Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
What's the story with these ads on Slashdot? Check out our new blog post to find out. ×

Comment Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose (Score 5, Interesting) 468

Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose: you'll be happy with your job to the extent it has these qualities. How much autonomy do most engineering jobs give you? Not much I imagine. How much mastery? Well you're certainly not going to be exploring many new skills, or even masterting particularly difficult ones on average; it's mostly repetitive scaffolding with glue.

Purpose is pretty much the only one that technology work has plenty of. Everything runs on information technology now, so if you're interested in tech, which you probably are, you'll find lots of purpose in developing or administering information systems. This only goes so far before the lack of autonomy gets to you, or you hit the mastery ceiling pretty quickly at any given job.

Comment Re:Compile to JS vs WebASM (Score 1) 94

maybe the fact that Javascript doesn't even have integers?

That's indeed a problem.

Or that (other than in asm.js) it doesn't support C-style malloc/free heap-based allocation? Or that (again, other than in asm.js) the runtime is garbage collected? Or that it doesn't properly support threads (a huge deal given the demands of modern computing), or sharing of memory between WebWorkers and the main thread?

Those aren't problems. Shared memory concurrency is hard, and we don't want the resulting bugs in our browser. Event loops are perfect in this domain.

Manual memory allocation should never be the default; I'm not even sure it should be an option at all. If you're using JS for games, then what's really needed is simply latency annotations to indicate that low latency is more important than throughput in this context.

The biggest JS problem IMO: weird implicit coercions resulting in surprising equalities and inequalities.

Comment Re:And I'm the feminist deity (Score 1) 446

I coach an after school program in robotics and programming at my local elementary school, and I agree that this is baloney. The parents are pushing hard for their girls to pursue tech, and it is the girls themselves that are disinterested.

This is only a meaningful data point if you can demonstrate that such families aren't already biased towards selecting for parents more interested in tech careers.

I rather think it's quite biased towards such parents. After all, why would you be hearing from parents not interested in tech for their daughters? So your ancedote wouldn't be meaningful in the face of rigourous data (assuming Google's study has such data).

Comment I don't even... (Score 3, Interesting) 386

Further, "Like many of new languages, Rust is walking the path of simplification. I can generally understand why it doesn't have a decent inheritance and exceptions [...]

Spoken like someone who has no clue about the breadth and depth of the various programming paradigms available. The fact that he still considers inheritance as somehow essential just reveals his ignorance on the progress on comp sci over the past 20+ years.

Exceptions are more debatable, since we don't yet have a better error handling abstraction that scales from local to global error handling (checked exceptions are the best we have so far).

[...] but the fact itself that someone is making decisions for me regarding things like that makes me feel somewhat displeased. C++ doesn't restrict programmers regarding what they can or cannot use."

I don't even... So by this argument, C++ restricts me from using generators and first-class delimited continuations, so it's not good enough either.

This argument is both a contradiction because C++ also makes such decisions thus disqualifying it despite the author's claims, AND it's tautological because every language makes opinionated decisions about acceptable idioms. Really, no language could possibly satisfy the author's requirements.

Given its goals, I think Rust made a pretty good set of opinionated choices though. Certainly better than C++ overall.

Comment Re:For those who can read... (Score 1) 237

It's information about me, but it belongs to the phone company, and they have it.

Does the phone company have ownership over data about you? Should it? A person's "house, papers, and effects" recognizes a person's property rights. It doesn't seem unreasonable that use of a service, particularly a common carrier, generates new "papers and effects" that ought to be considered personal property.

For instance, we already recognize a person's right to provacy protection over their medical records, even though by your argument, hospitals and doctors "own" those records in a very similar way a phone company "owns" your metadata.

Comment Re:We're so screwed. (Score 5, Insightful) 237

You've tasked these loyal people with a job to do in order to keep the USA and its citizens safe, and then removed the tools they need to do the job effectively.

Except there's no proof that these tools are actually effective, and there are plenty of arguments made by experts that they cannot possibly be effective (too many false positives ties up scarce investigative resources). So I reject your whole premise.

Comment Re:This is not a photon drive (Score 1) 480

Bzzt. Wrong. Those conjectures were from from Paul March who is "an engineer at NASA Eagleworks". None of the authors are named March.

The article text you quoted is completely ambiguous as to where "EM Drive propulsion conjectures" come from. If March had his own theory, then we'd be hearing about it more than the EM drive inventors' theory. I haven't. You find me the post where he claims to have this theory in the megathread the article was based on, and I'll concede the point.

I see no signs of such evidence here.

There is sufficient evidence of an anomolous result. Whether this result can be accounted for by conventional physics, either due to experimental error or because of some hitherto untested combination of physical mechanisms, remains to be seen.

Comment Re:This is not a photon drive (Score 1) 480

Those conjectures are based on the author's explanations of the mechanism, which we already know to be largely bunk.

Compared to the actual momentum imparted by 1kW worth of photons, which is what current physics suggests would be the only source of momentum, the amount of force measured is much more significant. Hence, fairly efficient by comparison.

Finally note that the one experiment that got close to one Newton/kW was not done in a vacuum.

The NASA tests measured the same force in both vacuum and non-vacuum environments. Any results from China are suspect since falsification is much more rampant there.

Comment Re:This is not a photon drive (Score 1) 480

They put in metric ton-loads of energy and measure a very small effect. They say they will need to increase the efficiency by many orders of magnitude to create a practical device. I say they probably made a mistake somewhere and the tiny effect they measured is either noise or due to something else they haven't yet accounted for.

They didn't actually put in that much energy compared to the thrust they measured. If the tiny effect is what you're worried about, then a proper metric ton-load of energy would immediately point out any error.

panic: kernel trap (ignored)

Working...