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Comment: Re:Phd or don't bother (Score 2, Informative) 834

by negative3 (#27903915) Attached to: Go For a Masters, Or Not?

Computer Engineering != CS. Computer engineering is a part of EE. Here's a single example of the price difference you can see on your first job: A friend of mine and I interviewed at the same company for similar positions. He was finishing his BS in EE and I was finishing my MS in EE. My offer was 18k more than his and was for a higher-level engineering classification. Given that the company average for raises was 3.5%, he would have been making around 4.5k more than when he started in 2 years with the company and wouldn't have been bumped up to engineer 2. Or he could have spent two years to get his MS, made 18k more, and started at the "engineer 2" level. He chose to get his MS.

Most places I looked treated a MS like a BS + 3 years experience. They stated this on the job postings. But my market/industry may be different than others.

Here are some reasons to do your MS now instead of later:
1.) I would have a hard time going back to school after a long break. When you get a job, sure you're at your office for 40 hours a week but you don't have homework, class projects, or finals. Your free time is your time. Some days I like coming home, shutting down my EE side, and playing with my son. And you don't know what will happen during your break - will you get married, buy a house, or have a kid? Each one of those things is a major drain on time, energy, and money.
2.) You like your field and want to learn. There's nothing wrong with expanding your skills.
3.) You don't want to completely enter adulthood yet. Grad school is a nice way to postpone real responsibilities.

But, DO NOT DO A CLASSWORK ONLY MS. If you don't have a research project that ends in a thesis, I will put your resume on the same stack as those who only have a BS. That's the biggest thing. If you can't handle the research, just get a job. Non-thesis MS degrees are for people who are working while getting their degree. If you're young and just going to school, there's no excuse for not doing research. Getting on a funded project can be hard, though.

Comment: Re:This is a very interesting project (Score 1) 234

by negative3 (#27363731) Attached to: Project Aims For 5x Increase In Python Performance

From what I've seen, Python 3.0 is not supported by a good number of Python packages whereas Python 2.6 is which would make the "no Python 3.0 support" a minor issue for me. Python 3.0 is also not shipping as the default interpreter for Fedora, Ubunutu, or openSuSE yet so it won't really affect basic users for a while. I have also seen benchmarks (but I don't have references, so I welcome contradictions and corrections) that show that 3.0 is considerably slower than 2.6 so if the speed of Python is an issue to people they shouldn't be using 3.0 (I take issue with people who grumble about Python's execution speed anyway - if speed is that important stick to C/C++). If you have a good amount of existing Python apps that work under 2.5 getting them to work in 2.6 isn't hard. Moving to 3.0 is a much bigger step, especially if you relied on built-in modules that are either different now or removed.

I see the "no windows support" as a much bigger negative - if one of the biggest strengths of Python is cross-platform support and you need your programs to work on both Windows and Linux (as I do) that's going to be a problem and I'm only half interested (because half of my apps never leave Linux).


Global Space Agencies Gather For Collaboration 74

Posted by Zonk
from the united-federation-of-planet-earth dept.
UltimaGuy handed us a link to a story on the Register site, covering NASA's plan to create a collaborative space effort across the globe. Agencies from 'Italy, Japan, China, Britain, France, America, India, Korea, Ukraine, Russia, Canada, Germany, Australia and the ESA' got together for the first time since the formation of the Global Explorations Strategy team last year. "This year, they met in Kyoto to discuss a draft Framework for Collaboration, which will set out how the various agencies will work together. The team has agreed that its main focus should be robotic exploration of the solar system, particularly of the moon, Mars and the near-Earth asteroids. It has also proposed a non-binding collaboration mechanism which would allow all agencies to share their plans, and look for opportunities to work together. This would also provide a route for agencies to share the data from their own missions with scientists from other agencies."

+ - Clocky: Thoughts on the commercial design??

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "Clocky: The Commercial Design
Clocky, the alarm clock that runs away, received a lot of attention on Slashdot back when he was only a prototype. MIT Start-up Nanda, founded by the MIT graduate inventor, recently launched Clocky commercially. It'd be great to get a discussion going on the commercial design of Clocky, especially since it's one of the few mainstream consumer robotics out there. Check out for more info. I'd love to read what other Slashdotters think! Linney"

+ - Poker Champion's Account Cracked, Thousands Stolen

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Greg "Fossilman" Raymer, 2004 World Series of Poker Champion and spokesman for PokerStars, had his PokerStars account cracked by a would-be thief. The miscreant logged in both as FossilMan and under his own account and intentionally lost over $12,000 of Raymer's money to his account before he was caught by eagle-eyed onlookers. Read the full story."

+ - Vista: The Honeymoon is Over

Submitted by BillGatesLoveChild
BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) writes "The Sydney Morning Herald reports the Vista backlash has begun, and is spreading to the popular press: "Utterly unimaginative, internally discordant and woefully out of tune".

You have to hand it to Microsoft. Despite the negative reviews of Microsoft's New Vista Operating System in the trade press, very little of that has filtered through to the general public. Friends and relatives have told me how eager they are to upgrade to it, for no other apparent reason than "It's New!" Warnings about draconian DRM, incompatability and poor performance as highlighted in ComputerWorld and in Peter Gutman's famous paper (apparently only famous to geeks) are lost on them.

But the Sydney Morning Herald Reports that as the general public experiences these first hand, the bad word is finally starting to spread. Customers have been reinstalling XP and advising others to wait. No one ever asked for Vista. Microsoft hoisted it upon us. Has Microsoft finally gone a Bridge to Far?"
The Internet

+ - Image piracy

Submitted by seralick
seralick (701842) writes "Many online artists have had to deal with image copyright infringements from people stealing their work and posting it as their own. Artists have dealt with this a number of ways, commonly including watermarks or otherwise changing the viewing of their picture. One artist however has decided to take a different tactic. When well known photographer (and security expert) Marcus J. Ranum finds some of his works copyrighted he goes about asking the sites to remove the pictures. One particular copyrighter has taken his stealing of the images to a new level, and has decided to attempt an online slander campaign against MJR for 'outing' him and his copyrighting ways. In response, MJR has created a website describing the whole bizarre situation. Goes to show, should careful who you antagonize online."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Men focus on crotches

Submitted by JavaRob
JavaRob (28971) writes "A study by the Online Journalism Review using eye tracking to improve page layouts turned up an odd result: men tend to reliably look at crotches in photos.

"Although both men and women look at the image of George Brett when directed to find out information about his sport and position, men tend to focus on private anatomy as well as the face. For the women, the face is the only place they viewed. [...]This difference doesn't just occur with images of people. Men tend to fixate more on areas of private anatomy on animals as well, as evidenced when users were directed to browse the American Kennel Club site."

Interestingly, it seems like even knowing that their eye movements were being recorded didn't affect the habit.

Side note: the main article is actually interesting, if you can manage to tear your eyes away from George Brett's groin."

+ - Mechanical Amplification Demonstrated

Submitted by
Sterling D. Allan
Sterling D. Allan writes "A physicist from Serbia, from whence Tesla sprang, has come up with a notion that could be the most monumental discovery in gravity and inertia since Newton. Veljco Milkovi has received patents (awarded the rare "an original scientific work" designation) and has built demonstration devices to show how secondary up-and-down oscillations created by the primary back-and-forth oscillations of pendulum action evince many times more force than the force required to keep the pendulum in motion. A researcher from Utah recently replicated Milkovic work using bicycle parts, confirming the claim, and setting forth a simple DYI approach for the quest to derive useful energy from this phenomenon."

+ - Programming as a career?

Submitted by Jimmy
Jimmy (970218) writes "I've successfully applied for a CS-type degree starting this year. I'm pretty excited about it, and I know I'll enjoy the course. However, I have this big looming doubt about the IT industry. Some sources say that demand for graduates is outstripping supply, while others claim that both demand and supply have dropped. What's the true story? Should I turn down my offers and go build a career in auto repair? I really want to do this for a living, but is the money in it any more?"

+ - Mars Rover Churns Up Yellow Soil

Submitted by
SeaDour writes "Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are taking a closer look at images sent back by the Mars rover Spirit nearly a year ago, showing bright yellow soil that had been churned up by the rover's wheels. The soil appears to contain high concentrations of sulfur as well as traces of water. "This material could have been left behind by water that dissolved these minerals underground, then came to the surface and evaporated, or it could be a volcanic deposit formed around ancient gas vents," said Dr. Ray Arvidson. Researchers are planning to see if the soil turns up anywhere else in the area, potentially giving more clues as to its origin."

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