Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Comment They've shot themselves in the foot. No recovery. (Score 2) 242

Ads are not the only problem with TV. The programming has become pretty ridiculous. Reality TV, especially, is extremely stupid. The only reality TV I used to watch were cooking shows, but I think by now everyone understands that they are not "real", that even the time clocks and whatnot are all BS. A friend, who used to like to watch ghost-hunter shows and Finding Bigfoot, complained last weekend, "They never find any ghosts. They never find Bigfoot. God! I've been wasting my time!" So, bad programming combined with too many commercials is just unbearable. I recently got rid of digital cable and went to bare-bones service. I don't miss it at all, and I'm saving $75 a month.

Comment Re:I'm upset because it's divisive. (Score 4, Insightful) 289

" It doesn't even touch on issues like sexism..."

The very first moments of the film open with the statement that there are fewer female CEOs than there are male CEOs named John. The film literally starts with a divisive claim of sexism. The film is an insult to the many female coders I have known in my 30 years of experience.

Comment It's all math word problems (Score 3, Insightful) 270

The reason Johnny (and Jenny) can't code is simple: coding is not easy. Most kids hate math word problems. Yet, that's what coding is. You're given a math word problem with all these variables and facts and rules, and you have to come up with a solution, that is translated into a foreign language of simple instructions for a very dumb machine that is fussy about how you talk to it. If you can't stand problems that start out, "A train leaves Chicago traveling 42 miles per hour...", then you are not ever going to like coding, and you most likely will never be very good at it.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 182

Yes, I have had those situations. That is why I check the departures immediately upon landing. That way I know exactly where and when my connecting flight is leaving without depending on some unreliable app. There was a time when people lived normal, healthy, successful lives without smart phones. No, I can't imagine being so dependent on some little electronic doodad that I can't get myself from one city to another without it. Of course I've had the benefit of survival training in the military, so you could blindfold me and drop me off almost anywhere and I'm pretty confident that I could survive for at least three days; even longer if I have a decent pocket knife; and probably make my way back to civilization if I had to, so my point of view is probably skewed a bit because of that.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 182

I get that it's a problem if the phone joins an old pay wifi network. However, I don't understand why you would miss your flight. I mean, you're at the airport, presumeably you know where you're going and when the flight is. There are monitors all over the place showing departure times and gates. You'd have to be pretty oblivious to miss your flight. I have never missed a flight in my lilfe, and for most of my life, there were no cell phones or wifi networks involved in getting on the airplane.

Comment I'm probably too cynical (Score 1) 260

I want to apologize first for probably being too cynical, but I have to say this.

Applying Occam's Razor to the question:
Which of the two scenarios are more likely?

A. There is water on Mars.

B. There is a government agency, that a lot of people work for, who need money from a Congress that is in the middle of a budget battle, who have concocted a publicity stunt in order to justify their continued existence.

Comment Re:So here's an idea (Score 1) 229

I do like that about /. If you look at my user number you'll see I've been on for a long time -- something like 16 years -- so I've been enjoying the ability to disable ads for quite a while. One of the things I've noticed lately is a tendency for some sites to sense that you're using an ad blocker, so they disable their content and request a subscription or an email address. I have yet to respond to any of these requests. I just shrug my shoulders and move on. I think this is illustrative of the low value of the content. The world wide web is oversaturated with content. There seems to be an idea among content providers that they have some sort fundamental expectation of profit simply because they vomited something onto a webpage.

Comment Same as the Moon (Score 1) 684

People were the same way about the moon forty years ago. Everyone imagined people living on moon bases, even though it was never really clear WHY we needed moon bases. At least on the short-lived TV series, "UFO", the moon base served the purpose of intercepting extraterrestrials -- because, apparently, the moon is always in the same spot, and the aliens always have to fly past the moon on their way to the earth. But really, since their aren't any nefarious UFOs to intercept, the reason for a moon base boils down to "scientific research" which very few people find interesting enough to pay for.

We may eventually send people to Mars, but once that is accomplished the world will let out a collective "yawn" and that will be the end of it, unless and until there is some quick, inexpensive way to get there.

Comment Right, sort of. (Score 1) 616

At least she admits at the end of the article that she is not a good coder. Maybe she should have led with that.

Most coding does not require a great deal of math knowledge, particularly if you're coding in a business environment.

Several years ago, when my ex-wife and I were still married, she decided that the prospects for jobs for English majors were too poor, so, she thought she would try her hand at web design. We went to the book store and together picked out a book on HTML -- a visual book, that was even simpler than one of those "For Dummies" volumes. She said she would begin using it the next morning.

The next day I went to work as usual. When I came home that evening, I found the book sitting in the trash bin. "What happened?" I asked. She said, "The first thing it told me to do was to open something called Notepad. I spend FOUR HOURS trying to find f**king Notepad on my computer! I couldn't find it, so I gave up!" I calmly walked up to her pc, clicked Start, Accessories, Notepad. "Here it is," I said. "I have no business doing web design," she responded.

So yeah, you can try to Google and copy and paste your way through coding, but you kind of need to know how a computer operates first. And then there's the whole problem of troubleshooting when things go wrong. It's like saying, "Hey, all you have to do to be a mechanic is watch Youtube videos on car repair." Well, you might get a clue how to change your oil, but you won't neccessarily have any idea what to do when your car is making a funny noise.

Comment Re:I understand this (Score 1) 417

I have two friends with Mazda 3s and they love them. Great cars. I had a 99 Mazda Protoege once that I bought for my daughter. That car got a lot of hard miles on it (over 220k), but it was still running well when I donated it to charity in 2013. This year my daughter bought her first car that was all her own. It was a 2006 Mazda 3 wagon. I heartily approved. Heck, I even had an old 1974 Mazda RX4 Station Wagon in high school with the rotary engine. I scared the shit out of myself trying to see if the speedometer really would get up to 140. I got up to around 120 and backed off, convinced it would have no problem burying the speedo. I'm a big Mazda fan. I've considered getting another used one as a second car.

Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.