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Comment: Re:"Great minds think alike"... apk (Score 1) 163

by metlin (#47722387) Attached to: Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

I would characterize those areas as IT and software engineering, and not necessarily Computer Science.

I would perhaps state that some areas of computing (e.g., systems design, architecture) are better grouped under software engineering, given their nature.

I almost feel that there needs a distinction between software engineering and computer science. To paraphrase David Parnas, computer science studies the properties of computation in general while software engineering is the design of specific computations to achieve practical goals.

Muddling the two disciplines causes heartache because you have people who are great at designing software, but cannot grok advanced math; and on the other hand, you potentially limit your solutions to what's within the realm of current applicability, without exploring other possibilities (e..g, reinventing new algorithms for quantum computation).

Comment: Re:"Great minds think alike"... apk (Score 1) 163

by metlin (#47722065) Attached to: Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

I would add a nuance to your point and state that real world experience matters in IT, but not in CS.

Computer Science is more about algorithms, systems architecture, and a lot of math. I did very little programming when I did CS in grad school and a whole lot of pretty awesome math (computational complexity, graphics, optimizations etc). Not sure about undergrad, since I did ECE, which, once again, was a whole lot of math (DSP, control systems, engineering electromagnetics, circuit theory, VLSI etc).

In any event, real-world relevance is more important to IT than it is to CS. I would say that it is however somewhat important in engineering, which, once again, is a professional degree.

Comment: Re:Is he a scientist? (Score 3, Informative) 163

by metlin (#47719907) Attached to: Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

B-schools often hire people who are not in academia per se, but have rich real world experience in solving business problems.

For instance, you will often find senior partners from top consulting firms teaching classes, because they bring to bear not just academic knowledge but also practical experience.

People who do their MBA are not there to just learn the latest and greatest management technique from academia -- they also seek to apply that to the real world.

And this is not just true for MBAs -- it is also true for law schools, medical schools, and many other professional degrees. You'll find former judges and lawyers teaching classes, and you'll find doctors and surgeons with real world experience tempering your academic knowledge with their real world experience.

Public policy is another area where you former civil servants often teaching classes.

Comment: Re:Salesmen (Score 1) 145

by Richard_at_work (#47719653) Attached to: Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills

Even if there are alternative ways of doing something, that doesn't mean you should just give up on all security completely.

Imagine having to copy two or three at a time of a companies contact list which may be thousands long - thats going to take a while and fewer people are going to bother than if you could just take the entire thing in one go.

Comment: Could be the pesticide lobby which has killed it (Score 3, Interesting) 133

by Taco Cowboy (#47718245) Attached to: China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn

According to the info @

The GMO rice requires much less application of pesticide than the non GMO counterparts (2 applications versus 5)

If the GMO rice is approved then the pesticide industry in China (both local / international vendors) will stand to lose a lot of sales

It could be their lobby which had killed the GMO rice

Comment: Re:Torvalds is true to form.... (Score 3, Interesting) 613

by WaywardGeek (#47715021) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

It's GNU/Linux's fault. Android, still based on Linux, could likely win the desktop if Google got their act together and stopped pushing ChromeOS. Notice how my binary applications run on *very* many Android devices without recompilation, even when I write in C using the NDK. Notice how Android does not introduce bugs in my applications by swapping in a buggy shared library which I never tested. Notice how nearly impossible it is to publish a GNU/Linux app in comparison. In one case, you just publish your app to Google and wait a day or so. Notice how my app simply installs in a comparitavely secure jailed directory rather than having to disperse crap all over the file system. For Linux, you need to write and test different and binary incompatible installatoin packages for RedHat, Arch, Debian, Suse, then wait a few years for your package to be accepted and migrate from unstable to testing to stable, and even then you don't run everywhere.

Just freaking stupid.... year of the GNU/Linux Desktop my butt!

On a completely unrelated note, WTF is up with the new slashdot site? I had the newly dumbed-down ads disabled with a check-box. The check box is gone, and the ads are back, and dumber than ever! I miss the days of Barracuda ads that made sense on slashdot. The new ones aren't targeted at geeks at all.

Comment: Linux could own the desktop... (Score 4, Interesting) 613

by WaywardGeek (#47714827) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

All Google has to do is dump that stupid steaming pile called ChromeOS, and admit that Android wins. A desktop customized version of Android (complete with a real desktop) is still based on Linux (at least Google's fork of it), already has hundreds of thousands of apps, and could be better in nearly every way than Windows or Mac OS-X in 2 years, IMO.

The other broken OS, GNU/Linux, needs a major overhaul before it will ever be popular among anyone but geeks who are willing to accept that their OS is hostile to sharing new apps, or too blinded by fan-boy-ism to notice. I write this from my Ubuntu laptop, where my code contributions are far lower than Android or even Windows, even though I put in most of my effort here. It's just easier to publish an Android app. It's even easier to publish software for Windows. If Mark Shuttleworth were just a bit smarter, I think he'd realize he needs to abandon managing .deb packages and start this whole mess over based on a more git-like aproach. He's done a lot in that direction - user PPAs for example, but it's still not there. No RPM or .deb based Linux OS will ever become the basis for the Year of the Linux Desktop.

Comment: GPL is about User/Owner Freedoms (Score 1) 110

by WaywardGeek (#47714607) Attached to: Qt Upgrades From LGPLv2.1 to LGPLv3

The funny thing here is that Digia is still going to support Tivoization, but customers will have to pay for it! I suppose that's better than letting hardware manufacturers Tivoize their hardware for free, but this is the first time I have ever seen anyone upgrade their GPL license simply to force customers to pay more. It seems wrong somehow...

Comment: Someone with no brain is running NASA (Score 2) 159

by Taco Cowboy (#47710471) Attached to: Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

Pic of the wheel ...

The first time when I saw the wheels I was wondering why the hell they spend so much money to send up a robot to Mars and then equip that thing with such flimsy wheels

And I did post question here on /, and there were people (NASA fanbois, perhaps) defending those flimsy wheels

Comment: Re:Time for medicare for all in the usa (Score 3, Insightful) 166

by Richard_at_work (#47703789) Attached to: Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data

I never said it was free, but we all pay taxes while only some of us don't have to fork out ridiculous additional sums for medical cover.

For example, I will never be hit with a bill for medical treatments my insurance won't cover. There isn't a moment I have to worry about getting charged for my stay in hospital. I don't have to worry about whether my insurance will cover the drugs my doctor has prescribed me, the most I will pay is £8.05, even if the drug costs £10,000 a course.

Comment: Re:bass akwards (Score 3, Informative) 166

by Richard_at_work (#47703453) Attached to: Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data

Moving to the UK's system means no insurance company, and your employer et al do not have access to your medical records. In-fact, most doctors do not have access to your medical records - they are only now bringing in a system where your medical records are shared on an on-demand basis with other hospitals and surgeries. Walk into an A&E department and they won't have your medical records.

Comment: Re:Time for medicare for all in the usa (Score -1) 166

by Richard_at_work (#47703427) Attached to: Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data

I am so glad I live in a country where the most I will ever pay for non-elective medical care is the price of the prescription (currently £8.05). Heart attack with a week in intensive care? Won't cost me a penny. Broken my leg, need a cast and physiotherapy? Won't cost me a penny.

"Well, social relevance is a schtick, like mysteries, social relevance, science fiction..." -- Art Spiegelman