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Comment: There are upsides to paying your own way (Score 1) 182

by shadowrat (#47965257) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?
I've been sent to conferences numerous times by previous employers. It's great and all. I learned a lot and brought a lot of new skills back to my workplace, but there's a downside to it as well.

Conferences are a great place to network with other employers. Maybe you wouldn't feel the same, but I kind of felt bad about talking to other potential employers while i was there on my current employer's dime. Sure i signed something saying if i left my company within a year, i'd pay them back. Still, it sort of feels underhanded to me.

I feel a lot better about job hunting at conferences if i send myself. Of course, if i really love my job, i'd love it even more if they paid my way to the conference.

Comment: what is this even talking about? (Score 5, Informative) 112

by shadowrat (#47936837) Attached to: An Open Source Pitfall? Mozilla Labs Closed, Quietly
How can open source software die? the source is there! Anyone interested in the software has had ample time to get the source. All mozilla or google or any other service is doing is providing some hosting for the git repository. clone it and save it if you care that much about the software. Wringing your hands that and crying all is lost just says you are doing open source wrong.

Comment: Re:So, a design failure then. (Score 2) 165

by shadowrat (#47920505) Attached to: Developing the First Law of Robotics
Not only that, but the stories in I Robot and asimov's use of the 3 laws were not about laying an actual groundwork for how robots should function, but to illustrate that there are always unintended consequences to the laws. While the stories are really about the unpredictable outcomes of the interplay of those 3 constraints, it is kind of fitting that someone going down the road of trying to realize just one law would not quite get what they were hoping for.

the real genius of the stories of course, isn't that robots should have these laws. it's that he was able to so accurately describe the process of debugging software right up to that a-ha moment where you realize that it's actually doing exactly what you told it to do all along. the guy wrote that stuff in the 30's and 40's and i'm still having those irobot moments every day.

Comment: Re:Who would have thought (Score 1) 194

by shadowrat (#47883441) Attached to: The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada
I don't expect fully autonomous cars on day one. I'd expect to have to pay attention and take control from time to time, and I can live with all of that. Having to upload my planned routes to google for approval a month ahead of time doesn't really live up to my expectations though.

Comment: Re:So what exactly is the market here. (Score 1) 730

by shadowrat (#47865809) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments
maybe it's just me, but i don't like wearing anything on my wrist for any activity where i bend my wrist. I've tried even low profile devices like the fuel band and just don't like it. maybe for jogging it's ok, but i can't wear it skateboarding, or biking, or lifting weights. it's not that i can't see uses for it. I can. i like racing sailboats, a timing app would be great, but apple didn't say that my $350 toy is going to survive a dunk in the bay so there's no way i'm wearing it for that. Likewise, I can think of more cool uses for surfing and skating and biking, but again, it just seems to expensive and too vulnerable.

The only difference between a car salesman and a computer salesman is that the car salesman knows he's lying.