10^12 joules of potential energy (http://what-if.xkcd.com/95/) A 2 mile high pyramid with the same dimensions is about 12x taller if you scale up the pyramid by 12, that's 12^4x more energy (using this formula: http://www.physicsforums.com/s...) 12^4*10^12 joules=2e16 joules = 5e9 kWh wholesale price of electricity is 5 cents per kWh 5e9 kWh * .05 dollars/kWh = 250,000,000 dollars This could easily triple depending on motor losses and other energy costs. So you could make your giant pyramid with "free" energy or you could sell the energy on the open market for almost a billion dollars

Comment: Code reviewing a spreadsheet (Score 4, Insightful) 422

by muhula (#47103711) Attached to: Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work
If the inability to code review spreadsheets was a real issue, it wouldn't be too hard to convert spreadsheet functions into a functional language. For non-programmers, a spreadsheet lowers the barrier to entry. This allows people to do something useful and productive who couldn't do so otherwise. That's a good thing.

Comment: It's no coincidence that the hood was black (Score 1) 172

by muhula (#46705671) Attached to: Land Rover Demos "Transparent Hood"
With a light colored hood, the heads up display during the day would be washed out.

I imagine that cars with this technology would benefit from a matte black hood, making future cars look like modders with carbon fiber hoods. Next, we'll see some technology that requires a huge spoiler :)

Comment: Re:Isn't the upshot the same? (Score 2) 325

by muhula (#46638911) Attached to: FWD.us Wants More H-1B Visas, But 50% Go To Offshore Firms
+5 insightful? 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of workers to roles? While it would be fun to feed into the frenzy going on in this message board, that means for every job, there are 1 or 2 unemployed people... 50-66% unemployment And before you say that they're just underemployed, I've interviewed hundreds of candidates and the vast majority can't do simple aspects of the job (in my case, it was to write code). So, no, you're dead wrong and the people who modded you just have some sort of agenda or lack critical thinking

+ - SPAM: Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano One to One model year 2009

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Ferrari stand at the 2008 Paris Auto Show will host the official unveiling of the new Ferrari California, the stunning coupé-cabriolet that has created such expectation amongst both those in the industry and the public at large"
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: How can I prepare for the Theft of my Android Phone? 5

Submitted by Adam Jorgensen
Adam Jorgensen (1302989) writes "Last week my 4-week old Moto G phone was stolen while getting onto the train at Salt River in Cape Town, South Africa. That in itself is no big deal. Cellphone theft is a huge problem here in South Africa and I've had at least two previous cellphones stolen. The big deal this time, for me at least, was that this was the first time I've lost an Android phone to theft.

When I actually sat down and through about it, losing a fully configured Android phone is actually a big deal as it provides ready access to all kinds of accounts, including ones Google account. This could potentially allow the thief to engage in all kinds of malicious behaviour, some of which could have major implications beyond the scope of the theft.

Luckily for me it seems that the thief did the usual thing: Dumped the sim card, wiped the phone and switched it off. It's probably had it's IMEI changed by now and been sold on to some oblivious punter, possibly some oblivious punter in another country.

Still, the potential for serious issue is making me have second thoughts about replacing the phone with anything capable of doing much more than calling.

My question is this: Are there any serious solutions out there for Android that secure against theft?

By serious I mean solutions that go beyond the laughably easy to defeat "Find My Phone" and "Remote Wipe" options provided at present. Presently I'm thinking along the lines of:
  • Full encryption of phone contents
  • Some kind of "Travel Safe" mode that would lock the phone down and trigger a full wipe of not unlocked correctly (Including wiping the phone on next boot if not unlocked before being switched off/running out of battery).

So, any ideas?"

Comment: Re:Downsides to Austin (Score 1) 285

Exactly, let's factor in the cost of my time sitting in traffic. If you assume 1 extra hour round trip at 1.5x pay, $100k turns in to $84k for the time you're actually at work and $16k for sitting in traffic. Until self driving cars come along, you'll be staring at the truck in front of you for a non-trivial portion of your life

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas

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