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Comment: Re:Used to love those (Score 1) 80

My favorite one was the space/sci-fi one. My memory is fuzzy, but there was a page where something really cool happens, but it was an unreachable, unlinked page that you couldn't normally get to. I found it because I had a practice of putting a little pencil mark on the corner of every page I read, so I could see which pages I hadn't read, and try to figure out how to get to them.

Comment: Re:Absolutely agree (Score 1) 223

by umdesch4 (#48390487) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Programming Education Resources For a Year Offline?
As phantomfive also said, thanks. I have a copy of Einstein's Relativity right here that I was planning to re-read soon, but I think I'll take your advice and read up on tensors first, to enhance my understanding. You've given me a reason for looking forward to this more than I already was. Wish I had mod points for ya!

Comment: Re:Obvious guy says (Score 1) 223

by umdesch4 (#48389915) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Programming Education Resources For a Year Offline?
I'll add, if it was me, I'd bring the couple of Raspberry Pi kits I've had kicking around for months and never had the time to play with, plus the handful of soft copy guides I've got kicking around on a laptop, and finally do something with them, like I've been meaning to for ages. You will have access to electricity, I assume?

Comment: Re:Obvious guy says (Score 5, Insightful) 223

by umdesch4 (#48389891) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Programming Education Resources For a Year Offline?
I came here to say this. People commenting here don't seem to have the experience to back it up. I spent a year in a beautiful place where the climate and culture were a 180 from where I'd spent most of the rest of my life up to that point, and hardly anybody spoke a word of English. It was an awesome adventure, but I still had a whole heap of Cisco training materials on a laptop, and managed to write my CCNA exam when I came back. I had enough downtime over the course of the year, and sometimes I just wanted use the time to learn something radically different from my current surroundings, and more related to my former life. It helped me stay sane when I started to feel like a stranger in a strange land, and it made me remember that I'm not an idiot. When you spend a year trying to function in a place where you don't speak the language too well (especially at first), you can start to feel like you've lost too many brain cells. As for what to bring, that's hard to say, but I'd recommend something that's formatted as a course with study guides and practice tests, just because then you can gauge how well you're absorbing the material without needing to be online to confirm it.

Comment: Re:Why "Big Data" (Score 1) 147

by umdesch4 (#48341629) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Data Warehouse Server System?
Totally this. I work for a company that has a 5TB database that's currently holding all granular transaction data for a few thousand companies over 10 years. The main transaction detail table grows by 1-200k records per hour on average (around 50 new inserts a second), which amounts to about 1-2 GB a day. With the way things are ramping, we're on track to increase by around 1 TB a year on that database. We allow several levels of reporting to those companies, with details vs. aggregation, and all kinds of data warehouse slicing and dicing for everything they could possibly want. There are issues with some reports being slow sometimes, and data warehouse problems occasionally making it fall as much as a whole day behind (oh, the horror!), but it generally works.

As a rule of thumb, we don't consider this anywhere near big data. A large Oracle database, and some standard (by now we could call them "traditional") tools for cubes and data warehouses is all we need.

Comment: Re:Different reactions (Score 2) 73

by umdesch4 (#48192155) Attached to: Rumor: Lenovo In Talks To Buy BlackBerry
Yeah, I wonder about this. It's extremely hard to come up with numbers. You typically end up with specific cases hitting the news in chunks, like this: http://www.theglobeandmail.com...

Then there's my own anecdotal evidence from copper mining, where my friend left his management position at one Canadian mining company shortly after a Chinese company acquired 51%, only to have another Chinese company buy a 40% stake in the next company he ended up at. Now he's waiting for the other shoe to drop, when the additional 11% acquisition quietly happens with no press. I've heard the same stories in every natural resource sector I know people in, but I just spent an hour googling this, and I can't find any top line number for just how much of Canada is actually owned by China. I suspect it's truly shocking.

Comment: Re:Amazing (Score 1) 276

by umdesch4 (#47742439) Attached to: Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys
I think maybe "money spent" would be a better metric. If you buy AAA titles, consoles, surround sound systems, projectors, liquid-cooled rigs with dual video cards, gaming headsets, specialized controllers, keyboards, and mice...in short, if some non-trivial percentage of your household's disposable income goes towards gaming, then you are a gamer. Does it not make economic sense to target the demographic that is spending outrageous amounts of money on this stuff. Otherwise you're chasing a very thin, long tail. Good luck keeping your game dev company afloat with that plan.

Comment: Re:Oracle sucks. (Score 3, Informative) 212

by umdesch4 (#47738025) Attached to: Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website
Too bad you posted AC, otherwise I could make sure I never hire you. Sorry man, but the last 10 companies I worked for got pretty big things done with Oracle DBs, and were able to host several-terabyte databases doing things that even DB2 would choke on, never mind MySQL or SQL Server, or any other DB I've worked with. I've worked with more companies that have migrated *to* Oracle because they outgrew what they were using, than the other way around. There's always much gnashing of teeth, and angst over going with such a reprehensible company's product...but that's been my experience at least.

Comment: Re:Oracle sucks. (Score 5, Interesting) 212

by umdesch4 (#47737473) Attached to: Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website
I'm not a PhD level database guru, but my career has been almost entirely working with databases over the last 20 years. I can say that the underlying technology of the Oracle RDBMS itself is light years beyond other systems. I'm not an advocate of anything Oracle has done in other arenas over the last 10-15 years, but I experience an existential crisis every day in my job where I love working within an Oracle database, but hate pretty much everything about the company that owns it.

Comment: Re:Fire (Score 1) 143

by umdesch4 (#47718419) Attached to: How Argonne National Lab Will Make Electric Cars Cheaper
Well, you could always try making a battery with a lithium anode instead, that's coated with carbon nanospheres to stop it from reacting to stuff, and forming dendrites over time with charging and recharging. Funny thing is, Stanford's doing just that, and I believe I may have even gotten this link from slashdot a couple weeks ago: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_...

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell

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