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


Forgot your password?

Comment Aww hey.. (Score 3, Interesting) 370

I saw porn as a kid initially because some blew into my Grandparents' back garden from a neighbour who'd had his stash ripped up.. Probably some domestic there, but I can remember wondering why the women were wearing pretend beards in strange places. I thought it was funny and an oddity.. Couldn't have been more than 6 at the time..
Then a few years later (still sub 10), one of my friends uncovered his dad's stash.. There was the thrill of doing something I knew I wasn't meant to be doing, but nothing out of the ordinary. No ill effects, apart from the fallout from having my folks hit the roof when they found out about it..
A few years later, I watched a horror movie (that would be considered tame by today's standards) and I didn't sleep properly for weeks, and I remember being so nervous and anxious for ages.. Hey, I got over that too.. But from my perspective and recall, being exposed to horror and violence is far more damaging to a young psyche than porn.. But being young, you get over it.
Now for real problems, you just have to step over into a third world country where death is common and visible, people you know are abducted and killed. Disease is rife and a killer. And yet some of them are far more well adjusted than a lot of the people I've seen raised in 'safe' environments...

Comment Re:Did Zuckerberg ever have to get past HR? (Score 5, Insightful) 716

No, it's definitely not. Opinions have information. The sign of someone who really knows what they're on about is the person who listens, sifts, and then makes a decision based on that. Listening doesn't mean rule by committee; it just means you're acting with all the information you can get, which leads to a more informed choice.
The person that "knows" what to do can get it disastrously wrong, and frequently does.

Comment Re:To post something a bit to the contrary here... (Score 1) 317

The best device? That's a moveable feast, and pretty much something you'll have a hard job selling to the public. A solid camera isn't the big thing. Wireless charging? That'll take a while to catch on, and a lot of people are quite happy with their multiple charging points. It'll become more important over time, but won't sell many on it. High PPI? Well, there's more than good enough (iPhone etc.) and there's un-noticably better.. It may be a superior hardware platform, but hey, betamax did so well from that, didn't it?

The expansion of WP8 is pure conjecture. You're saying "If you build it, they'll come", despite most being quite heavily entrenched in purchases of apps already on smartphones (it's one of the things that I have to consider jumping from my current platform). And the good developers go where they'll make good money. Currently WP8 is niche (very) and you'd be betting good time and money to develop just for that. Maybe you will see a lot of good apps, but it'll have to tempt people away from _existing_ good apps they've already paid for. Microsoft relies on that in the fight to keep the desktop from going to other Operating Systems (there have been some good contenders, and Microsoft has always brought out the "Does it work with your existing applications that you know? No! Don't buy it!".. And that's already been shown to be a persuasive argument.

Having 100k apps doesn't mean that it's 100k apps that will sell, or do what people want to a sufficient level to chuck what they have and re-invest in completely new apps.. Or that the apps are actually decent in the first place.

Yes, having competition is good, but the arguments you pose are very subjective, and rely on others having your own tastes.. Most probably don't..
Still, I'm waiting to see what happens with interest. I like Nokia (my earlier phones were almost exclusively Nokia because of the quality), and I only switched because smartphones did what I wanted, and Nokia didn't have any.

WP8 doesn't look bad; that's not my beef with it.. It's just that it's not good enough to make me swap what I have, and have to replace a load of apps I use a lot (my dive log, gas mix calculators, music aides, work tools etc.) with new ones that I'll have to buy again and hope have the same functionality (and transcribe all the data for again!).. If it ever is, I'll jump, but that day isn't here, and WP8 isn't that OS. And I know I'm not alone in that, software history showing the trends of inertia in the market (BeOS, OS2 etc.).

Comment Re:There Will Be No Impact (Score 5, Insightful) 1113

1) The Big Bang theory is something that arises from the study of physics. Saying it's "evil" says that the fundamentals of theoretical physics are evil. Of course physics will be affected if some idiot with a bit of power starts mouthing off that people studying the origins of the universe are evil. Some of those people are quite devout Christians.. Think it doesn't affect them and their state of mind, which affects their work? Technology arises due to knowledge of physics; they're very tightly interlinked. Railing against one part of it has knock on effects everywhere.

2) Saying evolution (which has been observed) is not important? Hello? There's no problem with having a design base? Well, hey, no problem with doing theology as long as you don't have anything to do with God I guess.. It's a part of Biology, and explains much about how things have arisen, the interactions, and why things have become the way they have.

No, America isn't anti science. The guy that's the subject of this is, quite frankly, and idiot. He's a member of a scientific board. What should happen is everyone calmly sits down and says "Interesting postulation. Lets see your working, experimental evidence and ensure it's repeatable in objective controlled environments. If it can't be proved, or disproved, it has no place in this environment, and you don't have the beginnings of an understanding of science, so please give up your post on this board, as you have no right to be here".

Comment Re:I'll take getting a job Alex (Score 1) 630

I've hired plenty of developers in the past (and other technical, such as Admins, DBAs, technicians and so on).
It's a case of horses for courses. If I'm after someone who can do what they're told in a narrow field, for a fixed length of time, I'm not so bothered about the degree. Experience counts, and an interview test will filter out the stylistic elements to give me an idea of the quality of work people will turn out.
However, I don't tend to hire many people who do only what they're told; I want people who know how to learn and research. A reasonable way to determine that someone knows how to research is whether or not they have a degree. This is a 'fast and loose' method, but I've not really been let down by it.
Interviews will usually point out the scammers who use all the HR check marks without knowing anything about theory (and a fair few of my questions are about the mental processes people use to arrive at designs and solutions, rather than how they express it in code; the code part is easy to improve on, the mental processing.. Not so much).

From my side, I was self taught (programming at age 10, back in 1979 on a commodore PET), then went on to get a BSc in Real Time Systems as a focussed concentration on the parts of comp sci I was interested in (i.e. AI, robotics etc.). Spending that time in an academic environment taught me a lot about research, and having a network of peers to check work, share ideas with and generally improve a larger scope than just the individual.
I'm not looking for the "lone hero" coder; I'm looking for a team of heroes that know how to push things forward as a group, cover their weak points, and utilise their combined strengths to the best advantage, focussing team researches on areas that are needed. That kind of dynamic I find far more prevalent in degree educated individuals than I do in self taught, which is why, by and large, I ask for a degree in the important tasks.

Comment Re:That's What We Did (Score 3, Interesting) 267

That's the thing about "not doing anything retarded". There's a lot of things that can fit that description. The frame problem is what killed classic AI, and it's exactly the core of this problem. And it's probably more a problem for financial trading than it is for avionics.
To get around that, you need a base set of heuristics from the experts. That's what a spec document is for, to determine the limits and boundaries along with the exact operation. I suspect that a fair bit of this gets rushed through in the attempt to get an algorithm out that's better able to play your opposition before your opposition gets their own one out that'll toast yours.
Political pressure comes from on high to "get things moving now, what's the hold up?", and pressure is applied to the front lines to move it.
Which comes back to a management failure. Some things take time to get right, and you have the option of managing the environment to allow for the latency until things come out right (which is a fairly meaty task, but means you largely go from stable state to stable state), or you can utilise politics to speed things up (and this frequently means corners are cut; always a risk, hopefully calculated, frequently not). This often means going from a stable state to an uncertain one, with the hope that things won't go bad enough, and you can fix stuff on the fly.
Programmers aren't the ones in complex enterprises that should decide what's sane and what's not. That's for the people who have the experience in the field. If that info doesn't get passed on, it's pointless blaming a programmer (hey, go program exactly what I'm thinking of without telling you, and get it right!).
Doing things the right way takes time and money. Financials are usually willing to spend money, but they're very used to getting things "now".
That's something they may need to re-evaluate, and go back to the more old fashioned way of doing things, and taking time to ruminate, and double check.. They'll lose the maximum possible profit point, but keep things stable and still profitable.. Alas, many of them don't consider that acceptable, and want it all, and want it now.

Comment Peter F Hamilton. (Score 1) 1130

I'm a firm fan of his work.. The "Night's Dawn Trilogy" is a good fun read, and the "Commonwealth Saga" is intriguing..
Misspent Youth is a really interesting read, and had me snickering a few times and thinking "Yep, I can see that!"..
The Greg Mandel series (his first, I think) were good too.. Well worth picking up..

Comment Re:Political Science Professor (Score 1) 1010

And to study anything, you need a grasp of how math functions, otherwise you don't really grasp the path on how to gather correlations.
Removing algebra means you can look at things, and draw wild conclusions with no basis in reality or logic (and make wildly impassioned stories around it, which seems to constitute "talent" in politics), without actually understand what you're doing, or looking at, or what it really entails.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Just the facts, Ma'am" -- Joe Friday