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Comment Mercenary outlook (Score 4, Interesting) 208

This seems a rather mercenary outlook to me. You are asking for suggestions on how to spend your spare time with the goal of keeping yourself employed, without regard to whether you would enjoy the subject or process.

I'm all for goal-driven careers, but studies show that the most successful people are the ones who like what they do. It largely doesn't matter whether the skill is the most "in demand", it only matters whether the skill is in demand "enough". This is illustrated by successful people in (what we would consider) pedestrian careers such as furniture sales, property rental, or owning the local laundromat (which, BTW, is the most common way to be successful).

The first step is discovering what you enjoy. The easiest way to do this is to spend 1 hour in quiet solitude. This is unexpressibly difficult if you've never tried it - you need a situation which has no interruptions whatsoever (kids, phone calls, other people), and you need to stick with it for the duration. Solo long road trips, long walks, hiking, and biking work well for this.

For the first 1/2 hour your head will be full of day-to-day thoughts, reminders, personal maintenance, reviewing memories, and so on. After awhile, this will quiet down and your mind will start to wander. Whatever you think about most is likely your source of joy.

Figure out some skill that feeds into your joy, choose a project that requires this skill and which also feeds into joy, and resolve to complete the project by the end of summer. Write the goal down (this part is important!) with as much detail as you can, stick it in an envelope, and put it away for later.

Your brain has likes and dislikes, as well as a goal-setting mechanism that you can use to your advantage. If you want to be happy, you should start the process of being happy right now, while you still have leisure to do so.

(Oh, and to answer your question: I'm writing a paper on hard AI.)

Comment Re:Wrong by law (Score 1) 601

He is merely wrong by law, not by morality. If I might remind the slashdot crowd: authority is doing what you are told, regardless of what is right; morality is doing what is right, regardless of what you are told.

Being an independent thinker, I side with morality, and therefore he is a hero.

To quote the excellent Rap News 19: Whistleblower:

Some praise these acts as heroic, worthy of mimicking
Others condemn them as illegal and prohibited
But, can't both be equally applicative?

To be good humans we're sometimes
called upon to be bad citizens.
Some nations were even born by
breaking laws of the tyrannous.

Do you support heroes from days of yore
who in order to cause reforms disobeyed the law?
Then what about those in the present
who heed the same call?

Comment Re:GPL "Infection" (Score 1) 224

The GPL is all about preserving access to code. If you use GPL code, you have to publish that code. If you make changes to it, you need to publish those changes as well. This is to stop people "proprieterizing" GPLed code by making a few incompatible changes and releasing it.

Well then the GPL has failed because that is exactly what these people are doing. They're altering the GPL code, offloading code to proprietary files, then releasing the whole thing as a finished product. I presume this can be done with split .c files as well, in which case the GPL has this flaw from the start.

Submission + - Want NSA Attention? Use Encrypted Communications ( 1

CowboyRobot writes: Bad news for fans of anonymizing Tor networks, PGP and other encryption services: If you're attempting to avoid the National Security Agency's digital dragnet, you may be making yourself a target, as well as legally allowing the agency to retain your communications indefinitely — and even use them to test the latest code-breaking tools. Those revelations come via leaked documents that detail the operating guidelines for secret NSA surveillance programs authorized by Congress in 2008. Those documents include a one-page memorandum from a U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) judge, saying that the guidelines don't violate Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.

Submission + - 51% of IT Pros Admit That Their Companies Are Being Pwned (

rmurph04 writes: According to identity management firm Cyber-Ark's Global Advanced Threat survey, 51 percent of business executives and IT professionals believe a cyber attacker is currently on their network or has been on their network during the last year. Another key finding from the report was that 80 percent of respondents believe cyber attacks are a greater threat to their countries than a physical attack.

Submission + - Citrix XenServer open sourced (

hypnosec writes: Citrix has released XenServer 6.2 and with that has open sourced its product and made it available through a new website – XenServer, which has been a mixture of proprietary tools from Citrix and open source components, comprises of Xen hypervisor running on a modified version of the CentOS Linux alongside specialized user tools. Citrix describes its latest move as a step to fend off the "confusion created amongst developers and users" of the product.

Submission + - 7 Signs Your Project is Headed for Failure (

Esther Schindler writes: How can you recognize that your project is headed for disaster? Look for these warning signs.

For example: Everybody is “the Vision Guy.”: "Another political landmine is the flip side of nobody being in charge: Everyone thinks he is in charge. To demonstrate the need to be “part of” this important, career-defining project, every single stakeholder sees himself as a dog that needs to mark his territory by peeing on it."

Comment Re:Why (Score 1) 96

Exascale computers would be helpful for climate modeling. Right now climate models don't have the same resolution as weather models, because they need to be run for much longer periods of time. This means that they don't have the resolution to simulate clouds directly, and resort to average statistical approximations of cloud behavior. This is a big bottleneck in improving the accuracy of climate models. They're just now moving from 100 km to 10 km resolution for short simulations. With exascale they could move to 1 km resolution and build a true cloud-resolving model that can be run on century timescales.

Comment Re:Sounds like BS to me (Score 1) 230

Funny you should mention that; apparently someone has gone and invented a book that, get this, you can use to look up the definitions of a word!

Name one spoken language, where there is an authoritative source of definitions of words. Anybody can go write such a book, and none of them will actually be authoritative.

without government regulation or fear of monopolies.

How would you avoid monopolies without government regulation?

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