Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Misuse shouldn't result in banning ... (Score 1) 272

by spauldo (#49780923) Attached to: Why PowerPoint Should Be Banned


I personally don't think using it to "organize" your talk is very effective, but it's great for props. How much CPU time is used in a particular part of your code? Put up a graph showing it. It gets everyone on the same page and lets them discuss it. Throw up a diagram and use a pointer to direct attention to how the different areas interact. Discussing a method of rendering surface normals in a 3D model? Put up images that compare the results side by side. I've seen it used very effectively.

If you just put up slides that show your main points, you're wasting everyone's time and attention. Take a class on giving speeches, learn how to do it right, and stop distracting your audience. The only person that needs to see your outline is you.

When I was in the Air Force, I regularly received Powerpoint attachments in my email to tell me things like "Softball game against Services Squadron on Tuesday at 5pm!" with tons of clipart and whatnot. They were always from officers. They must have a Powerpoint course at the Air Force Academy. I decided that while Powerpoint was a useful tool, officers should be banned from using it.

Comment: Re:Why is this dribble on the front page? (Score 1) 299

by spauldo (#49780867) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

Oklahoma gets flooded every decade or so. Some parts even more often (the next town over floods almost every time it rains... it's a poor town so people can't afford to move).

It's because of a mixture of terrain and weather patterns. Large parts of the state are fairly flat with wide, shallow river basins. The Arkansas river near here is very wide and usually only a couple feet deep - you can walk across it and not get your shirt wet. People take their 4x4s out on it and drive between the sand bars. Canoeing on it involves getting out and dragging your canoe every half a mile or so. So when we get a lot of rain, which happens every few years, the water has nowhere to go.

It's no different than tornadoes or drought. You live here, you get used to it. Unless you live in Moore, which is rapidly becoming a running gag around here.

You can blame God for it if you like (or Obama, he gets blamed for everything around here), but that's like blaming God for earthquakes in Tokyo and California, or hurricanes in the Caribbean. The "ways" aren't exactly mysterious. You live in the great plains, you're going to get floods and tornadoes.

+ - Clinton Foundation: Kids' Lack of CS Savvy Threatens the US Economy

Submitted by theodp
theodp writes: As the press digs for details on Clinton Foundation donations, including a reported $26+ million from Microsoft and Bill Gates, it's probably worth noting the interest the Clintons have developed in computer science and the role they have played — and continue to play — in the national K-12 CS and tech immigration crisis that materialized after Microsoft proposed creating such a crisis to advance its 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy, which aims to increase K-12 CS education and the number of H-1B visas. Next thing you know, Bill is the face of CS at the launch of tech-bankrolled Then Hillary uses the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) conference to launch a Facebook, Microsoft, and Google initiative to boost the ranks of female and students of color in CS, and starts decrying woeful CS enrollment (as well as ISIS). Not to be left out, Chelsea keynotes the NCWIT Summit and launches Google's $50M girls-only Made With Code initiative with now-U.S. CTO Megan Smith. And last December — on the same day that President Obama was 'taught to code' by — the Clinton Foundation touts its initiatives to engage middle school girls in CS, revamp the nation's AP CS program, and retrain out-of-work Americans as coders. At next month's CGI America 2015, the conference will kick off with a Beer Bust that CGI says "will also provide an opportunity to learn about Tech Girls Rock, a CGI Commitment to Action launched by CA Technologies in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America that helps girls discover an interest in tech-related educational opportunities and careers." On the following days, CGI sessions will discuss tech's need for a strong and diverse talent pipeline for computer and information technology jobs, which it says is threatened by "the persistent poor performance of American students in science, technology, engineering, and math," presenting "serious implications for the long-term competitiveness of the U.S. economy." So what's the long-term solution? Expanding CS education, of course!

How To Die On Mars 170

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-your-coffin-to-mars dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Many space-related projects are currently focusing on Mars. SpaceX wants to build a colony there, NASA is looking into base design, and Mars One is supposedly picking astronauts for a mission. Because of this, we've been reading a lot about how we could live on Mars. An article at Popular Science reminds us of all the easy ways to die there. "Barring any complications with the spacecraft's hardware or any unintended run-ins with space debris, there's still a big killer lurking out in space that can't be easily avoided: radiation. ... [And] with so little atmosphere surrounding Mars, gently landing a large amount of weight on the planet will be tough. Heavy objects will pick up too much speed during the descent, making for one deep impact. ... Mars One's plan is to grow crops indoors under artificial lighting. According to the project's website, 80 square meters of space will be dedicated to plant growth within the habitat; the vegetation will be sustained using suspected water in Mars' soil, as well as carbon dioxide produced by the initial four-member crew. However, analysis conducted by MIT researchers last year (PDF) shows that those numbers just don't add up."

Comment: Re:Why is this dribble on the front page? (Score 1) 299

by PopeRatzo (#49779771) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

Seriously I do feel awful badly for those folks. I hate when bad things happen to anyone, even if they hate me with a passion.

I agree. However, I am reminded of the story of the farmer who's trying to show someone how to train a mule. He starts by walking up to the mule and whacking it on the head with a club, knocking the mule out. When the pupil asked him, "Why did you do that?" the farmer said, "Well, first you have to get his attention."

One has to wonder if a theoretical compassionate God is trying to get Texas and Oklahoma's attention. But then, considering the annual number of tornadoes and other natural disasters that hit Texas and Oklahoma, you'd have think He'd just give up by now and smite the whole region and leave it to the armadillos.

Comment: Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 1) 241

by PopeRatzo (#49779751) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

How did you get "the tax goes from 3% to 4%" from "the state raises taxes on car dealers by 30%?"

About your other point, sure some of the dealers may only raise prices by 29% and absorb that other 1%, but you're still missing the point

Are you really that stupid? Do you understand the difference between raising taxes on dealers "by 30%" and raising the taxes on dealers "to 30%"?

Raising taxes from 3% to 4% is a 33% increase in taxes. Raising taxes from 6% to 8% would be a 33% increase in taxes. Raising taxes from 15% to 20% would be a 33% increase in taxes. But even the biggest of those increases, assuming there's no competition and no dealer decides to take a little less profit in order to increase market share, the largest pass-through to consumers would only have to be 5%.

If you don't think only consumers pay taxes...

I never said that. Consumers often pay taxes. In the case of Amazon, the consumers would be paying the sales tax, because up to now Amazon has been able to avoid taxes on the notion that the internet is some magical places where taxes should not exist because...computers or something.

Maybe you can understand it if I explain it another way. If you have ten apples and I take ten percent of them today, and tomorrow I raise the percentage of apples I take from you by 100%, it does not mean I'm taking 100% of your apples.

Here's a nice tutorial on calculating percentage change with a calculator if you're still having trouble. If you need help turning on the calculator, you'll have to ask someone else.

Comment: Re:Why is this dribble on the front page? (Score 5, Interesting) 299

by PopeRatzo (#49779501) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

Seen any suspicious rainbows lately? This might fill you in on what the governmen is doing I hear it targets Christians:

Actually, there was a big stunning double rainbow over Dublin last week as the people of Ireland rejected the teachings of the Church and approved same sex marriage.

Texas, on the other hand, outlawed gay marriage and got deadly floods and tornadoes.


Comment: Re:Why is this dribble on the front page? (Score 3, Insightful) 299

by PopeRatzo (#49779463) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

What is so hard to believe that we created the "god" myth? It's been done many times over the ages, so we have more proof of that than the other way around.

Yes, but all those other people who created gods were just making them up, whereas the god we made up is the Real Thing!

Comment: Re:Why is this dribble on the front page? (Score 1) 299

by PopeRatzo (#49779451) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

Maybe the anti-creationist, anti-Christian witch hunters set this bogus thing up, just to have an excuse to go after the Christians.


But maybe the Creationists set it up just to make it look like the anti-Christian witch hunters set it up so that then they could say, "Look how we're being made to look stupid and a little evil by the anti-Christian witch hunters who are all hiding in plain sight just steps away from the Christian churches that are on every other block throughout the United States.

Comment: For those in Power,oversimplification is the Point (Score 1) 272

by D4C5CE (#49779093) Attached to: Why PowerPoint Should Be Banned

Its slides are oversimplified, and bullet points omit the complexities of nearly any issue

So whatever split-second decision an overpaid high-level executive takes by not allowing anything the requisite minimum thought, s/he can later blame on (and get someone else fired for) having been given incomplete information as requested by demanding earlier on that every complex matter be reduced to a polished assortment of insufficient buzzwords in incomplete grammar. In short, PPTs institutionalize PHBs' hierarchical infallibility at the expense of underlings who have to use it.


Why PowerPoint Should Be Banned 272

Posted by Soulskill
from the hang-on-my-clicker-isn't-working dept.
An anonymous reader writes: An editorial at the Washington Post argues that Microsoft PowerPoint is being relied upon by too many to do too much, and we should start working to get rid of it. "Its slides are oversimplified, and bullet points omit the complexities of nearly any issue. The slides are designed to skip the learning process, which — when it works — involves dialogue, eye-to-eye contact and discussions. Of course PowerPoint has merits — it can help businesses with their sales pitches or let teachers introduce technology into the classroom. But instead of being used as a means for a dynamic engagement, it has become a poor substitute for longer, well-thought-out briefings and technical reports. It has become a crutch."

Factorials were someone's attempt to make math LOOK exciting.