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Comment: Modern Stack (Score 5, Interesting) 360

by watanabe (#41627337) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Approach To Reenergize an Old Programmer?

I think you just need to add a modern stack to your resume and put out an example project on github, you'll be ready to find work. The stacks that people are hiring for right now:

  • Python -- tornado -- mysql / nosql (mongo or redis experience)
  • Ruby -- Rails -- mysql / nosql
  • Haskell/Erlang/Functional Insanity -- I have no idea how these people deal with data
  • Javascript/ Nodejs -- mongo probably
  • IOS Development

A solid web application based on bootstrap.js in any of the first four frameworks will get you an interview. A sample application for IOS should as well, at probably any one of your local agencies / design firms / app shops.

If I were in your shoes, I'd skip the big enterprise languages, like Java / C# -- if you like Perl, you're going to hate working in those languages, and much of the work in those languages sucks, to be honest.

My money-shot idea: learn kdb+ and q and go pull in $250k a year working for a hedge fund / investment bank. Also, it's fun and brain-bending.

Comment: Re:It has to be? (Score 1) 381

by watanabe (#39799581) Attached to: Bitcoin Mining Startup Gets $500k In Venture Capital

Bitcoin is fundamentally backed by public key cryptography and computational power. That proof-of-computation done is real and valuable, for instance, you can currently 'safely' transact thousands of dollars in a single bitcoin block without worrying about forks or cheating. Two years ago, you could only transact 10 or 20 dollars without worrying about forks or cheating. The difference is that it is FAR more expensive to cheat the bitcoin network now, coming on to non-feasible.

This is a real increase in value, and it's because of the computational resources thrown into the system.

Comment: This won't work (Score 4, Interesting) 370

by watanabe (#35140606) Attached to: Ballmer Turns To Geeks For Salvation

Microsoft is dominated by high-end market-consuming business strategists at the top. Bill could do both; Ozzie stepped down because he couldn't replace Bill in that role. There's just no way that there's an internal tech person with the force of will to push the business guys around and all he or she needed was Ballmer's okay to make more impact.

Much less five of these folks. I just don't see it -- in my opinion, Microsoft needs to acknowledge it's becoming IBM, and move on gracefully to another stage in its corporate development.

Comment: Re:Does this mean.... (Score 1) 45

by watanabe (#34223370) Attached to: Edward Tufte's Library Up For Auction

What nobody has mentioned so far is the intense physical pressure you experience at a Tufte presentation. It's like you're being pushed in on all sides, pressed incredibly strongly... by his ego.

There is no US auditorium large enough for you and Tufte's ego.

The ego is self-referential, and almost certainly will compare Tufte's books to Galileo's at some point, and also smarmy, self-confident and smug.

All that said, I loved going -- GO! You'll learn a lot. But then, I'm fascinated by huge egos, so whenever I got bored hearing a rant, I could switch over and admire the size and quality of the ego.

Comment: The Android Market sucks (Score 5, Insightful) 165

by watanabe (#33759032) Attached to: Amazon Building Its Own Android App Market?

The issue here is not just that Amazon might want its own app store, a reasonable desire. The issue is that the current Android market really sucks. Google does not have good expertise in the curation methods that an appstore needs; right now, you have two options browsing the appstore: you can look at top, all-time sales. Games that have been out for two years top these charts, not surprisingly.

Or, you can look at the raw feed of 'newest'. In games, that would be 64 underwear puzzle games, three things in Japanese, and a tech demo of rotating lines, controlled by some sensor or other.

Google's traditional approach to this sort of problem is search, but search does not work well here, and there's significant market opportunity. Hence, Amazon.

Comment: A dissenting voice (Score 1) 483

by watanabe (#33319432) Attached to: Building a Traffic Radar System To Catch Reckless Drivers?

Unlike many people posting here, I've traveled enough to understand what you want to do, and why it is likely to work, and I applaud you!

That said, England is full of these devices, and I would suggest you buy one rather than roll your own. My quick searches didn't turn anything up, but I know they exist, as there are websites devoted to pictures of people burning them down in England. : ).

For slashdotters with complaints about this:

A fine can be sent automatically. Social circumstances in much of the Middle East make automated fining likely to gain far higher compliance than police or traffic lights could. Of course senior government officials won't pay their tickets, duh. That doesn't change how likely it is to help the man/woman on the street.

Comment: Leave the laptop at home (Score 1) 403

by watanabe (#32775776) Attached to: Tunneling Under the Great Firewall?

Be aware, current security best practices suggest that you physically destroy whatever computer you use while you're in China. It is highly likely to be subverted while there. Seriously. Think about buying a cheap netbook while you're there, or get a used one here that you're going to sell before you leave.

Comment: From the Fine Article (Score 3, Insightful) 482

by watanabe (#32352816) Attached to: FSF Asks Apple To Comply With the GPL For Clone of <em>GNU Go</em>

The EFF details some ways that suggest to me that Apple will never be able to be in compliance with the GPL under their current terms and conditions. For example: GPLv2, Section 6:

Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to
these terms and conditions.

From EFF's dissection of Apple's Agreement:

Section 7.2 makes it clear that any applications developed using Apple's SDK may only be publicly distributed through the App Store, and that Apple can reject an app for any reason, even if it meets all the formal requirements disclosed by Apple. So if you use the SDK and your app is rejected by Apple, you're prohibited from distributing it through competing app stores like Cydia or Rock Your Phone.

I am not a lawyer, but I would say that together these mean that Apple is in violation of the GPL if it distributes GPL code through its app store; it either needs to waive those terms in 7.2 (hah!) or outright ban GPL'ed code in the app store.

Comment: 4GB necessary? (Score 1) 3

by watanabe (#31915968) Attached to: Good, Portable "Virtual" Linux distro?

If 4GB isn't necessary, I think the clear answer would be virtualbox running Ubuntu. 4GB would be tight, but 8GB would do nicely, 16GB even better.

You could put the virtualbox installers for OS X, and Windows on the USB sticks, and include a pre-setup Ubuntu 9.10 or 10.04 (depending on when your class starts). You might need to include virtualbox source to comply with the license, or at least a link back to virtualbox.org.

Once nice thing about this approach is you could dump a few different images on there, so you could put a minimal Debian install for them, and probably a minimal CentOS server image as well so that they could learn CLI directly when you get there.

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