Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:FFS (Score 1) 238

Do you not understand the Apple way of thinking? There are few user preferences.

It may piss off the nerd aspects of me, but it also simplifies life when I'm not. Why? Because user pref here, user pref there, user pref everywhere and it never stops.

I use to design sounds for synths. A few hundred preferences to get a particular sound. I could almost deal with this because it was an art. And then I realized everyone else had this same preference at their fingertips but would rather buy the sounds and never touch them. Why? Because most people don't give a fuck, they just want something that works.

Back to the point, if someone actually gave a fuck and understood what was going on, they would have followed the directions before getting rid of the phone, or worked with support for the 10 minutes it would take to reset it. But they didn't...because they didn't give a fuck and expected it to be automatic without having to think about it.

Comment Re:FFS (Score 2) 238

Right now, it is this but 45 days.

When I travel, I generally take a burner phone with me so I don't get overseas charges and otherwise. I still take my iPhone, but leave it on Wifi only. And a lot of times, Wifi is still hard to come by. I can get to internet cafes where I can log in to someone else's computer, but I can't get to my own computers. And when I do get wifi? I get all my messages, sometimes a week later.

The point? For a lot of us 1 day is way too short. Maybe 45 days is too long. What is the appropriate time?

Comment Re:Quid pro quo (Score 3, Interesting) 187

As someone that wrote software like this -- and disagreed with the subject of the story a decade ago when he tried to get us with both the Gettysburg Address as well as Kennedy's inaugural address (both of which are GREAT speeches with historical value, but shitty college entrance exams) -- you are looking at this entirely wrong.

I can give you background of how these things are generally graded. 3 people get an essay, look at it for 30 to 45 seconds, throw a score and it and if they are all within a margin of error, they move on. If not, a senior rater comes in and and they can replace one other person and it is now within margin of error, they move on as well. If not, it is workshopped for 5 minutes.

In 99% of the cases, you have less than 2 minutes of viewing on your essay between 3 people.

Enter the computer...the raters are told they are going to be rated themselves. We can throw a lot more prerated essays that had been normed by a large group of raters, and train the rater. They know they are being measured and the average rater spends two or more minutes reading through these. You actually have MORE time with eyes on your essay with a computer rater involved than you do without. Having a computer rater doesn't remove humans -- it adds a safe guard. It means one person spends more time and is verified with something that is unbiased (within reason...actually was able to figure out subtle racism and otherwise that wouldn't have been detected with purely human raters...'black' or 'hispanic' names and scores go down...'asian' names and the scores go up...give the same essay with the names switched and the humans change ratings...the computer was actually more objective).

I haven't been involved with this sort of thing in a decade, and I can only assume it is much better than when I left my project...but lazy isn't the right word. Underpaid and overworked? Yeah...but not lazy.

Comment Re:The answer: essay grader graders (Score 2) 187

I helped design one of these essay graders a decade+ ago with Dr. Ellis 'Bo' Page (Duke and MIT).

Even then, we were as good as humans in solely grammar and mechanics and all that sorta stuff. We were rating on a 6 point scale and something like 70% of the scores were a perfect match, and 85% were within 1 point.

Given that we were using professional human raters that were trained on weekly basis and had round tables to go over controversial papers, and these were considered some of the best in the US at their job...and that if you had 3 people rate the essay, take the mean score and ask the single human to rate it...they were at around 60% a perfect match.

Again, this was not for content...most college entrance exams are looking for your writing style and nothing else. If you can write well (and my writing on this site is not representative of my professional writing), you can research your material when you aren't writing content off the cuff and actually do well.

Comment Re:System failures versus personal ones (Score 3, Interesting) 357

I've had mine changed twice as well, though only once at my expense. In the first case, I couldn't shut off the car or remove the key and had to pull a fuse to do so. The dealership actually admonished me over this and told me I just needed turn the steering wheel until it clicked and I could remove it. And when I brought it in, I asked the service guy that was on the phone and dismissive to personally come out and take the key out and show me what I was doing wrong. Never got the apology and he told me that pulling the fuse caused it to stick permanently. What a fuckwad. It was replaced under warranty.

The next one happened while driving in Alabama. Should have been under warranty as well, but we were in back countries and the dude that replaced it wanted cold cash and while GM has said if I find proof, they can repay me for it. But I don't think a hand written receipt for a switch that was pulled out of a junker will work...

GM has really soured me on their cars. I for one won't be buying a new Saturn! (Sarcasm!!!) Actually, probably won't be buying a new GM after this.

Comment Re:Breach of contract, copyright infringement (Score 1) 259

I gotta say, I don't see how this is a 'moral' right...I use to be a hired gun musician and worked on a lot of people's work.

In in no way did I ever want my name on any of these works, the only name I wanted was on my check. The people I worked with took it for face value that I worked on any of this stuff, and if they didn't, they weren't the type of clients I needed thus the portfolio was good enough.

As a current academic, the only time I've ever had problems was when the university decided to illegally take my work and sell it...there was no way I was going to sign a document not allowing my wok to be available. Any academic that can't read a contract is an idiot that shouldn't be an academic.

Comment Re:Bring the million-plus iOS apps to Macs... (Score 1) 512

I haven't used X Tools in years, use pretty much the same libraries and compiler to compile iOS apps as you do OS X apps.

And there is already an emulator to check out your apps before you deploy.

And the big 3rd party development software tools already allow you to port directly to the Mac (I was working in a scripting language that I needed for psych research an app built last year for the iPad...and then realize I could do a desktop version just the same for the folks that didn't need to go into the took me another few minutes to figure out how to set the resolution but that was about it).

Honestly, this sounds like someone that has no clue. Or maybe I have no clue...its been a while since I've done a damn thing

Comment Re:Android? (Score 1) 366

It might be in their product brochure, but most companies want to put a spin on their phone that it is theirs and not something everyone else has.

Few years ago it was big to talk about unless you are owned by Google or needing to differentiate the difference between your Win8 Phone vs your Android Phone, it isn't mentioned.

Comment Re:Grading is about feedback (Score 2) 253

"Grading is not, or should not be, about the grade"

I worked with Dr. Shermis back in the mid '90s on this (one of the professors quoted in the article) and we had our own software we were working on.

One of the very first things we had agreed upon was that grading and rating are two very different things. And when we worked on our software, it was designed to give back several scores that summarized why there was an overall score that was given.

Beyond this, *MOST* work in this area are not based around how to refine a research question or structure an argument. It was based around how to rate writing. From here, verbage could be created based around all the factors explaining why a particular metric was used as opposed to simply providing the metric. I left this field before it got that far, but its been a decade and I'm quite certain that this has happened because there were enough engines out there that could work in collaboration with one another to provide both quantitative and qualitative feedback (at the time, too many researchers were working against each other and either closely guarding their secrets or blatantly looking down their nose at the works of others because it was approaching the idea with a different vision).

That said, the #1 way to become a better writer? Write more. Even without feedback, you become a better writer simply by exercising these skills. With plain metrics? You become a far better writer simply by seeing that the computer thinks your mechanics could be improved. Maybe work on your creativity (this was by far the hardest to calculate), maybe see how improving one area weakens another as there were proven links between different areas that were almost always inversely proportional to one another except in the hands of talented writers.

And the problem with writing more? Instructors, especially writing instructors, are overwhelmed as it is. I would GLADLY grade 100 undergrad psych essays as opposed to a technical writing course. In our studies, one of the ideas was to allow more writing assignments, while giving more quality to feedback by the instructor...allow the instructor to read every 3rd paper for instance and give in depth analysis. Or maybe give more time to students that were struggling with basic concepts by catching them earlier. Almost all of this was designed to find ways to help the instructors do more with less, which is the reality of higher education these days. And when we did this, students actually got far more support than they did without our software.

Will their be lazy professors that just phone it in? Probably...but most instructors I've worked with have been passionate about their jobs, and the ones that weren't? They got this way because they were overwhelmed with the lack of resources provided to them.

BTW...every time I write about these subjects some jackass mentions my writing style. I'm not writing for publication, I'm writing for conversation (and most likely not proof reading nor thinking much more than a few words ahead...the opposite of the academic writing I use to do).

Comment Switch Climate Change for 9/11 (Score 0) 371

I bet you'd get a completely different response on /. from people if the subject of the conspiracy were 9/11 instead of climate change. Climate Change is something that most liberals and libertarians agree on. However, you swap the conspiracy for one closer to home?

I pretty much stopped reading /. for a couple of years except the post here or there that I was referred to because this site started to get hijacked by wackjobs. Maybe it was a corporate thing. Who knows. Either way, the signal to noise was highly in the wackjob category with 'truthers' trying to prove how it was all an inside job. Unfortunately, I headed to Reddit to get away from it and it turned out to be worse there!

You'll always find wack jobs and dumb fucks that want to believe, if only because it goes to their beliefs that the other side is corrupt and they are the only side of truth, as if everything is black and white. I know a lot of conservatives that believe in climate change, but they also believe it has happened for natural causes in the past exactly the same and we survived. Or that pragmatically, there is no way to go back except to put on the Birkenstocks and start eating granola and that if science is so advanced, eventually it will catch up and fix things.

Either way, the fact that neither side wants to back down is going to cause a division that naturally leads us all to conspiracy theories...

Comment Re:Stallman's a Brilliant Engineer (Score 1) 649

It hampers his credibility because because he has no track record and saying the same crap everyone does -- that has no depth to it.

Its like the people that say they wish congress wasn't made up of 'professional politicians'...nice idea, but you need someone that has the understanding of how the system works...or throw out the ENTIRE system. Not just congress...EVERYTHING.

Back to the point, without a rack record someone can say all they want and have no standing. And outside can still be an outsider so long as they have some record. Stallman has absolutely nothing other than being a technologist that couldn't even bring his own works to market, had to rely on someone else, and ride on others coat tails...of whom, the biggest proponent of his philosophy tells us that it was a pragmatic choice only because it was available and he could have easily gone the way of other licenses out there but felt it was 'good enough' for what he was attempting.

As for cards, I wouldn't know what colors are supposed to be there. I'm familiar with these sorts of ideas in psychology...we use to do experiments like this in cog. However, no matter what, you almost always find a significant number of experts that do notice it is different. And often it is just that folks don't find any interest because they don't care. It is a great magic trick, and doing it for effect ends up taking more psychological know how to misdirect others than purely showing off the cards.

Slashdot Top Deals

Last yeer I kudn't spel Engineer. Now I are won.