Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

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).


Comment: Re:Riiiiight (Score 1) 47

by story645 (#40821799) Attached to: US Census Bureau Offers Public API For Data Apps

Or load up the shapefiles posted at, seeing as census data has been available online for at least a few years now. As the summary said, this made it easier, but in the past couple of years there has also been an explosion in free and open source GIS tools that translate the raw data into something more readable.

Comment: Re:This is why women don't like IT (Score 1) 71

by story645 (#40565971) Attached to: Dreaming of Digital Glory At Hacker Hostels

Dear god, as a female I would see this as a nightmare.

And as a female, I think it could be kinda cool provided I could be in an all girl house (or at least an all girl room), but that has more to do with my religious standards then any disgust at living with boys. I've lived with enough girls that I've had to clean up after that I don't think it's fair to play the boys are slobs card. But then again, I'm in CS and like tech and all that, and only find the start-up culture a little off putting 'cause so many of the people in it aren't all that technical.

I do think you're right though about boundaries and masculine culture playing a part in keeping women from the field, but the frat house atmosphere of these places is just as much a symptom of the culture as a cause of it, though I found the whole den mother thing deeply disturbing-why are the only women being mentioned basically glorified babysitters?

Comment: Re:Use a Framework! (Score 2) 409

by story645 (#40203139) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Tips For Designing a Modern Web Application?

Since Mongo is a database and not a framework, it should be used with a framework (for example the big Python ones, Pyramid and Django, support it), not a in place of one. This of course assumes that Mongo is more suited for his task then a plain old relational database, which I'm not so sure since it seems like the app is pretty well structured and the fields are more or less fixed.

Comment: Re:I Don't See the Parallelism Here ... (Score 1) 489

by story645 (#39705601) Attached to: Student Charged For Re-selling Textbooks

Remember when you could go to the library and borrow an expensive textbook you couldn't afford as you needed it and 'get by'? No more of that communist bullshit allowed, am I right?

I think it depends on the school. At mine, a large public uni, professors place requests with the library to stock books they're using and those books usually end up on reserve (meaning they can be borrowed for 2hrs at a time).

Comment: Re:Sexism (Score 4, Insightful) 211

by story645 (#39653055) Attached to: Etsy Hacker Grants Support Female Programmers

Women used to make up %40 of CS students in the 1980s (Camp 2001) and make up on average a little over %35 of Israeli undergrads in CS ( Vilner 2006) and vary all over the globe. This indicates that the current US rate of about %20 is due to culture because if there was something biological going on, then the rates around the world should be roughly the same.

Comment: Re:Finally (Score 1) 288

by story645 (#39371357) Attached to: Wikipedia Didn't Kill Brittanica — Encarta Did

It goes deeper than that 'cause you can cite secondary sources, and in many disciplines most of the citations are secondary sources. The problem with wiki and other encyclopedias are that they're tertiary sources, which generally can't be used for the reasons you stated, except for special use cases where the wiki/encyclopedia becomes the primary source for the sake of the paper. For example, it's almost impossible to write a paper on wikis without citing wikis because most of the documentation is in wikis.

Comment: Re:Do companies really use Big Iron anymore? (Score 4, Informative) 230

by story645 (#39012903) Attached to: NASA Unplugs Its Last Mainframe

My mom keeps telling me that UPS is one of the world's largest users of DB2, a statement backed up in this article. They're not switching off for the same reason financial institutions don't; After pouring lots of money into alternatives, they found that mainframes have better performance.

Comment: Arduino LilyPads (Score 1) 153

by story645 (#38418528) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Entry-Level Robotics Kits For Young Teenagers?

So they're not robots, but if the girls are into fashion it's a a great way to get them started on programming while still keeping their interests in mind, They can make funky pillows for their bedroom or keep out signs for their doors or I dunno something else that a 12 year old girl might actually want.

Comment: Re:No need to help your competitors (Score 4, Interesting) 325

by story645 (#38340856) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Open Vs. Closed-Source For a Start-Up

Willow Garage open sourced the software they use to run their PR2 robot

I think Willow Garage almost had to because they were using lots of open source tools in the first place. ROS is based on playerstage, which is GPL, and a lot of the heavy computer vision stuff is OpenCv, which itself was originally open-sourced by Intel. And the deal with everyone using ROS had a lot to do with development shifting from playerstage to ROS 'cause they were similar but ROS was saner, so they became the standard in large part 'cause they improved on the existing open source standard rather then trying to create some kind of large scale shift in the community. Plus, Willow Garage is as much experimental lab as company, so I don't know if it works as a good case study 'cause it sort of has a weird mix of end goals.

Willow Garage also gained a lot of cred by taking over OpenCV from intel and actively maintaining it, which isn't something a fledgling company can do but is worth considering. They adopted the library 'cause it was critical to their business and considered something of a standard in the vision community, which meant a lot of people were already using it, so it was popular enough that maintaining it was seen as a good thing.

Comment: Re:Subsidies inflate pricing. (Score 1) 1797

by story645 (#37821536) Attached to: Ron Paul Wants To End the Federal Student Loan Program

We need mechanics but we also need accountants.

But most people (even on student loans) don't get degrees in accounting (or engineering, or any of the fields that really need post-secondary school training), they get degrees in things like psych and business, which lead them to be qualified for all sorts of generic jobs that may not really need degrees to do.

Comment: Re:Thank you Westboro (Score 1) 699

by story645 (#37628042) Attached to: Phelps Clan Tweets Intent To Picket Jobs Funeral Via iPhone

** Why is God a guy? Why can't he be a she?

Cause writers/translators had to use some pronoun and most languages use the masculine pronoun as the gender neutral? Seriously though, God is genderless because he's not a physical being is one of those things Orthodox Jewish (and probably other religious) schools cover in kindergarten.

Comment: Re:Scratch (Score 1) 430

by story645 (#37287032) Attached to: How Do You Explain Software Development To 2nd Graders?

the risk is that the kids will concentrate on the pretty 3D graphics and miss the point of those funny little grey oblongs (and they probably won't be able to read the instructions if it's projected on a big screen).

So do an interactive presentation. The code being in blocks makes it really easy to have the kids code along 'cause you can point at a block and ask the room "so how many steps should he go" and "what should he do next" and run the code every time you add a block.

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." -- The Wizard Of Oz