Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment not so fast: infrastructure and suppliers (Score 1) 422

I wish jobs would transition away from China that easily as the deterioration of cost advantage would suggest: Even if most companies complain about skyrocketing cost of production in China, still 80% of those see it "very unlikely" that they would move their production away from China to other countries. The reason? Infrastructure and huge supplier networks in China. Also, Also, China has money now and it is leveraging it's capital heavily in Asia. For example, when Chinese banks are loaning money to other countries in Asia the funding is ear-marked to be used for Chinese contractors.

Comment dedicated GPS vs smartphone GPS solutions (Score 2, Insightful) 328

I recently wrote a rant about smartphone vs dedicated GPS unit comparisong to my blog (no ads), but I copypaste it here to save you from trouble. :) So here it goes:

I've used a lot of smartphone GPS solutions, and two dedicated units. The biggest issue with all smartphone solutions is that you cannot *rely* on them. I've used Navicore/Wayfinder, Nokia Maps and Google Maps on Droid. They make nice demos but seriously, you really want to buy a dedicated GPS unit. I paid recently $130 for a new unit on a sale, and it's far superior to any mobile stuff that is out there.

Just a quick comparison:

+ Dedicated GPS units are more robust. You can rely on them. Smartphone based solutions do crash. You cannot rely on them. That's the most important factor for dumping them for any serious usage. They lose signal without being able to restore it without reboot. Theylose data connection (only prob for Google Maps based navisystems, Nokia Maps is offline). They just stop working. Every smartphone based solution had problems (at least after using them some time, not in "demo sessions"...) and the dedicated units don't (crashes are very rare).

+ Dedicated GPS units have far superior signal strength compared to any smartphone based GPS. Just try it in a parking hall: Dedicated unit will pick a signal no prob, smartphone will not. Smartphone will also lose signal easily when you're driving where dedicated unit is not. Trust me, I've done lots of comparisons running dedicated units and phones side by side.

+ Dedicated units are much faster. Offline maps is the first key requirement where Google Maps based systems fail. I used Google Maps on Droid for couple of months (on T-Mobile) until time wasted restoring data connection, downloading map, getting signal, downloading map again, downloading instructions, ... drove me crazy. Dedicated unit gets the route planning done 10x faster.

+ Dedicated units have better functionality and usability compared to any smartphone solution. For example, Google Maps does not have "search along route" functionality which is really nice during any road trips.

Still, I find uses for mobile GPS as well, but not as a dedicated GPS replacement but for "fun usage" e.g. during walking tour in a new city. Just don't buy mobile GPS solution and imagine that it's competing in the same league with dedicated units.

If you insist buying a mobile GPS, you can get Nokia 5230 with $160 or something like that. Nokia Ovi Maps can at least use offline maps, unlike Google Maps.

Comment DRM (Score 2, Insightful) 624

Jail-break or not, the DRM alone is enough reason for me to not to even consider Apple's iPad and iPhone. I want to be able to watch porn or whatever and install any software I want on my device. Apple can disagree, fine, but I don't need to buy their DRM-crippled crap.

Comment Re:problem is twitter users have comfortable life (Score 1) 144

Well they need to put people somewhere, even under totalitarian rule. :P So they just send you a new address, basically, and you have some time to move your stuff there before they bulldoze your building. This is very hard especially for old people who have maybe lived in their childhood houses all their lives, and suddenly someone forces you to move to some suburban apartment building with 1000 other people... They actually put even an address where to complain about the decision, but of course that's just for the show, in practice you cannot complain about things there.

Comment Re:problem is twitter users have comfortable life (Score 1) 144

Well, you can define growth in many ways, but if you compare foreign direct investment, China leads India by a large margin (FDI in China is at least double or more compared to India). And that FDI money comes from western companies. So even if western people value democracy "in general" when you ask them, the same people running western companies surely not weight it much at all when making investment decisions. Hypocrites. One other thing which you should consider is that democracy does not have long tradition in Asia. The culture has been different for a long time, so there are a lot of people who don't really care that much about democracy/politics or even know what it means. Look at for example Singapore: Average GDP per capita is higher than in US, but still the country is not democracy by any definition. And not too many people cry about it, even if everyone there using Twitter, mobile, Facebook, whatever. Some people even think corruption is "ok", because everyone should take care of themselves, including the government! What I'm trying to say is that what is "normal" depends a lot on your point of view and what is prevailing culture on that particular place.

Comment problem is twitter users have comfortable life (Score 4, Insightful) 144

I seriously doubt it's the Twitter users who will start revolution, at least in China. The revolution is still alive in the masses of countryside, like before. Just look at the incidents which have sparked there recently. For example, in one province a slight rise of bus ticket prices resulted in violent demonstrations. I'm 100% sure none of them had ever heard about Twitter. Twitter has maybe ~0.3% reach in China compared to population, that's about less people than Beijing pisses off routinely at once by moving a whole city because of one more dam or railroad every few months. Still, I have to give credit to Beijing as well. China's growth and drive has been nothing but unbelievable. It would not have been possible without making strong and fast decisions without asking much from the people. It's very easy to build a railroad if you just relocate the people by sending them a letter with two weeks notice time. China is run more like a company than western countries, and western companies generally love it. At least as long as it doesn't cross their interests.

Comment start with motivation, rest follows (Score 1) 799

Show him what you can do with programming. Show him something cool, which is still reachable so he can imagine himself doing that. Just some lame "you will get good jobs after 100 years" thing doesn't fly I think. For me the "defining moment" was when I saw Scandinavian "demo-scene" stuff at the age of roughly 11. After that, I really died to learn 3D-programming, and I've been coding pretty much every day since. :) I started with C, but it seemed so complicated and difficult to learn that I moved to x86 assembly, and learned that way. Couple of years later of course moved back to C, but that time with different perspective already -- as the projects grow in complication there was need for something more high-level. Pretty much same way ended up in OO-programming, I noticed I was more or less doing OO-programming already but just cumbersome way, so transitioned to C++... But anyway, get books, lots of them. I've met some programmers who have never read a programming book, but I still believe clearly organized and though-out book is a much better way to learn something "right way" even if basically all the information is in Internet.

Comment document interfaces, not code, and learn from bugs (Score 1) 477

One of guidelines I have found useful is that document interfaces as much and detailed as possible, but if you feel you should write a comment in implementation think twice if the implementation is too complicated, or maybe there is some problem with the design. Does the function do straightforward well-defined task? If the function gets too long or complicated maybe there are some independent well-defined tasks that should be own functions instead of part in the implementation. Write so clean code that it doesn't shout need for any documentation. One other useful guideline: Learn from bugs and improve code quality from the bugs. Always when encountering a bug, not only fix the bug but also ask "How could I prevented this in the first place?". That gives important hints about the quality issues in the code. Maybe you are not checking your assumptions/pre-conditions/post-conditions/variants enough. Maybe interface of that function was not well-defined. Maybe there was a test case missing. Maybe something else was wrong. Study the bug and make sure similar situation does not happen again.

Comment Qt (Score 1) 310

If you need a graphical user interface in your application go for Qt. Seriously, you won't regret it. I'm also using several other open source libs like Boost, but those won't help a bit to get your cross-platform GUI running. Qt, in contrast, handles that great, and has IPC, SQLite integration and thread abstractions a bonus. Besides, if you are starting as a "fresh" user , you will have benefit that once you have learned a bit Qt you will be comfortable with the other classes in the library as well. In contrast, if you decide to go for different lib for each purpose, you will have a lot more to learn (and to integrate).

Comment use gmail? (Score 1) 101

I've had about 20-30 domains registered over several years, and I've never used private domain reg, and still it's very rare that spam gets through in my inbox in Gmail, which I have used several years as well. Maybe I'm just lucky or the gmail spam filtering works very well.

Comment depends (Score 1) 834

Benefit/not depends on many things: 1) Your values 2) Your employer 3) Your career path So best to get both, work experience while studying masters, that is. You get also extra points because you look so hard working while doing both same time. Also, as many people have pointed out, you might benefit a great deal from it later. Check out the management ladder in many companies, many times there are not a single guy without masters degree.

Comment Re:WTF is Jaiku, you ask? (Score 5, Informative) 41

Jaiku was originally mobile-only microblogging, as far as I remember. The web interface came later. The original client was developed for Nokia Series 60 (C++). Not sure about the server side, might have been Python. Also, the Google Apps integration came later, after the acquisition. One of the unique selling points (from Google's point of view) was (disclaimer: I'm guessing) how Jaiku enhanced S60 default Contacts list to presence.

Slashdot Top Deals

To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T